Thursday, December 12, 2013
We have important news out of Jacksonville. Judge Russell Healey has scheduled February 3, 2014 to begin selecting a jury in the Michael Dunn case.
Jordan Davis’s father will be permitted to sit in the courtroom during the trial, even though he is going to be a witness.
Under what is called the “rule of sequestration” most people testifying in a criminal trial are not allowed to be in the courtroom except when they testify, and are prohibited from discussing their testimony with other witnesses in the case. This is primarily done to keep someone from watching another witnesses’ testimony and then changing their own story so it corresponds with what another witness says.
But Ron Davis was not at the scene of the crime, and State Attorney Angela Corey, who is personally prosecuting this case, argued that he should be allowed in the courtroom because his testimony would not be impacted by what other witnesses say.
The mother of one of the three teenagers who were in the vehicle with Jordan when Dunn shot him to death also will be permitted to sit in court and watch the proceedings even though she also has been subpoenaed.
The three teenagers will be excluded from the courtroom until excused from further testimony by the judge.
The defense objected to the parents being permitted to watch the proceedings, but the judge overruled the defense objection.
Dunn’s attorney Cory Strolla argued that Ron Davis and the mother of the other teenager should be barred from the courtroom because having them in court allows the duo to create an emotional bond with the jury.
The jury will be looking at the parents for two whole weeks during the trial, and will give added credibility to them when they testify, Strolla said.
But Healey dismissed that argument, saying that the jury wouldn’t even know who the parents are until they testify. Corey also told Healey she would not use the parents testimony to manipulate the jurors emotions.
The defense also requested that the jury be transported to the scene of the shooting for a jury view, but Judge Healey denied the motion because the conditions in effect at the time of the shooting could not be replicated and it would be difficult to conceal their identities.
Judge Healey also granted a defense motion to prohibit people from wearing any clothing or jewelry that expresses an opinion about the case.
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