Author Topic: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case  (Read 6369 times)

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Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2013, 05:54:48 AM »
Or the defense has potential questions that could not be asked on cross.

I guess I wasn't clear on what I was talking about. It starts at 11:32 on this video.

West said something about a proffer. Did he mean he wanted to question Jeantel as part of a proffer, or that he needed to make the proffer to lay a foundation for questions he wanted to ask her? Or something else?

Then Nelson called a sidebar, which lasted about four and a half minutes from Nelson saying 'approach' (12:35-17:05). Then she sent the jury out, and there was a shorter sidebar, and then Nelson told Jeantel that she could to go home, and that she would be subject to recall.

At the time I took West to be indicating that he would be done with Jeantel if he could ask a few more questions on cross. After watching again, I realize I shouldn't draw any inferences, because I really have no idea what was happening there.

Offline cboldt

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2013, 06:03:43 AM »
West said something about a proffer. Did he mean he wanted to question Jeantel as part of a proffer, or that he needed to make the proffer to lay a foundation for questions he wanted to ask her? Or something else?

The proffer is eliciting testimony outside the view of the jury.  Counsel would ask questions, the witness would answer, the judge would rule on admissibility.

It could have been that West was trying to get everything the defense wanted to cover, covered while the witness was a state's witness.  He might do that to make things easier for the witness (only one trip to Seminole County instead of two), or for tactical reasons during that part of the trial.  I assume West's proffer was denied, likely because the question was outside the scope of direct examination.  So, he preserved the right of defense to call the witness as a defense witness.  The scope of allowed questioning there will be admissibility in general, not limited by the scope of Q&A when she is state's witness.

Exactly what the defense wanted to probe is speculation, but I'd guess it was the interpersonal spat between she and Martin Feb 26th.  Another possibility is that he wanted to elicit reputation testimony.

As a tactical matter, those pieces of evidence coming in on the state's dime would, in principle, increase the chances of the judge granting a motion for judgment of acquittal after the state rests.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2013, 03:42:09 PM »
Thanks, Cboldt.

The defense's first voice witness was GZ's mother. I'm thinking the last two should be GZ's father, and TM's father.

Offline unitron

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2013, 09:49:47 AM »
I think O'Mara should put the very entertaining Dr. Bao on the stand and keep him there until the jury begs for mercy and promises an acquital in exchange for being allowed to go home.

 ;D

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2013, 07:04:54 AM »
I definitely think the defense should call Tracy Martin.

I'm thinking that if Tracy decides to admit to his earlier statement and try to explain it away, he might not be able to get away from his previous position that the police were lying. A lot will depend on what public statements he made in his own voice, without going through his privileged communication attorneys. Tracy did a lot of public speaking in various venues.

I'm not so sure about Robert Sr. It would be powerful symbolism, for the defense to bookend their voice witnesses with GZ's parents, then call the father of TM that the prosecution didn't call. I think the impact of the defense calling Tracy would be weakened somewhat by their not calling Robert Sr.

The flip side is that putting Robert Sr. on would give the state a juicy opportunity to play the race card.

In an earlier discussion,  it was argued that the state would be afraid to go there because they don't know how well Robert Sr. might defend his views. I'm not sure they don't know. His book came out on the eve of trial, but there may have been clues that led the state to explore the issue in his deposition. In any case, why would they care?

Watching and discussing the trial for the last few days, I've developed an appreciation for the importance of focus and momentum. If I were one of the prosecutors, I think I would like nothing better than to have Robert Sr. on the stand all day, holding forth on his opinions about racial relations in America, whether he argues them well or badly. It would be a huge distraction during the defense's part of the case, and break their momentum.

If any of the jurors feel that Robert Sr.'s opinions on these matters are crankish or morally questionable, they aren't likely to change their minds because he argues well.

The prosecution might not go there for a different reason. They seem to be in a hurry to get the case over with, so they might not want to use what amounts to a delaying tactic.

I'm thinking that calling Robert Sr. is a risk the defense would do well not to take.

All of the above is my opinion.

Offline RickyJim

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2013, 07:19:08 AM »
You would only ask Tracy Martin about the screams on the 911 call?

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2013, 07:58:44 AM »
You would only ask Tracy Martin about the screams on the 911 call?

I can think of some other things. I would like to know more about what Chad said when he and Brandy got home. But that wasn't explored with Chad, so I doubt they will go there.

They could clear up that whole thing about 'sitting out on the back'.

I'm sure there are possibilities I haven't thought of. What would you ask him?

ETA: If the quotes about TM were explored in deposition and turned out to be irrelevant, I suppose we won't hear about them in the trial.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 08:09:09 AM by nomatter_nevermind »

Offline annoyedbeyond

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2013, 09:32:08 AM »
I definitely think the defense should call Tracy Martin.

I'm thinking that if Tracy decides to admit to his earlier statement and try to explain it away, he might not be able to get away from his previous position that the police were lying. A lot will depend on what public statements he made in his own voice, without going through his privileged communication attorneys. Tracy did a lot of public speaking in various venues.

I'm not so sure about Robert Sr. It would be powerful symbolism, for the defense to bookend their voice witnesses with GZ's parents, then call the father of TM that the prosecution didn't call. I think the impact of the defense calling Tracy would be weakened somewhat by their not calling Robert Sr.

The flip side is that putting Robert Sr. on would give the state a juicy opportunity to play the race card.

In an earlier discussion,  it was argued that the state would be afraid to go there because they don't know how well Robert Sr. might defend his views. I'm not sure they don't know. His book came out on the eve of trial, but there may have been clues that led the state to explore the issue in his deposition. In any case, why would they care?

Watching and discussing the trial for the last few days, I've developed an appreciation for the importance of focus and momentum. If I were one of the prosecutors, I think I would like nothing better than to have Robert Sr. on the stand all day, holding forth on his opinions about racial relations in America, whether he argues them well or badly. It would be a huge distraction during the defense's part of the case, and break their momentum.

If any of the jurors feel that Robert Sr.'s opinions on these matters are crankish or morally questionable, they aren't likely to change their minds because he argues well.

The prosecution might not go there for a different reason. They seem to be in a hurry to get the case over with, so they might not want to use what amounts to a delaying tactic.

I'm thinking that calling Robert Sr. is a risk the defense would do well not to take.

All of the above is my opinion.

I was thinking they should keep Robert Sr off the stand but today I'm re-thinking it. As long as O'Mara is very careful in the questions he asks, the prosecution will be very limited.

The only problem with that is the built in extra prosecutor--the one wearing the black bathrobe. JDN will also go out of her way to protect Tracy, I believe.





Offline RickyJim

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2013, 09:53:42 AM »
I'm sure there are possibilities I haven't thought of. What would you ask him?
That all depends what I am allowed to ask him about.  I notice that O'Mara didn't question Sybrina Fulton about how she was faring financially as a result of the case, did she kick Trayvon out of her house and did she tell Crump she wasn't sure if Trayvon's voice was the one on a video he shot.  If I could, I would ask Tracy about the details of what he learned when speaking with Rachel Jeantel about the phone call with Trayvon before his death.  I don't believe he would have referred her to Crump if she said she heard nothing relating to the case.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2013, 09:59:12 AM »
As long as O'Mara is very careful in the questions he asks, the prosecution will be very limited.

Credibility, including bias, is always fair game.

Fla. Stat. § 90.612

Fla. Stat. § 90.608(2)

Googling turns up plenty of Florida case law saying that 'bias' does include racial bias, at least when it is racial bias of a prosecution witness against a defendant. For racial bias of a defense witness against a victim, I haven't found a case either way.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2013, 10:25:34 AM »
I notice that O'Mara didn't question Sybrina Fulton about how she was faring financially as a result of the case

I don't know what you mean by this.

How Sybrina's financial interest would be affected by the outcome of the case would be fair game for impeachment, I think. I don't see why it wouldn't be. But I think going there in front of the jury would be negative sum.

Quote
did she kick Trayvon out of her house

Beyond the scope of direct, and I don't see how it would go to impeachment. I think the defense would have to call Sybrina themselves to ask that.

Quote
did she tell Crump she wasn't sure if Trayvon's voice was the one on a video he shot.

Privileged.

Is this something you've heard, or a guess? I haven't heard any such thing.

Quote
If I could, I would ask Tracy about the details of what he learned when speaking with Rachel Jeantel about the phone call with Trayvon before his death.

Very good point. I think Sybrina and Tracy both should be pressed on what Jeantel has told them, at any time.

Offline annoyedbeyond

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2013, 10:29:33 AM »
Credibility, including bias, is always fair game.

Fla. Stat. § 90.612

Fla. Stat. § 90.608(2)

Googling turns up plenty of Florida case law saying that 'bias' does include racial bias, at least when it is racial bias of a prosecution witness against a defendant. For racial bias of a defense witness against a victim, I haven't found a case either way.

You're correct, and I wasn't thinking of that (obviously) when I replied. I do wonder what RZ Sr would be considered there though--if he came to the stand solely to ID a voice on a tape, not to offer any testimony about any other aspect of the case. You have any ideas on that, NM?



Offline RickyJim

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2013, 10:34:03 AM »
Is this something you've heard, or a guess? I haven't heard any such thing.
Quote
Ben Crump, a lawyer for the Martin family, says that Martin’s own mother isn’t sure it’s his voice.
Jeralyn posted this link on the main site.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2013, 10:45:52 AM »
I think Sybrina and Tracy both should be pressed on what Jeantel has told them, at any time.

When I wrote this I had lost sight of the fact that all the witnesses have been deposed. What the lawyers will ask will to some degree depend on the answers they have already gotten, most of which aren't known to us.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Week 3 Expectations on Defense Case
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2013, 10:49:19 AM »
I do wonder what RZ Sr would be considered there though--if he came to the stand solely to ID a voice on a tape, not to offer any testimony about any other aspect of the case. You have any ideas on that, NM?

I don't understand what you mean.

 

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