Friday, May 24, 2013
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.
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.
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.
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