I Heard That

Good (warning: auto-play audio at that link):

In a major victory for murder suspect George Zimmerman, a judge Saturday ruled that prosecutors may not put on the witness stand two state audio experts who say the voice heard screaming for help on a 911 call was someone other than Zimmerman.

Those screams, recorded while Zimmerman was fighting with 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, are the most dramatic piece of evidence in the high-profile murder case.

Zimmerman, a former Neighborhood Watch volunteer, says they came from him, that he was calling for help after Trayvon attacked him. Trayvon’s parents say they are from their son and are his last words before Zimmerman shot him in the chest.

Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson had heard three days of testimony about the science used by the state’s experts. On Saturday she ruled that it failed to meet Florida’s legal standard.

Jurors can expect prosecutors to still play the audio. They’ll also likely hear testimony from Trayvon’s mother and perhaps father that the screams came from their son. Zimmerman’s father, Robert Zimmerman Sr., has testified that the voice is his son’s.

Four other experts testified that what these guys are doing is pseudo-scientific bullshit. Since the Zimmerman case surfaced, “audio experts” have been crawling out of the woodwork, making wild claims about racial epithets, prayers and screams heard on phone calls. None of its has crossed me as remotely scientific or accurate. And I’m glad the judge saw through this.

Bullshit forensic testimony is a big problem in the US courts. Some time ago I blogged about the Cameron Todd Willingham case, where a man was convicted and executed for a triple arson murder based on forensic evidence that was slightly more accurate than waving voodoo rattles over the ashes. Radley Balko has written extensively about the completely bogus “bite mark” analysis that was used in many cases in Mississippi. During the Satanic Cult panic of the 80’s and 90’s, we saw many “occult experts” give testimony that was completely made up. One of these “experts” played a key role in the conviction of the West Memphis Three.

Let the jury decide if they hear anything significant on the tapes. I see no reason why some idiot with a computer and a persuasive voice should be allowed to present himself to the jury as an “expert” when he clearly isn’t.

Comments are closed.

  1. Hal_10000 *

    Yeah, and that worries me. The media have been building up this case so much and been so deficient in reporting the facts that if the jury decides — as I think they probably should — that it’s not clear exactly what happened and maybe give him involuntary manslaughter or let him off — that this could go badly. Expect a full-throated outcry from the usual suspects.

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  2. Technomad

    One thing I hope the defense brings up is that Trayvon was just as much under obligation to do what he could to avoid violence as George. If he’d really been harmless, he could have dialed 911 himself and said that a strange man was stalking him.

    The fact that he didn’t points to him being up to no good, one way or another.

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  3. Iconoclast

    Expect a full-throated outcry from the usual suspects.

    After all, this is the President’s would-be son we’re talkin’ about, here.

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  4. Seattle Outcast

    At this point the state doesn’t prove guilt, the defendant has to prove innocence.

    More reason than ever for the system to undergo some radical overhauls concerning what information is given to the media. It’s also a reason why I have a profound distrust of the media – they have already decided what the verdict should be in order for it to line up with their political agendas, and anything else will be a “miscarriage of justice”, followed by calls for a lynching in some manner or another (most likely by $harpton or Jack$on) to rectify the issue.

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  5. hist_ed

    The media have been building up this case so much and been so deficient in reporting the facts that if the jury decides — as I think they probably should — that it’s not clear exactly what happened and maybe give him involuntary manslaughter or let him off

    If the jury decides it’s not clear what happened then they have to acquit-if they are only concerned with doing their jobs in the courtroom. If they look at the “greater good” and are afraid of being blamed for riots, then they may go for the lessor charge to try to prevent riots.

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  6. Mississippi Yankee

    If they look at the “greater good” and are afraid of being blamed for riots, then they may go for the lessor charge to try to prevent riots.

    In which case one more part of the America I grew up in will wither and die.

    The obungler has stolen the “Truth”
    This case may forever change our “Justice”
    We will be left with no “American Way”

    /Superman flies off a failed hero/

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  7. stogy

    Good

    And bad. Apparently now using the right to remain silent can be used to infer guilt:

    Guilty or not, suspects in the United States no longer have the right to remain silent. If they remain silent, moreover, that silence will now be interpreted as guilt and will indeed — despite what you see on television court and cop dramas — be used against that person in a court of law. Even, in fact, the highest court in the land.

    Another terrifying twist to the Salinas decision is that it imposes on a suspect the necessity of invoking specific language before law enforcement will honor the basic civil liberties of a person who is (or historically, was) innocent until proven guilty.

    Justice Breyer recognized how this novel necessity places a nearly insuperable barrier to invoking one’s right to remain silent. Writing for the dissent, Justice Breyer asked, “How can an individual who is not a lawyer know that these particular words [“I expressly invoke the privilege against self incrimination”] are legally magic?”

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  8. Hal_10000 *

    Yeah, stogy, I have a post on that right to remain silent thing. It keeps getting kicked down the road.

    If they look at the “greater good” and are afraid of being blamed for riots, then they may go for the lessor charge to try to prevent riots.

    I’m not that worried about riots, per se. I’m worried about bitterness and outcry and the passage of extremely stupid laws in the wake of it.

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  9. Mississippi Yankee

    Someone yesterday, can’t remember who, brought up that none of the jury is African-American. So no matter what the outcome of this dog and pony show there will be an almost automatic appeal. Makes me wonder if this wasn’t a ‘built in ‘ flaw during jury selection.

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  10. Thrill

    Or it was just an acknowledgement that there are zero blacks in Florida who aren’t familiar with this case and haven’t already made up their minds.

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  11. Mississippi Yankee

    Or it was just an acknowledgement that there are zero blacks in Florida who aren’t familiar with this case and haven’t already made up their minds.


    WOW, what a racist thing to say.

    /En garde/

    Will you be making any ‘other’ excuses for the Kabuki Theater in Sanford?

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  12. Xetrov

    Her testimony was destroyed yesterday. The defense could rest after her response of “No Sir” when asked if she could be certain it was Trayvon who yelled, “get off”, or started the altercation. No need to put Zimmerman on the stand, that statement from the prosecution’s star witness shows reasonable doubt. Nevermind that she was caught in a lie in regard to the letter she “wrote” that she couldn’t even read.

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  13. Xetrov

    Someone yesterday, can’t remember who, brought up that none of the jury is African-American. So no matter what the outcome of this dog and pony show there will be an almost automatic appeal.

    If he’s acquitted/found not guilty, there is no option for the State to appeal. Double Jeopardy.

    That isn’t to say the inevitable civil lawsuit over money can’t be appealed by either side.

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  14. Xetrov

    Only if you think race motivated this at all, or your opinion is based on the race of the individual, but even then you’re picking between the African-American or the Hispanic.

    Either way, it’s a bullshit media/politic driven narrative. If they were both the same color, we never would have heard of the incident unless it was used as another stab at increased gun control.

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  15. salinger

    Have an answer Salinger? Just curious.

    Nope – I just thought it was an interesting take on it. How would it be different – who would folks of various stripes be behind if the tables were turned, as they say? I like exercises in thinking that make one look at a subject from a different angle.

    But no, I don’t have an answer. I have some suppositions. I am intrigued by the down votes since I made no comment other than it was interesting.

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  16. Section8

    I have some suppositions

    What would those be? Just curious.

    As far as the down votes sometimes a question is a comment. Perhaps some were assuming your suppositions. I’m just curious as to what they are. I haven’t down voted by the way. In fact I don’t think I’ve down voted anything you’ve posted here. I generally save that for CM and usually after it’s a flood of I know you are but what am I posts.

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  17. salinger

    What would those be? Just curious.

    Well I don’t think the left wing talking heads would be as interested in a black guy shooting (let’s say for the sake of argument – I know Zimmerman’s Hispanic) a white kid other than the anti gun stance.

    And I don’t think the right wing talking heads would be so adamant in supporting a black shooter of a white kid visiting his father in a gated community.

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  18. Mook

    I am intrigued by the down votes since I made no comment other than it was interesting.

    I didn’t downvote your post, but the photoshop that you linked uses a photo of Trayvon when he was 12 yrs old, not a current photo although plenty of current pics are/were available. For that reason, it’s clear that the creator who posed this question which you find so ‘interesting’ was being willfully deceitful.. that’s likely why your post got some downvotes

    I have no doubt that you would not have posted a similar photoshop question if the photo of Trayvon was one of his more recent thug wannabe poses flashing his gold teeth flipping the bird

    And I don’t think the right wing talking heads would be so adamant in supporting a black shooter of a white kid visiting his father in a gated community.

    There was a case very similar to what you describe in NY where a black homeowner killed an unarmed, but drunk and rowdy teenager out of paranoia that the white boy was part of a “lynch mob”. Seems that the DA and (mostly white) community were somewhat supportive of him, giving reduced charge and later a pardon.

    Notice that case, and I’m sure there many others like it, didn’t make national headlines like Zimmerman.

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  19. salinger

    There was a case very similar to what you describe in NY where a black homeowner killed an unarmed, but drunk and rowdy teenager out of paranoia that the white boy was part of a “lynch mob”. Seems that the DA and (mostly white) community were somewhat supportive of him, giving reduced charge and later a pardon.

    I wouldn’t be so sure of this. I didn’t say white – I said right wing talking heads for example:

    Look at the comments at the end of this story on the case you cite.

    And it seems this is going to be the case cited by folks looking to see Zimmerman walk.

    Personally I think the prosecutors overcharged Zimmerman. Manslaughter seems to be the right charge to me. I hope he takes the stand because I would like to know his rationale for ignoring the cops who told him to stand down – that they didn’t need him following the kid. That alone makes him suspect in my mind – like he was out looking for an altercation and then obviously got more than he could handle.

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  20. Mook

    I hope he takes the stand because I would like to know his rationale for ignoring the cops who told him to stand down

    He didn’t ignore “the cops”, he ignored the dispatcher, who was NOT a cop. The dispatcher has as much authority as a cashier at Piggly Wiggly.

    Trayvon was acting erratically, darting between houses and as a neighborhood watch captain, Zimmerman understandably wanted to see what was going on. Z knew damn well, just as you know damn well, that it’s almost certain that police wouldn’t have arrived in time. Trayvon chose to attack the “creepy looking cracka”, full of racial hatred himself, beating Z’s head on the pavement and Z justifiably defended his life.

    If you want to cite comment sections, I have seen far worse from blacks and liberals, now threatening to murder crackas if Z is acquitted.

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  21. salinger

    and as a neighborhood watch captain

    You forgot to add the qualifier “self appointed” to watch captain. He was not member of any police recognized watch campaign.

    “In no program that I have ever heard of does someone patrol with a gun in their pocket,” “Every city and municipality has their own policies. Here in Miami-Dade we train people only to be the eyes and ears of their communities. Not to follow and most definitely not to carry a weapon.”
    Carmen Caldwell, the Executive Director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade,

    it’s almost certain that police wouldn’t have arrived in time.

    In time for what?

    Okay, I don’t really want to get into this now – I have stuff to do. I will be following the trial and leave it up to the jury to decide.

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  22. Mook

    What if Trayvon Had Been White, and the Shooter Black?

    This is not an exercise in mere speculation. We know what would happen in such a case. There would be no white mobs in the street chanting “No justice, no peace!” There would be no whites holding a “million hoodie march” in New York City. There would be no white equivalent of Al Sharpton, the professional race-baiter behind the 1987 Tawana Brawley hoax, leading marches in the streets of the shooter’s hometown. There would be no Federal civil rights investigation by the Justice Department.

    ..We know this because in fact, such an event occurred in 2009 in Greece, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester. Roderick Scott, a black man, shot and killed an unarmed white teen, Christopher Cervini, whom he believed was burglarizing a neighbor’s car, with a licensed .40 cal. handgun.

    There are many similarities between the Scott-Cervini case and the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case in Florida. In both cases, there had been a spate of criminal activity in the neighborhood. In both cases, the shooters called 911 to report suspicious activity, yet chose to confront the unarmed suspects outside their residence and off their own property prior to the arrival of the police.

    ..Despite the racial difference between the shooter and the decedent, there were no allegations of racial bias. Scott was not charged with a hate crime. There was no Federal civil rights investigation. There were no white protests.

    Oh, and a mostly white jury acquitted Scott. Sorry the truth doesn’t fit your leftist caricatured view of the world stoges.

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  23. Seattle Outcast

    He didn’t ignore “the cops”, he ignored the dispatcher, who was NOT a cop. The dispatcher has as much authority as a cashier at Piggly Wiggly.

    This.

    Also, people keep saying that Zimmerman is just another example of white people being racist. Not sure how that really applies because Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic, and you’d have to be blind as all hell to not notice his skin color and facial features are not “white”.

    So far the prosecution has been doing a wonderful job of actually defending Zimmerman as their testimony has so far managed to paint a wonderful picture of Martin as a racist punk that was looking for trouble. That he got to vent his teenage punk rage against a “creepy cracker” was apparently a big bonus to his delinquent mind, and witnesses to the altercation identify him as the violent aggressor. That Zimmerman shot him in self defense is pretty much a given, just like the likelihood of somebody killing Martin well before he turned 21.

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  24. salinger

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  25. Section8

    I think Mook’s examples should now answer your questions Salinger.

    First off it was the other way around, it probably would be a blip on the radar in the local community where it happened.

    We wouldn’t have the a white president saying if he had a son he would look like me.

    We wouldn’t have a media doing their best to make a racial powder keg out of it, including flat out fabricating stories with cut and paste of audio.

    In the end not much would happen at all if it was the other way around. In fact we see it every summer when there are racial attacks by groups of black kids on whites, and the media can’t even be honest to report it as it is. It’s “angry teens” attacking “shoppers”.

    What will happen though is people will have enough of this crap if it doesn’t end soon (and that’s not too far off) and some honesty is brought into the mix to reflect reality and not feelgood PC bullshit. Because you can’t cry the racist wolf forever.

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  26. Xetrov

    He didn’t ignore “the cops”, he ignored the dispatcher, who was NOT a cop.

    This is a viable defense in your guy’s eyes?

    This is a viable reason to prosecute in your eyes?

    I have a hard time swallowing self defense when he started the altercation

    Objection – Conjecture. The only eye witness did not see who started the confrontation, only that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman. The only audio of the confrontation does not indicate who started the confrontation. Following someone is not “starting” an “altercation”, nor is it illegal. While we’re at it, it’s also his constitutionally protected right to carry a gun, so I fail to see what point you were trying to make above in regard to the neighborhood watch quote.

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  27. salinger

    Objection – Conjecture. The only eye witness did not see who started the confrontation, only that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman.

    If Zimmerman had, as instructed, stayed put – what do you reasonably think would have happened? How far away from where Zimmerman made the call to police did Martin and he have their confrontation? This would be an important fact for me if I were deliberating the case.

    I don’t think Zimmerman is a sociopath – I think he is an idiot which does lead to criminal offenses at times. I could be wrong – that is why I’d love to see him take the stand.

    While we’re at it, it’s also his constitutionally protected right to carry a gun, so I fail to see what point you were trying to make above in regard to the neighborhood watch quote.

    That at least one other neighborhood watch organization that trains and certifies folks to be neighborhood watchers find reason to distinctly instruct their trainees not to follow or confront suspicious people. It’s a policy I think is smart.

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  28. Xetrov

    If Zimmerman had, as instructed, stayed put – what do you reasonably think would have happened?

    Inconsequential to the legality of the case, Zimmerman wasn’t legally obligated to follow the instruction of the dispatcher.

    The Prosecution chose to try him for Second Degree Murder which in Florida is defined as –

     The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, is murder in the second degree and constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

    They have to prove he has a “depraved mind regardless of human life”, which thus far they have not even attempted to do. They also have to disprove that he acted in self defense as definied by Florida law which is his defense.

    Particularly FL 776.013 –

    (3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    and FL 782.02 –

    The use of deadly force is justifiable when a person is resisting any attempt to murder such person or to commit any felony upon him or her or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person shall be.

    He was in a place where he has a right to be, and therefore had no duty to retreat if Trayvon was the aggressor as Zimmerman has claimed he was.

    But let’s take your assumption, and the prosecutions assumption (and that’s only what it is) that Zimmerman was the aggressor as fact. He is still covered by FL 776.041 –

    The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

    (1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

    (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or

    (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

    If Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman as has been identified to be the case by the only eye witness, and Trayvon was hitting Zimmerman (as evidenced by a broken nose), and pounding his head into the ground (as evidenced by the lacerations on the back of his head), then per section (a) above he was within his rights to defend his life as long as he reasonably believes he was in danger of imminent death or great bodily harm even if he started the “altercation”.

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  29. salinger

    Inconsequential to the legality of the case, Zimmerman wasn’t legally obligated to follow the instruction of the dispatcher.

    Maybe not – but he was an idiot to not do so. I’m sure he is remorseful now – but I have deep concerns about someone this stupid walking around any neighborhood armed.

    I believe this is a case where the law is a bad one. and i hope it gets reviewed.

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  30. richtaylor365

    Salinger, you are correct in some areas but way way off base in others.

    No, the dispatcher in question is not like a checker a Piggly Wiggly. Because they represent the police dept. (and said agency is liable civilly for whatever actions or advice they dispense) they are trained in how they are to respond to different emergencies. Since their actions reflect on the police dept., all instructions must be within the confines of the law. No, they have no police officer powers, that is why they instruct, not order, but they have to know more than frozen foods are on isle 2.

    You forgot to add the qualifier “self appointed” to watch captain. He was not member of any police recognized watch campaign.

    Wrong, and wrong. The other members of the neighborhood watch group elected him captain, he was not self appointed, and the watch was set up with the assistance of the Sanford Police Dept.

    I have a hard time swallowing self defense when he started the altercation

    Sorry, but you have zero facts to prove this. You keep saying he should not have been following him. Zimmerman’s statement to the police was that he was in his car running an errand when he saw Martin acting suspicious, not walking on the sidewalk (where most people would perambulate) but was hugging tree lines on private properties. After he was instructed to not follow Martin by the dispatcher, he heeded the advice and was returning to his car, that was when he was attacked. And as of now (the trial is early, I admit) all we have is the sworn testimony of Goode who puts Martin as the aggressor, not Zimmerman, it was Martin who was continually on top, raining blows down on Zimmerman MMA style. This fact alone supports self defense.

    Manslaughter, give him 20 let him out quietly after 7

    And what do you base this manslaughter charge on?

    I think you have fallen into the same sand trap that most of the liberal based MSM have fallen into, a rush to judgment based primarily on the skin color of the players, and not by any supportable facts. I have read that once the defense gets started they will parade a number of neighbors from the area on to the witness stand not only swearing as to the good character of Zimmerman, but that he had their support. Most of his calls to the police were not about suspicious black kids walking the neighborhood, they were mostly about ordinary things that would make their neighborhood, safer, pot holes in the streets, kids playing dangerously close to traffic, a stray dog that was menacing the children playing , or dumped trash in the neighborhood.

    I also hope they are allowed to bring into evidence the mentoring program Zimmerman was involved with, where he mentored a black kid in the neighborhood.

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  31. Seattle Outcast

    That at least one other neighborhood watch organization that trains and certifies folks to be neighborhood watchers find reason to distinctly instruct their trainees not to follow or confront suspicious people. It’s a policy I think is smart.

    Which is meaningless, just like your assumption that a 911 dispatcher knows what the hell they are talking about. Hell, the cops don’t even know what the hell they are doing most of the time and routinely violate most people’s rights with every contact they make.

    You are conflating what you consider to be “smart” and what the law is, and seem perfectly willing to throw someone in prison for not committing a crime. What the fuck is wrong with you?

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  32. salinger

    You are conflating what you consider to be “smart” and what the law is, and seem perfectly willing to throw someone in prison for not committing a crime.

    Maybe a bit. I think Zimmerman was foolish to put himself in harms way when he had already notified the authorities and was was instructed not to involve himself – your willingness to dismiss the authority of the police and their representatives is equally worrisome – i hope no harm ever comes to you because of your distrust.

    I think (and it my not be the letter of the law – it is my belief, remember I already said I think the law is a bad one, so again this is my opinion) that Zimmerman bears some responsibility because he helped create the situation that led to the death of a kid who had every right to be where he was.

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

    I hold a different opinion than you – does it mean I merit your derision? If so – we are probably done talking. Good day, sir.

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  33. Xetrov

    Maybe not

    No maybe about it.

    but he was an idiot to not do so.

    If that were reason enough to be thrown in prison, more than half of this country would be.

    a kid who had every right to be where he was

    Technically if he was walking up against peoples houses like Zimmerman claims, he was trespassing.

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  34. Section8

    Martin had a right to walk down the street.

    Zimmerman had a right to follow someone for a brief period and call the police, which he did, when he saw something he though was suspicious.

    Zimmerman has a right to get out of his car if he wants to, to take a closer look. None of that is wrong or illegal as far as I know and it shouldn’t be.

    According to Rich, Z actually did start walking away when advised by dispatch, and that is when he was confronted. This was my understanding too. Now it may turn out not to be the case, but Salinger, your point is basically he ignored orders and confronted Martin? Is that correct? If it’s the other way around, what’s your argument there other than we need to have a sacrificial lamb to feed the PC feelgood god?

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  35. salinger

    If it’s the other way around, what’s your argument there

    If this proves true I would seriously re-think my opinion. I have heard more reports that he followed and confronted Martin. Hopefully this will be clarified.

    what’s your argument there other than we need to have a sacrificial lamb to feed the PC feelgood god?

    You know, I almost thought we were headed for a non-name calling and semi-intelligent conversation. Why ya gotta be such a dick? It’s snarky shit like this that cheapens your comments and this blog.

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  36. Section8

    You know, I almost thought we were headed for a non-name calling and semi-intelligent conversation.

    I didn’t call you anything. I did start to believe you were just doing what several on the left do when race becomes part of the conversation, and that’s promote themselves by putting someone else out to sacrifice. If that’s not the case, I apologize. It looks like we are in somewhat of agreement. If he did ignore orders and decided to confront him, then I do agree he did create part of the mess at the very least. If he did indeed however start walking away then I don’t think he should be put in jail just because.

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  37. Hal_10000 *

    Oh, Jesus, this is getting bad. Now the media are on Zimmerman’s lawyer for pointing out that Jeantel can’t read cursive. Snobbery! Of course, the cursive was relevant because it proved she didn’t write the letter she supposedly wrote.

    Boy, the media are going to make this ugly.

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  38. Biggie G

    I believe this is a case where the law is a bad one. and i hope it gets reviewed.

    Salinger, not to be a jerk, but what law are you talking about here? You have said this a few times, but I missed where you explained it.

    GZ is not using a stand your ground defense, so that law is irrelevant. He is using self defense. Is it the way that Florida writes that statute that you do not like?

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  39. Xetrov

    Maybe the prosecution doesn’t want to win the case. First their star witness all but proves reasonable doubt, then the surprise eye witness confirms Zimmerman’s account of the confrontation. Now this.

    The Sanford police detective who questioned George Zimmerman the night he shot Trayvon Martin became the latest prosecution witness to appear to do more harm than good to the state’s case, recalling a somber conversation that touched on Zimmerman’s faith and the fear he said he felt when Martin told him “You’re going to die tonight.”

    Detective Doris Singleton testified Monday that Zimmerman seemed somber and conflicted as she interviewed him after the February 2012 shooting. She said Zimmerman asked her about the crucifix around her neck and buried his head in his hands upon learning Martin had died.

    “I had a silver cross on and he asked me if I was Catholic,” Singleton said during testimony. “I said, ‘No. I’m Christian. Why are you asking?'”

    She said Zimmerman replied, saying that he had noticed the cross and told Singleton that it was “always wrong to kill” someone.

    “I said to him, ‘If what you’re telling me is true then I don’t think that’s what God meant. [That] you couldn’t save your own life,'” she told the court.

    Singleton testified that a shocked Zimmerman replied, “He’s dead?” to which she said, “I thought you knew that.”

    Assistant Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda appeared frustrated at times by the prosecution witness’ testimony, which, like previous witnesses put on by the state, at times seemed to put Zimmerman in a sympathetic light. Several times, De La Rionda turned his back on the witness stand and looked to his co-counsel, almost in frustration.

    Definitely doesn’t sound like someone who was “evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life”.

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  40. CM

    If Martin thought he was being chased by a guy with a gun (with an physical attitude described in his words in that interview), and he had nowhere to hide, perhaps he did attack first. I might have, if I was Martin in that situation.

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  41. salinger

    Salinger, not to be a jerk, but what law are you talking about here? You have said this a few times, but I missed where you explained it.

    The self defense law which stipulates one can cite self defense even if one starts the altercation. I believe instigation should negate it as a legal defense.

    That being said – I don’t think the prosecution has proven very much yet. I’d still love to hear Zimmerman on the stand – but that is seeming unlikely.

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  42. balthazar

    If Martin thought he was being chased by a guy with a gun (with an physical attitude described in his words in that interview), and he had nowhere to hide, perhaps he did attack first. I might have, if I was Martin in that situation.

    Thats some fucking darwin award material right there.

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  43. balthazar

    The self defense law which stipulates one can cite self defense even if one starts the altercation. I believe instigation should negate it as a legal defense.

    Hey fucknugget, in your world him following the guy was “starting the altercation”. You and CM, separated at birth. Too bad your mom wasnt pro choice.

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  44. balthazar

    Stay classy – it makes your opinion so much more valued. That and your grammar.

    I have class when the person merits it, you dont. SO GFY.

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  45. CM

    Thats some fucking darwin award material right there.

    Can you explain why?
    I’m saying it may have been a pre-emptive attack, if he had the belief that an attack on him was imminent. Zimmerman’s attitude in that interview certainly doesn’t make it impossible, or even highly unlikely.

    You sound like Zimmerman in that interview.

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  46. CM

    Umm he has a gun you stupid shit, you’ll end up shot.

    Did you read what I actually said, and what Zimmerman said in part of that interview?
    If you are fairly certain you’re going to get shot anyway (because of a combination of the attitude of the guy coming after you, and a lack of places to run/hide),then pre-emptive action might seem like a good idea. You’re in a panic and flight looks to be an even worse option than fight.
    I’m aware that I’m speculating, but that speculation arises because of what Zimmerman says in that interview (and would explain why, at least at some point, Martin was on top of Zimmerman). It sounds very much like he’d “had enough” of punks, and felt that he had to take matters into his own hands (even though the police had already arrested someone recently). Martin attacking him first would have meant that Zimmerman’s decision to take of matters into his own hands would have seemed justified.
    Not sure why the prosecution isn’t making a much bigger deal out of the statements in that interview – surely that’s their case?

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  47. Xetrov

    I’m aware that I’m speculating, but that speculation arises because of what Zimmerman says in that interview.

    And disregards the physical evidence…and the eye witness…and the law.

    Maybe George W. Bush made him do it, the creep-ass cracker.

    BTW, Bal – Give it a rest, please. This is pretty civil as far as discussions here go.

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  48. balthazar

    If you are fairly certain you’re going to get shot anyway (because of a combination of the attitude of the guy coming after you, and a lack of places to run/hide),then pre-emptive action might seem like a good idea. You’re in a panic and flight looks to be an even worse option than fight.

    None of which is the case here, he was bashing Z’s head into the fringe of a sidewalk, sidwalks go in 2 directions. You and your fucking straw men.

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  49. balthazar

    BTW, Bal – Give it a rest, please. This is pretty civil as far as discussions here go.

    Its hard to when he says stupid shit like “I may attack a guy with a gun in TM’s situation”.

    Hell the situation he describes was in no way like the situation in which TM got shot. CM is a useless pile of dogshit, as evidenced by the blatant re-framing of the situation. IE “no way out”.

    Someone has to call his ass out on it. Sometimes downvotes just dont cut it.

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  50. Biggie G

    The self defense law which stipulates one can cite self defense even if one starts the altercation. I believe instigation should negate it as a legal defense.

    Isn’t that a question for the jury to decide?

    I also think that “instigation” needs to be defined. If I am driving and I rear end you totally by accident and you come tearing up to me and attack and I kill you, is it self defense? Or, did I instigate the encounter by hitting you? You would not have come after me if there was no accident? Is my careless driving enough to negate self defense?

    That’s kind of the case here. In what way did GZ “instigate” the encounter? Did he see someone he thought was suspicious and call 911 and then follow from a distance so he could tell the police where the suspect went? Was he running through the neighborhood waving a gun and yelling “Hey little nigger get out here!”? Did he grab Trayvon initiating a scuffle where he was getting beaten up and pulled his gun and shot? If GZ was doing any of these things and Trayvon killed him, would that be self defense?

    The question is what is instigation and that is for the jury to decide. You can’t just claim self defense and walk away.

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  51. CM

    And disregards the physical evidence…and the eye witness…and the law.

    How so? Zimmerman still gets injured, Martin still gets seen sitting on him. And both could be considered as acting in self-defence.
    How do you factor in Zimmerman’s interview answers into the narrative that revolves him mentoring black kids?

    Maybe George W. Bush made him do it, the creep-ass cracker.

    I assume there’s some context I’m missing there, but please be aware that Obama is the “worst President this century” and I wish you’d stop blaming everything on Bush, who was way better, even though they’re pretty the same, and stuff.

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  52. Xetrov

    How so?

    If you are fairly certain you’re going to get shot anyway (because of a combination of the attitude of the guy coming after you, and a lack of places to run/hide)

    In what plausible way could Zimmerman have already had his gun out while following Martin, and yet still get tackled to the ground, hit repeatedly, had his head smashed into the ground repeatedly, and then shoot Martin? It’s like you think Zimmerman was carrying his gun in his hand out in the open ready to shoot Martin at the first provocation, despite the physical evidence and eye witness to the contrary. You do know what a concealed carry permit is, right? And a holster? There is no reason to believe that Martin knew Zimmerman was carrying a weapon before he got shot by said weapon. Your speculation that Martin feared for his life and that’s why he attacked Zimmerman is illogical when compared to the evidence.

    I assume there’s some context I’m missing there

    Just speculating. ;-)

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  53. salinger

    Isn’t that a question for the jury to decide?

    One would think wouldn’t one? But, the law, as quoted by I think it was Xetrov above, clearly states that one only need be in fear for their life to justify self defense and explicitly calls out even if the instigator ends up being the one fearing for their life. So it seems to me the code of the law takes that question of instigation out of the juries’ hands.

    I think that that is wrong. I think that starting the altercation should weigh against the person who does so.

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  54. CM

    Yep, fair point Xetrov, although it doesn’t necessarily rely on him having the gun out. As you say, it would make far more sense for the gun to come out afterwards. Martin could have still felt threatened and decided (wrongly) on fight rather than flight because Zimmerman was aggressively coming after him.
    In all of this you have failed to factor in Zimmerman’s aggressive responses to the police in that interview. It sounds very much like seeing Martin was some sort of ‘last straw’ and he had some pent-up anger based on some prior events.

    I think that starting the altercation should weigh against the person who does so.

    Otherwise, wouldn’t a good way to kill someone be to start a fight so they attack you, and then kill them in “self defence”? Obviously you have to get your witnesses to see the right part of it, but that shouldn’t be too difficult to time.

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  55. Xetrov

    Yep, fair point Xetrov, although it doesn’t necessarily rely on him having the gun out. As you say, it would make far more sense for the gun to come out afterwards. Martin could have still felt threatened and decided (wrongly) on fight rather than flight because Zimmerman was aggressively coming after him.

    Agreed. But he’s still covered by FL 776.041 as I previously mentioned even if he was the aggressor.

    In all of this you have failed to factor in Zimmerman’s aggressive responses to the police in that interview. It sounds very much like seeing Martin was some sort of ‘last straw’ and he had some pent-up anger based on some prior events.

    Because legally it is inconsequential until the Prosecution can prove Zimmerman wasn’t acting in self defense when he shot Martin…which I don’t see how they can possibly do beyond a reasonable doubt when you take into account the physical evidence on Zimmerman, and the eye witness testimony. Remember, Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty.

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  56. Section8

    Talk about narratives. CM likes to use that word A LOT.

    The slam dunk quote according to the Esquire article. Just one problem, the address issue is already on the 9/11 call before any police interview.

    http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/326700-full-transcript-zimmerman.html

    Here is the narrative:

    An address? This may be the moment that will convict him. It means that even he suspected that Martin was a legitimate visitor to the complex, staying in an apartment and legally on the property, Zimmerman continued to pursue him.

    Esquire blogger aka mind reader.

    and… Here’s reality. Emphasis mine

    Zimmerman: If they come in through the gate, tell them to go straight past the club house, and uh, straight past the club house and make a left, and then they go past the mailboxes, that’s my truck…[unintelligible]

    Dispatcher: What address are you parked in front of?

    Zimmerman: I don’t know, it’s a cut through so I don’t know the address.

    Dispatcher: Okay do you live in the area?

    Zimmerman: Yeah, I…[unintelligible]

    Dispatcher: What’s your apartment number?

    Zimmerman: It’s a home it’s 1950, oh crap I don’t want to give it all out, I don’t know where this kid is.

    Dispatcher: Okay do you want to just meet with them right near the mailboxes then?

    Zimmerman: Yeah that’s fine.

    Dispatcher: Alright George, I’ll let them know to meet you around there okay?

    Zimmerman: Actually could you have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at?

    Dispatcher: Okay, yeah that’s no problem.

    Zimmerman: Should I give you my number or you got it?

    Dispatcher: Yeah I got it [redacted by Mother Jones]

    Zimmerman: Yeah you got it.

    Dispatcher: Okay no problem, I’ll let them know to call you when you’re in the area.

    So yeah, the address was where he was at, not Martin’s house.

    CM finds an article and then jumps on as the resident expert as he does in all the threads. Anyhow, I’m not expert either, but one cherry picked article shouldn’t wrap up the debate either.

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  57. Section8

    Fuck it let’s break down this narrative little more. I have some time. Also there is an audio attached with the article. Maybe the author should listen to it again if he listened at all.

    Why did he follow Martin, a police officer asks.
    “These assholes, they always get away,” Zimmerman answers.
    The officer asks, “What’s behind that?”
    “These people who victimize the neighborhood,” Zimmerman answers.

    In Zimmerman’s angry mind, without trial or jury, even after he killed him and learned he was a 17-year-old who was legitimately staying in the complex, Martin was an asshole victimizing the neighborhood.

    No he didn’t say Martin was an asshole in the interview. He said on the 911 call “These assholes, they always get away”. The interviewer ask what he meant by that. He’s supposed to answer the question regardless. It doesn’t matter what happened after he said it, the questions was why he said it when he did. You can hear about it between minutes 4 and 5.

    The officer gets a little defensive at this point. “There was an arrest a week ago,” he points out, though it is also a gentle reminder that Zimmerman’s fear might be a tad misplaced.

    Zimmerman responds by saying “Good point.” You can also hear that in the article.

    He continues, skeptically. “How was he running?” Zimmerman describes it and the officer says, “Sounds like he was running to get away… you jumped out of car to see which way he was running? That’s not fear … it’s going to be a problem.”

    Then Zimmerman whispers something. “What is that you whispered?” the officer asks. “Fucking what?”

    “Punks,” Zimmerman says.

    This time, the officer seems genuinely taken aback. “He wasn’t a fucking punk,” he responds.

    This is correct. Again though this is what was on tape at the time, not what he said in the interview, i.e. he didn’t keep calling him a punk in the interview while being questions, and the officer was making a remark about what was on the 911 tape.

    A few moments later, he asks Zimmerman why he kept following Martin even after the police dispatcher told him not to. Zimmerman’s answer is staggering.
    “I wanted to give them an address.”
    An address? This may be the moment that will convict him. It means that even he suspected that Martin was a legitimate visitor to the complex, staying in an apartment and legally on the property, Zimmerman continued to pursue him. And it makes sense that Martin was staying there because of the terrain, the complex being isolated from other complexes and a mile distant from the nearest shopping center. A professional thief would be moving intentionally, not wandering down the middle of the street in the full light of the streetlamps. Although Zimmerman’s fear supposedly hinges on the series of robberies that the police believed had been addressed already with an arrest, it seems clear that even Zimmerman didn’t really believe his own alibi. More likely, even in his mind, Martin was a kid from the neighborhood out smoking a joint and at the worst, looking for a little illicit excitement — a “fking punk.”

    This was covered already in my prior post.

    At this point, the officer asks again why he was following Martin — and Zimmerman flat-out lies. “I wasn’t following him, I was just going in the same direction he was.” The cop just laughs.

    This could be a problem for Zimmerman if he was doing more than just getting an address and then getting back to his car, and about the only thing half way honest in this article.

    The next moment reveals another aspect of Zimmerman’s state of mind, complete paranoia. The officer plays the tape of him with the police dispatcher, when he refuses to give his address to the dispatcher “out loud” — the embattled neighborhood watch volunteer so afraid of the fking punks in his neighborhood that he’s afraid of giving the police his address, despite the complete lack of evidence that any of those punks had ever attacked him before. Like these fearsome criminals are tapping the public airwaves and listening to cell phone conversations just to get him.

    Huh? What’s this guy talking about? The explanation is in the 911 tape. He does not know where the kid is. That is the reason he doesn’t say his address out loud. That’s what he tells the dispatcher. Not because there are other punks tapping into the airwaves, but because if the kid is in earshot, now he knows where he lives. Just fucking silly and the quote right there about how this article is just plain narrative bullshit.

    Again, the officer asks why he didn’t get back in his car after being told to, why he was so determined to get Martin that he stood in the rain. “You wanted to catch him, you wanted to catch the bad guy, fking punk.”

    Zimmerman goes silent. Prodded again, he says, “I felt like I didn’t give them an adequate description.” There’s an edge in his voice at this point like he’s starting to get offended. The officer tries to reassure him: “We’re working for you here.”

    Listen to the tape yourself. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t hear him getting angry anywhere in the interview. The interview is focused on the timeline between getting out and back to the car at this point. The interviewer thinks it’s too long to get back to the car based on distance which it may very well be, but again I’m sure other factors in the trial will help piece that together good or bad for Zimmerman.

    But they persist. How could Martin have been smothering Zimmerman at the same time Zimmerman was, as he claimed, screaming his head off for help? (This question will not be settled by the testimony of voice experts, thanks to the judge’s ruling, though the jury will hear the tape.) This was just before the fatal gunshot.
    “It’s continuous screaming,” another officer asks, “how can you be smothered?”

    Damn good question.

    Yes that is a good question. Maybe two reasonable things out of this article. As far as the sound experts, Hal had a good post on that one.

    “You think he might have seen you had a gun before he punched you?” the first officer asks.

    Another damn good question.

    “What was the provocation for punching you other than you were following him?” another officer asks.
    By this time, Zimmerman is losing his patience. “I’ve gone through it a million times.” Despite his passion for justice, repeated questions about the death of a 17-year-old boy at his own hands annoys him.

    You can listen to the audio. He’s not arguing with them or getting upset, and I’ve gone through it a million times could mean, “I’ve explained it a million times to you assholes” or “I’ve replayed this in my head a million times, and I don’t know the answer”.

    All the facts are not out there and he may be as guilty as sin, but this narrative, and a blogger’s interpretation of audio is not a slam dunk anything. It’s a narrative.

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  58. Biggie G

    One would think wouldn’t one? But, the law, as quoted by I think it was Xetrov above, clearly states that one only need be in fear for their life to justify self defense and explicitly calls out even if the instigator ends up being the one fearing for their life. So it seems to me the code of the law takes that question of instigation out of the juries’ hands.

    Maybe my question was not clear. The statute appears to be clear, but shouldn’t the jury determine what constitutes instigation?

    There are way too many ifs and way too much projection in this trial.

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  59. CM

    Because legally it is inconsequential until the Prosecution can prove Zimmerman wasn’t acting in self defense when he shot Martin…which I don’t see how they can possibly do beyond a reasonable doubt when you take into account the physical evidence on Zimmerman, and the eye witness testimony. Remember, Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty.

    Ah, I guess I conflated “what actually happened” (trying to figure that out) with “what happens under the law depending on what the jury think might have happened, based on the evidence presented”.
    I agree though – based on that second one Zimmerman might get out of this.

    Talk about narratives. CM likes to use that word A LOT.

    Yep. The BIG difference is that I can acknowledge when I’m running a narrative. I don’t pretend that my narrative is THE TRUTH.

    So yeah, the address was where he was at, not Martin’s house.

    One was from a police interview afterwards, the other is the 911 call. In the former, the address he talking about is his rationale for following Martin, In the 911 call he’s having trouble providing an address so the cops can find him.

    CM finds an article and then jumps on as the resident expert as he does in all the threads.

    Not even remotely close, that’s ridiculous. I even acknowledged I was speculating. I was trying to account for what Zimmerman said in that police interview. That’s all.

    Anyhow, I’m not expert either, but one cherry picked article shouldn’t wrap up the debate either.

    Of course, and I made it clear that it doesn’t. So I’ve really got no idea what your issue is.

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  60. Section8

    CM how the hell I’m I supposed to get on your ass with a comment like that? :( Anyhow, I appreciate it.

    To me this whole damn thing got caught in the media whirlwind and it’s a joke all the way around. I can only hope justice is done with facts and an honest jury regardless of the outcome, and not by outside pressures or the made up shit that has gone on with this case in the public court of opinion. All of this egged on by an irresponsible media.

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  61. AlexInCT

    To me this whole damn thing got caught in the media whirlwind and it’s a joke all the way around. I can only hope justice is done with facts and an honest jury regardless of the outcome, and not by outside pressures or the made up shit that has gone on with this case in the public court of opinion. All of this egged on by an irresponsible media.

    That’s some mighty hoping on your part, S8. Zimmerman was screwed royally by the system. I have always had the belief that if I had to depend on the legal system to save me from something, I was going to be fucked over. It carries the veneer of legitimacy, but it is in fact a sham of royal proportions. This is a sham trial, happening only because the LSM threw Zimmerman under the bus before the election so they could use the faux racism charges to gin up turnout for the emperor. It should have never, ever warranted anything but a police investigation closing the case in a matter of weeks, with Zimmerman walking.

    So far, the trial has worked out in Zimmerman’s favor. The prosecution has no case and it shows. I still suspect that the political masters will wring out the desired outcome, because they care little about justice or who they have to destroy to play up the narrative. Remember that this is not an isolated incident either. There has been a systematic and systemic pattern of abuses of power, ignored and buried by a complacent and compliant media, that helped this corrupt and evil administration win the last election. Anyone still denying this is a tool.

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  62. Seattle Outcast

    And to think, we’ve only begun to see the “change” they think we need. Aside from an AG that should be in prison, a puppet president, a deliberate plan to boost the cost of energy, and Big Brother on steroids, perhaps next up is permission to travel?

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  63. CM

    Yes yes this case is OBVIOUSLY all about Black Jesus. Anyone who doesn’t see that is quite clearly sucking Black Jesus cock. It’s not as though anyone even died.

    a deliberate plan to boost the cost of energy

    Fossil fuel subsidies forever, comrades!

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  64. Seattle Outcast

    I’m aware that I’m speculating, but that speculation arises because of what Zimmerman says in that interview

    I think it goes BEYOND speculation at this point into full-fledged fiction combined with a complete lack of comprehension of how people think in the real world. I’m betting you bought into the prosecution’s case for the Amanda Knox trial too – you know, a “sex game gone bad” complete with devil worship, demons, and a human sacrifice. Because that makes so much more sense than “I spent the night with my boyfriend at his place, doing bong hits and fucking ” while her roommate was murdered by a transient when he broke in to rob the place.

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  65. CM

    I think it goes BEYOND speculation at this point into full-fledged fiction combined with a complete lack of comprehension of how people think in the real world.

    Yes of course you do.

    I’m betting you bought into the prosecution’s case for the Amanda Knox trial too – you know, a “sex game gone bad” complete with devil worship, demons, and a human sacrifice.

    Or maybe I ‘bought’ into neither and just posting some comments on a blog suggesting I thought the prosecution would have made more of one aspect.
    But hey, who am I to get in the way of your nonsense.

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