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In the Media

article imageProsecutors accidentally release Trayvon Martin corpse photo

article:330503:16::0
By JohnThomas Didymus
Aug 10, 2012 in Crime
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A photograph of Trayvon Martin's corpse was mistakenly released by prosecutors on Thursday with the college transcripts of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who killed him.
According to The Smoking Gun, Florida prosecutors inadvertently distributed a photo of Trayvon Martin's corpse and copies of Zimmerman's college records, materials that are deemed confidential under Florida law and exempt from disclosure.
The Smoking Gun reports that Zimmerman's Seminole State College of Florida records were 61 pages in total and included his original application to the community college and his class transcripts. The documents revealed Zimmerman's poor grades and that he was on academic probation at the time of the shooting because his grade-point average dropped below 2.0, C grade average.
Mediaite reports that prosecutor Angela Corey's office included the documents in supplemental discovery records distributed Thursday to several media outlets. The media outlets were those that had paid fees to receive discovery provided by the government to Zimmerman’s lawyer, The Smoking Gun reports.
After Corey's office realized the error, one of her aides sent out an email that stated that the "photo depicting the killing of a person" was "confidential and exempt" under Florida state law.
The grainy photocopied image shows the corpse of the 17-year-old African American, moments after Zimmerman shot him dead. NY Daily News reports there was also a photograph showing the head wounds Zimmerman suffered during the alleged scuffle with Martin.
Zimmerman's college transcripts have, however, aroused interest because they show he was a mediocre student at Seminole State College, barely a C student. Sky News reports he was studying for a two-year associate degree in criminal jstice and did not graduate last year due to a failed class. But following the February 26 shooting of Martin, he was "issued administrative withdrawals" for three classes with "no fees charged against his account." He was on academic probation at the time of the Martin shooting.
NY Daily News reports that Zimmerman, according to the transcripts, got Ds in two criminal justice classes: Introduction to Criminal Justice and another course in juvenile delinquency.
He got a C in a course titled "Evil Minds, Violent Predators." He got an A in criminal litigation and a B in criminal investigation, according to the transcripts.
His overall grade point was lowered by is poor math and science grades. He got two Fs in algebra classes, NY Daily News reports.
Zimmerman’s academic records emerge after his defense team announced it would seek a hearing to clear him under Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.
According to defense attorney Mark O'Mara, “The primary focus of a ‘Stand Your Ground’ hearing is whether George Zimmerman reasonably believed that his use of his weapon was necessary to prevent great bodily harm to himself at the hands of Trayvon Martin."
The "Stand Your Ground" law permits use of deadly force in circumstances that a person reasonably believes he is under threat of grievous bodily harm or a person believes his life is threatened.
The burden of proof in the hearings is on the defense rather on the prosecution. A judge and not a jury decides the case.
According to NY Daily News, if a judge rules in Zimmerman's favor under the "Stand Your Ground" law, it could prevent a trial and protect Zimmerman from future lawsuits.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and is free on $1 million bond.
article:330503:16::0
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