The Corner

Defense Attorney: ‘I Will Prove To You That My Client Is Innocent’

Defense attorney Mark O’Mara began his closing statement in the George Zimmerman trial arguing that the prosecution failed to definitively prove that Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin.

O’Mara told jurors,“I will prove to you that my client is innocent.” It is the responsibility of the state, not the defense, to prove anything “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Nonetheless, O’Mara explained that he wanted to take up this larger burden to demonstrate just how thoroughly the prosecution failed to prove Zimmerman’s guilt.

“They are supposed to use words like ‘certainty,’ and ‘definite,’ and ‘without question’” said O’Mara, “these are the words and phrases of good prosecutors.” Instead, however, prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda used words like “maybe,” “what if,” and “could’ve been.”

O’Mara argued that the prosecution actually used the language typical of defense attorneys – trying to cast doubt on the narrative of the shooting, rather than to provide a “theory of the case” that proves that Zimmerman shot Martin out of hatred and ill-will.

Yesterday, Rionda argued that Zimmerman “profiled” and “made assumptions” about Martin that ultimately led to the shooting. Today O’Mara reversed that language, saying that Rionda is asking jurors to make their own assumptions that are not grounded in the evidence.

There is a notable clash of styles between the two attorneys. Yesterday, Rionda was animated in court, often raising his voice and pointing accusingly towards Zimmerman. O’Mara, on the other hand, speaks softly and thoughtfully to jurors, asking them not to jump to any conclusions, but to rely solely on the evidence. 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More
World

The End of Hong Kong as We Know It

The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for more than four months now, and no matter how the current crisis concludes in the coming days or weeks, it will mark the end of Hong Kong as we know it. The protests started in response to an extradition bill that was proposed by the city’s Beijing-backed ... Read More
Elections

A Brief History of Election Meddling

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the second in a series of excerpts. ‘The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” Thus spoke President Barack Obama just a couple of weeks before ... Read More
Religion

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More
Culture

An Insider’s Guide to Italian Insults

The tragicomic irony of Chris Cuomo’s pugilistic outburst earlier this week — cursing and physically threatening a man for taunting him with a reference to the movie The Godfather — is that the CNN anchor reinforced the usual tropes about Italian Americans. We are all wise-guys, goons, and Mafiosi, just ... Read More