Prosecution's Motion to Seal Evidence

Discussion in 'George Zimmerman Trial/Trayvon Martin' started by ariesgodofwar, May 24, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ariesgodofwar

    ariesgodofwar New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com...23_1_statements-seal-scene-and-autopsy-photos

    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...fense-team-assistant-public-defender-attorney

    http://blogs.findlaw.com/blotter/20...ge-zimmerman-voice-stress-test.html?=features

     


  2. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

    Messages:
    52,744
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    31,560
    Likes Received:
    46,080
    Trophy Points:
    113
    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.
     
  4. ariesgodofwar

    ariesgodofwar New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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. Reader

    Reader New Member

    Messages:
    7,020
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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/2012/05/23/2814613/prosecutors-in-george-zimmerman.html#storylink=cpy
     
  6. ariesgodofwar

    ariesgodofwar New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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. Reader

    Reader New Member

    Messages:
    7,020
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    0
  8. MayHaven

    MayHaven Former Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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. ariesgodofwar

    ariesgodofwar New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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. ariesgodofwar

    ariesgodofwar New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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?
     
  11. saguaro

    saguaro New Member

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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. gxm

    gxm Active Member

    Messages:
    3,392
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    38
    BBM.

    I keep reading this stated as fact, but if GZ's statements haven't been released how does anyone know this?
     
  13. gxm

    gxm Active Member

    Messages:
    3,392
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    38
    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
     
  14. suzihawk

    suzihawk New Member

    Messages:
    3,618
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Maybe they're scared of Taaffe who says they're crazy liars and claims to know where they live. That would scare me!
     
  15. LambChop

    LambChop Former Member

    Messages:
    21,160
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gilbreath stated so during his testimony at the bond hearing. GZ's statements were inconsistent with the evidence. jmo
     
  16. gxm

    gxm Active Member

    Messages:
    3,392
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Yes. I know that. That is why I refer to the alleged inconsistencies as we haven't actually seen the statements yet. And given that GZ had his head bounced off the sidewalk that night, any inconsistencies might be attributed to having his bell rung.

    IIRC, the problem with the Gilbreath testimony, if one reads through it all, is that he waffles. He'll say GZ's statements are inconsistent but then when MOM questions him, he'll admit that there is no evidence to contradict GZ's story of turning around to go back to his car and being assaulted by TM. IMO, the prosecution may try to say that GZ's story is inconsistent with the gf's testimony, and IMO that's just not solid enough to remove any reasonable doubt.

    With public sentiment growing for GZ after the doc dump, IMO, the prosecution doesn't want any more evidence published that reveals how flimsy their case is.

    JMO, OMO, and MOO
     
  17. ariesgodofwar

    ariesgodofwar New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think you hit the nail on the head with that one. They could not leak enough "quasi"-evidence fast enough to attempt to implicate George's guilt before the last release, and now they want to stop? Whatever happened to turnabout being fair play? They do not want the defense doing the same thing?

    There is a reason why Florida's law requires that the evidence be made public. It adds transparency to the entire process. The Judicial process must be transparent, regardless if there is a 24/7 news cycle or not, and regardless if there is public outrage or not. It is a good thing, unlike in many states where Police Dash Cams can be entered as evidence by the Prosecution, but prohibited from being used by the Defense as exculpatory evidence in the event of police misconduct or to contradict/validate an officer's sworn testimony because they are somehow construed as a "non-record" which is "sealed," either by statute or case law because they simply call them a "Personnel Record" or something disingenuous like that. That is a whole separate issue, but one I believe, and I could be wrong, that Florida's very broad Open Record Law prevents, and I think that is a very good thing in ensuring Justice, in a legal sense, is served under the law.
     
  18. zenreaper

    zenreaper New Member

    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, when MOM was fighting the release, it was stated that it was because the evidence MUST be damaging to GZ. So if the prosecution is now fighting it, it MUST be, yep, you guessed it, DAMAGING TO GZ, because regardless of WHAT evidence is released or not released, it CAN'T help GZ, because most have already convicted him and evidence proving his guilt is ignored.
     
  19. Concerned Papa

    Concerned Papa New Member

    Messages:
    2,708
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm going to "step across the aisle", so to speak, and join the pro Zimmerman supporters and say I would like to see every piece of evidence released NOW. I would like to be able to read every word of each of George Zimmerman's statements, and particularly would like to see the video of the re enactment he is reported as doing the following day with SPD.

    I've got a feeling that video will be very telling and noteworthy.
     
  20. ariesgodofwar

    ariesgodofwar New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just cannot help but think that if they had any "bombshell" evidence of inconsistent statements that they felt were persuasive, that they would have had to have been included in the PC Affidavit that they sent to the Judge. It still perplexes me that a Judge even allowed it. My understanding is that they usually send it back telling the PA they needed to provide additional evidence and information to back up the assertions, or that the charge would not be issued, especially since they decided to circumvent the grand jury.

    Barring that, if they felt George was a danger to the community, then they would have for sure mentioned in his Bond Hearing, assuming they actually believed his to be someone who is a depraved killer as the Murder 2 charge requires he be.

    That in and of itself makes me think this is a political prosecution, and not one based on actual incriminating evidence.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice