Author Topic: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?  (Read 64106 times)

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Offline RickyJim

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How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« on: December 13, 2012, 11:48:25 AM »
I do have an idea for a worthwhile thread.  Just how would the prosecution present their case?  They have to go first and can't call Zimmerman.  Just who would they call to present what evidence?  Might be worth a Jeralyn article on the main site.

Offline leftwig

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 02:45:39 PM »
I guess we could start out by discussing what they need to show for various charges.  I think without FBI corroboration of some sort of racial animus or proving that it was TM pleading for his life on the 911 call, murder 2 is pretty much out the window.  I think GZ's conversation with the dispatcher doesn't sound like someone about to go on a murderous rampage or even to take justice into their own hands and the I don't see any evidence for them proving beyond a reasonable doubt that it was TM screaming for help.

So to get a charge of manslaughter, what does the state have to show?  Obviously they would have to get over any statute that provides immunity to GZ.  To do that, they would have to show that GZ was the initial aggressor, that TM and GZ were trading blows in a mutual/fair fight before GZ shot him and or that TM stopped his attack and was leaving the conflict before GZ shot him.  I think the injuries (GZ's extensive ones and TM's lack of) remove #2 and witness testimony and forensics on the distance of the shot removes #3.  That leaves showing GZ the aggressor.  They will start with GZ getting out of his car and uttering expletives about Martin.  This does set a table for GZ as the aggressor, but I dont think it gets them there as the defense will show that GZ didn't get out of his car while Martin was near him, but only after he left (confrontation avoidance) and that GZ was calmly talking to the dispatcher after TM was out of sight.  They will probably try to introduce GZ's past "violent" behavior with the restraining order by the ex and incident with police in '05.  I wouldn't go as far as to say they are irrelevant, but I doubt they are allowed into evidence. 

That pretty much leaves Dee Dee's testimony who was an ear witness to the initial confrontation.  I think if you take everything she says at 100% face value and true, I think its close on whether this shows GZ as the aggressor.  She doesn't detail GZ running after TM or cornering him or coming at him with gun drawn.  She has GZ following TM for a short period where TM refuses to run and has TM verbally confronting GZ first.  She does report bumping sounds with she attributes to GZ hitting TM, but I dont' see how that passes muster and make it into evidence due to speculation ("I heard bumping sounds" is all that will make it).  That leaves the "little bit of get off" that she thinks she makes out as TM's voice which could show GZ attacking TM. 

If they can't get over immunity, then they have to prove that GZ didn't fear great bodily harm or for his life.  The police report says GZ's injuries are marginally consistent with someone fearing for their lives, so I think that coupled with the photo images and screams for help captured on the 911 call make that a tough task.

I'm not sure what else the prosecution has.  If GZ takes the stand, they surely will try to attack his credibility with inconsistencies in his statements.  This might work against GZ in the immunity hearing where he has the burden of proof, but in the criminal trial, there isn't any evidence in his testimony that shows him starting anything or that would make one consider that he wasn't in great fear for his life.  I'd bet on GZ testifying at an immunity hearing, I'd highly doubt he would at trial.  I'd give the prosecution a small chance at winning an immunity hearing (maybe 20%), but I don't see any way with the evidence in the record to date (which includes very little from the defense) that they get a conviction on any charge.  Once the emotion of a dead teen is put aside, there just isn't much evidence against him and quite a bit for him.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 03:00:19 PM »
The police report says GZ's injuries are marginally consistent with someone fearing for their lives

Opinion. I doubt that will be admissible.

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I'd bet on GZ testifying at an immunity hearing, I'd highly doubt he would at trial. 

If Zimmerman testifies at the immunity hearing, I think anything damaging he says on cross will be admissible at the trial, as a voluntary statement against interest.

Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2012, 06:13:06 PM »
Opinion. I doubt that will be admissible.

If Zimmerman testifies at the immunity hearing, I think anything damaging he says on cross will be admissible at the trial, as a voluntary statement against interest.

I don't think that he will have to testify.  They have enough evidence to prove the preponderance since the level is lower.

And I firmly believe that he should stay off the stand unless something drastic requires him to go there.  He comes across poorly.  And that makes him extremely dislikable.  He may be golden in real life but interviews and cross are not his forte.

Offline RickyJim

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 09:07:29 PM »
Am I correct in thinking that the prosecution could get any phone calls or interviews of Zimmerman played as part of their case when they call the other person on the line or the interviewer to the stand?  I don't think they could play excerpts;  it would be all of the tape or none.  I think that in their closing summary they could play a series of excerpts or put up partial transcripts, one  after the other, in order to point out contradictions.  It doesn't look very easy to pull off and keep the jury's attention.

Offline TalkLeft

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 11:26:21 PM »
Ricky, this topic does not belong in court matters. I'm moving it to the Evidence thread.

Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 06:57:56 PM »
Profile, chase, confront, kill...

How would they prove that he was criminally profiling Trayvon Martin?
How could they prove that there was a chase?
How would they prove that Zimmerman initiated the confrontation?

Zimmerman admitted to shooting Martin.  Kill does not equal Justifiable Homicide. 

Zimmerman has the documented injuries from the altercation, both photographic and written.  Supported by LE, EMTs, and a PA. 

He has two adult witnesses that place Martin on top of him. 

The angle of entry for the bullet is from left to right (and I think a slightly downward path, IANAD, which shows that Martin was leaning over him.)

Martin had an abrasion on a knuckle.  And a gunshot wound.

Until the Prosecution can come up with a reasonable explanation as to how Martin found himself back at that "T" intersection after being off of Zimmerman's radar for roughly four minutes...without DOUBLING BACK, LAYING IN WAIT, or some combination of both, Zimmerman will have a firm Self Defense case.

However Martin got to where he ended up shows intent on his behalf. 

The AZ can was in his pocket but when last seen it was placed into the plastic bag that was found on the sidewalk.  Otherwise the can would be a part of the "debris field."

The photo button wasn't tested for any kind of gunshot residue and I assume that was returned with some of his other personal effects.  The bullet hole in the garments are in the approx area of where that button was.  It was reported to be in his pocket.  I believe that to be true.  If there was some evidence of gun powder or other residue it would have been tested.

I think a case can be made that Trayvon Martin was securing these items in that pocket in an effort to free both of his hands prior to approaching Zimmerman and asking him if he had an effing problem.

Intent.

I have never believed that "Why are you following me?"  "What are you doing around here?" were the fighting words that triggered all of this.  Just as Zimmerman said, "I don't have a problem"  I can see an Eff-Bomb being thrown in there, also.  Both were known to use that language if you go by the social media of both. 

It is just too sanitized to be real, IMO.  W8 in an effort to protect her friend and Zimmerman in self-preservation mode.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 08:23:14 PM »
However Martin got to where he ended up shows intent on his behalf. 

How do you know his intention wasn't to ask Zimmerman to explain himself?

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 08:47:37 PM »
He has two adult witnesses that place Martin on top of him.

You mean Zimmerman himself, or W-3?

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Martin had an abrasion on a knuckle.

On a finger between the knuckles.

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The photo button wasn't tested for any kind of gunshot residue and I assume that was returned with some of his other personal effects.

I wouldn't expect it to be returned until after the trial.

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It was reported to be in his pocket.

Not by the person who found it, as far as we know. That is probably ME Investigator Tara Mulphers. Last I heard no written report from her had appeared in the discovery.

The one log entry that put the button and the phone in Martin's pockets is contradicted by all other pertinent evidence. I am confident it will turn out to be an error.

Offline annoyedbeyond

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 08:51:58 PM »


On a finger between the knuckles.




IIRC, on the flat between the big knuckle (closest to the hand) and the middle knuckle. In other words--right on the part that impacts when a punch is thrown.


Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2012, 09:11:23 PM »
You mean Zimmerman himself, or W-3?

John, W3 and Austin Green the minor that I never include.  Zimmerman, I exclude because even though his statement is evidence I am looking for other sources. 

On a finger between the knuckles.

I am off by a quarter inch...sue me.  LOL.

I wouldn't expect it to be returned until after the trial.

I would think that it has been, along with the money and the lighter.  I asked GZLegal via Tweet if the button was tested but never got any answer.  No surprise there.  Who knows?

Not by the person who found it, as far as we know. That is probably ME Investigator Tara Mulphers. Last I heard no written report from her had appeared in the discovery.

The one log entry that put the button and the phone in Martin's pockets is contradicted by all other pertinent evidence. I am confident it will turn out to be an error.

Until it is determined to be an error, your confidence is the same as mine.   Speculation.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2012, 09:47:31 PM »
John, W3 and Austin Green the minor that I never include.

That's Austin Brown, or McLendon.

Please let us not confuse the Browns and the Greens.

Austin saw only Zimmerman.

W-3 saw a 'white T-shirt', and no other identifying details. Everyone else describes Martin's hoodie as dark gray.

W-3 also said something about the person in the hoodie also being the one who was handcuffed.

I'm afraid it's down to W-6. Fortunately, he's very credible.

Offline MJW

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2012, 11:53:44 PM »
Austin saw only Zimmerman.

W-3 saw a 'white T-shirt', and no other identifying details. Everyone else describes Martin's hoodie as dark gray.

W-3 also said something about the person in the hoodie also being the one who was handcuffed.

I'm afraid it's down to W-6. Fortunately, he's very credible.

They still help show Zimmerman was the one on the bottom and Martin the one on the top. Even though Austin only saw one person, he saw someone in a  red top on the ground, and thought he might be injured. W3 said the one on the top wore a white T-shirt, but she also said the one in the white T-shirt was later laying face down, as if asleep on the ground. She identified Zimmerman as wearing a reddish colored coat, not a white T-shirt. Unless there were more people scuffling than just Zimmerman and Martin, the one she identified as being on top and later face down had to have been Martin.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2012, 12:01:07 AM »
She identified Zimmerman as wearing a reddish colored coat, not a white T-shirt.

When did she say that?

It contradicts her 911 call, in which she said she couldn't discern anything about the person on the bottom.

Offline MJW

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Re: How Would the Prosecution Present Their Case?
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2012, 12:06:18 AM »
When did she say that?

It contradicts her 911 call, in which she said she couldn't discern anything about the person on the bottom.

In the interview with T.C. O'Steen, page 31 of the 284 page discovery PDF:

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"She saw Zimmerman far down from her. He had a reddish colored coat on and was handcuffed."

 

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