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The Inside Dope on Trayvon Martin

Written by Gary North on July 25, 2013

There is a series on the trial on the Backwoods Home blog site that you should read, if you are interested in the trial.

Sadly, the links are not easy to access. You must start with the latest link and work backwards, click by click. There is no easy series of links: Part 1, Part 2, etc.

The series is on this: “What the mainstream media failed to report.” They failed to report a great deal.

He is an extract from Part 7.

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ZIMMERMAN VERDICT PART 7: WHY THE JURY DIDN’T LEARN ABOUT TRAYVON MARTIN

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

The discovery materials which the defense finally received from the prosecution after a long and arduous fight revealed Trayvon Martin to be deeply into drugs, and a young man who reveled in street fighting, and more.  (Didn’t seem to have much respect for women, either.) None of that was allowed in.

The reason tracks to something found in the Federal Rules of Evidence in the Rule 404 series, particularly Rule 404(b).   Among other things, it means that prior bad acts of the person you harmed, IF THEY WERE NOT KNOWN TO YOU AT THE TIME YOU HARMED HIM, cannot be used by you to defend inflicting that harm. This is because, being unknown to you, they had no part in your decision to act as you did, and it is that act and that decision for which you are being judged at trial.

Some courts have disagreed with that. The Massachusetts State Supreme Court in two precedent cases, and the Arizona State Supreme Court in one, have ruled that if the deceased had attacked people previously a manner similar to how the defendant described being attacked by him, that the jury SHOULD be allowed to know. (There was reference in the discovery materials to Martin having punched out a school bus driver.) There is no such precedent in Florida that I know of.  State Supreme Court decisions from other jurisdictions do not bind on other states, but can be used as persuasive argument during a pre-trial motion in limine to allow such evidence. . . .

Back in 1984, I was on the defense team as an expert witness called by two of the finest attorneys I’ve ever worked with, the great Roy Black and the brilliant Mark Seiden. Mark and I later served two years together as co-vice chairs of the forensic evidence committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and Roy’s courtroom accomplishments are legend. It would be worth your time to read Roy’s autobiography “Black’s Law.” In the 1984 trial, Roy and Mark defended Miami Police Officer Luis Alvarez against Manslaughter charges in the shooting death of one Nevell “Snake” Johnson. (There were interesting parallels between that case and Zimmerman’s. An officer of Hispanic descent had shot a 20-year-old black man who was reaching for a gun as that officer and another attempted to arrest him. The shooting triggered a race riot. A scapegoat was needed. Janet Reno, then State’s Attorney there, indicted the cop.)

In that case, the state had portrayed the late Mr. Johnson as a perfect specimen of innocent young manhood, and this is what opened the door for the judge to consider the 40-page memorandum of law that Black and his team put before the bench.  The judge set aside 404(b) to allow the defense to rebut that characterization, and the jury got to hear an elderly black woman describe the terror she had experienced when Nevell Johnson had made her the victim of an armed robbery. To make a long story short, Alvarez was acquitted. (Which triggered another race riot, but that’s another story.)

The lead prosecutor in Zimmerman, Bernie de la Rionda, was too smart to open that door. I understand why Judge Nelson did not allow evidence of prior bad acts by Trayvon Martin to go in front of the jury.  Interestingly, though – at the very end of the trial, when it was too late for the defense to do much of anything about it – second seat prosecutor John Guy made the state’s final argument to the jury, a soliloquy rife with references to Martin, who was much taller than the man he attacked, as a “child.”  “Child” was also used in this respect by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg after the verdict, and was Martin family lawyer Ben Crump’s refrain from the beginning.

Yet the Trayvon Martin who emerged from the state’s reluctantly-provided evidence, the evidence the jury didn’t see, was something else entirely. (Discovery available here.)

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42 thoughts on “The Inside Dope on Trayvon Martin

  1. The discovery process in that trial was a disgrace to justice…..at least I know in my heart Martin was a thug who thought he would circle around and put a beat down on the creepy ass cracker…..fortunately for George he had a surprise for the thug! Why has no one put the question to Martin's parents and supporters that if the roles were reversed, what would be their reaction? I'm pretty sure they would be dancing in the streets as they were when OJ was acquitted.

  2. Martin's dying was a tragedy, but one he brought on himself. Regardless of what Zimmerman had done or not done up to the point where Martin ATTACKED Zimmerman, Martin could have eluded Zimmerman- who only had a general idea where he was.
    Martin could have been done with him and escaped once Zimmerman was down. He did not. He escalated the fight by getting on top of Zimmerman the rest we won't know since on of the parties was dead, but we do know Martin continued the fight.
    As for the baloney his girlfriend (?) said about 'watch out he might be a rapist' and conjectured that Martin didn't go home as he was afraid the unknown man would follow him and know where he was – the idea that Zimmerman could take Martin physically and rape him is more than ridiculous . The 'kid' was ready to be a bad ass and thought he could take Zimmerman in a fight – and did. problem is Zimmerman felt the 'kid' was going to do more than beat him up ("one of us is gonna DIE tonight" – allegedly said by Martin) and Zimmerman shot Martin to get him off of him. He probably had NO INTENTION to kill Martin, but Martin had positioned himself and his heart area right over the gun. The result was inevitable.
    Now the 'Stand Your Ground' law is being attacked. Why? It had no bearing on the case. Zimmerman was down on the ground with his assailant on top of him. He was unable to escape once he was ATTACKED. That Zimmerman 'shouldn't have been there' is irrelevant. Both parties had the same right to be where they were until Martin attacked Zimmerman.
    All the current hoopla is to take the media's attention – willingly I might add – off the economic and foreign problems going on including the failing obamatax/care, sorry economic condition we are in, the IRS and NSA scandals. The press is only too glad to bring up 'racism' where there was none, to keep the attention of the hordes of bleating sheep we have in this country.
    I fail to understand why the flaming liberals in this country give unlimited abortions killing viable fetuses and partial birth 'abortions' – which kill living babies already born yet cry over someone dying committing a criminal act.
    While the Roe/Wade is the law of the land, killing babies already born and therefore not really putting the mother in any danger goes beyond the scope of that lw, regardless of what the liberal judges and lawmakers want to believe.
    They would rather divert our attention to misrepresented 'racism', Then listen satisfyingly to all the bahhhhhs' of the sheep out there bleating in unison of approval.

  3. wootendw says:

    Trayvon’s use of marijuana is totally irrelevant and Zimmerman’s defense did not use it even after the judge (belatedly) permitted them to. They did not use it because pot does NOT make people more violent – more likely the opposite – and Zimmeran’s defense team probably figured the prosecution would just bring in experts to refute it.

    Trayvon Martin was just a violent person, drugs or no drugs. If the prosecution needed to permit more evidence, it should have been Trayvon’s video taping of he and his friends beating up a homeless man.

  4. I went to the whole set of articles and really appreciate you offering them for information. Well written and informative, this man is apparently an authority on gun law and he explains many facets that many of us do not understand. I had always felt that Zimmerman was innocent due to self defense and now have an even fuller understanding of the law involved. Thank you, Mr. North.

  5. exbuckeye says:

    When the rioters come out of their section 8 cages they get violent.
    The system is afraid of them and justice becomes another victim.

  6. Rich Mann says:

    No surprise here.

  7. Justice was served in Zimmerman's verdict and will also be served by the verdict handed down in the lawsuits against all those who did their best to railroad Zimmerman.

  8. Any attempt by Eric Holder to bring more charges against Zimmerman should put Eric Holder in jail for violating Zimmerman's civil rights.

  9. Actually there is an easy way to view all the articles just go to the main blog page for Massad Ayoob on Backwoods Home magazine's website instead of starting at the individual blog.
    http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/

  10. The GANGSTA got what he desreved – point blank!

  11. Went to Backwoods Home magazine's web site. Searched for Zimmerman Trial and found the 1st article in the series. Here's the URL for the start of the series:
    http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2013/0

  12. Rattlerjake says:

    Let's be perfectly clear, and stop being politically correct. Martin's death was NO tragedy, he deserved what he got and his parents and the rest of the race-baiters deserve the same. It's just too bad that it doesn't happen more. We have prisons that are full of Trayvon's, who are released to repeat their criminal activity.

  13. But pot does make a person paranoid. Which explains why someone would attack a person simply because they looked at them. Paranoia spawns violence and poor judgement.

  14. lilydarcey says:

    Traythug was on a path to self destruction through drugs and career of crime. Ultimately, this kid would have ended up just another statistic in prison and a bill being footed by tax payers for his upkeep, or he would have died anyway in gangsta manner. The apple did not fall far from the tree, since his dad was had a history of being a gangsta.

  15. Victor Barney says:

    The Bible calls it LAWLESSNESS! We have NOT SEEN anything yet…

  16. wayno1's remarks should be placed in bold print on the front page of every liberal newspaper in the country every day for a month or until these phony demonstrations no longer fill the time of all concerned persons who have nothing else to do with their valuable time.__Dale Hogue is the author of the book "Email Connectors and Mr. Hogue's Wisdom".

  17. The wise course and prudent assumption to take with the federal government, and the corporate owned media that reports whatever Washington DC tells it to report, is that they are lying about everything.

  18. in my younger and stupider days, some of my "friends" would get high then do things like go out to a Sambo's to assuage our inevitable "munchies". WE alll knew we weren't quite "all there", but, looking back, we weren't any more unusual than any of the others in the place late at night. We were always convinced, though, that the waitresses knew we were lit, judged us for it hated us, might even go call the cops…… yet not one of us ever had any thoughts of violence or response. We knew the car was "clean", none of us had anything on us… and if the cops DID come they'd get nothing on us. Worst they could do would be toss us out for making a nuisance… but we were nowhere near that point. Just a bunch of crazy hippies out for some grub in the middle of the night.. so, no, paranoia does not lead to violence in itself… not on that account, anyway.

  19. dave and the folks at Backwoods Home have had a long and close relationship with Massad Ayoob. Mas is one of the best authors on guns, his background and experience are amazing. So are his skill with, and understanding of, firearms. You could not go wring in getting any of his books on the subjects…. when I first decided to carry, someone told me about Mas, and I found one of his books somewhere. This man is perhaps the best resource for all things relating to personal defense. He, having functioned as expert witness, investigator, Law Enforcement Officer, Firearms Trainer, investigator, brings together a wealth of knowledge of which I ahve not seen the equal. Yes, there are other worthy experts, but none bring so much together in one mind as does Mas. I had the pleasure of meeting him, and spending some time with him, at an event last year hosted by Backwods Home. The fact that Backwods Home carries Mas' writings is worth the price of the subscription.

  20. Seymour Kleerly says:

    Only the uglyist Americans would make a bad guy out of this dead boy. Especially after they got the verdict they prayed for! Sick and even sadder.

  21. Only the most ignorant Americans would make an innocent boy out of this worthless thug. Especially after a court of law proved that he was anything but an innocent boy! Sick, and even moronic.

  22. Martin was on the road to the graveyard, it was just a matter of time!

  23. A six foot 17 year old is not a boy.

    The correct term is young man.

    Don't be part of the lie see more.

  24. Amen.

  25. awkingsley says:

    This is a self defense case. Unlike in a murder case, a self defense case must look equally at both parties. State laws need to be changed in this regard because in self defense the supposed victim's previous actions and character have a bearing on why he was killed, and if it really was self defense. A murder case presumes no participation on the part of the victim in his murder. In a self defense case, the so-called victim is necessarily a predatory participant, so the so-called victim must be tried for murder as well as the victim. In a murder case, the jury must only prove the suspect committed the murder. In a self defense case, the jury must make a very complex decision in comparison to a murder case. This calls for all information about the supposed victim to be presented. With all of the information, thugs cannot be presented as innocent children. States need to clarify self defense law to reflect the reality of the necessity for a double trial – a trial for both participants in the incident. There will be fewer cases bound over for trial if a law like this is enacted by states. Trayvon's parents might not have been so interested in having Trayvon on trial: Trayvon does not compare at all favorably to Zimmerman, and Trayvon's parents might have wanted to avoid the embarrassment to their son's memory and their own parenting skills.

    In addition, states need to legitimize Neighborhood Watch as volunteer Police organizations. Neighborhood Watch volunteers need to receive firearms training like that being required for teachers who become school security officers. We do not need DHS/KGB agents, we need an expanded and legitimized Neighborhood Watch volunteer police force for securing our neighborhoods.

  26. Nope. No. The only thing that mattered is that Martin was unjustified in his violence against Zimmerman hence Zimmerman was in his right to act in self-defense and would have been found not guilty in a "duty to retreat" jurisdiction. However person doesn't automatically lose their right to life even if they have a criminal record which last time I looked Martin didn't while Zimmerman has had the odd brush with the law. For example, if you are robbed by an armed burglar and after the ordeal grab your own gun and go to the burglar lives and march in then you'll still be a violent intruder in the eyes of the law and the thief can choose to legally shoot you dead.

  27. gee judy says:

    was not a tragedy–it was justice–now he can't cause anymore trouble

  28. so true–so true–You get it–
    why can't the rest of this crazy people get this–
    section 8 filthy cages at that-with their free B.O. phones and their cable tv's (you know – the important things in life}

  29. scareygary says:

    We all are, Dumvet. It's what we do with our TIME here that matters most. I want the world to be a better (less violent and more tolerant of others) for those who come after. The 'blood letters' who revel in this case just make me sad…..

  30. Drifanwulf says:

    People reap what they sow. Martin obviously thought he could continue to act and react with physical aggression and this time it cost him his life.

  31. awkingsley says:

    Then nothing about Zimmerman's prior record should be included either. If the original aggressor must come to the court with no prior history, then the same should hold for the person who shot in self defense. In my opinion, state laws need to be changed to admit both prior records.On first hearing about this case, I was very unhappy with the school for not getting law enforcement involved in Trayvon's obvious criminality instead of just expelling him. The fact that the school did not call in law enforcement probably resulted in his death. Trayvon could not have jumped Zimmerman, if he had been in jail where he belonged. As it turned out, Zimmerman's record was inconsequential and primarily based on defense of others.From: notifications@intensedebatemail.comTo: annwkingsley@hotmail.comSubject: Gil replied to your comment on The Inside Dope on Trayvon Martin

  32. ACTUALLY, THE ROLES WERE REVERSED IN 2009. Roderick Scott, a black man, shot & killed an unarmed 17 year old white teen who attempted to attack Mr. Scott. The only difference was that Mr. Scott's nose was not broken & his head was not slammed on the sidewalk. Oh, and one other difference …. Mr. Scott shot the white teen TWICE.

    Mr. Scott, like Zimmerman, was found "NOT GUILTY". There were no riots, no marches, no whites assaulting & killing blacks.
    http://eaglerising.com/838/roderick-scott-the-bla

  33. Neither party's background is relevant. It was a simple question of whether Martin was justified in what he did – no, and whether Zimmerman was justified in what he did.

  34. Why don't they go after the men that murdered my son? Why? Because my son is white. The police said they won't because they were afraid of a riot. Polk county police department. Winter haven

  35. Pot LACED with OTHER DRUGS sure can make someone AGGRESSIVE combined with paranoid. Not to mention the coroner said the 17 yr old already had liver damage (from homemade drug “purple drank/lean”, made from cough syrup, Skittles, Arizona Tea…).

  36. Seymour Kleerly says:

    Pathetic Conservative logic.

  37. Trayvon Martin was a thug as a child below the age of ten, he then became a thug as a preteen and in his early teen years. Trayvon remained a thug up to the very moment that the person he was pummeling, in this case George Zimmerman, shot a bullet into the chest of Trayvon's 6' 2" body. There is an old saying, "Live by the sword, die by the sword" that may apply here, if it doesn't, it comes close enough to get the job done. Trayvon wasn't smart enough to realize that, some day, if he punched somebody in the face knocking him backwards to the ground, then climbed on top of him and pummeled his face some more and then smashed his head against the concrete, chances are good that this person isn't going to remain on his back long enough for to be killed. There is not one poster on this page who wouldn't pull out a gun and shoot Trayvon. Now, I could be wrong about that, but I doubt it. Trayvon was the aggressor and Zimmerman was defending himself from that aggression. The person who had a gun to protect himself, won. Any questions?

  38. Joanne S. says:

    Prior bad acts not known to a person claiming self defense may be one thing, but not allowing someone's patterns of violence not being allowed in is something else. This doesn't make any sense to me at all, especially since Zimmerman's history was allowed in.

  39. I couldn't have said this any better. You NAILED it on the head (figuratively speaking). Thank you for your insight to the truth which the Lame-Stream media refuses to say.

  40. bikelikemike says:

    Pathetic liberal, typically wearing blinders and being an apologist for a thug. At least conservatives are familiar with logic.. You and your ilk are not capable of comprehending this stuff that requires the ability to reason. Liberalism is a brain disorder. You will never grasp these things without the benefit of critical analysis. But still, you should go read the mountain of evidence that decimates Trayvon's character, (contrary to the spin-job by the lame-stream media), on the backwoods site which is linked to many times here… and then come back here and try again – if you're still stuck on stupid. You tool-bags have it all so upside down and backwards! You're desperately lacking intellect, yet you think you're smarter than people who tower over you just because you demand it… and your moniker is the most inaccurate thing I've seen in a year, there, Mr. Seyless.

  41. bikelikemike says:

    I see you cannot even begin to conjure up a cogent argument. All that morons like you can do is stomp your feet and make false accusations, meaning to denigrate our character. Only the dumbest fools would refuse to see that this young thug with his angry gangsta attitude intentionally lost Zimmerman, then circled back and ambushed him, and after Zimmy politely answered Martin's nasty 'tude questions, he assaulted Zimmy, busting his nose and then beating him unmercifully. You are as sick and sad as it gets in this world.

  42. bikelikemike says:

    Zimmy only had two "brushes" with the law – that I'm aware of. He and his wife had a bad fight one time, and she called for a protection order against him; insinuating that he got physical. Then he got the exact same order against her!!! And we do NOT know… if he could handle her any better than he could handle Trayvon!! Zimmy is one of those candy-as$ed, very nonathletic types who couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag. And the 2nd incident was his trying to stand up for a black vagrant who a BAD COP was picking on. I say Zimmy is a model citizen with a damn near perfect background.