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George Zimmerman wipes his face after arriving in the courtroom during his trial at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, in Sanford, Fla., today. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool)
The defence has rested its case in the murder trial of a Florida neighbourhood watchman who shot dead an unarmed black teenager last year. Twenty-nine-year-old George Zimmerman's lawyer said they had proven his “pure, unadulterated innocence” in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. But prosecutors said he had told a series of lies about the shooting. A jury of six women will now decide if he should be acquitted, or convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter. They must decide who was at fault in the fatal confrontation on the night of 26 February 2012 as Martin walked from a shop to the home of his father's fiancee in a gated community in Sanford, Florida/BBC. More here.
Question: What will the verdict be?
The first eyewitnesses in the murder trial of George Zimmerman testified Wednesday that they believe Trayvon Martin was yelling for help and being beaten by Zimmerman before he died. The witnesses, former neighbors of Zimmerman's in the Retreat at Twin Lakes gated community, described trying to make out what was going on outside their windows on the rainy night of Feb. 26, 2012. In both cases, Zimmerman's lawyers pointed to the possible influence of media on the witnesses' recollections. Zimmerman, 29, says he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin. The prosecution says he profiled and murdered the black teen. If convicted of second-degree murder, Zimmerman could be sentenced to life in prison/Yamiche Alcindor, USA Today. More here. (AP photo: Witness Jane Surdyka gives her testimony during George Zimmerman's trial)
Question: How closely are you following this trial?
Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman made his first court appearance Thursday on a second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, as a court document provided new details on the prosecution's case. During the brief appearance, Zimmerman stood up straight, looked straight ahead and wore a gray prison jumpsuit. He spoke only to answer “Yes, sir,” twice after he was asked basic questions about the charge against him and his attorney. His hair was shaved down to stubble and he had a thin goatee, which appeared consistent with his booking photo from the day before. He had resurfaced Wednesday to turn himself in after weeks in hiding. Judge Mark E. Herr said he found probable cause to move ahead with the case and that an arraignment would be held on May 29 before another judge/AP. More here. (AP photo: George Zimmerman, center, stands with his attorney Mark O'Mara, right, during a court hearing today)
Question: Can George Zimmerman get a fair trial in Florida?
Florida State Attorney Angela Corey will hold a 6 p.m. ET news conference today to “release new information” about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin (left). The Associated Press is reporting that she will announce charges against George Zimmerman (right), the 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer who has claimed he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. The unidentified law enforcement source who spoke to the AP did not know the exact charge or charges that Corey is expected to announce at the state attorney's office in Jacksonville. Zimmerman is also expected to be arrested soon, the AP said/Michael Winter, USA Today. More here.
Question: Does the projected charge fit the crime?
Do you smell black churches burning? I do. Back in 1996 the Democrat/media complex created a false narrative about a wave of black church arsons. Then President Bill Clinton eloquently recalled how a strikingly similar epidemic in his home state of Arkansas had touched his heart when he was a child. Everyone swooned. It was a remarkably Clintonian feat of memory, because those church burnings that were seared into his memory didn't happen either. But the purpose of the fabricated narrative was to cement the re-election of Bill Clinton, who was portrayed as the only man capable of healing the racial rift that these burning churches represented. And it was all a fraud. USA Today strayed off the reservation, committed an act of investigative journalism and proved that the wave of black church arsons was wholly apocryphal.The mainstream news media was exposed for making it all up. They used to have a word for fake, inflammatory journalism. It was called “yellow journalism.” Today, it's called journalism. Democrats seized upon the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida as an opportunity to reprise their 1996 role as racial conciliators. And the media played along. But they've blown it mightily/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
OLYMPIA – In Washington and Idaho, there is no statute that gives a person the right to “stand your ground” and use deadly force in public when faced with a perceived threat.
Both states have fairly standard laws covering justifiable homicide or self-defense, particularly when a person is in his or her own home.
But neither state has passed a law like the one at the heart of a controversial shooting of an African American teenager by a Hispanic community-watch volunteer, although some news websites and two television networks claimed both do.. .
Declaring that “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” President Barack Obama chose a highly personal way to join the heated national debate over the death of Trayvon Martin, the black teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida. Obama took care to voice no opinion on the conduct of the shooter, George Zimmerman, or any legal aspect of the case beyond a call for a thorough investigation. “The attorney general reports to me, so I’ve got to be careful about my statements to make sure that we’re not impairing any investigation,” he said. Yet his remarks Friday could have a powerful influence on how the public views the case. It was a rare White House moment – a president identifying himself with a victim in a racially charged shooting. More broadly, it drew attention to the way young black men are seen by a predominantly white society/Christi Parsons, Tribune Washington bureau. More here. (AP photos: George Zimmerman, left, confronted Trayvon Martin late last month that lead to a shooting that sparked a heated race debate)
Question: How will this tragedy play out?