Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Exciting day yesterday with the defense decision to forego an immunity hearing. That was huge after all of the right-wing assurances that Judge Nelson was going to grant the defendant immunity from criminal prosecution and civil suits for damages.
I would be a rich man if I had a dollar for every claim that the prosecution lacked probable cause to charge the defendant with a crime and its case would never survive an immunity hearing.
One elderly Harvard law professor, who shall remain nameless out of respect for the lawyer he used to be, went so far as to accuse State’s Attorney Angela Corrie of being unethical for charging the defendant with murder 2.
Another lawyer who also shall remain nameless has been tweeting me for months telling me that this is the strongest self-defense he has ever seen and there is absolutely no way this case will survive an immunity hearing and go to trial. He expressed all sorts of creative and disparaging insults, some personal and some not, and mocked me for predicting that the defendant would be convicted.
I have been mocked, doxed, defamed, insulted, accused of being up on felony charges, faking my credentials and having sex with animals for calling it what it is; namely, an indefensible murder case. I have been doing that since I first read about it before charges were filed and we saw any discovery.
I still do not understand why what is so obvious to me is not equally obvious to everyone else, particularly to criminal defense lawyers who should know better.
Now, it should be obvious to everyone that the defense has no case. If the defendant had a legitimate claim of self-defense, the immunity hearing would have happened long ago and the defendant would be a free man.
The uncomplicated reality is that the armed defendant followed, confronted, attempted to detain, shot and killed an unarmed teenager who was walking home minding his own business while talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone.
By calling off the immunity hearing, the defense is finally admitting what should have been obvious to everyone for months.
I figured out months ago that this would happen so I was not surprised by the defense announcement yesterday.
The real eye-opener for me has been watching the media’s ongoing shameless effort since the hearing to downplay the significance of that decision while attempting to build up the significance of the prosecution’s admission that there are no hospital records that DD (AKA Witness 8) was in a hospital during Trayvon Martin’s wake or funeral.
At the press conference following the hearing, for example, one female reporter aggressively pressed the prosecutor, Bernie de la Rionda, to explain why he had not charged DD with perjury.
Now, I have heard a lot of stupid questions asked over the years, and even asked more than a few myself, but this one is quite possibly the dumbest one yet.
As I pointed out yesterday, there is no evidence that DD lied or committed perjury.
But even if she lied, and I am not conceding that she did, given the nature of the ambiguous questions she was asked, she certainly did not lie about a relevant or material matter regarding the homicide. Therefore, a perjury charge is not even a possibility.
Moreover, her alleged lie would not be admissible at the trial. The jury will not hear about it and the defense will not be permitted to mention it.
All of the media hullabaloo to create a false equivalency between DD’s alleged lie about going to a hospital instead of the wake or funeral and Shellie Zimmerman’s perjury charge for lying about her husband’s assets while under oath at a bail hearing is “baffling,” as Bernie de la Rionda snarked about the news that the defense was giving up on having an immunity hearing.
The only news organization to accurately report what happened at yesterday’s hearing was The Guardian in the UK.
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