The most recent issue in the Trayvon Martin case is over expert testimony regarding voice identification. This evidence is crucial to both side’s case, since the determination of whether Defendant George Zimmerman acted in self-defense could turn on the identification of the voices in the 911 call recording. If expert testimony is able to establish who was screaming in the recording, this information could inform the jury’s decision of whether Zimmerman actually acted in self-defense. The clip below shows the discussion of the issues surrounding the reliability of such evidence:
This issue of self-defense, and the related “stand your ground” doctrine, is mostly what has brought this case to the Nation’s attention. While some states hold tight to this legal principle, other states have done away with their “stand your ground” laws. Even within Florida alone, the same law has been applied in a variety of cases BBC Article). Due to strong personal opinions on both sides, this law has brought tension to the city of Sanford, Florida. Discontent with this law has mixed with racial issues in the area to create a volatile environment. However, the addition of the new chief of police Cecil Smith might be able to mitigate some of the harm that this incident did to the community.
This most recent case involving the “stand your ground” doctrine may alter the way states across the country view their own versions of such rules. However, many opinions will likely continue to change and be shaped as the Zimmerman case continues in the coming weeks.
Lance D. Youd is an attorney in Salem, Oregon.