IANAL and wanted to thank Jeralynn for her commentary: http://www.talkleft.com/story/2013/7/16/183017/109/crimenews/-Zimmerman-The-State-s-Failure-to-Humanize-Trayvon-Martin
I wanted to comment on the number of defense witnesses who stepped forward to claim that the voice on the telephone belonged to GZ. As implied by the FBI speech identification expert, there was not enough data to make such a decision beyond a personal opinion that could not be validated or refuted. Therefore, some of those people standing up for GZ were likely influenced by their knowledge of him and their beliefs that he would not cause somebody to cry out like that. Each of them was willing to stand up in court to make that claim at some personal risk. They looked like his friends, coworkers and neighbors, and most likely influenced the jury. This was in contrast to the prosecution witnesses.
In her commentary concerning the state’s failure to humanize TM, Jeralynn noted “What many may not realize is that this was a strategic decision the state made, not an unintentional omission.” There is an alternative consideration. The narrative and imaging formatted by Mr. Crump et al, along with information from the unrevealed past several years before TM died, and family dynamics may not have allowed any options. Testimony by his birth-mother, his step-mother and his father’s current girl friend may have created “poor optics”. Court appearances by his half-brothers, step-brothers and cousins may have required an interesting chart on his family tree. His academic/ behavioral problems at school may have precluded any teacher inputs. A pastor would likely be constrained if TM’s shadow had not graced the threshold of a church for that period. The football experience may have been so remote that any coaching references were expired. As suggested by the Twitter feeds, W8/RJ may have been the most scholarly and sophisticated person among his “close friends”, and having only 2 weeks of recent interaction may have precluded other embarrassing questions. Thus, the narrative and imaging carefully crafted by Mr. Crump et al may have cracked if more people were allowed to speak up for TM. Some have complained that TM was not allowed to testify in the trial since he was dead. However, his family and friends had that opportunity, and yet could not/would not testify on his behalf. Protests are being held with the narrative’s touchstones of “Stand Your Ground”, “Protect the Black Child”. “Hoodies” and “Skittles and Iced tea”. These topics seem to have had little traction in the actual court case as presented to the jury.
I sense the case rested on the knife edge of justice. The members of the jury were selected to represent the citizens of the State of Florida to determine if guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt. Maybe after 16 hours of deliberations, despite the errors of omission and commission by GZ, despite the evidence allowed and not allowed by Judge Nelson, despite all the emotional pleas from the prosecution, that jury just decided that GZ was still a guy who wore a white hat.