I was inspired to write this post because many of you have expressed concern about the admissibility of the 911 call with the death shriek in the background.
Here is my answer to one of the comments.
“I have been told that now that the FBI has ruled the 911 taped screams inconclusive to who was screamng for help,, that now expert audio testimony is inadmissible from the prosecution regarding that tape. Is this true?”
This is my response:
That is definitely not true. The FBI Crim Lab did not “rule” and has no authority to rule regarding the admissibility of evidence. That is a question of law that only a judge can decide.
There is no question that the tape is admissible. It will be admitted. The jury will get to listen to it and decide who is screaming.
There are only two possibilities. Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman.
The FbI analyst said the quality of the 911 call recording was so poor that an accurate technological analysis and comparison of the voice screaming on the tape to a voice exemplar obtained from George Zimmerman was not possible.
This does not mean that jurors cannot use their own hearing in the context of the rest of the evidence admitted in the case to decide who is screaming.
It also does not mean that the 911 tape cannot be cleaned up to filter out other noise and enhanced to amplify the sound of the voice. There is a generally accepted technology regarding how that’s done.
The voice is not just screaming. The person screaming is saying something and what that person is saying will help the jury decide who is screaming.
The person screaming apparently said things like,
“I’m begging you.”
I don’t know.”
Some people claim to have heard “Mama.”
Blood curdling shrieks are heard up until the shot and then they end abruptly.
Difficult to believe the jury will decide that the man with the gun was screaming and stopped screaming at the exact moment he fired the fatal shot.
Therefore, there is very little chance that the jury will conclude George Zimmerman was screaming.
In addition, there is the recording the police obtained from George Zimmerman screaming
‘Help me” over and over that bears no resemblance to the shriek.
Finally, Zimmerman said Martin was smothering him just seconds before the shot, yet there is no pause in the screaming before the shot.
I honestly don’t believe there is any chance the jury will decide that George Zimmerman is screaming.
In addition, the witnesses in the neighborhood who called 911 will be able to sufficiently authenticate that the shriek came from one of the two guys involved.
Any argument that the source of the shriek is someone else in the neighborhood would go to weight and not admissibility.