5 Star Witness
Rachel Jeantel, a friend of Trayvon Martin’s who was on the phone with the victim just moments before he was shot, was meant to be the key witness for the prosecution. Jeantel however, was hesitant to get involved in the trial, and when she finally took the stand she called the notion that Trayvon attacked George Zimmerman “retarded,” and said Trayvon told her he was being followed by a “creepy-ass cracker.” While none of this cleared Zimmerman in and of itself, her “informalities” certainly didn’t help the credibility of the prosecution.
From the beginning, Zimmerman claimed he opened fire because Martin had attacked him and he felt his life was in danger. However, prosecutors were quick to point out that there was little to no evidence that an attack ever occurred, as there was hardly any blood on either of them at the scene. The defense however, was able to argue that the rain pouring down that night could have washed away key evidence and could account for the lack of blood. So even if Zimmerman’s claims were overblown, the wet weather made it easier for him to stick to them.
3 Debatable Phone Call
The audio from the 911 recording made the night of the attack did absolutely nothing to clear things up, in fact, if anything it muddled the story even further. The call was unclear, but cries for help could definitely be heard, the only trouble being that no one knows whose cries they were. If it was clearly Martin yelling for help, or clearly Zimmerman, it could have helped to determine who was truly responsible for the shooting. However, when called to the stand, the mothers of both Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman each claimed the screams on the tape belonged to their son.
2 Wrong Charges
Some legal experts have come out and said that the prosecution was doomed from the start and that they shot themselves in the foot by overreaching with the charges they filed. Zimmerman was tried for and cleared of second-degree murder, a charge that says the killing was not premeditated, but that it was carried out with hatred, ill will or spite. Questions arose immediately on how anyone could determine what Zimmerman was feeling at the time since there were no actual witnesses to the attack, and eventually he was acquitted. Some say that had the prosecution started with a manslaughter charge, the outcome could have been very different.
It’s Florida. When it comes down to it, and as unfortunate as it may be to admit, there are still certain parts of this country where asking for a rational, intelligent interpretation of the law is like asking for a dietician in a Cracker Barrel.