I can’t breathe: Barbara Dawson should be alive today

December 27, 2015

Barbara Dawson, 57, collapsed and died while handcuffed in the street on the Monday before Christmas outside Liberty Calhoun Hospital in Blountstown, FL after she was arrested by police and forcibly removed from ER where she sought medical assistance to help her breathe. She died of a massive pulmonary embolism that could have been diagnosed within a few minutes and successfully treated by the medical staff upon admission to the hospital.

NBC News reports,

Police were called to the emergency room when Dawson, who had been discharged by physicians, refused to leave. She was charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing and was escorted out of the hospital in handcuffs.

Dawson then collapsed as she arrived at the officer’s car.

“Our officer asked for help once he realized the patient did indeed appear to be unresponsive and had medical staff respond to Ms. Dawson,” Blountstown Police Chief Mark Mallory said in a statement on Wednesday.

Dawson was readmitted to the emergency room — where she was pronounced dead an hour later. The Florida state medical examiner ruled on Wednesday that she died from natural causes due to a blood clot in her lung. The blood clot was due to Dawson being excessively overweight, officials said.

/snip/

Dawson’s aunt Angela Donar witnessed the incident, according to NBC station WJHG. Donar said her niece didn’t leave the hospital because she was still in pain, even though she was deemed medically stable to leave.

“When he got her to the car, he opened the door and tried to put her in the car and after then she collapsed,” Donar told the station. “They got the doctor to come out there and get a pulse of her and they couldn’t get no pulse. They bought a stretcher out there and took her back in the hospital.”

According to Chief Mallory, she was arrested for disorderly conduct and trespassing when she refused multiple requests to leave the ER.

According to CEO Ruth Attaway of the Calhoun Liberty Hospital, pulmonary embolisms are “difficult to detect and can be impossible to treat.”

Bullshit!

No reasonably competent medical professional in a hospital ER would refuse to treat, discharge and call the cops on a patient who came into the ER complaining that she was experiencing chest pain and having difficulty breathing. The staff would have been able to visualize the PE with a Chest Spiral CT.

Wikipedia explains what a pulmonary embolism is and this is what it looks like.

Saddle Pulmonary Embolism (PE) Dr. Nir Hus MD., PhD. Image #3
Photo courtesy of Dr. Nir Hus, MD, PhD at Flickr

Wikipedia does not list obesity as a risk factor for pulmonary embolisms.

Daryl Parks is representing Ms. Dawson’s family. He works with Benjamin Crump. I do not believe he is going to have any trouble piercing the victim-blaming smokescreen spewed out by CEO Attaway.

Victim blaming is disgusting. Blaming a patient for dying after you kick her out of your ER is unconscionable.

I can’t breathe.


Mark O’Mara engineers snipe hunt to avoid responsibility for publicizing irrelevant evidence

May 29, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Good afternoon:

NBC News reported late yesterday:

A Florida judge ruled Tuesday that George Zimmerman’s defense team cannot mention Trayvon Martin’s suspension from school, prior marijuana use, text messages or past fighting during opening statements at next month’s trial.

Judge Debra Nelson said that during the trial she will consider motions to admit details as evidence on a case-by-case basis, outside the presence of jurors who will decide if Zimmerman is guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Martin.

Although this statement is technically correct, it also is misleading because Judge Nelson actually concluded that the evidence was irrelevant and inadmissible. That is why she granted the State’s motion in limine to prohibit the defense from mentioning any of those things during jury selection and opening statement.

The only reason she might change her mind is if the State were to open the door by introducing evidence of good character. That is not going to happen because Trayvon’s character, whether good or bad, is not an issue in this case. BDLR has no reason to introduce evidence of good character and I am certain that he was not planning on doing that because he knows that good character evidence is irrelevant. Since the defense cannot rebut something that does not happen, the jury will not hear any of this information.

That is not the end of the story, however, because the irrelevant information in question was obtained from Trayvon Martin’s phone and it is the subject of a defense motion for sanctions and request for a judicial inquiry that Judge Nelson has scheduled for June 6th, the same day as the Frye hearing regarding the admissibility of expert testimony identifying the person who uttered the terrified death shriek.

I do not believe Judge Nelson is going to find that BDLR withheld evidence from the defense. The evidence was recorded on Trayvon’s phone in binary code and a copy of that raw data was disclosed to the defense sometime in late January. O’Mara did not hire an expert or purchase a software program that can translate that code into plain English.

A few weeks ago, O’Mara was contacted by an attorney who represents Ben Kruibdos, the Director of Information Technology for the Fourth Judicial Circuit. The attorney is Wesley White.

The Miami Herald reports:

White led the Nassau County state attorney’s office before resigning in December, citing differences of opinion with Corey. He is now in private practice.

White said the photos Kruidbos retrieved were of a hand holding a gun and one depicted drugs. The content of the text messages wasn’t specified.

“I’m an officer of the court and I’m obliged to inform the court of any misconduct or any potential misconduct coming before the court. Whether it’s by the defense or prosecution,” White said.

Apparently, Kruibdos extracted the two photographs and possibly the text messages from the binary code and gave them to BDLR who did not pass them on to O’Mara.

Does that constitute a discovery violation or a tempest in a teapot?

I believe it is a tempest in a teapot, so long as BDLR turned over the raw data.

Judge Nelson has already ruled that the evidence is not relevant or admissible and it certainly is not exculpatory.

We will have to wait and see how the hearing turns out, but this looks like another snipe hunt instigated by O’Mara to distract everyone from holding him accountable for publicly disclosing information that should not have been disclosed.

_________________________________________________

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Defense mendacity in Zimmerman case is disgusting

May 24, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Good morning:

George Zimmerman’s attorneys, Mark O’Mara and Don West, have unintentionally confirmed this week that they have no defense to present on his behalf by knowingly and intentionally publishing false, irrelevant and inadmissible information about Trayvon Martin to incite white racists to denounce him as a pot smoking black thug who deserved to die.

I used the word “confirmed” because three weeks ago the defendant appeared in open court and waived his right to an immunity hearing. The mixture of false and misleading information released yesterday is not a defense to second degree murder. It’s deliberate character assassination by false statement and innuendo of an unarmed teenager who was stalked, restrained and shot through the heart while screaming for help.

Here’s LLMPapa:

Last I heard, skipping school, pot smoking and participating in refereed fights between equal combatants is not a death penalty offense.

In other news, the defense attorneys filed a flurry of forgettable motions and responses to prosecution motions which, like snowflakes in April, are destined to melt when they hit the ground.

I begin with Donald West’s frivolous, dishonest and intentionally misleading reefer-madness motion that he filed earlier this week arguing that a trace amount of marijuana in Trayvon Martin’s autopsy blood should be admissible to prove that he was the aggressor even though he was unarmed and the defendant stalked, restrained and shot him in the heart.

The defense motion to continue:

1. cites no authority,

2. claims he needs to investigate Dr. Reich (the State’s audio expert who identified Trayvon as the person screaming for help), which takes about an hour if you google him,

3. claims other unnamed experts told him Dr. Reich’s opinion is based on science that has fallen into “disrepute,”

4. fails to support this assertion with an affidavit from one or more of these experts, and

5. claims he needs time to find an expert to hire even though he is supposedly in touch with all of these experts.

This motion is ridiculous and will be denied because it fails to document a reason for a continuance.

O’Mara’s motion for sanctions against Bernie de la Rionda for not disclosing the evidence that the defense obtained from Trayvon’s phone and published in its 3rd evidence dump, is frivolous because the so-called exculpatory evidence that he claims BDLR withheld in violation of the Brady rule is not exculpatory.

Therefore, the Brady rule does not apply and this motion should be denied.

West’s reply to the State’s motion to exclude opinion evidence about the defendant’s guilt or innocence generally admits that witness opinions about the guilt or innocence of a defendant are inadmissible but warns that if the State attempts to attribute the delay in arresting and charging the defendant (which isn’t relevant either), then the State will have opened the door to allowing the defense to call SPD cops to justify what they did.

I don’t believe this issue will come up as it is irrelevant to whether the defendant murdered Trayvon.

Sideline mini-trials about marginally relevant or irrelevant issues are exactly what evidence rule 403 is designed to prevent.

West’s 2-page reply to the State’s motion to exclude the defendant’s self-serving hearsay statements, which does not cite a case, generally agrees that many of the defendant’s statements are hearsay, if offered by the defense, but disagrees with the State’s argument that none of the defendant’s statements are admissible under the res gestae exception or some other exception to the hearsay rule. West asks Judge Nelson to reserve ruling until the issue comes up in trial.

This is a sneaky response because West wants to be able to ask a leading question seeking agreement from a witness that the defendant said XYZ. For example, he might ask SPD Investigator Serino this question:

George told you that he killed Trayvon in self-defense, didn’t he?

Bernie de la Rionda (BDLR) would object to the question because it contains an inadmissible self-serving hearsay statement.

Judge Nelson would sustain the objection, but she cannot unring the bell, so to speak. The jury would have heard the defendant’s inadmissible statement.

He also would probably like to mention that self-serving hearsay statement during the defense opening statement to the jury or maybe during jury selection.

The purpose of the State’s motion in limine regarding the defendant’s self-serving hearsay statements is to prevent those events from happening, and I am reasonably certain Judge Nelson has seen this trick before and is savvy enough to see through West’s tactical deception.

Therefore, I expect she will grant the State’s motion.

BTW, the res gestae exception that West mentions is a limited exception to the hearsay rule similar to the present-sense-impression exception in which the hearsay statement about an event occurs as the event happens. Thus, the statement is part of the event itself or the res gestae and cannot be excised from it.

The State’s motion in limine seeking an order prohibiting the defense from mentioning the voice stress analysis test that the defendant took should be granted because that’s the legal rule in Florida and elsewhere. The rule is based on the lack of general agreement among scientists that this type of test can consistently produce accurate and reliable results.

In other words, the test violates the Frye Rule.

Judge Nelson should grant this motion.

The State’s 3rd motion for a gag order asks Judge Nelson to put an end to the defense effort to poison the jury pool by assassinating Trayvon Martin’s good character with false evidence and innuendo publicized after the jury pool of 500 people have received their notices to report for jury service on June 10, 2013.

It is no accident that the defense waited until after the 500 potential jurors were served with their notices, but before they report for jury service. Therefore, this was a deliberate tactic to create an unringing the bell problem regarding false, irrelevant, and inadmissible evidence.

A gag order will not unring the bell.

This is quite possibly the sleaziest tactic that I have ever seen. To intentionally poison a jury pool a couple of weeks before trial with false and misleading information about the victim of a homicide calculated to incite and unite White racists to approve of the execution of an unarmed Black teenager is astonishing.

These two lawyers are fortunate that I am not Judge Nelson because I would jail them for contempt of court and file complaints against the bar association requesting their disbarment from the practice of law.

_________________________________________________

I hate to hassle people for money, but contributions have been lagging this month.

Writing articles every day and maintaining the integrity and safety of this site from people who would like nothing better than to silence us forever is a tough job requiring many hours of work.

If you like this site, please consider making a secure donation via Paypal by clicking the yellow donation button in the upper right corner just below the search box.

Thank you,

Fred


CNN article promotes racist description of Trayvon Martin case

February 27, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thanks to all who participated in yesterday’s memorial to Trayvon Martin.

I write today to express disgust and dismay regarding this excuse for journalism by Steve Almasy of CNN, Zimmerman’s lawyer works to dispel racial overtones in Trayvon Martin case.

The focus of the piece is Mark O’Mara’s “struggle” to get people to pay attention to the evidence instead of racism.

Whatever the outcome of the Trayvon Martin case, it will be viewed less as a determination of the shooter’s guilt or innocence and more as a victory or loss for civil rights, George Zimmerman’s lawyer fears.

Mark O’Mara said he has been busy trying to dispel the racial overtones in the case by getting out more evidence about his client.

Thereafter, we get the usual he-said-she-said description of the case interspersed with O’Mara’s unchallenged mischaracterizations of the evidence followed up with this description of Benjamin Crump as a rabble rousing troublemaker pushing the race card.

O’Mara indicated at trial he will dissect the recording of Zimmerman’s 911 call and point to evidence of the wounds Zimmerman said he suffered that night.

“I believe, you know, again, the evidence is what it is and that’s for a jury to determine,” O’Mara said. “But a close reading or looking at that tape and all the evidence that followed, particularly George’s injuries and Trayvon’s lack of injuries but for the fatal gunshot, suggest that George did not begin the fight, did not continue the fight and actually was the victim of the attack rather than the other way around.”

But a lawyer for the Martins said the fight against “senseless gun violence” will continue.

“He went home and slept in his bed the night he killed Trayvon,” attorney Benjamin Crump said. “And that wasn’t equal justice.”

Crump then led a chant of “Hoodies up! Hoodies up!” at the vigil.

This false concoction is presented with a cherry on top in the form of the optically distorted and likely photoshopped digital photo of the defendant seated in the back seat of a patrol vehicle with a bump on his nose and blood on his mustache. CNN has no excuse for not knowing that the photo presents a false picture because the police photos taken at the station house a few hours later with a much better camera under good lighting show a barely visible injury with little or no swelling or distortion to the shape of the nose.

As all of us know, despite conceding that his client was the aggressor, O’Mara has been shoving his demonstrably false “bloody” photograph in front of every camera he can find in pursuit of his easy-to-disprove false narrative that the peaceful and nonviolent Trayvon for no apparent reason attacked and attempted to kill the defendant with his bare hands in the middle of his phone conversation with his girlfriend after successfully running away from the defendant who had been stalking him in a vehicle and then on foot contrary to a police dispatcher’s warning.

The simple truth is this defendant has no defense and the only mystery in this case is why anyone believes that the he did not hunt, confront, and murder Trayvon Martin for the heinous crime of walking while Black in the rain with his hoodie up.

I said long ago and I will repeat it today:

Anyone who believes the defendant is innocent is a racist and anyone who contributes money to his defense is a stupid racist.

Let there be no mistake: Although he claims otherwise, Mark O’Mara and his client are deliberately appealing to racial hatred and fear of young Black males to literally get away with murder.

That is what this case is all about and shame on CNN for not reporting the truth.


Trayvon Martin’s Murder Forces Us To Confront Racism

December 27, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I realized the defendant was lying when I first read his narrative about the shooting.

Why?

Because I believe it’s extremely unlikely that an unarmed person would flee from a menacing stranger following him and, after successfully getting away, voluntarily approach, engage and attempt to beat that stranger to death with his bare hands.

That story is ridiculous. It made no sense to me when I first read it and it makes no sense to me now.

With two exceptions, I never have understood why anyone would believe that ridiculous story.

As a former criminal defense attorney and law professor, I certainly understand, support and believe in the presumption of innocence. I trained myself to think that way and always searched for the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against my clients. I had no problem exploiting those vulnerabilities for the benefit of my clients. I suspect that most of the lawyers and law professors who have publicly supported the defendant did so from the perspective of presuming that he spoke the truth.

Since I no longer practice or teach law, I believe I can evaluate this case from a more objective perspective.

I cannot and will not presume that an obvious bullshit story is the truth.

I have reviewed all of the evidence released to the public to date and I have not found any evidence that supports the defendant’s story. Instead, his multiple inconsistent and contradictory statements conflict with the physical and forensic evidence. In fact, he has admitted that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin after he had him under control with a wrist lock. He said he pulled out his gun, extended his right arm, aimed to avoid shooting his left hand, and fired the single shot that killed Trayvon Martin. The terrified, prolonged and desperate shriek protesting the depraved execution that was about to occur finally and forever was silenced by the gunshot.

No one is going to believe that the defendant uttered that inhuman shriek with a loaded gun in his hand.

I feel obliged to remind my former colleagues that the presumption of innocence does not require them to blindly accept a liar’s story and actively defend that liar by supporting his effort to demonize an innocent victim and his parents. I am offended, horrified and disgusted by the unrelenting attacks on Trayvon, his family and their supporters. I have no respect for anyone who participates in or supports those attacks, including members of the mainstream media who publicize them, and by so doing, legitimize them.

Enough is enough.

We do not need or want to hear any more lying racist Zimmermans polluting the news.

The Trayvon Martin murder case is much more than a set of hypothetical facts to be discussed in a classroom. It is a real case involving real people and I think our responses to this tragedy reveal much about ourselves as individuals and as a society.

For example, in order to believe the defendant’s story, one would have to believe that Trayvon Martin acted like a stereotypical Black Gangsta thug in a Hollywood action movie. Would any Caucasian person believe the defendant’s story, if the person he killed were Caucasian?

Is it not easier for Caucasians to believe his story because the victim is Black?

I believe we would not have heard about this case, if Trayvon Martin had been a Caucasian kid. The defendant would have been arrested and jailed that first night. He would have been charged with second degree murder and prosecuted without any of the publicity and controversy that we have seen.

The most important lesson of this case is that racism is alive and well in our nation. The defendant’s characterization of Trayvon Martin presents each one of us with a litmus test. Those who accept and believe what he said are failing the litmus test and seriously need to ask themselves why they were so willing to believe such an obvious lie.

Those who continue to believe the defendant in the face of overwhelming evidence that he is a liar may be beyond help.

We live in a racist society and nothing will change unless we admit that we do and we commit to ending racism. As always, the self is the place to start changing society.

Trayvon Martin will not have died in vain if his death becomes the rallying point for a systematic, determined and prolonged effort to once and for all eliminate racism in our society.

Unless we succeed, we will remain a racist and failed society.


Judge Nelson Denies Defendant’s Motions to Modify and Clarify Conditions of Release in Trayvon Martin Murder Case: UPDATED with LLMPapa’s Latest Video

December 11, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 1212

Judge Nelson denied the defendant’s motions to modify and to clarify the conditions of his release.

The defendant’s motion to modify the conditions of his release was a request to terminate GPS monitoring and lift the travel restrictions. After Mark O’Mara opened by asserting the defendant’s innocence and supporting that claim with his revisionist history of the case, including waving a document with color copies side by side of the two manipulated photographs of the front and back of the defendant’s head, Bernie de la Rionda mocked the request with a righteous rant about the defendant’s desire to travel so that he could appear in public and sell more copies of his autograph.

He also mentioned that Jose Baez had turned over two memos from Chris Serino dated early in the investigation when Serino and others were considering recommending that the defendant be charged with second degree murder.

Judge Nelson denied the motion without comment.

The defendant’s motion to clarify the conditions of his release was an effort to obtain permission to contact friends. Judge Nelson denied the motion noting that Judge Lester had imposed the conditions and there had not been any material change of circumstances to alter those conditions. She noted parenthetically that she did not see any prohibition in the order that would not allow him to contact his friends.

In other words, the motion was a waste of the court’s time.

An earlier motion asking the court to order the prosecution to disclose the identities of all witnesses who had identified the defendant as the person screaming in the background of the 911 call was resolved by agreement of the parties.

There was no argument about the defendant’s motion to seal the defendant’s emails, text messages and journal entries. Apparently, the motion was not timely and will be taken up at the next motions hearing.

The next motions hearing is scheduled for January 8, 2013.

UPDATE: LLMPapa’s latest video.


Yet Another Insult to Decency by the Defendant in the Trayvon Martin Murder Case

December 6, 2012

Just when I thought the defense could not possibly go any lower in the the Trayvon Martin murder case, it stooped to yet a new low with a frivolous lawsuit against NBC, Ron Allen, Lilia Rodriguez Luciano and Jeff Beasley.

The Complaint has or soon will be filed in the Seminole County Circuit Court and you can read it here.

The Complaint is 24 pages long, alleges two causes of action for defamation (libel) and intentional infliction of emotional distress (outrage), and seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages for making him one of the most hated men in America thereby destroying his reputation and his life.

George Zimmerman is the plaintiff and, under penalty of perjury, he reviewed and signed off on the Complaint averring that its contents are true.

For some strange reason, I found that hysterically funny.

Basically, the Complaint alleges that the three reporters, Allen, Luciano and Beasley, intentionally misrepresented and omitted statements made during the NEN call in order to falsely portray the plaintiff as a “hostile racist” who targeted Trayvon Martin because he was Black, “incite a national uproar,” and increase NBC’s ratings for their own material gain.

I found paragraphs 57 and 58 to be especially interesting because the Complaint alleges that the defendants falsely claimed that Zimmerman said “f____ coons” when they knew he said “f____ punks.”

Well, I listened to the recorded NEN call and it certainly sounded to me like he said “fucking coons.” Truth is a defense to defamation and intent to report the truth is a defense to outrage. So, too is the First Amendment and I do not believe this lawsuit will survive a motion to dismiss.

I find it ironic that GZ profited by more than $200,000 from the publicity generated by this case and now he is suing NBC and the three reporters who played a role in creating that publicity.

But the ultimate irony is that GZ is one of the most hated men America not because of adverse publicity but because he murdered an innocent Black teenager who was armed with only iced tea and Skittles. Then he had the chutzpah to steal Trayvon’s terrorized shrieking plea for help and to demonize him as a Black Ghetto Gangsta with murder in mind.

This lawsuit is yet another insult to decency because it is nothing more than the latest publicity stunt to propagandize a false narrative in an effort to poison the pool of potential jurors.


Zimmerman: Lawyers Lawyers Everywhere — Important Hearing Today at 1:30 pm EDT

October 19, 2012

Lawyers for prosecution, defense and various news media organizations will be in court this afternoon before Seminole County Circuit Court Judge Debra Nelson to argue about various discovery related issues in the Zimmerman case. This should be interesting, so you may want to pay attention.

The always reliable and accurate Frances Robles of the Miami Herald has the breakdown:

Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda filed papers Thursday in Seminole County Circuit Court asking a judge to muzzle defense attorney Mark O’Mara, whom the prosecutor accuses of taking to the Internet to try his case in the media.

“Unless defense counsel stops talking to the media about the case, in person or by use of defendant’s website, it will (be) more difficult to find jurors who have not been influenced by the media accounts of the case,” de la Rionda said. ” … An impartial jury could never be seated.”

De la Rionda asked Circuit Judge Debra Nelson to issue a gag order, which would silence the defense, prosecutors, law enforcement and any of the lawyers’ employees. If the judge agrees, lawyers and investigators would not be allowed to make any statements outside the courtroom about the case, evidence, credibility of witnesses or possible sentences. If the judge allows it, they would even be kept from opining about Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence.

I am not surprised by the State’s motion. The defense has been trying its case in the Court of Public Opinion for months now and the prosecution has at long last run out of patience.

Of course, the prosecution has benefited more than the defense from this strategy. After all, who can forget George Zimmerman’s appearance on the Sean Hannity Show. His smirks, denial of regret, and shifting of responsibility for Trayvon Martin’s death onto God Almighty Himself has to be one of the greatest moments in network television history for this still young second decade.

Although there may still be more gold to be mined in the proverbial “them thar hills,” I think the prosecution comprehends the notion of diminishing returns and wants to cash-in its winnings and move on to other pleasantries of a somewhat more formal nature.

The defense and media lawyers will be objecting to the motion and I do not expect Judge Nelson will seriously consider granting it. Florida’s Sunshine Law is an impressive barrier to a gag order. I predict she will deliver a sternly worded rebuke to defense counsel and we shall see what we shall see.

Judge Nelson also will be hearing argument concerning the defense request to subpoena Trayvon Martin’s middle school and high school records. The State objects to the request on the grounds that the information in the records, whether good or bad, is protected from disclosure by privacy statutes and it would be irrelevant and inadmissible at trial. Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda called it a “fishing expedition.”

As I have said before, I believe the rules of evidence permit the defense to introduce evidence of a pertinent character trait in support of Zimmerman’s claim that Martin was the aggressor. For example, if Trayvon Martin was known to be an aggressive bully who started fights, the defense would be permitted to bring that out at trial. Specific acts of misconduct would not be admissible, however. The defense would be limited to introducing the evidence as a character trait. Assuming such evidence exists, which I doubt, it might be in the school records. Therefore, I believe the defense has a legitimate reason to want to review the records.

The problem is that the defense may post Martin’s records on its website, regardless whether they contain any reference to misconduct of any kind, whether admissible or not. The State already did that with George Zimmerman’s school records and has apologized for doing so, claiming it was a clerical mistake. Now it seeks to prevent the defense from administering a dose of what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

There is a solution to this sort of problem and I have previously recommended it. It’s called in camera review. No, it does not involve a camera. In camera review is a legal term that means in chambers. That is, the school records would be filed under seal and Judge Nelson would review them in her chambers and decide whether they contain evidence the defense has a right to review. She discloses it to both sides, if they do. Presumably, she also would order both sides not to publicize the records and might even threaten to hold them in contempt of court, if they were to violate the order.

As I said, I doubt the records contain the information that the defense has a legitimate reason to seek, so this dispute will likely be more like a proverbial tempest in a teapot. If there is any substance to it, there is a solution to deal with the records and protect privacy that has worked in the past.

The State also wants Judge Nelson to order the defense to file its requests for subpoenas in the future under seal so that it cannot publicize them on its website before submitting them for the court’s approval. This argument is part of the prosecution’s strategy to stop the defense from trying its case in the Court of Public Opinion.

This is another issue that Judge Nelson can handle with a stern warning and threat to use her contempt powers. I predict she will do so rather than establishing a special rule for O’Mara, as opposed to all other defense counsel, when seeking court approval for subpoenas.

The prosecution also is seeking George Zimmerman’s medical records at the clinic where he sought a permission-to-return-to-work authorization the day after the shooting. The defense objects on privacy grounds. I think the defense likely waived doctor-patient privilege and privacy concerns when it released a portion of his records and has intimated that his ADHD condition might explain some of his inconsistencies.

Finally, there is an interesting issue about the discoverability of Trayvon Martin’s social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter). A lawyer representing Facebook has refused to comply with the subpoena.

Once again, here’s Frances Robles,

On Monday, Facebook lawyers sent a letter to O’Mara vowing to fight the subpoena. Martin’s social-media account, Facebook attorney Furqan Mohammed said, is not only irrelevant to the case, but by law cannot be released. Mohammed said federal law protects the account information, and added that arguing the issue would have to be done in a California court.

“We think the attorneys for Facebook are essentially saying the same thing we have been saying all along: Trayvon’s Facebook and social media are completely irrelevant,” said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Martin’s family. “All of these issues are distractions that take the focus off George Zimmerman.”

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Zimmerman Made Race an Issue with his False Description of Trayvon Martin

October 13, 2012

The Orlando Sentinel reports today that Mark O’Mara has filed motions in the Zimmerman case seeking,

“records from the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and local law-enforcement agencies that would reveal whether investigators found that Zimmerman was motivated by race or acted to deprive Trayvon of his civil rights.”

He claims that he filed these motions because he wants to eliminate race as an issue in this case. Apparently, he believes those law enforcement agencies have no such evidence and will admit that they do not, thereby ending speculation that George Zimmerman is a racist who profiled and killed Trayvon Martin because he is Black.

“In an unusually long blog post Wednesday, O’Mara wrote that if race is a factor in this case, it’s not because of Zimmerman — it’s because Sanford police did not make an immediate arrest.

“While it can be safely argued that it is largely the question of civil rights issues that has made the George Zimmerman case a national — and international — story, there is nothing to support the contention of racism in the Zimmerman case,” O’Mara wrote.

“… race should not be a factor in the George Zimmerman case and should never have been made one,” he concluded. “The Zimmerman defense team is not arguing against civil rights. We are defending a man who claims he shot and killed an attacker in necessary self-defense.”

O’Mara’s claim is nonsense. Race is an issue in this case because George Zimmerman made it an issue when he used a negative racial stereotype to describe Trayvon Martin in an effort to justify killing him in self-defense.

Trayvon Martin had just celebrated his 17th birthday. He was a kid walking home in the rain from an errand to a 7/11 store where he purchased Skittles and a can of iced tea. He was minding his own business talking to his girlfriend when Zimmerman spotted him and started following him first in a vehicle and then on foot. Martin panicked, ran away, and attempted to hide from him, but Zimmerman hunted him down contrary to a request by the SPD NEN dispatcher’s request. Then he shot and killed Martin during a struggle by shooting him at close range in the heart, despite knowing that police were on their way. Martin was unarmed and Zimmerman has admitted to having control of Martin with a wristlock before he pulled out his gun, aimed, and fired.

To escape legal responsibility for this murder, Zimmerman reversed the actual facts claiming that Martin hunted him down, despite having successfully eluded him, sucker-punched in the nose, and jumped on top of him raining down blows MMA-style while uttering B-movie Black gangsta-speak from the late 80s and 90s, and then he grabbed his head and repeatedly slammed it against a concrete sidewalk until he nearly lost consciousness. On the verge of losing consciousness, Zimmerman suddenly remembered he had a gun, unholstered it, and shot him to death.

Zimmerman and O’Mara ask us to believe this racist stereotype despite Zimmerman’s lack of injuries that are consistent with his description of what happened and forensic evidence that refutes it. He would have us believe that, while in mid-conversation with his girlfriend, Trayvon suddenly attacked him without bothering to arm himself with a weapon.

To believe Zimmerman, one must suspend disbelief and see Trayvon Martin as some sort of super Black gangsta that only exists in dated B movies.

Sorry, but I am not buying what O’Mara is selling. Zimmerman cannot credibly claim that he is not responsible for injecting race into this case when he is the person who is attempting to escape responsibility for murder by claiming he had to kill in self-defense because Trayvon Martin was some sort of super Black gangsta that only exists in dated B movies.

BTW, no one should hold their breath expecting “the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and local law-enforcement agencies,” to fall over each other in an effort to tell everyone that they have concluded that George Zimmerman is not a racist. O’Mara will get the discovery to which he is entitled as it is released and no special accommodation will be made for this request.

Because I believe he should know this, I assume this is yet another effort to try his case in the court of public opinion instead of a courtroom and yet another sign that he is not ready for prime time.


Zimmerman Requests Martin’s School Records and Social Media Accounts

October 9, 2012

The Orlando Sentinel has reported today:

Zimmerman’s defense has asked for subpoenas for records from the teenager’s middle and high schools, as well as his Twitter and Facebook accounts. A hearing has been set for Oct. 19.

Zimmerman, 29, fatally shot the Miami Gardens 17-year-old Feb. 26 in Sanford. Authorities allege he profiled and pursued the teen.

Zimmerman says he fired in self-defense after Trayvon attacked him. Zimmerman’s defense is also asking for a continuance. In a motion, the defense team writes that “at least 50-75” witness depositions must be completed in the case before it will be ready for trial.

In a third new motion, O’Mara asked to be allowed to review the court’s copy of a recorded law-enforcement interview of a woman identified as “Witness 9.” That witness, in two interviews made public in the case already, accused Zimmerman of disliking black people and of molesting her when they were both young.

O’Mara writes in his motion that the state failed several times to provide him with a working copy of a third Witness 9 interview, and he wants to know whether Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. received a bad copy, too. Zimmerman “requests the opportunity to review, with the court, the recordings … to ascertain whether or not the Court received an accurate recording as finally disclosed by the State … or if the Court received an inaccurate or inaudible recording, as the defense has received up until” the latest evidence exchange on Sept. 19.

Global Grind reports that Benjamin Crump said the request is irrelevant.

“Trayvon’s parents maintain that his school records and Facebook page are completely irrelevant to George Zimmerman’s decision to get out of his car to profile, pursue, and shoot their son in the heart on February 26, 2012.

How does George Zimmerman’s review of Trayvon Martin’s high school and middle school records and Facebook page bear any relevance to Zimmerman’s decision to pull the trigger and kill a seventeen year old child? Is this going to be a new legal standard we are setting- for a murderer to review the school records and Facebook page of his teenage victim to determine whether or not he should have killed him?”

After Trayvon’s death, there was a small group of hateful and racist people, who attempted to destroy his legacy, reputation, and image.

These people hacked this dead youth’s social media accounts, his email account, and stooped as low as to plaster the internet with photoshopped and fake images purporting to be Trayvon.

On the advice of counsel, and with the intent to preserve Trayvon’s public reputation, Trayvon Martin’s parents deactivated all of his electronic accounts.”

I have previously written that the rules of evidence permit the defense to introduce evidence that Trayvon was an aggressive bully, assuming such evidence exists, to support Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon was the aggressor. However, specific instances of misconduct would not be admissible. Instead, the evidence would have to be limited to stating the character trait.

I do not believe such evidence exists and I suspect O’Mara knows that. Since he appears to be determined to try the case in the court of public opinion, I fear that his real motive is to obtain the records to post them on the internet. This would further publicize the recent suspension for the trace amount of marijuana detected in his backpack and the earlier report about some jewelry and a screwdriver that were found in his backpack. No criminal charges were filed in either case and the evidence would not be admissible at trial for any purpose.

If O’Mara finds some evidence that Trayvon was an aggressive bully and he introduces it at trial, he will open the door for the prosecution to introduce similar type evidence regarding Zimmerman, which we know exists.

The hearing will be before Judge Debra Nelson on Friday, October 19, 2012.

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