The new forensic facts challenge the second-degree murder charge, which, to stick, requires a jury to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman acted with malicious recklessness in causing Trayvon’s death, says Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor whose criticisms of the prosecution stepped up as the state’s evidence was revealed.
Given the new evidence, “the prosecutor is at least guilty of willful blindness,” says Mr. Dershowitz in a phone interview.
The 200-plus pages of new documents also give more insight into the prosecution’s contention that Zimmerman may have profiled Trayvon in part because of his views of young black men. As one investigator writes, the whole fight could have been avoided if Zimmerman had afforded Trayvon, a fellow citizen who was doing nothing wrong in a place where he had the right to be, some respect.
“The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement, or conversely if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog in an effort to dispel each party's concern," the report said. "There is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter."
“The police concluded that none of this would have happened if George Zimmerman hadn't gotten out of his car," Martin family attorney Ben Crump told the Associated Press on Thursday. "If George Zimmerman hadn't gotten out of his car, they say it was completely avoidable. That is the headline."