At yesterday's afternoon hearing, Bernie de la Rionda, representing the State, denied that Bernard Crump has been speaking out publicly on the George Zimmerman Case as a surrogate for the Prosecution.
I believe that what the Cyberspace Commentariat has been chattering about may be more like a Sockpuppet than a Surrogate; viz: "A sockpuppet poses as an independent third-party unaffiliated with the puppeteer."
Be that as it may, DLRionda publicly disavowed that Crump was the Prosecution's Charlie McCarthy and he disclaimed any responsibility for Crump's utterances.
Although Surrogate, Sockpuppet, and Charlie McCarthy can be grouped together, they each have subtle distinctions which differentiate each from the others.
# DLRionda requested that Judge Nelson issue a gag order on the Defense team, voicing a concern that the Defense website would poison the potential jury pool.
Mark O'Mara for the Defense counter-argued, bringing in statistics to bolster his position. Mining the database of the website's visitor meter shows that only a relatively small number of visiting readers come from Central Florida, the region from which the jury pool would be drawn.
Defense contends that the Voir Dire might take somewhat longer than average to accomplish, but, according to that statistical abstract, it would not be a futile process. Thus, the remedy sought by the State would be far too extreme for the demonstrable statistics involved.
# Since a lawyer's discourse is held to a higher standard of decorum, how is a lapse in decorum usually handled? Here in Florida, the Bar Association usually handles this issue.
But they have been strangely silent in this case. As far as I could tell, it's been strictly cricket chirps from the Bar Association about any lapses in decorum on the part of Crump and his associates who have been running their mouths on every possible public forum.
The alternative approach proposed by DLRionda is abhorrent to me. I don't want any prosecutor censoring my reading material.
# DLRionda indicated that he feels comfortable with the legacy mainstream press. He believes that the reportage at The Tribune Company's Orlando Sentinel and The McClatchy Company's Miami Herald has been fair. I strongly disagree. This case has seen one of the worst outbreaks of yellow journalism in recent history.
In their latest slipshod performance, so typical for this case, the reporters failed to provide us with the list of interested parties who submitted Friend of the Court briefs on the gag order. While watching the Friday hearing being livestreamed, identification captions were absent, so that I do not even know who spoke in court about this topic.
I did not submit an amicus on this issue as a Blogger or even as a member of the reading public; I was hoping that the ACLU would send one in on behalf of the public. I don't know whether they did or not.
# One of the reasons that DLRionda feels comfortable with those media organizations is because they have a hierarchy of control. He indicated that he is not comfortable with the discourse in Cyberspace because it seems to him that it is out of control.
No one can control all the chatter on the Internet.
That is true, but these things are also true:
No one controls what I say or should not write on my Blog. Scary? No one controlled what Benjamin Franklin wrote either, yet our country survived.
Although there are some comment threads gone wild with free-wheeling remarks, other comment threads at other websites are better moderated.
I expect we all will somehow adjust to the Internet, too, and eventually take it in stride.
Judge Nelson will issue her ruling
about the gag order on Monday.
:: OSentinel :: - - - :: MHerald ::