Friday, January 31, 2014
I have disappointing news to pass along from Angela Corey’s office.
The audio recordings of Michael Dunn’s jailhouse phone calls will not be available for 9 to 10 weeks. Since the trial is likely to end before then, I do not believe we will have an opportunity to listen to them.
According to the terms of the order issued two weeks ago today by the 1st District Court of Appeal, the prosecution was required to release the audio recordings to the media no later than one week ago today.
Corey claims that she has a legitimate excuse for the delay.
She says her office has 170 hours of recorded calls that cannot be released to the public in their present condition because the names and addresses of the participants and various other people mentioned in the calls have not been redacted.
True, but that task should have been accomplished months ago.
Because anything Dunn said during the calls about the shooting will be admissible in the prosecution’s case-in-chief pursuant to the admission-by-a-party-opponent rule. If Dunn testifies and his testimony differs from what he said during those calls, the prosecution can impeach his testimony with his prior inconsistent statement.
The prosecution acquired this evidence approximately one year ago and I cannot think of any reason that would justify its failure to review the calls months ago. I do not believe that any reasonably competent prosecutor would have failed to review that evidence months ago and for that reason I do not accept Corey’s excuse.
If I were Judge Healey, I would find Corey in contempt and order her to pay $500 per day until she produces the records.
Given the inadequate performance of her team of prosecutors in the George Zimmerman trial, I was expecting her to avoid bonehead screw-ups like this.
Her failure to do so raises new questions about her commitment to this case.