I can only hope readers appreciate my sacrifice.  I’ve spent much of the last two days viewing what I believe to be nearly every minute of the most recent motion and Frye hearings in this case.  Some were annoying, at least one was near-farcical, but all were instructive in one way or another.  It may take me some time to recover, and I begin that process with this missive.

INSIDE INFORMATION:

In Update 29.2 I quoted NBC News:

Zimmerman’s team put an outside lawyer on the stand, Wesley White, who testified that photos from Martin’s cellphone were never shared with them. White, who resigned as a state prosecutor in December and is now in private practice, represents the state attorney’s office’s information-technology director, Ben Kruidbos, who will be called to testify June 6 about the allegedly withheld images.

White told NBC News that Kruidbos was placed on administrative leave Tuesday and considers himself a ‘whistleblower’ under Florida law. Kruidbos was grilled by staff in the state attorney’s office twice, either to learn what he planned to testify about or possibly to ‘bully him,’ White told NBC.

The state attorney’s office has not responded to a request for comment from NBC News.

I commented:

I’ll bet.  Kruidbos is apparently ready to testify that the prosecutor’s office knowingly violated the law in denying discoverable evidence to the defense.  As the former IT director, he would have had access to virtually everything the prosecution knew.  It will be interesting indeed to find out what he knows.  It could theoretically lead to a mistrial, and could surely lead to leaving the Florida bar no choice but to pursue disciplinary charges against Bernard de la Rionda, Angela Corey and potentially other members of the special prosecutor’s office.  Criminal charges are not out of the question.

That’s what I get for depending on NBC for accurate information.  Kruidbos (pronounced “cryed-boss”) is a personable young man who struck me as a lamb among wolves.  He appears (video here) to be an honest, hard-working young man, which will almost certainly be his undoing in working for this special prosecutor.

Ben Kruidbos’ Testimony:

Kruidbos was actually called and examined by Bernie de la Rionda (hereinafter BDLR), who, in his usual manner, was immediately hostile.  He began by insinuating that Kruidbos was in trouble at the office, but Kruidbos contradicted him with a specific example of his own good performance, visibly surprising BDLR and forcing him to temporarily back up.

As usual, BDLR misstated facts, confused dates, times, place and conversations, and was aggressive and confusing.  He constantly frowned, paced and wildly waved his arms.  The primary issue was one outlined in Update 29: had BDLR provided all of the information from Trayvon Martin’s cellphone, as he testified on April 30, 2013.

Kruidbos testified that he had been the IT director for the State Attorney’s Office (SAO) for more than four years.  Kruidbos said that in late 2012/early 2013 he received a printed report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) that appeared to be missing data.  Specifically, he saw no recovered/deleted information, and requested the source file.  He told Investigator T C O’Steen that they did not have all the information and they met BDLR shortly thereafter.  Kruidbos explained his concerns and called the FDLE and did get the source file.

Kruidbos, using CellBrite, a software package costing some $8000, quickly discovered that the original report given them by the FDLE was only 100 MB, while the source file was 2.3 GB of data, 23 times larger.  Eventually, he was able to run his own complete report of all data from the phone which comprised 3.5 GB.  For example, the first report had only about 16 MB of photos, and Kruidbos’ report, 95 MB.

In early January, 2013, going through text messages with O’Steen, O’Steen told Kruidbos “it looks like they’re [Trayvon Martin and his friends] selling a gun,” and told Kruidbos they had to see BDLR.  Kruidbos described several photos that had not been previously seen, particularly:

(1) An image of Martin blowing smoke;

(2) an image of Martin with a gun in his hand;

(3) Women’s jewelry photographed on a red quilt;

(4) Several photos of what appeared to be underage, naked girls.

They told BDLR and he replied “if the info exists, we have to deal with it.”  Kruidbos said BDLR quizzed him, apparently trying to deny it was Martin holding the gun, demanding to know why Kruidbos thought it was him.  Kruidbos replied that he positioned his hands as though holding a gun with one and a cellphone camera with another, making the point that since it was Martin’s phone, that was most likely, particularly considering the camera angle.  Kruidbos said he delivered all of the information to BDLR, as well as a flash drive with all of the photo information at the same time: early January, 2013.  BDLR told him that FDLE would have to redo all of their reports to match the SAO’s, so Kruidbos “wouldn‘t have to testify.”

Of course, if BDLR were being honest, there would be no reason to keep Kruidbos from testifying.  In fact, his honesty in finding the information and promptly bringing it to BDLR’s attention would be a plus, but only if BDLR actually intended to immediately provide it to the defense.  He did not.

On a following occasion, Kruidbos met with O’Steen, BDLR and John Guy (fellow prosecutor) where Kruidbos explained the technical process of making the various reports–and the implications–several times.  Kruidbos again asked what BDLR intended to do with the information, and BDLR told him they could send the defense only the [unreadable] source file.  He then asked Kruidbos how much the CellBrite software cost.  Kruidbos replied “$8000.00.”

As I explained in Update 29, on May 23 O’Mara filed a new motion for sanctions against the prosecution for failing to provide discovery, specifically these photographs known to BDLR since January, some five months earlier.  In that article I also noted that the prosecution did provide the source file, but without the very expensive CellBrite software, which they knew the defense did not possess and could not afford.  Without that software, it was nothing but binary computer code: zeros and ones.  This allowed BDLR to cynically claim he had given the defense everything, a claim he continues to make to this day. We know know that in January, BDLR was apparently plotting just this strategy.

Another interesting bit of information Kruidbos provided is he informed O’Steen and BDLR that the GPS feature in Martin’s cellphone was not continually on (this is true of all cellphones; to save battery power, the GPS is activated only when the phone absolutely needs that function), therefore there were gaps in GPS data.

Kruidbos testified that on May 24, he met with BDLR who told him that he and John Guy met with a “FDLE guy” at a Burger King who told them the FDLE did eventually update the reports.

Under cross-examination by O’Mara, who was calm, careful and professional, greater detail emerged.

Kruidbos described a meeting with O’Steen, BDLR and Guy, where in response to O’Mara’s discovery request, he was determined to find the missing texts.  O’Mara asked why Kruidbos came forward and when, and Kruidbos replied that in late March or early April, he became very concerned that BDLR was not turning over all the discovery because he was getting two mutually exclusive stories from BDLR.

Kruidbos explained he began to worry about his own legal liability and “I sought counsel.”  He said “I suspected that everyone involved would be in trouble to some degree.”

Kruidbos hired Wesley White, a former prosecutor.  He said he felt White wasn’t happy about the SAO when he left.  He said White called O’Mara who told him the defense had not received the information.  Kruidbos testified that he was worried he would lose his job, but it was worth the risk because he believed all the information must be handed over to ensure a fair trial.

Kruidbos is currently on administrative leave.  If he worked for honest people, they would hold him up as an example of ethical propriety.  Their actions speak for themselves.

BDLR continued with an undisguised look of hatred/disgust on his always unsmiling face.  As is his usual practice, instead of asking questions, he testified, claiming yet again that he turned all the data over to the defense.  He continued to confuse and inflate multiple issues, pace, rant and raise his voice.  He demanded to know why Kruidbos did not come to him or Corey and asked if Kruidbos knew of Corey’s “open door policy.”  Kruidbos replied that given BDLR’s relationship with Corey, he was not comfortable talking with either of them.  Smart lad.

This interesting exchange occurred:

BDLR: “I never told them I would hide evidence at all?”

Kruidbos: “You said I will turn over the source file, then asked how much the CellBrite system cost.”

Of course BDLR didn’t gloat about breaking the law in front of Kruidbos, but he announced his intentions by asking about the cost of the software, without which the source file was useless.  BDLR continued to badger Kruidbos, who replied that BDLR told him two different things and he didn’t know which was correct.

BDLR asked multiple nonsense questions over things already asked and answered, again confusing time sequences and accused Kruidbos of having a conference call with White and O’Mara (White would later testify that they did not), which evidenced more than a little paranoia, a specific paranoia that would resurface later in the hearings.

O’Mara objected that BDLR was mischaracterizing evidence and BDLR immediately backed off.  He immediately insinuated that Kruidbos was somehow involved in leaking information on a SAO employee’s illness and insinuated White was also somehow involved.  Kruidbos denied involvement, and White, who was in the courtroom representing Kruidbos objected, noting this had no relation to this case at all, which of course, it did not.  White objected further to relevance and materiality, but Judge Nelson overruled the objection.

BDLR then testified again, claiming he gave everything to the Defense and as proof, claimed the Defense had information from the source file earlier than previously known.  However, Kruidbos explained that whatever they had, they likely had it from a third party source such as Facebook.  BDLR ranted about it for about 20 minutes, but proved nothing.

On redirect, O’Mara confirmed through Kruidbos that he was still on administrative leave.  He also testified that on January 13, 2013, he sent O’Steen an e-mail showing the major differences he already described between the FDLE report and his report.  He said he copied that E-mail to BDLR.  He also said “I’ve been told in the past not to put specifics into an e-mail.”  Nelson immediately called the lawyers to the bench and shut Kruidbos off.  They did not discuss this issue when they were done with the sidebar.

Why would the SAO require employees not to put specific information in e-mails?  An honest prosecutor’s office would have no such concern.  A dishonest one would want to avoid open government laws.

Wesley White Testimony:

BDLR approached White with the same anger and demeanor he employed with Kruidbos (video here).  He began by insinuating that White had problems as a supervisor.  White replied with a specific example of his own good performance and BDLR, surprised, immediately–but only momentarily–backed down.

BDLR continued to misstate facts–at one point O’Mara objected, saying “he just makes things up”–and demanded to know all about how White had been hired.  He explained that Kruidbos came to him six weeks earlier and was worried about his legal liability.  White contacted O’Mara to ask if he had received the discovery and explained what it was.  In a second conversation, he said O’Mara told him they had not.

BDLR insinuated White did it because he had an axe to grind, and White replied that as an officer of the court, he had to follow up on Kruidbos’ concerns, and he did, learning that they were true.  BDLR challenged him, suggesting that perhaps he ought to tell the state bar.  White immediately said that was the judge’s job, but if necessary, perhaps he would.  A nice shot across Nelson’s bow.

BDLE demanded to know why White did not come to him or Corey, and White replied:

I wouldn’t expect a straight answer from you if you did wrong.

No kidding.

On several occasions, BDLR tried the old trick of dramatically producing a document–e-mails in these cases–and suggesting they revealed something White did wrong.  One was a bland back and forth about scheduling a meeting.  BDLR  suggested it somehow showed that White was incompetent, but the content–which White read aloud–and tone showed no such thing.  He also accused White, who did not recall the run-of-the-mill e-mail from 2010, of having a selective memory.

O’Mara’s brief cross-examination merely clarified White’s testimony.  Responding to O’Mara’s follow up, White replied:

Bernie de la Rionda was emphatic; he said he provided all he had; at the end of day, I hope that’s right.

As a parting shot BDLR showed how worried and paranoid he was, demanding to know whether White or Kruidbos had turned any evidence over to O’Mara.  White emphatically said he had not, nor had Kruidbos.  Of course, if BDLR were honest, he would not have to worry about anyone turning over any hidden discovery.

Crumped Up:

Benjamin Crump, who was in the courtroom, came forward to testify, but Nelson did not put him under oath, nor did she seat him in the witness chair.  Again, BDLR was not asking questions so much as testifying, however, we did learn a few things.

Crump said he recorded DeeDee by phone, but the recording was hard to hear because “there were people in the room.”  He also said he sent the recording to the FBI and they gave it to the state of Florida.

Nelson helpfully asked if the phone was on speaker, and O’Mara asked: “perhaps we could get those names [of the people in the room] now?”

Nelson immediately cut O’Mara off and told Crump he had 10 days to get that information to the Defense.  She wouldn’t allow any questions of Crump by O’Mara and told Crump to bring his phone to the deposition.  She also announced that Crump wasn’t under oath.

BDLR helpfully added that he got the tape from the FDLE who got it from the FBI who got it from Crump.

It would have been hard to imagine a judge and prosecutor more solicitous to Crump, or more obviously shutting down the defense and protecting the narrative.  There’s not even a pretense of even-handedness.

West v. BDLR:

Having learned nothing from his earlier attempts to intimidate Don West, BDLR had another run at it (Video here) on cross after O’Mara.  West testified that the Defense did not get the first information from Martin’s cellphone until early August, 2012.  On Sept. 26, they got the FDLE analyst’s report, which had been prepared in March.  West also testified that they eventually learned that in late November/early December of 2012, the phone was shipped to the Santa Barbara, CA Sheriff’s Department where the unlock code was cracked, and they got that information at the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013.

West testified that in January of 2013, they got the Source file, which without the proper software, was of no use to them.  West said that prosecutor and FDLE told him they had no idea how to convert that data.  This was, of course, a blatant lie, but West did not know that at the time.

On January 13 or 14, Brenton from the FDLE traveled to CellBrite in New Jersey with the phone and got a long report from the internal memory of the phone.  West established that BDLR was not turning over information from the cell phone and at that time, still had not read the report on all the data from the phone Kruidbos gave to BDLR.  He testified that all of the phone information was finally dumped on the Defense on June 05, 2013, giving the Defense no time to review or understand it.

BDLR Shoots and Misses:

On cross, BDLR badgered West, claiming the Defense was withholding discovery.  West was eventually able to explain that it took time to run much information over to the prosecution because the Prosecution slow-roled and withheld information, which caused the Defense to find other information late in the game.

BDLR frantically kept trying to claim that the Defense had all of the information because they had the source file.  West finally shut BDLR down with the truth when BDLR began non-stop testifying, still confusing and mixing issues and dates.  It was a pathetic and desperate performance by BDLR

AUDIO EVIDENCE:  “EH?  WHAT DID YOU SAY?”

The FBI Turn Out To Be Good Guys:

Dr. Hirotake Nakasone testified for the defense (video here).  This is extraordinary for several reasons.  The FBI normally does not testify in such matters, as Dr. Nakasone said, and as I’ve frequently noted, the evidence is compelling the police and now, the FBI, to side with Zimmerman.  Unusual, to say the least.

Nakasone’s qualifications and experience were most impressive.  He is clearly a man with great knowledge and experience at the pinnacle of his profession.  He’s the genuine article, basically the speech scientist from central casting.  He even looks the part with glasses and a distinguished streak of gray in his full head of hair.

Most impressive was his depth of knowledge and his honesty.  He noted up front that forensic speech technology is “reasonably reliable,” but is also “fragile.”  It can break when used by the untrained.  He said that the science is improving and needs to establish strong, universal guidelines for courtroom use.  He is, unsurprisingly, at the forefront of the scientific committees doing just that, and expects substantial progress within two years.  He is the chairperson of the scientific working group leading that process.

He was questioned by West, who as always, was calm, professional, and precise, asking logically and clearly sequenced questions.  Nakasone said he was the voice comparison examiner–one of the few at the FBI–that did the work on the Zimmerman case.

Nakasone explained that Spectrographic Analysis was not reliable and no competent advances or research had occurred in that field since 1972. He said the Gaussian Mixing Model, in use since 1994 was the contemporarily primary model, and the I Vector, the most advanced current algorithm.  He explained that Speech Recognition deals with what is actually being said, while Speaker Recognition has to do with who is speaking.  While this might sound highly technical, Nakasone has a knack for explaining things clearly.

He explained that the FBI’s reports in this science are not suitable for court and are for investigative guidance only.  Again, he explained that the science is currently insufficient to testify in court, so the FBI does not testify in such cases.  See why his testimony for Zimmerman is so unusual?  Perhaps the FBI has a conscience.

In the Zimmerman case, he explained that the actual recorded sample–the 911 call with Zimmerman screaming for help–was less than 16 seconds long.  He explained that such a short sample would be immediately classified as “not doable.”  If a person speaking were intoxicated, they would, for example, also throw out the entire file.  He explained that even for spectrographic analysis, which is done only in concert with other methods, a minimum of 20 “well-spoken” words is required.

The actual 911 tape was played, and I was struck by Zimmerman’s voice, which even screaming for help, was clearly in the tenor range, not at all unusually high.  People love the violin because of all the instruments, it can come closest to mimicking the most expressive instrument: the human voice.  This complexity and beauty is something Nakasone seems to understand well.

Nakasone testified that he enhanced all audio files upon request and analyzed and enhanced the original recording of about 45 seconds, only about 18 seconds of which were the “screaming voice.”  Paring this down by removing the dispatcher and female caller and other noises “stepping on” or otherwise “masking” Zimmerman, he ended up with a little less than three seconds of clear voice.  He explained that in order to conduct a reliable analysis, an examiner must have “pure voice” where no one else is talking.

He said that the voice was clearly being “done by someone facing imminent threat of death.”  Therefore, it was not a fair representation of normal human speech.  The pitch changes due to emotional status renders it useless.  He said that science can’t currently deal with those issues and they would of necessity lead to “meaningless and confusing results.”

Nakasone said that “nobody has a system that can compare short emotional outbursts with normal speech at this time.”

On cross-examination, Rich Mantei for the SAO took over.  He did considerable of the questioning in these hearings. Amazingly, he shares many of BDLR’s worst quirks, including pacing, wildly waving his arms, sarcasm, and raising his voice to a shout, however, he actually smiles upon occasion–rather like a charging shark–where BDLR frown and scowls.

He began by trying to get Nakasone to say that the most advanced and competent technology was “new and novel,” which is legal-speak for untried and therefore inadmissible.  Nakasone didn’t bite, explaining that no scientifically reliable opinion can be rendered without a second qualified examiner’s concurrence.

Mantei abortively tried to get Nakasone to say that one could recognize another person’s voice by phone after a single hearing, and that therefore, somehow, real science wasn’t necessary–or something–but he quickly dropped that when Nakasone looked at him like a bug on a pin.

Nakasone testified that he issues three opinions only:

(1) The speech was made by one person;

(2) The speech was made by another person;

(3) Can’t tell.

In the Zimmerman case, Nakasone cannot tell who was screaming for help.

He also said that he is unaware of any system that would produce a reliable result with the sample in this case.  He said that anyone saying such a system would work is “disturbing,” adding that the science just isn’t there: “It’s not possible.”  He closed:

I don’t think there is such a system right now.  At least I’ve never seen one.

Mantei abortively tried to testify, suggesting that opinion and method are somehow different–or something.

Tom Owen: “Standards? I don’ need no stinkin’ standards!”

Tom Owen, the voice examiner I mentioned in Update 28 and several earlier updates, was the following act (video here and here).  Mantei quickly learned never to follow a real scientist with a hobbyist.

Owen, who testified via videolink, noted he was initially hired by The Orlando Sentinel to prove Zimmerman was not screaming on the 911 tape.  His qualifications, while superficially impressive, revealed him not to be a scientist.  He has only a bachelor’s in history, and his start in audio was recording music at 15.

He works exclusively with “Easy Voice,” a Russian-made software that is set to require a minimum of 16 second samples and 20 words.  However, he said he could make it work with less.  In the Zimmerman case, he pared the 911 tape down to about 6 seconds, and when his software–which he has been using for about three years–rejected it, he looped it together to make at least a 16 second sample.  For comparison, he used a copy of Zimmerman’s recreation video where he said “help me” and similar things in a normal tone of voice.  He claimed that the NSA and CIA are doing the same thing daily, “as far as I know.”

He constantly spoke of “semitones” in analysis, which is odd considering that a semitone is a half step on the 12 tone western scale (the pitch distance from a white to a black key on the piano or one fret to another on the guitar), and claimed that pitch did not make any difference in analysis of a voice sample, which considering his comparison sample, is convenient indeed.

I’m certainly not a speech scientist, but I can sing in the soprano range via falsetto, and can also, primarily through manipulation of tone (timbre) sound like a reasonably convincing bass, particularly when I have a cold.  For those familiar with Messiah, I can sing the opening motif of “He Trusted in God,” which is a bass line, and immediately switch to the tenor repetition–I’m a first tenor–in a completely different voice/timbre, such that anyone hearing the change is surprised.  Sorry Mr. Owen, but pitch matters.  I suspect Dr. Nakasone would agree.  Actually, he already did.

Cross-examination by West was alternately humorous and painful.  Owen did his best to avoid answering West’s clear and simple questions, and West, displaying the patience of a saint, merely continued to relentless ask calm, reasoned questions until despite himself, Owen answered.  Even over a videophone, body language matters.  As he began to avoid answering West, Owen avoided looking directly into the camera.

West was able to pry from Owen that he earns a commission for each copy of the $5000.00 software the company sells.  However, he kept furiously dancing, refusing to tell West how much he earns.  He eventually claimed that he had earned about $5000 in three years.  I doubt anyone in the courtroom believed that either, particularly when Owen wouldn’t tell West how many sales that represented.

He also testified he used “Multi Speech,” which he represented–confusingly, as a medical therapy software that allows him to see how a sample “measures up to the normal human voice.”  He made little sense.

Owen said he “electronicallly raised” Zimmerman’s normal voice sample from the reenactment so he could feed the samples into Easy Voice.

West asked him to cite any research support for this methods, or for the use of a screaming, emotional sample, and he could not, saying only–after considerable dancing:

I don’t know if it’s ever been done.

West also asked if there was any research that supported looping a voice sample that was far too short for the software, and Owen would not answer.  West asked him whether the software would have rejected the sample unless he looped it to make it longer, and despite having admitted to just that earlier, he would not answer.

Keep in mind that during all of these refusals to answer and all the tap dancing, West remained, calm and serene, never raising his voice, never badgering, never threatening.

Owen would only say that he talked to “about 10” company salesmen about what he was doing, and they agreed.  West questioned him about the qualifications of salesmen to make such determinations, and he quickly added that they were “speech scientists” too.  Most of them–Russians all– even speak English!

West asked him if he had ever looped a sample before this case with this software and he resisted answering, but eventually admitted he had not.  West also got Owen to say that the software selected four seconds of the six second sample to analyze, but Owen had no idea which four seconds or why.

West asked Owen which standards he used in Aural (listening) Spectrographic Analysis.  He was very reluctant to answer, eventually saying that he needed at least 20 words, but he didn’t have 20 words, only ten.  West asked how he did it and Owen replied that he needed 20 words for “good evidence,” and “this wasn’t good evidence.”

West asked him if he didn’t have enough sample in duration or number of words to do an Aural Spectrographic Analysis.  Owen claimed that’s why he said it’s ”highly probable” it’s not Zimmerman screaming instead of “positive” it’s not.  Owen said he can’t say it’s Martin because he has no comparison sample.

West got Owen to admit that he has only testified once before–in Connecticut–about using this software and that there was no Frye hearing before he was allowed to testify.

Owens ended up claiming he has standards for his work, but he also violates them “to make a determination,” suggesting that getting a result is more important than using scientifically reliable standards to make that determination.  West replied: “you deviated from the standards you drafted.”  To which Owen replied: “I didn’t deviate; I just didn’t have 20 words.” 

Riiight.

Mantei tried to rehabilitate Owen by pointing out a microscope in the background and asking if Owen used it.  Owen laughed and said he did.  He got Owen to admit he didn’t know how to make a microscope, apparently suggesting that therefore Owen didn’t need to know anything about the tools he used in voice analysis–or something.  They both had quite a laugh about that.

Eh?  What’s That You Say?:

In Update 29 I wrote about a Dr. Reich, whose testimony about the 911 tape made Jerilyn Merritt of “Talk Left” laugh:

“The second report is so absurd I’m wondering if it wasn’t a joke. Parts of it are laugh-out-loud funny.

‘For example, approximately one second after the start of CALL3, Mr. Zimmerman makes a seemingly religious proclamation, “These shall be.” His speech is characterized by the low pitch and exaggerated pitch contour reminiscent of an evangelical preacher or carnival barker.

The statement is challenging for the untrained listener to detect as it occurs simultaneously with Trayvon Martin’s loud, high-pitched,
distressed, and tremulous ‘I’m begging you.’ and the 911 Dispatcher’s ‘Nine-one-one.’ Many of Mr. Zimmerman’s ‘side-bar’ utterances are subject to such multiple-talker masking effects and to low signal levels.”

Mr. Mantei took first shot at Dr. Reich, who spoke via speaker phone (video here and here).  The speaker phone connection was intermittently scratchy and nearly inaudible, which wasn’t helped by Dr. Reich, who, according to the Washington Post is 67.  However, his voice sounded like he was 97, bearing the weak breath support, unvoiced and dropped consonants and irregular pacing of many elderly people.  In addition, he wears hearing aids (his own admission) which caused him not to hear attorneys in the courtroom trying to question him.  He would often–speaking very rapidly–run on and on, particularly when he wasn’t speaking about anything that was being asked.  It was at first, somewhat amusing, and ultimately, embarrassingly painful to listen to him, and he went on for just under two hours.

Mantei began, but retreated quickly, leaving the field to West, whose patience was actually tried.  West had to ask the most simple and direct questions over and over again, and often never received a direct answer.  In fact, much of what Reich said made no sense at all.

Some of his comments:

You “can’t have a hard and fast opinion [in the Zimmerman case] because of the less than perfect circumstances.”

He admitted he didn’t know how long the signal was when it was isolated, saying only “4-5 seconds.”

Reich felt that according to research, one needs less than one second of speech for identification.

He represented his standard as being “more than a vowel” and “more than a consonant” but “not quite a vowel and a consonant.”  Which he summed up by saying he had no  minimum length of sample and no minimum number of words.

He added: “There’s a reasonable corpus of speech data for analysis,” which had no context whatever.

West finally pointed out that transcripts of Reich’s work provided to the Washington Post and to the prosecution had significant differences, and asked about that.  Reich had no coherent explanation.

The Vaudevillian Closing:

In this very brief video clip O’Mara tried to get Nelson to rule on his motions for sanctions, but first, he tried to call BDLR to the stand.  BDLR refused, and Nelson let him get away with it and rescued him yet again by putting off any further handling of that issue until after the trial.

O’Mara said that BDLR lied, committing “direct criminal contempt,”  and Nelson shut him off and delayed it until later, arguing that she wanted to do the expert witnesses first.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

The prosecution is paranoid and desperate.  I suspect their only solace is that Judge Nelson continues to do her best to protect BDLR and the narrative whenever and however she can.  Her delaying any action on sanctions can easily be understood as telling the prosecution they can continue to violate the law in any way they choose because she can always, Hillary Clinton-like, say “what difference does it make now?” when the trial is over and a verdict has been handed down.

I’ll update this post within the next day or two with information about one additional “scientific” witness, a Dr. Peter French from the UK.  I say “scientific,” because the two Prosecution scientists thus far have been an unmitigated disaster for the Prosecution.

If Judge Nelson holds to any semblance of the rule of law–and as we’ve seen, that can’t be counted upon–there is no way Mr. Owen will be allowed anywhere near the courtroom.  And considering Dr. Reich’s bizarre performance, and his inability to speak to anything resembling a scientific standard of analysis despite his actual qualifications, he too should be excluded.  In fact, a rational prosecutor would be kicking himself in the head for the mistake of even mentioned Dr. Reich.  In an unbiased courtroom, Dr. Reich would have used up a great deal of the Prosecution’s credibility with the judge.  Of course, in an unbiased courtroom, the Prosecution would likely have long ago been jailed for contempt and reported to the state bar disciplinary committee.

Dr. Nakasone was a breath of fresh air.  I can’t adequately express how far he stood above his “colleagues” in science.  He did it simply by his obvious knowledge, humility, qualification and quite dignity.  We should be so lucky if all scientists were as sincere and honest.  Yet the prosecution was distinctly uncomfortable around him, another example of the backwards nature of this case.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday, yet it’s clear that the Prosecution could still be hiding discovery, and highly likely the Defense will be required to ask for a continuance in the near future.  Should Judge Nelson allow these incredibly unscientific witnesses, she will unquestionably introduce reversible error.  One might say she intends to do that to give her an out, but doing that would be an incredible dereliction of duty and grounds for removal from the bench.  Not only would such action spend huge amounts of public money, it would put an innocent man through hell for the convenience of the judge.  Unfortunately, few can find that difficult to imagine anymore, so corrupt has become the justice system in Florida.

I’m tempted to say nothing can surprise me in this case, but that’s likely just until the next surprise.