Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Did George Zimmerman Get Off Because of Government Inemptness?

As an outsider, with only occasional glances at the murder trial of George Zimmerman, it appeared to me that Zimmerman acted in self-defense. That said, I was surprised that the jury found him not guilty. My surprise came because although this was not a racially motivated killing, it was painted as such by the media, and I suspected that black jurors sitting on the jury would want to convict him. At best, I saw a hung jury.

I learned for the first time last night, though, while watching CNN, that there were no black jurors on the jury! It wasn't any reporter that revealed this, but Trayvon Martin's friend, Rachel Jeantel, who was on the Piers Morgan show, last night. She said that there were five white jurors and one Hispanic.

I was totally flabbergasted. Given the extraordinary efforts the government went to railroad Zimmerman, they didn't get a black person on the jury. This has to be chalked up to typical incompetence by government.  The prosecutors were completely outmatched by Zimmerman's private sector lawyers.

Apparently, criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, who during the trial was a frequent guest on Anderson Cooper's show at CNN, called the case for Zimmerman as soon as the  jury was seated. Last night, CNN legal analyst, Jeffery Toobin, seemed genuinely stunned that Geragos called it right and, on the air, Toobin asked Geragos how he knew that the jurors would be so favorable to Zimmerman, as the one juror who spoke to Cooper appeared to be.

I was more stunned by Toobin's cluelessness.

When I occasionally wander down to Los Angeles, I not only generally have a pastrami sandwich dinner with David Gordon, but I often head to the bar on the roof top of the Standard Hotel in downtown LA, for a Bombay Sapphire tonic (or two). Geragos hangs out there quite a bit and one time we got into a discussion about winning court cases. I said I believed what Robert Frost had said, "A jury is 12 people deciding which side has the best attorney." I went on to say, "Show me the attorney who can pick a jury that he knows will believe his BS, and that's the attorney I want."

Geragos agreed with me profusely. He told me that when he goes around the country giving speeches to trial attorneys, the first thing he discusses is how important jury selection is.

Lucky for Zimmerman that the bumbling government didn't understand what Frost knew and Geragos knows about trial selection.


  1. I don't know where you get you have your pastramis with David Gordon (P.S. I would definitely watch a weekly show called "Pastrami with David Gordon), but I highly recommend having one at Johnni's Pastrami in Culver City.

    Best I've ever had.

  2. Zimmerman's lawyers were able to eliminate black jurors because the potential black jurors openly displayed hostility and prejudice towards Zimmerman. At least one black juror said that Zimmerman was 'guilty'.

  3. 1 in 4 are ineligible because of a felony conviction