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Question about the trial

MaggieD

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It's my understanding that George Zimmerman's parents cannot be in the courtroom because they are being called as witnesses. I heard the arguments on Day One, the defense arguing that if GZ's parents couldn't be there, then neither should TM's be there.

Trayvon Martin's parents have been in the courtroom the whole time.

His mother is being called as a witness.

How is this possible?
 

buck

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The victim (Trayvon) is legally allowed to be represented by parents or an attorney. Since the parents were there, Crump was kicked out.
 

Serenity

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Because Trayvon was a minor.

More here:-

Trayvon Martin’s parents have, in turn, been listed as potential witnesses by the defense, as has their family advisor/lawyer, Benjamin Crump. Trayvon’s parents have, however,been permitted to stay in court, as an exception to the general rule just described. The basis for this exception is Florida statute 960.001.

You can see the entire statute here but the most important section for the purposes of this discussion is found in section (1)(e):

Law of Self Defense – FL 960.001


A victim, a victim’s parent or guardian if the victim is a minor, a lawful representative of the victim or of the victim’s parent or guardian if the victim is a minor, or a victim’s next of kin may not be excluded from any portion of any hearing, trial, or proceeding pertaining to the offense based solely on the fact that such person is subpoenaed to testify, unless, upon motion, the court determines such person’s presence to be prejudicial.

This statute trumps the usual rule about sequestering the witnesses from the courtroom when the witnesses are the victim’s parent or a lawful representative of the victim’s parents. Where those conditions are met, the parents are allowed to remain in the courtroom despite the fact that they are potential witnesses.
 

Josie

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Serenity?? Is that you?? :2razz:
 

Serenity

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Serenity?? Is that you?? :2razz:

Sure is :lol: I saw Maggies new thread pop up, knew the answer to this so i thought i'd help her out. The fact that only one other poster had been in the thread was a bonus, i didn't have to read through pages of nonsense to reply.

Now i feel dirty for venturing in here and shall remove myself from these discussions.

Carry on, friends, i love you all.

:2razz:
 

Josie

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Sure is :lol: I saw Maggies new thread pop up, knew the answer to this so i thought i'd help her out. The fact that only one other poster had been in the thread was a bonus, i didn't have to read through pages of nonsense to reply.

Now i feel dirty for venturing in here and shall remove myself from these discussions.

Carry on, friends, i love you all.

:2razz:

Hahaha. :2wave:
 

Grim17

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Sure is :lol: I saw Maggies new thread pop up, knew the answer to this so i thought i'd help her out. The fact that only one other poster had been in the thread was a bonus, i didn't have to read through pages of nonsense to reply.

Now i feel dirty for venturing in here and shall remove myself from these discussions.

Carry on, friends, i love you all.

:2razz:

If you run and shower real quick, it washes right off. :lol:
 

CanadaJohn

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I don't care what the rationale is for allowing anyone who is a witness or potential witness to be in the courtroom during the testimony of others until after their time on the stand, it is, in my view, highly prejudicial to the other side. If the proceedings were not being televised, one might be able to argue that they could be present, but even then it allows one side to witness the reaction of the jurors to certain testimony and potentially tailor their own testimony based on that reaction. It also gives them the ability to non-verbally react in front of the jurors to testimony they may disagree with or dislike.
 

Fisher

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I don't care what the rationale is for allowing anyone who is a witness or potential witness to be in the courtroom during the testimony of others until after their time on the stand, it is, in my view, highly prejudicial to the other side. If the proceedings were not being televised, one might be able to argue that they could be present, but even then it allows one side to witness the reaction of the jurors to certain testimony and potentially tailor their own testimony based on that reaction. It also gives them the ability to non-verbally react in front of the jurors to testimony they may disagree with or dislike.

I disagree. If she had been an eye-witness, I think she would not be allowed to be there. In a way, I'd be willing to guess that the defense could be helped. She will be angry that her son was painted as less than a saint and is the one who most likely will open the door to the stuff the defense wants to use but cannot get in about T's past if she messes up in trying to paint her son as a saint.
 

CanadaJohn

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I disagree. If she had been an eye-witness, I think she would not be allowed to be there. In a way, I'd be willing to guess that the defense could be helped. She will be angry that her son was painted as less than a saint and is the one who most likely will open the door to the stuff the defense wants to use but cannot get in about T's past if she messes up in trying to paint her son as a saint.

Maybe so - I just think the same principle should be used for witnesses as used for jurors - jurors are admonished by the judge at the end of each day not to read, view, listen to, any information about the trial and not to discuss the trial outside of the courtroom as they sit on the principle that their deliberations could be swayed by things they hear or see. A witness, particularly one so attached to a trial and with a predisposed side to support, can also be swayed by what they hear, see, or read outside of their time on the stand.
 

Fisher

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Maybe so - I just think the same principle should be used for witnesses as used for jurors - jurors are admonished by the judge at the end of each day not to read, view, listen to, any information about the trial and not to discuss the trial outside of the courtroom as they sit on the principle that their deliberations could be swayed by things they hear or see. A witness, particularly one so attached to a trial and with a predisposed side to support, can also be swayed by what they hear, see, or read outside of their time on the stand.

Yes, but they are not an eye-witness so it is less of a chance that they will alter their testimony to come up with a consistent story that otherwise would be inconsistent with the testimony of others. There are times you want the witness in the room to hear the testimony of other witnesses, especially with experts. It is highly circumstantial, and witnesses can sit at home and watch it just like anybody else I suppose. In the end, I am not going to begrudge a mother who lost her son sitting in at the trial. It isn't like she has a lot to offer that is probative not having been there when the fight happened.
 

CanadaJohn

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Yes, but they are not an eye-witness so it is less of a chance that they will alter their testimony to come up with a consistent story that otherwise would be inconsistent with the testimony of others. There are times you want the witness in the room to hear the testimony of other witnesses, especially with experts. It is highly circumstantial, and witnesses can sit at home and watch it just like anybody else I suppose. In the end, I am not going to begrudge a mother who lost her son sitting in at the trial. It isn't like she has a lot to offer that is probative not having been there when the fight happened.

Here's where I'd agree with you - if the mother or parents of the victim are being called as witnesses for the defense, I would say they could sit in the courtroom because they are not being used against the defendant, but when they are called as witnesses for the prosecution, I disagree.
 

j-mac

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Here's where I'd agree with you - if the mother or parents of the victim are being called as witnesses for the defense, I would say they could sit in the courtroom because they are not being used against the defendant, but when they are called as witnesses for the prosecution, I disagree.

I see what you are saying, but I have no problem with the parents being there, and the mom testifying. She only gave opinion, not fact. As we are learning for the belligerent Dr. Bao, there is a big difference. So, if she can say that she believes it is TM, screaming on that tape, then the defense can surely pull up Z's dad to say it is Z. Then it's a wash.

But I find it amazing that the judge is not seemingly putting an end to the arrogant contempt that these witnesses are showing the defense attorneys....
 

CanadaJohn

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I see what you are saying, but I have no problem with the parents being there, and the mom testifying. She only gave opinion, not fact. As we are learning for the belligerent Dr. Bao, there is a big difference. So, if she can say that she believes it is TM, screaming on that tape, then the defense can surely pull up Z's dad to say it is Z. Then it's a wash.

But I find it amazing that the judge is not seemingly putting an end to the arrogant contempt that these witnesses are showing the defense attorneys....

It's clear, at least to me, that she has equal contempt for the defense attorneys. It's part of the reason they tried to have her recuse herself early on.

As for Dr. Bao, he seems to be an idiot or perhaps it's just his lack of understanding of the English language. The defense is being very patient but between Bao and the judge, it's going to get ugly soon.
 

j-mac

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It's clear, at least to me, that she has equal contempt for the defense attorneys. It's part of the reason they tried to have her recuse herself early on.

Oh no doubt. I find it amazing that a judge would allow a witness to tell either of the sides attorney's "ask your question!", or "Do you understand?!" in that tone that just drips contempt.

As for Dr. Bao, he seems to be an idiot or perhaps it's just his lack of understanding of the English language. The defense is being very patient but between Bao and the judge, it's going to get ugly soon.

This M.E. seems to think he is in control of the court room, and even to the point of telling the judge, and attorney what they can have, or ask him...What a pin head. The judge let him get out of control, and never really got it back.
 
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