Zimmerman: Defense Motion for Prophylactic Sequestration of Witnesses Reaches a New Low

October 22, 2012

Brandi Kansas City posted this comment at 6:42 pm to my post titled, Zimmerman: Representing Him and the Inevitable Question: My God, What Have I Become?

She said,

“O’Mara filed this emergency motion can you tell me how it constitutes an emergency. If not would it be an example of him trying the case in the public?”

The motion is titled Emergency Motion for a Protective Order/Prophylactic Sequestration of Witnesses Prior to Defense Deposition.

My Answer

I believe this is an example of trying the case in the Court of Public Opinion because I have a problem with this motion and the way it was handled.

First, O’Mara is revealing the opinions of cops overseeing an investigation. Their opinions are irrelevant and inadmissible. The evidence is whatever it is and it alone constitutes probable cause to believe a crime was committed or it does not.

Second, revealing their opinions in a motion is an underhanded way of creating an excuse to publicize that they opposed charging Zimmerman with a crime.

Third, if they were genuinely concerned about a need to order witnesses to not collaborated with each other, they should have filed the motion under seal.

Fourth, it would have been in the best interest of the defense to have the witnesses collaborate with each other so that they all objected to filing criminal charges, but that sounds like what they were going to do anyway. Therefore, there was no need for the relief he sought in the order.

For all of these reasons, seems pretty obvious to me that the real purpose of the motion was to publicize what should have been kept private; namely, that the brass did not want to charge Zimmerman.

As so often happens with this case, however, the defense effort to publicize information backfires. It will backfire here because the evidence is so strong that it makes the brass look like a bunch of coconspirators plotting to let George Zimmerman get away with murder.

It becomes ever more clear to me with each passing day that the defense is desperately trying to publicize and thereby win this case in the Seminole County Court of Public Opinion, as opposed to the rest of the country or the world. The defense, in effect, appears to be trying to poison the well of prospective jurors, many of whom are extremely conservative, by publicizing irrelevant and inadmissible information that is calculated to appeal to White conservatives and their racist fear of Blacks.

In simple words, they want a jury with 6 KKK members determined to acquit George Zimmerman, regardless of the evidence and, if they can’t get 6 KKK members, they want 6 White conservatives with the same racist outlook and intention.

I do not want a gag order because I have a selfish desire to keep up with the case developments. A gag order would prevent that.

Nevertheless, I am increasingly concerned that the possibility for a fair and impartial jury is diminishing due to what the defense is doing. It needs to stop and the court needs to do something to make it stop. I think there are other things the court can do short of a gag order, possibly involving the use or threatened use of its contempt power, but enough is enough and the sooner the court acts, the better.

Finally, I was struck by the use of the term “prophylactic sequestration.” I am tempted to run with it and make fun of it, but I am going to resist the bait and simply condemn it as a theatrical trick to grab attention.

This is a really low class and undignified move that further lowers my opinion of the defense effort in this case.

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