Zimmerman Trial Animation: Jury Can See It
On Wednesday morning, Judge Debra Nelson ruled that the defense can show the jury for the George Zimmerman a computer animation of the events that proceeded the shooting on the night of February 26, 2012.
The ruling comes with some caveats, however. Judge Nelson rejected the defense's bid to use the simulation as actual evidence; instead, it will be shown to the jury as a demonstration during closing arguments.
She also ruled that the defense cannot show the jury the contents of Trayvon Martin's cellphone, which included photos linking the teen to marijuana use, a picture of a handgun, and text messages that discussed Martin's involvement in organized fighting at his school.
Judge Nelson heard arguments concerning the animation and the cellphone over the course of a six-hour hearing on Tuesday evening. According to USA Today, the animation shows Martin walking up to Zimmerman, punching him, and straddling him on the ground.
The prosecution objected to the use of the animation in court on the grounds that it failed to “represent a complete or accurate record of the evidence.” It noted that the lighting in the simulation was inaccurate. Prosecutor Rich Mantei also alleged that the video deliberately left out the murder weapon and relied heavily on Zimmerman's account of events.
Attorneys for Zimmerman have expressed that they believe the video will help the jury to picture the events that led up to the shooting. There's no question that the animation will force the jury to visualize the scene, but the six members of the jury will still have to decide whether they believe the defense's story.
Gabe Grand is an editorialist for PolicyMic who covers the George Zimmerman trial. For more live updates and opinions on the proceedings, follow him on Twitter: