The Feds are building a case against Zimmerman

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by AK Forty Seven, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. FBI to Zimmerman: We don't have to give you our file, despite judge's order



    By Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel

    6:34 p.m. EST, February 27, 2013



    Lawyers for the FBI say the federal agency should not give George Zimmerman's lawyers all the evidence from its case file, even though a Sanford judge has ordered it.

    The U.S. Department of Justice filed paperwork Monday, arguing that federal regulations trump a state court judge's ruling. It's asking that judge, Debra S. Nelson, to undo her Feb. 5 order.

    "This court has 'no power or authority' … to compel the FBI to produce the documents at issue here," wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean P. Flynn.

    In her order, Nelson agreed with a defense request and ordered the FBI to open its case file to Zimmerman's attorneys. Zimmerman, 29, is the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer charged with second-degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, one year ago in Sanford.

    A few weeks after the slaying, following protest rallies across the country, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the shooting to determine whether Trayvon's civil rights were violated — whether he was killed because he was black.

    It's not clear what that investigation has turned up. The FBI, which has done much of the work in the federal case, has said the investigation is ongoing.

    Defense attorneys Mark O'Mara and Don West have argued that they're entitled to all evidence gathered against their client, be it by local, state or federal authorities.

    They've received a limited amount of FBI evidence – interview summaries that say three dozen people who knew Zimmerman told agents they saw no signs he was a racist.

    In the FBI paperwork filed with Nelson in Monday, Flynn wrote that O'Mara had been told about but had failed to follow the proper procedures that might convince the federal agency to release the information.

    The supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, Flynn wrote, makes it clear that federal regulations take precedence over a state judge's order.

    rstutzman@tribune.com or 407-650-6394
     
  2. It seems that If Zimmermen wins the state case The feds are ready ready to move in