May 18, 2012 – (Updated 10:00pm) As the new information becomes available about the George Zimmerman case, one has to wonder if just maybe Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin. Now it’s come out in the police report that Zimmerman says Martin tried to take his gun during the struggle. Regardless of who threw the first punch, and by all indcations Martin was the only one throwing punches, had I been in Zimmerman’s shoes the end result would have been the same. If I’m on the ground with a punk sitting on me kicking my ass and he is also trying to take my gun, guess what folks, DRT! (dead right there) I’m doing anything I can to prevent him from killing me. -JRoycroft
In a statement, Detective Christopher Serino of the Sanford police department said he played a recording of the calls to Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father.
“In the background I could clearly hear a male’s voice yelling either ‘help’ or ‘help me’ 14 times in an approximately 38-second time span,” Serino wrote.
“The voice was determined to be that of George Zimmerman, who was apparently yelling for help as he was being battered by Trayvon Martin.
“I asked Mr Martin if the voice calling for help was that of his son. Mr Martin, clearly emotionally impacted by the recording, quietly responded ‘No’.”
Witnesses, whose names were redacted from the report, also lent support to Zimmerman’s version of what happened.
“He witnesses a black male, wearing a dark colored ‘hoodie’ on top of a white or Hispanic male and throwing punches ‘MMA (mixed martial arts) style,’” the police report of the witness said. “He then heard a pop. He stated that after hearing the pop, he observed the person he had previously observed on top of the other person (the male wearing the hoodie) laid out on the grass.”
This from Alan Dershowitz a defense attorney, is a professor at Harvard Law School:
A medical report by George Zimmerman’s doctor has disclosed that Zimmerman had a fractured nose, two black eyes, two lacerations on the back of his head and a back injury on the day after the fatal shooting. If this evidence turns out to be valid, the prosecutor will have no choice but to drop the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman — if she wants to act ethically, lawfully and professionally.
But none of this was included in any affidavit.
Now there is much more extensive medical evidence that would tend to support Zimmerman’s version of events. This version, if true, would establish self-defense even if Zimmerman had improperly followed, harassed and provoked Martin.
A defendant, under Florida law, loses his “stand your ground” defense if he provoked the encounter — but he retains traditional self-defense if he reasonably believed his life was in danger and his only recourse was to employ deadly force.
Thus, if Zimmerman verbally provoked Martin, but Martin then got on top of Zimmerman and banged his head into the ground, broke his nose, bloodied his eyes and persisted in attacking Zimmerman — and if Zimmerman couldn’t protect himself from further attack except by shooting Martin — he would have the right to do that. (The prosecution has already admitted that it has no evidence that Zimmerman started the actual fight.)
There is, of course, no assurance that the special prosecutor handling the case, State Attorney Angela Corey, will do the right thing. Because until now, her actions have been anything but ethical, lawful and professional.
She was aware when she submitted an affidavit that it did not contain the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. She deliberately withheld evidence that supported Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. The New York Times has reported that the police had “a full face picture” of Zimmerman, before paramedics treated him, that showed “a bloodied nose.” The prosecutor also had photographic evidence of bruises to the back of his head.
This is a fact-specific case, in which much turns on what the jury believes beyond a reasonable doubt. It must resolve all such doubts in favor of the defendant, because our system of justice insists that it is better for 10 guilty defendants to go free than for even one innocent to be wrongfully convicted.
You wouldn’t know that from listening to Corey, who announced that her jobs was “to do justice for Trayvon Martin” — not for George Zimmerman.
As many see it, her additional job is to prevent riots of the sort that followed the acquittal of the policemen who beat Rodney King.
Indeed, Mansfield Frazier, a columnist for the Daily Beast, has suggested that it is the responsibility of the legal system to “avert a large scale racial calamity.” He has urged Zimmerman’s defense lawyer to become a “savior” by brokering a deal to plead his client guilty to a crime that “has him back on the streets within this decade.”
But it is not the role of a defense lawyer to save the world or the country. His job — his only job — is to get the best result for his client, by all legal and ethical means.
Listen to the way a famous British barrister put it in 1820:
“An advocate, by the sacred duty which he owes his client, knows, in the discharge of that office, but one person in the world, that client and none other . . . Nay, separating even the duties of a patriot from those of an advocate, and casting them, if need be, to the wind, he must go on reckless of the consequences, if his fate it should unhappily be, to involve his country in confusion for his client’s protection.”
The prosecutor’s job is far broader: to do justice to the defendant as well as the alleged victim. As the Supreme Court has said: “The government wins . . . when justice is done.”
Zimmerman’s lawyer is doing his job. It’s about time for the prosecutor to start doing hers.
Here are some links that tell recent new events and information about the case:
Cops/witnesses back up George Zimmermans story
Witness told police that Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman punching him MMA style
Trayvon Martin postmortem reveals marijuana in his system