Kruidbos feared he would put his job in jeopardy if he came forward with this information, but he also was concerned about a possible miscarriage of justice, so he directed his attorneys to alert Zimmerman’s defense team about the withheld evidence. He turned over the photos in late May, and the state placed Kruidbos on administrative leave until this past Friday, the day the Zimmerman case went to the jury. That morning, according to the Florida Times-Union, he received a hand-delivered letter from Corey informing him that he was fired and that he “can never again be trusted to step foot in this office.” The treatment he received for telling the defense about government misconduct will discourage others from becoming whistleblowers.
In addition, Corey’s deputies interviewed key witnesses with Trayvon Martin’s family present. Jonathan Turley, a self-proclaimed liberal and a law professor at George Washington University, called such behavior “a highly unusual and improper practice.”
The government’s presentation of its case in court was so badly bungled that panicky prosecutors demanded at the very end of the trial that jurors be allowed to consider not just a second-degree murder charge but also manslaughter and third-degree murder due to child abuse (the 200-pound Martin was 17 at the time of his death). The judge allowed the jury to consider the manslaughter charge but not the charge of child abuse.