Saturday, April 28, 2012

That which is most precious

Hello Friends;
  Below is an article I found interesting on numerous levels.  Mostly, I find myself with the knee-jerk reaction of saying that Zimmerman should be punished by any and all means available, including the forfeiture of any funds raised for his legal defense.  But, then I come to the brick wall of justice.
  Did Trayvon receive his share of justice?  Well, then why should Zimmerman?  And yet, if we as a people are no more than thieves, what are we to become?
   In criminal law, there is a saying I've heard goes something like "all the justice he could buy".  Is it right that we need to have a considerable amount of money in order to pay for a quality defense?  I don't know... you literally get what you pay for when it comes to attorneys far too often.  What would be ideal is for some sort of fact finding process done by the state that comes to a fair and equitable result.  But, administered and populated by man, there is no way it would ever work.
  The simple fact of the matter is that we in this country, and perhaps we as a species, have far too small a value on life, on quality life.  Somehow we have found that the taking of life is far too acceptable - be that from a permanent perspective, like what happened to Trayvon, or a slow lingering death like Mr. Zimmerman is now facing. 
  I have no soundbites, no snap judgements.  I only have sadness that two lives, at the bare minimum, are forever changed by one man's willingness to place into his hand that which can only take that which is most precious.


(CNN) -- George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of wrongly killing Trayvon Martin, will not immediately have to turn over donations made to his website, a Florida judge said Friday.

Zimmerman collected about $204,000 in donations through the website, but did not disclose the contributions during his bond hearing last week, according to his attorney, Mark O'Mara. Prosecutors had asked for a bond of $1 million, but Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. made it $150,000 after Zimmerman's family testified they did not have the resources necessary to meet the higher level.
Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda on Friday asked Lester to increase the bond in light of the donations. But the judge said he would delay ruling on the request, in part because he does not know if he has authority to say how the money can be used.
Lester and O'Mara both said they are concerned about releasing the names of donors to Zimmerman, who has faced threats since the case began making national headlines in March.
Zimmerman, 28, was released Monday on $150,000 bail, 10% of which was put up to secure his release while he awaits trial on a second-degree murder charge in Martin's February 26 death.
About $5,000 from the website contribution was used in making bond, O'Mara said. The rest came from a loan secured by a family home.
Although Zimmerman spent some of the contributions on living expenses, about $150,000 remains, O'Mara said Friday. O'Mara said he has put the money into a trust he controls until a final decision is made about its use.
Lester asked for additional information about the accounts but did not indicate when he would rule.
"I'm not going to make a snap decision," the judge said.
Also during Friday's hearing, Lester declined to consider a gag order requested by prosecutors, saying it was premature and that none of the attorneys in the case had said anything to concern him so far. CNN was among the media organizations opposing the motion.
O'Mara said he learned about the money this week as he and Zimmerman were trying to shut down Zimmerman's website, Facebook page and Twitter account to avoid concerns about possible impersonators and other problems.
"He asked me what to do with his PayPal accounts, and I asked him what he was talking about," O'Mara told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday. "He said those were the accounts that had the money from the website he had. And there was about ... $204,000 that had come in to date."
O'Mara had said earlier this month that he believed Zimmerman had no money.
Asked whether knowledge of the money might have made a difference to Lester, who presided at Zimmerman's bond hearing, O'Mara said, "It might have."
O'Mara could not explain why Zimmerman didn't disclose the funds, but said he didn't think his client had meant to deceive anyone.
"I consider it an oversight because I don't see anything else that suggests that Mr. Zimmerman has been insincere or dishonest," he told CNN's Erin Burnett on Friday. "The moment I asked him about it, he acknowledged it and forwarded the money."
Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said Zimmerman's failure to reveal that he had the money shows that he is being dishonest.
"If his testimony at the bond hearing is any indication of what is to come, then the lying has already begun," Crump said.
"This is going to say a lot about whether Trayvon Martin can get a fair trial," he told Burnett. "If he (Lester) doesn't revoke his bond, the court should severely sanction him so George Zimmerman understands you cannot lie to the court."
Separately, the attorney said the Martin family has raised less than $100,000 in fund-raising efforts to date, and that the money collected will go toward the Trayvon Martin Foundation.
Crump said his firm will not collect a fee in any of the criminal proceedings.
"If we collect any money, it will be from a civil lawsuit and not from any donor money," he said.
Zimmerman was arrested April 11 after a lengthy delay punctuated by protests and rallies nationwide calling for charges against him.
Critics accuse Zimmerman of racially profiling and unjustly killing Martin, a 17-year-old African-American. Zimmerman told police he shot Martin in self-defense, according to police reports.
Although details of the shooting remain murky, it is known that Martin ventured out from the Sanford, Florida, home of his father's fiancee and went to a nearby convenience store, where he bought a bag of candy and an iced tea. On his way back, he had a confrontation with Zimmerman, who shot him.
Zimmerman had called 911 to complain about a suspicious person in the neighborhood, according to authorities.
In the call, Zimmerman said he was following Martin after the teen started to run, prompting the dispatcher to tell him, "We don't need you to do that." Zimmerman pursued Martin anyway but then said he lost sight of him.
According to an Orlando Sentinel story later confirmed by Sanford police, Zimmerman told authorities that after he briefly lost track of Martin, the teen approached him. After the two exchanged words, Zimmerman said, he reached for his cell phone, and then Martin punched him in the nose. Zimmerman said Martin pinned him to the ground and began slamming his head onto the sidewalk, leading to the shooting.
Police have said Zimmerman was not immediately charged because there was no evidence to disprove his account that he'd acted in self-defense. A police report indicated he was bleeding from the nose and the back of his head.
O'Mara on Friday revealed a new website,, and another site, not yet live, that will host a defense fund. The only thing on the site Friday afternoon was a statement about the donations.

Regardless of what happens to the contributions, O'Mara intends to open a legal defense fund for his client, he said.

"I've had dozens, hundreds actually, of people wanting to donate," he said Thursday.
O'Mara, who said he charges $400 per hour for family law cases, estimated Zimmerman's defense costs could reach $1 million.

"You can really go through a lot of money on a case like this, with the intensity of it," he said.


Scottie said...

Hello Randy. I read this post with several emotions running. Of course I am very sorry at the loss of a young life who was not doing anything to warrant losing your life.... anger at one man needing to be important enough to take a weapon and posture to show he was important and "big". The anger at the easy ability for everyone to have a hand gun which leads to false bravery and a feeling of the need to get ones way.

I think it is sad you don't believe that mankind can raise to a better more enlightened form. To think we cant be better tomorrow than we are to day, that indeed it will only get worse saddens me greatly.

one point I disagree strongly with....Trayvon Martin needs no trial. No one should make this trial about him. Even if he did have a confrontation in the end , he committed no crime. If it is legal to stand your ground, then after being followed, stalked, chased for no reason other than you were there by a larger more menacing person, it would be more than understandable when confronted or approached to think the worse and to try to defend your self. I would if I if I had felt my self threatened. and a larger man chasing me with a weapon, which I am sure he had as readily as he could, if not out.

So this trial needs to focus on Mr. Zimmerman, his actions, his thought process, his motives especially. What was his intent that night. Did he go out to prove a point...was he angry at young black people who he thought may have done wrong before...We need to realize that the moment he took to following Travon Martin, he was placing him self in a position of authority he did NOT deserve to have, nor have any right to. It seems in his mind he had become an officer of the law....and he was going to enforce right or wrong...So he no matter what level of crime he committed, he did commit that one and we can start there.

Now I often coution people at work that they are not in charge of other departments, or things not dealing with our unit. I tell people here in the park that they are not the park police and have no authority and should not pretend they tell the truth we have had some people try to stop cars they thought were going over the speed limit, going to fast by their definition, ( being old everyone goes to fast ) and we had one old lady in the park going around demanding to know where everyone she did not recognize lived...I told her that when she paid my rent I would tell her....she was mad and went to the office to complain....silly.

Oh well, have to go. on another note, I love our chats and am sorry I will be working lots of hours and will miss you. Hugs

randy said...

Hi Scottie;
You are right, of course, Treyvon does not require a trial. I meant one thing and see that it came across differently.... story of my life.
I am not one of those who believes that all guns should be banned. But, I will say quite clearly, that if one chooses to carry, then one best be careful! It is too easy to believe oneself "the law", "in charge", etc. Then the consequences are so easily tragic!

Be well, and enjoy work!

Scottie said...

Hello Randy..would it surprise you to know that I, a gay man who is big into feelings, doesn't believe in banning guns either? However I do believe in common sense restraints and education requirements. I carried a gun in my first three jobs...two openly, one concealed. I had to take many classes and twice a year had to pass both a written test and a hot gun range testing.

I have no problem with every one who has no mental illness issues or criminal citations having a rifle. My problem is with the easy availability of hand guns. I take strong issue of the interpretation of the second amendment that everyone has unlimited access and rights to weapons. I read it to say "a well regulated militia" to mean a government sponsored and regulated armed forces.

I look at other countries that have stricter hand gun laws, and they have much lower crime rates, especially murders.

Yes almost anything can be used to kill or cause serious harm, but a hand gun is special in the feelings it gives the user, it requires no hard work or special skills to do damage.

I admit I was well trained. I worked under color of law as a sheriff's deputy. I learned when to use deadly force, and that to even pull your gun meant you were to use it and to use it means you were using to stop an action of serious bodily harm or death to your self or another person. Because you were trained to use your weapon to save your life or another, you were trained to use it to the way I was taught, if you pulled your weapon, you were prepared to kill.

So I think some people should not have hand guns. people who can't control their tempers, people who are unstable, people who are proven to hurt others.

Guess I got carried away Randy, because I took so much training and see people around me who think a gun makes them "Dirty Harry". It scares the shit out of me some times. Many hugs