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Old 06-26-2013, 03:08 PM   #50
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Wilson, NC
Posts: 8,253


Originally Posted by houghtam View Post
State of mind is actually very important in FL 2nd degree murder law.
Yeah, that's the problem.... The state was stupid to call these witnesses yesterday. They have totally ****ed up the case.

It was pretty clear from O’Brien’s tone and manner that Zimmerman did not rank high among his most favorite people. He emphasized that Zimmerman had taken the lead on starting the NWP program without much, if any, involvement by the HOA (although the HOA did not prohibit the program, and did become involved in its implementation). The State’s line of questions sought to emphasize Zimmerman as a kind of “loose cannon” who had launched the NWP program on his own, with little neighborhood involvement, almost as a kind of private police force.

Then this witness started off the rails of the State’s theory of the case.

When the community was having problems with people disobeying the HOA’s parking rules, he’d asked for help in setting up a parking committee for enforcement. Who stepped up and volunteered to help on this when few others did? George Zimmerman.

He also recounted an interesting story about a particular robbery in the community. What made this burglary memorable to O’Brien was that he had actually gotten into a conversation with the soon-to-be-burglar only a short time before the crime occurred. The burglar–whom O’Brien described as a 17-year-old black man–chatted with O’Brien a while, and later was seen by some nearby construction workers leaving a townhouse later discovered to have been burgled.

A few days later, these same workers observed the same 17-year-old black man wandering through Twin Lakes again. They contacted the police, and the burglar was successfully arrested.

Then he made an astonishing statement, given that he was a State witness and given the State’s theory of the case.

The arrest was made possible, he said, because the construction workers followed the suspicious person from a distance. O’Brien was, he said, so pleased with the successful arrest that he had sent the workers a letter of commendation from the HOA.

When asked by West if the NWP gave lessons in the law to participants, Dorival said they did not, they mostly told people not to confront anyone or follow anyone.

West focused in on that comment, asking, “when you say the shouldn’t follow someone, you’re not saying that if you see someone suspicious that you can’t follow at a distance to gather information, are you? You don’t tell people that they can’t follow someone from a distance, do you?”

“That’s right,” Dorival agreed, she was not saying that, but rather that it was not a good idea to engage someone.

West continued, asking, “and when you say on your slide that the NWP participants are not intended to be some kind of vigilante police, you’re not saying that if they are attacked they’re not allowed to defend themselves, are you?”

Of course not, Dorival replied.

Do you talk with them about firearms specifically, West asked?

No, it’s not my place to tell participants not to carry a gun, that’s their right.

West then explored some hypothetical situations and asked her if they were the types of scenarios in which she would advise a NWP participant to report suspicious behavior to the police. He then went on to describe precisely the behavior in which Trayvon Martin had been engaged–wandering aimlessly in the rain, looking into buildings, walking outside of normal paths in areas one would not normally expect a person to walk. Oh, definitely, answered Dorival, that’s exactly the kind of behavior we encourage NWP participants to report to the police.
The defense couldn't have asked for better witnesses as to GZ state of mind.
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