Skip to comments.If Zimmerman case Judge allows George's school history, then so too Trayvon's? [Vanity]
Posted on 07/02/2013 5:03:42 PM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America
Can any legal minded FReepers answer this question?
I'm thinking that if the Judge allows the Prosecution to present evidence regarding Zimmerman's school history such as classes taken, etc., then wouldn't she then be compelled to allow the Defense to present Trayvon's school history, to include suspensions, etc?
If the Prosecution seeks to paint Zimmerman as 'wanna be cop' then so too shouldn't the Defense be allowed to present Trayvon as a hostile street thug?
I don’t see how presenting him as a “wannabe cop” will do him any harm. He already confess to being a neighborhood watcher.
I think tray’s school record is protected under some kind of privacy rules/laws.
Sounds good to me but there is a lot of racial politicing going on in Florida courts. However, it would seem to be a logical Defense request to present similar information on Martin if the Prosecutor tries to enter it for Zimmerman
I’m waiting for the Prosecution or one of their witnesses to “open the door” to Martin’s past. Once opened, it cannot be closed. However, if the judge were to do that, it would be grounds for a mistrial.
It depends on the purpose for which the evidence is proffered.
They would be different.
I disagree. It depends on the context and for what reason it is being offered - what are they attempting to substantiate or corroborate? Offering evidence of Trayvon’s past would be the same as offering evidence of a rape victim’s past. I disagree with it in either case. What I believe happened that night is irrelevant to maintaining the integrity of our criminal justice system.
FWIW - it wont be needed. Don West is doing a slam dunk job and the prosecution team look like bumbling idiots in the eyes of the jury.
The state is being allowed a narrow view into Zimmerman's schooling, his education on self defense law, and on criminal investigation. Supposedly, this ties in to him being a liar for telling Hannity that he (Zimmerman) didn't know Florida's SYG law.
Martin's schooling has no similar relevance to the defense theory of the case.
The good news is that Martin's reputation as a fighter, assuming such a reputation exists, can come in on the defense's volition. So can Rachael's testimony that Martin was in a foul mood on February 26th, 2012. Nothing the state does or doesn't do precludes the defense from dragging those parts of Martin into the sunlight.
There have been articles written about Martin’s behavior problems in both school and with the law. While his juvenile court record might be sealed, there could be newspaper articles that refer to his actions.
Whether they could be brought up or entered into evidence (it being close to hearsay unless the writer actually saw the court records, school records), is another question.
This judge is 100% in the prosecution’s corner. That considered, I believe she will do all she can to assure Zimmerman is convicted.
I cannot believe how stupid this whole trial is. If Zimmerman’s father had been the one who was hispanic and George had a hispanic last name like Rodriguez or Morales or Gonzalez, no charges would have ever been filed against him.
This is even worse than the Lacrosse team trial. Someone needs to go to prison over it, but not Zimmerman.
“I’m thinking that if the Judge allows the Prosecution to present evidence regarding Zimmerman’s school history such as classes taken, etc., then wouldn’t she then be compelled to allow the Defense to present Trayvon’s school history, to include suspensions, etc?”
I beleive the judge already ruled on this.
Court procedure is much different than common sense.
It depends on whether the prosecution wants to open this door of opportunity or not ~ once opened , you cant close it.
An example is the prosecutions witness , the police officer’s testimony that he believed that
George Zimmerman statements were honest and accurate.
At prosecution’s objection , the judge told the jury to ignore the police officers opinion that George’s statements were true.
But that remark , just got reinforced in the jury’s mind .
The door had already been opened !
I think the jury got the message that he's a punk from Jenteal's testimony and the witnesses who saw him smashing GZ on the walk.
Wendy Dorival, former coordinator of the Sanford Police Department's neighborhood watch program, asked Zimmerman to become a "citizens on patrol" volunteer, but he declined the offer.
"'Citizens on Patrol' is a program in which the Sanford Police Department would provide Zimmerman with a civilianized patrol car and a uniform of sorts, and provide additional training that would allow him to effectively conduct patrols of his neighborhood. In contrast, the Neighborhood Watch Program was far less pro-active, involving only observation and reporting.
Surely the Zimmerman described by the State as a 'wannabe cop' seeking to 'take the law into his own hands' and 'profile' and 'chase' unfamiliar black boys would fairly leap at such an opportunity. It was as close to being a police officer as Zimmerman was ever likely to get, the chance of a life time.
Zimmerman declined the opportunity.
This did not, however, spoil Dorivals respect for Zimmerman. When asked by West if there was anything about Zimmermans demeanor that 'raised any red flags for her, she answered in the negative. George, she said, struck her as very professional, perhaps a little meek, but a man who was really committed to making his community better."
But Dorival said she was impressed with Zimmerman's professionalism and dedication to his community and asked him to join another program, Citizens on Patrol, which trained residents to patrol their neighborhoods. He declined.
If they can paint him as a "wanna be" they can claim that he had a "shoot them all and let God sort them out" attitude.You can be sure that such a claim will be greeted with wild cheers among the nation's gangsta punk community and will strike fear in the hearts of the jurors because they'll know the hidden message in that claim.
There is no way any newspaper articles (or other articles) could be entered as evidence. Among other reasons they’d never get in, they are hearsay, regardless of whether the author saw the records.
Not relevant. GZ’s schooling is relevant to counter his claim that he was ignorant of the stand your ground law. TM’s is not relevant because GZ was ignorant of it at the time of the shooting. Had GZ known about it, then it would go to his state of mind and whether he feared for his life/safety. I’m watching this trial and I think the judge is handling everything by the book.
Wait till some witness says “I read about his bad behavior in the newspaper”. While the judge will throw out the testimony (from the record), what has been heard cannot be unheard. Just human nature.
A real touchy subject but if someone screws up, it could get in the backdoor. There are ways to make that happen - you just have to be a good attorney who is always looking for that opportunity (and know when you can enter that door).
Once you are dead - you have no privacy
Not that the know nothing judge agress
I am hoping that the judges style is such, that she is an advocate of allowing each side to present their cases fully and with minimal interference. We will see soon, if she allows the defense as much leeway as she has the prosecution. Then we will know.
Well the only remaining relevant question in the case is who started the fight. Its already clear from tons of evidence that Martin was on top of Zimmerman beating his head down into the side walk during the fight, but we only have Zimmerman's account of how it started. Since there are no other witnesses, if we are to assess who most likely started the fight than knowing that Martin had a history of starting fights and taking pride in making people bleed seems entirely relevant. It would not prove Martin started this particular fight, but it would certainly make Zimmerman's story of how it started seem more plausible.
She ruled to not allow Martin’s history. That went against case precedence for cases involving self defense, where evidence of the “victim’s” character has been allowed in the past.
The prosecution argues that these facts, though not directly pertinent to the case, relate to the veracity of Zimmerman’s statements to the police (and also to the recording of Zimmerman from Hannity). That is, the prosecution is trying to impeach Zimmerman (prove that what he has said is not trustworthy). Yet, Zimmerman has not taken the witness stand. This seems to deny to Zimmerman the right against self incrimination. I am guessing that once you waive that right, and cooperate with the police, the prosecution can then “impeach” you in court, and thereby bring reputation in the court room.
The judge is trying to steer a course down the middle, by allowing “redacted” school records and medical records and so forth to come in. This seems to me to be cutting the salami thin.
The cumulative effect of so many rulings to allow facts unrelated to the case to come into the courtyard makes the whole thing rather farcical. The only evidence, so far, that seems to point to Zimmerman’s guilt is a phone conversation relayed by an air-head. She says she recognizes Trayvon’s voice crying for help, yet the timeline put together by the defense indicates that the cries for help we heard are subsequent to the end of her phone call. Maybe she heard prior cries for help. That’s the most generous construction of her testimony. Or maybe she imagined the whole thing or is simply lying under oath. But, whatever she heard is irrelevant to the cries for help at the time that Trayvon was beating up Zimmerman and then Zimmerman shot Trayvon dead.
To return to Trayvon’s supposed cries for help, why would Trayvon be crying for help? He has no wounds other than the fatal bullet wound and the abrasions on the knuckles of two fingers of his left hand.
As to who started the fight, that would be simple assault. Zimmerman isn’t accused of that, and the prosecution would have zero chance of proving it. Regardless of who started the fight, the question is: did Zimmerman use deadly force in reasonable fear of his life or some other serious injury? If not, that would be murder in the second degree if Zimmerman acted out of ill will or with a depraved mind; and, that would be aggravated manslaughter if Zimmerman acted rashly, or over-reacted, to the situation. The connection, as you perceive it, to who started the fight, is that it’s hard to imagine how you could get murder two if Trayvon started the fight.
Going back to the prosecution’s star witness, Trayvon started the confrontation by saying “Why you following me for?” Then, Zimmerman responded in one of two ways, depending on whether you want to believe her deposition under oath or her court room testimony. Again, according to this star witness, Trayvon had referred to Zimmerman as a creepy ass cracker and as a niggah and such. So, in evidence and directly related to this matter, the star witness indicates that Trayvon was confrontational.
But, does this mean Trayvon started the fight? No, all we have about that, either in evidence already or under consideration, is Zimmerman saying he didn’t and the facts that Zimmerman is a family man, a working man, a man who takes community college courses to advance himself, a man who is involved in the community, a man who is interested in the law and at least in the past, possibly in becoming a policeman himself. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see anything incriminating about these things.
From what I’ve read, the judge may have been correct to keep out the stuff about Martin’s prior conduct. While, according to the Florida Rules of Evidence, the character of an alleged victim may be offered by the accused, Rule 405 states that “When evidence of the character of a person or of a trait of that person’s character is admissible, proof may be made by testimony about that person’s reputation.” So, while Zimmerman could put up witnesses to testify that Martin had a reputation for starting fights, the Florida Rules of Evidence seem to bar evidence about specific prior incidents.
Legally (per the Rules of Evidence) it depends on why the past events being are introduced into evidence. If the past event is being used to contradict what a witness has testified to (impeach the witness’ credibility), the judge may be more likely to allow that evidence in. If the past events (such as fights are being introduced to suggest that a party acted in conformity with that past behavior in the present case, the judge will generally not let that evidence in. The judge may let that character evidence in if there was a clear patter that showed a modus operandi that was also used in the present case.
Prosecution may look at the current case and decide they can either lose it now, or have a chance if they add in Zimmerman’s back story. Look for it to be ugly, with accusations of child molestation (that can’t be proved or answered 10+ years later, it is just a smear).
And then they will try to point to previous ruling about Trayvon, and note that GZ didn’t know TM’s past but he did know GZ’s past.
It’s not a tit for tat — it doesn’t work that way
Stand-your-ground law is not involved/relevant in this instance. Pure Self-defense is the basis for Zimmerman’s case.
Since Zimmerman’s team has refused to use “stand your ground” in his defense, shouldn’t the issue of this alleged contradiction be immaterial?
Doesn’t really matter who started ‘the fight’. Who escalated it to the point of using potentially deadly force? Physical evidence shows that Mr. Martin WAS using ‘offensive’force that could have resulted in GBI and possible death to Mr. Z. Martin’s actions were terminated by the ‘defensive’ force of Mr. Zimmerman. The prosecution has to show that Mr. Zimmerman’s defensive action was ‘unreasonable’ given the circumstances. Showing Mr Zimmerman as the one who escalated to deadly ‘offensive’ action is not consistent with any physical evidence thus presented. Having stated the above, OJ was guilty of murder but......
The way that “who started it” could enter the case is this: (1) If Zimmerman started it, and (2) if Zimmerman had an avenue of escape, then (3) he would be obligated by having started it, to escape. (The obligation of the initiator of a fight to escape if possible is not negated by “Stand York Ground”) Clearly, by reason of his story and as validated by numerous eye and ear witnesses, by the time that the fight reached its climax, there was no avenue of escape.
The testimony of Witness Eight suggests that she didn't seem surprised at the notion of TM starting a fight with GZ. Could MOM/West pursue that further if they call her back to the stand? It would seem that if TM was in the habit of getting into fights with strangers, it would be at least plausible that he would have instigated the fight in this case, which should in and of itself imply reasonable doubt.
I believe Witness Eight said that “TM would have told me if he was gonna fight” which means he probably did tell her he was going to fight but she just didn’t tell “us”
I am glad that she mentioned the “Creepy Ass Cracker” description though. That was good of her to share that with us.
I believe Trayvon was under school suspension the day he was killed.
Good point. I recall Deval Patrick wanted to protect the privacy of one dead Tamerlan Tsarnaev, too.. He just didn’t want to give up the $$$ amounts of his welfare checks and food stamps. Public subsidized terrorism, compliments of the Democrat party.
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