Zimmerman is this decade’s OJ

“But he was the victim this time!” the conservative apologists for George Zimmerman whine when confronted with his latest shooting incident. This ignores the fact that this was not some random isolated incident but an ongoing fight he has been having with the shooter. 120320-martin-zimmerman-combo-224p.photoblog600-e1334592826597

So! How many shootings have you been involved in? I don’t know know about you, but my total is creeping up to zero, just like the vast majority of people. How many shootings does Zimmerman need before you think that maybe it’s him? By my count, there have been about six that we know of.

For those of you who say “Leave the guy alone” you have to realize that to many of us, Zimmerman is this decade’s OJ Simpson: A murderer who, for some unfathomable reason, got away with it and yet still goes around acting like a thug criminal.

Ironically, many conservatives who are defending Zimmerman are the same ones who attacked OJ whenever he did something wrong, despite the similarities between the two.

I mean, they’re so similar yet these people treat them so differently like it’s a simple case of black and white!

Oh, wait. Maybe that explains it.

Hey, look! A thug!


That thug George Zimmerman has been involved in yet another violent shooting. The criminal can’t go a year without getting arrested or getting into some sort of illegal activity involving a gun, can he? Clearly he is just a stain on society and .. what’s that?

Oh, my bad. I forgot.

The word “thug” has been co-opted by Fox News, and is used only for black people who are violent or who are the victims of violence or protest against violence or are black (did I mention that already)?

Seriously, here’s my challenge: Find a white person Fox has called a thug. (Hey, I’d love to be proven wrong…)

Florida is crazy

So Michael Dunn gets upset at some kids playing what he calls “thug music” (that means “black” for those of you keeping score).   He walks back to his car, gets his gun, and shoots them.  Then he calmly goes back to his room, orders a pizza, and doesn’t call the police.

Yesterday, a jury in Florida found him guilty of attempted murder on all the kids who were in the car that he didn’t kill.  gavelThey were deadlocked on Jordan Davis, the kid who was actually murdered, whose 19th birthday would have been today.  There was at least one person on the jury who believed Dunn’s incredible story that he was “scared” and that Jordan had a gun (which was contradicted by every other witness).

Even if Jordan had a gun, Dunn was the one who walked up to the car with his gun first, looking for a fight.

Hey, this sounds familiar.  Wasn’t it George Zimmerman who, with a gun, chased down Treyvon Martin and then shot him when Martin didn’t like having a gun pointed at him?

At least one juror on the Dunn trial still believes that this is absolutely fine.

Dunn himself was astounded by the verdict — as are some gun advocates who apparently interpret Florida’s crazy “Stand Your Ground” law to mean “Shoot whoever bugs you.”   Dunn, being an unapologetic racist (although he prefers to refer to himself as “prejudiced”), thinks that the world would be better “if more people would arm themselves and kill these **** idiots.”    I am not making this up.  These quotes are from letters he wrote from jail.  Somehow, these letters were kept out of the trial, even though they seem absolutely relevant to show his mindset and to counter his claim that this was in self-defense.  I wonder if the result would have been different otherwise.

Anyway, what also surprises me about this verdict is that Florida allowed a conviction and a mistrial in the same verdict.  I’ve never seen such a thing before.  I guess that means they can retry him on the murder charge and the other charges stick (assuming they’re not thrown out on appeal).

Florida is crazy.

Editorial cartoon of the day

I don’t believe in Zimmerman

Zimmerman is in custody for another incident involving a gun? Shocked! Shocked I am!

And in custody, too? Must be a white victim this time!

Maybe they had some skittles. That usually sets him off.

Clearly his elderly in-laws had threatened him and he was merely standing his ground.

Yeah, yeah, fine, I get it. I’m being mean. But this guy gets no sympathy from me.

“Don’t believe everything on the internet” – Benjamin Franklin

Yesterday, a friend of mine posted another one of those silly internet things meant to make Obama look like an evil Muslim Atheist Socialist bent on destroying America. This one accused him of removing “In God We Trust” off the coins.


To my friend’s credit, when I pointed out that (a) The coins were introduced in 2007 when George W. Bush was President and (b) The coins do have “In God We Trust” on them, he apologized grudgingly.

But the point of this post is not about the coins. We could discuss whether coins even should say “In God We Trust” on them at all. (For those playing at home, the correct answer is “no.”)

The point is that sometimes we are so anxious to believe something, we accept it without even checking to see if it’s true. (For the record, snopes is once again your friend.)

A few days earlier, a left wing blog posted an article which claims they have proof that the George Zimmerman rescue of some people stuck in a car after an accident was not true. The site claimed a police officer sympathetic to Zimmerman called him when the accident happened and told him to show up and pretend to be saving the people. Apparently, he arrived but had little to do with anything, and that’s why the victims of the accident haven’t come forth to thank him or anything.

Is this possible? Is it believable? Sure. It makes more sense to imagine that happening than to assume that he coincidentally just happened to be at the site of the accident only a few weeks after the verdict when he needed to redeem his image among many Americans.

But it’s reported on a site with an agenda; a site that is just as suspect as Fox News should be to everyone else.

When I see this reported on some mainstream, more respectable sites, then I’ll give it some credence, but for now, I am suspicious.

And that’s the lesson for today.

Zimmerman got away with murder

That’s what one the jurors said (the only non-white juror, too — an amazing coincidence, no?)

“I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury. I fought to the end,” she said. “That’s where I felt confused, where if a person kills someone, then you get charged for it. But as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can’t say he’s guilty.”

She apparently felt that after it was all said and done, she was constrained by the limitations of the “Stand Your Ground” law (which, I understand, was originally called the “You’re Allowed To Kill Anyone You Subjectively Feel Threatened By Even If You’re In No Real Danger Law”).

Understanding your ground

Our legal system is the best there is, but it isn’t perfect. Innocent people get found guilty all the time, and guilty people get found not guilty (which, technically, is not the same thing as being found innocent). I’ve won cases I was sure I’d lose and lost cases I was sure I’d win, and sometimes after a verdict both the DA and I scratch our heads and wonder what the jury was thinking.

That’s why I always advise my clients to take deals when they don’t want to gamble with a trial. That’s also the main reason I’m against the death penalty (I don’t believe there should be a 100% irreversible penalty when our system is not 100% perfect).

The Zimmerman trial is the latest example. The verdict doesn’t make sense to me, but hey, sometimes I just scratch my head. For some reason, those jurors were not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. Another jury watching the same trial could have found the exact opposite. That’s how the system works.

As people point out, this case was all about self-defense. I won a huge self-defense case last year, but the laws here in Pennsylvania are different. We don’t have a “stand your ground” law which is popular in those “wild west” types of states that want people to be able to do things that only trained police officers do elsewhere.

Self-defense laws in most states hold that you must retreat from the fight if at all possible and if you do fight back, you cannot give more force back than is necessary. Florida’s law, apparently, is “if someone is giving you some bruises, you can kill them. Especially if they’re armed with skittles.”

I’m not even sure exactly how the prosecution and the judge allowed Zimmerman to use the “stand your ground” defense. Zimmerman was the one stalking Martin, right? He’s the one who started the fight and came to it with a loaded gun. If it hadn’t been for Zimmerman’s aggression, there wouldn’t have been a fight and Martin would still be alive. Martin was the one standing his ground.

But, you know, people are murdered every day. The vast majority of these cases never make the news, and I’m sure there have been some miscarriages of justice in these cases too, hidden from the scrutiny of the press.

The bottom line is this: I’m a defense attorney and I can’t figure this verdict out. I mean, it seemed black and white to me.

Hey! Maybe that’s the reason!