I asked this question on the main site, but I have a question for the lawyer types here regarding inadmissibility to texts due to what Judge Nelson calls "authentication". Does this mean that anyone can say whatever they want via social media because you can't authenticate they actually typed it?
I share your bewilderment, especially since this is apparently material originally recovered by the state-- from a phone stipulated by the state to have been Trayvon's-- and belatedly shared with defense by the state, but in the form of BIN files defense had to first translate.
It seems a fairly easy task to prove the texts, images and videos in defense evidence were recovered from the phone and that they weren't altered in any way by defense (I've seen people out there claiming the images released last Thursday were Photoshopped). It also seems easy to prove if a text was actually sent from the phone.
So then the question seems to be determining whether the texts were actually made by Trayvon, as opposed to someone else who had control of the phone at those times.
This has always been my main beef about W8 being considered as a permissible witness. We can determine that at repeated points on 02/26/12 prior to the incident, a certain phone was connected with the phone found at the scene. But that's it.
We have no way of authenticating what words were exchanged-- if any at all-- during the times those numbers connected, and we have no way of authenticating if W8 was the person on the other phone for all-- or any-- of those connected periods.
The alleged W8 calls are in marked contrast to George's NEN call and the 911 calls, which are recorded and easily able to be authenticated. They're also in marked contrast to recorded material (texts, images, videos) recovered from the cellphone stipulated to be Trayvon's, in that a jury at least can examine what exact words were said (and images captured).
Beyond verifying that defense evidence matches what state got off the phone and wasn't altered, I don't see why W8's testimony is admissible and material on Trayvon's phone is not. At the very least, they are images and videos he found important enough to carry around with him on the phone, and it seems like it could be used to rebut any state allegations of character.