The media has gotten hold of (and previewed for our armchair quarterback analysis) the evidence in the Trayvon Martin case, and it's chock full of photographs of a wounded George Zimmerman, revives the "did Trayvon Martin experiment with pot like virtually every other high school kid in America" argument, and even indicates the distance at which the gun was likely fired that ultimately killed Martin.
Supposedly, all of this "helps" the defense a great deal. Case closed!
I certainly wish traces of THC hadn't been found in Martin's system, because I think it adds an element of distraction to the debate that shouldn't in any way affect the outcome of the trial, but the evidence is what it is.
By the by:
- Whether or not any of this evidence is presented to a jury may still be up in the air. There will be months of pre-trial motions that could determine whether evidence of "trace" amounts of THC is admissible. The Judge may well determine that it's too big a distraction or even that it is simply irrelevant.
- Even assuming the pot angle is admissible, there's no guarantee that the defense would even pursue the argument. There are several good reasons not to.
- For all those cackling with glee about what this means for the prosecutor's case, Angela Corey was privy to the evidence when she filed her charges, so it should be fairly clear that she doesn't see any of it as problematic.
Why might that be, though?
You're forgiven if you didn't see this in all the news surrounding Zimmerman's injuries, yesterday, as the focus tended to favor evidence that seems "bad" for the prosecution, but MSNBC wisely highlighted a quote found in the massive evidence dump that will almost certainly sum up Angela Corey's entire case:
Prosecutors on Thursday made public a trove of evidence used to justify murder charges against Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman, including a police report that concluded "the encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman."
My feeling is that if a jury comes to the same conclusion, George Zimmerman is going to jail. His injuries won't matter. Trace amounts of THC in Martin's system won't matter. Bruised knuckles won't matter. Whether or not the gun was against his chest or an intermediate distance away won't matter.
All of this goes back to a graphic I drew up long before charges were filed, and I believe it holds up today: