George Zimmerman Acquitted in Trayvon Martin Case

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What are your thoughts on the case? Did the jury get it right?

Anonymous on Wed, 08/06/2014 - 19:57

The matter under discussion is State versus Zimmerman, a Florida criminal case in which the defendant had been presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

In Florida, as in the large majority of jurisdictions (including the Special and Territorial jurisdiction of the United States), once self-defense is raised by some evidence, from whatever source, which only might be believed, then the burden falls and remains on the prosecution to disprove self-defense, and to do so beyond a reasonable doubt.

The defense has no burden of persuasion whatsoever, and only the slightest burden of going forward, which burden may be met by facts brought out during the prosecution case in chief. Furthermore, under the Florida's Evidence Code, there is a so-called "rule of completeness," whereby if any part of a defendant's out-of-court statement is introduced by the prosecution, all of it may come in, not just the inculpatory part.

The jury verdict was not only right, it was overwhelmingly correct under the law and the evidence, to the extent that a guilty may not have survived a post verdict motion or have held up on appeal.

Incidentally, they was no "Travon Martin case." Dead persons cannot be parties to law cases. Had the decedent lived to stand trial for his assault upon Zimmerman, it is not unlikely that the same presumption of innocence and requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt in self=defense cases would have resulted in a not guilty verdict also.