Zimmerman Trial Whistleblower Fired After Testimony

Zimmerman Trial Whistleblower Fired After TestimonyAn employee of the Florida State Attorney’s Office who testified that prosecutors withheld evidence from George Zimmerman’s defense team has been fired.

‘Deleted text messages’

Ben Kruidbos had been on paid administrative leave since May 28 from his job as director of information technology for the State Attorney’s Office. A spokeswoman for Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Angela Corey said Kruidbos was no longer an employee of the office.

Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, is on trial in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year. Kruidbos testified before Zimmerman’s trial began that Martin’s cell phone contained images of Martin blowing smoke, images of marijuana and deleted text messages regarding a transaction for a firearm and that those images had not been given to Zimmerman’s defense team. He received the termination letter, dated July 11, on Friday, the same day jurors began deliberating Zimmerman’s case.

‘Held liable’

Kruidbos said that, when he printed a 900-page Florida Department of Law Enforcement report from Martin’s cell phone in late 2012 or early 2013, he noticed information was missing. Concerned that attorneys did not have all the information they needed to prepare the case, he said, he reported his concerns to a State Attorney’s Office investigator and later to prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda.

Kruidbos said he generated a report that was more than three times the size of the one that had been handed over.In court, Kruidbos testified that he was concerned that he could be held liable if all information wasn’t shared. But the defense said Kruidbos’ testimony supports its claim that the state violated the rules of discovery. The defense said it did not get the complete report until a few days before the trial.

Is the firing of Ben Kruidbos rightly justified? Feel free to throw in your opinions regarding this case!

Source: Tom Watkins and Nancy Leung | CNN

Image: Scared Monkeys

Scans Help Scientists Construct First Map Of The Human Brain

Scans Help Scientists Construct First Map Of The Human BrainScientists are set to release the first batch of data from a project designed to create the first map of the human brain. The project could help shed light on why some people are naturally scientific, musical or artistic.

‘Full monty’

Some of the first images were shown at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Boston. Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital are pushing brain imaging to its limit using a purpose built scanner. It is one of the most powerful scanners in the world. The scanner’s magnets need 22MW of electricity – enough to power a nuclear submarine.

The researchers invited me to have my brain scanned. I was asked if I wanted “the 10-minute job or the 45-minute ‘full monty'” which would give one of the most detailed scans of the brain ever carried out. Only 50 such scans have ever been done. I went for the full monty.

‘Learn how the human mind works’

The result was a 3D computer image that revealed the important pathways of my brain in vivid colour. One of the lead researchers, Professor Van Wedeen, gave me a guided tour of the inside of my head. He showed me the connection that helped me to see and another one that helped me understand speech. Prof Wedeen used visualisation software that enabled him to fly around and through these pathways – even to zoom in to see intricate details. He and his team hope to learn how the human mind works and what happens when it goes wrong.

“We have all these mental health problems and our method for understanding them has really not changed for over a hundred years,” he said. “We don’t have imaging methods as we do for the heart to tell what’s really going on. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could get in there and see these things and give people advice concerning what their risks are and how we could help them overcome those problems?”

What other functions could this brain map present to us? Are you interested in undergoing this type of brain scan?

Source: Pallab Ghosh, BBC News

Image: Nonsolofole