Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Engine Steams Ahead in the Zimmerman Railroad

First the judge ruled that evidence for Trayvon Martin's less than angelic behavior cannot be presented in opening statements. At least for now.

A judge on Tuesday ruled that Zimmerman’s lawyers won’t be allowed to present in opening statements Trayvon’s tough-talking text messages and social media posts, nor any discussion of his marijuana use — part of a defense strategy to shred the character of the Miami Gardens teen slain last year in Sanford.

Judge won’t delay Zimmerman trial, limits evidence of Trayvon's past

Now it looks like the prosecution actually withheld evidence from the defense.

A court employee who retrieved photos and deleted text messages from Trayvon Martin's cellphone has been placed on administrative leave after an attorney testified that prosecutors didn't properly turn over the evidence to the defense, an attorney said Wednesday.

Former prosecutor Wesley White said he was ethically obligated to reveal that Fourth Judicial Circuit Information Technology Director Ben Kruidbos retrieved the data that weren't turned over.

Lawyer: Zimmerman prosecutor withheld evidence

I am not a lawyer, much less one practicing in Florida, so it is hard to predict for sure what the impact will be on the trial. However, this is clearly prosecutorial misconduct and, at the the least, a grand jury should be convened to investigate. If any intentional deception is disciverd then someone must be indicted.

The system only works because people believe it works. If the system does not correct its own errors then that belief is challenged. Too many such derelictions and the system will collapse. A justice system cannot survive without a tacit acknowledgment of legitimacy from the public.

Right now, it is looking more and more like there is a fix in the works and Florida wants Zimmerman on a railroad to a cell and the people in charge are unafraid to do illegal things to make that happen.

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