Wednesday, April 23, 2014
News4Jax is reporting that Michael Dunn’s trial date has been continued at the request of his public defender, Waffa Hanania. The court will set a new trial date at a hearing on June 9th.
Ms. Hanania has to watch the trial and review thousands of pages of police reports, forensic reports, autopsy reports, witness statements to police, witness depositions, trial transcripts, and defense investigation reports to review before she can realistically determine what else she must do to prepare for trial and how long it will take her to do it. In addition, she has other cases to handle and some of them will have scheduled trial dates.
I think Judge Healey will set a new trial date in the late fall or early next year. There is no reason to hurry because Dunn isn’t going anywhere. He will remain in the county jail until his case is resolved.
The judge has already ruled that the sentencing for the three attempted murder convictions will have to wait until the murder charge is resolved.
Whether he is found guilty or not guilty, a sentencing will follow, probably about 30 days after verdict.
If the new jury cannot agree on a verdict and a mistrial is declared, Angela Corey will have to again decide whether to retry him.
There is no limit to the number of times she can retry him on the murder charge, if each jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict. The Double Jeopardy Clause does not prevent a retrial because no verdict has been reached.
I doubt she will try the case a third time, if the second jury hangs.
As I’ve said many times beginning with the Zimmerman case, jury selection is the most important part of these ridiculous white-man-shoots-unarmed-black-kid self-defense trial.
If Corey and her team do not weed out the racists, they ain’t going to win.
They also need to take another run at persuading Judge Healey to allow them to introduce Dunn’s racist letters, phone calls, and graffiti on his cell wall to show why he he shot at the kids. Authentication of the graffiti might pose a problem, but it should not be difficult to find someone to identify it as his.
I believe the evidence is admissible to prove motive under Rule 404(b). Motive is relevant and admissible because he is charged with premeditated murder and he claims self-defense. Indeed, his state of mind is the primary issue in the case.
And, if he dares to open the door again by placing his character in issue, Corey better be prepared to back the garbage truck up to the courthouse door and dump all of the stinky stuff the former neighbor knows about him on the courtroom floor.
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