Wednesday, July 10, 2013
More Judicial Bias Exhibited In George Zimmerman Trial
The defense in the case of George Zimmerman, who is on trial for shooting to death Trayvon Martin during a physical altercation, concluded its case today, and attorneys for both sides will now argue their cases to the six female jurors tomorrow before jury deliberations begin. As I've complained previously, the Seminole County judge hearing the case, Judge Debra Nelson, has exhibited what I view as extreme bias against the defense throughout the trial, at times barely holding back the apparent contempt she has towards Zimmerman and his attorneys.
In the first video, late last night defense attorney Don West argued for the admission of multiple text messages sent from Trayvon Martin's cell phone where he discussed fighting with other individuals. The prosecution, after months of deliberate delays and continual prodding by the defense, turned the text messages over to the defense right before the trial began last month. The record suggests the prosecution engaged in discovery violations in delaying the production of the damaging text messages and made misrepresentations to the court about their ability to access those text messages.
Judge Nelson showed no concern at all for the state's discovery violations. Instead, she decided the defense would not be allowed to offer the text messages because of their inability to authenticate that Martin sent the text messages from his cell phone, an impossibility for the defense given the late date the prosecution turned over the evidence. Judge Nelson said others may have had access to Martin's password and made the texts without his knowledge and made an off-hand comment that a 7-year old could have figured out the password, even though the state claimed it spent months trying to find a computer expert to crack the code to reveal the previously sent text messages. West sought Judge Nelson's ruling last night so the defense could prepare what would be its final day of witnesses today, but she refused to make her ruling until after the court convened today, showing no regard for their ability to prepare for their case today, just as she refused the defense's request to delay the start of the trial last month after the prosecution waited until the last possible moment to turn over the damaging evidence.
It seemed very disingenuous on Judge Nelson's part, who claimed the late hour made it impossible for her to make a ruling despite the unsympathetic attitude she displayed in court towards the defense's motion leaving little doubt how she would ultimately rule. Today, Judge Nelson repeatedly badgered George Zimmerman to tell the court whether he planned to testify, a decision his attorneys wished to reserve making until it had concluded calling the witnesses it desired to call before wrapping up its case.
In the second video, you see Judge Nelson have a heated exchange with defense attorney Don West, who strenuously objected to the insistence by Judge Nelson that his client reveal his decision on whether to testify before he and his attorneys had reached that decision in consultation. A confused Zimmerman told Judge Nelson that he wished more time to confer with his attorneys, a request she granted, not that she really had any choice but to do that since it's the decision of the defense lawyers who and in what order it decides which witnesses it calls to testify in the case. Judge Nelson seemed to come off as trying to bully Zimmerman into taking the stand in his own defense. Zimmerman's attorneys ultimately made the decision not to call him, which was the correct call in my opinion. Zimmerman's videotaped interrogation by police immediately following the shooting without the assistance of counsel had already been played to the jury during the state's case so there was absolutely no need for him to take the stand in his own defense, particularly in a case where the prosecution's case was as weak as the one put on by these prosecutors.
When Zimmerman's attorneys sought and obtained a new judge in the case last year after the original judge assigned the case made unnecessarily derogatory comments against Zimmerman, exhibiting extreme bias against him, many Florida court observers said they would rue that move because Judge Nelson would be more biased against their client. Numerous legal observers noted that Judge Nelson has a reputation of being pro-prosecution to the extreme. She's certainly lived up to that image with her handling of this case thus far. It came as little surprise that she quickly ruled against the defense's renewed motion for reconsideration of its earlier motion for acquittal, or alternatively, a reduction of the second degree charges to manslaughter. Apparently she didn't witness the state's case crumble to pieces as almost every objective observer has. In her opinion, there was substantial direct and circumstantial evidence for jurors to conclude that Zimmerman's act of shooting and killing Martin, a person he had never met previously, while getting his ass kicked as Martin straddled him and pinned him to the ground was made through malice, ill will or hatred.
UPDATE: Former Sanford Chief of Police Bill Lee, who had only been on the job 10 months when the Trayvon Martin shooting occurred, lost his job because he upheld the oath he took when he was sworn in as police chief and refused to make an arrest of Zimmerman before an investigation could determine whether probable cause existed for his arrest, a decision that was ultimately made by a highly-partisan, unprofessional special prosecutor, Angela Corey. City officials kept pressuring him to make an arrest just to appease the race merchants like Al Sharpton and President Barack Obama. Ultimately, Sanford's mayor fired him because he chose to uphold the law rather than carry out the wishes of the lynch mob unleashed against Zimmerman. In an interview with CNN, Lee is finally speaking out. He is a man of integrity who can hold his head high. That's far more than can be said for the extremely unethical and dishonest team of prosecutors who have led this case against Zimmerman. I would also add that I have nothing but respect for Zimmerman's attorneys, Don West and Mark O'Mara, who exhibit the character and qualities those of us who respect the legal system most admire in its learned practitioners.
I think President Barack Obama's actions, in particular, are unforgivable. Although he's an attorney by profession and claims to be a constitutional expert, he essentially stepped before a national audience he commands as our nation's highest elected official and prematurely declared Zimmerman guilty before given the right to have his guilt or innocence decided in accordance with the constitution and laws of this country and the state of Florida. If a white president had done what Obama did, the liberals would have jumped up and down and screamed bloody murder. Now we have a dilemma where the race merchants are threatening full-blown riots throughout the country if the six jurors act on the evidence presented to them and acquit Zimmerman of the charges brought against him by the government. I don't believe Obama's actions were by mistake. I believe he wants to divide this nation along race, class, culture and whatever means possible to create enough civil unrest that will support his ultimate goal of stripping Americans of their constitutional rights, declaring martial law and establishing a dictatorship that would make the former members of the Soviet politburo smile. The man is an international war criminal who has directed the commission of heinous atrocities throughout the world and within this country who himself should be arrested and hauled before an international tribunal to be put on trial. I frankly don't believe the country will survive his presidency. I hope I'm wrong, but I think the odds are less than 50% at this point.