First things first–Legal Insurrection presents yet another of our class-leading internet polls on Florida v. Zimmerman. Vote to lend your voice to whether George Zimmerman should be called by the defense to testify:
Trial Day 8: Nearing the Close of the State’s Case
We already covered the morning testimony in our mid-day analysis and video, which you can find here:
Normally at this point we would be covering the multiple witnesses that testified in the afternoon.
As it happens, however, the combination of a late return from the lunch recess, some in court wrangling (outside of the juror’s hearing) between Judge Nelson and the defense around the subject of the still-to-be disposed Benjamin Crump, and a direct and cross of the State’s DNA expert that can perhaps be best described as excruciatingly long and uniformly uninformative, brought us to the end of a day that was supposed to see the State rest with no such milestone in sight.
Let’s get what must be done out of the way, and deal with the testimony of the State’s DNA expert.
Anthony Gorgone, FDLE Crime Laboratory DNA Analyst
State witness Gorgone was interminably subject to direct questioning by State prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda for what seemed like hours, and then met a similar trial at the hands of defense attorney Don West.
In the end it was all all largely pointless. There was no DNA evidence that substantively contributed to any issue in the case, and what DNA evidence was found was largely tainted the manner in which it was collected, transported, and stored, all matters over which Gorgone had no role whatever.
In the event, however, that you find yourself have great difficulty falling asleep tonight, we present for your pleasure the dulcet tones of Gorgone, de la Rionda, and West:
Judge Nelson Takes the Defense to Task, Again
Perhaps the highlight of the afternoon, however, occurred prior to the testimony of Gorgone, when Judge Nelson took the opportunity to vent her frustrations at the defense team when they requested additional time to arrange for the deposition of Martin family advisor/attorney Benjamin Crump. She was markedly unsympathetic to the defense’s explanations that they had only been authorized by the 5th District Court of Appeals to depose Crump. It is notable that the authority to depose Crump at all was delivered to the defense by the 5th District Court of Appeals (DCA), which did so by overruling Nelson’s earlier ruling to deny the defense this opportunity. Judge Nelson was also unsympathetic to the defense’ explanations that they had been fully consumed in the intervening period with the Frye hearing, Jury selection, and the State’s presentation of the case. The sense seemed to be that if they’d had enough time to shower and take care of basic biological necessities during the last several weeks, then they had had enough time to depose Crump.
Judge Nelson was also adamant that the State hold to its commitment to rest its case today. Upon hearing this, Bernie de la Rionda began to backpedal aggressively, noting the lateness of the hour, but the Judge simply urged everyone to just get on with it.
And then came Gorgone–hour after hour, afte hour of him. Poor guy, he was obviously so competent and diligent at his work, and equally obviously unable to meet the expectations of either side, one could not help but feel bad for him.
So, no, the State did not rest today. Instead, the State will present at least one additional witness. That witness, it is believed, will be Sabryna Fulton, Trayvon’s mother. Her testimony will be the last desperate attempt of State prosecutor’s to use a grieving mother’s tears to convince the jury to return the guilty verdict that the facts in evidence have been unable to justify.
July 4, Birthday of the Greatest Nation on Earth
Tomorrow, July 4, the celebration of the birth of the greatest nation on the face of the Earth, is a day off rest for the Court, and hopefully for most of you.
But not for this humble correspondent. Tomorrow we will present a post that prognosticates on the path forward for this trial including the prospects for mid-trial motions for a directed verdict, likely strategies and witnesses to be called by the defense, and how both the State and defense are likely to try to fit the developed facts in evidence, as well as circumstantial evidence, into the compelling narrative that is their closing arguments–and how closely those closing arguments are likely to align with the commitments they made to the jury at the start of this trial.
So, keep your eyes open for that tomorrow, and have a safe, wonderful, and fireworks-filled day of celebration of the birth of our great nation.
Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense,” now available in its just released 2nd Edition, which shows you how to successfully fight the 20-to-life legal battle everyone faces after defending themselves. UPDATE: July 5, 2013 is the LAST DAY to take advantage of the 30% pre-order discount, only $35, plus free shipping. To do so simply visit the Law of Self Defense blog.
BREAKING: “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition” is now also being carried by Amazon.com, at list price but with a commitment for 2-day delivery. A Kindle version to come within a week or so (I hope).
Many thanks to Professor Jacobson for the invitation to guest-blog on the Zimmerman trial here on Legal Insurrection!