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The URL to this webpage is:

Forensic Psychs Opining Stupidly
on the Zimmerman Case

(Are their comments generally indicative of experts who are expected to gather and analyze information in an unbiased manner, understand the requirements of the law, and opine only about what they know to be a certainty based upon the facts?)  

SUMMARY OF WHAT REALLY HAPPENED (an unprovoked attack on a man Trayvon Martin thought was a homosexual -- "creepy ass-cracker" aka "pervert" -- checking him out).

In answer to my own question, above: I don't think so. It's true that the below came from casual conversation. But it's casual conversation on a professional listserve with regard to a serious legal case. Moreover, one would think that ways of thinking and ostensible training would spill over into "real life" to reduce the making of unwarranted assumptions and spouting of illogical or baseless conclusions. Given that we have complete access to the taped televised trial, including exhibits and arguments outside of the jury, we can use this as an interesting case study of, inter alia, the willingness of forensic psychs to opine even though they have their facts wrong and should know it. (Some of the below posts from the thread are included only for context.)

Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 09:39:09 -0400
From: MM
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

I didn't follow all of the trial, but I wonder why there was no manslaughter conviction if all that was needed was that he put himself in the situation that caused the victim's death and neighborhood "watchers" are instructed not to confront the victim/call the police/wait for them to arrive and he was specifically instructed in this instance not to exit the car/wait.

It would seem that those facts alone would have produced a manslaughter verdict. Did the prosecution throw so much weak evidence at the jury in the pursuit of higher charges that they focused the jury on what was wrong with their case rather than what seems to be directly right? Again, I didn't see it all, so this isn't an opinion, just a question.

    There was no manslaughter conviction because Zimmerman did NOT "put himself in the situation that caused" Trayvon Martin's death. There was no evidence at all that Zimmerman ever "confronted" Martin. Moreover, Zimmerman already was out of his car and was attempting respond to the 911 dispatcher questions regarding where Martin was located when the dispatcher (not "police") asked Zimmerman whether Zimmerman was following him and suggested (not "ordered") "We don't need you to do that", to which Zimmerman replied "Okay". Zimmerman did NOT at any time thereafter "follow" Martin. [Read about the media's irresponsibility in promulgating this myth.] All the evidence brought out at trial regarding what happened thereafter indicated that Trayvon Martin (unseen) subsequently jumped Zimmerman and viciously attacked him.

    (By the way, what is this: "Neighborhood watchers are instructed not to confront the victim".)

Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 10:55:37 -0400
From: MM
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

How did the prosecution witnesses damage their case? If you don't mind - this is a lot of info for a Sunday!

    On balance, the facts elicited from virtually every prosecution witness were consistent with the multiple statements that had been given by Zimmerman indicating self-defense. Why? Because this was a clear-cut case of, not "stand your ground", but common law self-defense, which never should have been charged in the first place. Seminole police and prosecutors found self-defense, and it was the false race-baiting media circus coupled with the inappropriate involvement and opining of Obama that prompted the Florida governor to appoint special prosecutor Angela Corey from another jurisdiction to investigate. Instead of calling a Grand Jury, Corey filed an affidavit of information that omitted exculpatory information and was misleading.

Date: Sunday, July 14, 2013 11:03 AM
From: BB
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

The young lady who might have been worst for Zimmerman - testifying that she heard (on the phone) Trayvon being attacked, was defensive on the stand and admitted having lied several times, in prior statements


    The correct answer is that on balance, the facts elicited from virtually every prosecution witness to the event were consistent with the multiple statements that had been given by Zimmerman indicating self-defense. In that respect, this trial was remarkable in that the prosecution did not put on a "weak case", but put on virtually "no case". The prosecution was unable to provide evidence to prove one single required element of its case beyond that Zimmerman shot his gun and it killed Trayvon Martin. In most criminal trials, it is the defense who keeps attempting to recharacterize hard evidence as possibly consistent with a speculative (but "reasonable") hypothesis (doubt) with regard to what that evidence shows. In this highly unusual trial, it was the prosecutors who posited various speculations (as to which there was no evidence at all). Given that the burden of proof not only was on the State, but that prosecutors know before bringing the case that it has to go beyond "preponderance of the evidence", beyond "clear and convincing evidence", all the way to evidence that proves their case "beyond a reasonable doubt", that this politically-motivated trial took place at all is astonishing.

Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 13:20:41 -0400
From: AU
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

It is dispiriting to see educated persons, professionally involved in the criminal justice system, so readily sidetracked by the media circus and the imperfect mechanics of jurisprudence this case demonstrated; insofar as issues of guilt, innocence, justice or public safety are concerned the trial was a ritualistic sideshow.

The fascination with details and outcomes of this trial may be compelling to legal technicians. Yet regardless of the verdict, a fundamental problem for a multicultural, and economically unbalanced civil society would still exist: i.e., that of armed inadequate personalities compensating for their ineffectuality by acting out their resentments on persons who, by dint of their "otherness", or supposed undeserved advantages, are attractive targets.

Both the shooter and his victim were set up to lose in a society which glorifies machismo, profits from the oversupply of weapons, and misinforms us (via sensationalistic news and entertainment media) about who really runs things and how.

Practically speaking, while this fact may elude people obsessing over the verdict in this case, any reasonably intelligent parent of a black child, particularly a male child, who travels through or resides in predominantly upper middle class neighborhoods is familiar with the dangers of "WALKING WHILE BLACK". Black males in my comfortable suburban area frequently (at least once a week) stopped, questioned, confronted, and occasionally manhandled in such circumstances in my town which is in the Union stronghold of Central NY. The difference is, the Neighborhood Watch up here is apt to be unarmed. This is lucky, because, sometimes, the kid is likely to be annoyed by the harassment and might react undiplomatically or, as he is a kid, immaturely.

Syracuse, NY

    And the above-it-all-generalist-with-an-agenda jumps right into supporting the story promulgated by that "media circus" he pretends to be decrying. Talk about getting it wrong... This case most assuredly did NOT demonstrate the "imperfect mechanics of jurisprudence". A trial was held, and the only possible verdict correctly was reached. And "race" had absolutely nothing to do with any of this. What this case has demonstrated so far, however, is that ignorance and bias and willingness to spout and/or buy into propaganda cross all demographic lines:

    AU insinuates that Trayvon Martin was "profiled" ("walking while black" in an "upper middle class neighborhood"). In fact, had he paid attention to the "details" he disdains, he would know that neither was the case. He also would know that what caused Trayvon Martin's death was that Martin attacked Zimmerman, a triggering event that, it would seem, would be fairly reasonable for parents to advise their kids not to do. Had AU watched the trial, and listened to argument outside of the jury presence, he also would know that Trayvon Martin used drugs and had bragged about his prowess in engaging in other fights. AU also insinuates that Zimmerman stopped, questioned, confronted, or perhaps even manhandled Martin, none of which acts were supported by any evidence in this case. Finally, it is the constant and unnecessary liberal pitypoo race-baiting blather like the above that only furthers faux race issues such as the one that resulted in the trial in this case. That trial wasn't "sideshow" for the man who was attacked without cause and who defended himself.

Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 13:30:55 -0400
From: BB
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

In my small rural town, a 90-something, frail, black male, riding a motorized wheelchair, was just yesterday stopped, questioned, and searched for drugs.


    In sympatico responding to AU, BB -- a Florida psych who likes to opine on law, and has written at least one article I'm aware of analyzing, somewhat incorrectly, HIPAA law -- now chimes in again to add some irrelevant hearsay to the race-baiting by AU. (Is he calling for "profiling" by age or physical fitness instead of race? Does he know that cops can't just stop and search anyone -- white, black, young, old, frail, or not, without probable cause to do so? Or is BB just assuming there was none?)

Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 13:31:58 -0400
From: MM
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

Yes. I was in a waiting room watching her testimony and the woman next to me said, "You can tell a person by their friends - I doubt Zimmerman went after that kid." I asked her how many of her High School friends she was still friends with. It's scares me to think about the real bases for decision making that people use, and how little evidence and logic may matter. At APLS this last spring, one of the presenters discussed her research in which a well reasoned opinion was pitted against a weak one, withmore likeability going to the expert with the less valid opinion - that's the one that swayed the mock jury. Very disturbing. We put so much time and energy into formulating the criteria for valid opinions and conducting FMHAs to abide by them, but in the end, how likeable we are might be more important.

    It totally scares me the real bases for decision-making that forensic psychs use, and how little evidence and logic may matter! One most certainly can draw conclusions "about a man based on the company he keeps". This wasn't a friend of Trayvon Martin from two decades ago.

    Be that as it may, the telephone friend's testimony wasn't discounted because she was a rude, recalcitrant nitwit. In fact that testimony simply provided no information that was inconsistent with the defense's case, so this was not about her stupid demeanor or her admitted multiple prior lies. (But thanks MM for the admission that psychs get swayed by how likeable people are. We already knew that, but honesty is refreshing.)

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 06:04:36 -0400
From: LT
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

Agreed. Not that my nearly 90-year-old mother can be viewed as Everyman, but she believes Zimmerman is guilty because of his flat affect. Upon probing her attribution, she explained that this meant he was not to be trusted because he was controlling/hiding his true thoughts and feelings. She observed that he didn't react to his not guilty verdict. I do believe that jurors may apply this type of "logic" to their decisions.

NJ Psychologist

    Perfect psych shit. Forget the evidence. Decide the case based on psychobabble -- Zimmerman's "flat effect" notwithstanding that Zimmerman neither testified nor exhibited any such "flat effect".

    Translation of this psych's comment: "I think Zimmerman's 'flat effect' indicated guilt, applying my psychpertise, but since I really wouldn't know a "flat effect" if I fell over one, I'll just float my ignoramus hypothesis as the opinion of my 90-year-old mother and see if it flies -- or as a general pop-psych generic juror thing, even though vis a vis the jurors it's so obviously inapplicable in this case because the jurors found Zimmerman not guilty".

    (By the way, the profile of the "average" juror in Florida is: someone who is registered to vote and is probably not a judge, cop, lawyer, currently practicing surgeon, or breastfeeding woman. And Zimmerman did react -- he smiled in obvious relief at the verdict. But there is nothing about winning a Pyrrhic Victory to cheer about, and given the race-baiting crowds out for blood, it's highly likely he was told by his lawyers to remember that Trayvon Martin is still dead, and just sit quietly without expression not only through the trial but also upon a verdict of acquittal.)

Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 10:58:06 -0700
From: JF
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

I routinely see cases where elderly black men are stopped on the street by police and searched for drugs. In more than a handful of these cases, drugs are found in their possession or at least paraphernalia, which I am sure doesn't help. Sometimes, things really are as they appear, unfortunately.

I can appreciate the "media side show" commentary which i think is spot-on. I could vomit at all the uninformed opinions about this case, particularly on social media, e.g., "outrage" and "vindication" alike.

    I share your nausea, JF, at the uninformed opinions. (What's "elderly" in your lexicon?)

Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 13:53:40 -0500
From: JK
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

Well, I would read the statute on manslaughter and then self defense and remember what the witness who was closest said about what she saw. (From the Story quoted above in this thread).

    "Through it all, though, the defense chipped away at the prosecution's case. The resident with the best vantage point of the fight described a "ground and pound" fight, with a person in red or a light color on the bottom. Mr. Zimmerman wore a reddish jacket."

(1) The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification according to the provisions of chapter 776 and in cases in which such killing shall not be excusable homicide or murder, according to the provisions of this chapter, is manslaughter, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.084.

Self defense is an excusable homicide.

Most states have exclusions for using self defense. If I get in a fight in Mo and I am the aggressor then i cannot use Self defense. I can argue self defense if break off and I make that clear. (FL may vary)

In this case there is no evidence that Zimmerman was the aggressor nor is there any evidence that he attacked prior to having his nose broke and head bashed against the sidewalk. He was flat on his back when he fired.

At what point would you allow someone to defend themselves?

    Almost nice, but: the witness who was "closest" was a "he", not a "she"; and the defense didn't really have to "chip away at the prosecution's case" (that phrase is repeatedly parrotted media blather) because the prosecution never had adequate facts to start with -- only innuendo, speculation and hypothesis insufficient to prove guilt in a criminal trial. All the defense had to do was bring in actual evidence. Of note, in this case the prosecution didn't even have preponderance of the evidence. They had nothing, and the trial never should have been held in the first place. That is what makes this trial so charming for the little case study on this web page. The case wasn't a close call, and it couldn't have gone -- by law -- any way other than how it did. Had the jurors wrongly found guilt, it would have been a slam-dunk reversal on appeal. Let's ask outselves why so few ostensibly smart and educated persons who think they belong in the courtroom seem to know that.

Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 17:53:49 -0400
From: AU
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

When they mind their own business and leave the kids alone?

    AU the progressive race-relations reliever pipes up again to the effect that we should "leave alone" -- and not be suspicious of -- "kids" (or 20-somethings because who can tell from a distance) such as those who in fact committed the eight recent prior burglaries in the complex, including one in which the residents were home. Or maybe he is saying that we should just not ever find them suspicious if they are black.

    Never mind that a large portion of crimes, particularly home invasion burglaries, drugs, and violent crimes, are committed by adolescent males under age 18, and that the majority of these crimes are committed by males under age 30. Trayvon Martin not only was near six-feet tall, and athletic, but at age 17 also was old enough to join the military. But perhaps AU is imagining that cute little 12-year-oldish Trayvon picture that the media circulated -- the one taken before he got the gold teeth, before he began bragging about his fighting prowess, before was found in possession of stolen property, before he began using drugs, before he went asking around himself for firearms, before he put pornographic pictures on his cell phone in a hidden double-passworded directory, and before he began calling himself "No Limit Nigga" on his social media pages.

Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 16:24:02 -0400
From: JR
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

Self defense is a complicated issue. Juries sometimes find against the facts for a variety of reasons. In Michigan, if you initiate the confrontation, you may not claim self defense. If you have an avenue of retreat other than on your property or in your home, you cannot claim self defense.

I had a case where a young man (A) was followed by a man in a car (B). "B" got out and chased "A" on foot. "A" on foot, out of breath, stopped, pulled a knife and turned on t"B" who pulled a revolver and shot "A" dead center in the forhead from close range. "B" claimed self defense. There was no doubt in the jury's mind that "A" would have harmed "B" with the knife. The jury found "B" who initiated the chase and shot the young man guilty of second degree murder and he received a 20 yr sentence. The appellate courts upheld the conviction.

There was another case in this same court. "A" standing at a bar when "B" walks in sees "B", pulls a 15 shot semi-automatic pistol, empties the magazine at "A". "A" is shot several times but still alive according to witnesses when "B" reloads another magazine and empties it into "A" at short range and kills "A". "B" claims self defense because of a long standing feud. The jury agrees finds "B" not guilty and one juror reports that because of the standing feud and "A" probably would have done the same to "B".

Self defense is a complicated issue. Juries sometimes find against the facts for a variety of reasons. I believe all the "analysis" that goes into these cases by the media is little more than speculation. I doubt that even the best forensic analysis could isolate the specific causes of the verdict in 12 or in this case 6 jurors.


    Sorry, self-defense is not that complicated of an issue. and the jury here did not "find against the facts". Maybe sometimes they do (OJ Simpson, e.g.), but mostly they don't. Be that as it may, what, pray tell, do these anecdotes from a different state (even assuming the summaries are accurate -- a huge assumption), have to do with the Zimmerman case? Especially the first one, which appears to feed into and enhance false perceptions that in the Zimmerman case there was a "chase". Self defense is not necessarily complicated. Juries (this jury?) only rarely find against the facts. JR posits that even a forensic (!) analysis couldn't isolate the specific "causes" of the verdict in this case. It's always a crapshoot? (Or just the cases you've been involved with, JR?)

    This is nonsense. Sometimes things are indeed simple. The Zimmerman jury found the way it did because that was the only reasonable finding that could be made, given that the prosecution had virtually no evidence. (But thank you JR for confirming that forensic psychs wouldn't be able to figure out whether decisions were appropriate or not based on the facts and rationale for them. Do you opine on ultimate facts in any cases, JR? Do any domestic violence work? Yikes...)

Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 17:24:55 -0400
From: BB
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

I'm probably the last person who should pass judgment, and, I think we should also realize that email lists are VERY susceptible to loss of both direct and meta-communication. IOW, what you hear may not be what I meant. In addition, what I said may not even be what I meant. So I think we should consider what other people say here with a drop of generosity and compassion - it might not truly represent their full understanding of an issue. If you feel personally offended by a person, ask them, backchannel, what they meant by what they said.

BTW, I did not express an opinion on the matter, nor do I have one. I don't feel as though I've watched enough of the testimony to get an adequate sense of the case against him or his defense. I truly don't know if I would have voted G or NG.

I think it will mean something to a few folk, like you Marcia. In terms of a culture-wide resonance, I think it will quickly fade in the background of violence and gun violence that pervades our country.


    Translation: "I don't know anything, so don't hold me to it because I'm not opining, even though I yammered opinions above, but I feel compelled to continue yammering my opinions anyway because I don't know what I'm talking about and I don't want anyone to disagree with me. I think, I think, I meant, I meant, I think, you feel, I don't feel, I don't know, I think, I think..." (Right, sure. Not relaying "opinions".)

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 10:50:03 -0600
From: RM
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

The following statement was issued by Richard Cohen, President and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center, following the verdict in State of Florida v. George Zimmerman:

    07/13/2013 PRESS STATEMENT from the Southern Poverty Law Center in Response to Verdict in State of Florida v. George Zimmerman

    "They always get away." These were the words George Zimmerman uttered as he followed and later shot Trayvon Martin -- words that reflected his belief that Trayvon was one of "them," the kind of person about to get away with something. How ironic these words sound now in light of the jury verdict acquitting Zimmerman.

    Trayvon is dead, and Zimmerman is free. Who was the one who got away?

    Can we respect the jury verdict and still conclude that Zimmerman got away with killing Trayvon? I think so, even if we buy Zimmerman's story that Trayvon attacked him at some point. After all, who was responsible for initiating the tragic chain of events? Who was following whom? Who was carrying a gun? Who ignored the police urging that he stay in his car? Who thought that the other was one of "them," someone about to get away with something?

    The jury has spoken, and we can respect its conclusion that the state did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. But we cannot fail to speak out about the tragedy that occurred in Sanford, Florida, on the night of February 26, 2012.

    Was race at the heart of it? Ask yourself this question: If Zimmerman had seen a white youth walking in the rain that evening, would he have seen him as one of "them," someone about to get away with something?

    We'll never really know, of course. But we can seriously doubt it without assuming that Zimmerman is a racist in the conventional sense of the word.

    Racial bias reverberates in our society like the primordial Big Bang. Jesse Jackson made the point in a dramatic way when he acknowledged that he feels a sense of relief when the footsteps he hears behind him in the dead of night turn out to belong to white feet.

    Social scientists who study our hidden biases make the same point in a more sober way with statistics that demonstrate that we are more likely to associate black people with negative words and imagery than we are white people. It's an association that devalues the humanity of black people, particularly black youth like Trayvon Martin.

    George Zimmerman probably saw race the night of February 26, 2012, just like so many of us probably would have. Had he not, Trayvon probably would be alive today.

    The jury has spoken. Now, we must speak out against the racial bias that still infects our society and distorts our perception of the world. And we must do something about it.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Alabama with offices in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. For more information, see nter-in-response-to-verdict-in-sta#.UeIj4OMEkHw.twitter

Very respectfully,

RM, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist / Certified Neuropsychologist / Forensic Psychology
sent from my iPhone

    Translation: "I know nothing, and don't want you to disagree with me, so I'll just appeal to "authority" and convey my uninformed opinion contributing to the race-baiting via a factually incorrect propaganda piece put out by a political activist organization".

    An activist organization that in recent years has lost more and more credibility The items that are false or misleading in the above press release are colored in blue. Zimmerman did not "follow" Martin at any relevant point in the events. Nor did he utter "they always get away" as he "followed him and later shot him", which implies a continuous ill-will state of mind. There also is absolutely no indication that when Zimmerman first noticed Trayvon Martin and telephoned police, Zimmerman even knew or recognized the race of the teenager. It was only in response to the dispatcher's later direct question asking what race the person was, that Zimmerman said "I think he's black". There is no evidence anywhere that Zimmerman -- who himself is part Hispanic, part Jewish, and part black -- is "racist in the conventional sense of the word" (whatever the hell that is). For a more intelligent discussion of "racial" (or ethnic) bias in society, read "The Economics and Politics of Race: An International Perspective", by Thomas Sowell.

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:26:39 -0400
From: LT
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

People seem so quick to point to race as underlying Zimmerman's statement about "they" who always get away. I wonder how well a different race teenager with a hoodie and tattoos would have fared. "Young punks" might be a more accurate referent. Just a thought.

NJ Psychologist License

    "I wonder how well a different race teenager with a hoodie and tattoos would have fared." Do you really? Perhaps no better than Trayvon Martin did if this hypothetical teenager, instead of just going home like a decent normal person, had circled back, then laid in wait to jump and punch out another person who in fact (not just "legally") was doing nothing wrong but reporting to police that he saw a suspicious stranger who appeared to be loitering and who in fact matched the profile of all of the recent prior burglars in the complex.

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:26:07 -0500
From: KC
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

All of what you say is true, AU, but I am posting on this thread as primarily just another human being with concers about the laws states are coming up with, the racism still obviously still evident in the U.S. Yes, being a young blabk male in this society is dangerous and has gotten more so with all the gun laws in the various states.

KC, Psy.D.

    Never mind that this case in fact had nothing to do with "race". But let's now use this as the opportunity to push our anti-gun advocacy. And never mind that had Zimmerman not had a gun, he might now be maimed or dead himself. This wasn't a lynching. This was self-defense.)

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:32:40 -0500
From: MT
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

So the gun laws in the United States are making it less safe for black men? What gun laws are that?

You live in Illinois, Dr. KC... a state that has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. How's that working for young black men in Chicago?


    Don't expect to get a straight answer to your question, MT...

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 20:59:20 -0500
From: KC
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

Actually what you say is not what I said. Not so simple.

    ...or any answer. Here's another non-answer:

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 18:36:14 +0000
From: "DC
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

Strict is a relative term. From an international perspective, we have no strict gun laws in the U.S.

DC, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Education


    From an international perspective, we also have the Second Amendment. Also the First Amendment, the rest of the Bill of Rights, an unparalleled constitution and justice system and... oh, never mind. Bad America, fie, shame, and how we stink compared with, say, those many terrific countries with near-absolute gun bans and rampant mass killings of the population (and all those great equal rights laws -- not), such as in South America, the Middle East and Africa.

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 17:39:31 -0500
From: KW
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

So, let's all carry guns. Then we can murder any who protest when we decide to harrass them. Make sense? If you're gonna bully, do it right, yes? Take after the govt. (read: police state) as your role model. What frog (read: American populace) notices when you turn up the heat to a boil? Organized and individual anarchy dwelling side by side. What a trip! We'll morph into Egyptians!

Clinical & Forensic Psychologist

    This comment, in the context of this thread, stupidly implicitly assumes and promotes the falsehood that Zimmerman was harassing or bullying Trayvon Martin. KW then compounds the swill by launching into reduc ad absurdum illogic. He just had to opine -- why? (My guess: wanted to jumpstart the anti-gun mobwagon tangent that newly reared with promise to coopt the thread.)

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 17:42:32 -0500
From: MT
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG



    Good response.

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 18:46:40 -0400
From: BB
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

I'm all in - what do you recommend - AK or kalishnakof?


    Another sort of response, indicative of willingness to jump on bandwagons, stir pots, and engage in unthinking group rah-rahism. Let's remember that a law-abiding man was attacked, injured, screaming (and no one came to his direct aid), and fired -once- under circumstances in which a police officer would have emptied his weapon into the assailant.

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 19:04:36 -0400
From: JR
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

A young man visiting an upscale neighborhood walks to the store and while returning, is followed by a man in a car, then the man gets out of his car carrying a pistol and follows the young man. The young man stops and "stands his ground". In all this discussion, I have not heard anything about Trevon Martin having the right to stand his ground.

Two points here.

1. This scenario should be considered evidence to support the idea that there are multiple levels of justice in this country.

2. When two people get into a dispute and "both stand their ground" where is law and order?

    It's hard to know where to begin to address this incredibly ignorant opinion. It wasn't an "upscale neighborhood". It was a lower middle-class community with a diverse ethnic/racial population. (If "upscale" -- read: white -- is the assumption gleaned from "gated community" take note that there are even "gated community" trailer parks in Florida.)

    In addition, contrary to JR's characterization of the events, Trayvon Martin was not merely walking home, as in "on the sidewalk and walking". Zimmerman found him suspicious because Martin was apparently loitering on the grass near residential buildings -- in the dark, on a rainy night, and where persons matching his same description recently had committed burglaries.

    In addition, Zimmerman did not get out of his car "carrying a pistol" (which implies that he was overtly wearing or wielding it), let alone follow Trayvon Martin in that manner -- or, apparently, at all, while on foot.

    In addition, the "stand your ground" law had nothing whatsoever to do with this case, which was common law self-defense. And Trayvon Martin -- an athlete who, according to the sullen nincompoop he was talking with on the cellphone, was "outside his daddy fiance house" -- either somehow couldn't manage in four minutes to traverse a few hundred yards to just go home (assuming he in fact wasn't "outside his daddy fiance house") or else took that four minutes to return from "outside his daddy fiance house" to go back to the "T" area where he attacked Zimmerman. (Rachel Jeantel claims, now enjoying her post-trial media limelight, that Trayvon was "afraid" to go home because he thought Zimmerman was a "rapist". Were there were no locks on the condo door? Or did Trayvon have no access to a phone to call police? Oh wait...)

    There is no evidence whatsoever that Zimmerman ever even got the chance to say anything to Martin before the attack occurred. Contrary to JR's blathering post, all evidence indicated that after Trayvon Martin indicated his own ill-will ("creepy ass cracker following me" in apparent reference to Zimmerman while still in his vehicle), Martin bounded off, then circled back, watched, waited, and finally jumped Zimmerman, whom he proceeded to punch and continue to attack even in the presence of a third party. Moreover, if the trial statements of Rachel Jeantel, the cell-phone woman have any truth, then Trayvon Martin attacked Zimmerman because Martin thought Zimmerman was a gay man scoping him. "Creepy ass-cracker" isn't a racial slur, but an anti-homosexual slur.

    Trayvon Martin bought Skittles and iced tea to make purple drank, and a blunt for smoking pot -- not a little 
kid innocent trip to the convenience store Trayvon Martin attacked George Zimmerman unprovoked because when Martin saw Zimmerman slow down in his vehicle, then pull ahead of him and park at the clubhouse, Martin "profiled" Zimmerman as a gay man, i.e. an "ass-cracker", who was checking him out, perhaps to pick him up, and Martin thought that he'd give that ass-cracker (or ass cracka) a good whupping. The media, hell-bent on its racial story, ignores this. "Cracker" does not refer here merely to "a white man" -- with "creepy ass" being some kind of modifier. The noun is "ass-cracker", and facile liar Jeantel testified in court that it meant "pervert", although post-trial (e.g. Piers Morgan interview) the newly-minted linguist ignored the "ass" part and conveniently asserted that "cracka" (wrong noun) refers to a cop. There was no evidence that Martin was "afraid" or that he thought Zimmerman was a cop. Rather, the evidence indicated that Martin decided to beat the crap out of a creepy gay guy (perhaps egged on by Jeantel, which would explain her subsequent odd behaviors, such as avoiding the funeral, and having a friend write a letter to Martin's mother, whom Jeantel otherwise was avoiding).

    Finally, additional evidence, which the defense was not permitted to bring to the jury, but which otherwise came out, included, among other things, Trayvon Martin's history of two criminal-related school suspensions in the past six months (one drug-related, and the other for having been found with stolen jewelry and a burglary tool), and his bragging about having got into multiple fights, and how punching someone in the nose by surprise immediately gives the aggressor a fight advantage.)

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 18:24:36 -0700
From: km
Subject: Re: zimmerman NG

On Jul 13, 2013, at 7:51 PM, RM wrote:
I wonder if Zimmerman might lose a suit for wrongful death.

he wont be the defendant. the deep pocket here is the hoa. they should be checking with their insurance agent.


    The HOA's insurance company reportedly paid out a couple million dollars to the Martin parents and lawyer before the case even went to criminal trial (although since this information comes from the major media, there is a fifty percent chance that it is wrong.)

Was "justice" served? Justice was NOT served. Discounting the unnecessary cost to the taxpayer, and the media incitement hoping for juicy riots and similar gravy, an unnecessary criminal trial, held when there is no reasonable prospect of a different outcome, is a denial of justice. Prosecutors are charged with the obligation to be neutral, and to effect justice. For the man who was attacked and had to defend himself so traumatically, consider the financial cost of that trial, and the psychic cost of losing his freedom for nearly 18 months (ankle monitor, interference with school and work), not to mention the psychological pain of the whole ordeal.

Of more minor note, perhaps, consider that the whole world now knows all about Zimmerman's financial situation (such as that he had to get help to buy suits for court), his medical issues (that he went to the doctor to treat high blood pressure and for constipation), and his physical issues (that the proprietor of the gym he went to thought he was essentially an obese wuss who after a year of "training" still couldn't throw a proper punch at the punching bag).

But not so minor is the deficit to Zimmerman's lifetime reputation, all the crap that he and his family will have to endure, such as for years they will have to look over their shoulders for incensed morons who got unnecessarily spun up because politicians, race-baiters, and media were moved by ulterior motives, and because so many stupid people seem unable to get the correct facts. In addition, notwithstanding the trial, supposedly to get out those facts, it is patently obvious that even people who are supposed to be educated, including these psychs right here, as well as the major media and biased political groups, forever will keep spouting libelous falsehoods about the case.

It is, moreover, interesting to me that no one -- including the child custody so-called mavins on this forensic psych listserve -- has asked why a kid who repeatedly was suspended from school for criminal acts was out and about sashaying around unsupervised on a vacation with his cell phone. Why? Because a "kid" died, and it would be mean to imply that the parents were negligent? Yes, it's all terrible. But it's still not "justice" for Zimmerman, a man who was attacked and lawfully defended himself, to have had to go through the misery of an unwarranted accusation of murder pushed by the apparently still-unappeased politically- and economically-motivated machinations of others. In February 2012, how many hundreds of other people were attacked, beat up, robbed, maimed, mutilated, or killed, but didn't make the news because they didn't have a gun, and didn't defend themselves? And the DOJ political crap continues.

Meanwhile, in the interests of "justice": it's long past the time to get the forensic psychs out of the court system. Because when they come in after the fact, and they don't have time to do original research as to all those "details", they still don't have the first clue as to who would have that information and would convey it to them in an unbiased way. Here are two, by the way: Cornell clinical law professor William Jacobson and defense attorney Mark O'Mara:


Here's another -- Larry Elder:

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Child Custody Evaluations -- Reevaluating the Evaluators
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Florida Handbook on Discovery 2007 2010
Custody Evaluator Testing: Discovery Issues
Are Psychologists Hiding Evidence?
Poliacoff on Releasing Records in Child Custody Evaluations
Child Custody Evaluators "In Their Own Words"
Parenting Coordination, a bad idea
Parenting Coordinator Practical Considerations
Those Joint Custody Studies
What's Wrong With Multidisciplinary Collaborative Practice?
"Therapeutic Jurisprudence" Causes Lawyer Ethics Problems
Collaborative Law, Ethical and Practical Issues

The Child-Centered Divorce Family Court is Not a Family-Friendly Place Parenting Coordination Dealing with forensic psychologists and discovery of test data in court


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