Zimmerman's Magic Bullet

Ben Cohen
The prosecution of George Zimmerman will certainly go down as one of the more bizarre moments in America's legal history. Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda and John Guy have attempted to convince jurors that George Zimmerman pinned Trayvon Martin to the ground and shot him in the chest, while Martin screamed for help. As those of us who have followed this case from the beginning know, Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman, and Zimmerman was screaming for help. The physical evidence and eyewitness testimony is so overwhelming that the state's own investigator stated matter-of-factly that it was George Zimmerman screaming for help on the 9-11 call. Yet, Bernie de la Rionda seems hell bent on selling a completely fabricated "theory of the case."

The first significant witness called by the prosecution was Jane Surdyka, who told the jurors that she was sure it was the boy screaming for help before he got shot. She also testified that after the shot was fired the man in dark clothing got up and started walking around. Jeannee Manalothan testified that she saw a bigger man on top of a smaller man in her backyard, and after watching the news she concluded that the bigger man was George Zimmerman. The prosecution's decision to charge Zimmerman with second degree murder, indicates they "believe" George Zimmerman got on top of Trayvon Martin and shot him in the chest out of hate, spite, or ill will. While some people truly believe this is what happened, I doubt the prosecutors, after combing over the evidence believed this.

Immediately following Manalo's testimony her husband testified that George Zimmerman looked like he "had gotten his butt beat." Followed by a procession of eyewitnesses, chief among them Jonathan Good, who corroborated Zimmerman's story. All of the officers observed and testified to Zimmerman's injuries and the grass stains on his back. And Jonathan Good, the only witness with a clear view of the incident, saw Trayvon Martin straddling Zimmerman and moving his arms in a downward motion (probably swinging).Trayvon Martin was shot in the chest, his body was found lying face down; unless Zimmerman flipped Trayvon Martin's body over just prior to being confronted by Jonathan Manalo, the prosecution's theory of the case is physically impossible.

None of this would be news to De la Rionda, who combed over the eyewitness statements to police, photographs of Zimmerman's injuries, and even deposed each of these witnesses himself. Either the prosecution is delusional or they are deliberately misleading a jury as to basic facts in this case, and I highly doubt the prosecutors suffer from delusions. Misleading a jury about basic facts in a case may not meet the legal definition of perjury, but it's grossly unethical. Virtually all of the evidence presented so far supports Zimmerman's version of events, or is at least consistent with it.

It should be clear at this point that we are witnessing the collapse of a politically-motivated prosecution. Even if Zimmerman is acquitted, this case has already damaged the integrity of our judicial process. The Florida State's attorney's office demonstrated that they do not have the backbone to make unpopular decisions. Whatever else may come, the integrity of American institutions has eroded a little more.

For those not following the case all the relevant information can be found at these links:

Video of trial -- http://www.youtube.com/user/thecount/videos

Key documents -- http://trayvon.axiomamnesia.com/

The prosecution of George Zimmerman will certainly go down as one of the more bizarre moments in America's legal history. Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda and John Guy have attempted to convince jurors that George Zimmerman pinned Trayvon Martin to the ground and shot him in the chest, while Martin screamed for help. As those of us who have followed this case from the beginning know, Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman, and Zimmerman was screaming for help. The physical evidence and eyewitness testimony is so overwhelming that the state's own investigator stated matter-of-factly that it was George Zimmerman screaming for help on the 9-11 call. Yet, Bernie de la Rionda seems hell bent on selling a completely fabricated "theory of the case."

The first significant witness called by the prosecution was Jane Surdyka, who told the jurors that she was sure it was the boy screaming for help before he got shot. She also testified that after the shot was fired the man in dark clothing got up and started walking around. Jeannee Manalothan testified that she saw a bigger man on top of a smaller man in her backyard, and after watching the news she concluded that the bigger man was George Zimmerman. The prosecution's decision to charge Zimmerman with second degree murder, indicates they "believe" George Zimmerman got on top of Trayvon Martin and shot him in the chest out of hate, spite, or ill will. While some people truly believe this is what happened, I doubt the prosecutors, after combing over the evidence believed this.

Immediately following Manalo's testimony her husband testified that George Zimmerman looked like he "had gotten his butt beat." Followed by a procession of eyewitnesses, chief among them Jonathan Good, who corroborated Zimmerman's story. All of the officers observed and testified to Zimmerman's injuries and the grass stains on his back. And Jonathan Good, the only witness with a clear view of the incident, saw Trayvon Martin straddling Zimmerman and moving his arms in a downward motion (probably swinging).Trayvon Martin was shot in the chest, his body was found lying face down; unless Zimmerman flipped Trayvon Martin's body over just prior to being confronted by Jonathan Manalo, the prosecution's theory of the case is physically impossible.

None of this would be news to De la Rionda, who combed over the eyewitness statements to police, photographs of Zimmerman's injuries, and even deposed each of these witnesses himself. Either the prosecution is delusional or they are deliberately misleading a jury as to basic facts in this case, and I highly doubt the prosecutors suffer from delusions. Misleading a jury about basic facts in a case may not meet the legal definition of perjury, but it's grossly unethical. Virtually all of the evidence presented so far supports Zimmerman's version of events, or is at least consistent with it.

It should be clear at this point that we are witnessing the collapse of a politically-motivated prosecution. Even if Zimmerman is acquitted, this case has already damaged the integrity of our judicial process. The Florida State's attorney's office demonstrated that they do not have the backbone to make unpopular decisions. Whatever else may come, the integrity of American institutions has eroded a little more.

For those not following the case all the relevant information can be found at these links:

Video of trial -- http://www.youtube.com/user/thecount/videos

Key documents -- http://trayvon.axiomamnesia.com/