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George Zimmerman Defense Team Loses Many Pre-Trial Motions

Submitted by on May 29, 2013 – 4:01 pmOne Comment

The judge in the prosecution of  George Zimmerman heard many pre-trial motions yesterday, and dealt the defense several setbacks in their attempts to argue shooting victim Trayvon Martin‘s character and history as part of the case.

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson denied defense motions to admit as evidence past photographs, texts, and messages found on Martin’s phone and social media that depict the young man negatively.

(I won’t post or describe them here, but their public release by the defense could clearly affect potential jurors before the men and women even reach the courtroom.)

Judge Nelson also ruled inadmissible information about both Martin and Zimmerman’s histories, denied the defense’s request to delay the trial further, and denied a request to bring the jury to the site of the shooting over concerns of anonymity.

Finally, the judge strongly reprimanded the defense for speaking publicly about her debate as to whether to sequester the jury, with USA Today saying the “frustration” in her voice was “obvious.”

However, Judge Nelson also denied the prosecution’s third request for a gag order, and allowed heresay statements that may help Zimmerman, but granted many state motions.

Overall, the defense seems to want this case to be about anything but what transpired that night in February 2012. Jonathan Capehart at the Washington Post offers perspective on how Martin’s past transgressions are now being used to put a dead man on trial, instead of the man who has confessed to shooting him. And it’s worth remembering that though there is real evidence that Martin was no saint, that hasn’t stopped the Zimmerman apologists from inventing some as well.

I’ve written before that “Justice for Trayvon” movement is no racially-motivated political lynching, but a legitimate effort to examine Zimmerman’s claims of self-defense. George Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty, and the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove otherwise. But charges were not filed against Zimmerman for almost two months, and if not for the public outcry, Zimmerman’s actions may never have been investigated at all.

[via USA Today; image via Kevin Hagen/New York Daily News]


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