Are you familiar with the prisoner’s dilemma? It is a scenario analyzed as a part of game theory, in which a prisoner is faced with the dilemma of trying to avoid or receive the least amount of time in jail. Your potential conviction is based on what your accomplice does. Keeping quiet will ensure that both of you will go free, but there’s no guarantee that your accomplice won’t talk. Consequently, the dilemma becomes whether you should talk or remain silent. On this episode of They Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri challenge you to think beyond an emotional discussion on crime and punishment to pick apart ideas concerning the way in which this notion of “punishment” is implemented in our society.

Topics discussed include an update on the latest hearing in the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman case, whether accused criminals should have their movement restricted to certain locations, whether people should be punished for committing acts detrimental to society, whether we’d release all prisoners from jail if we had the opportunity to, and more!

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Segment 1

  • Discussion about the results of yesterday’s hearing in the George Zimmerman / Trayvon Martin case.
  • Judge Debra S. Nelson denied a motion to remove George Zimmerman’s GPS tracking device. He will continue to be restricted to Seminole County Florida. During the hearing, O’Mara argued that Zimmerman doesn’t need to live with constraints placed on him by a previous court.
  • Mark O’Mara is trying to make it like this is an entirely different case because they have a new judge.
  • It seems like the new judge might be favoring the defense, despite ruling against their motions in yesterday’s hearing. These motions have no real effect on the trial.
  • Discussion about George Zimmerman selling his autographs for cash. Who would actually buy his signature?
  • Discussion about Zimmerman being made comfortable during most of his time on bond.
  • Zimmerman thought that money was gonna keep on rolling in–not so. Recall that in the jailhouse calls Shellie Zimmerman seemed to think they had a great life with plenty of money ahead of them.
  • The truth is that they will be broke after all is said and done. He might be able to sell his story. But, if he gets off on the murder charge, he might still get caught up in a civil case.
  • Judge Nelson ruled that the State has until Friday to provide the defense with a disc containing the original recording for Witness 8–the female who claims she was on the phone with Trayvon Martin just prior to his killing.
  • The attorney for Trayvon Martin’s parents, Benjamin Crump, turned over his cell phone as ordered in a previous hearing. The device was used to record Witness 8′s original statement that Crump played for the media prior to Zimmerman’s arrest for the murder of Trayvon Martin.
  • Zimmerman may re-depose Sanford police Investigator William Erwin, who the defense says was present when police played 911 audio for Trayvon Martin’s father. The issue here is the defense is trying to argue that the voice heard screaming for help in the 911 call is not Trayvon. They are trying to get people to believe that is the voice of George Zimmerman. Also recall that Trayvon’s mother said that the voice on the call was her son, as did Zimmerman’s father.
  • The prosecution has agreed to provide the names of witnesses who claim that the voice heard screaming on the 911 tape (see audio for 911 caller #2, Witness 11) was George Zimmerman. They will not provide the names of those who claim the voice was Trayvon Martin screaming.
  • Discussion that Bernie De la Rionda said that Attorney Jose Baez, representing a Sanford detective, submitted reports to him that could help Zimmerman’s case.
  • Discussion that prosecution’s Bernie De la Rionda said that Detective Serino has drafts of his affidavit where he recommended second degree murder against George Zimmerman.
  • Discussion about the first assigned Florida State’s Attorney Norm Wolfinger recusing himself from the case before charges were filed against Zimmerman. It was widely reported that Wolfinger met with Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee on the night of the murders to discuss the case. Wolfinger denies that he met with Lee.
  • Zimmerman also appeared in court looking quite robust.
  • George Zimmerman Bloody Nose comparison

  • In Episode 094: Food Stamp Precedents, Heit & Cheri provided detailed information explaining why the latest George Zimmerman photo of his bloody nose is a fake.
  • O’Mara is trying to use the public release of this photo to his advantage.
  • O’Mara has complained about the media and social media while trying to use them to his advantage.
  • Should Zimmerman have been allowed to travel outside of Seminole County? Initially, Zimmerman probably should have been allowed to travel outside of the county because he has not yet been proven guilty of the crime with which he has been charged. However, when you consider his violation of the terms of his bond when he lied about his finances, he should probably still be in jail–not out on bond.
  • Discussion about questions that we asked on Facebook:

    Should people who commit acts that are detrimental to the community or society be punished? Please explain.
    Source: Axiom Amnesia’s Facebook Page

    If you had the option to release all of the people in prison, would you? Why or why not?
    Source: Axiom Amnesia’s Facebook Page

  • Discussion about rehabilitation versus punishment in connection with “crimes.”
  • The responses to the question about whether people should be released from prison were just as expected, and so was the rational for those answers.
  • It was refreshing to see people answering the question about punishment from their own vew, rather than from the societal view of deserving punishment being based on legality/illegality. When it comes to the societal view of punishment, the overall idea is revenge for the crime.
  • Discussion about people thinking that it was crazy to even ask whether some people would release everyone from prison if they could.
  • Discussion about exoneration of convicts via DNA evidence. One of the people who answered suggested that DNA evidence would exonerate anyone who was imprisoned wrongly.
  • Some people suggested that they would review all the evidence of the different cases to see if the person should be released. Who provided the evidence though? How would reviewing evidence that was intended to convict the person set them free?
  • Discussion about whether some people need services and rehabilitation before being released in the world.
  • Should people who have an issue that makes them a potential danger to the community be monitored in some way or have restrictions on their movement?
  • Discussion about being a sex offender being one of the only types of crimes where people assume that the offender will continue to commit that same crime over and over.
  • How do you handle someone who is a potential danger to society? When you think about it, we are all potential dangers to society given the circumstances.
  • The community has a responsibility to protest those who cannot protect themselves. In the case of sex offenders, the community has a responsibility to keep children from falling into their hands.
  • Discussion about how prison creates people who are maladjusted to society.
  • One of the people who answered the question about letting prisoners go free said that drug users should be freed, but drug sellers should be kept in jail. She felt that they should be kept in jail because they murder and get children involved in the practice. She felt that they should remain in jail regardless of whether they actually committed any acts other than selling drugs.
  • Discussion about how people are targeted as criminals simply because someone else doesn’t like them.
  • Discussion about how people are punished for what could have happened as a result of their actions, rather than what actually did happen.
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