A flip-flopping medical examiner helps the judge decide to allow small amounts of THC in Martin's blood to be entered as evidence
A Florida judge has ruled that evidence about 17-year old Trayvon Martin's use of marijuana can be used by his killer, 29-year old Mark Zimmerman, to potentially help Zimmerman escape 2nd-Degree Murder charges. A flip-flopping medical examiner is helping his case, too.
Judge Debra Nelson determined the toxicology report, prepared upon Martin's death, will not be edited to eliminate references to trace amounts of marijuana in Martin's system at the time of his death. Nelson was quoted in multiple news sources as saying "to not allow that testimony would be reversible error," meaning to exclude the report could result in an appeal of the verdict in this case.
The Prosecution had sought to suppress the information, claiming the Defense was entering into evidence factors assailing Martin's character through backdoor methods. Toxicology reports are routinely used in court proceedings, but the presence of such a small amount of THC could be prejudicial to the jury even though the amount was so slight as to cause no impairment or alteration of action. That was the message delivered before trial by Medical Examiner Shiping Bao, who believed the THC level would not have been a contributing factor to Trayvon Martin's behavior when confronted and eventually shot to death by neighborhood watch volunteer Zimmerman.
Bao was questioned last week, in a court room away from the jury, where he stated he had done more research and determined that the THC could have had a slight but unknown effect. This not only opens the door to admitting the toxicology report as evidence in support of Zimmerman but also sets the stage for a whole new line of defense: The Pot Made Him Do It.
Zimmerman's defense team worked hard to defeat the Prosecution's effort to remove the THC reference from the report and they must mean to use the information it contains. With a potential courtroom he said-she said competition of marijuana experts offering opinions about how much THC constitutes impairment, the jury could become confused and create reasonable doubt about Zimmerman's guilt or innocence.
Oddly, Zimmerman admitted to using tow prescription drugs on the day of Martin's death by gunshot: Librax and Temazepam. CNN states "It is not clear if Zimmerman's drug use the night of the shooting will be admissible at trial.
Many people are convicted of marijuana crimes because of the presence of THC in their system; to blame a homicide on the victim is standard defense behavior but to allow a killer to go free because the victim's blood was dirty is a new twist on murder.
Source: The Compassion Chronicles