Thursday, May 30, 2013

Remember Trayvon Martin?

The case is getting more and more crooked.  From the May 29, 2013 Miami Herald:
A court employee who retrieved photos and deleted text messages from Trayvon Martin's cellphone has been placed on administrative leave after an attorney testified that prosecutors didn't properly turn over the evidence to the defense, an attorney said Wednesday.
Former prosecutor Wesley White said he was ethically obligated to reveal that Fourth Judicial Circuit Information Technology Director Ben Kruidbos retrieved the data that weren't turned over.
And what were some of the pictures that came off the cell phone of the angelic Trayvon Martin?
The defense released photos of a gun, marijuana plant and Martin's text messages publicly, saying that if prosecutors planned to paint Zimmerman as the aggressor and Martin as the innocent bystander, they wanted the information to defend him. Attorneys won't be able to mention the teen's drug use, suspension from school and past fighting during opening statements at the trial, Nelson ruled Tuesday.
I think I see why the defense wants that information -- and having that information hidden?  Wow.

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  1. Zimmerman's lawyers also aren't able to bring in evidence that Martin's corpse tested positive for marijuana.

    I actually understand the ruling about not being able to use the information from the phone. I don't agree with it, but I understand it: the defense can't introduce evidence as to the general character of the corpse unless the prosecution does so first. It's not relevant whether the corpse was a violent person in general, it's only relevant whether he was violent this night. And, apparently, general evidence of the character of the corpse is considered more prejudicial than relevant. If, otoh, the prosecution introduces evidence that it's not in Trayvon Martin's character to be violent, the defense can appeal to the judge for permission to introduce prejudicial evidence which contradicts that. I lean MUCH more towards telling the jury everything, and I think the extent of deference to the prosecutor being able to choose whether or not to bring in evidence as to the corpse's character is outrageous, but at least I understand the theory.

    But how the heck is the toxicology evidence not admissible when Zimmerman said on the 911 call that he's acting like he's drugged, and this was apparently one of the reasons Zimmerman was following Martin, and marijuana impedes good judgement?

  2. "We are riding...on a Railroad..."

    These days the most surprising thing is that the prosecutor was honest enough to publicize the judicial or prosecutorial misconduct of the IT staffer in deleting/destroying evidence.

  3. The prosecutor may be reading how things are going and doesn't want to be the one going down for not turning over exculpatory evidence to the Defendant as required by prosecutorial ethics (and state law in some states).

    With any luck the toxicology report will come in if the Prosecution tries to undermine Zimmerman's perception that the deceased was higher than a Georgia pine.

  4. Is it fair for the prosecution or the defense to tell the jury that the toxicology report has been withheld?