Who Would Steal a Honda Odyssey?

I got up this morning to take my son to school and our minivan was missing from the driveway. It had been stolen. I kept pushing the key fob buttons expecting it to magically reappear. Somewhere in Florida today there is a thief who appreciates the flexible cargo space and peppy car-like handling of the 2012 Honda Odyssey. ... read more

Zimmerman's Own Words Justify Martin's Punch

Since the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the conventional wisdom among people who agree with the verdict is that Trayvon Martin punched him first, so the teen was responsible for the fight that led to his tragic death. The claim about the punch is entirely coming from Zimmerman and could be a lie -- no one else saw it -- but let's assume for the sake of argument that it's true. There's still a justification for Martin punching him in self defense, based entirely on Zimmerman's own words in the interview he gave ... read more

Stand Your Ground Let Zimmerman Go Free

There's a lot of talk about how Florida's Stand Your Ground law did not play a role in George Zimmerman's acquittal. His attorneys did not call for a hearing, as entitled under that law, but instead presented self defense as justification for his actions at trial. But Stand Your Ground rewrote the instructions read to juries on self defense. Dan Gelber, the Democratic candidate for Florida attorney general in 2010, has offered a succinct explanation for why Zimmerman was able to use self defense after following ... read more

TalkLeft's Unusual Comment Policy on Trials

When I'm interested in a high-profile trial, one of my go-to sources for analysis is the liberal blogger Jeralyn Merritt, whose TalkLeft focuses on crimes with political implications. Merritt is a criminal defense attorney in Denver who has been running the blog for over a decade. While reading her posts on the George Zimmerman murder trial, I was surprised by a comment she made to a user of her site: I have repeatedly warned Ricky not to ask readers to help prove the prosecution case. ... He is sounding more ... read more

Another Girl Abducted and Killed in Jacksonville

I was jolted awake this morning shortly before 5 a.m. by the squawk of the emergency broadcast system on the television. An Amber alert relayed the news that an eight-year-old Jacksonville girl, Charish Perriwinkle, had disappeared from a Walmart on the city's north side at 11 p.m. Friday night. Police feared she was in the company of a registered sex offender, Donald James Smith. For hours, the local station provided updates as I half-slept. Around 9:30 a.m., police said the sex offender was caught in his van ... read more

Media Can't Bury a Mass Shooter's Name

There's a lot of talk about how the media should adopt a self-imposed blackout on the name and life story of mass shooters. This makes a lot of sense because so many of these spree killers are motivated by a desire for notoriety. The media occasionally omits information for the greater good, such as when the names of rape victims and children accused of crimes are not reported. Just this week dozens of media outlets hid the news that NBC foreign correspondent Richard Engel had been kidnapped in Syria along with a ... read more

George Zimmerman Contradicts Himself on Stand

During the bond hearing today in his second-degree murder trial for the Feb. 26 death of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman said something in his testimony that is clearly contradicted by his original call to police on the night of the shooting. After his attorney Mark O'Mara told the court that Zimmerman wanted to make a statement, Zimmerman took the stand and made brief comments directed at Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sabryna Fulton, who were present in the courtroom. He said: I wanted to say I am sorry ... read more