| || |
More about the Trayvon Martin case
July 3, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
There's probably a reason that all defense attorneys tell their clients to keep their mouths shut.
Reading accounts of the George Zimmerman trial in Sanford, Fla., this morning, I see that the prosecution showed the jury a TV interview that Zimmerman gave several months after he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, following a scuffle he claims was started by Martin. Prosecutors contend that he deliberately followed Martin, profiled him as suspicious, and shot him "because he wanted to."
In the TV interview, Zimmerman said he had never heard of Florida's Stand Your Ground law until after he shot Martin. Today the prosecution put one of Zimmerman's college professors on the stand, who said Zimmerman got an A in his class and knew all about Florida's self defense and Stand Your Ground law before the shooting. Had the shooting never happened, Zimmerman would have graduated in the spring of 2012 and hoped to become a police officer himself.
I don't know that Zimmerman's obvious poor judgement, his interest in the law or even his allegedly fibbing to a TV reporter necessarily adds up to a guilty verdict. I, too, know a fair amount about the law and at one point considered becoming a lawyer. I have read North Dakota's Century Code and State and U.S. Supreme Court decisions, as well as various legal blogs. I know it is a very bad idea to talk to the police, even if you're innocent, without a lawyer being present. I suspect all of that knowledge would fly straight out of my ears if I were ever in the situation Zimmerman was in that night in February 2012. Yesterday his friend testified that Zimmerman was stunned and wide-eyed when he picked him up from the police station. The police officer who interviewed him soon after the shooting testified that Zimmerman, a Catholic, told her that that killing people is always a sin. He was surprised and upset that Martin had died. I'm not sure that a man who was in shock was capable of a convincing fabrication.
What's interesting at this point is the way social media is being used in this trial, for good or for ill. Every time a witness appears, people give instant (often unflattering) feedback on Twitter and on various blogs. The defense attorney's daughter posted an Instagram photo of her and her father eating vanilla ice cream. The caption read "We beat stupidity celebration cones." The prosecution, apparently believing that the defense attorney can control his daughter's exercise of her right to freedom of speech, is demanding an investigation. Angry supporters of the Martin family have tweeted death threats to Zimmerman if he is acquitted. If the NSA is really watching us all, as Edward Snowden (currently in hiding) has said, then none of these people seem overly concerned.
What would have been good advice to Zimmerman is also good advice to Molly West and to the scores of blabbermouths threatening violence on Twitter: when in doubt, shut up.
Post a Comment
News, Blogs & Events Web