In a recent wrongful death case, a judge in Sanford, Florida has placed limits on what George Zimmerman’s lawyer can say about the 17-year-old he fatally shot during the neighborhood watch leader’s murder trial in June.
The circuit judge, Debra Nelson ruled that Zimmerman’s attorney will not be able to mention Trayvon Martin’s marijunana use, his suspension from school, and his past fighting background during the opening statements.
The judge similarly ruled Tuesday that some of Martin’s texts and social media statements will also be banned from opening statements. Although she did state that some of the personal material could potentially be allowed later depending on how the case progresses.
Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, let the judge know that Martin’s frequent marijuana use and past fighting was crucial to the argument wherein he said Zimmerman protected himself with self-defense. The two boys confronted eachother last year at a gated communited in Sanford, Florida, the fight ending in Martin’s death and Zimmerman’s charges for second degree murder. Zimmerman has not pleaded guilty. O’Mara released a statetment that he has evidence that marijuana use had something to do with the event.
Ultimately, regardless of what happens in this civil case, Trevon’s family can bring a criminal case. The standard of proof in a civil case simply has to be more likely than not, meaning that the avaliable evidence only shows that something is likely. However, in a criminal case the evidence has to be beyond a reasonable doubt, meaning that the evidence is clear as day. This difference exists because civil liberty is less blameworthy and punishments are less severe.
A wrongful death alters a family forever. When a loved one dies because of someone’s carelessness or intentional act, or as a result of a defective product, it is hard to know how to proceed. Missouri wrongful death attorney Chris Dixon understands that grieving families need answers. An experienced St. Louis wrongful death lawyer, Dixon advises families of their rights under the law. He has spent several years investigating accidents, litigating claims and obtaining awards in wrongful death cases. To talk to attorney Chris Dixon about your potential claim today, call 314.409.7060, or toll free at 855.40.CRASH.