• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Trayvon Martin Case Will Not Go To Grand Jury

In somewhat of a surprising last minute move, the special prosecutor in charge of the investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin will not be presenting the case to a grand jury:

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A grand jury will not look into the Trayvon Martin case, a special prosecutor said Monday, leaving the decision of whether to charge the teen’s shooter in her hands alone and eliminating the possibility of a first-degree murder charge.

That prosecutor, Angela Corey, said her decision had no bearing on whether she would file charges against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who has said he shot the unarmed black teen in self-defense. Corey could still decide to charge him with a serious felony such as manslaughter which can carry a lengthy prison sentence if he is convicted.

A grand jury had been set to meet Tuesday in Sanford, about 20 miles northeast of Orlando.

Corey has long had a reputation for not using grand juries if it wasn’t necessary. In Florida, only first-degree murder cases require the use of grand juries.

Corey’s decision means she doesn’t have to rely on potentially unpredictable jurors, said David Hill, an Orlando criminal defense attorney.

“Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she knows there isn’t enough for first-degree murder but she wants to maintain control and charge him with something else,” Hill said. “What does she need a grand jury for? She cuts out the unpredictability of the grand jury. She goes where she feels she has more evidence.”

Corey took over the case last month after the prosecutor who normally handles cases out of Sanford recused himself. That prosecutor, Norm Wolfinger, had originally called for the case to be presented before a grand jury.

“From the moment she was assigned, Ms. Corey noted she may not need a grand jury,” said a statement from Corey’s office.

Prosecutors sometimes use grand juries to avoid the political fallout from controversial cases. But Corey was elected by voters more than 100 miles away in the Jacksonville area, so political problems are less of an issue for Corey, Hill said.

As to the first issue, it seems pretty clear from the evidence that has come forward that this is not a First Degree Murder case so there really isn’t any legal need for a grand jury. At most, what we’re looking at here is Second Degree Murder, or more likely Manslaughter, at least as far as an initial charge goes. Given the controversy that has surrounded this case, of course, one would have thought that the prosecutor would have wanted the “buffer zone” of a grand jury so that she wouldn’t be the one responsible for making the sole decision here. But she obviously doesn’t think its necessary.

There is another possibility, of course. Given the nature of the self-defense claim that Zimmerman will obviously raise in this case, she may have feared that a grand jury would have refused to indict based on the evidence, which would have been politically troublesome to say the least. Zimmermann will still have an opportunity to raise the argument of self-defense before trial, but at least this way Corey would be able to have Zimmerman arrested and charged, which would likely go a long way toward cooling tensions in Seminole County.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Boyd says:

    OTOH, Zimmerman must now invest the time and money to defend himself based on his claim of self-defense, even if the special prosecutor believes that defense will be as successful at trial as it would have been before the grand jury.

    I’m not addressing whether Zimmerman is guilty or innocent, just that it feels a bit unjust if she charges him while she believes his self-defense claim will be successful.

    Even worse, this all supposes Doug knows what he’s talking about. :p

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  2. @Boyd:

    If a prosecutor does not believe that a charge can be sustained at trial beyond a reasonable doubt they are under an ethical duty not to bring charges. This is why the charges against DSK were dismissed, not because the Manhattan DA had decided he was not guilty but because the credibility problems with the accuser had become so severe that it was clear that they could not have won at trial.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. mattb says:

    @Boyd:

    I’m not addressing whether Zimmerman is guilty or innocent, just that it feels a bit unjust if she charges him while she believes his self-defense claim will be successful.

    From the reporting I’ve read on the use of Florida’s “Stand You Ground” law as a defense, I think it would be unlikely that the Special Prosecutor could ever be sure about which way the trial could go. There have been a number of seemingly open-and-shut cases involving Stand Your Ground where things have gone somewhat unexpectedly against the prosecution. In part that seems to be due to the broad phrasing of the law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. al-Ameda says:

    The lesson here is obvious:
    if no one else is around to witness it’s okay to shoot someone.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 12

  5. Boyd says:

    @mattb: One quick clarification, matt. Most of the media talk about SYG without really understanding how it works. None of the supposed scenarios have anything to do with standing one’s ground. If Zimmerman tracked Martin down and murdered him for being black, SYG clearly doesn’t apply. If Zimmerman were lying on the ground being attacked by Martin, he had no means of retreat.

    While there may be a scenario where SYG would apply, I’ve never heard anyone, absolutely no one, propose what it would look like. So the whole SYG/Castle Doctrine discussion is a complete non sequitur.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. Boyd says:

    @Doug Mataconis: With the advantage prosecutors have before a grand jury, it seems unlikely to my layman’s mind that a self-defense claim would succeed there, and fail at trial. I’m scratching my head over your logic on that point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. DRS says:

    Doug, would you want to be the prosecutor or defense attorney on this one?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. @Boyd:

    Most of the media talk about SYG without really understanding how it works.

    The problem is there’s been several precedents pointed out that suggest the application of the law is being treated as far broader than what the law actually permits.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  9. legion says:

    @Boyd: Prosecutors have a much easier time “gaming” a grand jury to get the outcome they want (presumably, an indictment) than a regular jury trial. Assuming everything with this prosecutor is on the up-and-up (and I’ve seen nothing to suggest otherwise), it seems a reasonable choice for her to make… why bust your hump twice if the jury trial is still going to be a toss-up – not based on the evidence, but just based on how that jury interprets the law in question?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Boyd says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I’ve been following SYG/CD issues for several years now, and I’d really appreciate a link to any such precedents. I’ve apparently missed all mention of them.

    Thanks!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  11. mattb says:

    @Boyd:
    FYI – I posted a few links to pre-Treyvon reporting on SYG related cases in Florida. It’s currently in the spam filter… but hopefully it will clear at some point.

    There are more articles — one it particular that as I remember speaks directly to your question. Unfortunately I can’t find it.

    The biggest problem with SYG in a case like this, is that the question of whether or not it was a SYG case comes down to a moment where there seem to be only two witnesses: Zimmerman and Martin. And given that one of the two can’t tell their side of the story, the advantage is definitely towards Zimmerman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  12. @Boyd:

    To name three: Ernesto Che Vino, Trevor Dooley, and Greyston Garcia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  13. Please spring my comment from the mod queue!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. @Stormy Dragon:

    Done. It was the multiple links that did it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Boyd says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Thanks for the links!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. mattb says:

    @Boyd:
    Here’s another one from Florida which demonstrates the fuzziness of the SYG standard:
    http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2012/03/judge_cites_stand_your_ground.php

    “In the early hours of January 25, Garcia spotted Pedro Roteta and another man rummaging through his truck and taking off with his car radio according to the Miami Herald. Roteta and his accomplice had apparently been on a radio stealing spree, and Roteta was carrying a bag filled with three car radios.

    Garcia decided to chase after Roteta with a knife, and caught up to him. Roteta swung the bag of radios at Garcia’s head. Garcia blocked the bag, and then countered by lunging a knife in Roteta’s chest. The stabbing killed Roteta. Garcia then took off with the radio, even those not belonging to him, and never called police. Garcia hid the knife used and sold the two car radios that did not belong to him.

    [...]

    Judge Bloom apparently agreed with a medical examiner who testified that a bag of radio swung at a head could cause serious harm or death, and that the defendant Garcia “was well within his rights to pursue the victim and demand the return of his property.

    “The law does not allow for you to use deadly force to retrieve your property. She, in effect, is saying that it’s appropriate to chase someone down with a knife to get property back,” Miami-Dade Chief Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hoague tells the Herald.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  17. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I think the prosecutor here skipped a grand jury because in this particular case there were very small if any marginal benefits in taking the case before a grand jury.

    Politically speaking it’s pretty clear that some form of charges need to be filed. So if a grand jury returned no true bill then you’d have a powder keg and the potential for major strife or even riots, whereas if the grand jury indicted for murder 1 (or even murder 2) then you’d have a rather obvious overcharge with which the prosecutor would need to deal.

    Then there’s the fact that before a grand jury Zimmerman obviously by leaps and bounds would be the key witness. Well, Zimmerman’s legal team couldn’t possibly be dumb enough to waive immunity (meaning that you can’t use his grand jury testimony against him), and if as I suspect the prosecutor feels that some charges must be brought then a grand jury would result in days of useless testimony from Zimmerman but reams of testimony from other witnesses which Zimmerman’s team later could utilize to their advantage.

    So in the end a grand jury wouldn’t make the prosecutor’s job any easier and quite likely would have made the prosector’s job a lot tougher.

    I suspect we’ll see the highest grade of manslaughter as the charge and then no plea bargain with the case going all the way to a verdict.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. Jenos Idanian says:

    @mattb: I read your summation of the story a little differently. To me, the thief is the one who decided that the stolen goods were worth causing injury or risking death, by swinging on his pursuer.

    I know my opinion is not that common, but when I hear “is keeping your property worth a life?,” I turn it around on the thief — “is depriving me of my property worth the risk of injury or death?” The active player in the scenario isn’t the property owner, but the would-be thief. And I extend the “felony murder” principle here — my default position is that pending extenuating circumstances, any deaths are the responsibility of the criminal.

    No, I’m not saying that it’s open season on criminals, but my bias is definitely against the criminals. And in the case you cited, based on your quotes, I’d side with Mr. Garcia — but with a serious ass-chewing for putting himself at such risk.

    But in your scenario, Mr. Roteta made the bad choices. He chose to steal the radios, he chose to flee when caught, and he chose to swing the bag of stolen goods at Mr. Garcia’s head.

    Did those decisions merit the death penalty? No. But sometimes bad decisions have really, really bad consequences. And Mr. Roteta’s death was a direct consequence of his decision to commit a crime.

    And I’d like to compliment Boyd for his analysis on why the “Stand Your Ground” law doesn’t seem to apply in the Martinez case. Very well-stated, sir.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. ck says:

    I’m wondering about something. On the 911 tape, Zimmerman says he lost sight of Treyvon. So hey, notice Treyvon is long gone and could have stayed long gone. Really, notice that. Also notice who is the faster runner. So the only way the two could have “met up” again is if Treyvon approached Zimmerman.

    Wouldn’t that make Treyvon the aggressor?

    What do you think? Treyvon was shot a 100 yards from his own front door. If he had already left Zimmerman in the dust, then how could Zimmerman ever “catch up” with Treyvon at all, IF Treyvon went home? If somebody is chasing you, and you’re almost home, why on earth would you continue to wander around outside if you’re supposedly terrified?

    I keep imagining a “scared little boy” and an “aggressive neighborhood watch patrol” — and it doesn’t make any sense! A “scared little boy” would have sprinted the last few feet to his own front door. I have to tell you, at first I believed the media’s version of events, but the more I think about it, the only thing that makes sense is if Treyvon was angry at being followed and so decided to confront Zimmerman. What do you think?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  20. Console says:

    @ck:

    Trayvon is the aggressor because he didn’t run from the guy stalking him?

    Please tell me you don’t work a job that actually requires you to use deductive skills.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  21. grumpy realist says:

    @ck: What’s so bizarre about this is if Treyvon had at any point pulled our a gun and shot Zimmerman, he would have had his own SYG self-defense very very clearly.

    It’s because you get into this “he said, she said” when quite often the victim isn’t alive to give his side of the story that I think any self-defense allowance MUST require an “only equal defense, or lesser”, or “duty to retreat if at all possible.”

    And if you’re walking around with a gun I think you have an even bigger duty to keep away from any trouble. It’s too easy to kill someone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  22. Herb says:

    Prediction: Zimmerman’s going to walk.

    He won’t be charged with anything bigger than unlawful discharge of a firearm, and probably not even that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. Herb says:

    Second prediction: We will continue to hear anti-MSM cranks blame the mishandling of this case on the media*, rather than the police.

    * Example, “NBC ruined the chance to prosecute Zimmerman when they edited the 911 tape,” or any mention of Al Sharpton.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Herb: That would be because we’ve seen indisputable examples of media malfeasance in this case already. NBC’s malicious editing of the 911 call is one example; the initial photos of the principals, with Martin represented by a 5-year-old cherubic image and Zimmerman shown in a Photoshopped mug shot (his swarthy Hispanic skin made into Pasty White Guy, and his orange shirt turned pink) is another.

    On the other hand, police wrongdoing (accidental or malicious) is yet to be determined. They may have screwed up, they may have tried to broom this case, but it’s not yet been proven. Or even shown as highly probable.

    This is turning out to be pretty much what I suspected from the outset: a tragic incident, caused by bad decisions on at least one of the parties, but no actual, provable crime committed.
    .
    I’ll go out even further on that limb: should that turn out to be the case, there will be absolutely no major repercussions against those who have tried to fan the flames of this incident: NBC, CNN, the New Black Panther Party, Al Sharpton, that Congresswoman in the pink Stetson who talked about how Martin “was hunted down like a rabid dog,” and the rest will all be allowed to skate, much like the 88 Duke professors who all signed that petition declaring the Men’s Lacrosse team guilty of rape.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  25. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian: First, thanks for fulfilling my second prediction. I mean, keep harping on the “malicious editing” angle. The choir loves it.

    It should be noted that Zimmerman was released by the Sanford Police before the national media ever got a whiff of the case. By then, the Sanford police has already released Zimmerman and the state attorney had already decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to get a conviction. NBC’s edited 911 tape or Al Sharpton’s rallies figured into those decisions not one bit.

    Second…

    “police wrongdoing (accidental or malicious) is yet to be determined.”

    I don’t know what standard you expect here, but if this were so then why did the chief of police take a leave of absence, saying “”my involvement in this matter is overshadowing the process?” Why is the Justice Department looking into the handling of the case? Why is state law enforcement looking into it?

    Then factor in the obvious: George Zimmerman is an admitted killer and he has not been charged with anything.

    One must be blindly credulous to take all these factors into account and say, “police wrongdoing hasn’t yet been determined.”

    Third:

    “no actual, provable crime committed”

    Pretty glib way to describe a homicide….

    I think it’s telling that you’re as eager to indict the media as you are to acquit Zimmerman. One might conclude that you’re not exactly the fairest observer here…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  26. superdestroyer says:

    @Herb:

    I guess you forgot the claims that the police never took Zimmerman into custody which was proven wrong by the videotape. Or that Zimmerman’s gun was never taken that was proven wrong by the police report that states that the gun was entered into the evidence room. Or the report that the police let Zimmerman go but then it was reported that the States attorney was involved and said that there was not enough evidence.

    Given that everything that has come out, is there anyway that a jury can reach a conclusion that is beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  27. Herb says:

    @superdestroyer:

    “I guess you forgot the claims”

    Those “claims” are irrelevant.

    This case would not have become such a media sensation had the Sanford police department handled it properly. To blame the media for the Sanford PD’s failures is a) scapegoating and b) missing the intended target.

    Is it NBC’s fault the police didn’t interview witnesses until a week later, after they had cleared Zimmerman? Is it CNN’s fault the police didn’t bother to check Martin’s phone records for weeks, even though he was on the phone with his girlfriend minutes before his death? Is it the Al Sharptons fault that police didn’t bother to test Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol? That they didn’t run a background check until after they decided he was not guilty?

    This case was tainted long before the media got their grubby hands on it.

    Yes, I do think this case is going to be impossible to prosecute, but it’s not because the media tainted the jury pool. It’s because the police bungled the investigation so bad that charges cannot be brought.

    For what it’s worth, this “media dunnit” crap is mirrored on George Zimmerman’s new website, in which the confessed killer whines:

    On Sunday February 26th, I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life. This website’s sole purpose is to ensure my supporters they are receiving my full attention without any intermediaries.

    Google it. He’s accepting donations, too, in case you want to help him out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  28. superdestroyer says:

    @Herb:

    HOw many of the claims that you are making will prove to be wrong in the future? Virtually every claim that has been made by the Ben Crump has been shown to be false. Why do you keep repeating them?

    The real problem with the media is that they have failed to do real reporting. Why did internet types have to dig up the history of Trayvon Martin? Why did the media keep using old pictures when newer pictures were available?

    The police report lists more than six witness who were interviewed the night of the shooting and the neighborhood was canvased.

    Also, the cell phone records do not really support the Ben Crump version of reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  29. Herb says:

    @superdestroyer:

    “The real problem with the media is that they have failed to do real reporting. “

    Oh please…..

    That cliche is not only false, it’s boring. It’s a Pavlovian response, you know, the kind that requires no thought whatsoever. You hear the bell and just start salivating. It’s sad.

    Fact is: The media has been reporting this story daily since the story broke. It’s real. Has it been shiny perfect without any error? No. But such are the perils of reporting a developing story.

    Pretending that Ben Crump (whoever that is) is the problem instead of the police department that bungled the investigation is, well, ridiculous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  30. Herb says:

    PS. The fact that you and Jenos, two of the most predictably kneejerk paleo-Republicans in residence, are in total agreement that “the media dunnit” is amusing. I suspect some of the left-of-center commentators will see it for what it is: Received wisdom from a couple of guys who outsource their thinking to their radios.

    PPS. Did you give Zimmerman a donation yet? After all, he’s going to need some help after that “life altering event” in which he killed a dude.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  31. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    I understand your reading of the story, but I think it ignores the fact that Garcia took off after Roteta with a knife in hand:

    Garcia decided to chase after Roteta with a knife, and caught up to him. Roteta swung the bag of radios at Garcia’s head. Garcia blocked the bag, and then countered by lunging a knife in Roteta’s chest.

    This sets up a different situation — one in which Roteta in theory is equally afraid for his life. The fact that after the killing Garcia left the scene, attempted to hide the knife, and sold some of Roteta’s stolen radios, also provide a bit more background to suggest that something more might have been going on than just a standard robbery. My issue is that, in this case, SYG was used by a judge to dismiss charges rather than letting this entire situation go to trial. And, at least in this case, the local police and prosecutors were equally surprised.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. mattb says:

    @Boyd:

    If Zimmerman were lying on the ground being attacked by Martin, he had no means of retreat. While there may be a scenario where SYG would apply, I’ve never heard anyone, absolutely no one, propose what it would look like. So the whole SYG/Castle Doctrine discussion is a complete non sequitur.

    Your point about no retreat is a good one — under those circumstances, there would have been no issue in “duty to retreat” states either.

    However, from what I’ve seen of reports on SYG in Florida, the issue is equally tied to the confrontation that leads up to use of deadly force.

    Going to Garcia, for example, it seems that the Judge’s interpretation of SYG included being able to pursue the person who had committed the robbery.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. @mattb:

    However, from what I’ve seen of reports on SYG in Florida, the issue is equally tied to the confrontation that leads up to use of deadly force.

    It’s even more obvious in the other two cases I mentioned, one of which involved some nut that wasn’t paying his electric bill and then chased two utility workers off his property with a rifle when they knocked on his door to disconnect him, and the other involves a nut threatening children on a playground for skateboarding and then shooting a bystander who told him to leave the kids alone.

    The thing is, people like this are rare and not typical of most people with carry permits. The problem is that if carry proponents keep reflexively defending the bad apples, it’s going to make all gun owners look bad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  34. @Jenos Idanian:

    This is turning out to be pretty much what I suspected from the outset: a tragic incident, caused by bad decisions on at least one of the parties, but no actual, provable crime committed.

    The same could be said about OJ. The fact a crime can’t be proved doesn’t mean a crime didn’t occur or that the defendant is morally free from responsibility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  35. ck says:

    @Console: Trayvon is the aggressor because he didn’t run from the guy stalking him?

    Treyvon was able to run so fast that he was no longer visible to Zimmerman. The biggest problem is that this information is on the 911 tape, recorded prior to the shooting. It’s not merely conjecture.

    Everybody keeps focusing on how Zimmerman weighed a lot more, and was much shorter (not to mention 10 years older than a tall slim teenager who played track and field in high school — well, all of that would automatically make Zimmerman a much slower runner.

    So under what circumstance could a much slower runner ever catch a faster runner?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. ck says:

    Zimmerman was not breaking any law by running an errand. Zimmerman was not breaking any law by carrying a gun. Zimmerman was not breaking any law by having the opinion that Martin was acting suspicious. Zimmerman was not breaking any law by calling 911. Zimmerman was not breaking any law by getting out of his truck. Zimmerman was not breaking any law by following Martin. Zimmerman was not breaking any law by losing visual sight of Martin. Zimmerman was not breaking any law by being too slow to catch up with a faster runner. Zimmerman was not breaking any law by returning to his truck.

    However, it IS illegal to attack someone WITHOUT PROVOCATION. Which is why this entire case hinges on WHO. HIT. WHO. FIRST. And as the much slower runner, it literally isn’t possible for Zimmerman to ever catch Martin — unless Martin came back to confront Zimmerman. Which automatically raises the question: how aggressive was Treyvon feeling at that moment? We already know Zimmerman was feeling aggressive — that’s why he chased Treyvon. But Treyvon had to actually stop and either go find Zimmerman, or wait for Zimmerman to catch up. So it is entirely reasonable to ask “how much aggression was Treyvon was also feeling”?

    I can tell you that as a “scared little boy” I would have ran inside my house and stayed there. And prolly cried for my momma. lol

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  37. ck says:

    @ck: This case is reminding me of abusers who beat their wives because “she started it first” by insulting him. Martin was insulted because he’s being followed and suspects the reason he’s being followed is because of his ethnicity. Being insulted isn’t a legitimate reason to attack somebody else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  38. James in LA says:

    George Zimmerman’s (former) attorneys have just held a remarkable press conference in which they announced they would no longer represent the man who shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin.

    They said their client hasn’t answered their calls or text messages since Sunday, and as such have decided they cannot represent a man who does not want their services.

    And in the most bizarre bit of the theater – they said their ex-client had reached out to Fox News’ Sean Hannity directly for an off-the-record conversation against their advice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. Tillman says:

    And as the much slower runner, it literally isn’t possible for Zimmerman to ever catch Martin — unless Martin came back to confront Zimmerman.

    How does Martin’s girlfriend’s phone record factor into this narrative of yours?

    It’s just that, if Martin is doing all this running around, being capable of such alacritous locomotion, you’d think he’d've been winded or something. For the life of me, no matter how often I keep Googling it, no one seems to be bringing this up!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. An Interested Party says:

    @ck: Ahh, so Trayvon Martin got what he deserved, eh?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. ck says:

    “How does Martin’s girlfriend’s phone record factor into this narrative of yours?”

    Three teenagers just sprinted past me on a ten mile run a couple days ago, chattering like magpies the whole time. It was a closed track, I could hear them. And anybody who was on the phone with his gf for six hours as the news articles reported, wouldn’t have been talking the whole time anyway.

    And no, I certainly don’t believe “Martin got what he deserved”. It’s always a tragedy when somebody dies. And yes, racism: it exists. It is well established that cops, teachers, heck everybody, will dump more punishment on a black kid than they would for a precious white boy, for the same offense.

    But please notice what most people are doing: the old “all or nothing” routine. Either Treyvon is a saint or he is a demon. Either he is totally innocent or totally guilty. Either he deserves for die for the crime of breathing while black, or he deserves to attack anybody he wants merely because he feels dehumanized.

    It wasn’t racism or racial profiling which killed this kid. It was two men who both felt the best way to deal with injustice (either real or perceived) was to react with violence. Zimmerman when he started chasing, and Martin when he started chasing. In every confrontation, people have a choice: they can either escalate the situation, or de-escalate the situation. But now the kid who was gonna grow up to be an astronaut is dead and the guy who wanted to protect his neighborhood might as well be.

    Instead of making this into yet another “blacks are evil, no whites are, oh latinos are worse”, how about asking who benefits when some people of every ethnicity are divided into bitter camps needing “protection” from each other? This is the same old toxic masculinity which has been going on for eons. Quit blaming it on race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1