Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Final Thought on Zimmerman: Read the Jury Instruction

From the messy desk of Paul Levine

 Last week, I posted this, on Facebook, after the STATE'S witness, Mr. Good, testified that he saw Trayvon Martin on top, punching Zimmerman: 
"I've hung around courtrooms for 40 years as a newspaper reporter, lawyer, novelist and TV writer. But I've never seen the state of Florida bring a weaker case than the one against George Zimmerman. (And that includes the time State Attorney Dick Gerstein charged Meyer Lansky with a crime for coming through Customs without a prescription for his heart medication). Regardless of the morality of what Zimmerman did, there was insufficient evidence to convict him of a crime." 
[As for Lansky...it was ulcer medication.  Noted defense lawyer Roy Black reminded me that Lansky's alleged crime was possessing the medication without having the prescription bottle with him at the time.  Obviously, it was a harrassment prosecution, and the judge directed a verdict in Lansky's favor.  I covered the trial as a rookie reporter for The Miami Herald and found Lansky to be a charming old guy.  Tiny, as I recall].
Here's the key jury instruction in the Zimmerman case:
"If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in anyplace where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."
I submit to you that, given the EVIDENCE presented and that instruction, the jury had no choice but to acquit.
Cleaning out files this week, I came across this 15-second network commercial for "Solomon vs. Lord," which these days is being sold exclusively on Amazon Kindle here.
If you missed Sunday's "Pulp Friction" interview with comedy writer and Emmy winner Carmen Finestra, you can find it here

Paul Levine





  1. To me the question is why no effort was made to show that Trevon Martin had a reasonable fear of his life while engaged in a lawful activity and could have met force with force if accosted by Zimmerman. The Stand Your Ground law works both ways, making it an ill-advised legal quagmire.

    In a perfect world, a jamoke like Zimmerman would never have been allowed a gun in the first place.

  2. The latest theory is that the fix was in and the prosecutors intentionally lost the case by not properly preparing the witnesses and not immediately objecting when the detective told the jury Zimmerman was telling the truth, among other miscalculations.

  3. The fix was in? What fix? And why did the State of Florida go ahead and prosecute the case in the first place if there was a fix? It it was a fix they wouldn't of had to prosecute at all. It was a jury trial and the results are what they are.

    JTG in Detroit