Is George Zimmerman a murderer or is he an innocent man who was forced to fight for his life? The jury will have the final say in the Trayvon Martin case that has riveted the nation for the past year.
The jury is to convene again this morning to continue their deliberations in the murder trial of the Florida neighborhood watch coordinator who shot to death the unarmed black 17-year-old Trayvon. Jurors adjourned Friday after their first day of deliberations. They requested a list of evidence from the judge. They are to start deliberations at 9 a.m. this morning.
After a riveting 12 days of televised testimony from several witnesses, they will decide whether Zimmerman was a victim or the guilty party on the night of the fatal confrontation of February 26, 2012. This night was to be Trayvon’s last night as he walked through a gated community on his way to the home of his father’s fiancée.
The judge ordered the six-women jury to consider whether George Zimmerman, 29, acted in self-defense and with justifiable use of deadly force.
Zimmerman could be acquitted, or convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter, according to experts.
Like the O.J. Simpson case, this trial has divided not only the Florida community but much of America.
There are no witnesses to the fatal episode. When the deadly gunshot was fired, no one saw exactly what happened. No one knows except Zimmerman and Trayvon, who is dead. Experts think there were few tangible answers in the entire testimony.
“They are making it a guessing game, and guessing games favor the defense,” Jose Baez, a Florida criminal defense attorney, said of both sides. Baez successfully defended Casey Anthony, a Florida mother accused of killing her young daughter in a high-profile murder case.
Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara, said he had proven his client’s “pure, unadulterated innocence” in the case.
He says Trayvon punched Zimmerman, slammed his head into the pavement and reached for Zimmerman’s gun.
To the contrary, prosecutors claim Zimmerman has lied. John Guy, the prosecutor, said that Zimmerman had told a series of lies in statements.
“To the dead, we owe the truth. What do we owe Trayvon Martin?” he asked.
The prosecution has suggested Zimmerman made an assumption that caused Trayvon to die. Zimmerman, the prosecution said, assumed that Trayvon, an African-American teenager, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt as he walked in the rain, was up to no good.
“The defendant didn’t shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to – he shot him because he wanted to,” Guy said. “That’s the bottom line.”
“Isn’t that every child’s worst nightmare, to be followed on the way home in the dark by a stranger?” he added. “Isn’t that every child’s worst fear?”
At issue is the voice screaming on a recorded 911 tape moments before the deadly shot was fired. The jury must decide whose voice it is. The defense claims it was Zimmerman screaming. They called nine witnesses who testified the voice belonged to Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s father, Robert Zimmerman, Sr., said the voice was undoubtedly his son’s.
“It’s my son,” he said.
Trayvon’s parents said the voice belongs to their son. They said their son was screaming before his life was snuffed.
“I was listening to my son’s last cry for help,” Tracy Martin said. “I was listening to his life being taken.”
By Perviz Walji