No Gag Order in George Zimmerman Case
Judge Debra Nelson has rejected the state's second request for a gag order in the George Zimmerman case. The two page order is here.
By now, Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump should have disclosed to the defense everyone who was present on March 19 when he recorded a telephone interview with Witness 8, referred to as "Dee Dee." ABC News reporter Matt Gutman has previously said he was there, as were the parents of Trayvon Martin, whom he described as "ashen-faced" while listening to the call. At the hearing on Friday, October 19, the Judge told Crump to disclose the names to Zimmerman's defense team within 10 days. Background here. [More...]
In the video accompanying the ABC article, Diane Sawyer reports George Zimmerman said he was acting as a "neighborhood watchdog." I wonder who wrote that description? Not only was it wrong -- Zimmerman said he was on his way to go grocery shopping, not patrolling the neighborhood or acting on behalf of the neighborhood watch that evening.
Could her first sentence be any more prejudicial?
The FBI has decided to take action in that case of the 17 year old gunned down by the man who said he was acting as a neighborhood watchdog.
The FBI decided to open an investigation and conduct interviews. That's not quite the ordinary meaning of the FBI "taking action." Second, her use of the term "gunned down" when Zimmerman has claimed self-defense. Third, her reference to Zimmerman not as neighborhood watch volunteer or member, but a "watchdog."
What a neutral and accurate report might have said:
The FBI has opened an investigation in the case of the fatal shooting of a 17 year old by a member of a Neighborbood Watch group who said he acted in self-defense.
Back to the present, in other news, the Judge refused to give the state all of Zimmerman's medical records. Her order is here.
The latest scheduling order is here.
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