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Zimmerman Prosecution Rests, Defense Case Begins

The State rested, with the testimony of Trayvon Martin’s mother highlighting the last day. The Defense has begun presenting their case, and the highlight of their day was the testimony of George Zimmerman’s mother. Both mothers testified with absolute certainty that they recognized their own sons’ voices. Only one of them can be correct, of course, but the certainty of each will probably prevent the jury from relying on either of them: unless some of the jurors really had a sympathetic connection with one of them. The state got to leave the first week of unfavorable witnesses far back in the jury’s memory, and finished strongly with the emotional testimony. The Defense smartly led with their own emotional testimony, to blunt the impact of the State’s and to try to leave the jury with a sympathetic final thought going into `the weekend.

The Defense moved for a judgment of acquittal after the State rested, which is a standard motion. The judge correctly ruled that there was sufficient evidence for the case to be submitted to a jury. No surprise: the burden for the case to be submitted to the jury is very low. The burden for them to convict is very high. It appears that the Defense didn’t argue Stand Your Ground immunity, and is relying on traditional self-defense.

The medical examiner apparently hemmed and hawed some on the details of his testimony. It doesn’t sound like his testimony will control the case. The pressure will be on the Defense moving forward to demonstrate that Zimmerman was justified in using deadly force.