Zimmerman Verdict: Why Conservatives Applaud the Acquittal

wakeupblackpower:

(via cultureofresistance)

All-woman jury was a key strategy, Zimmerman defense consultant says

thepoliticalfreakshow:

SANFORD, Fla. — One of the people instrumental in helping George Zimmerman’s defense team pick an all-women jury says that he decided months in advance that a female panel brought the best chance for acquittal.

Robert Hirschhorn, a jury consultant with more than 28 years experience, told USA TODAY that women are better listeners, less judgmental, and would more easily understand the fear Zimmerman felt when he shot Trayvon Martin.

"I wanted to make sure we were going to get jurors that would follow what the court of law required not what the court of public opinion wanted," Hirschhorn said. “My number one goal was to get fair jurors that would really be able to listen to the evidence and decide the case on facts and law not emotion."

Hirschhorn’s instincts paid off Saturday when a jury of five white women and one Hispanic woman acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the Feb. 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Hirschhorn got involved in the Zimmerman case in April when Zimmerman defense attorney Don West brought him in. Hirschhorn, who is based in Lewisville, Texas, has worked on several high profile cases including the trial of Enron founder Kenneth Lay, who was convicted of fraud and conspiracy as well as New York millionaire Robert Durst, acquitted of killing and dismembering his elderly neighbor.

Hirschhorn, who was in court every day until the jury was picked, said he was most concerned about two things: guns and honesty. And Juror B37, the first one to publicly speak in an interview with CNN, was actually Hirschhorn’s second favorite juror because she was a former concealed weapons permit holder and seemed truthful, he said.

In doing so, he decided women would be more favorable in getting Zimmerman acquitted and that people with anti-gun stances would have to be eliminated.

A spokeswoman for state prosecutors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Zimmerman, a Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer, said he shot the black teen in self-defense after being attacked. State prosecutors said Zimmerman profiled and murdered Trayvon — then lied about initiating the fight.

A beginning group of 211 people filled out juror questionnaires, which were then read by lawyers and Circuit Judge Debra Nelson. They chose who would make it to the next round for individual questioning about media exposure to news of the shooting in open court. Later, lawyers went down the list, striking jurors individually. At least six people were dismissed during this phase.

"I bet I spent 20 hours on what took 15 minutes to do," said Hirschhorn of the final phase where the jury was announced.

In Zimmerman’s case, Hirschhorn did two rare things: Hirschhorn didn’t recommend lawyers ask for a change of venue and he didn’t have Zimmerman’s lawyers use all their strikes against jurors.

"Sanford was the epicenter for this event," Hirschhorn said, explaining what he told lawyers."If we want George to get a fair trial, we want people from his county to decide this case."

Early on, Hirschhorn thought women would relate to Zimmerman’s story better than men and would understand the position Zimmerman found himself in the night of the shooting.

"I believed in my heart that an all-female jury was the right jury for George," Hirschhorn said. “My experience has been that women are better at listening than men."

The thinking behind his theory was that women would be less judgemental in a self-defense case where lawyers would be asking them to put themselves in the position Zimmerman found himself when he killed Trayvon.

Hirschhorn also knew he would need to eliminate potential jurors who held anti-gun views and who were not completely honest with their knowledge of the case and the opinions they had formed.

"In the typical high profile case, jurors have typically formed an opinion against your client," he said, adding that Zimmerman’s case was different. “There was a large segment of the community that was against George.There was a large segment of the community that hadn’t formed an opinion that George was guilty. The challenge for me was to find those people that can be fair to George."

It was also Hirschhorn’s job to find out which potential jurors were not being completely honest. That thinking led to the elimination of at least three jurors. Zimmerman defense attorney, Mark O’Mara told Circuit Judge Debra Nelson one older black woman failed to tell the court about a leader of her church being a Trayvon supporter and a younger black woman failed to disclose that she was Facebook friends with a potential witness. The defense also eliminated at least one juror —a white man—who said he had issues with guns.

Hirschhorn’s favorite juror was a black man who was a gun owner who frequently watched FOX News. The state eliminated him.

Juror B37, who was the first juror to speak publicly, was Hirschhorn’s second favorite and one he thought the state would strike. Hirschhorn thought Juror B37 was honest, sincere, and thoughtful.

The juror told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Zimmerman was “a man whose heart was in the right place,” but he went too far and did not use good judgment. Juror B37 also said she thought Trayvon threw the first punch and attacked Zimmerman — and that Zimmerman had the right to shoot the teen.

"She really did try to do the very best job," Hirschhorn said. “I thought she felt a lot of pain going through all this process."

Four jurors in the Zimmerman trial issued a statement Tuesday night that said earlier comments by Juror B37 “not in any way representative” of their views.

Hirschhorn wasn’t surprised by the four other jurors’ words because people can have different views but come up with a not-guilty verdict.

After jury selection, Hirschhorn, who considers himself the “seventh juror” of Zimmerman’s trial, spoke with Zimmerman’s attorneys almost every day during testimony and highlighted for them weaknesses and strengths in their case.

In the end, Hirschhorn is pleased with his work. He believes Zimmerman was attacked and shot Trayvon in self-defense.

"These jurors were on the frontlines of a combat mission," Hirschhorn said. “They should be commended. They shouldn’t be criticized"

(Source: thepoliticalfreakshow, via realworldnews)

llevelling:

Some really solid footage of LAPD’s violence at yesterday’s demonstration

The tape shows several of my friends being shot and beaten with batons, but the violence directed toward individual black protesters is particularly jarring.

Instead of saying “I am Trayvon Martin” it would do more good for white people [and non-Black people] in solidarity with the Trayvon Martin case to recognize all the ways they are Zimmerman.
As in, if you live in a “safe” suburban or gated community that is mostly white and that is considered a “good” neighborhood because it excludes people of colour [especially excluding Black people] then you benefit from the same conditions that created Zimmerman.

If you benefit from “police protection” to your property that depends on racial profiling of people of colour [especially Black people] and brutality towards them then you take part in the same systems that create Zimmerman.

If you have the racial privilege to work, move, live in mostly white spaces and have limited contact with… [Black people], particularly “low income” …[Black people], then you live with the same social and economic policies of casual segregation that create Zimmerman.

It’s good that people recognize the injustice of Trayvon Martin’s death, but if that recognition is not accompanied by the work to recognize and undo the systematic economic, social, educational and employment policies that create neighborhoods where Black people are seen as threatening trespassers - and how people benefit from this racial privilege - then no true anti-racist work can occur.

Nobody wants to say “I am Zimmerman” but until we recognize how Zimmerman reflects institutionalized racism there will continue to be more Trayvons.

- El Jones (via writeswrongs)

(Source: sazkc, via beemill)

anarcho-queer:

Obama Won’t Press Justice Department On George Zimmerman Case, Says ” We are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken”
The White House says President Barack Obama won’t involve himself in decisions by the Justice Department on whether to pursue civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
White House spokesman Jay Carney says it would be inappropriate for Obama to express an opinion on how the department deals with Zimmerman after the neighborhood watch volunteer’s acquittal in the shooting of the unarmed 17-year-old last year.
Critics of Saturday’s verdict have called for the Justice Department to step in.
The Justice Department has said it’s investigating whether federal criminal civil rights charges are warranted.
Carney would not comment on Obama’s view of Florida’s “stand-your-ground” law, which gives people wide latitude to use deadly force if they fear death or bodily harm.
According to a new study which uses FBI data on homicides, white people in ‘Stand Your Ground” states are 354% more likely to be found justified in killing a black person than a white person who kills another white person. A jump up 250% in non-Stand Your Ground States.
“We are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken," Obama said in a statement posted on the White House web site following a Florida jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman Saturday.

anarcho-queer:

Obama Won’t Press Justice Department On George Zimmerman Case, Says ” We are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken”

The White House says President Barack Obama won’t involve himself in decisions by the Justice Department on whether to pursue civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says it would be inappropriate for Obama to express an opinion on how the department deals with Zimmerman after the neighborhood watch volunteer’s acquittal in the shooting of the unarmed 17-year-old last year.

Critics of Saturday’s verdict have called for the Justice Department to step in.

The Justice Department has said it’s investigating whether federal criminal civil rights charges are warranted.

Carney would not comment on Obama’s view of Florida’s “stand-your-ground” law, which gives people wide latitude to use deadly force if they fear death or bodily harm.

According to a new study which uses FBI data on homicides, white people in ‘Stand Your Ground” states are 354% more likely to be found justified in killing a black person than a white person who kills another white person. A jump up 250% in non-Stand Your Ground States.

We are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken," Obama said in a statement posted on the White House web site following a Florida jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman Saturday.

The Department of Justice’s Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation continue to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal investigation, as well as the evidence and testimony from the state trial," the Justice Department said in a statement Sunday. “Experienced federal prosecutors will [now] determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction, and whether federal prosecution is appropriate in accordance with the Department’s policy governing successive federal prosecution following a state trial.

- The Next Three Trials of George Zimmerman - Philip Bump - The Atlantic Wire (via aboriginalpressnews)

(via aboriginalnewswire)

Would You Be Interested in Learning How Stupid One of the George Zimmerman Trial Jurors Is?

booksbeautyandbottles:

Soon-to-be infamous ‘Juror B37’ sat down for an interview with Anderson Cooper on Monday night to discuss the jury deliberations during the George Zimmerman trial. This is the same Juror B37 who took less than 48 hours after delivering a not guilty verdict to sign a book deal that will probably earn her a few hundred thousand dollars. The Cooper interview revealed that this woman is not only too stupid to have been a juror, but will also raise questions about how her own interest in writing a book might have affected her judgement of the case.

Here are the key quotes—

In her interview with Cooper, she said, “I had no doubt George feared for his life in the situation he was in.”

Perhaps he did! But then there’s this—

“It was just hard, thinking that somebody lost their life, and there’s nothing else could be done about it,” said the juror. “It’s what happened — is sad. It’s a tragedy it happened, but it happened.”

No, ma’am. Something could be done about it. George Zimmerman could have listened to the 911 dispatcher, left his weapon in his vehicle, maybe even asked Trayvon Martin, ‘Hey, excuse me, are you lost?’ Also, the rapid dismissal of a child’s life. It just happened, it happened, it’s just a thing, you know how things happen? This also happened.

There’s more—

Cooper asked if she felt sorry for Trayvon Martin. “I feel sorry for both of them,” she answered. “I feel sorry for Trayvon, and the situation he was in, and I feel sorry for George because of the situation he got himself in.”

Wait, hold on a second. Which one was it? Was it something that happened, and nothing else could be done about it? Or was it avoidable? I mean, she just said that she feels sorry because of the situation he got himself in, so here’s a person that simultaneously believes that a situation was inevitable and avoidable. Great.

In her interview with Cooper, she said she thought Zimmerman had been driven to recklessness in pursuing Martin by a string of burglaries in his Sanford, Fla., neighborhood, but also thought that Martin could have walked away from the confrontation.

“I think both could have walked away; it just didn’t happen,” the juror told Cooper. “It’s very emotional.”

Now you can start to see her thinking, and the thinking of a lot of people. There were no laws broken before the confrontation. That’s true. But these people also believe that there was nothing wrong with George Zimmerman following and then stalking Trayvon Martin with a loaded weapon. Trayvon could have walked away! Nothing wrong with a stranger walking up to you in the middle of the night while you’re going home, not even if the guy has a weapon. Trayvon could have walked away, even if George Zimmerman was already feeling reckless because of burglaries in his neighborhood. Trayvon is at fault, clearly.

"I think George got in a little too deep, which, he shouldn’t have been there," the juror said. “But Trayvon decided he wasn’t going to let him scare him … and I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him.”

HERE IT IS. THIS IS HOW GODDAMN STUPID THIS WOMAN IS. She excuses away alllllll of Zimmerman’s actions by saying he got in a little too deep. Everything was fine! He was doing the right thing! He just went a litttttttle too far while he was doing it. SHE STILL BELIEVES HE DID NOTHING WRONG. NOTHING AT ALL. The only person that did anything wrong at all, the aggressor in the situation, the one that, yeahh, I mean, he could have walked away, was a 17-yr old kid who was LITERALLY WALKING AWAY AT THE TIME.

And this is is white privilege at it’s most blatant. Zimmerman meets the social standards of ‘whiteness,’ and if you followed this trial at all you should know that. This is a white woman feeling sympathetic toward a white man with a loaded weapon for accosting a black child. It wasn’t Zimmerman’s fault that Martin was scared, it wasn’t Zimmerman’s fault that Martin got mad, it wasn’t Zimmerman’s fault that Martin attacked him. This woman reasonably expected Trayvon Martin to act docilely, deferentially, really however George Zimmerman needed him to act because all Zimmerman did was get in a little too deep while doing the right thing. This is exactly what Cord Jefferson was talking about, that black people need to always be mindful of how whites expect them to act. If not, their own murder will be seen as entirely their fault.

But here this quote is what will make you flip your desk over, or an entire house.

The juror told Cooper that race and racial profiling was not discussed inside the jury room. She added that she didn’t mind that Zimmerman would get his gun back, saying, “It’s everyone’s right to carry a gun.”

"I think he would be more responsible than anybody else on this planet right now," she continued.

Fuck.

(via beemill)

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Angela Corey Is Under Fire

A post-verdict statement made by Angela Corey, Florida attorney general for the prosecution of George Zimmerman, came across to many viewers as callous and bizarre — Corey, who had just lost her case, spoke with a certain air of victory (more than one observer noted that the perceived satisfaction and attitude of gracious thanks was almost Academy Awards acceptance speech-esque) and what the Boston Herald’s Peter Gelzinis described as "the weird smile of an event planner."

That smile, accompanied by her key phrase — “This case has never been about race or the right to bear arms” (HAHA, k) — hasn’t improved the firestorm building against Corey right now. Shortly before the Zimmerman verdict came in, Corey personally prosecuted Marissa Alexander to the fullest extent of the law for firing a single warning shot at her abusive husband; both her case and Martin’s involved the invocation of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which allows citizens to use “lethal force” if in life-threatening danger, and both Alexander and Martin were African American.

According to a March 2012 blog post on the website Justice4Juveniles (via):

In the five year period between 2006/7 and 2010/11, across the state of Florida, an average of 52 % of black male juveniles were tried as adults for crimes they had committed. Angela Corey tried an average of 70%. The same state over the same time period tried an average of 25% of white male juveniles as adults for crimes that they had committed, Angela Corey, on the other hand, tried an average of 18%.

These horrible statistics should be the driving force behind questioning Corey’s right to remain in her position — God knows we have no idea why Corey was smiling during her press conference, but tweeting about the above issues would be far more effective for progress than ragging on her makeup or her weight. If Corey were “conventionally attractive,” she’d still be morally negligible. I mean, just look at Ann Coulter. (Or don’t look directly at her, that’s fine too.)

‘Zimmerman Verdict: Angela Corey’s Smile Raises Twitter Questions’ [Digital Journal]

(Source: thepoliticalfreakshow)

thetweetest:

Trayvon Martin demonstrators are marching on the freeway in LA.

thetweetest:

Trayvon Martin demonstrators are marching on the freeway in LA.

(via mochente)