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.
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.
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:
Certainly, early testimony (before the witnesses have had a chance to figure out what they should say) trumps later testimony.
E.g., a news report from 22 March claims the lead detective played the 911 recordings for Trayvon Martin's father shortly after the incident, and he said the voice calling for help was not his son's. Oops. If I were on the jury, and Tracy Martin swore in court that it was Trayvon screaming, my vote for Not Guilty would be set in stone. Nothing like catching a liar!
However, at this point, I can't imagine there is any "early" testimony left to be taken. So, let's let it all hang out!