Zimmerman Defense Can Present Trayvon Martin Toxicology Reports

The biggest news from yesterday afternoon is the judge’s ruling that allows the defense to present toxicology reports that show Trayvon Martin had trace amounts of marijuana in his system when he died. 

DWestIt is expected that the defense will argue that that drug influenced his behavior. Don West noted in his argument to the judge, that Mr. Zimmerman observed that the person he was following and ultimately killed appeared to be “on drugs.”

Jurors also heard from Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father. He was called by the defense and questioned about his initial statement to the police. He told the police that he did not recognize the screams for help on the 911 tape as being his son’s voice.

After listening to the tape about 20 times, he came to recognize the screams for help as being Trayvon Martin’s voice.

Mr. Martin said that Trayvon was his “best friend in life” and that his death turned his world “upside down.”

Adam Pollock, who owned the kickboxing gym where Mr. Zimmerman trained prior to the shooting, was called by the defense to bolster the idea that Trayvon Martin was overpowering Mr. Zimmerman during the fight.

He contended that although Mr. Zimmerman had been training for approximately one year in the gym, he was, “physically soft,” “grossly obese”  and not very athletic. He was asked to rate his athletic ability on a scale of one to 10. Pollock thought he ranked at a “point-five.”

Calling Mr. Pollock as a witness might have been a determent to Mr. Zimmerman. His testimony establishes that Mr. Zimmerman was heavily involved in martial arts related training for at least a year. Each training session last two hours, several days a week. The training was intense. At the time of the killing, Pollack admitted under cross-examination that Mr. Zimmerman had lost 80 pounds and had a body mass index as low as 16 percent. While Mr. Zimmerman might not have been ready for the ring, compared to the average “man on the street” he was in excellent physical condition at the time of the shooting.

If Mr. Zimmerman is convicted of second degree murder, he faces life in prison.

40 thoughts on “Zimmerman Defense Can Present Trayvon Martin Toxicology Reports

  1. ate the lead prosecutor in this case (the two others seem quite excellent but they’re obviously not in control.) They knew all along that Trayvon’s marijuana use might come in, so where is the evidence of drugs in Zimmerman’s system? Drugs in the system are only important in how they might have affected behavior. So this cuts both ways.

    Zimmerman had both Adderall and Temazepan in his system. Temazepan is a benzodiazepin, which is addictive, and the common side effects include aggression and cognitive impairments. It also has a short half life, so if he was taking it for insomnia, why is it still in his system in the evening after he killed Trayvon? Adderall also has similar side effects for some people under some circumstances.

    This is not to say that these drugs are illegal or being used inappropriately because that can’t be determined just by them being in his system. The point is how did these drugs affect his levels of aggression, reasonableness, etc? And why was he taking them? Was he addicted to benzodiazepines?

    Being legal does not make them a non-issue. You can even get a DUI on legal drugs. This prosecution is inept.

    Both of these drugs are more dangerous, more prone to abuse, and more prone to aggression than smoking a little marihuana earlier in the day so that only trace amounts were in Trayvon’s system.

    • Was Zimmerman’s blood tested at a lab that night or the following day? I can find no confirmation that any drug testing was done yet media reports abound that GZ was “high” on prescription drugs.

      The paramedic report from the Sanford Police Dept recorded prescribed medications of LIbrax and Temazepam. Now I’m no Zimmerman apologist, BUT reporting one’s prescriptions is not proof of the medications circulating in the system at any given time, or proof of ingesting them at all.

      Emotions run high in this trial but what counts is the law.

      Help me out here if there is documented evidence I overlooked. I would stand corrected which I’d have no problem acknowledging.

      GZ declined medical help that night and expressed concern about getting to work the next day. He saw his own doctor that following day I believe. I’ve had no success finding his doctor’s written report. Can someone provide a link?

      Librax is used to treat IBS and other conditions as well as anxiety. Sadly I’m familiar with IBS symptoms (embarrassing!) for which various drugs get prescribed. Was GZ taking for anxiety?

      Temazepam (Restoril) can be prescribed for insomnia, restless leg syndrome (RLS) and various conditions.

      Was Adderall documented by the Police Dept that night? By his doctor the next day? I don’t see it on the paramedic report as a prescribed medication.

      Again, this is not to advocate for GZ’s actions that night. I would think a drug test would be routine. It would have offered concrete evidence.

      What are “trace” amounts of marijuana? Does marijuana linger in the system long enough to accurately measure many hours post-mortem? I need to research this but would appreciate the expertise anyone here can offer.

      The ME testified he had modified his opinion on its potential effects on Trayvon.

      • Brigid, here is the medical notes from Zimmerman visiting the doctor the next day. Under active medications it lists Adderall prescribed about two weeks earlier. It seems not to be listed as just a prescription but “active.” Under alergies he lists that lisdexamfetamine (an ADD amphetamine) gives him “mood swings.”


        Interesting to me that under race he designates himself as white. Forms asking for one’s race always include “Other” and Non-Hispanic White to distinguish white hispanics (European hispanics) from non hispanic whites because both are caucasians but the forms mean to designate ethnic groups not just skin color.

        His brother has made much of the fact that they are not racist because their mother is of Afro-Peruvian ancestry. (George has said so too.) Yet George clearly does not acknowledge his Afro or Peruvian Inca ancestry and prefers to claim he’s white until he’s accused of racism and then uses his mother’s ancestry to say that he’s “hispanic” or mixed race or whatever. On the form he did not designate himself as “other” or mixed race or identify himself as hispanic or South American Inca. He chose only his father’s “White” side despite this being false because he is only half white since his hispanic side is not from Spain but from the Incas of Peru and of some black. Self loathing.

        • Maria, good work tracking this down. Thank you.

          Adderall. It was previously prescribed but GZ does appear to report mood swings as a result. What is missing is whether or when he discontinued it. He did not report it to the paramedics but included the other two medications, Librax and Temazepam. He also was prescribed Prilosec (omeprazole). That’s for acid reflux. I know that because I have taken it.

          What’s of greater importance, from my perspective, is his doctor’s diagnosis :

          – open wounds, lacerations on scalp. Even not requiring stitches, these were not mere scratches
          – closed fracture of nose (broken nose) and bruising of nasolabial ares
          – black eyes
          – sacroiliitis of neck

          Doctor recommended referral to ENT specialist. GZ didn’t want to pursue. Also of note is despite the injuries he wanted to return to work. His employer required a medical release. At that time he wasn’t aware of the high media profile later to come.

          GZ also had a medical diagnosis of obesity which comports to the personal trainer’s assessment. A pudgy older guy being perceived as a threat to Trayvon is perplexing. If GZ was criticized for not calling out and identifying himself, why couldn’t a physically fit, taller 17 year old young man, or child, take your pick, ask him if he was following him instead of punching?

          But I digress for another discussion.

          As for GZ checking White on his doctor’s form, maybe you’re right and this is a deeper issue of his racial self image. I don’t know. My ex-boyfriend is Caucasian and checks Other Race every single time. Just because it annoys him to be asked.

          I believe this form bolsters Zimmerman’s self-defense claim rather than disproving it. Entering this into evidence allowed Trayvon’s marijuana use to be scrutinised. I can’t understand why people are obsessed with Adderall but unconcerned about the effects of marijuana use on a teenager’s developing brain. And no, in no way do I believe Trayvon deserved to be killed. It’s a tragedy.

          Hope my tablet didn’t post some crazy spell check mistakes. Notice the blame on the tablet. Lol.

    • My understanding is in Fla law they not only have that SYG law but if someone claims self defense the have something on the books re not drug testing them. That would explain why George was not drug tested. Someone with more knowledge that I about navigating the web may be able to find out if this is so.

  2. Dr Randle, is it required to re-subscribe with each new comment? Although I re-registered after my Google sign-in in was no longer available here, I’ve had 2 posts disappear.One was on the Casey/Jodi blog yesterday , and one here on Zimmerman. I’m posting signed in with this site’s WordPress.

    Am I the only one having these technical issues?

    Also, there are big gaps in the comment section of the JA/CA blog. I’m unable to see most of the comments now.

  3. Can someone help me out here and confirm or link GZ’s bloodwork taken by a certified lab? I can only find the paramedic’s written report which records Librax and Temazepam as prescribed drugs. Reporting prescribed medications is not proof of ingesting them.

    In no way am I GZ’s apologist, but reading media reports that he was “high” on drugs offers no concrete evidence. If I missed it, I will stand corrected.

    GZ declined medical attention that night but did consult his doctor the next day according to reports. I can’t find his doctor’s report.

    Librax treats various conditions such as anxiety and Irritable Bowel System. Had GZ taken it as prescribed or taken it at all?

    Temazepam treats insomnia, restless leg syndrome and various other symptoms.

    Was Adderall reported later and confirmed? Or is it the trade name for one of the above.

    I need to research “trace” amounts of marijuana if that’s what toxicology reported on Trayvon. Does it linger in the system post-mortem, many hours after death? Side effects?

    Emotions run high in this trial, understandably so. But what counts is the law and evidence. Citing potential side effects of medication during trial if GZ did take as prescribed and if allowed into evidence would appear to open the door to the marijuana evidence.

  4. Quick search of Adderall which treats primarily ADHD and narcolepsy. That last condition is interesting since GZ has been seen in court with eyes closed, seemingly to nod off at times.

    I’ve read numerous social media comments that he’s drugged up to deal with stress of killing Trayvon. Maybe but could he be NOT taking the Adderall resulting in untreated narcolepsy? It’s widely reported many people abuse Adderall to lose weight.

    Hopefully we’ll get some legal answers as defense prepares to rest.

  5. Guys, please forgive the double post. I tried again when my first attempt poofed. I’m glad it’s not my incompetence, Dr Randle! Thx for getting back to me.

    • I think I have corrected the problem with not being able to view the comments but what I am not sure about if you all will have to continually re-register to comment. I think that has been fixed as well but I’ll be working to correct it–if ppl are still having problems. Thanks again for your patience.

  6. I haven’t said much about this case, not because it doesn’t interest me, but more because I am disillusioned. It is pretty obvious that what I know about Law can be written on the back of a postage stamp, so I leave legal analysis to this blog’s great attorney, Maria and follow her carefully. But while I am no lawyer, I feel I am qualified to be a juror on this case (whenever I assess myself I always do very well!), and I try to think like a juror as I watch this case unfold. That being said, this is what I see:

    I am not at all sure that the Prosecution had a case for 2nd degree murder to begin with. I also still see little difference between self-defense and ‘stand your ground’ in this case. Apparently, neither did the defense, as they chose early on not to pursue ‘stand your ground’ as a defense. I also think race got in the way of objectivity here on both sides.. Now, it could be that I am wrong about there not being a solid case. In that case, my assessment is, the Prosecution truly…….well……….sucks. They have anticipated NOTHING, seem to never consider possible scenarios or fallout associated with their decisions, and appear to have not prepped their witnesses At All. In my eyes, they are dismal. Simply dismal.

    To add insult to the injuries brought on by lack of foresight, or pretty much any sight on the part of the prosecution, there is enough reasonable doubt here to sink the Queen Mary–and they have done precious little to quell any of it.

    I think many people are very passionate about this case for different reasons, but objectivity has simply flown out the window. While it is completely possible that any one person’s visual of what happened that night could be true, not one thing has been clearly proven by the prosecution that would lead GZ to a conviction. I think this trial will end in acquittal. Sorry I wrote a book here!

    • Uppity, you wrote a mere few words compared to my double/triple postings above. So few are commenting that I suspect technical problems are the source. Thx, Dr Randle, for trying to resolve.

      I agree with you. This case has been hijacked by the racial issue from the start. Interesting fact is that Zimmerman is multi racial. His mother is South American and it’s been reported, reliably I think, that his family tree includes black ancestry. I use “black” as the best way to incorporate all those self-identifying as African American, North African, Nigerian, etc.

      There is the reference to Trayvon as a “child.” I don’t believe people typically refer to 5’11”, 17 year-old ex-football players as children, except perhaps by their moms. There are social media wars, people hurling insults on both sides. But I can say if you attempt to post a comment asking for facts or dare to question a random, unsubstantiated accusation, be prepared to be called as much as a child murderer sympathizer.

      Not any objectivity or willingness to see beyond emotion. Our country is lacking critical thinking more and more, the very skill a good juror needs.

      • Brigid, the comments getting lost makes it hard to keep track of whose commenting on what. I think you might have been the one asking if there was verification on Zimmerman’s drug use. I admit, I don’t remember. I posted about it from memory from last year but don’t really remember if he admitted it or was tested. I agree with you that verifying facts and asking questions is important.

  7. Let me add that the PR machines are working both sides. In no way am I advocating for GZ. But if someone wants to do so on a social media site, good luck. Who wants to be called racist or worse? Unless they’re someone like the annoying, ever-present Frank Taaffe. Lol.

    • Brigid, I sympathize with what you’re saying. Critical thinking and discourse on ideas is sorely lacking in our world. I hate when people call other people racist/sexist for opinions or words out of context from actions. I cringe getting into any conversation about gender, sexuality or race these days because there’s always someone who will find reason to tag you a sexist, racist, homophobe. (As an aside, I always argued that the Jon Benet case should have investigated the gay men involved in the children’s pagents. The ransom note was “feminine” not necessarily because it was a woman. DNA on Jon Benet was male. But to say this outrageous thing meant I am a homophobe and no one is allowed to profile a killer unless its to say they are a white heterosexual male. But I’m on a tangent.)

      I’m conflicted about the race issue in the Zimmerman case for many reasons. It makes me uncomfortable to admit that if I saw a black teenager in a hoodie, I would be cautious. When I see Trayvon in the 7-11 wearing the hoodie (because it was raining outside and he didn’t bother to remove it from his head) I wonder why the cashier guy didn’t fear he was going to rob him. I would have. But fear and avoidance of danger are reasonable. Pursuing to apprehend is something else.

      Someone wrote an article today reversing the races and asked what we would think if we heard this story. A white teenage kid is walking home in the rain wearing a hoodie. A black 28 year old guy with a gun in his pants approaches the kid in a car, looks at him, drives in the direction he goes. When the kid runs, the black guy with the gun in his pants parks the car, runs after him. Eventually the black guy makes contact with the white teen, a fight ensues between them, and the black guy shoots the white teenager. Who would not sympathize with the white teenager being scared out of his mind? Who would take the black guys word for it?

      • Maria Cristina, you possess the legal expertise I lack, and your comments always impress me. Thank you for continuing the discussion. I vowed not to follow this case closely due to the polarized and entrenched positions. Well, I’ve been drawn into it in case you didn’t notice. :-)

        How true are your observations about political correctness… and your personal experience. It can be so intense that I too worry about every possible offence and negative reaction.

        The Zimmerman case is unusual in that he doesn’t self-identify as white, but rather Latino or a more precise description of South American ancestry, or multiracial.

        I have a different take on the reversal scenario. The white teenage victim would not garner the outrage attached to Trayvon as victim. It wouldn’t have sparked media attention, or public statements of the Rev Jesse Jackson and all the high profile types who supported Trayvon. IMHO.

        GZ has a big problem in his decision to follow Trayvon. It was a police matter once he reported it. I would have probably reported an unknown hooded man if he was engaged in suspicious lurking or similar behavior. It was a neighborhood with a history of breakin attempts. Race would not necessarily factor into my decision to report.

        Looks like GZ won’t testify. Smart move IMO. What is your opinion, Maria Cristina?

        • Brigid…I appreciate the fact that you are not allowing emotions to take over. I admit that I have had to do a 180 on what I thought should be the fate for Zimmerman once I understood the legal issues. I also had a major problem with the fact that Zimmerman followed Martin. However, following someone is not against the law. It might have been dumb and wreckless and Martin would definitely still be alive if Zimmerman would have waited in his car BUT Zimmerman did not break any laws by following Martin. It does not matter that 911 said “we don’t need you to do that”…Zimmerman still had a right to get out of his car. He did nothing wrong, legally. And legally is the only way the jury will be asked to look at this. Zimmerman followed Martin…BUT did the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was NOT in fear of his life when he killed Martin? And yes…I want to scream “but Zimmerman caused this…he should have stayed in the car!” But again, that does not matter. Zimmerman did not break the law by following Martin.

        • Thank you so much Brigid. I like your openness and that you’re not defensive when disagreeing on issues.

          On Zimmerman not testifying, I was fascinated and disgusted watching Don West yet again. When the judge asked if he would testify, West tried to answer for him and leaned in to guide his answer. The judge then put Zimmerman under oath so that she could be sure his answers were truthful and his own (closing off an appeals issue of being coerced not to testify by counsel), so West then interfered three times to object that Zimmerman should not answer directly. Lawyers can never tell a witness not to answer a question when a judge has ruled the questions are proper.
          He was in essence coaching Zimmerman not to contradict him and not expose that they were in conflict over the issue.

          It was clear to me that once under oath Zimmerman equivocated from what he had said a moment earlier, this time saying he had not yet decided not to testify when a moment before he had mimicked Don West and said he was not going to testify.

          The right of the defendant to decide without coercion by counsel’s opinions whether to take the advice and testify or not is so essential that judges always need to know directly from the defendant if the decision is their decision, whether they are making it freely or being prevented from testifying by their counsel. I am, as I say, disgusted because it was obvious he wanted to testify and was in the middle of a conflict with Don West who was coercing him not to testify.

          I always felt that Zimmerman is a loose cannon and the defense has kept a tighter lid on him since his Sean Hannity interview where he said he would not change anything that happened that night cause it was God’s will.

          I believe O’Mara waived the Stand Your Ground hearing precisely because the defense has the burden of proof at that hearing and it is entirely based on the state of mind and intentions of the defendant which can only come into evidence by him testifying. And he is then subjected to cross examination. Even though he would still not be required to testify at trial, every word from the hearing could come in at the trial. The defense wanted Zimmerman to keep his trap shut. In the end, they imposed their will on him.

  8. I have always had a lot of problems with Zimmerman and I have a lot of opinions about him. None of that matters however. What matters is this:

    Did the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was NOT in fear of his life at the time he shot Martin?

    Nothing else matters. It comes down to this ONE element which the prosecution had the burden to prove. And the prosecution didn’t even come close. It’s over.

    Unless the jury chooses to dismiss the instructions upon rendering a verdict. Juries have been known to do strange things.

  9. Georgie Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin. This drug thing. GZ’s med/drug history, *if allowed, should be offered. GZ has a history (2005) of assaulting a police officer, domestic violence against girlfriend, court ordered alcohol education program. According to the Washington Post, his cousin “alleges” GZ molested her as a child, is a very confrontational person, does not like black people. At the time of the killing, GZ was prescribed Adderall & Temazepam (Restoril). Two powerful meds. Both addictive. 1) Adderal is an amphetamine (CNS stimulant). It is given for ADHD & narcolepsy (difficulty with REM sleep>highly drowsy during the day). So to “perk one up.” It is also given for depression & weight loss. Side effects of Adderall are: irritability, poor impulse control, hyperactivity, impaired thinking. 2) Temazepam (Restoril) is a benzodiazepine sleep med, only taken at bedtime. Should have been out of GZ’s system at the time of the killing. Side effects: increased heart rate, agitation, aggression, confusion, restless, easy bruising. So one wonders WHY GZ was taking these meds. Allderall for ADHD which he may have had since childhood, and/or, to help with feeling sleepy from Temazpam (Restoril) sleep med. Amphetamine to lose weight? Taking Temazepam (Restoril) to help with sleeping, as he was taking Adderall, an amphetamine stimulant during the day? And/or, GZ’s probable anxiety & not able to sleep? I wonder about the prescribing doctor & how long GZ was on these meds. Plus anyone with an alcohol history needs to be closely monitored with these two meds. Dependency, addictive, potential for abuse of meds. Comparing TM’s toxicology report of trace marijuana with the meds GZ was supposedly on, TM appears mild.

    • Dawn, I believe it’s important to distinguish allowable, VERIFIED evidence vs speculation. Both have a place, but not for the jury or those seeking facts about this case.

      As I discussed above in duplicate posts (sorry about the duplicate part) the treating paramedic listed two prescribed medications reported by Zimmerman: 1) Librax and 2) Temazepam. No reference to Adderall.

      After extensive online searches for lab or medical reports, I came up empty. If you have a link to such reports, please provide. The attorneys apparently have a report from GZ’s doctor but I couldn’t locate it.

      Boodwork was not done that night. Without it, speculation is all that’s left. You don’t know what was or wasn’t in his system unless you do have certified lab reports. Side effects? Again, speculation.

      I’m not interested in unsubstantiated molestation and racist accusations by the cousin unless it is ruled as relevant to this case.

      You have reached your conclusions to which you’re entitled. Verifiable facts and following the law form my own criteria. Again, if you can offer sources and links regarding

      • Brigid, I think you’re right, I can’t find any information online other than that Zimmerman had prescriptions for these drugs. It reminds me that at the time of the incident, some of the criticism in the media included how he could have been arrested that night, interviewed and immediately let go based on his word alone without police conducting toxicology on him. Most homicide investigations include investigation of drugs. Since the officer believed they should have charged him with manslaughter they had probable cause for a warrant forcing a blood test. Or they could have asked for a voluntary blood test just like all the other voluntary information they asked of him. It boggles my mind.

        • Maria…are you sure that Serino felt there was probable cause for manslaughter? I know this has been reported in the media however Serino testified at trial that he believed that Zimmerman acted in self-defense. Unfortunately, the media can’t be trusted. The media is playing angles to drive up emotion to bring in the ratings.

          • Maria…by the way, I thought your Zimmerman “wanna be cop” analysis was right on the money. I totally agree with you based on what we know about Zimmerman. For me, I want to know WHY people do the things they do and what motivates people to act in a certain way.

          • I’m really not sure. You’re probably right that the media is screwing the facts over and misleading us. The Miami Herald article below seems to imply a conflict between officers about whether Serino thought there was enough to file charges.

            I think there’s a difference between probable cause to file charges and probable cause to detain and investigate though. He clearly had probably cause to detain George and put him in handcuffs and question him that night. And to get a warrant for evidence necessary to answer outstanding questions about how it all happened.


          • So true about the media. They have been shaping and sometimes making the news for decades now. You can’ t go to any media outlet any longer and get unbiased news, their slant leeches into everything they do. It’s just a matter of whether you want to be misled or led by the nose by the left media or the right media. FOX vs. MSNBC are two classic examples. Often, I have had to go to the UK press to see stories that are ignored here until someone else exposes them and the US press is embarrassed into covering the issue. Maybe. It’s truly a shame to say, but I can’t think of one news outlet I trust any longer. I don’t want politics in my news stories, and they are so good at choosing just the right subliminal-cut phrases, or just the right headlines to influence the readers’ thoughts on a subject.

        • Mind boggling indeed. Wonder what Sanford Police Dept policy is. My uninformed guess is there were perceived or real risks involved in asking for the toxicology report. Police get preoccupied with political correctness too and they sure don’t want bad decisions to derail a case.

          Or, perhaps they were focused on alcohol impairment and finding no evidence of such, overlooked it. If I were a betting woman, I’d wager they demand toxicology tests now in all similar circumstances. Here I am speculating (lol) but it is a puzzle.

      • I understand Brigid. Agreed, what is relevant to the case. I remain, basically, not on either side. But I reached a point where reading, hearing on tv, about TM’s past (drugs, gun in hand, school expulsions, stolen jewelry in knapsack, fights, graffiti… again, the dead cannot speak. I wrote regarding GZ’s cousin, what I read from the Washington Post. I do understand the court of law, but do enjoy this web site for intelligent information & congenial discourse. Relevant to the case AND outside of the court. Many here comment respectfully on other than, “allowable to the jury.” I now feel like a hostile witness on the stand in a court of law :)

        • We all get emotional about these cases, Dawn. Someone should write a book on how the rules shift when we argue these. Just like in relationship arguments, we all impose a set of rules on our lines of argument.

          Here we’re arguing two lines. One, does the jury have enough to convict? Second, do we have enough to impose our social verdict? There are different rules for each. It’s funny how we humans instinctively fight for the right set of rules to be applied to the line we’re arguing and call each other on it. “No,that doesn’t count, the jury can’t hear that! No, I can consider that cause I don’t have to limit my views to the evidence introduced at trial! Where’s the proof???” It’s kind of cute. And nice to be civil about it.

        • Dawn, LOL, LOL! My apologies for making you uncomfortable. By way of explanation, I responded perhaps more vigorously than necessary because I clearly misinterpreted your post as representing why GZ should be prosecuted.

          Like you, I often want to vent and be heard. It’s just that so much misinformation is everywhere presented as fact. Drives me nuts! Please forgive me and say whatever is on your mind and heart.

          • Thank you Brigid, And I so respect & enjoy reading your posts. You write very clear, concise, to the point with knowledge. Yes, these forums are a place to share…& vent. Granted, these trials get emotional. But such education here on Dr. K. Thank you.

  10. What I am still not understanding is why were family and friends allowed to testify to the screams on the 911 calls and give their opinions on who it was, but yet experts were not? Also why were they able to present Trayvons toxicology report, but not the prescription meds that Zimmerman was on?

    • Jessica, the reason friends and family could testify about the screams is that lay witnesses are allowed to give their opinions in identifying features of someone they know. Experts on the other hand are only allowed to testify on issues where the scientific methods they use are highly reliable, widely accepted in their field, and found to be helpful to understanding an issue. There are special rules that set it all out. Many experts make up their own methods or rely on unreliable methods that are not accepted as valid or scientific. This is often true of new technologies or new theories. Those experts are usually precluded from testifying.

      The expert the prosecution wanted to put on was one of those whose made up his own technology or methodology for identifying voices. If it cannot be duplicated by others, it’s not science, it’s an art, an opinion, and should have no place in the courtroom. He should not have been allowed to testify. And you know I wanted George convicted…

      I think the expert in the Casey Anthony case with the cadaver smell evidence also should never have been allowed. All of that is junk science. PBS did a special on all this junk science and how its corrupted court cases. It’s cheating. And I hate when either side gets away with it.

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