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George Zimmerman trial — the facts or character on trial?

George Zimmerman trial — the facts or character on trial?

George Zimmerman’s lawyers released photos from Trayvon Martin’s cell phone, including the two below.

Zimmerman’s team says they will seek to introduce the photos and others to show that he was not as portrayed in the media and by the family’s attorneys:

The evidence that George Zimmerman’s attorneys have uncovered on Trayvon Martin’s cellphone paints a troubling picture of the Miami Gardens teenager: He sent text messages about being a fighter, smoking marijuana and being ordered to move out of his home by his mother.

And photos from that phone offer more of the same: healthy green plants — what appear to be marijuana — growing in pots and a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun.

Defense attorneys on Thursday gave formal notice to prosecutors that they intend to use those and other reputation-damaging pieces of evidence about Trayvon once Zimmerman’s second-degree-murder trial begins June 10.

I think the trial should focus on the facts of what happened, not personality traits of the two people involved. The prosecution, however, has sought to put Zimmerman’s background on trial in the media, including claims he was racist (which he denies) and other problems he had in his life.

If the prosecution is allowed to go there at trial, to get away from the facts of what happened or to put the character of either person in issue, it does seem that what’s good for the prosecution should be good for the defense.

Trayvon Martin Photo Handgun

Trayvon Martin Photo Pot Plants


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I think the trial should focus on the facts of what happened, not personality traits of the two people involved.

should, indeed.

However, what O’Mara knows, and what we all know, is that if the statement above were true, there wouldn’t even be a trial.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Browndog. | May 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    That s’t what the left wants this case to be about anymore than they did in the Duke lacrosse case. It’s all about subjugating whitey and showing us who’s boss now.

He is princess barry’s son!

Alex Bensky | May 24, 2013 at 9:53 am

If Obama had a son, this is what he might have looked like, says Obama.

The Zimmerman trial shows how insane American culture has become.

A young thug with a history of theft and drugs decides to assault a community watch member apparently because said member follows him. He ambushes and knocks the man down and starts beating his head into the ground. He says he is going to kill the man he is assaulting.

And at this point the man on the ground pulls his gun out and shoots Trayvon once – which turns out to be fatal.

And for this we’ve taken away years of Zimmerman’s life in trials? With a possibility of sending him to prison for more?

This should have been a cautionary tale to young would be hoodlums that in America you never know if your mark is armed and crime does not pay. Instead it is a three ring circus where we are told that the “racism” of a “white hispanic” is why a community watch member followed a stranger peeking in the houses in his community and that this is reason enough for said community watch member to be assaulted?!?

John Sullivan | May 24, 2013 at 10:11 am

I am not sure what the evidence rules are in Florida, but the images on Trayvon Martin’s cell phone cannot be relevant unless George Zimmerman somehow knew about them. At least with regard to the issue of self defense, the issue is whether Zimmerman had a reasonable fear that Martin would use deadliy physical force against him. Because there is no evidence he knew Martin at all, Martin could have been Ted Bundy and it would not be relevant. Only the actions of Martin on that night, as observed by Zimmerman, would be relevant, as well as Zimmerman’s neighborhood watch experience. I do not pretend to know much about Florida’s stand your ground law, so maybe the standard is quite different than a typical self-defense justification.

    Valerie in reply to John Sullivan. | May 24, 2013 at 11:18 am

    This man has already been tried and convicted in the media, based on character evidence exactly as relevant as these pictures. The door to this evidence was opened a long time ago, and only a fool would fail to respond.

    casualobserver in reply to John Sullivan. | May 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    The stand your ground hearing was bypassed by Zimmerman’s team, so it has no impact on the upcoming trial.

    And while there is some merit in the argument that the specific contents of Martin’s phone in this post may not be relevant to actions that night, they are still fair game should the defendant’s character be put on trial.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to John Sullivan. | May 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Rest assured that if Trademark had a spotless record and was a choirboy, the prosecution would bring that in as evidence that he was not behaving suspiciously, and therefore GZ was just out to shoot a black kid in a hoodie.

    Now that I’ve seen photos of Trademark handling a gun, I can’t help but wonder if he wasn’t one trip to the ammo store away from killing someone just as he tried and threatened to do to GZ that night with his fists.

crump already introduced martins character from day 1. and it was, seems to me, mostly a lie.

Uncle Samuel | May 24, 2013 at 10:36 am

In a sane world, the Martin lawyers and the media would be jailed for their shenanigans during this farce.

So would Sharpton and the New Black Panthers.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | May 24, 2013 at 10:59 am

Obama won re-election in large part by turning Romney into an ogre. That worked so well that according a story I read this morning, billionaire Tom Steyer’s PAC plans to use the same tactic against Gomez in the MA Senate race. Steyer’s PAC plans to viciously attack the Navy SEAL, pilot, Harvard Business School grad as an icky, unlikeable person to win(mostly because Gomez supports the Keystone pipeline and Steyer is an environmental zealot who doesn’t want the pipeline built).

Back to the photos. I don’t see how the photos are relevant, but Zimmerman’s lawyers seem to think that the tactic used by Obama and Steyer in elections will work in a legal trial.

The irony is that the left wants a society built on moral relativism where we don’t judge people for their behaviors, beliefs and morality. But to win elections, and now apparently legal trials, character assassination is the preferred tool of choice.

Midwest Rhino | May 24, 2013 at 11:15 am

One early report said the girlfriend stated she had told Martin to run away, but he responded that he was not going to do that. She later changed her story. If she testifies to that, a follow up might be why she needed to tell him that. Was it because she knew his violent nature?

Obama got his “violent white racist gun criminal” campaign issue/distraction. Can they even find a jury that is not tainted by the histrionic “poor little Trayvon, hunted down like a rabid dog” movement? Hopefully the facts will be enough.

blissdesignz | May 24, 2013 at 11:20 am

The defense is just trying to undo the character assassination & media blitz / propaganda campaign that was pushed by the left, (the Al Sharpton / Jessie Jackson ilk), regarding Martin & Zimmerman. They with the media fed the public a totally false representation of both men involved.

Zimmerman’s probably NOT a racist as he spent his weekends tutoring inner city black kids for free for years & was a typical Obama – worshipping democrat – (after Obama helping with the campaign against him I don’t know that he remained so)..

And Trayvon was pushed to the public as this innocent, little kid with photos shown of him that were 4+ years old & certainly didn’t represent the reality of what he had grown into.. What Zimmerman confronted was the guy seen on Martin’s facebook page which was more akin to a foul mouthed, violent, gang – banger wannabe thug. Remember Obama even helped out by saying that if he had a son he’d look like Trayvon? It was a full on campaign of misinformation that replayed nightly on every television for months.

Unfortunately, early impressions like that are very powerful in our subconscious once the initial opinion is created even if we don’t remember forming it in the first place. That’s what this is about, an attempt to counter those impressions..

Also, Zimmerman was always presented as some racist ‘white guy’, yet he identified himself as a ‘Hispanic’. I remember when the NYT called him a ‘white hispanic’. lol His Mom was from Peru I believe it was (?)

It is totally the fault of the prosecution’s side that it’s come to this. They’ve been very dishonest from the beginning & I’m actually surprised they’ve stuck with it this long. It appears they should have dropped the charges a long time ago. From what I’ve seen so far I really believe Zimmerman will be acquitted.

I think George Zimmerman has been treated unfairly and he deserves a vigorous defense to combat the false story that was first widely told about him and his alleged racist murder of a black child wearing a hoodie walking to his temporary home carrying nothing but a cellphone, skittles and iced tea.

This fiction has been cemented into potential jurors minds and may be impossible to remove regardless of facts.

I watched Al Sharpton on MSNBC talking about how unfair it is that all this info is coming out. To me, if information about a person is true then it is fair to publicize it in a blockbuster case like this especially when an untrue impression of the victim was spread far & wide so that political pressure would force a man to be prosecuted for a crime he wouldn’t have been prosecuted for without that pressure.

Even if George Zimmerman is not convicted and wins a pile of money from his lawsuit against NBC Universal his reputation will be permanently damaged because not all the people who heard that he is a racist murderer will find out what the jury decided in the murder case and/or whether NBC Universal is ordered to pay Zimmerman money.

I tend to agree that the trial should be on the facts and the law, not the history of either party. If the prosecutor decides to introduce the ‘personality and history’ of the defendant then the defense should do the same about the deceased.

On a slightly different note, I find it amusing that there is a camp that does not want to introduce the history of the Trayvon, seems to be largely aligned that wants to point to the history and personality of the Tea Party groups as a sort of defense for the IRS. I always find Hypocrisy to be an interesting mental characteristic.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Cogsys. | May 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    This case should never have been failed. Through a series of political machinations, the case was snatched from the grand jury and given to an overly-ambitious special prosecutor.

    There was no crime committed that night except a vicious assault by a now-deceased young black male.

    If Zimmerman was black, we’d never have even heard about this.

The politically-biased portrayal of the characters of both Martin & Zimmerman needs to set straight in the courtroom.

My first thought was the the picture of the gun is relevant to Martin’s tendency toward violence, which in turn is relevant to Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. But that’s wrong, because the claim of self-defense turns on the reasonableness of Zimmerman’s perception that he was in danger of getting killed or suffering grievous bodily injury, and that perception wasn’t shaped by cell-phone photos Zimmerman never saw (it was, rather, shaped by things such as Martin bashing his head on the sidewalk.)

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Quixotic77. | May 24, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    The photos are indicative of Trademark’s interests and behaviors, which are relevant to why GZ started observing him in the first place.