Sunday, October 28, 2012

Why Trayvon Martin's Troubled Past Is The Most Relevant Part Of The Case

    On October 19th 2012 a hearing was held in the courtroom of Judge Debra Nelson regarding the school records of Trayvon Martin as well as Trayvon's social media. The defense had also sought the social media of the states star witness known as "Dee Dee". Much to the dismay of the scheme team and the Trayvon Mafia Judge Nelson ruled that those records are in fact discover-able. I have included the case law citations to illustrate why the records were admitted and how they may be used to Mr. Zimmerman's advantage.

The Florida Evidence Manual:

Section 90.404(1)(b) allows evidence of a pertinent trait of character of the victim of a crime to be offered by an accused; or by the prosecution to rebut the trait; or evidence of a character trait of peacefulness of the victim offered by the prosecution in a homicide case to rebut evidence that the victim was the aggressor.

 Dwyer v. State, 743 So. 2d 46, 48 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. 1999)

Generally, evidence of a victim's character is inadmissible, but a defendant who alleges self-defense can show, through the testimony of another witness, that the alleged victim had a propensity for violence, thereby inferring that the alleged victim was the aggressor. Smith v. State, 606 So. 2d 641 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992); see also Ehrhardt, Florida Evidence § 404.6 (1999 ed.); Graham, Handbook of Florida Evidence § 404.1 (1987).
A defendant's prior knowledge of the victim's reputation for violence is irrelevant, because the evidence is offered to show the conduct of the victim, rather than the defendant's state of mind. Ehrhardt. Accordingly, evidence of one of the victim's reputation for violence was not prohibited by Dwyer's lack of prior knowledge of that victim's character traits.

Smith v. State, 606 So. 2d 641, 642-643 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st Dist. 1992)

Florida permits a defendant in a criminal case to introduce evidence of the violent reputation or character of a victim providing there is a showing of self defense on the part of the defendant. Hodge v. State, 315 So.2d 507 (Fla. 1st DCA 1975). One legitimate basis for the admission of such evidence is for the purpose of showing that the victim was the first aggressor. Fine v. State, 70 Fla. 412, 70 So. 379 (1915). When a defendant offers evidence for this purpose, it is unnecessary for him to show that he had prior knowledge of the victim's propensities. Banks v. State, 351 So.2d 1071 (Fla. 4th DCA 1977). Pino v. Koelber, 389 So. 2d 1191, 1194 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist. 1980)

Cornelius v. State, 49 So. 2d 332 (Fla. 1950)

We hold that a witness who has testified as to general reputation or character may on cross examination be interrogated as to whether he had ever known or heard of specific acts of violence committed by the accused because the true purpose of such cross examination is to enlighten the jury as to whether the witness actually — as a matter of fact — knows the general

No comments:

Post a Comment