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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » How to kill a child and get away with it (Page 16)

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Author Topic: How to kill a child and get away with it
Rakeesh
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Well it seems tomorrow (today, actually) there will be a hearing on whether or not to make public quite a lot of the evidence thus far gathered, from personal histories, an autopsy report, text messages, audio of witness statements, and many other things.

It's interesting. On the one hand, I would be very interested to learn all of those things, but I can also see how they could really impede a fair trial if made public. Also while I'm usually a big fan of daylight in this sort of thing, I'm also smirking in amused disgust at the bevy of media companies (15, I think) that are going through the courts to try and get this stuff made public. While there are certainly elements there that have good, unselfish reasons for wanting this stuff made public...well, I have basically zero trust that the people who will be broadcasting breathless wide-eyed news bulletins and talk shows are moving for this for anything other than a good strong whiff of ratings. In the balance of things, I hope they do keep things sealed, maybe if it's possible until shortly before the trial.

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Kwea
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Yeah...there has been so much disinformation so far I'd say I am in favor of revealing it, but I can see how it might cause trouble.

I also wonder even if the new evidence DOES (not that I am "predicting" it will) show GZ had some cause for the shooting that it will matter. The people who think he should be hung out to dry already are the very ones who spread the disinformation in the first place, and I doubt any of them will change their mind regardless of what might be revealed.

Tough call to make, for sure.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:


Tempted to report for unwarranted insult.

Heh. That would fit nicely with your pattern. As does the toothless threat. Go and tell mom, I'll wait.
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Aris Katsaris
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Since you asked it, done.
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JanitorBlade
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The hostility is back and I'd hate to lock a thread that people have an interest in discussing in. For now I'm asking Orincoro, and Samprimary to not address Aris Katsaris at this time, and vice versa. You may continue to participate in the thread otherwise.

[ June 01, 2012, 03:07 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Orincoro
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I love you mom. [Wink]
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Stone_Wolf_
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Sexy Aris = Aros?
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Samprimary
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Am I just collateral damage in order to try to save the thread? I wasn't being hostile enough to warrant that. (Not that it changes things otherwise, I'd stopped responding anyway).
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JanitorBlade
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Samprimary: I'll try to get into specifics later.
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Samprimary
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Well, you better hurry. This is a perfectly purposeless opportunity for pointless outrage, and I demand answers for your fascist moderation overreach.

*throws a chair to fill time*

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Dan_Frank
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Sam, I've been skipping over a lot of posts so I'm not asking this rhetorically, it's a real question: Was Aris hostile enough to you to warrant JB asking him not to keep talking to you?

If so, making the gag order reciprocal seems like the best idea, don't you think?

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Samprimary
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Haha, i doubt it? since threads are not 'quality' moderated here (i.e., 'shut up you are making this thread suck') I wouldn't have called for any moderation here. Especially not if what was going on between aris and rakeesh apparently didn't count for the threshold.
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Dan_Frank
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Okay then, that's fair. As I said, I've been avoiding reading most of what's been happening the last couple pages.

I'm biased, of course, but it strikes me that when Destineer and I derailed this thread with gun rights and increasingly esoteric epistemology, I think it was less distracting and, well, derailing, than this conversation that has actually been on topic.

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Samprimary
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it's because something doesn't have to be off topic to be so exasperating and bizarre. It had already even been going on for a long long time before I finally just felt like I had to join the fray.

Sorry everyone I helped ruin your thread. Wait. My thread?? You jerks ruined my thread.

*throws another chair*

Mod abuse, etc

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Stone_Wolf_
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"Angry rants" with only one item on them and the word "etc" loose 95% of their effectiveness by my estimation.
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Jon Boy
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How is nobody talking about the fact that Zimmerman had his bond revoked for lying about his finances?
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Samprimary
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I actually read about that and said "Yeah, that .. sounds about right" — it's hardly the weirdest not-doing-yourself-any-favors activity that has come from him.

Zimmerman has not done any of his attorneys any favors. Even with details coming out that would have otherwise been potent ways to exonerate Zimmerman, he has massively ****ed up in how he's approached this, both before and after the shooting, and the police themselves didn't help matters much at the scene of the crime — for instance, leaving open the potential for the prosecution to say that there is little proof that the injuries reported by Zimmerman could not have been self-inflicted after the shooting in order to create physical evidence of a confrontation. It's gonna be a big mess for a while.

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capaxinfiniti
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Simple. The bond issue has nothing to do with the shooting of Martin. And before we can be sure Zimmerman lied during the bond hearing, it will be necessary to wait until a new bond hearing is held to determine the motives of his decisions, or, as the CNN story states, "a new bond hearing to revisit Zimmerman's status and allow the defense to 'explain why what happened seems to have happened.'" It's possible he misunderstood or was misled by his counsel. In any case, he was, and has been since the story went national, under extreme duress, having been terrorized emotionally and received threats against his life. There were lynch mobs in the street and the press was pretty much wholly against him. It must be taxing to make critical decisions in an environment of such hostility.

This development, like the greater story, is so lacking in details that any rational, level-headed mind would await more information before making any judgments.

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Samprimary
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Oh, bull. There are plenty of judgments that can be rationally come to with what is prevalent about the case so far. They just probably don't involve whether, conclusively, Zimmerman should be or could be successfully prosecuted for murder 2 or manslaughter, or if he is innocent.

You can still render a whole host of judgments about this case, especially involving the legal idiocy of Stand Your Ground as written, and the idiocy of the police department in question — the one potentially advantageous part of this whole fiasco being that Stand Your Ground will likely not at all survive if Zimmerman walks.

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capaxinfiniti
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"They just probably don't involve whether, conclusively, Zimmerman should be or could be successfully prosecuted for murder 2 or manslaughter, or if he is innocent."

That's what is really at issue here. It's almost certain the bond issue won't be deemed admissible evidence in court due to its lack of relevance.

And if you want to put SYG or the Sanford PD on trial, that's fine, just don't get your judgements and speculations muddled with the trial of George Zimmerman.

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Rakeesh
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Well, now, if extreme duress is to be held as a mitigating factor for lying in bond hearings (if that is in fact what happened; the judge appears so far at least to think so, but time will tell), I wonder who else will be allowed to exclaim, "I was really, really stressed out!"

I'm asking because I suspect quite a lot of people involved in bond hearings, especially the accused themselves, are under stress hard to imagine by us ordinary folks not having been on trial for our lives.

Now, all that said, some generalizing, with the usual hazards involved in doing that: it is precisely the same type of people, politically speaking-those who want to be tougher on crime, support the status quo or even less gun regulation, etc.-who would be likely to sneer outright at this sort of 'defense' of 'I was in a really bad place, emotionally!' Hell, we've all heard the callous, grimly satisfied response to that sort of thing: "Then you shouldn't have been a criminal!"

And yet...we need to take into account how much stress Zimmerman is under, this time. Admittedly it's a lot. This time, though, morally it may very well be an excuse. Just an oppsie. I wonder why that is, exactly?

---------

Aris, if as is possible Zimmerman has lied, or permitted his attorney to deceive, or engaged in some shenanigans to hide money with his wife, I am positively on the edge of my seat as to whether that sort of behavior factors in to your 'predictive analysis' or if, after all, it will be chalked up to major stress.

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Kwea
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Should be interesting. The passport issue is common, and his lawyer said it was his fault not GZ's, but the finances are another issue. Turns out that at least in one report that the money is held in trust, and that neither GZ or his lawyer have access to it directly, so this may be a tempest in a teapot.

Or not.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Aris, if as is possible Zimmerman has lied, or permitted his attorney to deceive, or engaged in some shenanigans to hide money with his wife, I am positively on the edge of my seat as to whether that sort of behavior factors in to your 'predictive analysis' or if, after all, it will be chalked up to major stress.
It certainly is Bayesian evidence in favor of Zimmerman being generally prone to deceit, and thus Bayesian evidence supportive of his lying about other parts of his testimony -- I can hardly see how it would be evidence *against* the same, after all.

That, mind you, isn't mutually contradictory to chalking it up to "major stress". Something being done for reasons doesn't automatically make it non-evidence.

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capaxinfiniti
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I said duress, not stress, though stress would be abundant when one encounters the threat of violence and the possibility of incarceration without due process. Bet even if we go with that, the impact of stress on judgment and decision making is well studied. It's no excuse for lying but is a defense when accused of making non-critical mistakes.

"I'm asking because I suspect quite a lot of people involved in bond hearings, especially the accused themselves, are under stress hard to imagine by us ordinary folks not having been on trial for our lives."

Which is why one might lean more heavily on one's legal counsel, who may or may not be adequately skilled in interpreting guidelines concerning bond hearings, or who may or may not be privy to every detail of the defendants life.

Maybe Zimmerman can justify his statements at the bond hearing; maybe he lied. It's not like you or I have superior precognitive abilities above those of every other armchair legal expert so it looks like we will have to wait until the legal system does its job.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I said duress, not stress, though stress would be abundant when one encounters the threat of violence and the possibility of incarceration without due process. Bet even if we go with that, the impact of stress on judgment and decision making is well studied. It's no excuse for lying but is a defense when accused of making non-critical mistakes.
Oh, I absolutely agree. It's just that this sort of empathetic thinking isn't, let's just say universally[ applied when looking at the character of an accused criminal.

To take it a step further, I really have no idea yet which is more likely-that nothing wrong was done, that something sneaky but not illegal was done, that the wife did something clever, that Zimmerman outright lied or misled, or that the lawyer made a negligent mistake.

What I'm mostly trying to draw attention to is, "My client is under enormous strain!" is not even remotely an acceptable excuse even for the appearance of wrongdoing for quite a lot of people.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Haha, i doubt it? since threads are not 'quality' moderated here (i.e., 'shut up you are making this thread suck') I wouldn't have called for any moderation here. Especially not if what was going on between aris and rakeesh apparently didn't count for the threshold.

I don't think I can turn thread moderating into an exact science. What I can do is monitor the ebb and flow and go with what I feel is needed to steer the conversation back on track when it comes off the rails.

Yes Rakeesh, and Aris were pretty intense and angry, but sometimes I suspect an exchange will fizzle out and things will sort themselves out. If somebody whistles a post I will always read the post and the context, *always*. But again, sometimes I get the feeling the participants/person will take a step back and moderate themselves. In this case things got heated, seemed to calm down, got heated again. And I felt I needed to apply the brakes to a degree.

I wouldn't say you were doing anything specific, worthy of discipline, but when I ask a poster to stop addressing another poster, I make it reciprocal, because it wouldn't be fair for one poster to be required to sit in silence while they are addressed even in a non-prodding manner.

The thread seems to be OK at present, and so I hope I made the right call. You're always welcome to PM me with your case that I am being unfair. I take it very seriously.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
Should be interesting. The passport issue is common,

The second passport issue is anything but common. I just got off the phone talking to the US embassy about obtaining a 2nd passport because I need to travel while my UK work VISA is being processed. I was told that 2nd passports are only issued under very rare circumstances (mine being one of them) and that it must be approved by the state department. I have to provide all kinds of documents to prove my situation warrants a 2nd passport. I have absolutely no idea how Zimmerman was able to obtain one.

One news report says something about getting a replacement passport for one he lost and then finding the lost passport but that would not explain having 2 valid passports. The minute you report that your passport is lost or stolen, its cancelled. It doesn't matter if you find it, its no longer valid.

If you find a lost passport, you are supposed to return it to the state department but even if you don't, you couldn't use it. That might have worked decades ago, but these days passports always get scanned electronically so even if it hasn't been physically stamped and punched as canceled -- its not a valid passport and you'd likely be arrested if you were trying to travel with it.

quote:
and his lawyer said it was his fault not GZ's
I don't see how it could possibly not be GZs fault. It is really hard to get two valid passports. It's not something you'd forget about.

quote:
but the finances are another issue. Turns out that at least in one report that the money is held in trust, and that neither GZ or his lawyer have access to it directly, so this may be a tempest in a teapot.
The prosecutor claims that Zimmerman's had full access to the trust account and were able to transfer money from it to their private bank accounts at their discretion. I can see how the Zimmermans might have been mistaken about needing to report these funds, but its hard to believe their lawyer would not have known and would not have advised them correctly on the issue. If I were in that situation and was going to jail because of bad advice from my legal council, I'd be looking for new legal council immediately.

quote:
Originally posted by capaxinfiniti:
It's almost certain the bond issue won't be deemed admissible evidence in court due to its lack of relevance

Certainly it isn't directly relevant to the murder charge so I don't imagine it would be admissible as part of the prosecution's case, but they might be allowed to present this evidence to rebut claims made by the defense about Zimmerman's character and integrity.

George Zimmerman's testimony is the foundation of his defense. If the jury doesn't trust Zimmerman's word, his case is in serious trouble. It could seriously hurt his case if his defense has to choose to avoid making any claims about Zimmerman's character in order to exclude evidence like this.

I admit that most of my knowledge of criminal law comes from "fiction" so if someone with a legal background says otherwise, I'm happy to listen.

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The Rabbit
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In addition to the bond issues, several things have come to my attention over the last week that I think don't bode well for Zimmerman.

First, Zimmerman and his defense team have waved the right to a speedy trial. If the evidence were as one sided as some are arguing, I'd expect the defense to be pushing for an immediate trial. If the prosecution's case is really that weak, why give them any more time strengthen it?

Second, Both the prosecution and the defense are pushing to have a lot of the evidence sealed. Both sides want Zimmerman's testimony and the detailed autopsy reports sealed. The prosecution has said inconsistency between his testimony and the physical data will play a crucial role in the case. They also expressed concerns about racial violence if the data is released. The defense has indicated they may try to have portions of the evidence ruled inadmissible and echoed the prosecution sentiments about possible racial violence.

Neither of those things are direct evidence either for or against Zimmerman, but they are signs that his case is not nearly as stronger as his backers seem to think.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
First, Zimmerman and his defense team have waved the right to a speedy trial. If the evidence were as one sided as some are arguing, I'd expect the defense to be pushing for an immediate trial. If the prosecution's case is really that weak, why give them any more time strengthen it?
This reasoning isn't clear to me. It seems to me judgments depend on basically two elements: the weight of the evidence, and the weight of public sentiment.

And in this case, public sentiment was pretty darn crucial in reopening a case regarding which the police had originally determined didn't have enough evidence for Zimmerman to be prosecuted.

Right now, after an original uproar over a grown man shooting what in the released photos looked like an angelic 12-year old, the uproar has cooled down significantly, and is probably going to cool down some more as time passes.

Which means that a delay tactic is to the defense's benefit, as sentiments cool down and more relative weight is given to the evidence.

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Aris Katsaris
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Regarding which testimonies are more reliable:

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2012/06/the_unreliabili.html
"All other things equal, earlier recountings are more likely to be accurate than later ones."

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
And in this case, public sentiment was pretty darn crucial in reopening a case regarding which the police had originally determined didn't have enough evidence for Zimmerman to be prosecuted.

Point of fact only: The district attorney, states attorney or U.S. attorney request indictments, not the police. And in the case of such a serious felony, as laid out in the 5th amendment, the indictment must be handed down by a grand jury. The police do not make these determinations, nor do they make the decision to prosecute (tv depictions notwithstanding), they make arrests and collect evidence.

So, whatever your argument regarding the reasons for or against prosecution, you'd be talking about the D.A. and not the police in that case.

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twinky
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
And in this case, public sentiment was pretty darn crucial in reopening a case regarding which the police had originally determined didn't have enough evidence for Zimmerman to be prosecuted.

Right now, after an original uproar over a grown man shooting what in the released photos looked like an angelic 12-year old, the uproar has cooled down significantly, and is probably going to cool down some more as time passes.

Well, the uproar was aimed at getting the case reopened. That's been accomplished, so it isn't surprising that the uproar is dying down.

A subset of those people are probably interested in the broader questions around Stand Your Ground, particularly Florida's implementation, so there's still a little buzz, but not all that much.

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Samprimary
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Right. It was uproar largely over the apparent neglect, incompetence, and probable bagging of a whole police department in this case. Since it has since resulted in ~an actual trial~ and, upon observation, multiple separate federal investigations being launched into the questionable activities of this police department, there you go.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Well, the uproar was aimed at getting the case reopened.
The uproar was largely caused by several bits of misrepresentation (intentional or otherwise) -- showing Trayvon's picture as a 12 year old, media intentionally editing the audio so that Zimmerman looked to be focusing on the race of the person he was following, people claiming that Zimmerman was uninjured (though even the initial video showed injuries, which were never mysteriously invisible at all).

Even the claim that Zimmerman was "self-appointed" ended up being false.

We can look back at the claims of the initial post of this very thread as evidence to how the uproar was caused.

So, yeah, likely part of the reason that the uproar has subsided is because *some* of the people uproaring have achieved their aim (though other people's aim, e.g. Spike Lee's or the New Panthers, had ofcourse been Zimmerman's brutal death, and that hasn't been achieved yet).

But I'm guessing that significant part of the subsiding is that lots of people are starting to realize they were plainly deceived and fooled into their uproar. Unfortunately the backlash isn't enough yet that people like the deliberately lying media in question can be brought to charges of libel (as they ought have been), or Spike Lee be brought to criminal charges (as he ought have been)

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Rakeesh
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The media bit about him making a particular racial statement didn't happen until well into the coverage, which only happened because of the uproar. Doesn't factor in as you claim it does.

The self-appointed bit is tricky. If you think he actually represented to his neighbors how he would 'patrol', all well and good, but he was approved of by them to the NW...which isn't supposed to patrol the way he does.

The photo certainly did its work, not that that kind of thing is uncommon in sensational killings-hardly unique here.

Of course you forget to mention the biggest factor that led to outrage: kid with skittles and tea is shot to death by neighborhood watchman while traveling in his own area. If you think that wouldn't lead to outrage, you're just kidding yourself, which would be surprising;)

There are a few possibilities. Perhaps the uproar is dying down because the public, possessing of your (self) vaunted predictive skills have realized it's a bogus case. Perhaps it's the inevitable decrease of public interest in any current events, ever. Or most likely, it's that combined with a couple of news cycles going Zimmerman's way.

To attribute it to widespread public realization that the only rational conclusion is that Zimmerman is most likely innocent is just showcasing your own unacknowledged bias once again.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
To attribute it to widespread public realization that the only rational conclusion is that Zimmerman is most likely innocent is just showcasing your own unacknowledged bias once again.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/lifestyle/general_lifestyle/may_2012/40_now_say_trayvon_martin_shot_in_self_defense_24_say_it_was_murder

Zimmerman should be found guilty of murder: 33% in late March, 30% in early April, 24% in May

Zimmerman acted in self-defense: 15% in March, 24% in April, 40% in May

"Interestingly, 47% of black adults still feel Zimmerman should be found guilty of murdering the black teenager, compared to 55% in March. Now nearly as many blacks (40%) think Zimmerman acted in self-defense. Whites and adults of other races tend to believe the shooter acted in self-defense, but there is a much higher level of uncertainty among both groups than there is among blacks."

"Only 20% of all adults now think Zimmerman will be found guilty of murder, down 13 points from 33% in April just after he was officially charged. Thirty-nine percent (39%) believe the legal system will determine that he acted in self-defense, up from 25% last month. Forty-one percent (41%), however, still are not sure."

So, in short: Whatever, Rakeesh. The public's opinion about Zimmerman's guilt innocence is indeed actually heading into the direction I'm saying it's heading.

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twinky
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Well, the uproar was aimed at getting the case reopened.
The uproar was largely caused by several bits of misrepresentation ...
Their rallying cry was "arrest Zimmerman." I'm sure you heard it in the coverage of the protests. Regardless of whether people were misled or facts were misrepresented, the goal was to bring about the trial that is currently happening.

Re: the polls, I want to point out that it's possible to believe Zimmerman will be found not guilty under SYG and still believe Florida's SYG statute is terrible law that shouldn't be on the books.

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Samprimary
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Also re: the polls

Rasmussen.

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twinky
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I was leaving that alone, since for all I know they're way better at non-election polling.
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Samprimary
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Their methodology results in even wonkier results in terms of social issues, because they trend towards heavily weighted questioning (which often changes alongside the 'attitudes' they are monitoring) — and their polling system is dirt cheap so they are subject to irreconcilable poll structure bias results.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
And in this case, public sentiment was pretty darn crucial in reopening a case regarding which the police had originally determined didn't have enough evidence for Zimmerman to be prosecuted.

Point of fact only: The district attorney, states attorney or U.S. attorney request indictments, not the police. And in the case of such a serious felony, as laid out in the 5th amendment, the indictment must be handed down by a grand jury. The police do not make these determinations, nor do they make the decision to prosecute (tv depictions notwithstanding), they make arrests and collect evidence.

So, whatever your argument regarding the reasons for or against prosecution, you'd be talking about the D.A. and not the police in that case.

Also, the police recommended from the first night that GZ be arrested, and several pieces of evidence have been released showing that. The DA's office initially refused to arrest him, citing a lack of evidence.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
[qb] Should be interesting. The passport issue is common,

The second passport issue is anything but common. I just got off the phone talking to the US embassy about obtaining a 2nd passport because I need to travel while my UK work VISA is being processed. I was told that 2nd passports are only issued under very rare circumstances (mine being one of them) and that it must be approved by the state department. I have to provide all kinds of documents to prove my situation warrants a 2nd passport. I have absolutely no idea how Zimmerman was able to obtain one.

One news report says something about getting a replacement passport for one he lost and then finding the lost passport but that would not explain having 2 valid passports. The minute you report that your passport is lost or stolen, its cancelled. It doesn't matter if you find it, its no longer valid.

If you find a lost passport, you are supposed to return it to the state department but even if you don't, you couldn't use it. That might have worked decades ago, but these days passports always get scanned electronically so even if it hasn't been physically stamped and punched as canceled -- its not a valid passport and you'd likely be arrested if you were trying to travel with it.


He had 2 passports, but not both of them were valid. Also, he surrendered the second one to his lawyer right away, as soon as he found it/remembered it, and his lawyer stated he did so....but the lawyer didn't report it to the judge right away, which is the ONLY reason I said that the lag was not his fault.
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Samprimary
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Zimmerman and his wife's perjury was apparently pretty bad and pretty blatant. Caught red handed conspiring on it. They're both probably going to jail over that alone.

quote:
Taped phone calls between the couple revealed that they had discussed the money transfers in code to hide the funds, according to the affidavit. The calls also showed that George Zimmerman instructed his wife to "pay off all the bills," including payments to American Express and Sam's Club. Nearly $50,000 was transferred to an account held by Zimmerman's sister.
They would then go on to testify at the bond hearing that they were "indigent" and had no assets. When asked about the website, she testified she had 'no knowledge of how much money had been collected.'

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/news-guide-zimmerman-perjury-arrest-16553663#.T9f3ddWJe8A

Well, good job on their end helping us address the personal credibility issue prior to trial, yanno.

Especially considering he failed to disclose having taken out the second passport. He gets labeled a flight risk and spends his time in a pretty small jail cell all the way up to the trial.

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JanitorBlade
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It really sucks that this is going to be about their credibility. He might be entirely honest about what happened with Martin but now that they've lied about the money that was heaped on them, we can't really believe anything they say. Only two people will ever know the truth of what actually happened.
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Rakeesh
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In light of this, I know who I am more inclined to believe is at fault re: passport 'misunderstandings'. The guy kind of shrieks 'flight risk' now, actually.
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Kwea
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As I said....not bright. ::shrugs::
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
As I said....not bright. ::shrugs::

It's more than just not being bright, which we already knew from his ditched attorneys/sean hannity/etc events. Being caught red-handed doing something like this is more of a matter of just him being dumb, it's about his credibility as a person, about dishonesty.

The special bonus is that this is the latest in a chain of events showing that he makes markedly irrational decisions under duress, which some have offered as a defense of his post-arrest behavior without really understanding the connotations of such a statement in relation to the event that put him here in the first place.

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Rakeesh
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It doesn't prove anything regarding the death of Martin. But I do think you're right: it calls his honesty into question, and his decision-making ability under stress-and this ain't even the fast-acting short-term stress either. This is that should-know-you'll-get-caught (from what I've read, this is the sort of money hiding scheme they might've learned from half an episode of Law and Order) expert-available kind of stress.

I wonder if this will have any impact on whether Zimmerman ever takes the stand?

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Orincoro
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That would depend on a ruling about whether these shenanigans are admissible. An argument can be made for it going to character, although even without this, his testimony would also introduce the dozens of 9/11 calls and his history with the police as well. He cannot really help himself by testifying.
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The Rabbit
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I don't think he can make a claim of self-defense unless he takes the stand.
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