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JUNE 12, 2012 7:02PM

George and Shellie Zimmerman: The Defense Self-Destructs

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Today Jeff Weiner of the Orlando Sentinel reported,

"..The judge who revoked George Zimmerman's bond did so after he determined that it was "apparent" that Zimmerman's wife had lied under oath, and clear that Zimmerman "does not properly respect the law." ... Prosecutors alleged that Zimmerman and his wife conspired to hide from the court about $135,000 Zimmerman had collected in donations to his website.... [The judge held that] "It is apparent that [Shellie] Zimmerman testified untruthfully at the bond hearing," the judge writes in his order. "The Defendant also testified, but did not alert the Court to the misinformation."

George Zimmerman "does not properly respect the law"? Well that seems as much a no-brainer as Zimmerman’s specious defense. If Zimmerman had any respect for the law he'd have stayed in his truck till the police arrived. If Zimmerman had any respect for the law he'd have stopped chasing a defenseless 17 year old when the police directed him to stop. And while ignorance of the law is certainly no defense Zimmerman had an even higher duty than an ignorant thug for if he had any respect for the law he relies on he'd have at least have read this SYG law while he was getting his ‘certificate' in law enforcement (or whatever ‘credential’ it was) and he’d have known (the law being clear enough) that the only person who had a legal right to stand his ground under these facts was Trayvon Martin. (Not that it matters a great deal but I wonder if the trial will reveal this law was required reading for Zimmerman in his criminal justice ‘education’ program.)

Now it is reported that George Zimmerman's wife was arrested for perjury!! Gee wiz! what lovely law-abiding couple. Investigators said the records showed that his wife Shellie transferred more than $74,000 from George’s account to hers and investigators reported, in recorded phone calls between the two, while he was in jail (now how stupid was that?!), that officials heard them discuss their finances and the transferring of money. Then, of course, there as that alleged second passport he never told the court about.

I can only wonder if the court will (on its own initiative) sanction Zimmerman’s attorney for lack of candor or ask that the State Bar of Florida investigate the matter. As I’ve pointed out before, the real problem from the beginning is not this law but law enforcement. So why did this judge not ask more questions of Zimmerman and his lawyer? After all Zimmerman’s defense fund web site was no secret to anyone and I would have thought the judge demanded full disclosure of all transaction records. This matter leaves a suspect stench in my nostrils. It seemed really stupid for the judge to simply rely on a suspect and his wife for self-serving testimony that they had no money to cover bond when the defense fund web site was so well publicized. And where were the prosecutors who, it seems, should have been demanding all bank records and web-site transaction receipts? I do not know, they may have moved for full disclosure and been denied but in light of the fact we all knew of this fund-raising scheme we should all wonder how everyone let Zimmerman and his wife get away with an “apparently” intentional fraud upon the court.

 Zimmerman’s specious defense was a joke to start with (See e.g., Why It's Looking Not Looking Good For George Zimmerman , SGY: Why Zimmerman's Shield is Really Trayvon's Sword, and Trayvon Killing: The Prosecution Cuts to the Chase!!!, Martin v. Zimmerman: Everything You 'Know'About SYG is Wrong, Trayvon Martin: Defense a Pig-Sty Beneath a Racist Facade?) but having displayed a shocking lack of candor with the court Zimmerman will now have absolutely no credibility in the eyes of twelve reasonable people and neither will his wife. Frankly neither will Zimmerman’s attorney. Attorney/client privilege aside I do not think an attorney can plead ignorance where he may have a duty of inquiry and I do not think the privilege allows an attorney to remain silent when he sees his client deceiving the court. This is one of the reasons lawyers do not want their client’s to testify: if the lawyer sees his client commit perjury they arguably have an ethical duty to not sit by and allow their client to commit a fraud on the court. That would create a conflict of interest that may require an attorney to withdraw from the case. This is why many lawyers never ask their clients if they are guilty but only want to know what the evidence is. I must presume this lawyer never asked his client if he had money to post bond or he never would have allowed his client to otherwise testify under oath and thereby allow a fraud upon the court.

Who knows? This it have been a brilliant maneuver of the prosecution to allow the defense to pull the wool over the court’s eyes and then come back to expose the fraud and utterly destroy all credibility. If so, then kudos!! Well done. Very well done!!

Any circumspect trial judge is going to view both the Zimmermans with jaded eye and well-earned suspicion where the defendant and his wife have colluded and conspired to pull the wool over the court’s eyes. And where the attorney pleads ignorance of facts some may think he should have known about this does not help. Of course there are those twelve reasonable people who may not be so easily fooled. While none of this proves Zimmerman is guilty of murder it does shatter credibility and does serious damage to an arguably specious defense.

In any event it appears somebody did do their job and pulled the ugly bed-sheet off this travesty and I for one would like to know who to thank.

Francois Arouet

Copyright © 2012


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news, zimmerman, shellie, george

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Brilliant post. Thanks for updating us on this sordid case.
[r] Francois, I so enjoyed this for your wit and the catharsis of having the guilty (and spouse) going guiltier and then get called out!!!! I am so glad you are on this case for us all. So many fresh hells, but you are on the front lines watching this one with an experienced and justified jaundiced eye that adds a great sense of irony and entertaining exasperation to your accounting and at the same time, or at rare times provided, an ability to celebrate and share when justice prevails in this anti-justice, anti-empathy ethical freak show of a universe. BRAVO. Forgive me for getting here so late!

best, libby