Just the facts

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has a post discussing the sourcing of some of the “facts” in the Trayvon Martin case. In that vein, here is the Orlando Sentinel:

Trayvon rumors abound, but here are facts

The Trayvon Martin case has generated thousands of news stories and scores of speeches and public proclamations. Sometimes the facts get confused. Here are a few examples:

The Volusia County Medical Examiner refused to release Trayvon’s body to his family for three days, an unusually long wait.

Not true, according to the medical examiner. It picked up the body at the scene just after 10 p.m. Feb. 26 and notified a Fort Lauderdale funeral home 39 hours later that the body was ready. The funeral home, Roy Mizell and Kurtz, did not pick up the body for an additional 24 hours, the medical examiner reported.

Volusia County spokesman David Byron said it would be impossible to find out the average length of time the medical examiner there keeps bodies, but said it can vary by several days, depending on circumstances — for example, if there’s a dispute among family members about what to do.

Dr. Jan Garavaglia, medical examiner for Orange and Osceola Counties, said her office generally releases bodies in 24 to 36 hours.

The Medical Examiner’s Office in Monroe County — the Florida Keys — said the average there is five days.

Sanford police failed to collect key evidence in the case: the clothing of George Zimmerman, the gunman who killed Trayvon.

Not true, police said. They took his clothing as well as Trayvon’s and packaged it for crime-lab analysis. A spokeswoman for Special Prosecutor Angela Corey would not disclose Tuesday where the clothing is now, but she wrote in an email that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement “is assisting with the processing of physical evidence.”

Typically, evidence from Seminole County crime scenes is analyzed at the FDLE lab in Orlando.

Looks like some of my educated guesses were pretty good in regards to the timing of the investigation and evidence processing. I have never been involved in a murder case but I have a pretty good idea how things get done in the real world.

I am amazed as some of the assumptions people have made about this case. Some of those assumptions are based on fact and some are based wild conjecture. Some people can’t seem to see the obvious. At one blog it was suggested that the police station surveillance video doesn’t show blood on Zimmerman’s clothes because the cops seized his original clothes.

Another person responded by asking “Where did he get the clean clothes?” Uh, howbout from his home? He lived in that condo park and even if his wife wasn’t home he could have let the cops take his keys and enter his condo. The police would want to seize his clothes as evidence as soon as possible and he was being cooperative. That is an obvious and simple way to get him some clean clothes to change into.

Is that what happened? I don’t know. In any event I would be surprised if the police didn’t make contact with his wife at some point. They would want to verify his story about being on a trip to the store when the incident occurred. And they would want to do it before he had a chance to talk to her.

If this case went to trial each and every fact would have to be sourced. Take the part about Trayvon going to the neighborhood 7-11 and having some Skittles and a can of iced tea on him when the incident took place. Where did that information come from?

How do we know this is true? Did he tell someone that’s where he was going? Did he actually go there? Did he make those purchases? Did he still have them in his possession when he was killed? Here’s the kicker – is any of that the least bit relevant to the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman? If it’s irrelevant the jury will probably never hear any of it.

Later on I’ll do a post discussing what a trial in this case would probably look like. Maybe I’ll do it from the perspective of Zimmerman’s defense attorney.

Neighborhood Watch Captain

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26 Responses to Just the facts

  1. WMCB says:

    I look forward to it.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      That’s awesome. And that dude is going to LOVE the Doritos taco. I was skeptical at first, but I loved it.

  2. WMCB says:

    LMAO! Thread/poll on Hotair discussing who is finally supporting who, as the R primary goes into the home stretch. This comment pretty much sums it up for many R voters:

    Golf clap for Romney. He was the least embarrassing.

  3. WMCB says:

    Oh, great. Now Roseanne Barr is tweeting home address of Zimmerman’s parents.

    • dm says:

      Yeah, I was appalled to read about Spike Lee…one would think celebrities would understand a need/desire for privacy. How careless and unthinking…I would be thinking about a nice “settlement”, especially from Mr Lee. Which of course leads me to…when is Obama going to come out and give us his thoughts on that??? Hell hasn’t frozen over yet, right?

  4. votermom says:

    Later on I’ll do a post discussing what a trial in this case would probably look like. Maybe I’ll do it from the perspective of Zimmerman’s defense attorney.

    Oh boy. Spammy filter’s gonna look fun, I can tell.

  5. Bill Gannon says:

    “I have never been involved in a murder case…”

    Well, unfortunately I have, and what you’ve been saying is correct.

    We don’t (yet) know how thoroughly or poorly the Sanford PD delved into this case. The criticisms of the department coming out now seem based on personal agendas and assumptions of facts not in evidence, more than reasoned analysis, IMO.

    From my experience agencies in that part of the country do not operate in the same way as CA PDs/SOs in conjunction with filing charges. Here, as our host well knows, if an officer/agency determines it has cause, an arrest is made. The DA then takes the case and decides what to do. Back there the prosecutors office is brought into serious cases sooner, and their decision to arrest – or not – is more often deferred to by investigating agencies. In this case my initial tendency – based on (woefully slanted) media reports – was to criticize the prosecutors office. Now I’m taking a wait and see attitude. They were there and had more facts than I.

    Thanks for the calm analysis. When idiots abound, good men – and women – are priceless.

    • DandyTiger says:

      Well said. We don’t know much yet. It’s a bit early to jump the gun either way. Let’s all wait and see how things plays out.

      Unfortunately the media isn’t (well, they never do I suppose), and some leaders are going overboard, some perhaps well intentioned and just jumping the gun / making assumptions, and of course some for their own personal agendas. Hopefully the police, DA, Justice Department and others will put all the crap to one side and just get down to the facts of what likely happened.

  6. Bill Gannon says:

    Thanks. Agree. Unfortunately, IMO, the prosecutors office is now undergoing immensely overwhelming pressure from all sorts of lofty catbirds to “shape” their findings just enough to justify an arrest. As if that would end the melodrama. It wouldn’t, but to the powerful that’s not important. What IS essential in their self-centered minds is they be seen to have “played a part” in bringing someone to what passes for justice. The irony never ceases.

  7. DandyTiger says:

    Oh jeebus, Martin Brashir on MSNBC is now saying that the “campaign” on the side of Zimmerman is an effort to smear Obama. #facepalm

  8. arran says:

    After being so sure that the Duke Lacrosse team was guilty, I will no longer conclude guilt or innocence on yabba-dadda-do media and blog reporting and “evidence” before the actual trial. With this story being broad-cast and discussed from every angle and around the clock, sitting a jury who has not heard about it or formed an opinion of guilt or innocence might be very difficult.

    • arran says:

      The correct word is probably “seating”, not sitting, a jury.

      This is the third time Obama has “stepped in it.” I have many thoughts circling in my mind that as a white person I won’t discuss, except I’m 99.9% certain, he wouldn’t come to my defense under any circumstances.

  9. yttik says:

    Sarah Palin speaks the truth::

    “It’s not going to do anybody any good to ratchet up the rhetoric based on speculation,” Palin told Fox News. . . .She also called out President Obama — saying he should not have jumped into the growing outrage over the shooting.“I think it was orchestrated,” Palin said. “I’m going to get clobbered for even suggesting this, but it is what I believe.”

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