Though the public has been privy to hundreds of documents in the Trayvon Martin murder case, both state prosecutors and George Zimmerman's attorney would like for that to stop. Assistant State Attorney Bernardo de la Rionda and Mark O'Mara have filed motions requesting that the judge limit the public release of certain subsets of Trayvon evidence.
Prosecutors want to withhold the names of witnesses, photos of Trayvon's body and a few recorded statements. O'Mara wants to bar the release of text messages, emails and journal entries made by Zimmerman.
Though criminal evidence is often made public, judges have the discretion to keep it under wraps when necessary to protect the interests of justice. Both requests argue that the release of such evidence will make it more difficult for Zimmerman to have a fair trial.
In the State's motion, attorney de la Rionda argues that the release of the mentioned Trayvon evidence will hurt the prosecution. Some witnesses have already been harassed, according to the document, and others are fearful that personal information will be released to the public once their names are known.
Judges may prevent the release of names if there are safety concerns and when doing so is necessary to ensure cooperation.
On Zimmerman's side, attorney O'Mara is worried that some of the Trayvon evidence will impede the ability to find an impartial jury. He plans to ask the court to exclude some of this evidence from trial, but if released, it will undoubtedly be all over the media.
For these reasons, there's a good chance the judge will agree to limit the release of some of the aforementioned Trayvon evidence. All of it? Probably not.
- Zimmerman wants evidence private in Martin case (Associated Press)
- Why the State Had to Disclose Zimmerman Docs (FindLaw Blotter)
- Prosecutors Release Discovery Documents in Trayvon Martin Case (FindLaw's Courtside)