Trayvon Martin Killing: What is George Zimmerman’s Best Defense

(Update 6/1/2102: Zimmerman’s bail revoked, back to jail he goes, for lying to the judge about his “indigent” status. Apparently, he had over $135K in the bank. Not good, coming from the son of a judge.)

(Update 5/15/2012: Martin’s autopsy shows injuries (cuts) to his knuckles. Zimmerman’s medical records from a family physician indicate a broken nose and head lacerations.)

Pick the right jury.

And, that’s the challenge for both the prosecution and the defense.

The defense just needs one juror to vote not guilty or undecided. While the prosecution needs all of the jurors to vote guilty, a unanimous verdict.

This case will be a “battle of the facts”.

Did Zimmerman act in self-defense? Was he “attacked” by Trayvon? Did he have a “reasonable belief that use of deadly force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm”? What did the 911 callers see or hear? What was the angle of the shot? What were Zimmerman’s injuries? Any blood or gun resin on Zimmerman? And, most importantly, what were the injuries on Trayvon Martin, other than the bullet wound, to support Zimmerman’s claim that he was attacked and that there was a struggle?

Or, did Zimmerman act with a “depraved mind without regard for human life” when he shot Trayvon? Did he act with “ill-will, spite or hatred” (depraved mind) necessary for the prosecution to prove a second degree murder conviction? Was there a racial slur on the 911 call? What were Zimmerman’s statements to the police? Did an ear-witness hear Zimmerman’s words?

And, then, there is “reasonable doubt”, which many jurors struggle to understand and many defense attorneys consider the “Hail Mary”. The defense will remind the jury that each element of second degree murder or manslaughter, a lesser offense, must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. “If there is reasonable doubt, you must acquit”, the defense may say.

And, will George Zimmerman testify? Will he be sympathetic? Will he connect with the jury? Will the jury identify with him? Will he be believable? Or, will the facts or the forensics (angle of bullet, no fight injuries to Trayvon, etc.) discredit his story?

Yet, if the public’s reaction to date is any indication, picking a fair and impartial jury will be no easy task for either side. But, an experienced trial attorney knows that this case will be won or lost by who they pick as jurors.

Just ask OJ Simpson or Casey Anthony.

Simply my opinion, what say you?

2 Comments on “Trayvon Martin Killing: What is George Zimmerman’s Best Defense”

  1. Interesting blog. Question for you, if I may:

    Will the defense be able to get statements Zimmerman made to the police into evidence at trial without Zimmerman taking the stand? Specifically, I wonder about any statement gave about getting his head repeatedly beaten onto cement. Can this come into trial in some manner other than direct testimony from Zimmerman?

    (Okay, that was *two* questions).


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