Over in the US, the Zimmerman trial is underway.
There is a really extensive post on it here.
The defense objected to the admission of these recordings on the basis that they were either not relevant–having occurred so long prior to the event in questions–or were “prior acts” evidence of the defendant which is normally inadmissible.
The whole thing looked odd, however, because the rules of evidence prohibiting most prior acts is intended to keep out prior bad acts of a defendant, not prior good acts. Why would the State be looking to submit prior good acts?
The reason became clear in the State’s argument this morning for why they are demanding that the recordings be admitted. The recordings, they claim, will show that Zimmerman had a well-established pattern of properly following all the Neighborhood Watch Program guidelines on prior calls–but this time, with Trayvon Martin, he broke.
It is in a way a good thing that the trial is happening, because it shows just how weak, heck, non-existant the case against Zimmerman is. Much of it is build on prejudices – bad enough – but those prejudices don’t even stack up.
“Citizens on Patrol?” asked West. “What’s that?”
It turns out that it’s a program in which the Sanford Police Department would provide Zimmerman with a civilianized patrol car and a uniform of sorts, and provide additional training that would allow him to effectively conduct patrols of his neighborhood. In contrast, the NWP program was far less pro-active, involving only observation and reporting.
Surely the Zimmerman described by the State as a “wannabe cop” seeking to “take the law into his own hands” and “profile” and “chase” unfamiliar black boys would fairly leap at such an opportunity. It was as close to being a police officer as Zimmerman was ever likely to get, the chance of a life time.
Zimmerman declined the opportunity.
Looks pretty open and shut, but we shall see.