Should Zimmerman Have Testified?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by AAAintheBeltway, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Often the single most important question facing a defense attorney is whether or not to put his client on the stand. There are many good reasons not to. Testifying exposes the defendant to cross examination over prior convictions and in some cases, acts that did not result in convictions. There is always the risk the defendant comes across poorly to the jury.

    In this case, the defense might have been worried that Zimmerman would have been pressed on the issue of why he had to shoot trayvon. They tried to plant the seed already with the gun shot expert that trayvon was pulling away from Zimmerman when shot. They would argue that once Zimmerman drew his gun, he had control of the situation, leaving him to try to convince the jury that things weren't so clear in real life.

    All that acknowledged, I have trouble with the decision. I think the odds of a conviction in any serious case like a homicide go way up when the defendant doesn't take the stand. Granted, this is not the typical case where the defendant would use the opportunity to deny he shot the victim. Still, I think Zimmerman forfeited an opportunity to connect with the jury as a person.

    To me, the decision is an indication his lawyers think the case is won, which I don't see. They think that the prosecution just failed to produce any evidence to support its theory, which is obviously true, and that Zimmerman could only hurt his case by testifying. But we have a jury of women, probably low information types, who will be overly influenced by the female judge who is obviously biased.
     
  2. pspr

    pspr

    I don't agree. I don't think he should testify. I think self-defense should be obvious to the jury. And, we've already seen Zimmerman explain what happened in the police video. There isn't any need to risk letting the prosecutor try to paint him into a corner or see him get flustered and stumble over any answers. There is always the possibility of a disaster when the defendant takes the stand. It's not necessary to take the risk in this case.