The Corner

Star Witness: ‘I Understand English Really Well’

Rachel Jeantel, the star witness in the George Zimmerman trial, testified today that she has no problem speaking or understanding English. The point is significant because the prosecution may have sought to justify any discrepancies in her testimony as a product of her poor English.

Jeantel, who was raised speaking Creole and Spanish with her Haitian mother, was the last person to speak with Trayvon Martin before he was shot and is a key witness in the case.

Don West, the defense attorney, pushed her to clarify her English-speaking ability, asking her: “Are you claiming in any way that you don’t understand English?” Having answered questions for over seven hours today and yesterday, Jeantel was visibly taken aback by the question, responding, “I understand you . . . I understand English really well.”

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