There have been some online rumors that Judge Alva will be taking over the Zimmerman criminal case, but this is untrue. Judge Nelson will continue to preside over the Zimmerman case, and she has also been assigned to the civil suit filed against NBCUniversal Media, LLC. The rumor began because on January 1, 2012, Judge Nelson switched to handling civil cases, and Judge Alva switched to criminal cases, and we assume that the Seminole County Clerk of Courts website switched all cases on the docket automatically. Judge Nelson, however, has chosen to keep the Zimmerman case on her docket, and we suspect the Seminole County Clerk of Courts website will be manually updated to reflect this soon.
On October 12, 2012, the Zimmerman defense filed a Motion to Schedule Standing Hearings to Address Discovery and Other Case Management Issues. In response to our motion, the Judge has pre-scheduled a number of hearings that can be used if the defense or the state has motions to bring before the court. The next pre-scheduled hearing was set for January 8; however, the defense and the state have agreed that there are currently no matters that can be appropriately addressed by the Court on that date, so we have chosen to waive the January 8 hearing. The next hearing is scheduled for February 5, and we anticipate there will be new motions put before the court in advance of that hearing date.
UPDATE 1/3/2013: Because the defense has waived the January 8 hearing, the Court has issued an Order Continuing Docket Sounding to February 5, 2013 and Cancelling January 8, 2013 Docket Sounding.
We feel a responsibility to make a public, affirmative stance against any and all incidents of cyber attacks or “doxing” to anyone associated with this case, any one suspected as being associated with this case, or to anyone who contributes to the conversation about this case.
We have heard that some witnesses, or possible witnesses, and supporters on both sides of this case have been the victims of cyber attacks or doxing (the act of publishing personal documents about the individual on the Internet). With a case of such intense scrutiny, we are in uncharted waters regarding how the case is discussed publicly, and the online accessibility of individuals associated with the case. As the defense team, we have taken a well-documented proactive stance on how we manage our digital media presence. Our policy regarding digital media makes us particularly aware of the online conversation regarding our case, and we attempt to adjust our online presence as we see the need.
We first became aware of these concerns while we hosted the George Zimmerman Legal Case page on Facebook. Part of the reason we discontinued our presence on Facebook was because we were uncomfortable being in any way associated with people engaged in such practices and we refused to provide a platform where this practice could take place.
We understand that there may have been such actions directed at individuals who may be associated with Witness #8. In an October 19 hearing, the defense team requested a Subpoena Duces Tecum for the social media accounts of Witness #8; however, we intentionally did not disclose her name or any possible Twitter handle out of respect for her privacy. (We still have not been informed of her Twitter handles). If there is an individual who has been mistaken as Witness #8, and if this individual has been subjected to these practices, then we feel that those who knew Witness #8’s identity and therefore her Twitter handle, such as the State Attorneys Office or the handlers of the Martin family, have had many specific opportunities through social media or press conferences to publicly correct the misrepresentations and end the concerns -- an opportunity they have yet to take. We implore them to do so now, to minimize any further damage. If they know the Twitter handles are of a person unrelated to the case, why has this not been publicized?
We are taking this opportunity to say that we do not condone or encourage such practices; and anyone who wishes to make a beneficial contribution to this case must know that they do a considerable disservice if they engage in such practices, and we unequivocally condemn the practices mentioned above.
George Zimmerman has filed a lawsuit against NBCUniversal Media, LLC. Mark O’Mara joins James Beasley of The Beasley Firm as co-counsel in this civil lawsuit. A separate website has been created to provide statements and public recordings regarding this civil lawsuit at GZvNBC.com.
This is a photo of George Zimmerman taken by a police officer on the night of February 26, 2012. A black and white photocopy of this image was provided by the State in the first Discovery. This high-resolution digital file was finally provided to the defense on October 29, 2012. This image was disclosed in the State's 9th Supplemental Discovery. In accordance with the updates to our media policy that we published on November 13, we will be making all public documents related to the case available on our website, including the rest of the State's 9th Supplemental Discovery as soon as we are sure it has been properly redacted according to the Court's stipulations on protecting information regarding specific witnesses.
The Miami Herald used the headline "George Zimmerman to sell autographs to pay expenses," to describe the policy of the New George Zimmerman Defense Fund of sending signed Thank You Cards to individuals who donate.
For those who look for opportunities to criticize George, we understand that the idea of sending Thank You Cards might be seen as an attempt to sell signatures to gain donations. To those who wish to criticize and ridicule, go right ahead. However, that is not George's intent. It is presumptuous to assume that George's signature is a valuable enough commodity to be an effective motivator for people to donate. Rather, what we hope motivates people is the ever increasingly undeniable conclusion that George is simply not guilty. He only did what he had to do to protect himself from an attack by an unknown assailant; a young man who broke George's nose, bloodying it, and then got him on the ground and smashed his head into concrete, causing more injury.
George has expressed a desire since the beginning of this ordeal to thank those who have supported him, not just financially, but also those who have offered their kind words and prayers, and he has wanted to send Thank You Cards for some time. The defense team has had reservations about allowing it -- partly because we anticipated it would be interpreted in this way. Now the time has come to stop acting like George is the person portrayed by those who have manipulated the facts and the media, and to be true to the innocent person George is.
If the publicity surrounding the Thank You Cards raises people's awareness of George's need for the funds to hire experts and investigators to present the truth at his trial, and results in more donations to the Defense Fund, the support is welcome. George Zimmerman is innocent and should never have been charged, and there is nothing inappropriate about raising money to fund the defense of an innocent man.
George has been the target of a coordinated public relations attack designed to create the false impression that George shot Trayvon Martin because of racial bias, instead of self-defense -- a public relations campaign perpetrated with the intent to manipulate the media and prejudice the citizens of this country against George through misinformation and emotional appeals. If a voice is raised with concern over profiteering, it should be tempered by two premises. Firstly, George and his family have been devastated by this event and left broke and displaced from their homes. That is a tragedy that should not be visited upon anyone who has yet to be convicted of a crime. It is the ultimate injustice when it is perpetrated on an innocent man. Secondly, if profiteering is a concern, that analysis should begin with those who crafted the misinformation blitz and racially charged rhetoric, shouted with reckless disregard for the truth, the result of which has been significant financial gain, not ruin. We speak not of the Martin family, who have suffered the tragedy of losing a son; we speak of the family's handlers and attorneys.