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So is it ok to taint the jury with old pics or instead with recent texts about his character? Trayvon case

Posted by on May. 25, 2013 at 10:04 AM
  • 315 Replies

New Trayvon Martin Case Evidence: Defense Team Releases Photos, Texts That Teen Had On His Phone

By MIKE SCHNEIDER 05/23/13 07:48 PM ET EDT AP

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Data released Thursday by the defense from slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin's cellphone includes texts with a friend about fighting, smoking pot and being forced to move out of his mother's house because of trouble at school, as well as photos of a gun and what looks to be a potted marijuana plant.

A hearing next week will decide if the information can be used at the trial for George Zimmerman, who is charged with fatally shooting the unarmed 17-year-old last year during a confrontation at a gated community in Sanford. Prosecutors want the negative evidence omitted, but Zimmerman's defense attorney said if they try to portray his client as the antagonist and Martin as the victim, he wants to show the jury that Martin has talked about fighting before.

"If they had suggested that Trayvon is nonviolent and that George is the aggressor, I think that makes evidence of the fighting he has been involved with in the past relevant," said Mark O'Mara.

Zimmerman, 29, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense and his trial starts next month. O'Mara also filed a motion Thursday asking for a delay in the start of the trial so the defense team can talk at length with an expert witness for the prosecution.

The photos released by Zimmerman's defense team also show Martin blowing smoke and extending his middle finger to the camera.

In the text messages, Martin tells a friend that his mother has told him he needs to move in with his father since he was caught skipping school. He also talks with a friend about smoking "weed."

In another section, he describes being in a fight where his opponent got more hits than he did in the first round.

Prosecutors have filed a motion asking Circuit Judge Debra Nelson to prevent the photos, texts and other personal information from being used at the trial. The hearing is set for next Tuesday when the judge also will consider the motion to delay the trial.

Attorneys for Martin's parents said in a statement that the photos and texts were irrelevant to the trial and could pollute the jury pool.

"Is the defense trying to prove Trayvon deserved to be killed by George Zimmerman because (of) the way he looked?" they said. "If so, this stereotypical and closed-minded thinking is the same mindset that caused George Zimmerman to get out of his car and pursue Trayvon, an unarmed kid who he didn't know."

As for the delay, O'Mara said he needed more time to review the qualifications of a prosecution witness with an expertise in speech identification. O'Mara said prosecutors only made him aware of the expert a short time ago. The expert could be used to testify whose voices were on 911 calls that captured the fatal fight between Zimmerman and Martin.

O'Mara said in an interview that he needed another month or two to prepare.

O'Mara also said in the interview that he is going to ask a judge to sequester not only the jury but the jury pool in the upcoming trial. That may involve sequestering 500 potential jurors in order to find six people who can serve on the jury, O'Mara said.

by on May. 25, 2013 at 10:04 AM
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Replies (1-10):
survivorinohio
by René on May. 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM
7 moms liked this

So they were both violent and troubled.  Doesnt make what GZ did ok at all.  He should have waited in his vehicle, by pursuing Trayvon George was the antagonist.

jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on May. 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM
12 moms liked this

Personally I don't think character has anything to do with it.  To me it comes down to an unarmed kid against an armed, grown man.  Zimmerman had the position of power and chose to wield it unwisely.  

Sisteract
by Whoopie on May. 25, 2013 at 10:24 AM
9 moms liked this

I think what should be entered as evidence should be what is directly tied to the case. In addition if TM's past is introduced, the same should be done for the person who is actually on trial, G Zimmmerman. Domestic abuse, trouble with the law (no matter if it's been "buried" or not...we all seem to be privy), inability to hold a job d/t bully behavior. Yep, dredge up one person's past, dredge up the actually person who's on trials past too, IMO- Wonder if the defense really wants to go there?

Radarma
by "OneDar" on May. 25, 2013 at 10:26 AM
3 moms liked this

 I hope every bit of character evidence on both men is utilized.

 

survivorinohio
by René on May. 25, 2013 at 10:30 AM
4 moms liked this

So I didnt answer the question. I think that shaming the victim is wrong in my gut but I can see relevancy.  I really wish the whole truth was always admissible.  Too much gets left out.

The fact that Trayvon was a rebellious teen does not lessen his worth or vidicate George in the least

TerraIncognita
by Bronze Member on May. 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM
I don't think his weed smoking or cutting school has anything to do with the case but the fighting should be able to be used as evidence.
Lili0509
by on May. 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM
2 moms liked this

 I really think that just makes them look petty......weed and skipping school doesn't make a 17 yr old evil...silly.

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on May. 25, 2013 at 10:45 AM
2 moms liked this

Talking about fighting.  He smoked pot and his mom sent him to his dad's.  Or so it seems.

Yep, the definition of a killer who was out to cause trouble that night and when confronted by a man clearly not minding his own business, he was all ready to show what a badass kid he was to the man with the gun.

Oh my.

O'Mara will attempt to continue until the Judge has had enough.  Poor George, the longer this takes the more weight he may gain and then what shall he do?  He is already so distraught.  Another fund raiser on the horizon to help pay for his attorney fees, or is that his grocery bill?

Aestas
by Gold Member on May. 25, 2013 at 10:51 AM
2 moms liked this

No, it should not be admissible. None of it has anything to do with the case. Even if Trayvon had a history of fighting, so what? It doesn't change the fact that GZ was the aggressor, that he pursued an unarmed CHILD just because of the way he looked, and killed him in cold blood.

pvtjokerus
by Platinum Member on May. 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM
5 moms liked this

 But does it show a different side of Trayvon?  The media has made him out to be a sweet, innocent child.  Can it be said that the media used old photos of Trayvon to already taint the public's view?  What if they had posted the pictures of recent age and him flipping the bird?  Would the public's opinion be different?  This is all food for thought.


Quoting survivorinohio:

So I didnt answer the question. I think that shaming the victim is wrong in my gut but I can see relevancy.  I really wish the whole truth was always admissible.  Too much gets left out.

The fact that Trayvon was a rebellious teen does not lessen his worth or vidicate George in the least


 

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