Hard Knock Radio 04-16-14: We speak NBC legal analyst, lawyer and author Lisa Bloom about the her book Suspicion Nation which gives keen insight into the Trayvon Martin/ George Zimmerman trial which she feels was botched by the prosecutors..
During our conversation Ms Bloom lays out 5 key egregious mistakes and oversights about the trial which led to its messed up outcome. Among the points raised is the mistreatment and harassment of the only non white juror, Maddy, who for weeks felt singled out, demeaned, and belittled by the five white jurors. Things got so bad that she decided to leave — twice — but was talked into staying by two minority bailiffs. Was racial profiling going on inside the jury room in the midst of the highest profile trial in America about racial profiling?
Another disturbing aspect brought forth by Lisa Bloom in our interview was how the state of Florida failed to argue their best evidence (that Zimmerman’s gun was holstered behind him, making it impossible for Trayvon to see, much less reach for – the essence of Zimmerman’s self-defense claim).
Zimmerman demonstrated this on videotape the day after the incident, so it was right under their noses all the time. The state failed to prepare its most important witnesses, and assured the acquittal by delivering an abysmal closing argument, failing to connect the evidence to the law, asking questions rather than providing answers. State Attorney Angela Corey’s big smile and statement “the system worked” after the acquittal raises real questions about whether they wanted to win the case at all.
Lisa Bloom talks about her interview with Trayvon’ s friend Rachel Jeantel who she notes was poorly prepared by the state prosecutors for her testimony. One of the key points that the state neglected to bring to light during that fateful last conversation was how Trayvon was joking with Rachel just before the altercation. This revelation would’ve have undercut Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon was an enraged homicidal attacker.
Lisa Bloom addresses the nagging issue of Trayvon being suspended from his high school in Miami. many were lead to believe that Trayvon was some sort of violent thug who was disruptive. That was far from the case. Bloom points out that Trayvon was suspended for being late and having an empty bag with traces of weed in his locker.
During our conversation Bloom gives larger context to the suspensions by noting how there have been multiple civil rights cases filed against Florida schools for racial bias against African-American boys in suspensions. In the case of Trayvon his infractions did not warrant suspensions under his school’s own written policies.
Under those policies, his offenses, like tardiness, should have not led to suspensions at all, or resulted in only brief suspensions. Trayvon was away from his Miami home the night he lost his life due to an unwarranted ten-day suspension, his third in a few months.
We concluded our interview by talking about the importance of making sure the right DAs and judges get into office and how the refusal of many to take such elections seriously have had long term negative consequences…