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Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Martial Artist looks at the Zimmerman/Martin Murder Case

Filed under: law & crime by Victoria Liberty @ 1:45 pm

Guest post by John Victor

Thanks again to John, who earlier wrote a guest post about the Pring-Wilson trial, for providing his analysis of another high-profile case.

The killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is a story that ran through most of the media earlier this year, with strong opinions expressed on both sides of the issue.  Martin was shot by Zimmerman as he walked to his father’s apartment in a gated community.  Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watcher who was armed, followed Martin assuming he was a potential burglar.  The two had a confrontation, where Zimmerman pulled out his holstered handgun and shot Martin.

Contrary to reports in the media, it is possible to reenact the murder and to discredit the stories coming out of the Zimmerman camp.  My own background is in martial arts and I do reenactments of street crimes for the purposes of self-defense training.

Zimmerman’s first story (as related by his brother to the media) is full of easily discredited holes.  He claims that Trayvon Martin was seated on top of him, smashing his head against the pavement, whereas he went for his holstered gun and shot him in the chest.  This story is as unlikely as “space aliens made him do it.”

Let’s start with the position that Martin and Zimmerman were allegedly in.  It’s called “the mount” as shown in the following picture: READ MORE

Who Screamed for Help?
One of the keys to understanding a street fight is that “multitasking” is not an option for most people.  When a karate master takes on, say, three attackers simultaneously, his or her approach is to deal with this as one single attack and not three separate attacks.  Screaming for help is a separate event from fighting.  One does not fight and scream for help simultaneously.  It’s the party that has stopped fighting (or never engaged in a fight) that does the screaming.
I would put my money on Trayvon Martin as the screamer when he was pinned to the ground.  Why not Zimmerman?  Because he had an ace in the hole in this fight, his gun, and he would have been fighting to get to it, and not taking the time to do anything else.  It would have been a single minded effort.  Even assuming that Zimmerman was being “ground and pounded,” he would know that he had the ultimate weapon in this fight, and that’s what he would have been going for, and not screaming for help.

George's Shoes

Mark Osterman - WOFL TV

Published on Sep 18, 2012 by tatepublishing The sound of a single gun shot cut through the quiet, rainy evening and a lanky, black teen, Trayvon Martin, fell to the ground. The shooter was someone Mark and Sondra Osterman spoke with daily. He played Santa for their daughter, treated his wife with preciousness, often ate at their table, and shared their joys and sorrows. The Ostermans are George and Shellie Zimmermans' best friends. They were the first people Shellie Zimmerman called on that tragic February night in Sanford, Florida. Because of serious death threats, the Ostermans took George and Shellie Zimmerman into their home, hiding them for nearly a month. With their own lives in danger, they offered protection and encouragement to their friend, because, he would have done the same. As the Ostermans and the rest of the country await news of George's trial for second degree murder, the couple wants the public to know the George Zimmerman they know; the kind, giving guy who had many black friends; the one doing his duty as a citizen, forced to retrieve his gun and use it because his life was in danger; the George Zimmerman who shed tears upon learning Trayvon had died at the scene. The shooting of Trayvon Martin has been called an American tragedy. Mark and Sondra Osterman believe it will be a greater tragedy if George is convicted for doing anything outside of defending his life on the night of February 26th, 2012. They pray daily that truth and justice prevail for their good friend, the most hated man in America.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

George Michael Zimmerman and the Thirteen Commandments of Criminal Defense

The First Commandment of Criminal Defense is thou canst not create a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, no matter how good you are. Some cases are dead-bang losers and you must be able to identify and dispose of them, if at all possible, without going to trial. That usually involves a plea bargain and a guilty plea. There are two kind of plea bargains: charge bargains where charges are dropped or reduced in exchange for a guilty plea, and sentencing bargains where the prosecutor agrees to recommend a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. You should be prepared to take a case to trial, if the prosecutor is unwilling to give your client a benefit in exchange for pleading guilty. The prosecutor must know that you are willing to do that or you will not get the best deal for your client. The Second Commandment is thou shalt not fail to use your independent judgment and act in the best interests of your client. The relationship must be a professional one, not a codependent one. It is not a friendship of equals. Your client hired you, or you were appointed to represent him, because you are a professional with the requisite knowledge and skill to do the job. Because of that knowledge and skill, which your client does not have, and your duty to use your independent judgment, you must be the boss in the relationship. I can think of no better example of a difficult and self-destructive client than George Zimmerman. Four words illustrate the disaster that can happen when the lawyer permits the client to make the decisions: READ MORE

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Zimmerman's story slowly crumbling

Forensic test results were made public today that identified only George Zimmerman's DNA on the gun that killed 16 year old Trayvon Martin. His story has been that he shot Martin in self-defense, while Martin was walking to his father's house in a gated community.

Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty, although in the eyes of most he has yet to provide a plausible account of what led to the egregious murder of a young, unarmed African American man.

FDLE Neighborhood Photos