Skip to comments.Lawyer: Angela Corey missed deadline to release evidence
Posted on 04/28/2012 8:02:15 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
SANFORD, Fla. - As controversy over the $200,000 George Zimmerman raised on PayPal took center stage Friday, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey's decision to ignore legal questions raised over whether she's obeying Florida's public record law went largely unnoticed.
But the issue of whether Corey has the legal right to continue preventing the public from seeing the evidence she says proves Zimmerman committed the second degree murder of Trayvon Martin seems to be coming to a head.
The special prosecutor's office on Friday refused to make that evidence public -- even though an attorney fighting for the public's access insists Friday was when Florida law required Corey to share the evidence with the millions of people following the case.
The reason the deadline for Corey's evidence to become public was Friday, according to Scott Ponce, the attorney representing media organizations seeking access, is because that was 15 days after Zimmerman's attorney served Corey with an April 12 demand for evidence. This process of the state sharing evidence with both the defendant and public at large is known as discovery.
When denying requests from the public for the Zimmerman discovery records Friday, Corey's office told Local 6 Florida law allowed her to keep the records secret using a criminal investigative exemption because "no records have been provided to the defendant."
But Ponce, who specializes in public record law, believes that Corey can no longer use that reason to withhold records from the public, now that the 15 day discovery deadline has passed. That's because Florida law specifically excludes documents "required" to be given to the defendant from the type of records that can be withheld as criminal investigative information.
When Local 6 emailed Corey and her public records attorney, Lisa DiFranza, asking for an explanation as to how they concluded the records were still exempt criminal investigative information, even though Ponce advised the information was required to be given to Zimmerman Friday, the two attorneys did not respond. Neither did Corey's spokesperson, Jackelyn Barnard, even though Florida's public record law requires an agency denying records to give a written response explaining the reasons it concluded records are exempt, when requested.
Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, told Local 6 he wants access to the state's information to start preparing his defense, however, he doesn't want the records to become public before he has the chance to file a motion to keep certain information, like witness names and addresses, secret. Corey's office also wants that type of information shielded from public view.
After Friday's hearing, O'Mara told Local 6 he disagrees with what he called Ponce's "more strict interpretation" of the discovery deadline. O'Mara believes the deadline for Corey's office to make the documents public has not yet passed because his interpretation is that the 15 day deadline for Corey's office to make its evidence public doesn't start ticking until after a defendant's arraignment. Zimmerman's is scheduled for May 8.
In response, Ponce provided Local 6 with the exact rule to refute O'Mara's stance that Friday did not mark the deadline for Corey to make her evidence public through discovery.
"The rules of criminal procedure (Rule 3.330(b)) say discovery is required to be given fifteen days after the demand for discovery is served. Nothing in the rule pegs it to arraignment. It is irrelevant that he does not accept it today," Ponce told Local 6 Friday.
When asked if he'd be taking further action so the records would become public, Ponce said, "No word yet on that."
It sure would be convenient for everybody concerned if George Zimmerman mysteriously died.
It looks more and more like the prosecutor filed the charges because of political pressure and the wheels are coming off her case.
Perhaps there is no evidence to release.
They charged him with a crime they can’t prove to make the blacks happy now. When he is acquitted, they will be unhappy again. Do they really think that Jackson, Sharpton, and the New Barack Pampers will forget about this and move on?
I wonder if this could be planned chaos.
Although we’d all love to see what’s in those records, I do believe that O’Mara should be able to see them first for a period of time, so that he can depose any witnesses before they are hunted down by the media.
Angela Corey to judge, “I got nothing”, LOLOL!
I happen to agree with Zimmerman’s lawyer, in that he should have access to the records before the public receives them.
Given the volatile nature of this case and the retaliatory crimes it has generated, I hope O’Mara succeeds in having potential witnesses’ names/addresses or any identifying information redacted before any of the records are made public.
What “retaliatory crimes” are those? I haven’t seen anything about that on MSNBC!
There is no damn evidence. Occam’s razor.
The only evidence probably favors Mr. Zimmerman. Can’t have that, can we?
Well, then! If it’s not on MSNBC it never happened. Mea culpa.
So why is it still being withheld from the defense? Is Corey planning on keep the defense in the dark throughout the trial?
Old mother Corey, made up a story
to give her poor homies some glory
but when she got there, the narrative was bare
and her poor homies got none
If this is true, then what the heck is wrong with Zimmerman's lawyer? It sounds like he's working for the prosecution.