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July 11th, 2013
12:11 AM ET

Does Zimmerman have hysterical amnesia?

During Wednesday's George Zimmerman trial the defense called witness Dennis Root, a former police officer and use of force expert. He testified that people who've been involved in high stress events, like shootings, can have trouble remembering things.

The trauma can cause 'hysterical amnesia', which is when defendants claim they don't remember committing a crime. This could explain the various inconsistencies in Zimmerman's descriptions about what happened the night he shot Trayvon Martin.

Randi Kaye reports.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • George Zimmerman • Trayvon Martin
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Andy H

    Take away all the supposition, and what can you really say about that fight with any certainty? Martin was atop Zimmerman when Good saw them, and the gunshot evidence supports Martin being on top at the end of the fight. Zimmerman being the one on the bottom is supported by physical evidence: his back is grassy and wet, and he has scalp injuries that are consistent with his head being hit on the pavement. Zimmerman is the one who is injured. Zimmerman is the one who is screaming for help (again, Good). Zimmerman claims–and no one has been able to disprove–that Martin attacked him. If you look at it dispassionately, there's a lot that supports–and little that undermines–Zimmerman's claim of self-defense. If this case didn't have the racial dimension to it, I suspect that most people would accept that very easily.

    July 24, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  2. Bobbie

    I think the prosecution did a great job on the closing considering what they had to work with. NO ONE saw what happened at the time of the shooting....what we have is decent physical evidence, combined with the MANY LIES from Zimmerman's own mouth. As far as the hysterical amnesia, not buying it, wasn't the testimony that the memory would come back? To this day, Zimmerman has never corrected his lies to make them REALLY fit the timeline as provided by phone call records.......

    July 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
  3. sharlee

    I was on a bridge that collasped and the car right in front of us went into the water, just a few feet away, and I backed mycar quickly off the bridge, while it was still breaking apart. the 2 people died in the car and it took8 days to pull it out of the water. When i was questioned, I could describe the car as boxy with a landau top, but I just could not remember the color, Just know it was on the darker side. I knew cars very well, but it really upset me that I couldn't remember the color. My preservation instincts had kicked in to get me and my child off the bridge, before we went in also, so I blocked out some parts of the event. I bothered me so much, I even went under hypnosis to try to see it. I found out, but never really could remember it. So, yes it does happen.

    July 11, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
  4. Robert Johnson

    why was this missed by all that was doing this trial.. it was George Zimmermans words he was reaching for the gun... Sorry to me that little comment is a problem.

    July 11, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
  5. Robert Johnson

    Was watching the video that they had during closing and was wondering when zimmerman was standing out side the building telling the police what trayvon said after he was shot.. then he makes the remark that he acted shock that I had a gun.. is that not what he said so what happened to he was reaching for the gun

    July 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  6. Regina M Dziak

    Anderson, why has no one asked Zimmerman or someone on your panel, or for that matter you, why Zimmerman die not shot the victim in arm, leg or other. Why did he shoot into the heart? Did he want him dead so he could cover up things?

    July 11, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  7. maria

    You can ask 5 people for an account of something and get 5 different responses. But to get from Zimmerman 5 different accounts of what occured between him and Trayvon Martin is not hysterical amnesia. When you lie its difficult to remember your last lie. You stick to the truth, it's the easiest thing to remember. Lastly, you only lie when you have something to hide.

    July 11, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
  8. Nancy Kulibert

    When people get excited or nervous, they sometimes make small mistakes in what they say. Zimmerman might have temporarily forgotten the name of a street as the Prosecutor accused him of, but replay the beginning of the Prosecutor's closing statement to the Jury...even with the Date of the offense written in plain view of him and the Jury, the Prosecutor was off one day's date! PROOF that it can happen to anyone...even Prosecutors!

    July 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  9. Desiree Hall

    When a child is being followed and afraid of the follower and starts to run and the follower starts to run after him or her,
    what happens ? The follower can do whatever he wants to do because he is not committing a crime, until he kills the child. Is that what your telling me Mr. West and the courts. Mr. Zimmerman was in pursuit of Travon Martin and the child was afraid. Therefore I think they should go for 3rd degree murder with abuse of a child. Because God forbid this should happen again. This is not because of color or greed. This is because our children should always be protected, even when we the parents are not there.

    July 11, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  10. DanielleS

    The question I pose is this. On the night of his murder, Martin "stood his ground" when being followed by Zimmerman when he stopped and asked in so many words why he was being followed........It ended in his murder. How is it that his murderer can in turn use the same defense?

    July 11, 2013 at 7:03 am |

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