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The Backwards Trial: Zimmerman Prosecutors Stumble as Defense Wraps Up

Also, Judge Nelson references case law that appears to contradict her, and a dummy takes a beating.

by
Mike McDaniel

Bio

July 11, 2013 - 8:31 am
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John Donnelly, the retired physician’s assistant and Vietnam combat medic whose testimony was so effective in identifying Zimmerman’s voice, was the subject of an attempt by the prosecution to exclude his testimony. It seems that Donnelly sat in on the trial for several hours over two days in violation of the sequestration rule.

There was a lengthy hearing on that matter, with the prosecution accusing the defense of all manner of mischief. It was quickly discovered that not only did the defense have no idea Donnelly was there, but when West saw him on the second day, he told Donnelly he would have to leave. Donnelly, apologizing profusely, did.

West explained that in a trial with some 200 witnesses — they had no idea if they would use Donnelly or not — he must have slipped through the cracks and was not notified of the sequestration rule. West took responsibility for that omission, though he clearly had nothing to do with it. It was also clear that Donnelly’s testimony was unaffected by the witnesses he heard, so Nelson dropped the matter, leaving Donnelly’s devastating testimony on the record.

This is another example of bad faith from the prosecution. In normal trials, this sort of thing is simply dealt with informally by both sides. They bring in the judge only if there is some compelling evidence of intentional malfeasance. This is particularly true in trials with large numbers of witnesses where it is very easy for witnesses not to get the message of sequestration or to misunderstand it.

Still to come are the closing statements, and a number of other unfinished motions and maneuvers put off by Judge Nelson.

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Mike McDaniel is a former police officer, detective, and SWAT operator, and is now a high school English teacher. He blogs here.

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Top Rated Comments   
Nelson is a walking appeals farm. She is so out of line, so in the tank, so completely incapable of conducting a fair and impartial trial...that acquittal is the ONLY verdict that could withstand honorable appellate scrutiny.

Frankly, she has disgraced herself and the State of Florida, the court system, and further tarnished the image of American jurisprudence.

She has been an abject failure as the sentry to our gates of justice.

This case has been a travesty from the moment the media turned it into a leftist carnival of racist propaganda. Nelson has shown every sign of being a willing participant in the charade.

Her badgering of Zimmerman about testifying went beyond the need to get a waiver...she was playing to the cameras for effect. It was more than mere judicial misconduct. It was cheap and dirty political theater.

Nelson should be removed from the bench. She has shown herself to have no judicial ethics and is a political hack in black robes. In short...you have no honor, Your Honor.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
The only thing that really matters is whether that jury is brave enough to go home after rendering a "not guilty" verdict. They're going to be slimed in the media and mau-maued by the grievance mongers. They know this.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
"If he got hit, you must acquit!"
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (33)
All Comments   (33)
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No chance in hell of a not guilty verdict now. The Women have been way too long...
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sadly, nothing may matter because the fix is in. Once again the black tail is wagging the big white dog who feels guilty he has a black tail.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dear Sparky Redux:

What you suggest is not, fortunately, the law. In order to present this evidence, the defense does not need to absolutely prove that no one could have possibly had access to Martin's phone or accounts. That's an impossible standard. As I noted, Judge Nelson demanded that the defense prove a negative, and in that, made a plainly reversible error.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think someone surreptitiously accessed this "judge's" college transcripts.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"West told the judge Martin’s phone was double-encrypted. It is surpassingly unlikely anyone else forged anything, yet Judge Nelson exclaimed that someone could have gotten Martin’s two passwords."

I hate to burst your bubble but the judge COULD be right. It may be very unlikely that someone else beat two passwords but it isn't necessarily so. I saw a claim on a TV show the other night that said that 90% of people used the word 'password' as their password. I'm not sure if that's true but I am an IT guy and I have seen articles saying that a very substantial number of people use very easy passwords that can be guessed very quickly. If Trayvon Martin had used 'password' as the password on his phone AND on the stealth app that was hiding his emails, his phone could have been accessed in about three seconds flat. Slightly harder passwords, like his first name for the phone and his last name for the secret emails would have taken SLIGHTLY longer to defeat. Then someone could have written bogus emails that painted him very differently than he actually was - worse or better.

If I were the judge, knowing what I know about computers, I would have required the lawyers to do some things before I made the claim that any 7 year old could have hacked the phone and generated the emails.

I'd require them to use password-guessing software to determine what passwords Martin had actually used. That might be a big job if Martin chose strong passwords or it could have revealed that the passwords were dead easy to guess. I would also want to know whether the phone has protections against guessing the password. For instance, my ATM card gives me three tries to get my PIN right; if I fail, the card is no longer accepted and I have to go to the bank and verify my identity with them before I can change the PIN (since I've obviously forgotten it). If Martin's phone had comparable protections, then it's unlikely someone could have guessed the passwords in order to generate fake emails.

If the lawyers' IT people have unlimited tries to crack Martin's passwords and don't succeed in getting in pretty quickly, I'd say that Martin had very strong passwords and the likelihood of hacking that phone was very low.

In my opinion, that's how you weigh the likelihood that the messages were from Martin.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
As an engineer I am often called on to configure new equipment and accounts for other less IT savvy folks. Unless forced by a system to do otherwise I always set the access password to "password" along with a strong admonition for the user to immediately change it upon first login. I'm sure some if not many ignore my suggestion, but it does save me what used to be a common occurrence of users calling me up at all hours demanding that password that they had forgotten or written down wrong.
As for the trial and phone records, clear bias by this judge. Had the defense been provided this information in a timely manner they could easily located the other parties involved and deposed them to prove TM as originator, or not as the case might be. This delay and the subsequent exclusion by the judge all by itself would appear to be grounds for an appeal.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
In this trial, the idea of excluding potential witnesses from the courtroom was effectively gutted by the blow by blow TV coverage. Back before TV cameras were admitted to courtrooms, the idea of excluding potential witnesses was so those potential witnesses wouldn't hear the responses of witnesses etc who testified earlier and the potential witness could not tailor his testimony to echo the earlier witness. This was the theory but it didn't prevent two potential witnesses from getting together prior to the trial and agreeing on their mutual testimony.

Therefore any claim of error in "allowing" a later witness to sit in the courtroom for a time was mere noise for the sake of noise.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
These threatened riots will have all citizens with an I.Q. over room temp locked and loaded . The Florida riots will incite and ignite the rest of the Nation . Cities like Detroit and Chicago will erupt into chaos . New Yorkers will protest by drinking 64 ounce sodas and tossing arugula and broccoli in the streets.
Californians will knit rainbow streamers and sing "We are the gays"
This comment even made me LOL.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Her giving option to the Jury for a lesser charge was her message to the Jury you must find Zimmerman guilty of something .
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Judge Nelson , was picked by the DOJ. The premise for their choice was she voted for Barack Hussein Obama twice in '08 and twice in '12 .
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Evidence?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
You'll find it in the dictionary under Sarcasm.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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