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Sun Jul 7, 2013, 01:34 PM


it was the prosecution who convinced me.

(This may be wordier than you requested..)

(edited ----> to correct the name: I've been posting
that it was John Guy but it was Richard Mantei, asst da.
John Guy did the opening statement for the
prosecution. Both VERY good.)

The ADA Richard Mantei, in appealing to the
judge not to dismiss the case, made such a
powerful presentation of the facts, and the
circumstantial evidence, and the innumerable
blatant inconsistencies in Z's stories.

He cited precedents for 2nd degree murder convictions,
in one case where the simple act of pointing a
gun and shooting someone was considered evidence
of a depraved state of mind. I felt he made the
case simply and precisely, and blew all
the defense bullshit out the window.

Originally I thought this was involuntary
manslaughter, ie that there had not been
any original sinister intent. I was skeptical that
he profiled because Trayvon was black.

As I learned more it seemed less involuntary
and more sinister, and I believed he could be
found guilty of aggravated manslaughter
(in this case specifically, murder of a child,
using a gun -- for which sentencing in FL is
nearly the same as for 2nd degree.)

But I didn't see how they could prove his
ill will, or depraved mind -- until I listened to
Richard Mantei's presentation on Friday. It was a
thing of beauty. He laid it all out, piece by
piece. There was nothing new -- it was how well
he presented the case. The case is already
proved, my opinion. He just needs to repeat
himself in his closing statement. The defense
has nothing.

If you're not watching the trial you're maybe
not aware that the defense is really horrible to
watch and listen to. I can't imagine the jury feels
much differently.

They are whiny, hostile, disrespectful, boring,
and they waste a HUGE amount of the judge and
jury's time with unproductive nitpicking. The judge
REALLY doesn't like wasting the jury's time, she
seems quite protective of them.

She doesn't seem to like the defense lawyers very
much, but I don't think it's political or pre-trial bias
as some are claiming.
It's just that they just act like assholes and are
frequently annoying and argumentative with her.

The clincher for me, like I said, was Richard Mantei's
presentation. It gave me great confidence in the
prosecution's competence.

My opinion now is that they have a very strong case,
pretty well backed up by forensics or lack thereof.


Someone on DU just posted that this blog is excellent,
and I agree so I'll refer you. They are liveblogging
the trial but also providing daily summary and

He's also got some good info about what
"reasonable doubt" means.

The critical question, however, is whether the 6 women, 5 of whom are mothers, believe what the defendant told others. They are not required to believe anything he said. I doubt they will believe him, given his many contradictory statements, implausible claims, and the forensic evidence, particularly the DNA evidence, which proves that Trayvon Martin did not hit him 20-30 times in the face, grab his head and repeatedly slam it into a concrete sidewalk, or attempt to smother him by placing his hands over the defendantís nose and mouth.

I believe the prosecution has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant provoked the encounter with Trayvon Martin by following him in a vehicle and then on foot after Trayvon attempted to elude him. He hunted him down and attempted to restrain him contrary to a request by the police dispatcher not to follow him and he never identified himself or explained why he was restraining him. Under these circumstances, Trayvon Martin was entitled to use reasonable force to defend himself, escalating to deadly force when the defendant pulled out his gun. Therefore, Trayvon Martin used lawful force to defend himself and the defendantís use of force was unlawful.

If he were my client, I would tell him that this is my assessment.

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