Zimmerman: Selection of Experts to Disprove Zimmerman’s Claim of Self-Defense

12:28 pm in Uncategorized by Masoninblue

Cross Posted From Frederick Leatherman Law Blog

George Zimmerman

Caricature of George Zimmerman

Lonnie Star, a person who comments regularly at my site, wrote the following comment about George Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon Martin jumped him and was slamming his head repeatedly into the ground:

Once the person on the ground tightens their neck muscles, your only way to lift their head is to lift their entire upper body. Obviously that’s going to be too hard to do, if you’re sitting on their upper body.

If you can’t pick the head up, you can’t slam it back down. Try it with someone, you’ll come away with the impression that it’s just not possible. If you are equal or lighter than the person you are straddling, the mount position is easily defeated if you aren’t trained to maintain it.

GZ has coupled an impossible attack with an unstable perch and tried to make a life threatening event of it. In fact he goes so far as to say that this absurdity actually succeeded many times, taking him to the edge of mortality.

Comparatively it’s as if GZ was saying that TM was standing ten feet away, swinging his fist so fast and hard, that the wind was tearing his head off his shoulders. It only sounds possible in the eye of the imagination. In practice it’s so unworkable it’s silly!

This is one of several comments that Lonnie and I exchanged last night relative to his idea to reenact in the courtroom Martin’s alleged effort to kill Zimmerman by gripping the sides of Zimmerman’s head and repeatedly slamming it into the concrete sidewalk.

I like the idea, but a reenactment is not possible because, as I explained,

Reenactments have to be agreed to by both parties and the judge. They also have to accurately reproduce what happened and here there is no agreement to what that was and the risk of the unpredictable is too high and the stakes are too high for it to happen.

Since a courtroom reenactment is out, how would a prosecutor disprove this part of Zimmerman’s story?

Behold! A teaching moment has appeared.

This was my answer earlier this morning.

The applicable evidentiary rule is Rule 702, which addresses the use of experts.

First, this is a matter where expert testimony would assist the jury to determine a fact in issue.

Second, you need one or or more experts qualified by education, training or experience to testify.

If I were BDLR, I would begin the search for an expert by contacting an expert in kinesiology, I also would check with a sports medicine specialist, someone who designs football and motorcycle helmets and a physical therapist.

Last, but not least, I would contact the reigning MMA World Champion.

This is how lawyers think creatively.

I have previously discussed Rule 702 in, Zimmerman: How Will the Defense Deal with the Terrified Scream?
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