Skip to comments.Prosecutors in Zimmerman Trial Ask Jury to Disregard Comments (Too favorable towards Zimmerman)
Posted on 07/02/2013 3:53:36 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
SANFORD, Fla. Prosecutors in the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman scrambled Tuesday to undo damage to their case by one of their leading witnesses, a Sanford police officer who interviewed the defendant hours after he fatally shot Trayvon Martin.
The witness, Officer Chris Serino, testified under cross-examination on late Monday afternoon that Mr. Zimmerman seemed to be telling the truth when he said he had fired his gun in self-defense. The officers admission made for a dramatic moment in the trial and was a clear boon for the defense but drew no immediate objection from the state. The court recessed for the day afterward.
But early on Tuesday, citing case law, the state successfully argued that Officer Serinos comments about Mr. Zimmermans veracity ought to be disregarded by the jury. The judge then instructed the jurors, who are being sequestered during the trial, to ignore the officers statement, nearly 17 hours after it had been made.
Officer Serinos testimony, in the second week of the trial in Seminole County Court, was the latest setback for prosecutors......
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
"In any case, on direct examination Dr. Rao was repeatedly asked if this or that particular injury were particularly series,...."
Two separate questions. The jury is charged with evaluating the credibility of witnesses. That is their job. They will assign credibility to Rachael's testimony as they see fit. I suspect the figure she is not trustworthy under the circumstances.
But nobody came right out and said she is a liar. It was pointed out that she shaded her testimony when in the presence of Sybrina, that Sybrina was present for the Crump interview and the state's deposition. It is said that she is Martin's friend, which gives her a motive to lie to cover for him, etc. People lie on the witness stand all the time with no penalty beyond the jury thinks they are lying.
If Crump is guilty of manufacturing evidence, somebody has to produce direct evidence of that. If Rachael admitted that in this trial, it would produce cause to charge Crump, or de la Rionda, or whoever helped manufacture the false evidence. Rachael would get swept up in that too. But, prosecution would be under a different trial (not that the state would press charges against itself).
Agreed, but they won't do that.
This is Angela Corey. She charged Zimmerman for political purposes to satisfy the Obama Black Mob. Let's be honest about it.
Okay, the witness cannot testify to his opinion of the defendant's truthfulness. But then why is it okay for the prosecution to ask if the comments made by the defendant showed "spite or ill will" toward the victim? Isn't that also asking for an opinion of the state of mind of the accused? How is the witness qualified to testify to one but not the other?
At the end of this NYT article
The lawyer in question was the defense lawyer — it came up in the cross-examination.
I have had inklings several times that the prosecution is deliberately throwing the case.
Hope I’m right.
If the prosecutor had made a timely objection, and if the witness had answered over that objection, there might conceivably be a basis for a mistrial. Since the prosecutor didn't make a timely objection, however, any mistrial resulting from such statements would have to be seen as the prosecutor's fault. While prosecutors are allowed to retry defendants after mistrials that are caused either by patently-wrongful actions by the defense or by hung juries, any mistrial which is forced by prosecutor's actions becomes an effective acquittal [if it didn't, prosecutors could simply force mistrials any time things seemed to be going badly]. Even if Judge Nelson were willing to declare a mistrial, and declare that it was the defense's fault, such a ruling would be immediately appealed, and the DCA would probably not waste much time in ruling that Nelson's declaration of mistrial conceded the case to the defense.
I wouldn't necessarily say that such an outcome couldn't happen. Judge Nelson probably doesn't really want anything to do with this case, so if she could punt it and put the DCA on the hot seat as the entity that sets Zimmerman free, punting the case might let her escape from it.
There is only one charge against Zimmerman: murder in the second degree. There are no lesser charges. If the prosecution has failed to provide sufficient evidence of depraved mind then the judge can issue a directed verdict of acquittal. The prosecution cannot reduce the charge once the trial has begun.
Alright that is fair enough. I am certainly not a lawyer and am just saying my personal preference on the matter, and I do appreciate the information you have provided on this.
I am also of the mind that this entire case has been a mistrial since the moment charges were filed.
Again, your explanation makes a lot of sense, and I do appreciate your taking the time to explain this to me, because it was something that I did not understand.
yup they ended on that yesterday, i thought it was a tremendous win for the defense.
Yep, you’re right. Since it was their witness, I made the jump in logic that they were questioning him. It clearly states he was under cross-examination.
Thanks for the correction. Sorry folks...
Yes. Motion for a Judgment of Acquittal. The state has not produced evidence that disproves self defense beyond a reasonable doubt. The self defense theory has not been ruled "impossible" by the state's evidence.
The judge should grant it, but she will deny it. This is an issue for appeal, in the highly unlikely case the jury convicts.
-- It seems Judge would have to dismiss at least the 2nd degree murder charge? --
Dismissal is based on justified use of force. That trumps any underlying charge. If it goes to a jury, the jury will get instructions on murder 2 and manslaughter. The difference is defendant's state of mind. he has to have a depraved mind, indifferent to human life in order to be convicted of murder 2. Negligence is enough to sustain a manslaughter conviction. But, again, self defense trumps, and the reason the case should be dismissed after the state rests is because the state did not disprove self defense.
You do raise a point I hadn't considered, judge thinks there is enough evidence to disprove self defense, but not enough evidence to make murder 2 (no depraved mind, ill will, spite). That combination of finding would result in charging the jury with only an manslaughter charge - or, the judge might read the law as only giving the JURY the option for lesser charges, and the judge does not have the option to allow a lesser included charge. I don't know a case on that point.
given thgey asked the officer in terms of evidence, and having discussed that either George was a pathological liar or telling the truth, and having no evidence to indicate iar, if the evidence presented showed George as telling the truth, officer said yes.
based on evidence of george’s beavior and coroborating witness evidence.
not just opinion.
should not have won an objection.
In addition, the State’s line of questioning regarding is off the mark.
The state said his injuries were not serious. How would Zimmerman know at the time that his injuries would not get worse, had he not acted in self-defense. Was Z supposed to wait until his gead was cracked open before he was incapable of saving his own life? I don’t think so.
He defended himself while he still had the ability to do so.
doubt it. the way this judge is goibg she’ll say it’s up to the jury to look at the case presented and determine if they’ve proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
LOL - great comment.
But the same witness was allowed to claim that Zimmerman was motivated by ill will.