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Will George Zimmerman Take the Witness Stand?

Will George Zimmerman Take the Witness Stand?


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Paperview

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Well, what say you?

There are some indications from O'Mara's voir dire that GZ may indeed take the stand.

Most of us who have actually watched GZ on the witness stand and saw how pitiful it was are thinking if he does, this is a gift wrapped up in a bow. BDLR will utilized his powerful skills and throw devastating rhetorical MMA blows at the alleged murderer.

PoW!

We also know that even after being told by Judge Lester - though GZ has a Constituional right to not do so -- he was advised to take the stand to give his account after that major royal ****up that sent him back to jail and had his Bond revoked - yet he declined.

So...on the eve of Opening Statements and as Juror selection will wrap up today...What do you think?

Will George Zimmerman Take the Witness Stand?

Cast your vote: Yes or No.
 

WorldWatcher

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Well, what say you?

There are some indications from O'Mara's voir dire that GZ may indeed take the stand.

Most of us who have actually watched GZ on the witness stand and saw how pitiful it was are thinking if he does, this is a gift wrapped up in a bow. BDLR will utilized his powerful skills and throw devastating rhetorical MMA blows at the alleged murderer.

PoW!

We also know that even after being told by Judge Lester - though GZ has a Constituional right to not do so -- he was advised to take the stand to give his account after that major royal ****up that sent him back to jail and had his Bond revoked - yet he declined.

So...on the eve of Opening Statements and as Juror selection will wrap up today...What do you think?

Will George Zimmerman Take the Witness Stand?

Cast your vote: Yes or No.


I have to vote "TBD". (Even though it's not an option.)

I don't think the decision will be made until the Prosecution rests.



I don't think O'Mara wants him on the stand and won't put him there unless it looks bad.


>>>>
 

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I think we agree O doesn't *want* him on the stand.

If the State doesn't admit his statements as evidence, which many think they will not - and they won't because that will pressure GZ to necessarily almost have to take the stand.
 

WorldWatcher

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I think we agree O doesn't *want* him on the stand.

If the State doesn't admit his statements as evidence, which many think they will not - and they won't because that will pressure GZ to necessarily almost have to take the stand.


I don't see how the prosecution can make a case showing how Zimmerman's statements don't conform to (a) logic, and (b) the physical & forensic evidence without admitting Zimmerman's statements.



>>>>
 

longview

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I think we agree O doesn't *want* him on the stand.

If the State doesn't admit his statements as evidence, which many think they will not - and they won't because that will pressure GZ to necessarily almost have to take the stand.
How would the state omit words spoken by GZ to the police?
The detectives will surly testify, and O'mara can ask them what GZ said.
 

AlfredENeuman

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How would the state omit words spoken by GZ to the police?
The detectives will surly testify, and O'mara can ask them what GZ said.

I believe that's hearsay. There's no way for Zimmerman to get his story out there without testifying.

There's some good explanation of the law here:

Will George Zimmerman Testify? | Frederick Leatherman Law Blog

(and pardon the source, which I'm sure will cause objections to some, but it's really good information)
 

year2late

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I would have to agree, he probably needs to.

But he has been consistently his own worst enemy.

He will need some phenomenal prep beforehand.
 

AlfredENeuman

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I would have to agree, he probably needs to.

But he has been consistently his own worst enemy.

He will need some phenomenal prep beforehand.

By the way, I voted no, but I think he's in a really tough bind.
 

Excon

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I think we agree O doesn't *want* him on the stand.
I think you are confused as to what is agreed upon and what isn't.
Do you know the difference?
 

longview

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I believe that's hearsay. There's no way for Zimmerman to get his story out there without testifying.

There's some good explanation of the law here:

Will George Zimmerman Testify? | Frederick Leatherman Law Blog

(and pardon the source, which I'm sure will cause objections to some, but it's really good information)
I am not talking about casual conversation, but about what they put in their filed police reports.
Those reports will likely be entered into evidence, and the police can be questioned about them.
 

AlfredENeuman

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I am not talking about casual conversation, but about what they put in their filed police reports.
Those reports will likely be entered into evidence, and the police can be questioned about them.

IANAL, but if you read what I wrote above, the defense cannot introduce those items into evidence because that's the definition of hearsay, which is second party information introduced to show a truth about something. So it doesn't matter what Zimmerman said to police, none of that can come in.

Pursuant to this rule they can introduce into evidence any statement by Zimmerman that they choose, including his custodial statements to the police, assuming they satisfy the Miranda rule, which they apparently do.

Notice that they are not required to introduce any of his statements and the defense has no say in which statements they introduce and which statements they leave out.

This means that all of the exculpatory statements he made to support his claim of self-defense are inadmissible hearsay, unless the prosecution decides to offer one or more of them as an admission by a party opponent.

Needless to say, the prosecution is not going to do him any favors and introduce any of his exculpatory statements and, since the defense cannot introduce them, the judge will not be able to consider them during the immunity hearing and the jury will never get to hear them at the trial.

But that’s not fair, you say.

That complaint happens in every courtroom across America every day, but it’s the law.

This is why, as a practical matter, George Zimmerman must take the stand and testify.

Can he refer to his exculpatory statements while he is testifying?

No, because they are hearsay.

What happens after he finishes telling his side of the story by answering his lawyer’s questions on direct examination?

The prosecutor who cross examines him will confront him with every statement he made to a police official or to any other witness it knows about that is inconsistent with or contradicts a statement he made while testifying on direct examination.

Given the number of times he has made improbable, inconsistent and contradictory statements, the cross examination could last several days.

I know this because I have done it to witnesses many times.

Cross examination by confronting witnesses with their prior inconsistent statements is one of the most effective and powerful tools a trial lawyer has to utterly destroy a witness.

The key to cross examining George Zimmerman will be not to beat him up so bad that the jury begins to feel sorry for him.

This is why it is so vitally important for suspects to keep their mouths shut when they are questioned by police. They cannot help themselves because their exculpatory statements will be inadmissible hearsay at trial. They can only hurt themselves by saying something that the prosecution uses to damage their case pursuant to the admission-by-a-party-opponent rule.

ETA: Just to clarify how I understand this, his statements to police, whether they wrote them down or not, are not something you can cross-examine. And if you can't cross-examine it, then it can't be introduced unless it fits one of the hearsay exceptions. Some more info here:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_803
 

Paperview

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I am not talking about casual conversation, but about what they put in their filed police reports.
Those reports will likely be entered into evidence, and the police can be questioned about them.

The prosecution will likely not enter it, to force GZ's hand.

The defense cannot enter them into evidence.
 

longview

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The prosecution will likely not enter it, to force GZ's hand.

The defense cannot enter them into evidence.
So how does the state present their case without the police reports?
 

AlfredENeuman

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I think you are confused as to what is agreed upon and what isn't.
Do you know the difference?

You disagree with that? Is it your contention that O'Mara, who is a defense attorney, would prefer his client be subject to cross-examination if he can avoid it?
 

mike2810

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Didn't vote.
I think it all depends on what the prosecution presents and how its seems to be bouncing off the jury.

If GZ does not testify, does not in itself mean the defense has no trust in GZ. There may not be a need.
 

AlfredENeuman

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So how does the state present their case without the police reports?

They will testify first hand. The thing is that they can choose any part of this evidence to bring in and leave out the rest, even if that's unfair. The defense MUST put the defendant on the stand if they want to get in any of his statements.
 

Excon

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You disagree with that? Is it your contention that O'Mara, who is a defense attorney, would prefer his client be subject to cross-examination if he can avoid it?
You also seem to be confused.
What has O'Mara said?
 

longview

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They will testify first hand. The thing is that they can choose any part of this evidence to bring in and leave out the rest, even if that's unfair. The defense MUST put the defendant on the stand if they want to get in any of his statements.
So I suppose official Police recordings of the interview, could not be entered into evidence.
George Zimmerman Sanford Police Interview [Lie Detector/Polygraph] (February 27, 2012) - YouTube (I realize this is youtube, but the official one exists)
 

AlfredENeuman

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You also seem to be confused.
What has O'Mara said?

I am confused, which is why I asked you a question about it. Do you have an answer to my question?

I'll repeat it for you.

me said:
Is it your contention that O'Mara, who is a defense attorney, would prefer his client be subject to cross-examination if he can avoid it?
 

AlfredENeuman

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mike2810

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The prosecution will likely not enter it, to force GZ's hand.

The defense cannot enter them into evidence.

What the defense can do is cross examine any LE witness the prosecution calls.
They can ask what did GZ say to you?
 

longview

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Excon

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I am confused, which is why I asked you a question about it. Do you have an answer to my question?

I'll repeat it for you.
iLOL
You asked me an irrelevant question as to that which I had quoted and replied.

This was specifically about the false statement of an "agreement" of "we", when there is none.
Which is what I was pointing out.


Let's walk you through this.

I think we agree O doesn't *want* him on the stand.
I think you are confused as to what is agreed upon and what isn't.
Do you know the difference?
You disagree with that? Is it your contention that O'Mara, who is a defense attorney, would prefer his client be subject to cross-examination if he can avoid it?
You also seem to be confused.
What has O'Mara said?


As to your question. It requires an assumption to be made. If you want to be one who ASSuMEs, go ahead. I will not participate.
Hence my reply of; What has O'Mara said? Which is an answer. Once you figure that out you will have your answer.
 

AlfredENeuman

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Again, I am not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure it's exactly as Leatherman says. You can't introduce something you wrote, said, etc. as evidence of innocence, for the precise reason that it's hearsay and cannot be cross-examined. Otherwise, all defendants would simply write up a defense on paper and send it to the police before trial and then have the defense read it to the jury. Have you ever seen such a thing?
 
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