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Old July 11, 2013, 01:33 PM   #276
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmsss
The toxicology report evidence wouldn't be "reversible" error since it tended to favor the defense and the prosecution cannot appeal a not guilty verdict....
Not necessarily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
We will know what is reversible when the next court says so. Thus, claims of surety here are somewhat premature.
That is correct.

On appeal, a court of appeal can find --
  1. A decision of the trial judge on a matter of law claimed by the appellant to have been in error was not actually in error (i. e., was the correct ruling).

  2. An erroneous decision of the trial judge on a matter of law was harmless error, i. e., while in error it did not affect the outcome. Harmless error will not justify reversal of the result in the trial court.

  3. An erroneous decision of the trial judge on a matter of law was reservible error, i. e., it was significant and material and therefore likely to have affected the outcome. Reversible error will warrant overturning the result in the trial court.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:40 PM   #277
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Quote:
Not necessarily.
Frank, those sorts of appeals are generally rarer than hens' teeth and successful even more rarely, are they not? And are they not generally only due to gross misconduct by the defense and/or the judge (bribery, for example) such that jeopardy never really applied?
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:44 PM   #278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
We will know what is reversible when the next court says so. Thus, claims of surety here are somewhat premature.
I don't remember any claims of surety, but here's one: I'm sure you're right.

What I meant was: In your opinion, have you observed errors which you think could reasonably be reversible? If so, what were they?
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Old July 11, 2013, 02:32 PM   #279
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As for reversible error or not, let's don't minimize the cost to GZ of an overturned conviction on a manslaughter charge. By cost, I mean the question "Have you ever been found guilty... "
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Old July 11, 2013, 02:41 PM   #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmsss
Quote:
Not necessarily.
Frank, those sorts of appeals are generally rarer than hens' teeth ...
No, you miss the point entirely. My point was that your classifying a particular ruling, which you claim was erroneous, as not reversible error, is fatuous. You will not decide, here and now, what sort of ruling, if in error in the first place, is reversible error or harmless error. That will be up to the court of appeals.
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Old July 11, 2013, 02:45 PM   #281
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No, you miss the point entirely. My point was that your classifying a particular ruling, which you claim was erroneous, as not reversible error, is fatuous. You will not decide, here and now, what sort of ruling, if in error in the first place, is reversible error or harmless error. That will be up to the court of appeals.
I never claimed the toxicology ruling was erroneous. You must have read someone else's post and attributed it to me.
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Old July 11, 2013, 03:12 PM   #282
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I disagree with GZ's main atty; Mark O'Mera. He should have allowed Zimmerman to go thru a formal Stand Your Ground hearing first.
If he was cleared by a judge, the dog & pony state trial would be avoided. If he lost, it wouldn't look go in the media but GZ would still have a criminal case.
ClydeFrog, I initially thought the same thing. But, I feel there is no way this particular judge would have ever cleared GZ. There is far too much political pressure for her to ever make a favorable decision on stand your ground. There's no sense in going forward when you know there is next to no chance the judge will rule in your favor.

On another note, I do not understand how a jury can find GZ acted in self defense as to 2nd Degree Murder, but then find him guilty of manslaughter. If there is any finding that he acted in self defense, wouldn't this also negate a manslaughter conviction? Seems inconsistent to me.
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Old July 11, 2013, 03:40 PM   #283
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State's attorney BDLR is a hack. The intentional distortion of the evidence and testimony is astounding.

Also, instead of reinforcing what little hard evidence he has, he seems to be creating reasonable doubt as if he is a defense attorney. Very odd, but I guess when you've been dealt a pantload of a case, you do what you can.
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Old July 11, 2013, 03:57 PM   #284
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Politics; Seminole County FL, legal precedent

I think a few TFLers outside of central Florida do not really know & understand the political make-up of Seminole County(Sanford) Florida.
Seminole County is one of the smallest by size(square miles) & by population(residents & families not daytime population).
The county has one of the higher tax bases in the state of Florida. Due mostly to Longwood, Heathrow, Lake Mary, & Altamonte Springs.
These upscale communities are mostly gated & the county is mostly upper-middle class/upper-class.
Sanford(the county seat) does have a few "bad" areas & some violent crime but its mostly; "red on red"(a LE term for bad guys against other bad guys).

I do not feel Judge Nelson has a lot of political heat for any civil rights issues or anti-gun(gun control) activists. She seems fair for the most part.
I do take away that she gives defense atty; West no quarter for his whining & complaints.
I'll close with saying that from the start(02/2012), the state atty; Norm Wolfinger did not want to charge GZ. He's an elected official too.
A legal precedent was set, I feel, by a 2005 incident where 2 Sanford Florida security officers(armed & on post) shot at & killed a black male that was driving a vehicle at them. There was a huge media & civil rights out-cry after the incident. The State Atty's Office caved into the pressure, then charged the G officers. One security guard had all his criminal charges cut, the other guard went to court & was cleared.

Civil rights activists have a right to protest but the public must understand all the factors that go into a prosecution or criminal investigation.
A DA or State Atty isn't going to waste time & $$$ on a case that can't win.
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Old July 11, 2013, 04:23 PM   #285
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On another note, I do not understand how a jury can find GZ acted in self defense as to 2nd Degree Murder, but then find him guilty of manslaughter.
I’ve been on juries which had a difficult time reaching a verdict. I can see a jury that cannot agree on murder deciding to find him guilty of manslaughter. I think the penalty for either offense is similar, but I don’t believe the Judge informed the jury of that. So, they could see a conviction on manslaughter as a compromise that they think holds GZ accountable, but with a lesser penalty.
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Old July 11, 2013, 05:07 PM   #286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motorhead0922
As for reversible error or not, let's don't minimize the cost to GZ of an overturned conviction on a manslaughter charge. By cost, I mean the question "Have you ever been found guilty... "
If a conviction is overturned, it is not a conviction, and he would not have to answer "yes" to that question.

I believe that's correct. Frank? Spats?
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Old July 11, 2013, 05:18 PM   #287
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(Prodigious) gut reaction: AB is correct. If the conviction is overturned, it becomes "not a conviction."
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Old July 11, 2013, 06:33 PM   #288
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If the conviction is overturned, it becomes "not a conviction.
One would hope so.

However, once a person is in the federal database as a convicted felon, his 4473 application will be kicked back every time, even if he checks all the right boxes. Isn't it virtually impossible to get your name cleared out of there?
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Old July 11, 2013, 07:03 PM   #289
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if the prosecution is allowed to make the argument in its closing (which is AFTER the defense's);

then the jury will go into deliberation having freshly been told by the prosecution that the follow itself constitutes initiating a fight, without instruction from the judge that this is not so under the law.
My state uses "bare bones" jury instructions and it is generally improper for a judge to instruct on anything but the elements of the crime, elements of any defense (self-defense, for example), definitions and a couple of miscellaneous instructions (presumption of innocence, etc.). If Florida is the same way, the judge properly refused to instruct as the defense instructed. The prosecutor can point out that Zimmerman followed Martin and argue he was was looking for trouble. She cannot, however, misstate the law. That is objectionable.

Added: As Frank Ettin mentioned, many judges will ask a defendant personally if he or she wants to testify. Some portions of the trial are solely in the hands of the defendant's attorney. The right to testify is a right that is personal to the defendant. There have been more than a few defendants who were convicted and then later claimed they didn't know they could testify or their attorney told them they could not testify. The judge was cutting this claim off.
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Last edited by KyJim; July 11, 2013 at 07:08 PM.
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Old July 11, 2013, 07:25 PM   #290
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The prosecution wanted the jury instructions to mostly say "defendant" while the defense wanted the instructions to say "George Zimmerman" each time. Is there a behavioral response that people are more sympathetic to a named person than to the impersonal term "defendant?"
I can't answer the behavioral response question. I can tell you it is standard practice for a criminal defense attorney to humanize the client as much as possible. The prosecutor, on the other hand, tries to dehumanize the defendant by generally referring to him or her as "the defendant." If you live on a farm, you know it's not a good thing to name your food. Some of the family may hesitate to eat "Susie" the pig.
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Old July 11, 2013, 07:53 PM   #291
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I don't see any way this ends without GZ doing time.
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:13 PM   #292
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Surety? I can - I've said before that the jury can go on the metastory on the emotional persuasion path.

That's independent of the evidence. The killing of a teenager might be enough for such.

Surety here comes from one's own decision as compared to understanding the processes involved.
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:15 PM   #293
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However, once a person is in the federal database as a convicted felon, his 4473 application will be kicked back every time, even if he checks all the right boxes.
Not true. He might get a delay while they do a review of the records, but that's it.

Quote:
I don't see any way this ends without GZ doing time.
I don't see any way he gets time. Too much reasonable doubt. Then again, all we've got is speculation. Juries have returned surprising verdicts before.
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:20 PM   #294
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I don't see any way this ends without GZ doing time.
Quote:
I don't see any way he gets time.
Well, there you have it. Time for a poll?
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:20 PM   #295
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
If a conviction is overturned, it is not a conviction,...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
(Prodigious) gut reaction: AB is correct. If the conviction is overturned, it becomes "not a conviction."
Agreed. However, generally when a conviction is overturned a new trial is ordered. Sometime the prosecutor will decide not to pursue the matter and dismiss the charges. In that case, it's all over.

On the other hand, sometimes the prosecutor will decide to go forward with another trial. In that case, the defendant remains under indictment or information, and the 4473 also asks (11.b):
Quote:
Are you under indictment or information in any court for a felony....
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:26 PM   #296
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We were all sure OJ would get time. Oops.

Casey Anthony was guilty - OOPS.

I think they have reasonable doubt but you never know.
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:31 PM   #297
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Manslaughter....

I highly doubt at this point the female jury would put a MANSLAUGHTER beef on GZ.
Manslaughter would mean Zimmerman killed Martin by accident or thru neglect.
The GZ legal team, from the very start has pushed a SELF DEFENSE plan on anyone who would listen. GZ told Sandford LE & the media he killed Martin.
His story or statements never wavered from that fact & he explained how he shot Martin once with a single 9x19mm round.
If he were depraved or had a racist bias, wouldn't he shoot Martin 4/5/6 times? GZ had the weapon & the ammunition.
GZ also purchased the firearm based on the suggestion of a sworn federal LE officer(a FAM, Osterman who said he was "best friends" with GZ).
That tidbit may carry some weight with the jury.

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Old July 11, 2013, 08:53 PM   #298
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If anyone thinks I'm going to actually read through over 260+ responses, you're dreaming. So at the risk of my points having been already addressed before this, here goes.

1. If Mr. Martin had only good intentions in that neighborhood, and felt that he was being stalked by Mr. Zimmerman, why didn't Martin call the police? He had a cell phone. Normal, law-abiding people call the cops when they need help, they don't turn on their stalker, take the law into their own hands, and instigate a physical confrontation. Had Martin called 911, it is a certainty that the police would have called Zimmerman back and under those circumstances, we would have had a different result. Martin's failure to call the police means to me that he had something going on that he didn't want them to discover upon their arrival.

2. The time line works in Mr. Zimmerman's favor. Since a bullet to the heart tends to disable the recipient, Zimmerman's wounds - broken nose, etc., had to have been inflicted before Martin was shot and killed. That means Martin struck first.

3. When you call the police, you have no idea when they will actually arrive on the scene. There might be an officer a block and a minute away from you, or there might not be an officer available for a half hour. Some nights are busier than others. Some much less busy. The very last thing anybody contemplating a 2nd degree murder would do is call the police right before he attempts it. He might hear sirens and see lights even as he hangs up the phone. Never a good thing when contemplating a crime. Zimmerman knew he had been told to stay in his vehicle. He knew he was told the PD needed no further input from him. He knew the Neighborhood Watch rules and regulations. Knowing what he knew, it makes no sense whatsoever that he would have shot Martin unless he felt he absolutely had to. Knowing that he already exceeded his parameters by leaving his vehicle, and might already be in trouble with the PD and the HOA, he would have had to be insane to exceed them further by murdering Martin. Zimmerman is not insane. Somewhat noncompliant, but far from crazy. Regardless of how he got himself into that fracas with Martin, who also made his own share of bad decisions that night, there they were, perhaps equally where neither one should have been, and Zimmerman, injured, frightened out of his mind, in great pain, and in understandable fear of further injury, did what anyone with the option Zimmerman had at his disposable-specifically-use his weapon to defend himself.

4. Most events like this are inevitably found to be a "comedy of errors" - the result of bad calls and bad decisions all around. That fact alone mitigates to reasonable doubt.
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Old July 11, 2013, 09:07 PM   #299
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"Dr Bernie"....

I, for one, lost a great deal of respect for the special State Atty's prosecutor; Bernie Del La Rosa or whatever the guys name is.
His coy reference to Dr Martin Luther King's well known I Have A Dream speech was tacky & disrespectful to the memory of Dr King.

I also didn't care for his yelling & constant profanity.
A ABC TV reporter noted that one female juror looked uninterested & annoyed by Del La Rosa's remarks & another avoided any direct eye contact with him during his closing statement.
Id be professional but it would be hard to not display any contempt for Bernie Del La Rosa if I sat on the GZ jury.

The state's "hail Mary" plays & bogus "concern" for Martin and his family just work against them.
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Old July 11, 2013, 09:32 PM   #300
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Quote:
Well, there you have it. Time for a poll?
Let's not. We'll have a verdict soon enough.

Quote:
Manslaughter would mean Zimmerman killed Martin by accident or thru neglect.
There's also a doctrine known as imperfect defense, in which the shooter thinks he's justified, but on reflection he's not. Since the jury has the option (and the pressure for a conviction is on from every quarter), they may choose to go that route. In that case, they don't have to find malice; they just need to presume error.

Quote:
Since a bullet to the heart tends to disable the recipient, Zimmerman's wounds - broken nose, etc., had to have been inflicted before Martin was shot and killed.
People have fought with ruptured hearts before. It doesn't always cause instant incapacitation. If I were on the defense, I would certainly not fall back on that argument.
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