Wednesday, April 11, 2012

From a criminal defense view point George Zimmerman did everything wrong...Breaking Update: Zimmerman in custody and being charged with Second Degree Murder

The Bonfire of the Vanities,
if not completely on point is still a great read
Yet as reported by Weasel Zippers and WAGIST nothing is sticking. Which might be because he is telling the truth.

You know the prosecutor is under tremendous pressure to charge Zimmerman, if only to take the heat off their department and the City of Sanford.  I suspect they will charge him with something [they are going to charge him with something], because probable cause is not that high a standard, but if his story keeps holding up should he be put at jeopardy (beyond what he is already facing)?

Breaking Update:  Zimmerman in custody and being charged with Second Degree murder

Breaking Update:  Here is the statute:
The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, is murder in the second degree and constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
George should follow the advice of competent criminal defense attorneys and not try to act on his own.  It is always better when you are questioned by the police to be polite and ask for an attorney. Do not waive your Miranda rights.   Never ever speak to the police without counsel!  Do not volunteer to a search.  Do not talk without an attorney present.  Here is how you say no to a search.

Update:
Doesn't look like Justice will be blind on this one...
Obama's criminal law professor is wrong...
Here is how you can screw yourself, even if you are innocent:
18 USC 1001 (the law that got Martha Stewart) is something every lawyer should know about early in their career.
It’s triggered by a “false” statement in any federal context. THERE IS NO MENS REA REQUIREMENT. And this is why the FBI’s policy is to allow no audio recording of interviews (so the agent’s notes of what she remembers that she thought she heard becomes the “truth” – especially if the witness never said that). Any 1/2 hour interview will include at least one technical violation. The Feds love it.
My first case as a criminal defense lawyer involved this statute. We beat it because my client immediately asked for a lawyer and said absolutely nothing and I was able to show the question (on a written Credit Union loan form was, in context, ambiguous). Just luck on our part. 18 USC 1001 throws a HUGE net that catches the evil, the venial, and the innocent. It’s a statute that gives truth to the old saying “It takes a really good prosecutor to convict an innocent man. Anyone can convict the guilty.”
Since it always comes up over coffee in a pleasant office, it’s hard to remember the “Lawyer up ASAP.”
Blogmocracy has links to the Zimmerman 911 calls... 

Update III:  Justice?  I can understand the high emotions, but this is not helpful...
Michelle said during that interview, "Let me tell you, the things that's about to happen, to these honkeys, these crackers, these pigs, these pink people, these ---- people. It has been long overdue. My prize right now this evening ... is gonna be the bounty, the arrest, dead or alive, for George Zimmerman. You feel me?" 
Bubba addressed her saying, "Michelle, really? You are so much better than that, honey."
Update IV:  Police gave Zimmerman a lie detector test after the shooting?  And he passed?  
Update V:  Trayvon Martin's mom thinks it was an accident

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