I posted videos of George Zimmerman’s reenactment and lie detector test Thursday.
That video reenactment is considered pretty helpful to Zimmerman, as it is consistent with other known evidence. Jeralyn at TalkLeft (h/t Instapundit) makes the distinction between variations and differences:
There may be many variations in George Zimmerman’s multiple accounts, but which, if any, amount to a significant dissimilarity that rises to a difference over a variation, and warrants someone concluding the essential elements of his version are not true?
My opinion: This is self-defense. Zimmerman was not the aggressor, he did nothing to provoke Trayvon Martin’s beating him, breaking his nose and slamming his head into concrete. He had every right to respond with deadly force to stop Trayvon’s physical attack on him and to prevent Trayvon from getting control of his weapon.
Zimmerman likely can use the reenactment to tell his story to the jury without every having to take the stand either because the prosecution needs to use it or by moving the tape into evidence through one of the police witnesses.
This reminded me of the so-called Preppy Murder committed by Robert Chambers against Jennifer Levin in Central Park in Manhattan in 1986. It was a sensational case, and I remember it particularly well because my parents knew Levin’s grandparents.
Chambers claimed he accidentally strangled Levin during rough sex play in which she was so aggressive he needed to use force to get her off him. The story was ridiculous on its face, yet during a videotaped police interrogation Chambers reenacted his version of events in a way which might be persuasive to a jury.
I haven’t been able to find a free-standing video of the reenactment, but it starts at 4:15 of this 48 Hours segment:
The video reenactment was played during the trial, and it had an effect. The jury took nine days to deliberate, at which point the prosecutors allowed him to plea to manslaughter. He was sentenced to 5-15 years, and ended up serving the maximum because of other criminal problems he had after goint to prison.
He’s now in prison on a lengthy drug charge, for which he will serve more time than for killing Levin.
I thought of the cases not because I think Zimmerman and Chambers share an equal culpability. It just shows how a video statement to police, if done right, can help the defendant tell his story without ever taking the stand.