Zimmerman Case: Hear Trayvon Martin’s Voice for First Time

Hey folks, In breaking news, for the first time we have an exemplar of Trayvon Martin’s voice, obtained by ABC News.  To date, the lack of an exemplar has greatly complicated speech analysis of the background screams in the Witness #11 911 call. Trayvon’s voice can be heard here (note that I’ve looped the little I have three times). For comparison purposes, the relevant portion of the Witness #11 911 call can be heard here. …

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Zimmerman Case: Prosecution Speech Expert: “This is not really good evidence.”

Hey folks, Over at Legal Insurrection I just posted on what can only be described as the train-wreck Frye hearing testimony of the state’s two speech experts.  Based on what I heard live streaming the testimony, it’s hard to believe either of these guys would be called to testify at trial–the blood letting by the defense would only get worse. Also, breaking news, for the first time we have an exemplar of Trayvon Martin’s voice, obtained by …

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Zimmerman case: Out of the Frye-ing pan, into the spectagraph

Hey folks, Just touching base to let you know I’ve made another blog post on Legal Insurrection regarding the Zimmerman case.  This one focuses on the start of yesterday’s Frye hearing to determine what expert testimony, if any, will be allowed at trial on whether it was Martin or Zimmerman screaming in the background of the Witness #11 911 call. The Legal Insurrection blog post can be accessed directly here. Later this morning I’ll be …

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Zimmerman Case: Dr. Hirotaka Nakasone, FBI, and the low-quality 3-second audio file

Hey folks, Over at Legal Insurrection I just posted on yesterday’s devastating testimony by Dr. Hirotaka Nakasone, the FBI’s expert on speaker recognition, and his conclusion that attempting to identify the person screaming from the Witness #11 recording can only be described as scientifically “disturbing”.  I discuss his explanation in great detail, but if you only have a few minutes you can capture the gist of things by reading just the bulleted highlights at the …

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Cool news–I’ll be reporting on the Zimmerman trial for the Legal Insurrection web site!

Hey folks, Some cool news, I’ve been invited by Professor William Jacobson to guest-blog the Zimmerman trial on his outstanding Legal Insurrection web site. If you’re not familiar with Legal Insurrection, you should be–it’s one of the handful of sites I visit faithfully several times a day.   Great content, and well delivered. My first Zimmerman-related blog post went live on Legal Insurrection this evening:  Getting to Murder 2:  Finding George Zimmerman’s “Depraved Mind”.  In …

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Can the Prosecution Keep Trayvon’s History of Violence and Drug Use from the Jury? Yes . . . and no.

Last Friday prosecutors in the Zimmerman self-defense case filed in limine motions asking the judge to prohibit defense lawyers from introducing evidence of Trayvon Martin’s history of violence and drug use at trial.   (An in limine motion is simply a request to the judge that certain evidence be excluded from a trial.) Anyone who has had to defend themselves against an unprovoked attack by a violent person would naturally like to have the jury …

Can the Prosecution Keep Trayvon’s History of Violence and Drug Use from the Jury? Yes . . . and no. Read More »

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Drunk, angry guy is kicking your front door, but the court decides that YOU are the aggressor?

The Facts Eugenio Correa (the Defendant) was visiting with his girlfriend.  Her estranged husband, with whom she had separated five months earlier, phoned her, drunk, seeking to see their daughter.  The girlfriend and Correa were about to leave for the evening, and she told him it wasn’t a good time.  Her ex continued to make repeated, and increasingly menacing, phone calls.  At one point Correa shouted “Let him come over and take on a real …

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When trial courts go stupid on self defense law . . .

I recently came across a 2011 self defense case out of Kentucky in which the trial court apparently went stupid on the reading of a brief and rather straightforward self defense statute.  Worse, not a lawyer in the room, for either the prosecution or defense, saw the obvious error and corrected matters.  The result was that the Defendant, who might well have been acquitted on the basis of self defense without this error, was instead …

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Has Zimmerman Waived His Right to a Pre-Trial “Stand-Your-Ground” Hearing? Learn the Truth.

Since Tuesday’s court hearing on the George Zimmerman case various news organizations and websites have gone into hysterics claiming that Zimmerman has “waived” his right to a pre-trial “Stand-Your-Ground” hearing, and speculating about the implications for such a “bizarre” decision by his lawyer, Mark O’Hara.  Mostly they conclude that it must mean Zimmerman’s legal defense is in serious trouble.  (You can enjoy the theatrics for yourself by simply Googling “George Zimmerman waives hearing”.) The only …

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Can a “colorful” past damage a claim of self defense?

I came across a recent Indiana Court of Appeals case that does a good job of explaining what kinds of prior bad acts can be brought up in court to impugn someone’s claims of self defense. Anyone who has led a pure-as-snow life needn’t worry about such issues, I suppose, but if you’ve lived a more, well, colorful past, it might be useful to know whether a jury is likely to hear about that past …

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