Sunday, July 7, 2013
NBC’s Dan Abrams, whom I generally respect, has announced that he believes the jury will find the the defendant not guilty of both murder 2 and manslaughter. Given the State’s difficult burden to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, which he believes to be impossible since the defendant has a coherent theory of the case supported by many witnesses as well as the photographs showing the injuries to his head, he said that he does not see any way that the jury can convict him.
In reaching that opinion, I believe Abrams commits the same mistake that so many of his colleagues commit on a daily basis regarding all of the important stories and issues of the day. They assume that there are two sides to every story and each side has both strengths and weaknesses. In other words, they assume the opposing sides are roughly equally legitimate. This assumption is not based on a thorough evidence based review of the respective sides or an objective evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing arguments.
In fact, the assumption of equivalency is a false assumption and an extremely poor substitute for investigative journalism and critical thinking.
Abrams also commits another mistake by failing to acknowledge that the jury will decide how much weight to assign to the evidence. For example, the jury could decide that the defendant is a liar and disregard everything he said that is not independently supported by other credible evidence.
For a long time I have been describing this case a simple case. The jury can reasonably infer based on the evidence introduced at trial that the defendant attempted to locate and physically prevent Trayvon Martin from being yet another fucking punk and asshole who always escapes out the rear entrance of the neighborhood before the police arrive. They could also reasonably conclude that Trayvon uttered the terrified death shriek since he was unarmed and the shriek ended with the gunshot. Finally, they also could conclude that the absence of any of the defendant’s blood or DNA on Trayvon Martin’s hoodie means Trayvon did not attack the defendant.
Anyone who has taken the time to study this case should realize that there is sufficient evidence in the record to support a verdict of guilty to murder 2.
Indeed, Judge Nelson so ruled on Friday.
Therefore, Abrams opinion that there is not sufficient evidence to support a guilty verdict is flat out wrong.