Skip to comments.Law professor: Hannity could be required to testify in Zimmerman case despite FL shield law
Posted on 04/13/2012 9:20:46 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Syndicated radio host and Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity may be forced to testify about an off-the-record conversation he has told audiences he had with accused Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman.
Even though journalists are protected by a shield law in the state of Florida, some have said that Hannitys role as a media commentator may disqualify him those protections. Andrew D. Manko, an adjunct instructor of mass media law at Florida State University, told The Daily Caller that Hannity does indeed qualify for those protections, but may have to testify anyway, depending on what was said in the private conversation.
My sense is that the question of whether the privilege applies is very fact intensive, Manko wrote TheDC in an email. Hannity appears to meet the definition of a news reporter providing he met with Zimmerman as part of his regular duties on behalf of Fox.
Manko cited a 1998 Florida Supreme Court case, Kindell v. State, which set the parameters of the protections of Floridas shield law:
In Kidwell, a defendant was interviewed and confessed to a reporter, but the reporter was protected by the shield law because the defendant also confessed to police, and there wasnt any reason to think that any additional information was given to the reporter that wasnt offered to other sources. The court noted that [e]xtreme care must be taken to ensure that the media is not used as an investigative arm of the government. However, if it is determined that the reporter has direct evidence of a crime, then the information should not be privileged [because] the privilege does not apply to eyewitness observations or physical evidence, including records, of a crime. Like an eyewitness observation, a direct confession to a reporter is direct evidence of a crime that would not fall within the information protected under the qualified privilege.
Based on that case, Hannity could in fact be required by law to testify in Zimmermans trial if he has information law enforcement does not have in its investigation of Zimmerman.
So my answer is qualified and it will depend on what was said to Hannity, Manko concluded. If the info disclosed to Hannity would be considered an eyewitness account or a direct confession (which seems likely) then it appears the privilege would not apply, unless the police already have the same info from its discussions with Zimmerman.
Yeah, uh, no.
Shhhh! You’ll screw up their fantasy.
Let’s assume they can force him to testify? Why? What could they possibly expect, aside from stupid headlines? Talkn about fishing expeditions. If Zimmerman told Hannity anything we haven’t heard or anything damning, I’ll eat my hat.
Maybe Zimm’s even smarter than people give him credit for.
Absolutely. This atty is STUNNED Fox News attys didn’t tell him not to talk to Zimmerman.
The State of Florida can issue a subpoena through a court in New York.
For details, google “Uniform Act to Secure the Attendance of Witnesses from without a State in Criminal Case.”
Far as I know..Hannity did not tale to THE accused. He talked to the accused person father. But, Hannity did say he did know something that was not put out to the news media.
In short, Hannity never spilled anything that is not already known.
I am still waiting for charges to be filed against the race hustlers for their part in stirring up the pot.
The prosecutors are relying on the 911 part where they told Zimmerman not to follow. But, if Zimmerman returned to his car and the perp came after him, that is assault. Then, it seems as the perp got into it with Zimmerman and was beating the hell out of him..that is battery. Zimmerman is most likely not guilty and it has been said that he has a couple witnesses to back his case. If found not guilty, watch for the race riots to ensue.
Did not talk to the accused...
It’s my understanding that Zimmerman called, Sean took the call, and Fox attorneys weren’t part of the spontaneous happening.
There was no meeting, just an incoming call that Sean agreed to take.
That might be the month I’d do my shows from Bermuda or Costa Rica.
My guess is that whatever Zim told Hannity will mirror what he told the cops on the night of the shooting.
And Hannity also claimed there is another tape that has not come out yet. He would not give any detail about the tape, nor whether it was video or audio.
“The State of Florida can issue a subpoena through a court in New York”
It is sad that Florida has become a subsidiary of New York and the majority of idiots will still vote for O’shithead and the rest will vote for O’Romithead.
Revolution is brewing...
Word to your your mother yo.
Why is it when I hear “law professor” I immediatley think commie, socialist, radical, marxist anti American. Have I been conditioned?
Heh, me too.
Yes, if you want to use that full list of adjectives.
If you want to say 'leftist and leaning toward socialist,' then you're going to hit the majority (the large majority) at major law schools and other notable law schools, but by no means all of the professors.
Some law professors at major law schools are stunningly conservative and some are middle of the road - but you hear the screaming commie, radical, marxist ones. Who are the screaming idiots demonstrating on the concourse at a major university? Not the conservatives. Conservative and moderate law school professors publish and teach but don't leap in front of every television camera. And they are in the notable minority.
The majority of attorneys lean left, in my experience, but there are plenty of moderates and conservatives among my fellow attorneys.
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