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Old July 10, 2013, 04:32 PM   #226
csmsss
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Also, the judge has ruled in favor of the defense on a couple of issues, most recently they allowed the testimony of a defense witness to remain even though he was in the court during the testimony of other witnesses. She also did not allow the state to use the gym owner as a rebuttal witness after the state discovered he had some information about Zimmerman on his website.
I'd consider those extremely minor rulings, wouldn't you?
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Old July 10, 2013, 04:33 PM   #227
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I could be mistaken, but I thought the issue with the text messages was they could not be "authenticated".
Yes, that was the Judge's ruling.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/n...,1286960.story
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Old July 10, 2013, 04:36 PM   #228
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Having never researched this sort of thing and being a non-lawyer type I really don't know what to say about that.

I looked at another article and the judge actually does not give a reason why she did not allow the text messages, the authentication was just one of the arguments made by the state.
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Old July 10, 2013, 04:38 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by csmsss
I'd consider those extremely minor rulings, wouldn't you?
That is a leading question, I object! Oh wait....

I don't know how to qualify them, blowing up the states rebuttal seems pretty important to me. As did allowing in the blood evidence. But, as I said, not being a lawyer and not having much experience in a court room I really do not have an educated opinion to provide.
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Old July 10, 2013, 05:02 PM   #230
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I don't know how to qualify them, blowing up the states rebuttal seems pretty important to me.
That's not how I'd characterize it.


http://www.denverpost.com/breakingne...immerman-trial
Quote:
But prosecutors decided not to question Pollock after the judge presiding over the case ruled he couldn't be questioned about a video put on his gym's website showing his court testimony at the trial.
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Old July 10, 2013, 05:13 PM   #231
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On the issue of text messages, school records, etc., what we're talking about is basically character evidence and whether Martin acted in conformity therewith. (IOW, introduction of such evidence to prove that Martin was a violent young man who acted in a violent manner on the night in question.)
Quote:
90.404 Character evidence; when admissible.—
(1) CHARACTER EVIDENCE GENERALLY.—Evidence of a person’s character or a trait of character is inadmissible to prove action in conformity with it on a particular occasion, except:
(a) Character of accused.—Evidence of a pertinent trait of character offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the trait.


(b) Character of victim.—
1. Except as provided in s. 794.022, evidence of a pertinent trait of character of the victim of the crime offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the trait; or

2. Evidence of a character trait of peacefulness of the victim offered by the prosecution in a homicide case to rebut evidence that the victim was the aggressor.

(c) Character of witness.—Evidence of the character of a witness, as provided in ss. 90.608-90.610.

(2) OTHER CRIMES, WRONGS, OR ACTS.—
(a) Similar fact evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is admissible when relevant to prove a material fact in issue, including, but not limited to, proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident, but it is inadmissible when the evidence is relevant solely to prove bad character or propensity. . . . .
(Source: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/.../0090.404.html (emphasis supplied))
That's a lot of fairly sticky language, and refers to statutes with which I have no familiarity. With that said: (1) unless GZ was familiar with TM prior to contact, it's going to be difficult for the defense to argue that such records formed any sort of basis for a reasonable belief or fear of death or bodily harm; and (2) Section (1)(a) is unclear to me in its wording of "[e]vidence of a pertinent trait of character offered by an accused," in that I'm not sure if that can be used as "evidence of a pertinent trait of character [of TM] offered by an accused (GZ)," or if it simply refers to one of GZ's character traits, offered by him. I just haven't read enough FL caselaw to answer that.
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Old July 10, 2013, 05:14 PM   #232
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That's not how I'd characterize it.


http://www.denverpost.com/breakingne...immerman-trial
I suppose you are entitled to characterize it anyway you wish and you maybe correct in doing so. I am just some guy that watched parts of the trial in between sessions of a boring IT class.

My uneducated and inexperienced opinion is the judge did not always rule in favor of the state. That is it. The reason I said it blew up the rebuttal is because at the state had planned on calling two or possibly three rebuttal witnesses, after this ruling they decided not to call any.
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Old July 10, 2013, 07:06 PM   #233
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While I believe what Zimmerman did was not a crime, I do not believe he took the best course of action. I wish we could have a seperate thread discussing the tactics involved. Although stepping out of a car is not illegal, its that action which lead up to the situation. He approached the situation wrong in my opinion. I think Zimmermans actions provoked the situation. Kind of like going up and swearing at someone might be legal, but its not a good idea.
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Old July 10, 2013, 07:22 PM   #234
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post 196.....

I disagree strongly with post #196.
Martin's culture or personal bias shouldn't prevent him from contacting LE in a serious emergency. If he witnessed a fire or saw Zimmerman commit arson would he not call the fire department?
Martin, like other youths of his generation have had the very latest in public safety awareness or PR displays at school.
Are you honestly saying to me, at 17 years old, Trevon Martin would not be able to report a crime to 911 or at the very least, choose not to have LE aid him?
School age kids in 2013 GREW UP around police, security, sheriff's deputies, fire fighters, McGruff the Crime Dog, etc. They know & fully understand from school/media displays how to deal with serious emergencies.
Kids are young, but they are not stupid.

In closing, I don't want to jump on the "blame the parents" soapbox but if your teen or young adult children have problems at school or with authority then they may face other problems later on in life.

CF
PS; I'd add that as a security officer, I often deal with events that include teens or young adults. I'm not their parent, coach, teacher, or social worker. If they are wrong or are doing something illegal they have to face up to it just like everyone else.
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Old July 10, 2013, 07:48 PM   #235
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Two points. First, regarding lack of authentication of the text messages, the LA Times story states:
Quote:
After hours of arguments, Nelson said that just because the text messages on fighting had come from a phone used by Martin -- but whose account is not in Martin’s name -- there was no way to prove the teenager had written them.
The critical point being that the phone was not in Martin's name and this weakened any inference he wrote the messages. Another judge might have ruled differently but a judge usually has some discretion in evidentiary rulings.

Second, the statute Spats referred to above, 90.404, is Florida's version of Federal Rule of Evidence 404. Evidence of a person's character or propensity is normally inadmissible to show they acted in accordance with that character trait. However, evidence that a "victim" threatened the defendant may be admissible (in some jurisdictions) even if the defendant is unaware of the threats because it is relevant to show the victim's state of mind. If it is a threat not directed to the defendant specifically, it is inadmissible. The school records, etc. appear to be character type evidence which is normally inadmissible. Some jurisdictions allow a criminal defendant more leeway in proving "reverse 404" evidence than the government.

Let me emphasize that Florida law may be different. I've just stated some general principles that may vary by jurisdiction.
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Old July 10, 2013, 08:34 PM   #236
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Are you honestly saying to me, at 17 years old, Trevon Martin would not be able to report a crime to 911 or at the very least, choose not to have LE aid him?
He might be able, but he might not be willing. There's a real distrust towards law enforcement in many parts of society, and there's social pressure not to have anything to do with them.

Is it right? Possibly not. Is it there? Most certainly.
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Old July 10, 2013, 08:35 PM   #237
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The critical point being that the phone was not in Martin's name and this weakened any inference he wrote the messages.
I think this is a specious argument. 17 year olds are minors and not permitted to enter into contracts. Likely his phone was acquired under one or both parents' names. How does that make it any more likely someone else used his phone which, according to the reports I've read, was password protected? Not to mention, unless the defense attorney is outright lying, the transcripts were provided very late in the game to the defense, who had little opportunity to interview those individuals Martin exchanged texts with in order to authenticate the origin of the texts. In short, it seems quite possible that the judge allowed the prosecution to run out the clock on this evidence which, if true, would certainly be reversible error.
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Old July 10, 2013, 08:52 PM   #238
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I'm not sure I get the whole "cultural bias" towards authorities either. Because he had a distrust for cops he should have the benefit of the doubt in not calling them? What if any one of us did that? "Yeah, I thought there might be danger, but I decided to deal with it myself instead of calling the cops because I don't trust them".
I realize that's probably not Martin's throught process working through the incident but it seems as though that's how some are defending him.
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:00 PM   #239
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Do the right thing, "society"...

I understand your point about TM but Im saying that it's not a valid excuse to me if I sat on a criminal court jury.
Martin had 0 authority or license to go back & confront GZ(if that is what really took place) just because he was mad or "didn't trust the cops".
It's very true that there are segments of US society that do not have faith in law enforcement or do not like public safety/first responders but that doesn't exempt them from the law or law & order.

Around 2007, I was working in a low end area of a major city, doing security work at a chain hotel. Across the street, about a block away I saw a small fire start up behind a unused, empty building(retail space). There were a few bums & street people milling around the fire scene. I waited a few minutes to see if anyone closer would act or contact fire-rescue. No one did.
I called the fire units & briefed them of the incident. The fire was bad but on a vacant lot & no one was injured.

CF
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:12 PM   #240
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Reversible judge or OK judge or ??

So after reading this entire thread, it seems the only concrete example of why this judge might be reversible was the tox report, which was later allowed.

If that's correct, is this judge now doing OK? Are there other issues where the judge messed up?
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:31 PM   #241
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClydeFrog
Martin had 0 authority or license to go back & confront GZ(if that is what really took place) just because he was mad or "didn't trust the cops".
What authority or license is required to ask someone who is following you why they are following you? Or maybe I misunderstand. He certainly did not have a right to punch him in the nose, if that is what happened, but he can stop and ask the guy questions. Just as Zimmerman can walk up to Martin and ask him questions.
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:56 PM   #242
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Are there other issues where the judge messed up?
I thought it was weird how she kept asking GZ over and over in different ways whether he wanted to testify. I thought it should be a matter of the defense calling their witnesses and he is either called or not.

Not a mess up, just seemed strange to me.
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:17 PM   #243
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State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorhead0922 View Post
I thought it was weird how she kept asking GZ over and over in different ways whether he wanted to testify. I thought it should be a matter of the defense calling their witnesses and he is either called or not.

Not a mess up, just seemed strange to me.
Yeah. I noticed that too. He said upon speaking to his council he wishes to not testify. She asked if he as sure, then said its up to him in the end whether they told him to or not. Then she kept asking him if he was threatened.

I don't like this judge one bit.
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:53 PM   #244
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I saw quite a bit of it.
I don't think they proved Murder 2...and last I heard the Prosecution is asking that the jury be allowed to consider Manslaughter.
My bet, though, is that he's found guilty if only because of the societal pressure.
I will say this:
Watching the trial has been a very educational experience for me. This is what anyone can face in a similar situation.
What if George had been wearing one of those "Cold Dead Hands" or Anti-Obama t-shirts they sell at the gun shows?
What if he had a "Make My Day" bumper sticker on his car - or that "We Don't Call 911" sticker on his front door?
What if he'd been carrying something cocked and locked as opposed to a long pull DA (I have a P-11)? The prosecution made quite a deal just out of his having a round chambered.

All these things would stack up against you fast and large.

There are many lessons to be learned from all of this.
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:56 PM   #245
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine
Quote:
Originally Posted by motorhead0922 View Post
I thought it was weird how she kept asking GZ over and over in different ways whether he wanted to testify. I thought it should be a matter of the defense calling their witnesses and he is either called or not.

Not a mess up, just seemed strange to me.
Yeah. I noticed that too. He said upon speaking to his council he wishes to not testify. She asked if he as sure, then said its up to him in the end whether they told him to or not. Then she kept asking him if he was threatened....
You'll see that with some judges quite frequently, and in general it's proper.

The point is to make sure that the record reflects in the strongest terms that the defendant's decision not to testify was knowing and voluntary.
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Old July 10, 2013, 11:12 PM   #246
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I don't think they proved Murder 2...and last I heard the Prosecution is asking that the jury be allowed to consider Manslaughter.
And that's what worries me. Proving murder requires an element of malice; manslaughter can be sold under the imperfect defense doctrine, which is easier for the prosecution.
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Old July 10, 2013, 11:17 PM   #247
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Response to post #241...

I agree with you that Trevon Martin could have gone up to GZ, calmly asked why he was following him or acting weird but according to a few reports, he didnt do that.
George Zimmerman(when he took police investigators to the scene) said Martin did walk up to him saying; "what do you want" & "what's up?", then he turned & walked away.
Could Trevon Martin have walked back to the condo? I think so. Could he of hung up & called the Sanford PD then met them at his father's friend's house? I think so.
Did Martin need to run or trot away from GZ?(as described by Zimmerman, FWIW) I think not.

There are many gaps & holes in these entire use-of-force event. Will we(the general public) ever learn all the facts? I doubt it, but as time & the court case goes on, I think GZ will be cleared.
At this point, I think the Seminole County Florida jury will be thinking more about their safety & personal security plans in the next few months than the trial verdict.
The judge should, in my view, seal the jury records for 12mo.

Clyde
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Old July 10, 2013, 11:49 PM   #248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClydeFrog
At this point, I think the Seminole County Florida jury will be thinking more about their safety & personal security plans in the next few months than the trial verdict.
Many have suggested that the safety and personal security of the jurors will hinge on their verdict. It is scary to think that the jurors might have similar thoughts when reaching a verdict.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:06 AM   #249
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I said in an earlier post that I thought Zimmerman was "unwise" to exit his vehicle.

Maestro Pistolero challenged that assertion, so I will clarify:

I think it was unwise for Zimmerman to have dismounted and followed on foot, without apparently considering his options should things go south, as they did. Notice I am not saying it was "wrong" for him to follow, in an attempt to ascertain an address or destination, but that it was "unwise".

Had Zimmerman concentrated on maintaining a safe following distance; kept aware of avenues of escape; and not lost track of Martin, then I would not even say that following had necessarily been unwise. It does not seem that was the case.

So, I meant Zimmerman was unwise in a tactical sense, not that I felt his following of Martin was unlawful.

But like I said, I could easily see where a 17 year old would react abruptly to noticing he was being followed by some strange, older guy.

A problem I have noted is the tendency of the prosecution and the anti-Zimmerman people to equate following and reporting (or possibly verbally challenging) a person with assault. This is specious.

Another problem I perceive is the tendency of a lot of us pro-2A types to resent Zimmerman for putting the spotlight on a less than ideal case. I suspect some are assigning more blame to Zimmerman than the evidence necessarily supports, out of that same resentment.

I know I certainly resented this case when it first made the news.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:35 AM   #250
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If you think the testimony is difficult to see hard facts in, wait until the lawyers, especially the Special Prosecutors, tune up the histrionics for closing statements tomorrow.
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