Judge says mitigation evidence opportunities are protected by higher court rulings, but he has to be very vigilant in avoiding passions that could influence the jury in impact statements.
Judge reconfirms he'll address the photos one at a time, as they come up
Judge Samour says that with respect to the videos with holiday music, the objections are overruled. Everything is therefore admitted
Judge Samour next decides that certificate given to the defendant's dad for coaching training will be admissible as mitigation evidence
Judge Samour says letters contain improper information, things the jury shouldn't see and therefore they will be barred from evidence. he says it wasn't even a close call
@FMM: Yes, judges were lawyers first
Judge says about letters: "They are self-serving, they include opinion testimony, and they include information that in my view is inadmissible and would affect the prosecution's right to a fair trial"
Audio recording the parents made for the defendant, after the arrest, is being barred from the case. Judge again says it is self-serving and has "way too many concerns for this to be admissible"
About dad's voicemail messages, Judge says he wonders why the defense wants them and why the prosecution objects -- he doesn't believe they are very probative -- but will be allowed.
Judge Samour says the parents can testify about having written letters, but just can't enter the content of the letters into evidence
The defense has indicated the gunman's parents will testify later today.
@hey: He is very careful about the records, knowing this case will likely
go to appeals
Defense is ready to show the segment where the video jumped before
Judge makes a record that the "do you support" questions were not objected to in the past and that is why he allowed it to continue today
Judge says juror who "made everyone sick" gave him the thumbs up. Laughter ensues