Sunday, April 15, 2012

Charge it

Mr. Venlet and I often discuss manhole covers.
Because he is a buddy of mine and because we have a correspondence, I will sometimes tangle with John Venlet over at his place. While not exactly a rightie, Mr. Venlet and I have significantly different political outlooks that we manage to manage without vitriol. (If anyone is curious, I consider myself to be a left-leaning independent and not a Democrat.)

In case the readership hasn't noticed, there is a contingent of persons who really have their boxers in a bunch over this Zimmerman business.

Behold the confluence of The Zimmerman controversy, Erin O'Brien and John Venlet. Those who opt to schlep through all that will see that the comment section gets a bit (ahem) disagreeable. Nonetheless some portion of Mr. Venlet's readership seems to be interested in my opinion regarding Ms. Corey's decision not to refer the Zimmerman case to the grand jury. So here it is, on my territory.


Under Florida Law, Corey was wholly within her right to make the second degree murder charge on her own. She is obviously taking some risk in that action and if the evidence doesn't hold up in court, there will indeed be egg on her face.

Speaking of evidence, imagine the documents to which Corey has access: Martin's autopsy report, police statements, Zimmerman's statements as well as the medical records concerning his alleged injuries. And that's just the obvious stuff. I cannot say Corey's move to charge was right or wrong. I haven't seen these things.

To any regular Improved Grinch Clinch readers who visit these pages: welcome. Thank you for dropping in. I heartily encourage and appreciate your comments. Rant and swear all you like, but please try and be respectful of others and their opinions.

Love, Erin

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John Venlet said...

Erin. While Ms. Corey may be within her rights, or more correctly, the State of Florida's laws, to bring a second degree murder charge against George Zimmerman, based on her judgement alone, she has subverted not only the State of Florida's Grand Jury mechanisms, but the judgement of numerous law enforcement individuals, at many levels, who had already determined that Mr. Zimmerman's actions, on that night, were neither criminal, nor malicious.

She has bowed down to the kangaroo court of public opinion.

Erin O'Brien said...

Dear Esteemed Blogger from Michigan,

I'm afraid our opinions on the matter are moot.

Anonymous said...

The grand jury is normally a rubber stamp for whatever the prosecutor wants, it has been said that anyone or anything can be indicted by a grand jury. The system had broken down, a few misguided or biased people chose not to arrest Zimmerman, but the prosecutor said the investigation had always been ongoing, and hjopefully Zimmerman would have been indicted eventually, well the court of public opinion made this happen a little sooner. The delay by these biased people may have caused evidence to be destroyed, when someone is killed under these circumstances, someone should always be taken into custody and all evidence secured just to be sure.Venlet is another dinosaur whose time is past, no forward thinking person should even bother with him, he is in the rear view mirror.

Anonymous said...

The reality of the situation is that it matters not one wit if he is guilty or not. If he is found not guilty, I can only imagine the riots to follow. If he is found guilty and the sentence doesn't make Jesse or the Rev happy the riots will follow.
James Old Guy

Craig Hughes said...

I think I'll let Velociman speak for me on this subject. .

Erin O'Brien said...

Lots of talk about riots. Has anyone seen any riots? Has anyone heard of anyone calling for riots?

I've only heard calls for peaceful protest.

Sometimes I think the righties will be pissed if there aren't any riots.

Judy said...

From what I have heard, the Grand Jury is just to consider if the evidence warrants charges...If Ms Corey feels that there is evidence enough, why bother with a Grand Jury...

I don't think there will be riots... Trayvon's family just wanted an arrest which they received...They want Trayvon to be remembered and he will be...still so sad for all...

Bill said...

The problem is not with Trayvon's parents. They've acted with class and dignity and without vitriol. It's the race baiting Al, Jesse, and others, particularly affiliated with NBC, who want conflict between races. For example, when has the term "white hispanic" been used? They wanted to make sure Zimmerman is white enough to make it a race case. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

I just wanna march with the Marxists. Can someone tell me what time the parade begins?


Anonymous said...

Lest my comment seem to obscure I would refer the reader to comment #24 at the link attributed to someone ssigning "jb".

But as an aside I will stipulate that when the parade begins there will be no hand holding as that would be a precursor to sexy time and no one likes a bunch of aroused marching Marxists.

"Tennessee Senate Approves Bill To Warn Students That Hand-Holding Is A ‘Gateway Sexual Activity’"


Erin O'Brien said...

One thing that "jb" got right, RJ: I am indeed at a loss regarding my role "as a stooge for the progressive (incremental) wing of the marxists."

Wanna hold hands?

Anonymous said...

@ Bill-WOW-We agree on a couple of things...I'll notify the media...

I've been following this a lot more closely than is conducive to retaining any semblance of mental health.

It seems to me that the "white hispanic" hangtag came from the right and not the left, and for reasons the reverse of what you perceive. When the case first attracted national publicity individuals who wished to downplay the black-white dynamic of the shooting began to emphasize Zimmerman's hispanic heritage almost as if to say that he wasn't 100% white, as if most persons of hispanic descent in this country don't also consider themselves caucasian.

I empathize with some, not all of your sentiment about Rev Sharpton. To my knowledge he has never apologized for his role in the Brawley incident, and it's a big strike against him.But he did not get involved in Sanford until his presence was requested by the Martin family. And individuals who, before the charges were filed, were of the opinion that activists and the media should "stand aside and let the investigators do their work" ignore the reality that before the publicity there WAS no real investigation-the local State's Attorney had decided no charges were necessary after the most perfunctory of investigations.

As to the decision to not empanel a grand jury: Florida law only REQUIRES a grand jury for capital crimes-ie first-degree murder. The special prosecutor's decision to proceed without one might indicate that she feels her investigation has developed enough evidence that she didn't need one OR it might indicate that her case wouldn't have held up to grand jury scrutiny. But in many cases 'grand jury scrutiny' is an oxymoron, as grand jurors almost universally find as the prosecutor wishes. Finally, she might have felt that she couldn't empanel a jury untouched by the publicity.

Your observation about the conduct of Trayvon's parents is quite correct.


Erin O'Brien said...

I can't stand Sharpton.

Anonymous said...


Even though I exist in a state of radical and pervasive depravity I could not justify holding the hand of the wife of a man with a gimpy ankle. Besides, a subsection of the new legislation makes hand holding by
progressive (incremental) Marxist stooges punishable by death. If I'm facing the executioner I gotta at least get a little tongue.


Joe said...

"a few misguided or biased people chose not to arrest Zimmerman"

"The delay by these biased people may have caused evidence to be destroyed"

Really? Based on what facts are these accusations made? I hope to hell you are never selected for jury duty of any kind, anonymous. Talk about bias...

Like the rest of us, you have no idea what evidence the Sanford police and prosecutrs have in their possesion. I think the case should have gone to a Grand Jury. But is not up to me. I am very bothered by the mob mentality that is rapidly consuming this case fostered by NBC and the Reverends Al and Jesse. What is society coming to when a bounty is put on someone publicly and there is not outcry?

Anonymous, you are certainly no more than part of an electronic lynch mob. You should be ashamed.

Erin O'Brien said...

I'll never find the clip (actually have to get to work and don't have the time to search right now), but at the front end of this thing, I saw some footage of a Sanford cop talking about why Zimmerman hadn't yet faced charges.

The guy was exasperated (apparently with the "stand your ground" law), and the fact that they couldn't hold Zimmerman without any witnesses saying the killing wasn't self-defense.

For anyone interested, you can read public docs on the case here. As for Mr. Venlet's claim that "numerous law enforcement individuals ... had already determined that Mr. Zimmerman's actions, on that night, were neither criminal, nor malicious."

Not so much. Dig this from the link above:

The initial police reports describe the case as "homicide/negligent" and "manslaughter/unnecessary killing to prevent unlawful act." City officials have said that all reports need descriptions to help track types of incidents.

Bill said...

Notwithstanding the fact that we really don't know what happened; I imagine this scenario. Z identified a possible theif in the neighborhood. Calls 911. Was told not to follow but was asked for an address. Walks over to find an address. Tray feels threatened or is just pissed, sees that V is a "little" guy and attacks him. Z is on the ground, on his back with Tray sitting on top of him punching him in the head. Z sees that Tray notices his holstered gun and Tray makes it clear that he's going to get it. Z panics, unholsters the gun himself, and bang. Verdict?

Anonymous said...

"What is society coming to when a bounty is put on someone publicly and there is not outcry?"- Joe

I don't know. Maybe someone should ask Bradley Manning or Leonard Peltier or for that matter, Barack "The Illigal Kenyan Muslim" Obama.


Joe said...

I am not aware of anyone offering cash "dead or alive" for the Presidnet as the New Black Panthers have for Zimmerman.

And if private groups or citizens have offered such rewards, you cannot possibly make a moral equivalancy can you RJ? Or does three wrongs make a right in your world?

Erin O'Brien said...

British peer accused of offering 'bounty' on Obama, Bush

Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to suggest offering a bounty for any reason was just but was questioning the criteria in which a public outcry was warranted when one was proposed either for cash or some equivalent like freedom.

BTW... has been commenting on the "New Black Panthers" and has a statement from the Huey P. Newton Foundation clearly denouncing the exploitation of the Black Panther name.


Bill said...

Am I the only one who would pay to see the original Kenyan birth certificate? Is that a bounty or a reward. (it's a joke folks. don't wish me any harm or worse)

Anonymous said...

The "New Black Panthers" (so-called)
basically consists of half-a-dozen guys with a web site and matching caps. They have been such a convenient foil for clowns like James O'Keefe that one wonders whether they weren't created out of whole cloth and funded by some right-wing entity for amusement and headlines-but that would be conspiracy talk.

wv: detater-clean de tater and brine it before baking...

Anonymous said...

Technically I guess one could argue a lynch mob is not the same as a bounty but Ted Nugent seems clear about his intentions:

Nugent was more direct. "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year," he said. "If you can't galvanize and promote and recruit people to vote for Mitt Romney, we're done."

And what's the best way to "galvanize and promote," Ted?

"We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November. Any questions?"

Ted Nugent For Mitt Romney: Rocker Stumps For GOP Candidate At NRA Convention
The Huffington Post | By Kia Makarechi
Posted: 04/16/2012 5:23 pm Updated: 04/17/2012 10:06 am


Al The Retired Army Guy said...

"I can't stand Sharpton."

Me neither. Someone needs to alert the press as this is the first time Erin and I have agreed on anything remotely political.

Note to Sharpton: Don't go away mad, just go away. And take Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee with you.


philbilly said...

When the police dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow or engage, and he continued, he sealed his fate legally, at the very least for manslaughter.

A CCW does not deputize the permit holder. In fact, you automatically incur much more rigorous scrutiny of your actions the moment you are armed.

Erin O'Brien said...

It (FLA's "stand your ground" law) basically gives a law-abiding citizen the right to kill if he or she “reasonably believes” it is necessary to do so. And someone who uses force under Stand Your Ground is “immune from criminal prosecution,” defined as “arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.”

With language like that, it’s not much of a surprise that Zimmerman wasn’t initially charged by Sanford’s Keystone Kops department. But there’s no evidence that Stand Your Ground actually led to the confrontation and the shooting, as some critics claim.

From a must-read opinion column that ran in the Miami Herald.

Bill said...

One problem, PB. Z says he was going back to his car when Tray confronted him, knocked him on his ass, hit him in the face, and started to go for his holstered gun. Still might go for manslaughter though. Anything less just might cause riots.

Anonymous said...

@ Bill-Florida law is tough- a manslaughter conviction can get 30 years...


Anonymous said...

@Erin-have you heard about the Joe Horn case in Texas?

Dude called 911 when he saw two guys breaking into his neighbor's house. He DEFIED the 911 dispatcher's repeated instructions to stay in his home and wait for the police.
He left his house after explicitly telling 911 "the law changed last September" and killed the burglars (unarmed as far as I know) in the yard.

The jury acquitted on Stand Your Ground.

"Stand Your Ground" turns the "Castle Doctrine" into a kind of
"Panzer Principle", ie, mobile firepower, protected by the armor plate of an insane definition of self-defense.


Anonymous said...

This is the rest of the story MR did not include. Facts are a bitch

One question from me, what the hell was the detective doing sitting on his ass in the car watching? Maybe waiting on his cut of the loot.

James Old Guy

Kirk said...

Bill, if Zimmerman or his lawyers can PROVE Tray confronted him as he walked backed to the car, knocked him on his ass, hit him in the face, and went for the gun, then, yes, he should get off. But if he CAN'T prove it, don't you think the fact that he went after Tray, who was unarmed, when a police dispatcher clearly told him not to, carries ANY WEIGHT at all in a court of law? Jesus Christ, the kid is dead, and that doesn't seem to bother you one bit!

Bill said...

It bothers me a lot, Kirk. I'm a father too. And, whatever happened, the kid didn't deserve to die. I was just commenting on the legal aspect of the case and I've also commented on the race baiting aspect. I don't think you have a clue as to what bothers me or not.

Anonymous said...

@ James Old Guy-

Thanks for the link-I hadn't seen Wiki's version of it, although Wiki is only as reliable as the anonymous geeks who contribute to it.

Why do you comment "facts are a bitch"?

I like the part where they note that the burglars "received gunfire from the rear". Translation: Horn shot unarmed trespassers in the back. In Texas that usually leads to a judgeship or a place on the clemency commission.