Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category
The George Zimmerman trial is over except the formalities.
The prosecution has rested. And most of the prosecution’s witnesses support Zimmerman’s account of what happened.
We are now hearing from the defense. But this trial is effectively over based on the evidence and witnesses the prosecution put on. Either this is the most inept prosecution of all time, or there was no case and we should not have had a trial.
George Zimmerman’s injuries on his head and face, including a broken nose, clearly show he was beaten by the much-taller Trayvon Martin (6 feet tall vs the 5′ 8″ Zimmerman). There was a four-inch height difference. Trayvon was clearly far more athletic than the short, overweight, out-of-shape Zimmerman.
Jonathon Good — the most credible witness, the witness who saw the most – testified that Martin was on top of Zimmerman raining down blows on Zimmerman.
The fact that the back of Zimmerman’s clothing was wet and had grass stuck to the back of his pants and jacket is strong evidence that Zimmerman was on his back taking a beating.
The prosecution has all but conceded Martin was on top beating Zimmerman.
The prosecution is trying to say that the fact that Zimmerman was not grievously injured suggests he used unreasonable force in response.
But the extent of the injuries has nothing to do with the law concerning self-defense.
The prosecution, of course, knows this. The prosecution is doing all it can to confuse the jury about the law in order to get a false conviction — a tactic by the prosecution that is, at best, immoral, if not illegal.
The law says you have the right to shoot an attacker in self-defense if you reasonably fear you might be killed or suffer grievous bodily harm.
It doesn’t say you have the right to shoot only after you suffer grievous bodily harm. You just need to have a reasonable fear that you might be killed or suffer grievous bodily harm.
If an attacker is on top of you pounding your head on cement, this would certainly qualify, even if you manage to escape grievous bodily harm.
It was only later, after an uproar from national black leaders (Al Sharpton, etc) and the media that a charge of second degree murder was filed.
President Obama even jumped into the case, telling America: “If I Had a Son, He’d Look Like Trayvon”.
When the President of the United States came out against Zimmerman, no doubt the State of Florida felt it had little choice but to move forward with some kind of show trial. Black leaders were also threatening riots if there wasn’t justice for Trayvon.
So now we have this show trial, at enormous cost to taxpayers.
Of course, I don’t know what really happened that night when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. I have seen nothing in the trial so far that disproves anything Zimmerman told police that night.
We have conflicting testimony about whose voice on the 911 call was crying for help. Trayvon’s family says it was Trayvon. Zimmerman’s family says it was George. The guy who actually witnessed the event, Jonathon Good , says it was George.
So we don’t know. No one really knows what happened that night.
The prosecution must prove its case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
This means all six jurors must believe, with near 100 percent certainty, that George Zimmerman hunted down and murdered Trayvon Martin with malice. That’s what a Second Degree Murder conviction requires.
There’s absolutely no evidence of that. Zimmerman fired just one shot. He says he thought he had missed. He says he did not realize Martin was dead until after his arrest.
If Zimmerman had malice toward Trayvon Martin, or toward black people, or if he fired out of some sort of rage or hatred, he likely would have fired more than one shot.
The forensics show that the gun was against the sweatshirt, but not pressed up against the body, that the sweatshirt and the second shirt under the sweatshirt were several inches away from the body — as would happen if Martin were on top of Zimmerman, bending over Zimmerman, raining down blows on Zimmerman and pounding Zimmerman’s head against the cement, just as Zimmerman described.
The prosecution is desperately trying to make the case that Zimmerman was a wannabe cop.
The evidence for this is that he took a criminal justice course several years ago and applied to become a police officer. So the prosecution is twisting what most people would consider to be positives into negatives for Zimmerman.
But what courses he took at a community college and what jobs he applied for are irrelevant. All that matters is what can be proven happened during those few seconds before George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin.
The prosecution is trying to make the case that Zimmerman, because he took this criminal justice course at a community college, understood Florida’s “stand your ground” law and understood what to say to police.
Assuming that’s true (a huge stretch), does this mean we can’t trust the testimony of cops in trials because they know what to say? Does this mean we can’t trust police reports because they know how to tailor their reports to whatever charges they want to prove?
Doesn’t making a point like this undermine the credibility of law enforcement and our entire criminal justice system?
Is the prosecution’s point that those who know the law can’t be trusted to tell the truth . . . because they know the law — and doubly can’t be trusted to tell the truth if they also want to become a cop?
This is an argument so bizarre and illogical I felt like I was watching a riff in a Monty Python movie.
Never mind that this case doesn’t even involve Florida’s “stand your ground” law. Zimmerman is not relying on the “stand your ground” law. He is claiming simple self-defense.
The state’s theory is that George Zimmerman is a wannabe cop who hates black people and who appointed himself vigilante (Charles Bronson-style). The state wants the jury to believes that George Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin and, motivated by racist rage, stalked Martin and gunned him down because Martin was wearing a hoodie.
The evidence for all this is that he took a course on criminal justice and applied to be a cop.
The fact that the prosecution has spent so much time on this point just underscores how flimsy their case against Zimmerman really is.
“Is this really all they have? Is this really their entire case?” I keep asking myself.
I kept waiting for the grand finale, which never happened.
I don’t think the prosecution really even believes its own case.
It’s as if they know they have to come up with something because the politics of this case demands it. So this is the best they can do.
This is a trial that never should have happened.
These prosecutors should all lose their license to practice law for bringing such a frivolous case, at enormous cost to taxpayers. Prosecutors are only supposed to bring cases they know they are near-certain to win. They are only supposed to bring cases where the evidence is overwhelming.
This is why most prosecutors have a 98-100 percent conviction rate. It’s considered a breach of ethics for prosecutors to bring to trial cases they have almost no chance of winning — in this case, zero chance of winning . . . because almost all the evidence the prosecution presented supports Zimmerman’s account of what happened.
The lead detective in the case (a witness for the prosecution) believed Zimmerman told the truth to the police, has still found no evidence to suggest Zimmerman was lying about anything.
Has there ever been a criminal case in history where the lead detective (the man in charge of the investigation for the state) takes the side of the criminal defendant?
Incredibly, that’s what happened here.
The law professor the prosecution put on the stand told the jury the prosecution had misstated the law, and proceeded to give a tutorial on what the law actually is concerning “stand your ground” and “self-defense” – and why Zimmerman appears to have acted in accordance with the law.
The judge should not send this case to the jury. The judge should summarily throw this case out for lack of evidence.
Of course, that won’t happen because this is a political trial.
This trial is happening because President Obama personally weighed in on this case against Zimmerman . . . and because of threats to riot from the black community. This is a trial about “political correctness,” not about what the state can prove happened that night.
George Zimmerman is the target of a modern lynch mob, with Barack Obama (the President of the United States) surreally leading the mob.
So, it’s come to this.
In America today, we really can be tried as a criminal (and potentially jailed for decades) for accidentally running up against “political correctness.”
This jerk pastor should be arrested for threatening and inciting violence against the President of the United States. A few years time in a federal pen might sober him up.
SMOKING GUN: The Florida pastor who ignited an international furor by threatening to burn a pile of Korans has applied his subtle touch to the 2012 presidential campaign by constructing a gallows from which a likeness of President Barack Obama now hangs in effigy.
The display in the front yard of Terry Jones’s Dove World Outreach Center (DWOC) in Gainesville features a dummy wearing an Obama mask hanging from a yellow noose. Along with an American flag and a rainbow-striped gay pride flag, the scene includes an Uncle Sam dummy and a child’s doll hanging from the right hand of the Obama figure.
Nearby, the words “Obama is Killing America” are printed on a trailer. So, it appears, the creepy Jones is returning the favor.
Despite the small size of his following, Jones has had an outsized impact due to his inflammatory (and shameless) tactics, which included his 2010 threat to burn Korans on the anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks.
The DWOC has been criticized for cult-like rules detailed in an “Academy Rulebook” prepared by Jones’s wife. Fox example, prospective ministers were directed to cut off most contact with family members. “Family occasions like wedding, funerals or Birthdays are no exception to this rule,” students were warned. “No phone calls. Exceptions can be made under certain circumstances but only after receiving permission.”
Obama uses his pardon power not to correct injustice, but to free drug dealers, thugs, and social menaces
WASHINGTON POST: President Barack Obama on Monday pardoned five people convicted of charges ranging from intent to distribute marijuana to running an illegal gambling business.
And he issued his first commutation, ordering the release of a woman next month after serving 10 years on a 22-year sentence for cocaine distribution.
The actions mark Obama’s third set of pardons. He pardoned eight people earlier this year, and issued nine pardons in December 2010.
None of those pardoned was well-known, as was the case with the president’s previous orders. The cases date back to 1984, when Martin Kaprelian of Park Ridge, Ill., was sentenced to nine years in prison for conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce, and other related charges.
NEW YORK TIMES: The amount of customer money missing from the collapsed trading firm MF Global may be more than $1.2 billion — double previous estimates — the trustee dismantling the firm’s brokerage unit said on Monday.
But the surprise finding, which caught regulators off guard, may be overstated, according to a person briefed on the investigation. Some regulators say they believe that the trustee double-counted $220 million that had been transferred between units of MF Global, this person said.
Still, the much higher number highlights the disarray of MF Global’s records and raises significantly the hurdle for tens of thousands of customers seeking to get their money back. The trustee’s estimate represents a significant portion of customer funds held by MF Global.
Regulators suspect that as investors and customers fled MF Global in the last week of October, the firm used some of the customer money for its own needs — violating Wall Street rules that customers’ money be kept separate from the firm’s funds. Much of that money may never return.
Pretty dumb. Not much of a role model, he.
CBS TAMPA: It only took seven hours — and one tree leap — for Michael Lohan to get arrested again.
Tampa police said Lohan, 51, launched himself into a tree from his third-floor balcony when police came to investigate claims that he violated terms of his release from jail hours before.
Just before 1:00 a.m., Lohan’s girlfriend Kate Major, 28, called police to report he was harassing her with constant phone calls. On Tuesday, Lohan was charged with battering Major, and terms of his release from jail Wednesday included that he stay away.
All right, now I’m not going to think so poorly of Linday any more.
With role models like this, what do you expect?
Of course, she’s going to be massively messed up.
In light of this upbringing, you have to give her credit for getting as far as she did.
Let’s hope she soon wakes up, smells the coffee, and gets her life on track. She is a reasonably decent actress.
A FEW DAYS EARLIER: Lindsay Lohan probation revoked. Back to jail. Gets morgue duty.
ABC LOCAL: Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan was led from the court in handcuffs on Wednesday after a judge revoked her probation.
The 25-year-old is free after posting $100,000 bail, but this could ultimately result in her going back to jail.
Lohan arrived in court for what was supposed to be a routine progress report, but minutes into the court session, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner was not pleased with Lohan’s progress.
“Ms. Lohan’s actions deliberately made it impossible for her to perform her sentence at the downtown Women’s Center. Probation as you know, as the prosecutor knows, and has always been my view, is a gift. And there’s something called looking a gift horse in the mouth,” Sautner said.
Lohan had been ordered to 360 hours of community service at a downtown women’s shelter, and another 120 hours at the county morgue.
It will be real interesting to see how well he gets along with his fellow inmates.
NY DAILY NEWS: A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.
The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.
Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as “flaking,” on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.
“Tavarez was … was worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case,” he recounted at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny.
“I had decided to give him [Tavarez] the drugs to help him out so that he could say he had a buy,” Anderson testified last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
Not exactly a confidence builder. Where’s management? How secure now do you feel about your money in your bank?
REUTERS: Swiss bank UBS said a trader had lost it around $2 billion in unauthorized deals, and police in London arrested 31-year-old Kweku Adoboli in connection with the case.
Adoboli — a director of exchange traded funds and “Delta 1″ working in the bank’s London office, according to his profile on networking site LinkedIn — was arrested on suspicion of fraud, sources told Reuters.
“I can confirm that an employee of the bank was arrested in London in connection with the statement,” a UBS spokesman said.
UBS said it might post a third-quarter loss after the rogue trades, a huge blow as it struggles to rebuild its credibility after years of crises.
FBI raids homes of Solyndra Execs . . . Obama sat in on meetings, touted Solyndra (now bankrupt) as model for Obama’s “green jobs” economy
Where did the $535 million in stimulus money go? Who has it?
The FBI wants to know.
ABC NEWS: Federal agents have expanded their examination of the now-bankrupt California solar power company Solyndra, visiting the homes of the company’s CEO and two of its executives, examining computer files and documents, iWatch News and ABC News have learned.
Agents visited the homes of CEO Brian Harrison and company founder Chris Gronet and a former executive, according to a source who agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity because of the legal sensitivity of the situation.
Gronet, reached at his home Friday morning, did not dispute that his home was visited by federal agents a day earlier.
“I’m sorry,” Gronet said, “you probably understand full well that I cannot comment.” The third executive could not be immediately reached.
FLASHBACK: Watch buffoon Obama praise Solyndra:
QUESTIONS: Is the purpose of the FBI raid to cover up the scandal and bury it? Or will we actually find out what happened to our tax money?
Remember disgraced, disbarred North Carolina District Attorney Mike Nifong? His successor appears to be just as lawless.
NEWS OBSERVER: The final witness in the trial of Frankie Washington was his prosecutor, Tracey Cline.
Cline had pursued charges against Washington for more than four years, accusing the handyman of burglary, robbery, kidnapping, assault and an attempted sex offense in a frightening West Durham home invasion.
At the trial in late February 2007, Cline was in the witness box, an unusual spot for a longtime assistant district attorney. Washington’s attorney, preparing for an appeal, wanted to question her about forensic tests on the evidence – a winter hat, a bandana, a pistol-grip shotgun and a stolen purse.
Crucial testing of the purse and the hat had taken years, delaying Washington’s trial. The attorney, Lawrence Campbell, had complained for years about those delays. Now, he wanted Cline to tell the jury what happened.
Cline repeated what she had told a judge in a previous hearing: The state crime lab was responsible for the long delays.
But records tell a different story. Cline had not submitted the evidence to the lab for more than three years. It was Cline’s job to ensure that the evidence, along with a judge’s order to test it, were sent to the lab.
When the evidence was finally tested, none of it matched Washington.
Update on what Michael Nifong is up to
NEW YORK TIMES: The disgraced former prosecutor who led the debunked Duke lacrosse rape case filed for bankruptcy, citing more than $180 million in liabilities — the majority from the threat of two pending lawsuits. The prosecutor, Michael B. Nifong, reported $243,898 in assets of real and personal property to United States Bankruptcy Court. The filing came the same day that Mr. Nifong and other defendants were required to respond to a sweeping federal lawsuit filed in October by the three exonerated players whom he had falsely accused of rape.