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Author Topic: Trayvon vs. Zimmerman - The trial  (Read 41545 times)
CF DolFan
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« on: May 13, 2013, 03:44:30 pm »

I just read where the state is pushing to keep out all of Trayvons history including bringing up Martin's personal life, including his school records, previous suspension from school, fights, text messages sent prior to his death and even his toxicology report out of the trial.

I know this is a formality but it got me to thinking ... should they be allowed to paint a picture of the dead person using their history knowing full well they are going to be using history to paint a  picture of the defendant? I think the average person would say yes but since there is nothing average about this case it got me to wondering.
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Dave Gray
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 05:17:10 pm »

I think that it should be admissible in cases where it is relevant.  In this case, Zimmerman knew nothing of Treyvon, so it doesn't matter.

If Treyvon and Zimmerman knew each other and Zimmerman knew Treyvon to be a threat based on previous instances, then it would matter.  But in this case, it does not.
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bsmooth
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 06:21:07 pm »

It would only be relevant if this history somehow directly led to his death.
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MyGodWearsAHoodie
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 06:51:43 pm »

It is called character evidence, it is not admissible.  Likewise the state can't use zimmerman's history either. 
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CF DolFan
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 09:01:29 am »

I personally think both are relevant. If Zimmerman has a history of violence and Martin has a history of making peace that would be a big deal. If it was reversed it would be a big deal.  I'm not sure how you can make a judgement call without knowing the mindset behind the person you are making the judgement call on.


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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 09:40:08 am »

I'm not sure how you can make a judgement call without knowing the mindset behind the person you are making the judgement call on.

Without "knowing" the mindset, or without "speculating" about the mindset? You could argue that the chance of 100% accurately knowing Treyvon Martin's mindset died at about the same time that he did.

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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 09:58:24 am »

I personally think both are relevant. If Zimmerman has a history of violence and Martin has a history of making peace that would be a big deal. If it was reversed it would be a big deal.  I'm not sure how you can make a judgement call without knowing the mindset behind the person you are making the judgement call on.




Just because you got a speeding ticket, that doesn't make you a wife beater.
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CF DolFan
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 10:21:21 am »

Without "knowing" the mindset, or without "speculating" about the mindset? You could argue that the chance of 100% accurately knowing Treyvon Martin's mindset died at about the same time that he did.
Obviously I'll never know his mindset 100%.

I look at this way. If you meet someone you immediately get a mental picture of how that person is based on your past experiences with similar looking people.  Now once you get to know them that changes but until you know about their past it's impossible to anticipate how that person is going to react to your joke, compliment, complaint or whatever.  If the person has a history of violence does it mean they were violent tin this case? No ... but the mindset would be coming from a person with violent tendencies more than one who is known for helping strangers.

For instance, I know my one brother would react completely different and way more aggressive than my oldest brother if he was confronted by an "unmarked" security person. Although siblings and come from similar backgrounds their history would show completely different people. One would just as soon pound your head in while the other would introduce you to Jesus.

Just because you got a speeding ticket, that doesn't make you a wife beater.
I have no idea what that means.
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 10:28:15 am »

I look at this way. If you meet someone you immediately get a mental picture of how that person is based on your past experiences with similar looking people.
So should we be asking Zimmerman what his experiences have been with people that looked similar to Trayvon?

Quote
If the person has a history of violence does it mean they were violent tin this case? No ... but the mindset would be coming from a person with violent tendencies more than one who is known for helping strangers.
What does a person's actual history have to do with whom they look similar to?
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masterfins
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 11:42:46 am »

I just read where the state is pushing to keep out all of Trayvons history including bringing up Martin's personal life, including his school records, previous suspension from school, fights, text messages sent prior to his death and even his toxicology report out of the trial.

I know this is a formality but it got me to thinking ... should they be allowed to paint a picture of the dead person using their history knowing full well they are going to be using history to paint a  picture of the defendant? I think the average person would say yes but since there is nothing average about this case it got me to wondering.

I don't think Martin's school records, etc., are relevant.  However, his text messages immediately prior to the fight, and his toxicology reports are relevant.  Likewise, Zimmerman's prior history isn't relevant, unless it shows a pattern related to this case.
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Dave Gray
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 12:29:03 pm »

In short, we don't put victims on trial.
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 12:34:04 pm »

^^^ When self defense is in play we do and should. At what point does an offender become a victim in a case like this and vice versa? That is what has to be determined.
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Spider-Dan
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 12:52:06 pm »

Here's the thing:

If we are to look at Trayvon's history to judge whether he was the aggressor, are we also to look at Zimmerman's history to judge the same?

I'm no lawyer but I don't know if it's legal to convict someone of a crime that happened yesterday because they were violent a year ago.  That being said, what's good for the goose...
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MyGodWearsAHoodie
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 01:10:15 pm »

If I recall the rules of evidence correctly (and I might not).

The ball is in the defendants court regarding character evidence.

In the state's case-in-chief the state may not introduce character evidence either about the victim (e.g. the victim was a peaceful person) or the defendant (e.g. the defendant was a violent person).

The defendant may introduce good character evidence about the defendant or bad character evidence about the victim.  But if he does then the state may rebut this by also introducing character evidence.   

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Phishfan
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 01:51:16 pm »

^^^ Correct as far as I know. If Zimmerman's lawyers open the door the state can present evidence that contradicts his character claims.
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