Rachel Jeantel – Normal Court Procedure or Aggresive Badgering?

Rachel Jeantel – Normal Court Procedure or Aggresive Badgering?
     This morning as I was laying on the couch I tuned into the live trial coverage of George Zimmerman, the man who is accused of murdering Trayvon Martin. I was shocked at what I was watching. After watching for roughly 2 hours, I had enough. I was very upset by the way Rachel Jeantel was treated today. I learned during commercial breaks that this was her second day on the stand and today’s display was far easier and than the brutal testimony and examination yesterday. 
    Rachel Jeantel is a 19 year old young woman from Florida that has ben labeled the Prosecutions star witness as she was the last person to speak to Trayvon Martin and heard most of the struggle and altercation between Trayvon and Zimmerman. 
As we all know cross examination is always tough and the defense team are always far more viscous at getting their point across, it’s expected, but what I was watching was far past badgering a witness but down right bullying and danced the line of verbal abuse at times. To be fair the Judge and prosecution tried their best to protect her, but the defense attorney was often rude. 

   The media is going crazy about her use of the words “white ass cracker” and “ni**a” and her “combative” stance in the box but I have watched clips and video as well as tuned in today and formed my own opinion. Rachel Jeantel is not racist. She is and WAS a teenager that uses slang while talking to her friends. While other may be offended with the choice of words she and her friends use, it is, what it is. I guarantee when your kids are with their friends with no adult supervision they may be using words and language you don’t prefer or may even embarrass you, but they are only 

 teenagers.Shake your head, but we do the same. For example do we not use “hick”, “trailer trash” and other words that could be offensive to others? Then there are those of us that struggle with the proper acceptable word, black, African American, and sometimes you avoid the label all together as to never offend.

   Next the way the defense team attacked her over her inability to read a statement that was written in cursive writing. I would like to see the poll results of how many high school students can read cursive writing. My son and daughter learned cursive writing in third grade and have not used it since. My little sister is going to be a junior in the fall and I can honestly say I have never seen her write in cursive, nor am I sure she would remember how anymore. Part two of this section, today she requested to read the transcript when the defense questioned her regarding an answer she gave previously. This alone shows she does know how to read and can comprehend English both written and verbal. Her role in this entire trial is to relay what she heard over the telephone, nothing else. Her inability to read cursive has noting to do with it, but the school system may ant to make note! 

   Then there is the reference to her combative nature. Let’s be honest, would you not feel the same way? How can people sit back with their nose so far in the air rather than trying on her shoes. She is only a teenager. Her friend was killed while she was on the phone and that alone can be very traumatic. As a teenager you are incapable of dealing with hours of interrogation, that has been proven. A teenager has a rather low maturity level so the constant badgering of question after question, their rough treatment and their suggestive questions can absolutely put a young woman in a position where it is difficult to control your emotions, especially when others are purposely trying to discredit her by riling her up to label her as hostel. With defense constantly asking her to repeat herself, and asking the same question over and over, your nerves are bound to be tested! 

  Maybe I am an outsider and not the majority opinion, but I for one, am insulted by the treatment of Rachel Jeantel. I understand where she is coming from and have to admit, if the shoe was on the other foot, may possibly have acted the same way, and I am in my thirties. Furthermore, as a white woman from Minnesota I had no problems understanding her. While there were moments where she mumbled slightly I heard what she was saying, I did not struggle to understand her wording and for on think the defenses constant need for clarification is all a show.
   That being said, what is you opinion on the ordeal? Have you been watching the trial?

About Miranda Sherman

Miranda Sherman is a stay at home Mom of four & full time student majoring in Business Management & Marketing from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. She blogs about her crazy family of six & two dogs on her blog Minnesota Miranda, featuring book and product reviews, giveaways, news, parenting tips and advice, shopping, recipes, fashion, travel, deals and so much more.” Find me on Google+


  1. I … um … I don’t know what to say. There are so many people (black and white) downing on this young girl because of the way she speaks and the fact that she told some untruths to try to stay out of it (saying she was younger than she really was, cutting out the reference to “cracker” when she told Ms. Fulton what happened). It makes me sad that her parent(s) did not adequately prepare her for the wider world. BUT … the facts are what the facts are … I don’t think that this defense attorney is doing himself or his client a bit of good by tearing her down on the stand like that. (But … the jury IS made of all white women, who may look at this young lady with disdain due to her lack of communication skills … people tend to be so judgmental, especially when they have NO idea what it’s like growing up in a certain socio-economic group). I know I cussed around my friends when I was a teen … I’m also pretty certain that my now-13-year-old son cusses around his friends. I think that if we are all perfectly honest with ourselves, we’d realize that we did things that weren’t good and made poor judgment calls when we were in our teen and early twenties … maybe even thirties and forties .. (I haven’t gotten past those years yet, but I’m certain I may even make some bad judgment calls when I’m in my fifties). I think that the only thing that should matter is what happened … her perception of the events, etc. She HAD to be traumatized, especially when she found out what had really happened after the phone call was cut off. As an adult, I would be shell-shocked .. I don’t know if I would function properly and how long it would take to pull myself together – I can imagine her playing and replaying that conversation in her head hoping for a different outcome or wishing she had said something different that could have altered the course of events. I wrote a piece about this incident before George Zimmerman was finally charged: http://www.knittingandsundries.com/2012/03/another-talk-to-have-with-my-son-who.html
    I think that if the Sanford PD had done their job and charged him right away, none of us would know about this. I get so disheartened when I see how polarizing this is.
    For me, it&#8217

  2. I have not been watching the trail, but from the sounds of it she is def. being bullied. I hate how it seems our law system is meant to let killers get away. I just think to many bad things happen and it seems like no one is punished any more because our law finds some sort of loophole for them or in this case bully key witnesses.

  3. Living just north of Tampa, this has been just about all they are showing on some of the local news stations. Apparently this is the only news going on down here.
    I would like to say that they don’t even teach cursive handwriting in the schools down here anymore. It has been labeled unnecessary as most kids will be typing anyway. So I am not surprised that she can’t read cursive.

  4. I am in Florida…Tampa actually and we have heard alot about the case, even before the trial. I have not watched all of what has been going on with the trial or the case in whole nor had I from when this originally happened but I have stopped occasionally on the courtroom shows and I have seen different clips in regards to her and her statements on the stand. I understand they are trying to get the truth out and I understand they are asking questions in certain ways or making statements to try to get stories to stay the same and in some cases change. I understand they are all attempting to do a job. I am sure she is feeling bullied and afraid to say the least. I could not imagine what I would be feeling or how I would handle the nonstop questions and attacks if I were in that seat.
    The reality is that someone was shot. Regardless of the race, what he was or wasn’t wearing or how anyone was talking, etc a child was shot and that is how I see it. I wish the reasoning about why he was shot would come out truthfully because then the proper punishment can follow, whatever it may be, but I doubt anyone will ever know the real reason, whether it had been done because of fear or race or craziness, etc.

  5. I have watched a little bit..and she don’t want to be there..

  6. Most kids these days can’t read or write in cursive. I live in KY and they haven’t taught it here in a couple of years. She’s not the only witness that looks defensive on the stand at least one of the 9-1-1 callers did too. I think the defense has went way over board with his questions to Rachel Jeantel.

  7. I watched her testimony live as well. Even if she doesn’t want to be there, there’s this thing called respect and she seems to lack it. 19 years old is old enough to understand that you need to respect the authority found in a courtroom.
    I think it’s a sad state of affairs when a 19 year old cannot read cursive. I lived in FL for over 30 years and I can tell you that 3/4 of the state’s public school system sucks.
    Was the defense attorney bullying her or doing his job? I worked for 5 years in the felony dept in a county in FL. I can tell you that his behavior was nothing out of the norm. He was trying to discredit her which is what defense attorneys do. Their MO is to discredit any and all witnesses that *might* prove their client is guilty. Honestly, after witnessing over 100 trials in person, his behavior is not out of the norm for defense attorneys. Some may see it as bullying but I see it as a defense attorney doing his job.
    Just my opinion. I’m not on anyone’s side. I only want to see justice win in the end.

  8. never heard of this trial. looks like it’s going to be a long one.

  9. I sure wish you were the majority, I can say that. The abuse and attacks and humiliation she has been subjected to since her testimony makes me SICK. From complete strangers to public figures to just, well, I’m gonna say it…plain-out BULLIES. She can’t read cursive. Not relevant. She speaks slang. Irrelevant. English is her THIRD language. Not relevant. She is not THIN and PRETTY — couldn’t be MORE irrelevant to the facts.
    The bottom line is pretty much what she said about Trayvon Martin trying to run from the Defendant.
    I couldn’t be more disgusted or disappointed in people — not all people, of course — since I’ve seen the attacks and degradation of this young woman. It’s as though her very existence is on trial in the court of public opinion. And anyone who mocks, degrades, and bullies her should ashamed of themselves…although I’m pretty sure they’re not.
    No, you’re not wrong in anything you’ve said. I watched both days of her testimony and I thought she was a strong witness for the prosecution. Anyone who’s familiar with law enforcement knows that testimony changes darn near every time you take it, in subtle ways, for different reasons…although the substance of it should not — and hers HAS NOT. I hope the jury gets that.

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