I thought O’Mara managed this situation brilliantly.
One, he humanized Zimmerman. His soft voice on the witness stand, his calm conviction, and the bullying treatment of prosecutors will generate a great deal of sympathy simply based on the arrogant tone of the prosecutors. While Angela Corey pretended to be objective (while threatening Zimmerman with 30 years), the trial prosecutors’ tone would have been more appropriate for a Ted Bundy; their emotions far outstrip the evidence. Two, O’Mara tore major holes in the prosecution’s case, not least in showing their use of loaded language like “profiled” had no real defense, in showing that they had no evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s account of how the fight started and what happened, and in showing their affidavit was skewed completely and included what can only be called lies by omission. Also, the prosecutors showed some real weakness in making such a huge deal about Trayvon’s “right to be there,” which is true, but does not include a right to start wailing on people. They also made a big deal about Zimmerman’s very minor run ins with the law over seven years ago, which sound perfectly explainable as either youthful hot-headedness or mistaken identity and, of course, would not ordinarily be admissible in trial.
And, of course, the bloody skull picture came out. It fully supports Zimmerman’s account and is quite dramatic. This story is as much about the media as anything else, and it would be interesting to know how long ABC sat on this one:
This is an injury that one could die from. You see bleeding and a contusion. People get punched in the face and die all the time, sometimes after one or two punches. People certainly get stomped and pounded into concrete and die. Remember Reginald Denny. If the beating recipient doesn’t die, often they’re injured for life, paralyzed, or a hell of a lot dumber when the whole business began. Zimmerman did not have to endure that. Indeed, it sounds as if he endured quite a bit before he pulled the trigger based on the minute or so of screaming on one of the 911 calls. But even if these particular injuries are not that bad–and they don’t seem so, quite yet–they appear to be the product of a serious beating with a seriously dangerous feature: head meeting concrete.
This story will get dropped or ignored as the evidence starts to support Zimmerman. Even black and liberal national opinion prefers a more clear cut “good guy” and “bad guy” than all this. They didn’t go to bat for Crystal Magnum and they won’t here either. Some of the hardcore agitators may continue to bitch and moan, but even many blacks, particularly black opinion makers, will say, “we only wanted an arrest, and this is what happens when you act like a knucklehead.”