George Zimmerman’s trial attorney admitted that his client is worried about the outcome of the Trayvon Martin second-degree murder trial that is ongoing in Seminole County, Florida.
Zimmerman defense lawyer Mark O’Mara answered questions at a press conference today (see embed above) after both sides rested their case. Closing arguments are scheduled to start tomorrow, and jury deliberations are expected to start as soon as the final summations end.
According to O’Mara, George Zimmerman is happy the way the evidence came out in the trial but he’s very worried about the state of Florida trying to put him behind bars for the rest of his life. “It’s a scary position to be in.”
Added O’Mara: “He’s [also] very worried about his safety, his personal safety going forward, because those same people who portended to fear and hatred leading up to this trial are probably not going to accept an acquittal, though they should, since the system’s working …”
Unlike co-counsel Don West, O’Mara was able to maintain generally cordial relations with the judge throughout the proceedings with his more low-key, calm style. O’Mara said that he hopes that everyone understands or believes that the legal team did what they could to defend George Zimmerman zealously but still respectfully “protected the memory of the loss of a 17-year-old son of two people in that courtroom every single day.”
As we reported previously, there is some possibility that the jury will come back with a compromise verdict (which is not allowed is some states) for the lesser offense of manslaughter but which in Florida also carries a long jail term. O’Mara strongly push backed against a compromise manslaughter guilty verdict or even what he called a jury “pardon” on the basis of sympathy. A jury instruction for manslaughter would be factually inappropriate, he insisted. Self-defense is a defense to murder or manslaughter, he noted.
As far as Zimmerman’s decision not to take the witness stand, O’Mara explained that “I think we have a very good chance with the jury right now, with the evidence as presented.” He admitted that George Zimmerman wanted to testify on his own behalf and “interact with the jury” and “it was a difficult decision for him to make.” Drawing an analogy with the physician-patient relationship, O’Mara reasoned that “we give the doctors scalpels for a reason and trust those, and I think he trusted us in the way we looked at case …”
As far as George Zimmerman’s conduct on the night of February 26, 2012, when Trayvon Martin was killed, O’Mara posited that his client did what he believed reasonably what he needed to do to protect himself from great bodily harm. “If we’ve presented evidence that helps the jury understand that, we’ve done our job.”
During the course of this afternoon’s press conference, O’Mara among other things disclosed that the controversial animation of the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin confrontation that the judge declined to admit into evidence would likely be incorporated into the defense’s closing argument.
What do you think will be the outcome of the George Zimmerman criminal trial?