Prosecutors Never Came Close to Proving George Zimmerman Guilt


After five weeks of trial and 56 witnesses, few experts believed prosecutors came close to proving Sanford, Fl., neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman committed murder when he killed Trayvon Martin last year, reports the Miami Herald. Jurors rejected even a “compromise” verdict of manslaughter, acquitting Zimmerman of all criminal charges and deciding he acted in a reasonable way to protect his own life. “The jury clearly believed that you have a right to defend yourself,” said Jude Faccidomo, former president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “Especially when cases are so gray, like this one was, self-defense really resonates because people can associate with being afraid.”

While some questioned prosecutors’ acceptance of a mostly white jury, a more diverse panel would have returned the same verdict, lawyers who have watched the case believe. Example of prosecutor error: Lead detective Chris Serino, on defense questioning, suggested he believed Zimmerman’s account, a statement later stricken from the record by the judge but heard by jurors. “The state should have objected before he had a chance to answer,” said Miami attorney Larry Handfield. “But it’s too late. You can’t unring the bell. You can’t ask the jury to not consider something they already heard. They’re human.”

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