The Problem With Using Skype In A Major Murder Trial

Technology fails the George Zimmerman prosecution.

1. On Wednesday, George Zimmerman’s former criminal justice professor Scott Pleasants became the state’s 33rd witness called to testify in Zimmerman’s murder trial. He couldn’t appear in person, though, so prosecutors questioned him via Skype.

Omar Ranginwala


Can’t believe someone’s testifying via #Skype in the #trayvonmartin #zimmerman trial. #Microsoft

2. For the networks live-broadcasting the high-profile trial, this quickly became problematic.

Jonathan Anker


Skype users are trolling the #Zimmerman trial. This is crazy. Call-spamming witness’ testimony.

3. Now armed with his Skype username, dozens started calling Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei to try to get their names on TV.

Kim Segal CNN Miami


OMG: In Zimmerman court prosecutor trying to Skype in witness & look what happened!

4. Of course, 4chan is believed to be behind the prank.

FOX 13 Tampa Bay


Screenshot of Skype testimony #fail in #Zimmerman trial as pranksters try to call in. Judge not amused,

5. The prosecutors eventually gave up on Skype, placing an iPhone on the witness stand instead, for Pleasants to testify via speakerphone.

6. Good job, everyone.

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Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Jessica Testa at

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