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Prosecutors can say 'profiled' at Zimmerman trial

Published: Fri, June 21, 2013 @ 2:45 p.m.

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors can argue in opening statements that George Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin based on factors such as age or clothing before he shot the unarmed 17-year-old, but they cannot say he was profiled based on race, a judge ruled today.

Judge Debra Nelson made the ruling ahead of Monday's expected opening statements in Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial.

Defense attorneys had asked the judge to prohibit prosecutors from using a series of words in opening statements that they deemed inflammatory. Those words included "profiled," ''vigilante," ''wannabe cop," and that Zimmerman had confronted Martin, who was black. Zimmerman identifies as Hispanic.

The judge said all of those statements may be used, provided that race is not discussed if the issue of profiling is brought up.

Prosecutor John Guy had argued that there were a number of ways someone could be profiled other than race.

"That is not a racially charged term unless it's made so, and we don't intend to make it a racially charged term," Guy said. "There are a number of avenues someone can be profiled in any one way or combination. We don't intend to say he was solely profiled because of race."

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara said he was concerned using the word "profiled" would "infect" the jury with a racial component that shouldn't be there.

"I want to be very, very cautious," O'Mara said.

Six female jurors were chosen Thursday for the second-degree murder trial of Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer who says he fired on Martin in self-defense last year in a gated community in Sanford. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty.


1holdinweight(11 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

Innocent man? are you serious JMHO? Black or white, Asian or Hispanic etc. this kid was walking home from the store and got accused of being "suspicious" IN HIS OWN NEIGHBORHOOD mind you. This coward deserves to be put away.. he provoked the argument and the violence that insued. I have my CCW but I will go to jail if I 1. provoked a fight 2. found out that I couldn't win said fight fairly 3. decided to use my gun because I was losing. .. that rings true whether I commit murder or not. Even a graze is illegal.

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2Jerry(521 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago


What is your EVIDENCE for drawing the conclusion that "..... he (Zimmerman) provoked the argument and the violence that insued.(sic)"

The ONLY questions here are who started the physical violence and when did the gun come out. Once that is determined, if it can be determined, we can decide who was acting in self defense.

I am not privy to all the evidence or the trial proceedings; however, I have seen no EVIDENCE in the media to dispute Zimmerman's side of the story. Have you???

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3excel(330 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

This case is a prime example of why we should get all of the guns off the streets. Only our military and law enforcement have any real need for firearms.

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4redeye1(4715 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

Excel go live in a cave why don't you> This kid was probably high on weed or something . That gave him muscles and he thought he could beat anyone . he lost!!!!!! Another example that you shouldn't smoke weed and go out.

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5holdinweight(11 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

Dispatcher: Are you following him?
Zimmerman: Yeah
Dispatcher: Okay, we don't need you to do that.

That looks as if he is provoking an encounter to me. Provocation whether physical or verbal is still provocation. Neighborhood watch programs are designed to be eyes for law enforcement. They are not open licenses to be vigilantes. Had Zimmerman decided to be a good witness, as the neighrhood watch trains you to be, none of this would have happened.

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6Jerry(521 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago


That's your evidence???

My whole point........Unless you know something I don't, there is reason to doubt Zimmerman's story, and there is reason to doubt the prosecution's story. I believe "reason to doubt" means acquittal; or at least it used to.

I'll await the results of the actual trial, where the evidence is presented and reviewed.

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