Skip to comments.George Zimmerman defense ponders request to combine 'stand your ground' hearing with trial
Posted on 02/18/2013 5:41:44 AM PST by Uncle Chip
Two major court dates loom large over the second-degree-murder case against George Zimmerman: a "stand your ground" hearing in April, and depending on the outcome, a trial June 10.
But last week, defense attorney Mark O'Mara raised an alternative. With his team crunched for time, he suggested the defense may ultimately ask for the hearing and trial to be combined.
To an outside observer, O'Mara and other attorneys say, a combination hearing-trial would likely look a lot like a normal trial: A jury would be selected, and the state and defense would present their cases.
But once that's done, the jury would be placed in limbo while the defense tries to convince the judge to end the case herself.
Though arguing a "stand your ground" motion at trial is atypical, it's not unusual to try to resolve a case just before it goes to the jury.
Defense lawyers often ask for a "judgment of acquittal" a ruling by a judge that the state's case is too weak to proceed after all the evidence in a trial has been presented.
However, Zimmerman has long been expected to argue for immunity from prosecution at a pretrial hearing, commonly referred to as a "stand your ground" hearing.
The "stand your ground" hearing is set for April 22, and Circuit Judge Debra Nelson has made it clear that she opposes any delay. The judge said last week that she wouldn't grant a continuance "unless there are extenuating, extraordinary circumstances."
But O'Mara said the defense doesn't have time to prepare its case before that date, nor does it have the money.
"We don't have the finances to pay for experts to come [at all]," he told the Orlando Sentinel. "We certainly don't have the finances to have them come twice."
(Excerpt) Read more at orlandosentinel.com ...
Justice for the rich, but not for the poor.
But the general principle of Florida's immunity law is that defendant is to be immune from all of state actions, if the use of force was justified. There is no penalty to the state for violating the law, it's just a statement of legal principle as to risks to a person who is justified in the use of force in self defense.
"A riot is an ugly thing..."
Yo Tyrone, who you be votin foe in 2012?
I gots to go wit Obama baby. The democrats be givin out moe betta gibsmedat.
What was pretty certain was that the judge had been told to let the accused guy go. Yes, this was black on white. The white guy got killed. The black guy went free. I was livid.
This gives the judge the opportunity to save the state from making an a** of themselves.
Do the best you can for the April 22 immunity hearing and thereby put Judge Nelson on the spot. She is the kind that would not hesitate to defer to a jury rather than make a decision. If she has to live with her decision for two months under the risk of appeal, then she might think twice about the facts.
She is compelling an early trial because further discovery will serve only to embarrass the state which she is protecting.
If I were O'Mara I would gamble that she wants this thing over and so does the state before Bernie has a nervous breakdown or Crump finds his way to another microphone or the DeeDees start to surface.
From the beginning, I’ve believed this incident to be a “Mugging gone wrong,” and no evidence has been produced that would change my mind.
A thug was prowling the neighborhood looking for a victim, saw one, stalked him, and attacked. How was the thug to know his victim was armed? A more experienced thug would have planned for the possibility, would have quickly taken out his victim, and never allowied him an opportunity to defend himself.
If Trayvon had survived this shooting, he would then have gained enough experience to never let this happen to him again.
Thanks to Zimmerman’s shooting skills, the The State of Florida now has one less experienced thug to deal with, and its citizens should thank him instead of punish him. I can only hope the jury will look past their possible racial prejudice and see this issue as I do.
The fact that the star witness has no personally identifying information and contradictory testimony is a major red flag. Mr. Zimmerman’s legal team should demand that she be questioned in front of witnesses after proving who she is.
My guess is that the defense wants to depose Crump before they depose DeeDee so that he doesn’t have the benefit of her deposition in front of him for his deposition.
I have the same impression. And if the jury is empaneled, she'll be less inclined to take the case away from the jury, even though she has an obligation to do so if it is more likely than not that Zimmerman's use of deadly force was justified.
Also, by having a trial, O'Mara is, in principle, conceding that his client is not immune from trial.
-- She is compelling an early trial because further discovery will serve only to embarrass the state which she is protecting. --
I'm not sure what's in her head that is making her push for quick resolution. As for judges protecting the state, that is a job requirement. I presume her attitude is that Zimmerman wouldn't be in her court, if he wasn't guilty. All that's missing is a trial and finding (or not) by a jury. I presume she feels that people found not guilty aren't innocent, but just managed to persuade a jury that the state didn't meet it's burden of proof.
That's why O'Mara should be talking about the April 22 immunity hearing followed by an appeal -- not trial.
Correct. A proper deposition of Crump would prove that there has never been a “DeeDee”, and Crump himself would suddenly find himself not just disbarred but on trial.
Dunno. Think of it as an opportunity to chlorinate the gene pool a bit.
Speaking of which:
If, during the trial, the defense successfully portrays Trayvon Martin as the thug he was, then (and only then) would a “stand your ground” motion get serious consideration from the judge. But my thought is, if the defense successfully portrays Trayvon Martin as the thug he was, the jury will probably acquit anyway.