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    Zimmerman judge excludes Trayvon Martin fighting, social media and marijuana use

    Zimmerman judge excludes Trayvon Martin fighting, social media and marijuana use

    Update — see post-hearing analysis at bottom of post.

    At a hearing today, the Judge in the George Zimmerman case granted the prosecution’s motion to exclude all mention of Trayvon Martin’s social media use, including images and text relating to fighting and marijuana use.

    We mentioned some of this evidence in our prior post.

    The Judge’s ruling addressed Opening Statements and jury selection, and leaves open the possibility that if the prosecution somehow opens the door to the evidence, it could come in at trial, but for now, it’s out.

    In a bombshell revelation, Zimmerman’s attorney asserted for the first time that Martin videotaped friends beating up a homeless man. I didn’t hear that part of the court hearing, but here is what an Orlando Sentinel reporter tweeted:

    [UPDATE — Zimmerman’s attorney retracted the statement above:

    During the Tuesday, May 28th hearing, Mr. O’Mara misstated the nature of video from Trayvon Martin’s cell phone which was included in the Defendant’s 3rd Supplemental Discovery. He stated that the video showed “two buddies of his beating up a homeless guy,” when what happened was Trayvon Martin, along with a buddy, was videotaping two homeless guys fighting each other over a bike. Though it was unintentional, it is a particular concern to us because we are and have been committed to disputing misinformation in every aspect of this case, not causing it. For that, Mr. O’Mara apologizes.


    Here are live tweets of other rulings from Orlando Sentinel reporters:

    UPDATE – So what does the exclusion of this evidence of Trayvon’s alleged bad behavior mean?

    Superficially it is a blow to the defense, since it doesn’t get to paint the alleged victim as a bad person. But, that only holds so long as the prosecution stays away from trying to portray Trayvon as a “good” person — the second the prosecution opens the door to Trayvon’s character, the defense will seek to introduce the evidence and the Judge may very well reconsider.

    So this ruling ties the prosecution’s hands, since so much of its media case and the public perception nurtured by the family attorneys was based on demonizing Zimmerman based on his past and building up Trayvon as a “good kid” who wasn’t looking for trouble. The second the prosecution strays from the facts as to what happened, this ruling may go out the door.

    Since the facts revealed so far — including Zimmerman’s statements which are consistent with documented and photographed injuries and at least some eyewitness accounts — create a reasonable doubt, the prosecution has hurt itself by not being able to introduce character evidence. That’s not a bad thing for the justice system, since the facts of what happened should control, but it does take away one of the prosecution’s main cards.


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    Phillep Harding | May 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    “Appears to be on drugs…” but the only drug mentioned is pot, which is not, in my experience, likely to induce violent behavior.

    What other drugs, if any, were tested for?

    Estragon | May 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    There is a danger this will amount to a Stalinist Show Trial.

    No charges were filed after the initial investigation, which included only the facts of the case, not the politics. It was only after the shyster Crump got involved, smelling a civil suit and convincing Martin’s parents there was a payday to be had, and calling in Al Showboat Sharptongue to create a media circus that the state intervened and began to railroad Zimmerman.

    profshadow | May 28, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I’m making plans to be someplace safe, since I live in Florida, when the trial begins and ends.

    Just sayin’ …

    […] Judge disallows evidence of Martin’s drug use and fighting references from phone and social me… […]

    I’m of two minds on this. True, it yanks a huge stick out of the hands of the prosecution, in that they will not be able to portray St. Trevon vs the Evil Zimmerman *inside* the courtroom. However, you may expect the Leagues of Perpetual Outrage to fill the *outside* of the courtroom with as many howls and screams as they can buy. Their objective is jury nullification, and their bar is going to be very high. Somehow they need to convince all of 12 specific people that, even though the documented evidence says one thing, they need to vote a different way in order to “Save the community from the riots and give justice to the family” (as well as many millions of dollars to be extorted from the community over the next few years)

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