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  1. #1
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    Prosecution's Motion to Seal Evidence

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/...autopsy-photos

    Prosecutors want a judge to seal key evidence in the case against George Zimmerman from the public until trial, including the statements he made to law enforcement during the investigation of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's death.

    Citing a statutory exemption barring the release of confessions, the prosecution asks Judge Kenneth Lester in a new motion to seal Zimmerman's statements, as well as any photos in the case which show the teen's body.
    Is this just an attempt to manage damage control? I have a hard time understanding how a law allowing sealed confessions is applicable to evidence in a prosecution. This is America, we are not to have secret courts or tribunals, where Americans are convicted on "secret" evidence.

    I do have a question, how is Bernie De la Rionda not in violation of the court's order? I thought that they had 15 Days to make the evidence public, and that last Thursday was the last day. That said, for them to withhold any documents without an order from the Court would seem to be a problem. Am I missing something here? I understand that the test they are referring to, was a VSA (Voice Stress Analysis), which the SPD asked him to voluntarily undergo, and he voluntarily consented. His father asserts that he passed.

    While not always admissible, are there misconduct issues with the Prosecution asking him to take a test, which could to some degree could be exculpatory, or create reasonable doubt if passed, and then refusing to release it? It would seem if that is the case, George should have declined as there was no benefit to him. If he passes, no one hears about it, if he fails, they crucify him with it......just wrong.

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/...ender-attorney

    Zimmerman passed a voice stress test, something similar to a lie detector test, that was administered by Sanford police, Uhrig told WOFL on its 6 p.m. newscast.
    http://blogs.findlaw.com/blotter/201...html?=features

    Did you know that, on the night of Trayvon Martin's death, Sanford police gave George Zimmerman a voice stress test?

    They did, and the results probably contributed to his release.

    A voice stress test is like a polygraph, but instead of measuring heart rate and blood pressure, it looks for changes in an individual's voice patterns that are thought to suggest psychological stress. With the help of software, investigators record a suspect answering baseline questions and then compare them to answers about the case.

  2. #2
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    Is this just an attempt to manage damage control? I have a hard time understanding how a law allowing sealed confessions is applicable to evidence in a prosecution. This is America, we are not to have secret courts or tribunals, where Americans are convicted on "secret" evidence.
    why would it be important for the judge to release this information at this juncture? he could not be convicted on "secret" evidence ? I am not following what you mean by that.
    I personally think too much information is released in general in the State of Fl,I am not a fan of the Sunshine laws but that's another topic. I am used to California telling us absolutely nothing! Defintiely not good for our inquiring minds and our discussion but better for trial, imo.

  3. #3
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    Why is prosecution supposedly so concerned about this evidence? By the way since for the most part witnesses don't agree with each other, it would be impossible for Zimmerman's statements not to contradict at least some of the witnesses.
    Just my opinion

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBean View Post
    why would it be important for the judge to release this information at this juncture? he could not be convicted on "secret" evidence ? I am not following what you mean by that.
    I personally think too much information is released in general in the State of Fl,I am not a fan of the Sunshine laws but that's another topic. I am used to California telling us absolutely nothing! Defintiely not good for our inquiring minds and our discussion but better for trial, imo.
    It would be important for the Judge to release the evidence because that is what is required by Florida Law. The sole exemption refers to confessions, meaning voluntary utterances of guilt of an alleged crime. I do not have my Blacks Dictionary handy, but am certain that the definition of confession is not so broad as to include any evidence which could indicate the guilt of the accused. Like it or not, that is indeed the law in Florida, and as such, it must be adhered to, or the entire legal system in the state becomes meaningless. What the Prosecution has accomplished with strategic "leaks" is conducted a trial by media intentionally. I agree with Alan Dershowitz that what is being done with the withholding of evidence and selective leaking amounts to Prosecutorial Misconduct.

  5. #5
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    O’Mara had initially requested the court file be sealed, but the judge did not agree, saying he would rule on evidence on a case-by-case basis. Under Florida law, most of the evidence in a criminal court file is available to the public once it’s handed over to the defense.

    De la Rionda’s motion shows he filed a motion under seal — available only to the judge and the lawyers on both sides — on May 14. [and O'Mara did not object]

    The public motion filed Wednesdsay asks for the following materials to be sealed:

    • Names, addresses and phone numbers of 22 witnesses.
    • Crime scene photos and autopsy photos and any others showing Trayvon’s body.

    • The 911 call that captured the shooting, which is already widely available on the Internet.

    • Zimmerman’s statements to police.

    • Cell phone records.

    Prosecutors argue that some of the evidence is not subject to Florida’s public-records law.

    “Publication of certain discovery materials described .. will result in this matter being tried in the press rather than in the court,” de la Rionda wrote.

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/2...#storylink=cpy
    Last edited by Reader; 05-24-2012 at 01:45 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjenny View Post
    Why is prosecution supposedly so concerned about this evidence? By the way since for the most part witnesses don't agree with each other, it would be impossible for Zimmerman's statements not to contradict at least some of the witnesses.
    Yes, and as soon as a witness gives a sworn statement and days/weeks later changes it, they will have their credibility torn apart. So, did his story contradict them before of after they changed it?

    The Prosecution might as well give up if they are planning on putting witnesses on the stand who substantially change their stories after the fact, and especially those that point specifically to the media as helping them reach their conclusions as to what occurred (W12)

    It is amazing, I think it was Mark Fuhrman that said that during the LAPD/ Rodney King Investigation, there were "eyewitnesses" who claimed to have seen the event, only upon investigation to have been determined to have been as far as 10 miles away at the time. They based their recollection entirely on what they saw in the first days in the media.

  7. #7
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    State's Motion for Protective Order

    http://media.miamiherald.com/smedia/...VYT6.So.56.pdf

    The motion states it is to insure a fair trial for the defendent and an impartial jury, and not to be tried in the press.

    Also for the protection of the witnesses from harassment and having their private information made public.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjenny View Post
    Why is prosecution supposedly so concerned about this evidence? By the way since for the most part witnesses don't agree with each other, it would be impossible for Zimmerman's statements not to contradict at least some of the witnesses.
    That's not the point. Zimmerman's own statements contradict each other.

    O'Mara doesn't seem to mind sealing evidence either so I don't even understand why this is such a big deal to anyone. *insert shrugging shoulder dude here*

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reader View Post
    O’Mara had initially requested the court file be sealed, but the judge did not agree, saying he would rule on evidence on a case-by-case basis. Under Florida law, most of the evidence in a criminal court file is available to the public once it’s handed over to the defense.
    Initially, O'Mara had no idea what that evidence was or would say. He had to preemptively at least ask (even knowing he would likely be turned down) to prevent its release if possible in the event is was damning for his client. I think that is every defense attorney's worst nightmare, having a client plead innocence, believing it, and then getting hit with an airtight case.

    There is no legitimate public or judicial interest served however by the Prosecution withholding evidence. While I certainly understand the redaction of witness information in a case like this, the VSA results, the Full Toxicology Panel and everything else should be released. My concern is, they are trying to hold it back for fear of "social upheaval" which should never be a consideration in American Jurisprudence.

    Sad to say that I take such a dim view on this, but the Crump + FL Prosecution strategy seems to be just to try and get past the SYG hearing. If the Judge kills it there, George is indemnified from Civil Claims as a result of his action. I think that is what this whole thing has been about since Day 1. Corey knows she cannot get a murder 2 conviction, but by overcharging, I think it was believed to quell any upheaval and help pass the SYG Hearing. Overcharging is prosecutorial misconduct.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MayHaven View Post
    That's not the point. Zimmerman's own statements contradict each other.

    O'Mara doesn't seem to mind sealing evidence either so I don't even understand why this is such a big deal to anyone. *insert shrugging shoulder dude here*
    It is his obligation to at least try. Many times attorneys file motions they know will be denied, but it is their ethical obligation to put on the best defense possible.

    How do you know Zimmerman's statements contradict one another? (Because the Prosecution told you they did?) So, is the new standard that we just "trust" the prosecution? This is an adversarial system. If I were O'Mara, I would not be content with their representation given the embellishment, and outright mischaracterization of evidence which we have now seen released.

    As for Zimmerman's statements, it reiterates that he should have said nothing to anyone beyond, "I was in fear for my life, I wish to speak to my attorney" and said absolutely nothing more. When you are in stressful situations, you cannot recall things correctly. Some senses heighten while others dull. Once cannot be expected to accurately recall the event in details which cannot be made out to be contradictory at times.

    That said, look at the witnesses. They were not involved, and they are giving opposing sworn statements to not only one another, but even contradicting their own stories.

    Like for example, <modsnip>said that she found out about Trayvon on March 3rd, the day after the wake, however, Crump had originally said that they did not even know she existed until March 18th I believe when they went through Trayvon's Phone records and realized she was the last one he had called, and then figured out who she was. I wonder which date she will testify to on the stand?
    Last edited by JBean; 05-24-2012 at 02:20 AM. Reason: remove name


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ariesgodofwar View Post
    Yes, and as soon as a witness gives a sworn statement and days/weeks later changes it, they will have their credibility torn apart. So, did his story contradict them before of after they changed it?
    I think it's very scary, regardless of where one stands on this case to hear of witnesses changing their testimony.

    In my opinion, they were either coerced or they saw the news and started fearing for their safety when they saw the news in how they portrayed this story and all the calls for "justice".

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MayHaven View Post
    That's not the point. Zimmerman's own statements contradict each other.

    O'Mara doesn't seem to mind sealing evidence either so I don't even understand why this is such a big deal to anyone. *insert shrugging shoulder dude here*
    BBM.

    I keep reading this stated as fact, but if GZ's statements haven't been released how does anyone know this?
    all my comments are just my opinion. jmho. moo. etc. etc.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by saguaro View Post
    I think it's very scary, regardless of where one stands on this case to hear of witnesses changing their testimony.

    In my opinion, they were either coerced or they saw the news and started fearing for their safety when they saw the news in how they portrayed this story and all the calls for "justice".
    Yes. Apparently, it's okay for witnesses to "walk back" their original statements and contradict themselves yet, somehow, the alleged contradictions in GZ's statements show he's a "liar." The media and prosecution seem dead set on convicting GZ whether he's guilty or not.

    JMO, OMO, and MOO
    all my comments are just my opinion. jmho. moo. etc. etc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by saguaro View Post
    I think it's very scary, regardless of where one stands on this case to hear of witnesses changing their testimony.

    In my opinion, they were either coerced or they saw the news and started fearing for their safety when they saw the news in how they portrayed this story and all the calls for "justice".
    Maybe they're scared of Taaffe who says they're crazy liars and claims to know where they live. That would scare me!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gxm View Post
    BBM.

    I keep reading this stated as fact, but if GZ's statements haven't been released how does anyone know this?
    Gilbreath stated so during his testimony at the bond hearing. GZ's statements were inconsistent with the evidence. jmo

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