Every time I have been called to the courthouse for jury duty I have been released, only a couple of times making it so far as the venire, or jury pool in a particular case, but asked few questions and informed I was not wanted. Lawyers have to explain to venire persons time and again that just because the attorneys, or one of them, feel the person would not make a "good" juror in that particular case does not mean they would not be a "good" juror in some other case. Illustrations often include such things as saying that the defendant is employed as a telephone salesperson and if the venire, like the defense lawyer, dislikes being interrupted for telephone solitications, then they, both the lawyer and the venireperson, probably would not make a "good" juror in that particular case.
Attorneys also tell the venire that they are "not trying to pry into your personal life," though they cannot honestly tell them they will not pry into their opinions. However, when they do this, lawyers find ways of framing their questions designed to coax from the potential juror their "feelings" about this or that, their "thinking on it," &c., hoping to embarrass no one but at the same time seeking a rather candid answer that reveals biases or prejudices. Wisely, in the George Zimmerman trial now entering the defense presentation in Florida, the jurors were all questioned individually outside the presence of the other members of the venire. This is a greater guarantee of honest responses, free of intimidation or peer group influences. Had I been among those on the venire, sworn to speak the truth, I probably would not have made it out of this preliminary interrogation.
When I learned that Zimmerman was planning on relying on the defense of self-defense based upon Florida's stand-your-ground law (itself very problematic for me), I thought, He's got to be kidding! That was because I had heard his 911 call with its crypto-racist remarks and his refusal to do what the dispatcher told him when Zimmerman said "Yeah" in response to the question, "You're not following him are you?" Zimmerman became the stalker and aggressor. To me, this is manslaughter at a minimum. Although I rather doubt the prosecution can hang a murder conviction on Zimmerman, the jury's failure to return a guilty verdict on the lesser included offense of manslaughter will be very troubling.
Lest it be said that because I would be reluctant to vote for a verdict of murder, I might be a "good" juror for the defense. Not so. There is another reason why I could not hope to be fair and impartial toward Mr. Zimmerman.
The Hannity interview.
Zimmerman went on Hannity, bad enough in and of itself given that jackass of a host, and told the Fox News audience that his shooting of Trayvon Martin's -- the teenager's death -- had been "God's plan."
That's right. God killed Trayvon, not George Zimmerman. But if God had a plan to kill Trayvon Martin, why did God not prevent the killing? If Zimmerman had remained in his car and obeyed the dispatcher, would that have been God's decision? Unwittingly, Zimmerman became on the Hannity show an object lesson in the truth of Epicurius's observation that God cannot possibly exist if he is anything like he is most often described -- as both good and as omnipotent. God could have kept a 17-year-old boy with a package of Skittles and a can of iced tea alive that night, but he did not. God put a gun into the hand of George Zimmerman and sent him forth to take a human life. This is the God of the Old Testament on steroids, slaying indiscriminately for reasons that cannot often if ever be described as "good."
No, I did not belong on George Zimmerman's jury. And I am glad I do not live in that county in Florida, for if I did, and if called to a venire, I would not be remotely tempted to fake an open mind in order to get on Zimmerman's jury. Nothing I have heard so far suggests to me that this defendant is a scoundrel and should be punished.
Yes, any hold-out(s) would result in a complete waste of two weeks' courtroom trial time, worth many thousands of dollars in taxpayers' money. Actually, if I were on Zimmers' jury and the trial was taking place in Texas rather than Florida, I think all of us would vote for manslaughter and not lose any sleep. Why? Because the Texas manslaughter statute is simple: if you recklessly cause a person's death, you are guilty. The way the Florida statute is written, it makes no sense and one juror has indicated she plans a book titled "No Choice." This is why the jurors could not look at Zimmers when the verdict was read. They know he is guilty of something, just not the crimes they could pin on him.
James, you wrote,
"Nothing I have heard so far suggests to me that this defendant is a scoundrel and should be punished."
I don't watch TV, nor do I follow these kinds of stories. I did not see Zimmerman's interview in which you report he said, "his shooting of Trayvon Martin's -- the teenager's death -- had been 'God's plan'."
I don't know what word I would use for such a statement; at best it means he was hearing voices and therefore mentally ill and needs to be denied use of a gun; at worst it means he is simply a vicious bigot and needs to be held accountable.
To get away with murder by claiming he knew god's plan leaves me with deep feelings of disgust. Here, again, I expect the religious community will not stand against such insanity. They remain silent in cases of child abuse and family violence, why should I expect them to stand up against this monstrous act?
I do not recall saying Zimmers wasn't a scoundrel; if so, what I meant was, "nothing I've heard so far indicates that he is not a scoundrel...."
Now that the verdict is in, Zimmerman, that black cop wanna be who shot and killed young white Trayvon Martin, has been sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter! The jury determined that you cannot bring a pistol to a fistfight and shoot the other party simply because you are losing that fistfight! In fact, he had no right or obligation to even be involved in this incident and should have stayed in his car!
OH, WAIT! I got the races confused here! One thing is for sure though. For the rest of Z man's life he must live in fear that somebody may shoot and kill him because they were "in fear" for their own life. Things will not be easy for this man!
I still want to know why this dipshit couldn't see his way clear to Stay In the F***ING CAR!!!
Wondering how many Florida police departments will offer him a job so he doesn't have to PLAY cop anymore...
Like people, there are different 'cultures' of police departments - I'd bet there are a few out there seeking his service.
There's at least one cop who didn't care much for the verdict and had the cojones to say so publicly.
Thanks Loren, I am reposting on Facebook.
Har har, booklover. Touche'.
I don't expect it, but a responsible religious person would question the role religion, or rather "voices"played in this murder. They indicate Z needs intensive counseling. Why should I expect that when the anti-abortion crowd backs the murderers of abortionists?
@Dennis: That second paragraph is something I have been thinking about a lot since the acquittal. Can you imagine the terror the stupid son of a bitch is going to go through. How many sightings have there been of Casey Anthony? She is a ghost. The only way they got O.J. out of retirement is luring him to Vegas on rumor some butt head was in possession of some football memorabilia, allowing his stupidity and egomania to let him think he could simply break into the hotel suite and take his things back without repercussions; after all, "It's my stuff, right?" Zimmers will have to disguise himself, drop about 100 pounds, and -- irony of ironies!!!, start wearing a hoodie! Yippee! Frankly, I am tempted to say I am glad the jury did NOT convict. In prison, he would have had a private cell and tight security. Now, he has nothing. His ass is mud.