Meltdown: Judge Walks Out In Tense Exchange With Zimmerman Counsel

Last night saw an extraordinary confrontation between the defense and the court in the George Zimmerman trial.  The defense is seeking to use photos and material from the phone of Martin.  The most serious issue is that the defense claims that the government had this material since January and only recently gave it to the defense — another allegation of withholding evidence by the prosecution. The judge and the lawyers are clearly exhausted and I think the schedule is a bit too punishing. I realize that the jury is sequestered and want to go home. However, these days are diminishing the professional ability and clearly the personal restraint of the judge and lawyers alike. While I do not think that the defense should get a few days to rest, I do think that schedule has been unnecessarily demanding and even a few hours of more rest would be in order. I realize the jurors and courts have limited time but I have never agreed with the punishing schedule of many trials. However, I am more concerned with the delay in turning over this evidence until June.

The defense has a valid objection that they are being denied evidence due to the failure of the prosecution to turn over the evidence in a timely manner — to allow for authentication. Judge Debra Nelson clearly does not want to acknowledge the allegation of prosecutorial abuse and then refuses to deal with the objection that the attorneys are exhausted. I think the defense has a valid objection on both the misconduct and the schedule. However, Nelson just walks out on the defense and says that she will deal, not with the allegation of misconduct, but an alleged defense sequestration violation.

Defense attorney, Don West, objects that “I’m not physically able to keep up this pace much longer” as the judge walks out.

The judge has barred the use of a simulation of the scene. However, there are also those text messages on Martin’s phone where he refers to fighting. The prosecution has been able to introduce past comments from Zimmerman, but the court has barred the use of comments from Martin. In this case, she insisted that there was no authentication that it was Martin but the defense noted that they were denied the opportunity to authenticate by the prosecution.

I think most of the rulings in the case have been fair, though I have reservations about some of the excluded evidence and serious reservations about the failure to address the claims of withholding evidence. Judges regularly avoid dealing with such claims in trials, which only encourages prosecutors to game the system by holding on to evidence as long as possible before a trial.

143 thoughts on “Meltdown: Judge Walks Out In Tense Exchange With Zimmerman Counsel”

  1. This is the perfect blog for anyone who wishes to understand this topic.
    You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a new spin on a subject which has been discussed for years.
    Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

  2. Randyjet,

    So, the armed man has to lay there and get beaten to death with his weapon holstered? How long should have Zimmerman have waited before using his firearm? Now, who is not making sense?

    BTW, as a person with as much experience with bar fights as you seem to exhibit, I am sure you realize that blows to the head can be fatal. Benny “Kid” Paret, Davey Moore, Johnny Owen, Duek-Koo Kim, Leavander Johnson, Yo-Sam Choi, Jimmy Garcia, and Pedro Alcazar were all killed by punches from men smaller than Treyvon Martin without the benefit of concrete.

    Finally, websites are not evidence. What evidence (and by evidence I mean evidence adduced at the trial so that the jury can consider it) is there that Zimmerman was larger than Martin?

  3. Marv; the name calling doesn’t bode well for your success in contrarianism banter. You are being incongruous and yet proving the point (of racial profiling).

    Zimmerman followed a man after being told the police were on the way – and he had NO justification for doing so. (Except his own mindset).

    In so doing, with a loaded weapon, the onus was upon GZ to be more prudent – instead of reckless.

    As a result of lack of common sense and biased motivation;
    GZ has one less bullet and there’s one more dead non-white.

    Had it been Trayvon asserting his rights to bare arms and go after a “he’s getting away” Justin Bieber white teen;

    Trayvon would not have had any lack of bumps upon him by good officers!

    It is absolutely dumbfounding how the arguments of this case fall upon Legal, Progressive and GOP lines.

    I do not concur with Professor Turley that this was a case of manslaughter;
    and his being an attorney for defense is off-setting of his opine.

    How liberal it is to want gun control and how GOP it is to not want it;
    is simply dumbfounding…..

    http://www.gopusa.com/news/2013/07/12/defense-says-it-proved-zimmermans-innocence-to-jurors/?subscriber=1

  4. Marv,

    You’re talking race … I’m talking law. The jury has to deal with the law.

  5. Banter as we all may, the results will soon be in.

    As for “how did GZ get the scratch on his head”? It is just as plausible to state it was a result of Zimmerman getting up and falling (after the shock of realizing he killed someone).

    And/or – feasible it was self inflicted!

    Even if it was not done to make the scene look worse; but as an emotional head bang backwards to the ground (damn, I just shot someone, I frk’d).

    I’m just sayin…………..

  6. Mark/Randy,

    Also, and as Randy pointed to, anyone with experience fighting (or even having watched a particularly brutal boxing match) knows that head wounds bleed copiously and are acquired fairly easily. The skin on your head is relatively thin and full of capillaries. If Z had his head beaten on concrete, I’d have expected those injury photos to be a good deal bloodier in addition to more swelling. He looked like he got his eye dotted, but that didn’t look like any substantive head trauma I’ve ever seen. They were minor injuries at best.

  7. Otteray;

    I must say (as one who has lived a “story” as you know) – I’m amazed and impressed with the paths you have taken – and now even respect you more.

    In the system, expert witness – in Mississippi no less

    DAMN!

    WTG

  8. Anon at July 12 – 12:56 p.m.

    Though big gov spent millions, leaked false stories to the press and did many erroneous bad faith things (including faking a case to being with) –
    the massive time, man hours and two weeks of trial in the Rick Convertino case

    wound up with a Not Guilty result in less than 1 day…..

  9. Marv 1, July 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    OS, everyone on the prosecution side is saying Zimmerman profiled. I am obliging them with facts. If Zimmerman did profile im arguing that he had a right to do so because the statistics show that Blacks are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against whites then vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit a robbery.

    The stats you refer too are NOT from the US DOJ. You are probably quoting a racist-leaning media outlet or some other misinformed cretin.

    The “facts” as you say point to violent crime involving “blacks” as black-on-black crime. Most of the death by gun in urban “hoods” are drug deals gone bad or gang vendettas. Whites are not the usual visitors to the “hoods” where this stuff happens. So it’s almost impossible to say that what you said was true. Most black-commited-robberies are liquor store or convenience stores which are staffed by ASIANS not whites.

    FYI – The racial profiling that night (26-Feb-2012) started earlier when Zimmerman said he saw Trayvon “looking” in Frank Taaffe’s (i.e. possible UNSUB?) window. Z made some comment about “blacks” etc. Frank also added some of his colorful metaphors for blacks too. Frank is an admitted racist. Every time he opens his mouth on TV he proves it. Frank and Z are CLOSE friends and worked together on RATL watch. It stands to reason that Frank was calling all the “shots” (literally) that night. Why Frank is not under arrest baffles me. I’m sure his DNA is on the gun and Trayvon’s shirt. Why won’t they take a look???

  10. OS, everyone on the prosecution side is saying Zimmerman profiled. I am obliging them with facts. If Zimmerman did profile im arguing that he had a right to do so because the statistics show that Blacks are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against whites then vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit a robbery.

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