After months of conjecture and accusations, actual evidence is starting to make its way to the public in the George Zimmerman case. The fact that Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has never been in dispute. The how and why have been under speculation since the story came to national attention. There have been a lot of claims and innuendo since the killing and Zimmerman’s non-prosecution under Florida’s stand your ground law. From the Black Panther bounty to the appointment of a special prosecutor, the death of Martin has been a part of the national discussion with only anecdotal evidence firing the heavily racially undertoned debate. But it seems that over the past 24 hours, the evidence dam has burst.
As part of normal evidence discovery, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey released a list of evidence to the public. It is important to note that the evidence list was not leaked, but standard procedure in Florida. The list does not contain many specifics, but does include some interesting potential witnesses. There are a total of 28 potential law enforcement witnesses on the list. While little is known about the individual witnesses, the sheer number of witnesses from law enforcement stands in contrast to Zimmerman not being charged originally.
Other witnesses on the list are to be expected, whether from forensics or character witnesses. Two that truly stand out are experts Tom Owen and Edward Primeau. Both are audio experts that will testify that a voice calling for help on a 911 call is actually Martin, not Zimmerman, as contradicting the defense’s claims.
While not official court documents yet, there were two reports that surfaced yesterday that would appear to corroborate at least part of George Zimmerman’s story. First, ABC obtained a report from Zimmerman’s family physician stating the day after the killing that Zimmerman had two black eyes, a broken nose, and lacerations on his head. These wounds are in line with the defense’s version of events. Second, details from Trayvon Martin’s autopsy were leaked. The autopsy shows that Trayvon Martin had injuries to his knuckles sustained just before his death. They are said to be consistent with Martin being in a physical altercation.
Only the beginning
It will be some time before opening statements are made in a court of law, yet George Zimmerman’s trial in the courtroom of public opinion began before charges were ever filed. And like in the court of law, the validity of this new evidence will be subject to debate. But after months of accusations and assumptions, the public will finally have some facts to actually debate.