Today is Trayvon Martin’s birthday. If you wanted to wish him a happy day, you could visit his grave and celebrate this occasion with his friends and family.
Today was the hearing in the George Zimmerman criminal case, where Mark O’Mara requested a continuance of the trial date, set for June 10, 2013. THE JUDGE DENIED THAT REQUEST! Mr. O’Mara expressed his disappointment with that ruling and explained that he would not have the ability to procure the expert witnesses that he needs before the current trial date. The Judge reminded the attorneys that the case has been set for trial since October, so that they have had plenty of time to locate and identify experts.
The hearing was broadcast on the internet through a live feed. This was particularly interesting to me as an attorney, as we were able to observe the judge and attorneys in action. My personal observations from the hearing this morning are:
1. The Judge appears to be very aware that everything she says is being scrutinized, and thus she is being very careful. She seems to be working extra hard to not let the defense attorneys twist the record to their advantage, while continuing to appear very fair and even tempered.
2. I was surprised that the attorney for Zimmerman, Mark O’Mara, was not better prepared for the hearing. Several times he seemed unprepared and as if reading information to bring himself up to speed while the hearing was taking place. By way of contrast, the attorney for the state was well prepared, and at one point in the hearing stepped over to O’Mara’s table to show him where to find something in a document to which he was making reference.
3. George Zimmerman was present for the hearing, wearing a coat, tie, and with his hair long enough to comb and part it. Zimmerman did not speak during the hearing. His facial expressions conveyed a different personality than what we have seen in the past. Instead of the cocky neighborhood watch volunteer who seemed almost defiant in his attitude, George Zimmerman appeared somber, scarred and vulnerable.
If Zimmerman’s attorney is having a hard time finding expert witnesses to support their side of the case, perhaps Zimmerman’s concern is justified. I would assume that the experts Zimmerman would need would include at least an expert to do a voice analysis of the neighbor’s 9-11 call where you can hear someone calling for help. The prosecution has experts who will testify that the voice is NOT that o f Zimmerman. Perhaps Zimmerman has had a hard time finding anyone to say that the cries for help were those of Zimmerman. There is also the DNA evidence that the prosecution’s experts have discussed. There is not DNA evidence on Zimmerman’s gun from Martin, and no DNA evidence from Martin on Zimmerman’s clothes. If Martin was on top of Zimmerman when he was shot, it seems likely he would fall forward leaving blood or some DNA evidence on Martin’s body.
The next scheduled hearing will be in March, and I will try to publish the link to the live feed in advance of that hearing.