Trayvon Martin’s killer seeks school, social media records
By Derek Joy
While an overwhelming majority of America is intensely focused on the Nov. 6th Presidential Election, there is an outcry for justice resonating with good reason.
The upcoming second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman for the Feb. 26, 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., has recently sparked a resounding bit of controversy resulting from a judicial ruling.
Seminole County Circuit Judge Debra Nelson last week granted Zimmerman’s defense lawyers’ request to subpoena Martin’s school records and social media accounts.
So the question begging an answer is simple: What do such records of the victim have to do with Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence?
“That’s an interesting question,” said Bobby R. Henry, Sr., publisher of the Westside Gazette.
Indeed it is. And the question was put to others.
“Regardless of what we think, it’s a good tactic for defense lawyers,” said Sharon Pritchett, a former Miami Gardens Councilwoman and candidate for Florida State House District 102, who is a retired Miami Dade Public Defender investigator.
“They know Zimmerman killed that boy. They know self defense won’t fly with any jury in America. Forensic evidence show Zimmerman’s prints on the gun. Trayvon’s prints weren’t on the gun.”
“The defense attorneys are looking beyond all that, trying to mitigate factors for their client’s defense. They’re saying ‘we’re going to show America that this was not a perfect child.’ But that is dangerous,” Pritchett said.
Pritchett reasoned that such strategy will get people to thinking that their children, their relatives were not perfect children but that they are not dead like Martin.
Interestingly enough, case law, when a defendant claims self defense the victim’s propensity for violence is relevant, even if the defendant didn’t know anything about the victim’s history, according to Judge Nelson.
So, Zimmerman’s defense attorneys want to show Martin’s propensity for violence because of alleged social media posts of Martin attending mixed martial arts fights.
However, boxers and mixed martial arts participants, as well as the fans of those sports, show a definite propensity for violence in a normal and civilized social activity such as walking home alone from the store.
“There’s absolutely no connection or correlation between Trayvon’s school, criminal or any other record preceding the incident where he was murdered. That’s what it is – murder,” said Mary Sims McCall, a native Miamian and long time resident of Seminole County, near the area where Martin was killed.
“We all are saying the same thing up here. I think it’s a travesty to let him get away with murder. He was told very plain by police not to follow Martin. He said he had a concealed weapons permit. He racially profiled Martin and followed him because he was wearing a hoodie.”
Ironically, several facts are not noted in the Zimmerman’s defense attorneys’ many motions and contentions.
First of all, there was no legally constituted Crime Watch Group in that gated community. Consequently, Zimmerman, 29, had no justifiable reason or legal authority to follow Martin, especially after he was told by the police, “We don’t need you to do that.”
Nor had Martin in any way provoked Zimmerman to pursue an encounter. And, Zimmerman never once indicated he introduced himself to Martin, 17 at the time of his murder, in a civil way, inquiring as to whether or not he lived there.
“No. I don’t think his (Trayvon Martin) records have anything to do with Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence. The boy wasn‘t committing a crime or doing anything violent when Zimmerman stopped him,” said El Portal Village Mayor Daisy Black, who is waging a re-election bid against former Mayor Joyce A. Davis and newcomer Teresa Sanchez.
Black, a retired City of Miami Police Department community relations specialist, raised a different question.
“I was always told that a juvenile’s record was supposed to be sealed. It’s one thing I can’t take comfort in,” added Black. “But I wish his family would stay out of the media so much. “
“Every time they’re in the media something is said that gets blown all out of proportion. I don’t want them to lose this case because of a media mishap. And that’s my concern right now.”
Nevertheless, Zimmerman’s defense attorneys will pursue Martin’s school records, juvenile court records and social media information.
There is also the battle to portray Zimmerman as one who takes prescription medication for attention deficit disorder. Yet, Zimmerman was not tested for drugs on the night of Martin’s shooting death.
“Zimmerman’s lawyers are trying to invent and re-invent excuses for a defense against criminal liability,” concluded Pritchett.