George Zimmerman‘s defence attorney knows he screwed up his opening statements.
The second-degree murder trial for the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin began Monday. During opening arguments, Zimmerman defence attorney Donald West told a knock-knock joke: “Knock, knock. Who’s there? George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman who? All right, good, you’re on the jury.”
He said he thought the courtroom was “the perfect audience” for the joke. The jurors did not laugh, and neither did anyone else in the courtroom.
When the defence resumed its opening statements after a recess, West apologized for the joke and said he thought the problem was in how he delivered it.
“No more bad jokes, I promise that,” he told the court. “I’m sorry if I offended anyone.”
He also tried to justify his tactic to the jury and to make sure they weren’t swayed too much by the prosecution’s passionate emotional appeal during opening statements. West’s opening statements were much less theatrical and more technical than the prosecution’s.
“If I have to sacrifice passion … it’s because I don’t want that to get in the way even if that means it’s boring or somewhat technical,” West said. “I want the information before you.”
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