Zimmerman Trial Computer Animation: Will the Jury See It?

On Tuesday evening, outside the presence of the jury, attorneys for the prosecution and the defense debated about the admissibility of a computer animation that the defense wants to show in court.

The animation, which depicts the events that led up to the shooting of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012, is based on witness accounts, coroner reports, police reports, and photographs of the crime scene. It was created by crime scene animator Daniel Schumaker, who used a motion-capture system to produce the animation.

State prosecutor Rich Mantei has filed a motion to keep the video out of evidence. He alleges that the video fails to “represent a complete or accurate record of the evidence.” He notes that the lighting of the video is inaccurate, and says the animation deliberately leaves out the murder weapon. Mantei also claims that the video relies heavily on Zimmerman’s version of events.

While the defense says the video will help jurors to visualize the sequence of events that proceeded the shooting, the prosecution says that the animation will only serve to confuse.

The following is a different animation of the shooting that was produced in March 2012. It was produced in just a month, but the quality is surprisingly decent.


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:

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Gabriel Grand

Gabe is a Politics Fellow for PolicyMic and an incoming student at Harvard University. An avid fan of The Daily Show, he enjoys puzzling over the legal and political issues of our time. Gabe prefers to examine both sides of an argument, although as a New Yorker he usually finds it easier to just side with the liberals.

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