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View Diary: Who Among Us Honestly Believes the Zimmerman Prosecution Tried to Win? (192 comments)

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  •  They did not even know that she could (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misslegalbeagle, a2nite, taffers

    not read cursive writing until she got onto the witness stand.

    That's ridiculous.

    •  Yeah, but how likely is it that ... (0+ / 0-)

      her reading ability would even have come up in any prep meeting?  Trying to envision it, I can see her being told that she's likely to be asked questions by the defense about her letter, but would it occur to anyone to ask her to read it to them or ask whether or not she could read?  And even if it did occur to them to wonder, would they have actually said, "Can you read?"  Given that she was not a co-operative witness, her reaction to such a question doesn't require guessing.  

      I don't think I ever saw the complete version of her letter, all I saw was the body of it with her signature redacted (because she was a witness that was not being identified in public).  Were I the prosecutor, I probably would have asked during prep why the signature was not the same handwriting as the body of the letter, but even if RJ was asked that, we don't know if the answer given would have led to the revelation that she could not read.

      The prosecutors were made to learn some valuable, though quite embarrassing, lessons as a result of having tried this case in the manner they did.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 02:05:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sigh. (0+ / 0-)

        There are a lot of people in this country that can barely read.

        Even if a highly educated and privileged prosecutor couldn't imagine someone not being able to read, the mere exercise of showing her the paper and saying, "We are going to ask you to read this aloud when you are on the stand," should have been done as a matter of course.

        It is amazing to me - but not - how many people really don't understand how very common it is - especially when one spends any time around our criminal justice system - to find people who are not well educated, not well spoken and incredibly unworldly on numerous levels. On top of all of that the girl was also incredibly young.

        In any case, ironically, the prosecutor could easily have encountered the same problem with me - I wasn't ever any good at reading cursive writing either.  I have a college degree and so forth and I'm fairly articulate, but I could very well have been stumped as she was on the stand.

        So, from a practical standpoint of knowing exactly what you're going to get from a witness on the stand, they failed and I believe that they failed to understand, manage and finesse the cultural, racial and educational divides that were apparent.

        I also would have tried to draw out more about Trayvon in her testimony.  She said that he was calling about some sports game that was on and wanted her to tell him what was happening.  It would have been perfectly within bounds for the prosecutor to latch on to that part of the conversation to show that Trayvon was trying to get home to see that game and not out looking for trouble - and that he was a fairly typical young American boy who cared about sports.  That would not have been hard and a pleasant conversation about his love of sports probably would have made Jeantel a lot more appealing.

        Anyway, I think there are a lot more things to criticize with respect to the prosecution's case, but this one seems almost iconic to me.  

        •  I'm not so sure the prosecution could have (0+ / 0-)

          gotten too much into the victim enjoying sports.  Sure, you can set up their conversation and put it into context, but as soon as you start getting into the details of him liking X team or whatever, the defense is going to have a juicy relevance objection.  

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