Skip to comments.State seeks to halt animated re-enactment of Trayvon shooting
Posted on 07/08/2013 6:49:27 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Prosecutors asked a Florida judge on Monday to block the jury in the George Zimmerman trial from seeing an animated re-enactment of the shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, saying the video distorts the events of that fatal encounter.
Defense lawyers want to show the video to the six-woman jury that will decide the fate of Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty, saying he shot Martin in self-defense.
State prosecutors argued that the video fails to show the Kel Tec 9mm pistol that Zimmerman, 29, a white and Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer, used to shoot Martin, 17, once through the heart.
Prosecutors also objected because they said the animation video shows details of the fatal struggle based on the animator's "approximations," including the number of blows during the fight and how each body reacts to those blows.....
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
That link is really convenient for studying the applicable laws — thanks.
I note that they don’t really define “great bodily harm”, or what is reasonable “fear of great bodily harm”, except that if someone breaks into your dwelling you are safe in presuming you’re about to receive great bodily harm.
I suppose juries decide that (or appeals courts with case law as a guide).
I swear I heard testimony regarding GZ being tested for alcohol/drugs, but you seem pretty certain. Did the police testify to GZ being sober? I know this issue was discussed in court.
For what it’s worth... a Google search of “Zimmerman drug test” calls up a bunch of cites, some reliable, that seem to indicate that St. Trayvon was tested but Zimmerman was not.
Not proof, just evidence — put whatever weight on it you want.
“No way this animation should be allowed - its pure speculation.”
I disagree. The defense’s job is suppose to demonstrate that the thing “could” have gone down differently than the prosecution alleges. If there is another explanation for what happened, the jury not only needs to consider it, but it helps create reasonable doubt.
I’m not a lawyer, but if my recollection is that if another reasonable explanation exists for what happened, the defendant must be found innocent.
LOL! Thank God we have a low-information voter on a Zimmerman thread finally.
If you don't believe anything the white-Hispanic has said than any animation by the defense should help bolster the State, right?
I'd love to see what the State would come up with as an animation. It *would* be cartoonish.
I hate to say it, but I agree with the prosecution on this one!
There's no need to descend to the theater of the absurd; dueling special effects? Who has the better computer graphics teams?
This is truly frightening. In a national social state where low or no information voters and presumed participatory citizens can barely separate reality from fantasy, how badly will our legal system be perverted?
I actually didn't think things could get worse!
I hope the judge has a smidgen of ethics and morals left, and this truly abominable attempt at destroying our legal system is rejected permanently!
Nothing personal, but I don't think any jury is immune to the subconscious effect of fantasy as a substitute for real, physical evidence.
Hollywood has no role in the legal system.
I know that vehicular accident reconstructions have been common in past trials, and for inanimate objects they can be more easily viewed dispassionately; but not when human interaction, thoughts, biases and intents, or their inferences, are at issue. That should never be allowed.
I see this video as being no different from collision diagrams used in traffic court. I can’t imagine the judge disallowing the defense to at least print stills from the video onto posterboards to help demonstrate events.
Heck if defense wanted to get cheeky he could print up a still from every second of the video making the judge look like a foolish luddite.
it is called dueling experts. The state then brings in their own expert with their own version to contradict the first expert.
Did they even list an expert for this?
This is why experts face voi dire. This is why demonstration exhibits are just that.
You aren’t following the case at all are you?
“Not speculation its an animation of what Zimmerman said happened.”
But there’s a fairness issue too - Zimmerman hasn’t testified.
How can his testimony be put into evidence in the defense’s case-in-chief, through the back door of animation, without giving the prosecution the right to cross examine Zimmerman?
The defense should hope the prosecution would enter Zimmerman’s past. It opens the door to have Martin’s past presented.
The inquiries are always fact specific. There is a Fla appellate case where a person was justified in shooting at a person who was throwing beer bottles at him from (I'm guessing) 15-30 feet away. None of the bottles hit the shooter. An obvious case where no injury is required is somebody pulling a gun or a big enough knife (or some varieties of garden implements too, I would say) accompanied by words or actions that indicate use of the gun or other "thing" was imminent.
Being on the receiving end or overwhelming force for one second (knockout king) probably doesn't justify resort to deadly force. If the attacker backs off, the damage is done, and you cannot (legally) get revenge with force, at all. But if the attack persists, shows no sign of letting up, then your state of mind is not of revenge but is of "make it stop!" I would think that having a number of injuries would go to proving that the attacker(s) were not letting up or abandoning the attack. Zimmerman has evidence of this by eyewitnesses and his injuries.
You are right that juries decide the meaning of "great bodily harm," but it is generally some irreversible injury. Disfigurement, loss of an eye, loss of use of fingers are great bodily harm. Risk of being cut deep by a knife, even if no permanent loss occurs, is great bodily harm. Same with being exposed to risk/threat of gunshot. There may be some outlier cases where a jury found (risk of) great bodily harm and the appeals court rejected the finding. The jury instructions provide no additional definition.
Cribbed from a post at ar15.com . . .
It usually means there is a large risk of death, disfigurement, or prolonged damage to organs. In FL courts it has also been defined as: great bodily harm ... means "great [harm] as distinguished from slight, trivial, minor or moderate harm and as such, does not include mere bruises as are likely to be inflicted in a simple assault and battery. Coronado v. State, 654 So. 2d 1267, 1270 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995)Here is a slip opinion from the Florida AG, finding it possible for finding a dog to be a deadly weapon. Morris vs. State - 97-2946 - 1st DCA (1998).
On the "safe in presuming" point, there is little safety in a presumption. All a presumption does is shift the burden of production and proof to the state, and we see that the state is willing to take non-credible evidence and otherwise twist facts in order to meet the burden of making an allegation and getting a person to the ordeal of trial.
>> All a presumption does is shift the burden of production and proof to the state
All things considered, I prefer the way our (TX) self defense and castle doctrine laws are written:
Thanks for the link. I've found that the words in the statutes are more or less meaningless, and the rubber meets the road in how those words are abused by the courts. See US Constitution and the Supreme Court application of the Commerce Clause, just to pick an example.
Not saying TX courts always get it wrong, but I did review how Alberto Gonzales and a majority of the TX Supreme Court twisted the "plain language" of the TX parental notification law relating to abortion.
>> I’ve found that the words in the statutes are more or less meaningless, and the rubber meets the road in how those words are abused by the courts.
I’m not quite THAT cynical, but I definitely understand your cynicism. :-)
As a kid (born in the year 1953) I watched a lot of Roadrunner shows. I don't recall ever seeing the Wilie Coyote catch, much less "murder" the Roadrunner.
It (the shows) was always the Roadrunner making a FOOL out of Wilie Coyote, and his hair brain schemes trying to get the Roadrunner. Beep Beep.
But then again any body that would use "murder" & Wilie Coyote in the same sentence, is obviously much more politically correct, then me. Beep Beep.
I guess we’ll have to watch the animation to see if any of your speculations about how the incident took place have any bearing on the defense’s version of events that night.
“I dont believe anything hes said”
I don’t care what you believe.
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