This Week in Florida Justice

power_of_christ_squirrel

As we all now know, George Zimmerman was questioned by police for allegedly assaulting his estranged wife’s father and threatening the father and soon-to-be-ex with a gun. But he wasn’t arrested, and the gun wasn’t confiscated:

Zimmerman [the wife] told officers who responded to her call that she never saw a weapon, police Chief Steve Bracknell said. Zimmerman and her father, David Dean, decided not to press charges, Bracknell said.

“We have no victim, no crime,” Bracknell said.

So, just a misunderstanding between responsible gun owners. Mrs. Zimmerman’s brother had an interesting comment though:

George Zimmerman has changed a great deal since he killed Trayvon, his brother-in-law said.

“Before the incident, he was probably the nicest person I ever met,” DJ Dean said. “I think the guilt and self-hatred got to him.”

I’ve been skeptical of the assumption that Zimmerman has a soul to corrode ever since his post-acquittal victory lap at the gun manufacturer’s. Still, I wouldn’t want to deal with the demons shooting an unarmed kid must raise.

Speaking of hell-spawn, Governor He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and his photogenic wingnut AG delayed an execution because of a fundraising event scheduling conflict. No, really:

Attorney General Pam Bondi persuaded Gov. Rick Scott to postpone an execution scheduled for tonight because it conflicted with her re-election kick-off reception.

When questioned about it, Scott pretended not to know why Bondi’s office requested the delay, which is absurd. Bondi at least apologized for it, not that any expression of regret could possibly mitigate the breathtaking arrogance she and Scott displayed in this matter.

So an inmate who raped and strangled two women gets another 21 days on the planet. I’m opposed to the death penalty in all cases, so I’m not complaining about taxpayer dollars going toward his three hots and a cot for the next three weeks.

But here’s hoping Bondi and Scott come in for some righteous blowback from the addled tea party loons who swept them to power. They couldn’t have demonstrated more clearly that they don’t give a rat’s ass about so-called justice for victim’s families or anything else besides money and power.

[X-posted at Rumproast]

82 replies
  1. 1
    Chris says:

    “I think the guilt and self-hatred got to him.”

    Either that or the sight of at least half the country rising up to cheer him on as a hero to the masses for killing a kid went straight to his head and taught him he was untouchable, so he’s been letting his inner asshole shine. Which tends to square more with the victory lap dance he did at the arms dealer’s, as you said.

  2. 2
    Gex says:

    Guilt is a very interesting word to use, isn’t it? It’s as though he and his brother know that his acquittal was bullshit. I hope it is eating him up inside, because that is the only price he’s going to pay for his crime. And, this is the “punishment” that his defense argued was enough of a price to pay for what he did.

    Just hope to God there are no other victims.

    Another interesting thing is that at least around here, if officers are called in on a domestic, it isn’t that easy for the potential victim to call the legal system off of the perpetrator for the reason that the abused spouse is often under a lot of pressure to drop charges. I guess Florida doesn’t work that way. I’m not surprised.

  3. 3
    piratedan says:

    I’m sorry Governor, you can’t execute him…..

    why not?

    we haven’t finished fundraising off of our tough on crime platform yet, so if you could postpone that until the big charity dinner is done….you know, maybe wheel him out in a barred cage with chains, auction off the right to pull the switch….

    hmmmm….. think that might make the people forget all of the other myriad ways that we’ve screwed them?

    I hear it worked for Nero sir….

  4. 4
    MattF says:

    And power and money and power and money. Too.

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    Cheaper to fry during off-peak rate hours.

  6. 6
    Glocksman says:

    @piratedan:

    Shit, it would have been better for her to just send her regrets with a letter to be read out loud explaining that she had to make sure the SOB got executed before some un-American Liberal Judge* set him free.

    The teanuts would crack open their wallets for even more money than she’ll collect by showing up.
    “Woo doggie, that little woman is one of us.”

    *™ The Republican Party. Used without permission.

  7. 7
    piratedan says:

    @Glocksman: let’s face it, these guys idea of “playing the long game” rarely seems to stretch beyond this weekend….. They apparently have two modes, right now and the way it used to be.

  8. 8
    Morbo says:

    I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the FloridaMan twitter account, right?

  9. 9
    cvstoner says:

    As we all now know, George Zimmerman was questioned by police for allegedly assaulting his estranged wife’s father and threatening the father and soon-to-be-ex with a gun. But he wasn’t arrested, and the gun wasn’t confiscated

    Why would they? Florida is ground zero for the new “Frontier America.” Get used to it, pilgrim.

  10. 10
    JPL says:

    @Gex: I streamed the local nbc orlando news yesterday and they did a pretty good job explaining the situation. Florida law does allow for the arrest under domestic violence laws but normally it applies if there has been signs of prior abuse. The announcer asked whether or not they could use the assault on a police officer and the reporter said no because he completed classes and the case was dismissed. The news desk reporter then asked about previous assault claims by Zimmerman’s previous fiance and the reporter said no because she dropped the charges. The reporter was then asked about Martin and he said no because he was found not guilty. According to the state of FL, Zimmerman’s a good guy.

  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Morbo: Yes. Pure genius.

  12. 12
    ruemara says:

    @JPL: Florida. Looks like a wang, because it’s so fucked. Glad I don’t live there.

  13. 13
    hartly says:

    “You’d delay an execution to pull the wings off a fly.” The Doctor to the Master, The Deadly Assassin (1977). Seems to fit here, for some reason.

  14. 14
    Kay says:

    I feel like one or both would have been arrested here on this, whether or not she chose to press charges immediately but of course DV laws differ and there’s always a discretionary aspect. It wouldn’t have been hugely serious, but they would have hauled them in and one or both would end up evaluated and sent to “anger management”.

    About ten years ago we had a horrible workplace shooting that came out of a DV situation (neither party was ever arrested for minor incidents prior to the shooting) so they tightened up enforcement after that.

  15. 15
    Amir Khalid says:

    It sounds like the ladies on the jury did Zimmerman no favours with that questionable acquittal. He seems to be working his way up to a big disaster, with no one around him who can or will intervene.

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Amir Khalid: Seems that way, doesn’t it? We can only hope he doesn’t take out another innocent person as he self-destructs.

  17. 17
    The Pale Scot says:

    OT. STOP THE PRESSES!

    “A radio promotion spoofing aliens hacking into a Florence, Alabama radio station spooked students into believing schools would be attacked.

    To bring attention to a format change at Star 94.9, Brian Rickman, program director for Shoals Radio Group, said the station on Monday began airing conversations between aliens.

    “The concept being that they heard our frequency several light years away, they didn’t like Justin Bieber and the pop music we were playing and they were going to take over the radio station and adjust the format,” Rickman said.

    A flood of phone messages were awaiting Rickman when he got to work Tuesday, he said, including those from police and superintendents of area school systems. Law enforcement still decided to put extra security on campuses as the aliens announced that they would be taking over the radio station at 9 a.m. today.”

    Think about it, Alabama police sent troopers to schools to defend against aliens who don’t like Justin Beiber and Myle Cyrus.

    There really is no hope for Humanity

    Edit” link. http://blog.al.com/breaking/20.....r_sho.html

  18. 18
    Kay says:

    I saw this today and I was surprised at how high it is:

    Last year, domestic violence accounted for 14 of Toledo’s 36 homicides —

    Now, DV in Ohio can mean “people who live in the same household” but still. Wow.

  19. 19
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @The Pale Scot: OMFSM.

    My mother told me about being convinced the aliens were coming in 1938, but I would have thought (hoped?) that we were a little more sophisticated by now.

    Then again, it is Alabama.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:

    @The Pale Scot

    Sheesh. No one in that benighted area comprehended the meaning of (and distances covered by) the term light-year?

  21. 21
    NCSteve says:

    The tea party loons will rationalize this away the way they rationalize away every other little inconvenient fact that doesn’t fit into their counter-factual alternative universe.

    My money is that the rationalization will take some form of “Good! Let him sweat it out for another three weeks. That will make it even worse for him because argle bargle blargh!”

  22. 22
    the Conster says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    LOL. The local sports radio guys here in Boston played that clip, as part of their “Which Armpit of America Did This Happen In” game. It could only have been Alabama.

  23. 23
    srv says:

    When I run for AG, all my campaign stops will coincide with executions. Call me Double Down Deputy.

  24. 24
    Betty Cracker says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    Think about it, Alabama police sent troopers to schools to defend against aliens who don’t like Justin Beiber and Myle Cyrus.

    Why on earth would anyone want to stop aliens with such noble goals? Now, if they tried to mess with Lady Gaga, I’d be pissed…

    @NCSteve: Maybe, but the local paper comments section, which is a hive of tea party lunacy, isn’t amused.

  25. 25
    NotMax says:

    @Betty Cracker

    Make haste to welcome our overlords from the planet Twerk.

  26. 26
    Ash Can says:

    breathtaking arrogance

    It’s breathtaking, all right, but I wouldn’t call it arrogance. More along the lines of monstrosity.

  27. 27
    MattF says:

    @The Pale Scot: I can just imagine the conversations aliens are having over breakfast about this:

    Q’Thog: Can humans really be that stupid?
    Va”XXth: Well, at least we’re getting credit for not liking Justin Beiber. By the way, anal probe C probably needs oiling.

  28. 28
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Ash Can: You’re right.

  29. 29
    John Weiss says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Your Cadillac
    has got a wheel in the ditch
    And a wheel on the track

  30. 30
    Chyron HR says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    “The concept being that they heard our frequency several light years away, they didn’t like Justin Bieber and the pop music we were playing and they were going to take over the radio station and adjust the format,” Rickman said.

    Okay, but I think we’re all missing the important question here: What do they think of Yes?

  31. 31
    Redshirt says:

    Florida is using solar power for its electric chairs in order to reduce its carbon footprint!

  32. 32
    NotMax says:

    @Ash Can

    It’s the Age of Sociopaths.

  33. 33
    Chyron HR says:

    Also, too: Zimmerman’s supporters predicted race riots if he was acquitted, and they were right. They just neglected to mention that the race in question is Hispano-Jewish, and that the riot wwould be localized entirely within his in-laws’ house.

  34. 34
    J R in WV says:

    Betty,

    whenever I get depressed about the elected officials here ( in WV ) you Floridians come along and cheer me up by lowering the floor!

    Thanx!

    Also, here in WV we don’t have state killing aka executions.

    We DO have life without parole, and “life without parole with mercy” which is parole after 15 years. I was on a jury once for a piece of work who convinved the parole board he was healed, and went right back home to kill the MF who testified against him to put his ass away.

    It took two weeks to acquit the witness who shot the paroled murderer who was threatening to kill him … but Zimm was afraid of a kid armed with skittles!

    Some of the people just need to not be out with other people. Zimm for one.

  35. 35
    Another Holocene Human says:

    It’s funny, they haul people away in my corner of Florida for making someone else fee threatened all the time but I guess that only works if the threatener is of lower social standing than the threatenee. No crime my ass. It’s called assault [without battery].

  36. 36
    John O says:

    I foresee a future in which G. Zimmerman has a tragic run-in with the karma train.

  37. 37
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @The Pale Scot: I guess that explains all the people who listen to Lex&Terry unironically.

    Some asshole contractor woke me up with that shit today (I work night shift you fuckers!!) and I was kind of blown out of the water at the notion of “talk” that consists of hosts verbally abusing fake callers for hours. Wow, I mean that does self-select for a particular breed of stupid listener, I guess.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    So when does either Zimmerman announce the engagement to Allen West?

  39. 39
    PurpleGirl says:

    Does the AG in FL have to attend the execution? Was the reception going to be held in the prison? I really don’t understand why they still couldn’t go through with the execution. (I figure the people involved — the AG and Governor — don’t care about the visuals of the two events being held a few hours apart and the distances between the two locations.) Is the state Republican party going to pay for the expenses incurred in the postponement?

  40. 40
    👾 Martin says:

    @Chris:

    Either that or the sight of at least half the country rising up to cheer him on as a hero to the masses for killing a kid went straight to his head and taught him he was untouchable, so he’s been letting his inner asshole shine. Which tends to square more with the victory lap dance he did at the arms dealer’s, as you said.

    What’s his future? Would you hire him? The only future Zimmerman really has is through the wingnut welfare state because they’ve turned him into a hero – they couldn’t even bother to be neutral about him.

    So Zimmerman needs to stay in the news and in the wingnuts good standing, and advancing their agenda. That’s his career. He’s the new Joe the Plumber.

  41. 41
    Fuzzy says:

    @John O: I wish I could help that along.

  42. 42

    @Kay:
    The worse the crime, the more likely the victim and perpetrator know each other well. Murder, rape, kidnapping – people do these things to victims they know, who they have strong feelings about or power over. Our society is big on pretending that you’re in danger from strangers, but family is completely safe. The truth leans the other way.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    It’s funny, they haul people away in my corner of Florida for making someone else fee threatened all the time

    They really do. Here it’s “menacing” and the ever-popular catch-all, “disorderly”. Those are just two. They have all kinds of ways to intervene on a domestic call.

    I read his interviews. He’s incredibly smarmy and ass-kissing with police. Maybe that’s it.

  44. 44
    Elizabelle says:

    Another odd case out of Florida this week: From Tampa Bay Times:

    28-year old man pled guilty to slipping his inconveniently pregnant girlfriend a drug known to induce contractions. He told her it was an antibiotic.

    It’s expected he’ll get a 12-year (minimum) prison sentence for the resulting fetal death.

    His father is an OB/GYN who’s had his own run-ins with the law. Son forged a prescription for Cytotec; a local pharmacy staffer assisted and is next up in legal trouble. Drug arrived by Fedex: mail fraud.

    Girlfriend was 7 weeks pregnant. Her unborn child got more consideration than Trayvon Martin did.

    John Andrew Welden was up against Florida’s 2004 Unborn Victims of Violence Act, under which he could have received a life sentence.

    Trayvon faced “Stand your Ground” and neighborhood watch gone awry.

    (Here’s backgrounder heavily sympathetic to the felon; he’s from a broken home and the girlfriend was a stripper trying to turn her life around. The whole thing’s a tragedy. I do wonder if we’ll see more attempted Cytotec poisoning if the word gets out.)

  45. 45
    👾 Martin says:

    Haven’t seen this mentioned yet. From the beeb:

    Putin’s press secretary says plan to put Syrian chem weapons under intern’l control was discussed by US/Russia at G20 in St Petersburg

    So, no indication of whether it was Obama or Putin who brought it up, and it might have been Kerry’s idea originally, but it wasn’t an extemporaneous idea yesterday. Russia was already working on it. Presumably Ban Ki-moon had been included as a hypothetical. And presumably Russia had talked to Syria about it between the G20 and yesterday, so it was easy for everyone to sign on so quickly.

    Looking increasingly like an ‘everyone chill the fuck out, I got this’ moment.

  46. 46
    raven says:

    @👾 Martin: I thought all these things needed to be discussed on Mornin Joe first?

  47. 47
    👾 Martin says:

    @raven: Is he still on tv? One of the benefits of living on the left coast is that I’m unlikely to even accidentally see him on tv.

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    Betty: I just put up a comment that’s in moderation. (2 links)

    It’s about Florida and justice for unborn vs. justice for the born (Trayvon Martin).

  49. 49
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    What’s his future? Would you hire him?

    @👾 Martin: I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire, but I can think of plenty of people who would hire him today just to give the metaphorical finger to the Kenyan usurper and every single black person in America – and I live in a very blue state.

    Zimmerman’s future could be great. But it won’t be, because he’s going to fuck it up like he’s fucked up everything else in his life.

  50. 50
    👾 Martin says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    I can think of plenty of people who would hire today him just to give the metaphorical finger to the Kenyan usurper and every single black person in America

    But that’s my point. Zimmerman only has value as a public figure. Once he’s no longer able to represent that middle finger, he goes back to being a regular employee – and it sounds like a bit of an unstable one at that. So, Zimmerman needs to stay a public figure to have value and that public attention only comes if he does stupid shit. So of course he’s going to fuck it up, because his job now is to do stupid shit.

    Insert Simpsons joke here.

  51. 51
    ruemara says:

    @👾 Martin: I have it on good authority that Putin and Russia are the heroes here. We’ll just ignore or remain ignorant of how much they’ve cocked up the works on prior diplomatic/UN measures.

  52. 52
    raven says:

    @👾 Martin: He’s started every day for a week just screeching about how disorganized, unprepared and ineffective Obama has been since day. DeeDee Meyers said it was shameful how bad Obama is. This is the press secretary for Bush!

  53. 53
    Ash Can says:

    @👾 Martin: Considering the fact that the world’s top 20 government heads were all going to be in one place at one time, at the same time the Syrian CW issue was hitting the fan, I never for a moment thought that a solution to the Syrian imbroglio wouldn’t be discussed at G20, seriously and at length. I fully expected something to come out of G20, but even I, Obot that I am, didn’t expect anything as smooth and neat as this has appeared so far.

  54. 54
    raven says:

    @raven: day one, edit don’t work

  55. 55
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: Dee Dee Myers? She was Clinton’s flak. She’s been trashing Obama on Morning Ho?

  56. 56
    raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: Um, who is it then, Nicole Wallace?

  57. 57
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: That would make more sense. She was a Bushie.

  58. 58
    raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m multi-tasking!

  59. 59
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: They do sort of look alike too… ;-)

  60. 60
    raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: Rachel seems to love having Wallace on.

  61. 61
    the Conster says:

    The two minutes I heard of MJ this morning, was Nicolle Wallace screeching about Obama’s failure of leadership. Eugene Robinson got her to STFU, then I had to turn it off.

  62. 62
    MikeJ says:

    @👾 Martin:

    So, no indication of whether it was Obama or Putin who brought it up, and it might have been Kerry’s idea originally, but it wasn’t an extemporaneous idea yesterday. Russia was already working on it

    The idea that Kerry “slipped” and Russia, China, England and France were all on board in less than 24 hours never passed the laugh test.

  63. 63
    boatboy_srq says:

    Governor He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and his photogenic wingnut AG

    Bondi struck me (during her campaign at least) as a “I’m not a wingnut, I just play one on TV” type. She switched parties just to be electable: more mercenary than principled.

    OTOH, between that quote and her behavior in office, I can’t look at her anymore without seeing Bellatrix Lestrange.

  64. 64

    I think this might be a viable solution for Florida.

  65. 65
    johnny aquitard says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    aliens who don’t like Justin Beiber and Myle Cyrus.

    I for one welcome our new alien overlords.

  66. 66
    Betty Cracker says:

    @boatboy_srq: I was actually shocked by how much of a wingnut she turned out to be: There’s hardly any daylight between her and Sarah Palin, really. Bondi was for the gay adoption ban, says Obamacare is “unconstitutional,” signed a brief in support of AZ’s “papers please” law, etc.

    She didn’t seem like a frothing loon when she appeared on TV frequently as a county-level attorneys office spokesperson, but either she was all along or had no problem tossing her actual views out the window to win an election during the tea party high water mark year.

  67. 67
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Kay:

    I read his interviews. He’s incredibly smarmy and ass-kissing with police. Maybe that’s it.

    You read the comment threads about Zim at Policeone.com and it’s impossible to not conclude that a lot of cops love him.

    Oh, and the whole PreCrime thing from Minority Report is right on the money, since many cops have no problem with killing a kid who was a “Future Thug”…

  68. 68
    Ted & Hellen says:

    So to recap: No gun, no crime, no victim, no arrest, no charges, no jail time, but we DO have the sage words of a totally unbiased words of a renowned psychiatric expert, the wife’s (fucking!) brother, to go on.

    Oh and confirmation that all the hysteria about this incident here yesterday was bullshit.

    Excellent report, Betty.

  69. 69
    Chyron HR says:

    Spouse abuse is a victimless crime, you guys. Also, too, Tim’s husband just “walked into a door” after voting for Obama, I swear.

  70. 70
    Steeplejack says:

    @raven:

    Dana Perino? She was Dubya’s blond press secretary.

  71. 71
    Tom Betz says:

    I’m convinced that George Zimmerman will end his life as a suicide-by-cop. Mark my words.

  72. 72
    Mike in NC says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    You read the comment threads about Zim at Policeone.com and it’s impossible to not conclude that a lot of cops love him.

    Guess he did what they can only dream of doing.

  73. 73
    geg6 says:

    @Tom Betz:

    From your mouth to the FSM’s ears.

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    What I don’t get is how the AG managed to schedule her election event the same day as an execution, which is also scheduled well in advance. Is this woman incapable of using a calendar to note the two events fell on the same day? Wouldn’t it have been sensible to, well in advance, move one of the two?

  75. 75
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    There is a great deal of scum in blue uniform, I’m afraid. The Stones had it right in Sympathy for the Devil.

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Florida is a SERIOUSLY fucked up state.

  77. 77
    litbrit says:

    In Florida, if you’ve just done time for domestic violence–yes, that’s prison time, for domestic violence–you need only wait a short period (I think it’s like two years) and you can still get yourself a concealed carry permit.

    Zimmerman, before he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, had such a record. He’d beaten up a woman, and on top of that, he’d resisted arrest with violence. Yet he was able to buy a gun and get himself a concealed carry permit. It’s truly unbelievable, but here we are (at least until someone shoots us).

  78. 78
    Seanly says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I look forward to your astute analysis when Zimmerman kills again. Maybe the next time it’ll be an acceptable skin color for the police & prosecutors to do their jobs.

  79. 79
    BobS says:

    @Amir Khalid: Working his way up to a big disaster? I think that ship has sailed.

  80. 80
    Amir Khalid says:

    @BobS:
    Oh, I know Zimmerman’s already got blood on his hands. But he’s all too aware that that was more of a panicked reaction to Trayvon Martin defending himself than the great deed by which George Zimmerman believes he will show everyone who DA MAN is.

    George means to start something big, to take charge of it, and prove himself. That good-Samaritan stunt with the road accident a few weeks back was supposed to be the starting point, and it went so well for him until it turned out that a friend on the force tipped him off to the incident. I fear his grand plan is going to lead to bigger and bigger screw-ups — until something happens that’s even more horrible than a teenager’s death, and from which no lawyer can bullshit an escape for George.

  81. 81
    Cygil says:

    “We have no victim, no crime,” Bracknell said.

    Seriously. Does Zimmerman have pictures of Bracknell sodomizing a goat on a visit to Osama Bin Laden’s hideout? Why does this guy sound like Zimmerman’s defense lawyer instead of the head of the organisation charged with investigating and potentially prosecuting him?

    I’m starting to take Zimmerman’s white supremicist ties a little more seriously. Zimmerman’s association with Frank Taafe speaks volumes. It seems bizarre that the police would be interested in protecting this jerk, but here’s Bracknell, eager to throw the case like Zimmerman is Dick Cheney or something.

  82. 82
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Elizabelle: REMINDER: this is the state that thought a woman in a persistent vegetative state (i.e. not quite dead enough to quit breathing, but whose probability of any recovery at all worse than a single lottery ticket’s chance of matching every single number) was important enough to a) pass “Terri’s Law” which overrode spousal decision-making (power-of-attorney) and let the Jebster push for more extended dying “emergency lifesaving measures”,b) go to court some nineteen times to defend said law (and lose every time), c) pass additional bills (when Terri’s Law was finally struck down for good) to mandate any and all perpetual coma preservation societies medical treatments to extend dying prolong life, d) persuade Congress to intervene at the federal level to mandate extended dying long-term artificially-supported subsistence without an advanced directive to the contrary, and e) continue with lawsuits all the way to SCOTUS to ensure the right to prolonged death with massive indignity and banana-republic-crippling medical bills life was properly observed and enforced.

    Or, what Villago Delenda Est said.

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