Dooley and Zimmerman Cases – Same Law, Different Verdicts – Why?

Dooley

Trevor Dooley. Found by the jury to be the initial aggressor for leaving his garage with a loaded gun and approaching David James.

On January 23, 2013, I wrote an article on the significance of the Dooley decision.  It is a Florida case where the defendant claimed self-defense.  Trevor Dooley was found guilty of manslaughter.  His case is currently on appeal.

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin. Found by jury to be the initial aggressor for exercising his right to be out of his residence when confronted by George Zimmerman.

When I first heard of the Dooley case, I expected that he would prevail on his claim of Stand Your Ground because of testimony that Dooley was walking back to his house when David James came up behind him, knocking him to the ground.

After the verdict and when I wrote the article, it was my position that the jury applied the facts to Florida law from the beginning, finding that if not but for the fact that Trevor Dooley left his garage with a loaded gun and approached David James for mouthing off at him, the two would not have come into physical contact.

Likewise, I said that if not but for the fact that George Zimmerman got out of his car with a loaded gun to follow Trayvon, the two would not have come into physical contact.  It was my position that the Zimmerman jury would find him guilty of 2nd degree murder, or manslaughter, by applying the law of initial aggressor to the facts.

I was wrong.

Trevor Dooley was candid after his conviction, saying that had the races in his case been reversed, the jury would not have convicted him.  Dooley is Black.  David James was White. I didn’t want to believe that.  This is America where justice is blind and our courts of law are suppose to apply the facts to the law without regard to race, religion, nor gender.  I now know better.  That is a dream.  It’s an American dream, but America’s juries hand out nightmares when they use unsupported facts to get the result they want.

in court after arrest

George M. Zimmerman
Jury found he was entitled to follow Trayvon because he suspected all Black males of being criminals.

What is known as Stand Your Ground law in Florida requires that the initial aggressor make efforts to retreat.  That would apply to Trevor Dooley, but the jury did not see it that way.  Zimmerman, as the initial aggressor by the same standard applied in the Dooley case, made no effort to retreat.  According to his story, he turned to face Trayvon Martin, and stood face-to-face with him while searching in his pockets for his cell phone.  As the initial aggressor (again, by the same standard applied in the Dooley case), Zimmerman had no right to claim self-defense.

TP_328910_OROU_Wife

David James
Jury found he felt threatened by Trevor Dooley giving him the right to attack Dooley.

The message sent by the jury in the Dooley case is that unarmed, 41 year old David James, White, who outweighed the 69 year old Dooley by 80 pounds, had the right to fear Trevor Dooley, who is Black, and be entitled to assault Dooley who had turned his back and was walking back home when assaulted by James. Dooley was denied his claim of self-defense and found guilty of manslaughter.  Thus, unarmed White men are allowed to be afraid of and attack armed Black men who walk away from them.

The message sent by the jury in the Zimmerman case is that 17 year old, unarmed Trayvon Martin, who was Black, had no right to fear 28 year old George Zimmerman (White Hispanic), who outweighed him by 50 pounds.  The decision of the Zimmerman jury is that Zimmerman, who was carrying a gun loaded with hollow point bullets, had the right to follow Trayvon because Trayvon was Black and Zimmerman was entitled to suspect all Black males of criminal activity.  Zimmerman was found not guilty for killing Trayvon Martin who he admitted to having pinned before he aimed, and fired a hollow point bullet into the heart of the 17 year old.

Florida juries have made it clear that Whites fearing Blacks are entitled to violate law, whereas Blacks have no rights under the law whatsoever.   For Trayvon, Florida denied him rights to walk to the store; to walk back home after sundown; to be outside in the rain; to run from Zimmerman; to talk on his cell phone while outside; to ask Zimmerman “What are you following me for?”

For Trevor Dooley, Florida denied him the right to approach a White man for mouthing off to him; to walk back to his house without there being a physical confrontation; and to use his gun in self-defense when the younger and stronger David James came up behind him, knocking him to the ground.

The original post in January included a chart of comparison.  I’ve now updated that chart and provide it below.

Similarities and Comparisons

Trevor Dooley George Zimmerman
City, State Valrico, FL Sanford, FL
Community Twin Lakes Retreat at Twin Lakes
Age of Defendant at time of incident 69 28
Age of Victim at time of incident 41 17
Race of Defendant Black White Latino
Race of Victim White Black
Physical Height and Weight of Defendants 5’ 7”, 160 lbs. 5’7.5’, 208 lbs.
Physical Height and Weight of Victims 6’ 1”, 240 lbs. 5’ 11”, 158 lbs
Defense Was assaulted by a younger, stronger man and was in fear for his life. Was assaulted by a teen and was in fear for his life.
Experience Dooley: Retired School Bus Driver.  David James: 20 yrs in the military. Zimmerman: MMA, grampling, boxing.Trayvon Martin: 17 yr old high school junior.
Victim armed/unarmed Unarmed Unarmed
Cause of Death Gunshot to the heart Gunshot to the heart
Arrested 2 days after killing About 40 days after killing
Allegations: Victim attacked first (supported by witnesses) Victim attacked first (No witnesses)
Was being choked, could not breathe Was being smothered, could not breathe
Victim saw and went for gun Victim saw and went for gun
Fear that victim would get gun and shoot. Fear that victim would get gun and shoot.
Admitted Left garage and approached victim Left vehicle and followed victim
Tried to walk away (supported by witnesses) Shot victim while having victim’s wrist and arm pinned.
Shot victim while victim was on top. (Supported by witness testimony) Witnesses vary as to who was on top, but Zimmerman claims he shot while on his back.
Victim rushed him. Victim ran.
Similarities Left his garage with a loaded gun to approach victim. Left his vehicle with a loaded gun to follow victim.
Jurors 2 women, 4 men, multiracial 6 women, 5 White, 1 Hispanic
Trial Decision Guilty of Manslaughter Not Guilty

Posted on 07/30/2013, in Evidence, George and Shellie Zimmerman, Justice For Trayvon and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 45 Comments.

  1. Excellent piece Xena, I’ve shared this on my FB! Hope you don’t mind!

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    • @nocamo33. Thanks for the reblog. IMO, this needs to get out so people go into the Dunn case understanding it in “black and white.”

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  2. roderick2012

    There are the facts in black and white (pun intended).

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  3. thanks xena — kind of removes all doubt, doesn’t it?

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    • @fauxmccoy. Good to see your fonts. I found it pretty amazing that the juries in both cases put thoughts and intents into the minds of the victims that allowed them to enter the verdicts they wanted.

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      • that would be bass ackwards to what they are supposed to consider.

        husband and i were just discussing the major differences between our own self defense law and florida. we have the castle doctrine along with no duty to retreat, but the similarities end there and the laws are not used here to justify homicides (at least not successfully).

        i was amazed in the florida trial that the prosecution bore the burden of disproving self defense. in CA, the defendant bears the burden of proving self defense. i was shocked to see anything different with an affirmative defense.

        i think the florida laws are so flawed from start to finish that there is in fact no hope for minorities or youth (as you must be 21 to legally own a firearm in florida).

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        • @fauxmccoy.

          i was amazed in the florida trial that the prosecution bore the burden of disproving self defense.

          The prosecution was duped. To prove an affirmative defense, the burden of proof shifts from the prosecution to the defense. What happened in GZ’s trial is that the defense continued claiming injuries. The prosecution failed to continue reminding the jury the chronological sequence of events. Rather, they took a position of proving that what GZ said happened was impossible, such as the straddling demonstration.

          But then, we have Juror B37 who said it made no difference at that point because GZ had the right to shoot to kill for being punched in the nose. So there we have the classic White Supremacist attitude that if a Black teen whistles at a White woman, he can be hunted down during the night and lynched.

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          • they may have been duped xena, but florida law requires that the prosecution disprove the self defense claim, with zero burden of proof on the defendant for his affirmative defense. this is certainly not how it is usually done and equates to the proverbial impossibility of ‘proving a negative’.

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            • @fauxmccoy. I don’t want to get confused on this. We might be saying the same thing. The following is from Gary MOSANSKY, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee, April 20, 2010.

              http://caselaw.findlaw.com/fl-district-court-of-appeal/1520091.html

              “The defendant has the burden of presenting sufficient evidence that he acted in self-defense in order to be entitled to a jury instruction on the issue. But the presentation of such evidence does not change the elements of the offense at issue; rather, it merely requires the state to present evidence that establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense.”

              And,
              “In sum, based upon the authorities above, the trial court did not err (and, certainly, did not fundamentally err) by failing to specifically instruct the jury that the state had the burden to disprove Appellant’s claim of self-defense. ”

              Even Florida’s appellate decisions are confusing.

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            • after reading what you wrote and comparing that to the blog i quoted on fred’s site (will repost below) AND remembering the first argument mantei put forth after the state rested it’s case and defense asked for a judgement of acquittal, i come away with 2 basic thoughts.

              1. it is up to the defense to get evidence entered that will ensure the self defense jury instruction, but we know in this case, the prosecution did.

              and

              2. although getting the self defense instruction is the duty of the defense attorney, the burden of proof is upon the prosecution — to disprove that self defense occurred.

              – – – – –

              this differs vastly from other states where a defense attorney bears the burden of proof for an affirmative defense (be it self defense, alibi, etc.). this just astounded me — that the defendant had no burden of proof for an affirmative defense, it gives the defendant yet one more huge advantage in a long line of unfair advantages in florida self defense laws. the defense need only get enough into evidence to assure the self defense language of the jury instructions, once that has occurred, it basically gives the defendant the benefit of doubt with no burden of proof.

              from the following website which contrasts california and florida law

              http://www.elliottnkanter.com/2012/04/12/what-constitutes-self-defense-in-california/

              What are differences between Florida and California Self-Defense Laws?

              There are two major differences between the Florida and California law. First, in California, a person claiming self-defense must use “reasonable force,” while Florida law says a person can “meet force with force, including lethal force.”

              In Florida, that means if someone first punches you with their fist, you could respond by shooting them with deadly force.

              The second major difference is that in Florida, when self-defense is invoked, there is a presumption the killing is reasonable. The burden is put on prosecutors to show that it is not.

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            • @fauxmccoy. IOWs, Florida’s self-defense requirements for the burden of proof stinks.

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            • BINGO!

              the whole system is a set up.

              from the time the police are notified and can choose to not arrest, to the time when the prosecutor can opt to not prosecute, to the court appearance where the defendant is not required to prove his affirmative defense, to the biased jury instructions, to the 6 member jury which deliberates. it’s all a set up.

              as i said in fred’s blog, i am completely comfortable with california’s self defense laws. when my own home was being invaded and i held a loaded, cocked .38 revolver on the jackass trying to bust down my door, all i could do was pray the lock would hold until the sheriff arrived. i knew that i could not shoot until the lock broke, but also knew that i would do so and shoot to kill to protect the toddler i had locked in my room and the baby i was carrying at the time. but i also knew damn well that even if i had shot a man who had clearly busted down my door, that my pregnant ass would be heading to jail and that i’d be incurring a major expense to defend myself in court. and that is how it should be. worse than that, though, would be the guilt i would live with for the rest of my life, even though i firmly believe in the basic right to defend ones self.

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            • @fauxmccoy. Don’t know if you read the article and saw the video, but there is strong reason to believe that Juror B37 was a stealth juror. O’Mara actually gave her instructions in the form of questions. Then, in his press conference on July 10, he spoke of an acquittal in past tense. The reason they were still nervous is because he was not sure if it would be a hung jury or not. He didn’t want that — couldn’t afford it, because GZ swore under oath that it was his decision not to testify. Yet, O’Mara said at the press conference that GZ did want to testify. That press conference was held before there were closing arguments.

              Illinois just passed conceal carry, but there is action filed in the federal appellate court because of it. The governor, neither the State’s Attorney General, approve of that law. So, I suppose if it does go through that I will be applying for a CCL. I’ve owned guns but gave them away after awhile because the threat (and reason I purchased) was removed. The only reason I can see for conceal carry is for protection in public, and if angry folks are going to be carrying, then I need to also carry to protect myself from them.

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  4. Xena…..THANK YOU so much for giving us something like this AMAZING Chart to spread the word of WHAT we are trying to say! I hope this chart spreads like wildfires! Nobody can argue with this! GREAT JOB as usual.You always provide me with such neat ways to prove my points!

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    • @Marilyn C. HEY!!! Thanks so much for your support. You might already know that I love research. It can take time, but the result is worth it.

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  5. How long, oh Lord? 😦

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    • This has to stop!!!

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      • @Yahtzee. It certainly does.

        Many years ago I heard a quote by someone whose name I don’t remember now. It pertained to the days when Christians were murdered. The quote was along the lines of, “Christian blood is like seed. The more it is spilled, the more Christians are produced.”

        History teaches us that when a group of people are oppressed, deprived, killed by another group of people, that they become stronger and much more independent and freer than their oppressors.

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  6. Great, but I would prefer “claimed to be assaulted by a teen” in the table, since I don’t believe Trayvon ever assaulted Zimmerman.

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    • @ED-209. Welcome to Blackbutterfly7 and thanks for your comment. I think the column you referenced is titled “allegations” which is another word for “claims.” When there were witnesses, that is noted in parenthesis. I agree with you, and DNA evidence proved that Trayvon didn’t touch Zimmerman.

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  7. Attorney Natalie Jackson represented the family of an Orlando man who was shot at 137 times by the police. The case was settled for $450,000.

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  8. Sanford Police tase man in the back of his head. The cop was so close to him that he fell on the man and became tangled in the wires.

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    • roderick2012

      You gotta love the brainiacs they hire as police officers in Sanford.

      But since we know that Osterman is a former SPO this shouldn’t be as a surprise.

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      • @roderick2012. I’m wondering if the SPD is acting up since their new Chief of Police is an “outsider” from Elgin, IL? Maybe they want their bad behavior to reflect on him so he will be terminated.

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        • roderick2012

          Xena, I was thinking the same thing.

          They really got him for a couple of reasons:
          1) Window dressing to hide the rampant corruption and racism within the SPD
          2) If there had been any rioting after Piglet was acquitted and the SPD thugs had roughed up any blacks then they would have blamed Chief Smith.

          But I blame Smith for taking this job knowing damn well that he was entering a burning house.

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          • @roderick2012.

            But I blame Smith for taking this job knowing damn well that he was entering a burning house.

            Doing the job, and knowledge of how those who don’t want you to have the job, are very different in northern Illinois where Smith came from. As someone with the highest office of “Chief” in the department, bigots have no one to complain to. That means they find other ways of making Smith looking bad. IMO, he had better open his eyes to what is happening and start reprimanding cops under his supervision before they run all over him.

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  9. Hi Xena….I guess I should keep my mouth shut about Florida because I just saw on the news that Zimmerman is in TEXAS.Gee…I wonder WHY? Maybe the same gun laws & gun IDIOT supporters.He got pulled over for speeding in a small town about 20 mile east of Dallas called Forney(country town,small).They just released the police report & dash cam today,but this happened on Sunday,Take a look. cbsdfw.com
    I can NOT see him making an appearance in Dallas b/c thats where all of the rallies,etc have been for Trayvon.I wonder if he is running to the border? I also live in a small town in Tx,but I am not scared of him.We DO protect our KIDS here in TEXAS.Some of us have good sense here.Just wanted to warn everybody to lock your kids up if you are in Texas !!

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  10. You can also add. Trevor Dooley convicted by a jury o hourdf all charges in 100 minutes. George Zimmerman acquitted by a jury of all charges in 16.5 hours. NRA support for Zimmerman. No NRA support for Dooley. Thank you Xena for your update. When I 1st heard of Trevor Dooley it was 30 days and Zimmerman was still unarrested. Once i saw that Trevor was arrested 2days after his killing. It was obvious a racial double standard was in effect. The racial double standard happened on every level you can think of. If Zimmerman deserved an acquittal, Dooley deserves a conviction overturn. Also the Zimmerman supporters are now making a false comparison with Zimmerman’s acquittal and a black NYker Roderick Scott. Keep up the good work.

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    • The comparison really brings things to light. A Black man obeys the law by walking away. The jury gets into the victim’s mind and says he felt threatened and that gave him the right to attack the Black man walking away. Did anyone ask why he didn’t call the cops instead? No, because they feel White entitlement gave him the right to confront a Black man. They do not hold the victim responsible for his own death.

      A Black kid runs from a creepy White man. I don’t care how much people say Zimmerman is Hispanic. All of his papers say he is White and so does his DNA. The creepy dude follows and kills the kid. The jury finds the kid at fault.

      It’s messed up. There is still a civil war in America. Only this time, the battlefield is the courtroom.

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      • @dawnjprice.

        There is still a civil war in America. Only this time, the battlefield is the courtroom.

        Powerfully true, deep statement.

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    • @m1. Of course Zidiots have to go outside of the jurisdiction of Florida in effort to compare. The Dooley and Zimmerman cases are Florida cases, and those cases demonstrate, as you say, the double standard that exists in that state in regards to self-defense.

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      • Xena, I appreciate you’re recognizing my points as well as others in this obvious racial double standard. The zidiots that are now falsely bringing up black NYker Roderick Scott didn’t support him in April 2009 when the matter happened. Also Roderick Scott was in his home sleeping when white Chris Cervini and his white buddies at 3am trespassed on Scott’s property and Scott witnessed Chris trying to steal his car.Compare this to Zimmerman who saw Martin commit no crime yet was suspicious. This alone is why the Scott/Zimmerman analogy is false.Anyway Scott told his girlfriend to call the police while he got his licenced gun to hold them until police arrived. While he was holding the 3 criminals,Chris decided to rush him. Scott shot him killing him. When police arrived Scott told them he feared for his life as Chris was rushing him. Even with Chris and the other whites trespassing ,trying to steal his car as well as others,Chris tryiing to rush Scott in a hostile manner,NY police saw that dead white boy and arrested Scott and he’d be charged with murder,later reduced to manslaughter. 8 mos later Scott is acquitted. There was no NRA support for Scott,no Ohio firearms group offering him 12k,no 500k internet fund raised for Scott,Sean Hannity never had Scott on his show etc.Now in August 2009 in the same state of NY a white man named Charles Augusto saw his black employee being assaulted by 4 black males. Fearing for his employee’s life as well as his own Augusto grabs his unlicensed and illegal shotgun and kills 2,wounds the other 2. Augusto tells his story to the police,even with the illegal firearm police never arrest him and the da never brings charges,because the extraordinary circumstances outweighed the illegal firearm. Compare that to Scott who had a legal firearm.So in NYyou have the racial double standard when it comes to self defense. Also with black Martin the thought of him commiting a crime,is equal to that of white Chris actually commiting a crime. Also when you read on Scott you’ll constantly get why did the older stronger heavier armed Scott need to shoot scrawny weaker Cervini. I know this post is lengthy,but I hope you can follow and understand the points made.

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        • @m1. Yes, I was able to follow. You laid it out very good and made the important points.

          We’ll watch the Michael Dunn case and see where the jury takes it. I am now motivated and committed to expose institutionalized racism in the judicial system.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t know what I can say that hasn’t already been said!

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  12. @Dear George Zimmerman (2), thank you for the comment. Since it is a quote from a forum, I am putting the link to the comment here so others can read the entire comment. christianforums.com/t7765772-5/#post63905572

    Thank you for referencing this blog in your comment.

    Btw, I see that those you are trying to reason with regurgitate bigotvoyant theories of last year. They argue from a standpoint that Trayvon had no rights, while also disregarding relevant evidence. God bless your patience.

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