Skip to comments.George Zimmerman Is Destined for a Hung Jury
Posted on 04/21/2012 3:29:09 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Not only will it be impossible to find a jury without preconceived opinions in the Trayvon Martin caseit will be impossible to find one that will convict, says Mansfield Frazier.
An editor I used to work for had a favorite saying: Predicting the future is usually as easy as stating the obvious. In the upcoming trial of George Zimmerman, the obvious is this: theres little, if any, chance to avoid not only a mistrial, but a series of them if the state continues to reindict him, which it has the right to do and no doubt will, but with the same result over and over again.
At some point in the future, after endless retrials, it will seem as if this caselike the racial discord that will cause it to hang around our nation's collective neck like an albatrosshas always been a part of American life, like Mount Rushmore, the Liberty Bell, or the Washington Monument.
The problem for the Florida legal system is that at this juncture, the case really isnt about points of guilt or innocence that a jury can make reasoned decisions on. The case has become a referendum on the Stand Your Ground law and, more importantly, a referendum on the thorny issue of race in America. How to bridge the chasm that divides the races in America (which, amazingly, seems to both widen and narrow at the same instant in this country) is not only a question we dont have the answer to, its a question we dont even like to ask.
However, the case at hand is forcing our handit quite simply wont allow us to duck the issue of race, at least for a while. Whether this is a good or bad thing is yet to be seen. Will this forced confrontation of racial attitudes help to solve our national problem, or will it only be made worse?
Voir dire is the process whereby attorneys from both sides get to ask potential jurors questions. Under Florida law six jurors (not 12) will hear the case against Zimmerman. In the states code of criminal procedure, the section that outlines the grounds for challenge to individual jurors for cause (Section 913.03) is the longest and most detailed by far, and for good reason. All criminal-defense lawyers (and prosecutors, as well) know cases can be won or lost during jury selection. In addition to striking a juror for cause, each side has six preemptory challenges, which means a potential juror can be dismissed without a reason being given. After Jim Crow laws were abolished, these preemptory challenges were the tool used to keep blacks off of juries.
But all-white juries are a thing of the not-too-distant past, and theres no way to impanel a jury in the case at hand that doesnt have at least one or two blacks on it. And with Floridas liberal use of cameras in courtrooms (unless the judge rules them out in this case or instructs that the jury not be shown), everyone in the country is going to know who is sitting on the jury, and therein lies the rub.
The facts of this case, no matter if they are for or against Zimmerman, ultimately will have very little to do with the outcome. Jurors, when it comes to voting on guilt or innocence, are most likely going to break down along racial lines. Try as they might to be good citizens and follow the instructions of the judge to put their personal feelings aside and make a decision based only on the facts of the case, the odds are that they will deadlock. This is not to say they are weak people; rather, it indicates how strongly race factors into decisions in American life, and its hard to see how this case will be an exception. Jurors are not superhuman.
Because of this, no matter how many times the state puts Zimmerman on trial, the outcome will probably be the same: a hung jury. Few, if any, whites in the South are going to want to be forever known as a member of a jury that voted to convict Zimmerman, and conversely, no black is going to care to be known as the person who voted to acquit him. Its a recipe for deadlock.
Talk is already circulating of a change of venue, but a change to where? The moon? Theres no place in the country where potential jurors havent heard about the case, and most folks (black and white, rightly or wrongly) have already formed opinions that by now are virtually intractable.
Besides, the cult of celebrity worship thats developed in this country virtually assures that the good folks in the state of Florida, who are about to participate in what promises to be the most high-profile court case of the century so farperhaps even eclipsing the Casey Anthony trialare not about to let their shot at fame (and a potential book deal somewhere down the line) slip through their fingers. There will be no change of venuebet on it.
This trial will afford us the opportunity, albeit by way of force, to deal with the skeleton of race thats been hanging in the national closet for centuries. How well or badly we use it is really up to us.
They’ll have to try him at least twice, I would think.
I’m dreading the next 3? years. Almost makes me want a new war to start to get this out of the news.
I know, I know, it is the ACCUSED who that is supposed to apply to, but when Eric Holder's people are involved, logic and truth have nothing to do with anything.
I have little faith in either FL jurors or FL voters.
I feel sorry for anyone called to be on that jury.
My bad! I remembered the statistics incorrectly. The latest demographics(2008 estimate)are 82.41% white; 9.52% black and 11.15% hispanic. Hispanics on the jury might give the trial an interesting outcome.
Just like the OJ jury!
I saw an article about this last on Free Republic. The parents and their advisors want him charged, so they sue him.
“All white jury and he has a chance for a fair trial...”
Ditto with an all-Hispanic jury.
Freepers need to understand, two very powerful forces are aligned to prevent national black riots, Obama for reelection and the US Wall Street bankers. Obama is obvious. Bankers? If rioting broke out nationwide, the property damage claims will be astronomical to the US insurance companies. Many of these companies barely recovered from the 2008 meltdown and many have bailout money to cover their derivative liabilities. Riots will set off a Black Swan event that can implode the insurance companies and the Wall Street banks that deal with them. Zimmerman is in trouble, because even if he is legally innocent, the powerful forces of Wall Street already read the riot act to the Federal gov and Gov Scott of FL. Life of one man vs the financial survival of this nation and world, man loses.
many policies not pay for riot damage
OJ got a jury of his peers.
A proper judge (but courageous as well) would simply toss the case because there is no probable cause shown by the affidavit alleging a crime. Plus, more evidence (the photos of Mr. Zimmerman’s bleeding scape) revealed is showing that the prosecution was dead wrong, to the point of misconduct.
Pray that a courageous and judicial competent judge will toss the case. This has gone too far.
I personally think it won’t even get to trial. They have NO evidence and it was really revealed at the bond hearing. Then, the GF is totally made up according to that article I read (may or may not be true) but I don’t think, if she does exist, that she REALLY has much to offer the case.
I say it gets thrown out; not that GZ pleads to a lesser charge (which he should NOT do).
OJ got a judge that enjoyed being peered at.
The cameras lost that conviction.
My bet is that it will never get to the trial stage, but if it does Zimmerman will opt for a bench trial rather than a jury trial.
That's what I heard on one of the talking head shows. I believe what just happened related to whether there should be bail. The original statement of charges really never dealt with the self-defense issue at all. Corey claims she will present evidence that it wasn't self defense, and the judge went ahead and let it proceed. But as I understand it she will have to present the rest of her evidence before the trial starts, and the judge could simply rule there is a prepondernece of evidence that is was self-defense. That would be the same as a not guilty verdict. It would prevent charges from being brought against Zimmerman in criminal or civil court (not Federal court though).
how do you protect yourself from someone sleeping?? that’s stupid.
This is a GREAT law that protects law abiding citizens who PROTECT themselves in public. If they defend themselves and the perp dies, the perps family cannot sue is the citizen uses SYG as his defense.
“A proper judge (but courageous as well) would simply toss the case.......”
I agree. A proper AND COURAGEOUS judge would dismiss it. However, I suspect that’s not going to happen. The first judge probably quickly realized it was an empty case but didn’t want to place her in a place where she’d have to make that rule—so that’s why she bailed out. “Conflict of interest” my foot—it was pure cowardliness.
In other words, we’re giving in to the terrorist demands.
I like interpreting imagery.
Are you suggesting an overseas cruise?
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