George Zimmerman’s defense team was dealt a significant blow by Judge Debra Nelson. How much of a blow was dealt today, I’m not sure. As I mentioned yesterday, the introduction of text messages and photos from Trayvon Mratin’s cell phone was a clear attempt to paint Martin in a not-so-innocent victim. Plainly speaking, Zimmerman’s defense sought to cast Martin as the big black savage beast that some supporters of Zimmerman perceive him to be. Yes, the racist ones who believe that Trayvon Martin deserved to be killed by George Zimerman.
But now that I think about it, in spite of the judge’s ruling I think the damage is already done. By releasing the texts and photos to the public, strategically, I believe Zimmerman’s defense has done enough to taint any potential jury that is to be assembled. As high-profile as this trial will be, it will be hard for anyone to ignore those text messages and photos. That’s unless the jury pool gathered are from another planet, I suppose.
This from CNN:
(CNN) — The judge overseeing the George Zimmerman murder trial handed a series of pretrial victories to the prosecution Tuesday, barring the defense from introducing information about Trayvon Martin at trial, which begins in two weeks.
Defense attorneys argued that some of the evidence could prove crucial in backing up Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense, depending on what the prosecution argues.
Some of the evidence could ultimately be raised during the trial, however, if it is proven relevant and admissible based on what the prosecution presents, Judge Debra Nelson said.
She ruled that the two sides cannot bring up evidence of Martin’s familiarity with guns, previous marijuana use, and previous fighting incidents.
She left the door open on one issue involving marijuana. Defense attorneys say toxicology tests show Martin had enough THC — the key active ingredient in marijuana — to indicate he may have smoked the drug a couple of hours before the shooting. Nelson barred any mention of this from opening statements, but said she will rule later on whether it will be admissible after she hears defense experts’ testimony about the marijuana use.
Marijuana use in general can come up during jury selection, Nelson said.
The attorneys also cannot bring up Martin’s text messages. Defense attorneys argued texts from the day of the shooting show the teen was “hostile.” Prosecutors also want the judge to rule against admitting previous text messages from Martin about drugs and a gun.