Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

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Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby Law of Self Defense » Tue 11 Jun 2013 5:51 am

Hey folks,

I just wanted to drop a note to let you know I'm covering the George Zimmerman trial down in Florida for one of the internet's largest legal blogs, Legal Insurrection.

Some of you may know me as a lawyer with a practice specializing in the law of self defense, others as that guy who shoots the IDPA matches wearing a suit jacket along with his cargo pants.

In any case, if you're tired of the incredibly biased mainstream media coverage (or should I call it mis-coverage) of the Zimmerman case, consider taking a look at my coverage of the trial and analysis of the legal issues, all from the perspective of a gun guy who has CCW'd every day of his adult life.

It is, of course, all entirely free, and Legal Insurrection doesn't sell anything.

Past coverage (up through last night's daily wrap-up post) can be found here: http://bit.ly/15KXK1a

Today's live coverage will be added to that list when Court goes into session at 9AM.

Thanks for your consideration!

Andrew
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This message does NOT constitute legal advice, and does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship/confidentiality.
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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby owtlaw » Tue 11 Jun 2013 6:37 am

Good work! Thanks
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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby Car Knocker » Tue 11 Jun 2013 7:36 am

I made this topic a "sticky" to keep it at the top of the forum and will keep it here until discussion dies down after the trial.
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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby gravedancer » Wed 19 Jun 2013 8:24 pm

Some good stuff today on jury selection from legal insurrection. This is from the prosecutions "questioning" (aka conditioning) of the 40 man jury pool that made it through the first round of cut-downs:

http://legalinsurrection.com/author/law ... f-defense/

State’s “Questioning” Involved Relatively Few Actual Questions, Many Suggestions

After the lunch recess, things became somewhat more interesting, however–and, perhaps revealing of the State’s trial strategy. I’ve included a great many details of the afternoon questions below, to enable the reader to gain a sense of the flavor of the questioning, such as it was, and the temperament of some of the individual prospective jurors.

There was, however, an unavoidable overall impression that emerged for the afternoon questioning, driven perhaps by the very large proportion of the time that de la Rionda spent speaking (sometimes asking questions, other time extemporizing), and how little of the time was taken up by the prospective jurors answering questions.
Last edited by gravedancer on Thu 20 Jun 2013 7:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby Daeyel » Wed 19 Jun 2013 10:04 pm

Posting a brief summary is ok, but to post at length like this robs the website of much needed hits, which generate advertising dollars. It is also a clear violation of any fair use agreements or clauses in copyright law.

What it means: No advertising money means next time, there WON'T be a gun friendly reporter from Boston covering the trial.
It also exposes the site and poster to copyright infringement. I remember reading a blog, and in the comments someone reporteded such and such website had reposted the blog without permission, and the blog writer mentioned that was another $1500 after her lawyer issued a letter. Its a real and common threat. Here is how one website had to pay for such a copyright violation: http://blog.webcopyplus.com/2011/02/14/legal-lesson-learned-copywriter-pays-4000-for-10-photo/

in short, Mods, if the OP will not reduce this to a 5 line summary and paste a link, I urge you to delete the body.

Thank you.
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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby gravedancer » Thu 20 Jun 2013 12:50 pm

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/20/justice/f ... index.html

Jury has been seated. All 6 primary jurors are women. 8 out of 10 total jurors (6 primary and 2/4 alternates) are women, and 9 out of 10 total (5 primary and all 4 alternates) are white. The one non-white is hispanic. I give it 48 hours before Al sharpton and Jesse Jackson are crying foul at no black people being on the jury to represent poor innocent trayvon.
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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby gravedancer » Thu 20 Jun 2013 12:57 pm

Its interesting that the defense finally started to get a little love from the Judge during jury selection. The prosecution seemed to be on a deliberate campaign to strike as many white women from the jury as possible, but the defense challenged it after several in a row got struck, and the Judge denied 2/4 of the states dismissals.
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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby owtlaw » Thu 20 Jun 2013 2:52 pm

I always thought a jury was to be comprised of 12 jurors? What gives?
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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby gravedancer » Thu 20 Jun 2013 4:19 pm

owtlaw wrote:I always thought a jury was to be comprised of 12 jurors? What gives?


Florida law only requires that in capital cases, apparently. I guess since Zimmerman is charged with 2nd degree murder he cant get the death penalty ? I dont know. I think the original article from last week said something about why it was only 6
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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby Daeyel » Thu 20 Jun 2013 7:48 pm

Thanks for chopping it, gravedancer.

Florida law allows for 6 man juries. First degree murder cases call for a 12 man jury. 6 are more likely to agree than 12. It would be interesting to compare the overall Florida conviction rate with 6 jurors opposed to states who use 12. I venture Florida has a higher successful prosecution rate.

This article indicates that Florida's 6 member juries have one of the highest rates of wrongful conviction in the US.

[...]there is plenty of modern research showing that a six-member jury is fundamentally different — less deliberative, more subject to peer pressure, less diverse.

"Twelve jurors deliberate longer," Tampa Bay public defender Alisa Smith said. "They have better recall. There are six more sets of ears listening. If you're in the minority, you're more likely to have another person who agrees with you."
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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby brainoncapitalist » Fri 21 Jun 2013 11:20 am

Daeyel wrote:Posting a brief summary is ok, but to post at length like this robs the website of much needed hits, which generate advertising dollars. It is also a clear violation of any fair use agreements or clauses in copyright law.

What it means: No advertising money means next time, there WON'T be a gun friendly reporter from Boston covering the trial.
It also exposes the site and poster to copyright infringement. I remember reading a blog, and in the comments someone reporteded such and such website had reposted the blog without permission, and the blog writer mentioned that was another $1500 after her lawyer issued a letter. Its a real and common threat. Here is how one website had to pay for such a copyright violation: http://blog.webcopyplus.com/2011/02/14/legal-lesson-learned-copywriter-pays-4000-for-10-photo/

in short, Mods, if the OP will not reduce this to a 5 line summary and paste a link, I urge you to delete the body.

Thank you.


Thanks for pointing this out Daeyel. I have been guilty of posting the entire article and didn't realize that it was a problem. I'll be sure to not do that in the future.
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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby bagpiper » Fri 21 Jun 2013 4:44 pm

Daeyel wrote:
Florida law allows for 6 man juries. First degree murder cases call for a 12 man jury. 6 are more likely to agree than 12. It would be interesting to compare the overall Florida conviction rate with 6 jurors opposed to states who use 12. I venture Florida has a higher successful prosecution rate.

This article indicates that Florida's 6 member juries have one of the highest rates of wrongful conviction in the US.

[...]there is plenty of modern research showing that a six-member jury is fundamentally different — less deliberative, more subject to peer pressure, less diverse.

"Twelve jurors deliberate longer," Tampa Bay public defender Alisa Smith said. "They have better recall. There are six more sets of ears listening. If you're in the minority, you're more likely to have another person who agrees with you."


Years ago I saw an article on jury nullification pointing out the danger of small juries. I would begin to know where to find it today so I'll pass along the main thesis which is that statistically, the odds of getting someone on the jury who fundamentally disagrees with a law--or application of the law to the current case--drops dramatically as juries get smaller.

For example, let's say that 10% of the population is fundamentally opposed to some law. Maybe it is capital punishment, maybe it is some gun control law. In the absence of voir dire that eliminates these people from the jury pool (ie random selection), the odds that any individual juror will NOT be from that 10% of the population is 90%, or 0.9. The odds that the entire jury will be free of such a person is then (0.9)^n where n is the number of jurors. With 6 jurors, the odds that the entire jury is free of anyone who is fundamentally opposed to the law is 0.53. In other words, you've got a roughly 50-50 chance that the jury will have someone on it who fundamentally opposes the law. With a 12 member jury, the odds of not having someone on the jury who opposes the law drops to (0.9)^12 = 0.28. In other words, you've got better than 70% chance that the jury contains someone who fundamentally opposes the law. One person cannot deliver a verdict, but could force a hung jury in criminal cases that require a unanimous verdict.

Clearly this has application beyond jury nullification. What if the 10% (or 20% or maybe 30%) of the population we're hoping to see represented on the jury is not someone fundamentally opposed to the law and willing to nullify, but instead is someone who particularly thoughtful and will carefully examine evidence? Maybe it is that segment of the population that is willing to buck authority we'd like to see represented. Maybe it is gun owners, or even those with licenses to carry firearms. Perhaps it is those who have been crime victims. Maybe, it is men. Assuming about a 50-50 mix of men and women in the general population, odds of a 6 member jury being all women is 2% making this jury rare. Odds of a 12 member jury being all women would drop to 0.02% (2 out of 10,000), making such an jury extraordinarily rare.

Beyond the stats, I can easily believe that the group dynamics are different with a 12 member jury than a 6 member.

I note that Utah law allows for juries smaller than 12 for cases where the charges are less serious. I don't recall the exact numbers or charges.

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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby RustyShackleford » Sat 22 Jun 2013 8:00 am

I'll agree with Charles, and then add my own thoughts:
When you throw into the mix that attorneys for the prosecution and the defense systematically and legally, quiz and then throw out those that do not fit their agenda. You have a jury that is more like minded and are not, for the lack of a better word, "Rebels" or those that would dare question the Court or the laws. They also try to, and do eliminate people they feel 'keep up with current events' (have read or heard about the case). So what you normally have left is a jury of uneducated, MTV, Bachelorette watching dolts. At least that is how the Courts are allowed to narrow down the jury pool. (however if you are smart enough to know about Jury Nullification and the true purpose of "a Jury of your Peers" which Zimmerman and all those accused of a serious crime have a True Right To...You can get on a jury and do your job....I did, twice)
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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby rccooley » Sat 22 Jun 2013 8:08 am

RustyShackleford wrote:I'll agree with Charles, and then add my own thoughts:
When you throw into the mix that attorneys for the prosecution and the defense systematically and legally, quiz and then throw out those that do not fit their agenda. You have a jury that is more like minded and are not, for the lack of a better word, "Rebels" or those that would dare question the Court or the laws. They also try to, and do eliminate people they feel 'keep up with current events' (have read or heard about the case). So what you normally have left is a jury of uneducated, MTV, Bachelorette watching dolts. At least that is how the Courts are allowed to narrow down the jury pool. (however if you are smart enough to know about Jury Nullification and the true purpose of "a Jury of your Peers" which Zimmerman and all those accused of a serious crime have a True Right To...You can get on a jury and do your job....I did, twice)


So what you are saying is that you end up with a jury full of people like this?

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Re: Zimmerman Trial: Tired of media bias? Gun-friendly coverage

Postby David Nelson » Sat 22 Jun 2013 5:49 pm

bagpiper wrote:One person cannot deliver a verdict, but could force a hung jury in criminal cases that require a unanimous verdict.

That is the beauty of the idea behind a fully informed jury. I cringe, however, at being the lone juror who, as a practical matter, almost always guarantees a retrial that the defendant probably can't afford especially with the snowballing costs of the first trial. But, a second chance to prove innocence (or, better, to convince the new jury to fail a unanimous decision as well or, hopefully, acquit the defendant and nullify the law(s) in question is probably an acceptable "plan B" for any defendant.

bagpiper wrote:I note that Utah law allows for juries smaller than 12 for cases where the charges are less serious. I don't recall the exact numbers or charges.

Utah Code Section 78B-1-104 (http://www.le.utah.gov/code/TITLE78B/ht ... 010400.htm) provides that:

(1) A trial jury consists of:
(a) 12 persons in a capital case;
(b) eight persons in a noncapital first degree felony aggravated murder or other criminal case which carries a term of incarceration of more than one year as a possible sentence for the most serious offense charged;
(c) six persons in a criminal case which carries a term of incarceration of more than six months but not more than one year as a possible sentence for the most serious offense charged;
(d) four persons in a criminal case which carries a term of incarceration of six months or less as a possible sentence for the most serious offense charged; and
(e) eight persons in a civil case at law except that the jury shall be four persons in a civil case for damages of less than $20,000, exclusive of costs, interest, and attorney fees.
(2) Except in the trial of a capital felony, the parties may stipulate upon the record to a jury of a lesser number than established by this section.
(3) (a) The verdict in a criminal case shall be unanimous.
(b) The verdict in a civil case shall be by not less than three-fourths of the jurors.
(4) There is no jury in the trial of small claims cases.
(5) There is no jury in the adjudication of a minor charged with what would constitute a crime if committed by an adult.

If the statistical probability of mistaken jury conviction is too high for six jurors, imagine what it is for four jurors.
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