Remember what I said about involuntary manslaughter requiring another crime, which resulted in the death? This is their attempt to add another crime. Without it, they can't get involuntary manslaughter, or third degree manslaughter, so they are doing a hail Mary play in the hopes that the jurors will buy off on it. This means that the prosecution is concerned that they cannot get a conviction for manslaughter, so they are padding the charge to make involuntary manslaughter a possible verdict, but they are playing with fire. The only way that this works is if the jurors see Trayvon as a child, and there's no way that this could be the case. Calling Trayvon Martin a child, after the jury had seen his 18-year-old girlfriend, heard his criminal record, learned of his drug use and seen the evidence of his assault against Zimmerman, is absurd. It's like saying that the Menendez boys should get leniency because they are orphans. It's an attempt to obscure the central fact of the case, which is that Zimmerman was defending himself against an assault which was inflicting grievious bodily harm, and which was likely to be fatal if not stopped. Not that it matters, as the judge disallowed it. The jury's options are limited to murder, manslaughter or acquittal.
Originally Posted by Meshuga Mikey
It does, and don't call me "Shirley." The judge disallowed it and instructed the jury that it was not one of the charges. However, the prosecution is desperate. Their closing argument was completely at odds with the evidence:
Originally Posted by Elspeth
"A teenager is dead. He is dead through no fault of his own," (unless you consider walking back to confront and assault Zimmerman, knocking him over and pummeling him to be "fault")prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda told jurors. "He is dead because a man made assumptions ... Unfortunately because his assumptions were wrong, Trayvon Benjamin Martin no longer walks this earth."(What assumptions? That Martin was on drugs? That he was wandering around, in the rain, late at night, in a neighborhood that had suffered a number of break-ins? That Martin looked and acted suspiciously? That the guy on his chest who was beating him senseless might not have the best intentions towards him?)
De la Rionda told the jury that Zimmerman wanted to be a police officer and that's why he followed Martin through his neighborhood even though the teen wasn't doing anything wrong. (except for that whole being stoned thing)
"He assumed Trayvon Martin was a criminal. That is why we are here," de la Rionda said.(And someone who abuses illegal drugs, carries burglary tools and is caught with stolen jewelry, resulting in school suspensions, is what, exactly?)
Zimmerman showed ill will and hatred when he whispered profanities to a police dispatcher over his cell phone while following Martin, said de la Rionda as he urged jurors to hold Zimmerman accountable for his actions. In order to get a second-degree conviction, prosecutors must show Zimmerman showed ill will, hatred or spite.(He showed that he wanted criminals apprehended, and his "ill-will" consisted of calling the police, while doing the neighborhood watch patrol. If that's "ill-will" then anything that doesn't involve hearts, flowers and unicorns can be construed as ill-will)
"The law doesn't allow people to take the law into their own hands," de la Rionda said.(One would hope that knocking people over and pummeling them would be frowned upon, as well)
De la Rionda dismissed defense claims that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, accusing the neighborhood watch volunteer of lying about what happened. The prosecutor also showed jurors a headshot photo of Martin taken from his autopsy. Jurors trained their eyes on de la Rionda, barely taking notes.(The evidence would imply that it was Zimmerman who was telling the truth, and that the prosecution is lying, but what's a little evidence in the face of a perfectly good narrative?)
I'm not sure that this is a bad thing. I think that the prosecution just blatantly overreached.
Originally Posted by Bailey