A Trial Begins

Today attorneys made opening statements in the George Zimmerman trial. CNN says the defense attorney began with a knock knock joke.

Following Guy’s statement, defense attorney Don West came forward to woo the jury. As he began, he told a knock-knock joke. But it failed to win a laugh. “Knock knock. Who’s there? George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman who? Good, you’re on the jury,” he said.

Yeah, I’m sure that made an impression.

I mostly want to call your attention to “The Quote That Should End the Trayvon Trial.” John Richardson writes,

George Zimmerman is going to be found guilty. All the evidence you need — all the evidence the cops needed — is right there in the interrogation they did with him three days after the shooting. The only thing more shocking than what Zimmerman says in the clip, which was released on the internet one year ago, is how little it has impressed the bloviating jerks who dominate the coverage of this trial.

Richardson provides a partial transcript of the tape with his own comments. What comes across is that (a) Zimmerman wasn’t taking the crime all that seriously; and (b) the cops clearly knew Zimmerman’s account didn’t add up, but they let him go, anyway.

12 thoughts on “A Trial Begins

  1. It’s interesting that at the 12:34 mark in that audio tape Zimmerman is reluctant to give his address out loud because he didn’t know where the “kid’ was. So evidently he recognized him as a child before the shooting occurred.

  2. Based on what is known, it is hard to imagine SYG providing shelter for Zimmerman. Women have sons and daughters they want to see grow up. Offending the jurors will not move them beyond human sympathy. And please forgive the techincal terms, but Zimmerman presents as a stinking prick.

  3. Let’s look at the fight that led up to the shooting from Trevon’s point of view. You are black – a minority – a teen old enough to have experienced racism. You aren’t doing anything wrong. (Whether Trevon sampled grass a year before the shooting isn’t material. At the time of the shooting, he was just walking home in the daytime with no drugs, no weapon, no burglary, no plans to commit…. anything.)

    You realize you are being stalked – for that’s what Zimmerman looked like he was doing, following Trevon through the neighborhood. It seems Trevon tried to evade Zimmerman – that’s not suspicious. Trevon was afraid of the motives of someone he did not know – not a cop or recognized authority figure.

    That threatening, mysterious person (against the advice of the 911 operator) gets out of his car – armed and tries to – what? – from Trevon’s viewpoint – attack him. And Trevon fought – he stood his ground against a larger assailant. It may be that Zimmerman was getting his ass kicked. It may be that it was Trevon screaming for help on the audio tape. Maybe both – Trevon may have been screaming for help throughout the fight, believing he was in a fight to the death.

    Which he was.

    We know – Zimmerman instigated a confrontation. We know Zimmerman fired the fatal shot. We know Trevon Martin was unarmed. It is possible that Zimmerman was loosing the fight he started and had to shoot Trevon to keep from getting his ass kicked. That’s not self-defense. Zimmerman brought lethal force to bear in a public place as a matter of choice. Trevon was defending himself.

    Zimmerman is going down for 2nd degree murder – you can’t convince me of premeditation any more than you can convince me of self-defense. I hope the judge hands down the maximum sentence for 2nd degree. Here’s why.

    A gun comes with great responsibility – an obligation – and Zimmerman treated the gun as if it was a badge of authority. It’s not. If you will own a tool to kill, you have a burden to try to avoid killing – avoid circumstances that Zimmerman eagerly created by taking his weapon in public. It’s not the wild west – we are going to have and require a civilized society – or we will have chaos. Taking your gun in public should be something you do with great caution – and (I wish it was required) advanced training and professional screening.

  4. Zimmerman wanted the address so he could tell the 911 dispatcher where Martin was. its not at all the admission of guilt that the Esquire writer thinks it is.

    • Zimmerman wanted the address so he could tell the 911 dispatcher where Martin was.

      Obviously, but it suggests that somewhere in his addled mind Zimmerman knew the boy was walking to a home where he was staying, meaning that he had a legitimate reason to be walking in the complex. However, it’s likely that Zimmerman’s claim he was following the boy to find the address was a tad post hoc; made up after the fact to give him a legitimate excuse for following Martin.

  5. ipe – Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch captain for the complex – had been for quite some time based on the number of calls Zimmerman made to the police.
    So he had to get out to get an address because he did not know where he was??? That doesn’t add up. I agree with Pierce – Zimmerman was following to see precisely which address in the complex Martin was visiting. That does suggest that Zimmerman did not think he was pursuing a burgler/intruder, but a black punk in a hoodie – which was proof of criminal intent to Z.

  6. Listening to the initial part of the 911 tape it sounds like Zimmerman was creating a scenario to justify blowing Martin away under the SYG law. A black man wearing a hoodie, acting strangely like he’s on drugs, deliberately coming at Zimmerman with something in his hand and reaching into his waistband ( twice mentioned) could create a picture that Zimmerman had a reason to be fearful for his life.
    Could be that Martin’s deciding to run away created a change in plans for Zimmerman, although he did eventually get his quarry.

    I’m hoping that Zimmerman is found guilty because in my mind anything that transpired as far as a confrontation after Martin tried to flee is a result of Zimmerman’s over zealous actions. And he should bear the responsibility for those actions.

  7. That knock-knock joke was quite a thing. Way to build rapport with the jury, guy, suggest that they are only there because they are ignorant buffoons. Looks like Zimmerman’s got a lawyer who’ll provide him with grounds for an appeal based on inadequate representation. I also heard a clip of him later in the (exceptionally long opening) in which he was trying to argue that Trayvon was indeed armed, with, wait for it, the concrete sidewalk that he was bashing Zimmerman’s head against.

    For a moment I imagined Trayvon like some super-villain, ripping up a hunk of concrete and carrying it over to the SUV where a defenseless Zimmerman cowered in fear, in that alternate universe where something happened other than a racist, chip-on-shoulder Zimmerman provoking a confrontation, letting it get out of control and killing a kid for no good reason. Yeah, the sidewalk was a “weapon”. Sheesh.

  8. Well, at least a legal precedent was set – the first case of a ‘knock-knock’ joke, in a Defense Attorney’s opening statement.
    I’m also pretty sure that that’ll be the last ‘knock-knock’ joke used by Defense Attorney in his/her opening statement.

    Ya gotta wonder what the lawyers thinking process was.
    “My public speaking professor said, ‘always open with a joke.’ Hmm… I know a great ‘dead-baby’ joke… No. Too close to home, in this case. What was the punch-line to that black joke… No. Scratch that. Hey, I know, I’ll insult the jury members intelligence with a ‘knock-knock’ joke about them! THAT’LL work!!!”

    After his first ‘knock-knock’ joke fell flatter than a mis-stepping Wallenda, maybe he should have tried a second one.
    “Ok, knock-knock again.”
    ‘Who’s there?’
    ‘Ima who.’
    “Ima asshole for telling the first one. Please forget that I told it.”

  9. Knock Knock, Who’s there:

    Your client who started a fight with a 17 year old kid, got his ass kicked and then decided to murder him, case closed!

  10. The Lionel Hutz School of Defense Lawyerin: “That was a right purty speech, sir.” Yikes.

    Although I’m starting to doubt Zimmerman would be acquitted even if he had competent counsel.

  11. I think Richardson lives in a fantasy world, where matters like this are decided on the basis of logic and dispassionate analysis of facts.

    This case is going to be decided on one thing only: the degree to which the jurors believe that all black male teenagers are criminals.

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