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."
I’m betting Zimmerman walks before trial on Stand Your Ground.
Nifong is my neighbor. Everytime I drive home, there is a litter pickup sign I see around the corner that says “Litter pickup by the Nifong Family.” I keep looking for the striped prison outfits doing litter pickup, but haven’t seen them yet!
NBPP and Spike Lee has a right to this info. /s
Monkey see, Monkey do, Holder justice!
Well, except Zimmerman. Death can be so inconvenient.
...retaliatory crimes it has generated...
No. I want him to get a not guilty verdict. If it brings on riots, it’s on the heads of every single rioter whatever happens to them. I suspect many, many people will be ready to defend themselves against rioting thugs.
The longer you hold tiger by the tail, the hungrier he gets.
Trial by ambush. Maybe she knows some nastiness about Martin she does not want to release.
You watch (P)MSNBC? Shame!
As to retaliation, there was an elderly white man that was beaten by two young black males. They apparently used a claw hammer. Then there was the elderly homeowner who was assaulted on his front porch by a group of young black boys & girls using fists, clubs, and other assorted metallic items. The fight started when he asked them to not play basketball in the street after dark. Witnesses reported hearing one of the assailants saying "that's for Travon". The police in both cases declined to file charges (no hate crime, no siree, I feel the love...)
PS Expect more to follow when the charges against Zimmerman are dropped for lack of evidence.
Zimmerman's case does not benefit from publishing anything about the case, for a million reasons. All the evidence should be shared between prosecution and defense; however the public (and most importantly the witnesses) should learn about it only in the courtroom.
If the women disobeyed the law in not releasing the evidence, she should be disbarred, period.
There is NEVER any punishment for lawyers who intentionally violate the law for political reasons.
So I went and looked up the Florida statute referenced by the media lawyer - 3.330(b) - and came up with this:
“3.330. Determination of Challenge for Cause
The court shall determine the validity of a challenge of an individual juror for cause. In making such determination the juror challenged and any other material witnesses, produced by the parties, may be examined on oath by either party. The court may consider also any other evidence material to such challenge.”
Well that sure didn’t sound like a discovery statute, let alone that there is no “b” provision. So I snooped a little further and found the Discovery statutes under section 3.220 and indeed found a relevant “b” section as noted by the media lawyer. So either the media lawyer or the reporter screwed up. Thank God for the internet.
Here’s the actual list of provisions:
“(b) Prosecutors Discovery Obligation.
(1) Within 15 days after service of the Notice of Discovery, the prosecutor shall serve a written Discovery Exhibit which shall disclose to the defendant and permit the defendant to inspect, copy, test, and photograph the following information and material within the states possession or control:
(A) a list of the names and addresses of all persons known to the prosecutor to have information that may be relevant to any offense charged or any defense thereto, or to any similar fact evidence to be presented at trial under section 90.404(2), Florida Statutes. The names and addresses of persons listed shall be clearly designated in the following categories:
(i) Category A. These witnesses shall include
(1) eye witnesses, (2) alibi witnesses and rebuttal to alibi witnesses, (3) witnesses who were present when a recorded or unrecorded statement was taken from or made by a defendant or codefendant, which shall be separately identified within this category, (4) investigating officers, (5) witnesses known by the prosecutor to have any material information that tends to negate the guilt of the defendant as to any offense charged, (6) child hearsay witnesses, and (7) expert witnesses who have not provided a written report and a curriculum vitae or who are going to testify.
(ii) Category B. All witnesses not listed in either Category A or Category C.
(iii) Category C. All witnesses who performed only ministerial functions or whom the prosecutor does not intend to call at trial and whose involvement with and knowledge of the case is fully set out in a police report or other statement furnished to the defense;
(B) the statement of any person whose name is furnished in compliance with the preceding subdivision. The term statement as used herein includes a written statement made by the person and signed or otherwise adopted or approved by the person and also includes any statement of any kind or manner made by the person and written or recorded or summarized in any writing or recording. The term statement is specifically intended to include all police and investigative reports of any kind prepared for or in connection with the case, but shall not include the notes from which those reports are compiled;
(C) any written or recorded statements and the substance of any oral statements made by the defendant, including a copy of any statements contained in police reports or report summaries, together with the name and address of each witness to the statements;
(D) any written or recorded statements and the substance of any oral statements made by a codefendant;
(E) those portions of recorded grand jury minutes that contain testimony of the defendant;
(F) any tangible papers or objects that were obtained from or belonged to the defendant;
(G) whether the state has any material or information that has been provided by a confidential informant;
(H) whether there has been any electronic surveillance, including wiretapping, of the premises of the defendant or of conversations to which the defendant was a party and any documents relating thereto;
(I) whether there has been any search or seizure and any documents relating thereto;
(J) reports or statements of experts made in connection with the particular case, including results of physical or mental examinations and of scientific tests, experiments, or comparisons; and
(K) any tangible papers or objects that the prosecuting attorney intends to use in the hearing or trial and that were not obtained from or that did not belong to the defendant.
(L) any tangible paper, objects or substances in the possession of law enforcement that could be tested for DNA.
(2) If the court determines, in camera, that any police or investigative report contains irrelevant, sensitive information or information interrelated with other crimes or criminal activities and the disclosure of the contents of the police report may seriously impair law enforcement or jeopardize the investigation of those other crimes or activities, the court may prohibit or partially restrict the disclosure.
(3) The court may prohibit the state from introducing into evidence any of the foregoing material not disclosed, so as to secure and maintain fairness in the just determination of the cause.
(4) As soon as practicable after the filing of the charging document the prosecutor shall disclose to the defendant any material information within the states possession or control that tends to negate the guilt of the defendant as to any offense charged, regardless of whether the defendant has incurred reciprocal discovery obligations.”
Here’s the link to the complete discovery statutes where I got this from:
You have it about right -—then, ‘martial law’ and no election
You ask: “Do they really think that Jackson, Sharpton, and the New Barack Pampers will forget about this and move on?”
Well, there’s another grey hoody kid that could be obamama’s if he had a son - that needs help.
Let’s see how they and the media handle this case. Any bets it will be buried?
No, I was being sarcastic.
What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?
Hoosiermama - might be of interest. Too late for me to read the fine print, I’ll check in tomorrow and see if I can grasp any of it!