Lion of the Blogosphere

The Zimmerman jury instructions

These are the actual jury instructions.

On “JUSTIFIABLE USE OF DEADLY FORCE”

An issue in this case is whether George Zimmerman acted in self-defense. It is a defense to the crime of Second Degree Murder, and the lesser included offense of Manslaughter, if the death of Trayvon Martin resulted from the justifiable use of deadly force.

“Deadly force” means force likely to cause death or great bodily harm.

A person is justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself.

In deciding whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real.

If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

In considering the issue of self-defense, you may take into account the relative physical abilities and capacities of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.

If in your consideration of the issue of self-defense you have a reasonable doubt on the question of whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you should find George Zimmerman not guilty.

However, if from the evidence you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman was not justified in the use of deadly force, you should find him guilty if all the elements of the charge have been proved.

On “PLEA OF NOT GUILTY; REASONABLE DOUBT; AND BURDEN OF PROOF”

George Zimmerman has entered a plea of not guilty. This means you must presume or believe George Zimmerman is innocent. The presumption stays with George Zimmerman as to each material allegation in the Information through each stage of the trial unless it has been overcome by the evidence to the exclusion of and beyond a reasonable doubt.

To overcome George Zimmerman’s presumption of innocence, the State has the burden of proving the crime with which George Zimmerman is charged was committed and George Zimmerman is the person who committed the crime.

George Zimmerman is not required to present evidence or prove anything.

Whenever the words “reasonable doubt” are used you must consider the following:

A reasonable doubt is not a mere possible doubt, a speculative, imaginary or forced doubt. Such a doubt must not influence you to return a verdict of not guilty if you have an abiding conviction of guilt. On the other hand if, after carefully considering, comparing and weighing all the evidence, there is not an abiding conviction of guilt, or, if having a conviction, it is one which is not stable but one which wavers and vacillates, then the charge is not proved beyond every reasonable doubt and you must find George Zimmerman not guilty because the doubt is reasonable.

It is to the evidence introduced in this trial, and to it alone, that you are to look for that proof.
A reasonable doubt as to the guilt of George Zimmerman may arise from the evidence, conflict in the evidence, or the lack of evidence.

If you have a reasonable doubt, you should find George Zimmerman not guilty. If you have no reasonable doubt, you should find George Zimmerman guilty.

If the jury actually reads and follows these instructions, it’s hard to see how they could find Zimmerman anything other than not guilty.

“George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity” when he was looking around his condo community, nor was it unlawful for him to approach and ask someone he didn’t recognize what he was doing in the community.

The jury “must presume or believe George Zimmerman is innocent,” and given that there’s no good evidence presented by anyone with respect to who started the fight, and there’s ample evidence presented that Zimmerman was losing the fight and that Martin was on top of him and punching him. And no credible evidence presented that it was Martin who was losing the fight.

Of course there have been various fantasy scenarios concocted about how Martin saw Zimmerman and became very scared and ran away from him in fear for his life, and then Zimmerman attacked him because Zimmern is a racist who hates all blacks. But it’s all fantasy with no credible proof. And for that matter, I find it pretty hard to believe that it went down that way. That’s certainly not enough for any reasonable jury to convict someone of murder given the Florida right of self defense, which is why Judge Nelson should have given Zimmerman a directed verdict and not even allowed this case to go to the jury.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Posted in Law

42 Responses

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  1. So Lion, if riots were to break out in NY, which parts would be mostly to explode?

    The Undiscovered Jew

    July 13, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    • Areas where Blacks and Carribean Hispanics sharing border lines with SWPLs. Think of neighborhoods such as lower Harlem, Lower and Upper East Sides, Upper West Side and scatter areas of Brooklyn where Hipsters and Hasidics share living space with non-Asian minorities.

      Think of Columbia University, an Ivy League institution that borders around disenfranchised Blacks and Hispanics, where it’s ripe for them to unlease their unjustifable anger towards SWPL snobs.

      Think of the Chinatowns or any East Asian person in NYC, as non-Asian minorities have always disliked NE Asians because they come off as pseudo Whites or supporting the White majority.

      JS

      July 13, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      • The gangs that once dominated Chinatown may be diminished, but they haven’t vanished. If any rioters tried to invade Chinatown – which won’t happen because there’ll be no riots, but let’s pretend – they would be in for a very unwelcome surprise.
        Invading a Hasidic ‘hood also wouldn’t turn out well.

        Peter

        ironrailsironweights

        July 13, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      • Who cares about the gangs in Chinatowns; Asian guys are for the most part Beta, and wouldn’t dare mess with people other than their own.

        Riots wouldn’t be in concerted group efforts. There will be sporadic and isolated attacks on Asians, Mestizos, and the SWPLs who live around Blacks.

        I’m thinking the Columbia University Students are watching their backs now, and campus security is on full alert.

        JS

        July 14, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    • Most commentators here would be in awe if Bobos/SWPLs would get a taste of their own medicine, if riots were to break out.

      JS

      July 13, 2013 at 1:15 PM

  2. What percentage of the jury do you think is capable of understanding those instructions?

    reynald

    July 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    • Clearly not quite 100% as they’ve been deliberating far longer than would be expected if they could. I’m expecting a hung jury (which will be good for Zimmerman because a redo of the trial would mean obtaining witnesses to confirm that they believe they received the texts from Trayvon about fighting and wanting people to bleed more.

      massivefocusedinaction

      July 13, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      • I heard that a hung jury is worse than a conviction because the prosecution can tack on a bunch of charges, like those child abuse charged they tried to slip in, to screw over Zimmerman. Plus you have to wonder how long his defense attorneys are willing to stick by him should this go to trial again. West looks like he’s had all he can take at this point. But perhaps it will be a good opportunity for Zimmerman to find a young, studly attorney like Guy to woo over the next set of female jurors.

        AE

        July 13, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    • Assuming an average IQ if 100, no more than a third. That is, I am sure that 100% thinks that they understood it but in reality majority don’t. A mere sentence construction is an impediment.

      md

      July 13, 2013 at 9:25 PM

  3. The judge wants a verdict that is politically correct so she can get promoted. Evidence is overrated.

    cesqy

    July 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM

  4. You are forgetting that one of the goals of the governments pursuit in this trial is to put an end to self-defense in the U.S. and to create a reason to get rid of conceal carry permits, stand your ground laws, self-defense, crime statistics, neighborhood watch, calling 911 to prevent crimes, and armed private security guards.

    For some reason the elites of the U.S. have decide that they will be better off if everyone becomes totally dependent on the government. Of course, they gives the government more power because the government gets decide who to protect and who not to.

    superdestroyer

    July 13, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    • This is a collateral benefit not a goal per se… The personal politics of race In America required the case see a jury, if possible. Why should a public official assume unnecessary accountability when the blame or credit can now safely be placed on a citizen jury?

      Karl

      July 13, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      • I think it is a goal. Now anyone who supports conceal carry, stand your ground, self-defense claims, neighborhood watch, or snitching will be called a racist. Since the crime rate in the U.S. is low relative to the 1970’s and early 1990’s, it gives progressives a great opportunity to push against all of the anti-crime initiatives of the last thirty year. If Zimmerman is convicted of murder, the message will be loud and clear that whites had better not care about crime or they will be called racist and a potential murderer.

        superdestroyer

        July 13, 2013 at 8:07 PM

  5. Has the prosecution even offered a theory as to how the fight started and who started it? I read one commenter refer to their theory as “GZ profiled TM, yada yada yada, GZ shot TM”.

    I haven’t been watching the trial myself, but is that really the extent of the theory they presented for what actually happened? If so, I think the judge is absolutely wrong not to direct a verdict. At a minimum, the state should tell a complete story as to what happened.

    Steven

    July 13, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    • I believe that in his summation, BLDR tried to speculate that Zimmerman might have circled the complex to cut Trayvon off. Of course, he has no evidence of this.

      AE

      July 13, 2013 at 9:35 PM

  6. Prosecutor Guy is as smarmy as John Edwards. I doubt all 6 female jurors will rigorously evaluate the evidence after that tingling performance.

    Jessica

    July 13, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    • Yes, this is exactly what I was thinking. Zimmerman needed a handsome stud on his team to seal the deal with the female jurors. If Zimmerman is convicted, which I think he will be, it will be because the ladies on the jury don’t want to let their “boyfriend” on the prosecution team down. Just another example of why it pays to look good in this world, even if you have little substance.

      AE

      July 13, 2013 at 2:50 PM

  7. The longer this deliberation goes on, the more I think a hung jury may be the result. Your analysis is of course spot-on, but this trial from front to back has been about emotions, not the law. Obviously at least one of the jurors is letting that emotion instruct their decision.

    As an aside, I was reading last night about the Bolsheviks’ early rule. They invalidated all the laws on the books and instructed judges to rule with a “revolutionary consciousness” instead. We’re not too far behind.

    chucho

    July 13, 2013 at 1:29 PM

  8. @reynald: “What percentage of the jury do you think is capable of understanding those instructions?”

    I was thinking this as well. In my experiences in the work world and in society in general, I believe that most Americans could not comprehend the jury instructions. The jurors might be able to read the words of the jury instructions, but likely none of them understand the sentences and paragraphs.

    E. Rekshun

    July 13, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    • Also remember that the jury was selected specifically for the fact that they were ignorant of a local crime that had made international headlines.

      reynald

      July 13, 2013 at 5:07 PM

  9. One of the alternate jurors, who has since been dismissed, has been been described as a Hispanic male who “participates in arm wrestling tournaments.” Bet you he would have had little sympathy for George the Human Marshmallow.

    ironrailsironweights

    July 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    • Yes, I know, you think that Zimmerman is guilty because he’s fat and weak. That’s not a crime.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 13, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    • He might not have any sympathy for “George the Human Marshmallow” but why would he have any sympathy for Trayvon the Black Thug?

      Joe Walker

      July 13, 2013 at 8:39 PM

  10. @superdestroyer: “You are forgetting that one of the goals of the governments pursuit in this trial is to put an end to self-defense in the U.S. and to create a reason to get rid of conceal carry permits, stand your ground laws…”

    I hadn’t thought about this but, yes, I think you are exactly correct. This is the simplest, underlying reason for State of FL vs. Zimmerman. If FL governor Rick Scott had not appointed a special prosecutor, this case would have died over a year ago and since been long forgotten.

    E. Rekshun

    July 13, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    • What amazes me is how anyone believes that neighborhood watch survives after this. Everyone Homeowners Association or City will not want to take on the legal liability of sponsoring a neighborhood watch. And why call 911 to report something when the call can be used to accuse someone of being a racist.

      What is ironic is the media is sending a clear message that whites should stay away from blacks (do what your told, do not profile, do not follow, do not be a creepy-ass cracker) without think about how whites will interpret the message (blacks are becoming more dangerous to be around).

      superdestroyer

      July 13, 2013 at 2:49 PM

  11. Profile of the jurors:

    http://news.yahoo.com/look-jurors-george-zimmermans-trial-021307807.html

    B-51 is retired, not married and doesn’t have kids. She has lived in Seminole County for nine years. She has worked in real estate and run a call center where she said she had experience resolving conflicts. When asked if Zimmerman did something wrong by following Martin instead of waiting for police, she said: “Yeah, I guess he did do something wrong.”

    ___

    B-29 recently moved to central Florida from Chicago. She enjoys watching the “Real Housewives” on television and works as a nurse on an Alzheimer’s section of a nursing home. She said she hadn’t paid much attention to the shooting. She said she has been arrested, but her case was disposed of. It’s not clear why she was arrested or exactly what happened to her case, though she said she was treated fairly. She is married and has several children. A prosecutor described her as “black or Hispanic” during jury selection.

    ___

    B-76 is a white woman who has lived in central Florida for 18 years. She manages rental properties with her husband of 30 years. She has two adult children, including one who is an attorney. She is involved with rescuing animals in her free time. During jury selection, she said she had been the victim of a nonviolent crime. “Everyone deserves a fair trial,” she said.

    ___

    B-37 is a white woman who volunteers rescuing animals. She is married to an attorney and has two adult children. She said she and her husband used to have concealed weapons permits. During the last round of questioning, she said she had an issue with the type of weapons people are allowed to carry. She also thought weapons’ training was inadequate for people seeking permits. “It should become harder,” she said.

    ___

    E-6 is a white woman who is married and has two children. She has worked in financial services and has lived in Seminole County for two years. She is active in her church and involved with her children’s school. During jury selection, she said she didn’t know the facts of the case well.

    ___

    E-40 is a white woman who works as a safety officer and recently moved to Seminole County from Iowa. She describes herself as a football fan. During jury selection, she said she had been the victim of a nonviolent crime.

    B-76, E-6, and E-40 are almost assuredly voting not-guilty. B-51 and B-29 are probably wanting to go for manslaughter. B-37, the one who had a CCW, may have initially sided with manslaughter, but of the other three, she will be the easiest one to convince for a not-guilty verdict.

    Bilbo Baggins

    July 13, 2013 at 3:39 PM

  12. The prosecution has set up manslaughter as a “reasonable” compromise. These middle aged white ladies, who probably have ALL seen “The Help”, are dying to display cosmopolitan bona fides and atone for the sins of the White Man.

    I say a conviction for manslaughter.

    SPWL2

    July 13, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    • I agreed with your take, here. I thought that manslaughter would be the likeliest outcome… Shocked at the news of the acquittal, frankly.

      Karl

      July 13, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    • Nope.

      Carl

      July 13, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    • I stand corrected! Really surprised at the verdict. I’m relieved as I was horrified at the special prosecutor’s zeal for a take down of Zimmerman. Make no mistake, this is still a heartbreaking story.

      However, I applaud the jury for looking at facts and applying the law. I misjudged the them as a bunch of slits who would vote with the p.c. line.

      Now….what the heck is next?

      SPWL2

      July 13, 2013 at 11:41 PM

  13. So many SWPLs wanting to see a not too bright hispanic prole go to jail makes me sick.

    Don’t expect the law would be kind to a handsome looking SWPL the next time.

    colmainen

    July 13, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    • “not too bright hispanic”

      My impression is that zimmerman is of somewhat above average intelligence. Not a genius or anything but above average. His written statement from the night of the shooting was highly articulate and grammatical, which is remarkable given that he had six fresh head injuries and should have been in an MRI machine at that moment.

      He is soft spoken and a bit weird & depressed which might make him seem slow.

      But yes it’s amazing how the SWPLs wanted to lynch the fat hispanic at any cost.

      islandmommy

      July 14, 2013 at 12:04 AM

      • Yes, I was surprised when his old professor said that Zimmerman was one of the brightest students in the class. Though it’s not that hard to be the smartest kid in community college. However, one of his friends described him as being “smart” too. It’s definitely hard to assess his intelligence from his demeanor and some of the choices he made following the incident.

        AE

        July 14, 2013 at 6:56 AM

  14. Guess he is not guilty!

    de Broglie

    July 13, 2013 at 10:02 PM

  15. Not guilty!

    Michael

    July 13, 2013 at 10:06 PM

  16. Innocent!

    XVO

    July 13, 2013 at 10:14 PM

  17. I see White Hispanics can get justice in America.

    Most likely the Zimmerman trial will be the last appearance of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence in a serious trial. Soon trials will be conducted according to the standard of Social Justice jurisprudence, with the proper weight given the race, class, and gender of the plaintiff and defendant until the adversary system of justice itself is discarded in favor of magistrates of social justice who have the power to investigate and punish crime.

    ErisGuy

    July 13, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    • Sadly, this trial foreshadows the future. I’m afraid that you are right.

      AE

      July 14, 2013 at 6:57 AM

      • Idiocracy…coming to a country near you.

        L

        July 14, 2013 at 11:16 PM

  18. Not guilty

    Jj

    July 13, 2013 at 10:38 PM

  19. Dante's Inferno

    July 13, 2013 at 11:21 PM

  20. Zimmerman found not guilty.

    9mm

    July 13, 2013 at 11:22 PM


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