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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Trayvon Martin: Who is on trial here?

young Trayvon stereotype young black man

The upcoming trial of George Zimmerman, which is scheduled to begin June 10, has greater ramifications than anything that Jodi Arias could have dreamed up.  Although she tried use character assassination to support her claim that she acted in self-defense, the evidence that Travis Alexander was anything other than a lapsed Mormon was not upheld and she was convicted. The evidence about who Trayvon Martin was and whether it becomes relevant, is less clear.

The defense in the George Zimmerman case wants to show that Trayvon Martin was not the boy pictured at the time of his death, but his character has been excluded from trial, at least for now. Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson banned the defense from using strategies that would damage the reputation of the deceased teen. Trayvon Martin's facebook page has been taken over by Christians intent on protecting that reputation. The cover photo for his timeline is a quote from Daniel: "He who kneels before God can stand before anyone." and has 149,075 likes and 2,453 talking. I couldn't find any posts made by Trayvon Martin so for me it's hard to say whether he was a smiling adolescent, trouble teenager or something else  At the other extreme, is the facebook page "Jodi Arias Will Be Found Guilty" with 10,669 likes and 9, 752 people talking. Not fans!

Martin also had a twitter account, but at this point the tweets are about him and not by him.   That said there is plenty of dirt if you want to look for it. For example, there is a text message dialogue about marijuana and guns posted by CNN Justice. And another reference to a text message where he and a friend talk about beating up a homeless man.  As reported in a previous post, cell phone records just do not die.


Rule of evidence are there to prevent questionable character traits of the victim and the defendant from being introduced into evidence at trial unless they are related to the facts. For example, a women's sexual history is not relevant if she is the victim of rape.  In this case, neither man was a choir boy and the door is still open to show relevance at trial.

Article first published as Trayvon Martin: Who is on Trial Here? on Technorati.