Why the State of Florida Failed to Convict George Zimmerman

By now, the shock of the verdict in the trial of Trayvon Martin has settled into the hearts and minds of all interested parties. I was not entirely shocked by the verdict, not because I believed there was not enough evidence, but because the State of Florida failed to use the evidence they had at their disposal to the lead the jurors and the rest of America to one simple conclusion, George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin. This blog will discuss some of the mishaps made by the prosecution and explain why Zimmerman ultimately got away with murder. All of these are number one on my list:

  1. The State failed to advise the jury of the biggest indicator of Zimmerman’s guilt, his immediate and thorough attempt to distance himself from his own recorded voice and in effect, lie on himself. It seems that almost immediately George Zimmerman decided that his only chance of getting away with murder was to deny, obfuscate, misrepresent and downright lie about what we heard him say on that NEN call. For instance, Zimmerman clearly has Martin running from near the clubhouse/mailboxes on the NEN call, yet he later changes his story and has Martin running from near the T. Rachel Jeantel confirmed Zimmerman’s NEN version of events and she said Martin told her he was at the mailing area when he started running. In the first map Zimmerman drew for Detective Singleton he again places Martin’s running location near the mailboxes and as his story evolved, he scratched out the original location and moved it closer to where the body was found. Why would Zimmerman distance himself from where he actually started chasing Martin? Because it would prove that he had encountered Martin solely because he followed him from quite a distance and when Martin stopped running because he believed he had lost Zimmerman, Zimmerman caught up to him. Another example of him distancing himself from his own recorded voice is where he clearly represents to the NEN caller that Martin is armed. More than once he mentions that Martin either has something in his hand or is reaching for his waistband. Why would that be a noteworthy comment to mention to a NEN operator except for that he presumed Martin to be armed? Once he is confronted with the clear indication that he believed Martin to be armed, he changed his story and said he did not think Martin was armed. Why did he change his story? Because if he believed Martin to be armed and went after him anyway then Zimmerman was conscious of the fact that he carried a gun on his hip. He later claimed that he was surprised to learn that he even had his gun, he only remembered he had it once he was flat on his back and about to lose consciousness. Obviously he knew that story would not make sense if he believed Martin to be armed from the very start. If he believed Martin to be armed then his own gun on his hip would be the first thing he thought about. It is clear that he believed Martin to be armed, how many burglars are unarmed? He even admitted he was on top of Martin after Martin died because he believed Martin had some type of weapon. Indeed, his bloody finger print was found on Martin’s waistband because he frisked Martin for a weapon once Martin was dead in the grass. Zimmerman claimed to have a poor memory yet he was allowed to convince the jury that his recollection hours, even days after the incident, were more accurate than what he said in real time as events unfolded. And let’s not even discuss his admission that he followed Martin by answering “yes” when asked on the NEN call. He later changed that as well and said the heavy breathing we heard was not him following or chasing Martin but that he only exited his car to retrieve an address and on Hannity he changed “he’s running” to “he skipped or walked away quickly.” The State failed miserably by not reminding the jury that Zimmerman’s biggest lies were the ones he told on his own recorded voice.

 

  1. The State failed to properly impeach the Defense witnesses. The biggest example of this was the State’s failure to totally devalue the utterly useless testimony of John Good. Instead, they called him to the stand, pretended he was their witness when he was a clearly a Defense witness, and they allowed his false narrative to be the basis for the Defense’s entire argument. John Good said he only saw 10 seconds of what both sides say was a 1 minute and 20 second encounter (although I think 44 seconds is the actual length of the encounter) and therefore what John Good saw was basically, nothing. We know he saw nothing because he admitted he heard no punches being thrown and just like all of the other witnesses; he did not see a fight. And just like all of the other witnesses, he did not hear a fight. The only thing we can conclude by taking all of the witnesses testimony at face value is THERE WAS NEVER A FIGHT. The lack of Zimmerman’s DNA on Martin proves there never was a fight. There was a struggle, but there was no fight. John Good says he saw the two move to the sidewalk and then he went back inside. The most important part of this story is what caused Zimmerman to shoot Martin. Zimmerman says he shot Martin because Martin was bashing his head on concrete and then inexplicably, Martin decided to reach for an invisible gun. The evidence presented clearly shows that Martin died WHOLLY in the grass. No part of his body was touching the sidewalk. In fact, he was facing away from the sidewalk entirely. That means that what John Good claims he saw does not match up with the final location of the body therefore John Good saw NOTHING. John Good might as well have seen Zimmerman following Martin in his truck, that is how useful Good’s testimony was but the State allowed the Defense to mention him over and over as if he was an important witness when he was not.

 

  1. The State failed to connect the dots and take advantage of a gold mine placed into their laps by their own eyewitnesses. Selene Bahadoor, Jane Surdyka, Selma Mora and Jeanee Manalo all place Zimmerman on top of Martin when the shot was fired. It is not possible that these four women saw the exact same thing unless what they saw was noteworthy. None of them ever saw Martin move and none of them ever saw the two change positions. If John Good’s testimony was the end all be all of this mystery and matched Zimmerman’s story, then at least one of those women should have seen one simple thing: they should have seen Zimmerman get up off the ground. I can understand that maybe they didn’t look out in time to see Martin rise up and put his hands up and fall down (never happened actually) but I cannot accept that they also didn’t see Zimmerman get up and claim the dominant position over Martin. All of those women confirmed that upon immediately looking outside Zimmerman was already on top and the other person never moved a single inch again. What those women witnessed was the execution style murder of Trayvon Martin as he screamed for his life and the State prosecutors were too inept to understand the importance of what those women saw.

 

  1. Failure of the State to understand the physical evidence photos that prove Zimmerman is a liar. The bloody nose photo alone should have sent George Zimmerman to prison. There is no way that Trayvon Martin caused that injury and beat up George Zimmerman without getting that blood all over his hands, shirt and sleeves. To overcome this common sense view of the blood evidence the Defense tried to explain it away by at first saying bigoted bacteria ate Zimmerman’s blood off of Martin’s clothes to help the black teen and then they said the blood didn’t flow out until Zimmerman stood up. They said it had went down Zimmerman’s nose and into his throat as he lay on the ground and that’s what explains the lack of blood on Martin. For as long as I live I will not understand why the Florida prosecutors didn’t look at that photo and notice that Zimmerman’s bleeding was caused by an external wound, not an internal nose bleed. At the tip of Zimmerman’s nose were three small pin prick-like abrasions that were the source of his bleeding. Those abrasions were external, so they could only bleed EXTERNALLY. It is clear from the photo that no blood ever came from Zimmerman’s nostrils so it is not possible that blood flowed down his throat as he lay on his back. That wound bled instantly and the only reason Martin doesn’t have that blood all over him is because that blood did show up until after Martin was dead. The cause of that injury on Zimmerman’s face was from a gun recoil. Whatever your theory, what we know for sure is that Martin didn’t cause that injury and then continuously beat up Zimmerman. The blood and DNA evidence says that’s impossible. Why couldn’t the State just look closely at the photograph?
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11 thoughts on “Why the State of Florida Failed to Convict George Zimmerman

  1. Besides the numerous inconsistencies by George Zimmerman, a man who never testified under oath in his own defense, that have already been pointed out–there was one CRITICAL issue that directly affected the outcome. The incomplete, convoluted, and unfair jury instructions.

    Although the defense did not expressly state or invoke the Florida statute 776 informally known as “Stand Your Ground”, it was a major part of the jury instructions. The problem is it was chopped up and carved out. Immediately after closing arguments, the jury was excused for the day and hearings were held outside of their presence. One of these hearings had to do with the jury instruction dealing with the 776 statute. Judge Debra Nelson reviewed all of the verbiage that either side wanted included or excluded from her draft of the final instructions to the jury. The sides disagreed on the inclusion of a crucial part of the statute that deals with the person who initially provokes the confrontation as being the “initial aggressor”.

    Don West for the defense argued to the court that it was Trayvon Martin and Richard Mantei for the prosecution argued that it was Zimmerman who incited the initial confrontation. Mr. Mantei argued that had Trayvon reasonably believed or perceived that he was in danger of bodily harm that he was the one who no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and defend himself. He stated that the fact that Zimmerman began his pursuit while in his vehicle then got out and followed Martin on foot even after the non emergency dispatcher advised him not to follow was an aggressive act that led to the confrontation. In other words, if Trayvon was reasonably afraid that he was about to be harmed, although he ran away, he did not have to retreat and was within his right to defend himself against the perceived threat. This in itself is the very core essence and spirit of the statute. For the more than 20 states that have these laws, it is simply an extension of the “castle doctrine” that says you have no duty to retreat; not only within your home but in your vehicle and anywhere outside of your home within the state’s jurisdiction as well. There only has to be a reasonable BELIEF that one is in danger.

    Trayvon may have had the body of a grown man but he had only turned 17 years of age 3 weeks prior to his death. He was mentally still a child and he knew Zimmerman was an adult, he didn’t know whether or not he was armed. He ran away because he was in fear, not to mention that during his conversation with Rachel Jeantel a seed was planted in his mind that the “creepy” person following him might be a pervert or a rapist. Zimmerman never identified himself and coupled with the fact that children are snatched and wind up missing everyday in this country, I don’t see how anyone would not find his fear to be justified and reasonable thus giving him the right to stand his ground. Broad daylight with other people around would have been one scenario but this incident occurred when it was nearly pitch black, on a rainy evening, with no one else around. It was the very moment when Zimmerman said “sh–, he’s running” and willfully exited his vehicle (as heard on the call along with his door chime and door closing shut) and pursued Trayvon, that he became the initial aggressor who facilitated the confrontation.

    West on the other hand, claimed that Trayvon was the initial aggressor and that he was the one who initiated the confrontation but not running straight home and circling back and sucker punching Zimmerman in the nose, knocking him down and violently beating him giving Zimmerman no other alternative than to use deadly force. West stated that Zimmerman was not pursuing Martin when he was attacked but was headed back to his vehicle when the surprise attack occurred. West also stated that since they were not arguing the case in chief as a “stand your ground” case but as strictly a self defense case, that there should be no mention of the initial aggressor language from the 776 statute given in the jury instructions. Judge Nelson sided with the defense and it was omitted. In my opinion it was at that moment that George Zimmerman became a free man.

    Why was this so critical? After the not guilty verdict, juror B-37,in a silhouetted interview with Anderson Cooper, stated that the stand your ground language that the judge did instruct them on was discussed at length during their deliberations, because a couple of jurors wanted a manslaughter charge; they wanted to charge him with “something”. Their initial pre-deliberation vote was 3 not guilty, 2 manslaughter, 1 guilty. I contend that if they had received complete jury instructions, including the initial aggressor and confrontation instigator language that is at the heart of the Florida statute, Zimmerman would have likely been convicted of manslaughter instead of an acquittal. It may have been a compromised verdict but it would have still carried a 10-30 year sentence and I for one could have lived with that.

    • Spot on analysis of what happened after the fact but the State’s oversights during the trial guaranteed Zimmerman would walk if the jury instructions were favorable or not.

      • It is also clear from B37’s comments that she thought Zimmerman had a “good heart” and the only part of Rachel Jeantel’s story she believed was that Martin had called Zimmerman a “creepy ass cracker.” That is the direct result of a failed Prosecution strategy, whatever that strategy was. They never put out of theory of what happened beyond John Guy putting a dagger in the heart of the State’s case by painting Martin as the aggressor until the very end as well as taking the screams out of Martin’s mouth by saying Martin never saw the gun. I have more blogs to write about how the State failed Martin’s parents before a single jury instruction was given.

      • The prosecution failed on many levels beginning with the jury selection process. The question for me then becomes was it due to a lack of knowledge or incompetence? Was it because the defense lawyers “out lawyered” the prosecution– were they just that good? Or (conspiracy theory alert), was there something more sinister and nefarious going on? Was this trial just a show for the public and a big “CYA” for law enforcement and the court and did the state clandestinely WANT to fail?

        My analytical side has been at war with my cynical side ever since the jury selection process and quite frankly, even before that. It was the chumminess between the two sides that just seemed rather odd and out of place. I’ve seen other adversarial proceedings and there always seemed to be at least a little tension, but with this case I saw none. I’m all for professionalism and mutual respect but here we have a special prosecution team brought in from Jacksonville FL, two hours away. Normally when something like this takes place there is a discernible, passive aggressive atmosphere between the “locals” and the “outsiders”. However in this case, they just got along a little too well for my taste.

        Then there was the make up of the jury that was agreed to by BOTH sides. They both had blacks and men stricken; this was a huge red flag for me. Then we get to the trial and state witness after state witness seemed to easily morph into defense witnesses. Maybe there was an agreement to “share” witnesses in order to streamline things since there was a sequestered jury. I suppose this wouldn’t be uncommon but it still left a bad taste in my mouth. Also, I have never seen so many police officers and experts called by the prosecution, so easily testify to everything the defense wanted them to. The defense got them to say exactly line by line everything they wanted them to, and freely so.

        Even with all the miscues, missteps, and omissions–intentional or otherwise, there was still a 50% chance of a Zimmerman conviction. Per juror B-37, there were 3 for not guilty, 2 for manslaughter, and 1 for guilty in their initial vote. She and another were the most persuasive, being that they are married to attorneys. As she stated, they spent hours trying to convince the other 3 to join them with a not guilty based on the jury instructions, and they did it. This is where the stand your ground verbiage that was clearly in Trayvon’s favor could have played a major role had it been given by the judge.

        Something to else to consider is that if the jury had found Zimmerman guilty, it would mean that the Sanford PD,crime labs, FBI, investigators, etc; got it all wrong when Zimmerman was not arrested until six weeks later after the public outcry. It would mean that the judge who allowed him to be released on bail got it wrong as well.

        Perhaps this trial was just a facade designed to get them all off the hook. Perhaps this case was never really about seeking justice for Trayvon but instead just a way to nationally and publicly appease and the Martin family, and to pacify and placate those who were seeking Zimmerman to be held responsible. Maybe the fix was in all along and the rest was all just drama?

  2. I think the last part of what you typed is most probable. The whole point of my post is to say that the Florida prosecutors can’t be this stupid on accident. They never presented a witness to sum up their case and they never called anyone from FDLE. Isn’t it FDLE’s investigation that led to the arrest of Zimmerman in the first? So the State could call the inept Serino and biased Singleton but not Gilbreath who was the FDLE’s lead investigator? They never even mentioned.the location of.the bullet casing. This was a sham from the beginning. The State’s effort was very haphazard. BDLR called TM a “man” many.times which is the opposite of what Martin’s parents believed to be the most important point which is that TM was indeed a kid. And BDLR continuously said there was a fight. Witness testimony says there was no fight and DNA evidence says there was no fight so BDLR made up his own term and it was a term that was favorable to Zimmerman’s version and that term is not one that would make the jury feel sympathetic towards the victim. Trayvon Martin was attacked by a stronger man with a gun, that’s what the evidence and the screams indicate. Martin was not both fighting and screaming. O’Mara’s year long jury tampering campaign apparently even swayed the prosecution to believe him. And BDLR wasnt the only victim, the Martin’s own attorney, Natalie Jackson, seemed all to willing to accept that Martin had injured Zimmerman in some way when the fact is, none of Zimmerman DNA on Martin’s sleeves and an in intact plastic watch on TM’s arm says there was no fight. Zimmerman’s defense team would have had to explain that blood on Zimmerman’s face and those minor scratches on his head if the State had hammered home the point that TM never fought with Zimmerman. Yet, they put Dr. Rao on the stand who balled up her fist and mimicked hitting herself in the face to explain how all of Zimmerman’s injuries could have come from a single blow to the face. (Of course on cross-examination she said they could have come from multiple blows to the head.) First of all, its ridiculous that a person could hit three sides of their head with one punch to the face and it also doesn’t explain why Martin would have continued to engage Zimmerman if he knocked him onto his butt with one punch. If Martin had the strength to hit Zimmerman that hard then what was the purpose of saying Zimmerman was stronger because of his MMA training? What was the purpose of saying that whatever TM did he did it with his off hand, his left hand? IF they believed TM had only hit ZImmerman with his off hand then wouldn’t that make it unlikely that he could have flattened Zimmerman with one punch? So the theories the State did try to present conflicted each other. The Defense wasn’t on the defensive to explain Zimmerman’s baby scratches because the State explained it for him, and in such a way that corroborated part of Zimmerman’s story! Not only that, but BDLR kept placing the fight near the T. I had promised everyone I knew that the State would pretend the T didn’t exist yet every chance he got BDLR mentioned the T. He even took his pointer and circled the T area several times. I thought he was trying to insinuate that ZImmerman had time to plant his keys there but he never said that so of course those slow jurors only picked up on one point, everything started at the T. That was a whole entire lie. Everything got physical where TM’s phone was found because it is indisputable that he was on the phone when things went south. He did not walk up to the T and punch Zimmerman and fail to drop anything that belonged to him until he was another 35 feet away from where it started. I am sure the Martin’s parents are livid about how this case was handled but they are keeping it classy as usual and not saying what we all know by now and that’s the State shot their own case in the foot several times. It’s very disturbing.

    • Ah, but you forget…Zimmerman said that he “shimmied” away from the concrete. So maybe he slipped and slid 10 yards away from the “T” in the wet grass with Trayvon straddling him and pummeling away. Forget trying to block any of the 25-30 blows that were raining down or trying to push Trayvon off, that would require too much energy. Then again, this shimmying shouldn’t have been a problem for someone who can yell for help in a steady volume with someone pinching their nose and covering their mouth, whose blood magically evaporates when it touches others.

      As for the bullet casing, earbuds, flashlight, cell phone, and Trayvon’s body, well, It was a little windy that day. Perhaps they were all blown to their resting positions by a strong gust shortly after Trayvon suckered punched George with his weaker hand while he was still talking to Rachel? Anyway, I would like to know what ever happened to the other two set of hands and the night vision goggles with 180 degree xray vision that Trayvon had to have had in order to see the inner pants holstered gun. It was holstered toward the back side of Zimmerman’s hip and with it being pitch black and behind Trayvon’s legs while he was in the “ground and pound” position with knees to armpits atop Zimmerman. Those items would have to have been used in order for him to see and reach for the gun. Just saying.

    • Lol. See what you fail to realize is TM didn’t have night vision goggles because he could naturally see in the dark, he could see thru houses to know he was being chased and he could see guns thru clothing. He could also WALK/Skip at the speed of light to have made it from Frank Taafe’s house to his house and then back to the T in 5 minutes. He also had super human brute strength and several arms to beat Zimmerman, suffocate him and reach for his gun. Super TM only had two impairments. One he could not survive a gun shot wound and two he was deaf because even though John Good said he was calling the police, Martin did not hear him and continued his barehanded murder attempt in front of several witnesses as his victim screamed and drew even more attention. If Martin would have just gotten in one more head bash he would have killed Zimmerman and walked home eating his Skittles. After all, it’s clear that TM left home intending to murder someone with his barehands as they begged for their life, he had the photo button and plastic watch as well as treats to prove how much of a ruthless thug he really was.

  3. Here is a the testimony of Jane Surdyka who was mentioned above. This woman was looking outside when the shot was fired and she never saw the two change positions. She witnessed Zimmerman murder Martin from the dominant, on top position. The person on top, got up and walked away, the same three other witnesses saw. Don West knows she saw a murder in progress, the state was clueless. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR4xCYlytwM

  4. By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
    updated 4:34 PM EDT, Thu July 25, 2013

    Juror in the Zimmerman trial tells ABC News she feels the man who killed Trayvon Martin “got away with murder.”.

    “George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can’t get away from God. And at the end of the day, he’s going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with,” Juror B29 told ABC, according an article posted on the network’s website Thursday. “(But) the law couldn’t prove it.”

    The juror, who used only her first name of Maddy out of concerns for her safety, told ABC that she and others on the panel felt Zimmerman was guilty, but that wasn’t enough. She and other jurors also have identified themselves by their numbers from the jury pool.

    “You can’t put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty,” she said. “But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence.”

    Zimmerman has been out of the public eye since the jury found him not guilty of second degree murder on July 13. His parents told ABC News last week that their family has received an “enormous amount of death threats.”

    He fatally shot Martin in the Sanford, Florida, neighborhood where Zimmerman and Martin’s father lived in February 2012. Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, had a confrontation with the unarmed African-American teen after calling police to report a suspicious person, and he said he shot Martin in self-defense.

    The case became a flash point in debates over racial profiling, and thousands attended vigils across the country over the weekend, decrying the verdict.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/25/justice/zimmerman-juror-b29-interview/index.html

    >>>Unbelievable! -otb

  5. Unbelievable is not even the word! I have a question:- How is it possible that he’s both guilty of murder but at the same time this should not have gone to trial?

    If the prosecution had a done a better job maybe those women wouldn’t be so confused. I’m speechless, I don’t even know how to respond to this except to say if they believed it was murder then it wasnt self defense! My head is spinning. Help! Lol.

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