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Eboni K’s Take on Justice for Trayvon?: Zimmerman Prosecution Missing the Big Picture

Posted by: on Jul 3, 2013 | 22 Comments

Jurors like the big picture. The big picture is easy to understand. The big picture allows jurors to plainly see the issues so that when it comes time for them to deliberate and render a verdict, they can put the pieces together and reach the correct legal conclusion. Because after all is said and done, that’s exactly what these 6 women jurors in the Zimmerman trial will be asked to do. After all the investigators, experts, and character witnesses testify, and after all of the evidence is submitted, these women will be asked to come to a legal determination about what happened on that fateful night that ended with an unarmed 17-year-old young man being shot to death.

 

One of the first things any trial attorney learns is the value of a strong “theory of the case.” Ultimately, your job is to get the jurors to see the facts from your perspective. This can be a lot easier said than done. The prosecutors in the Zimmerman trial have failed to succinctly present a clear and concise theory, and they’ve also failed to plainly lay out their witnesses in a way that makes it easy for the jurors to see this case the way prosecutors need them to see it. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder, and in Florida the state has to prove three elements to get a conviction. The first two elements are almost a given: Trayvon Martin is dead and George Zimmerman killed him. Proving the third element is the crux of the entire case: was Zimmerman’s use of deadly force the result of a depraved mind or recklessness? Put another way, the state carries the burden of proving that by pulling out a gun and firing at this unarmed young man on that rainy night, Zimmerman’s actions were unreasonable, and therefore, legally criminal.

 

How do they do that? Based on the case they’ve presented thus far, the prosecution is still struggling to find an answer. While the prosecutor is getting lost in seemingly spotty lines of questioning and witnesses who seem to assist the defense as much as (if not more than) the state, the defense is well on its way to creating reasonable doubt. The state needs to (quickly) use Zimmerman’s words against him.  But at the rate this trial is going, the likelihood of Zimmerman taking the stand is incredibly doubtful. He’s already presented video stating his version of the night without being subject to cross examination, so he really doesn’t need to take the stand. The state can and should, however, use that video against the defendant.

 

In the video and in other evidence, Zimmerman has over and over again referred to Trayvon Martin as a “suspect.” During the 911 call we heard Zimmerman saying that he was following Martin because Martin was suspicious, but we’ve yet to hear exactly what was so suspicious about this young man. Martin was heading back to his father’s fiancé’s home, wearing a hooded sweatshirt in the rain, and carrying candy and a soft drink, tell me again what is so suspicious about it? The lack of reasonably articulable suspicion leaves a logical conclusion to be drawn that what Zimmerman found “suspicious” was Martin’s skin color. Blackness is NOT a reasonable cause for suspicion. It can’t be, because if we allow that type of blatant racial profiling, we might as well willingly forfeit our black and brown boys in droves. And isn’t this what made us all so upset at the onset of this case? Zimmerman’s lack of ability to tell anyone, including the investigators on the case, what he found so initially suspicious about this young man that compelled him to disobey the 911 operator’s instruction to stop following Martin, approach Martin while carrying a handgun, and ultimately used that handgun to shoot this young man to death.

 

As we watch this trial continue to unfold, I want the prosecution to make it easy for the jury and take us back to this big picture. The big picture of Zimmerman’s actions being patently unreasonable under the circumstances. The big picture of Blackness, in and of itself, not qualifying as “suspicion.” The big picture of Zimmerman shooting and killing this unarmed boy being unmistakably, tragically, and most importantly, legally criminal.

 

 

  • Marc Watts

    Nice work Eboni. Well written, informative and very insightful.

  • anonymous

    Sorry ebony, but you don’t know what happened either.

  • WeaselClubber

    You said on Fox that you wanted “Stand Your Ground” laws looked at after the Martin/Zimmerman case.
    Stand Your Ground wasn’t invoked by the defense. So what is your point?

    • Eboni K. Williams

      Thank you for your comment. I’m aware that the Zimmerman defense team waived their right to a Stand Your Ground hearing, however I disagree with your assertion that the law had nothing to do with the case. We heard testimony during the trial that Zimmerman was well aware of the elements required to assert the Stand Your Ground defense. I believe that sheer knowledge of the requirements of that defense can influence a person’s mindset. Specifically, George Zimmerman knowing the very generous rights afforded this defense could have easily encouraged his choice to walk around with a concealed weapon and instigate confrontation with Trayvon Martin (or anyone for that matter) and know he could claim prosecutorial immunity. It is my professional opinion that his defense team’s choice to waive the Stand Your Ground hearing was smart strategy, because it prevented them from having to show their defense prematurely.
      Again, thank you for your comment
      Eboni K. Williams

      • WeaselClubber

        You are mistaken. Zimmerman was a Concealed Carry Permit holder. Permit holders are made very knowledgable about the legal ramifications of discharging their weapons. George knew this.
        They know that every bullet comes with a lawyer attached.
        You still cannot provide a connection with Stand Your Ground and the Zimmerman defense.
        But that won’t stop the torches & pitchforks crowd.

        • JamesGD

          no, youre mistaken, and confused. the fact that something isnt invoked by the defense has no bearing on whether that something is relevant to the case.

          also, zimmermans knowledge of stand your ground (having no duty to retreat) was relevant to his decision to follow a person he assumed was a criminal. furthermore, one of jurors admitted on national tv that their knowledge of the stand your ground law influenced their view during the trial.

          its clear you havent put much thought behind this, and that youre just here parroting what youve heard from others. if your personal views arent worth publishing, regurgitating someone elses is a bad idea.

          • WeaselClubber

            Speaking of regurgitation. It is you who is confused and someone’s puppet.
            The facts still remains that Stand Your Ground was not invoked because it didn’t apply here. As he was on his back, Zimmerman employed self defense. That was why his defense team used that defense.
            You assertion that Zimmerman used Stand Your Ground as his justification to approach Martin isn’t grounded in fact, simply hyperbole.
            Hyperbole also that you stated that Zimmerman “assumed” Martin was a criminal.
            That a juror admitted knowledge of Stand Your Ground laws influenced their view is meaningless in that their knowledge of 1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder, and manslaughter verdicts influenced their view of the trial.
            You can’t nullify an opinion based on knowledge of laws.
            Obviously you simply regurgitate the fodder spoon fed to you by the media and race-baiting poverty pimps.
            That your willing to self-immolate on a public forum is simply cementing your status as a malleable tool.

          • JamesGD

            the defense’s invoking of stand your ground has no bearing on whether it was applicable, and wouldve been regarding zimmermans pursuit of trayvon, not the events after that fact. zimmerman knew of stand your ground in advance of the shooting, and a juror said stand your ground influenced their decision–those are facts beyond dispute, and they are relevant despite your arbitrary denial. youre misusing the word, hyperbole, btw.

          • WeaselClubber

            George Zimmerman’s defense was not based on the absence of a duty to retreat for people attacked in public places. Rather, it was a classic self-defense claim that could have been successful in any state regardless of the existence of Stand Your Ground statutes.

            Zimmerman’s pursuit of Trayvon? He lost sight of Trayvon. Again, a juror’s knowledge of Stand Your Ground has no bearing because none of the others cited it in what had to be a unanimous decision.
            Stand Your Ground meant nothing as Zimmerman was on his back with Martin on top. That is pure self defense. If not, what would have been Zimmerman’s defense in a state without Stand Your Ground?
            Stand Your Ground means there is no duty to retreat. How can you retreat when someone is on top of you smashing your head against the cement?

          • JamesGD

            all of your rebuttals are for arguments no one here has made; no one here is talking about his defense team. the jury was given instructions explicitly citing stand your ground in relation to this case–thats a fact.

  • Outraged

    Dishonest from the word go. A picture of a child-like Travon taken years ago,
    instead of the 6ft man-like physique of the actual Travon juxtaposed with a booking photo of Zimmerman, also taken years ago. How about a photo of Trey with a blunt or a gun? Those photos are available too. I do think that this whole thing could have been avoided by Zimmerman but that does not absolve Trey from attempting to smash open Zimmerman’s skull. He went into full teen boy jackass mode and paid for it.

    • J_W_

      Trayvon Benjamin Martin was 160 lbs soaking wet, literally. Zimmerman at that time was 204 lbs, with a loaded gun, have you. The prosecution should have put a 204 lb, 5’8″ doll on the floor – so we could see just how “easy” it would have been for a 158 lb teenager to repeated slam a 200 lb. man’s head on the concrete. That 2 lb doll is not an accurate depiction. Nor, is a skull sturdy enough to handle the trauma of being forcibly slammed against concrete & leave with a couple scratches. You could always slam your head against the concrete yourself to help prove my point.

      • Outraged

        First of all, bullshit. 6′ plus and 160bs is plenty of body mass to ground and pound that pile of chewed bubble gum called Zimmerman. The easiest thing for Travon do that night was not get shot. It is curious how race mongers act as if there was not overwhelming evidence that Travon attacked, knocked down to the ground, mounted, then beat Zimmerman into the ground. A single blow to the head while trapping the head between the pavment and the crushing weight of the blow is sufficient to cause serious injury. By the way, should anyone wish to avoid being shot, one good way to accomplish that is to not knock down and pound into the ground another person.

        • JamesGD

          1st: that photo of zimmerman was also years before the shooting. you even referred to him as a pile of chewed bubble gum just now, yet he was actually in much better shape at the time of the shooting. 2nd: zimmerman said trayvon knew of the gun during their scuffle; incapacitating a stranger whod been following you with a gun is a pretty good way to avoid being shot. imagine a cop taking down a guy and then just backing off after realizing the guy has a gun on him–theres no way thatd happen. suddenly its a life threatening situation, and the guy with the gun must be neutralized at all costs.

  • J_W_

    It is my understanding that premeditation can be determined from the moment the defendant pulls the trigger to as far back as the state first has evidence. If the states best facts are Zimmerman’s 911 quotes (“Fucking Punks” and “They always get away”) and running after Trayvon with a loaded weapon, why not pursue 1st degree murder? Why not open that window WIDER than Zimmerman’s reasonable apprehension of death or bodily harm the moment he pulled the trigger? This would allow the states best facts to be included as substantive evidence & the jurors not only would deliberate on whether or not Zimmerman acted reasonably at the moment he pulled the trigger, but also on a premeditation analysis with the state’s best facts as corroborated evidence. That way, those jurors who held on to the belief that Zimmerman was overreacting – could have some law to attach to those facts to their belief. Further, If Zimmerman is reasonable in defending himself by murder to a 2nd degree murder charge, how can he be held to have disregarded life (Manslaughter) if his act (at the moment he pulled the trigger) would be deemed reasonable. I don’t think the State OVERcharged, I think the State UNDERcharged.

    • WeaselClubber

      Law enforcemtn already had investigated this. They know far more of the incident than you know with your imagied scenario.

      • J_W_

        My “scenario” restates the facts. It also shows how the facts would be interpreted under a first degree murder charge. The police are not responsible, nor trained to understand the nuances/strategies in the law’s interpretation. This is why an attorney is not a police officer & why a police officer is not an attorney. At least time I checked.

        • WeaselClubber

          Law enforcement investigates to determine if there is evidence of a crime. If there is, charges are filed. It is at that point that attorneys get involved. That is the fact.

  • Aries King

    I really think it’s interesting when people have such strong opinions yet hide behind Emoticons or No image at all to spew them. Outraged seems to want to paint this boy (No matter how tall he is) as a thug. He’s calling for pictures of this boy with a Gun… I think we know who had the gun, sir. The fact remains that he was an UNARMED child who because of a strangers unwarranted suspicions will never have a chance to finish high school or attend his Senior prom. To blame him for his own death is the most tasteless side of this whole affair. Were we not all children and did we not all think with young minds and do the things young people do. But as adults do we not have to hold ourselves to higher standards of reason? Do we not need to display better judgment? Is it not our job to protect and guide future generations?

    Sure there are a lot of questions about what exactly happened in those 4 minutes of blank time between the Police call and the Gun shots that took this man’s life and to assume any of us know what happened is ridiculous. However there are certain things that we do know. 1. This boy wasn’t doing anything wrong. 2. He was unarmed. 3. Zimmerman was armed when as a Neighborhood watchman he should not have been. 4. He followed this boy even though he was instructed not to. 5. He killed this boy. 6. Treyvon had just as much a right to defend himself as G. Zimmerman did and even more reason to be afraid because he was being pursued. Anything else is left to broad speculation and even the witness accounts aren’t very credible because they are basically claiming that on a dark rainy night at great distances they were able they were able to look at two men both clothed in long sleeve attire engaged in a tussle and positively determine not only which one was on top but that he was the darker of the two. None of them however saw the initial confrontation and actually didn’t even attempt to look until they heard screams.

    Why is a young Black boy standing outside immediately and automatically deemed suspicious? Why can’t a black boy be afraid for his life? Why can’t a Black boy feel he needs to defend himself? Why is it a Black boy’s own fault when he’s followed, confronted, and gunned down outside of his own home? And why can’t a young black boy receive Justice in the freest country on the planet?

    The only thing G. Zimmerman’s injuries in this fight prove is that he was losing– nothing more. And the only thing his decision to pursue this boy with a gun proves is that he is a coward. Guns give wimps a great deal of audacity and Laws like Stand your Ground give them Legal precedence to commit murder. And I am so ashamed of America right now.

  • Aries King

    If any has a question about who I am I am easy to reach FB… Look for Aries 1911king@yahoo.com and there I am. Nothing to Hide

  • Gautam

    Eboni is one of the most beautiful women in the world (or at least the most beautiful person on the telly) and I can feel she has a deep soul but she is wrong about this case.

    I also don’t like the way this case was manipulated by the lefties, in fact not just this case but the whole slave mentality and cattle farming politics that democrats have been doing forever.

    Eboni Williams if you are reading this and suddenly turn into the female Booker T Washington of the modern day you would be the planet’s ideal woman. You could put the disingenuous humans like Oprah who buys 38k handbags and cries racism to patronise the masses into seeing her new film. This behaviour is normal in everyday liberal society and I’m tired of only nobodies like me seeing through it. We need people like you CEOs, those with Character, Education & Opportunity to see through the illusion and speak up.

    Can you see how you can help humanity? I see it

  • Gautam

    Eboni, after my message I now see you talking about porn on the disgusting liberal propaganda show TYT. I give up on the world. Good luck with your career.