George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, passed a lie detector test the day after the shooting, according to USA Today.
Experts say it may be difficult to get an unbiased jury as a result, and some details of the incident still remain unclear.
Florida prosecutors Tuesday released a written report that included results from a lie detector test and other reports and recordings. The results were released through a court order after news organizations argued prosecutors had withheld public information.
Zimmerman answered nine questions, including two directly related to the shooting. The examiner concluded Zimmerman “told substantially the complete truth.”
“It makes it harder for the state to get an impartial jury,” said Randy Reep, a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville, Fla. “It certainly supports the Sanford police department’s determination not to make an arrest.”
Results from the test are usually not admissible in court, The Associated Press said.
Defense attorney Randy McClain said Zimmerman passing the test will not show up at trial anyway because Florida courts deem them unreliable based on a 1923 case which said the results of scientific tests or procedures are admissible as evidence only when they have gained general acceptance in the particular field to which they belong.
Though he couldn’t recall any cases in Florida where a lie detector result was admitted as evidence, McCain said the defense would likely try to call attention to the fact Sanford detective Christopher Serino recommended a lesser charge for Zimmerman.
“They’re going to say that he had the opportunity to review all interviews and didn’t recommend second-degree murder,” McClain said. “But the state is going to come back and point out that he did believe charges were appropriate. There will be a lot of back and forth, but at the end of the day I think it will hurt Zimmerman more that he had opportunity to ID himself and disobeyed the advice of the 911 operator and pursued Martin.”
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