Referring to a person as a "creepy ass cracker" is by no means
a positive reference. Some might be more offended by it than others and
some not offended at all. However, "creepy ass cracker" certainly
offended the prosecution yesterday as this "cracker" statement
might have just cracked the prosecution's case into pieces.
Rachel "Diamond" Jeantel, the young lady who was last on the
phone with Trayvon Martin, took the stand yesterday and vivacious gave
her account of what she recalls from the night George Zimmerman shot Trayvon.
During her testimony she provided the jury with a revelation, the prosecution
with a blow and the defense with a golden nugget. She explained that Trayvon
told her that a "creepy ass Cracker" was following him.
Ok, so Trayvon had a poor vocabulary, what's the big deal? One word:
The State of Florida is molding its case to fit the theme that Zimmerman
was an agitated "wannabe cop" who "profiled" Trayvon.
Successful prosecutors establish their theme of prosecution during openings
and elicit facts throughout trial to pound that theme home in closings.
Make no mistake about it, this is the state's theme. The state vigorously
fought to be able to call Zimmerman these two terms during pre-trial motion
hearings and harped on it throughout their opening. However, the State's
theme is cracking. Literally.
The state wants to use the word "profiling" because they want
to incite the emotions of the jury. There is no better way to incite a
jury than to portray the defendant as a racist. Every time the word profiled
is used, the state really wants the jury to hear "racist." Prosecutor
John Guy notoriously repeated Zimmerman's words, "f***ing punks.
These a**holes always get away" while pointing at Zimmerman and wagging
his finger in shame. Guy was hoping the jury would understand that phrase
to mean that Zimmerman had profiled and categorized black males into a
group he refers to as punks. Well, the state can lower their sails because
that wind is gone.
Zimmerman never actually used a derogatory word. Trayvon did. Again, the
fact that Trayvon said "cracker" is not a defense to murder.
However, it is a defense to Zimmerman being a racist. The state can no
longer harp on the word punk. In contrast to cracker, punk is harmless.
Simply because Trayvon used those words does not dictate he was racist
and the same applies to Zimmerman. The state cannot, at least with a straight
face, ask the jury to be grossly offended by Zimmerman and not equally
offended by Trayvon. If the state does attempt that, the defense can equally
point out the words of Trayvon. At a minimum it equalizes the racist card.
Remember, the burden in this case is high and in order to obtain a guilty
verdict the state cannot finish this race equal. They need to be way ahead.
Say what you like about the confidence and performance of Zimmerman's
defense team thus far, but it is unquestionable (assuming they realize
it) that they have gained some solid traction in quashing the states theme
of prosecution. In addition to potentially diffusing the race factor in
this case, earlier this week the Zimmerman team also dispelled the disparaging
nature of the "wannabe cop" accusation. Defense attorney Mark
O'Mara spent a considerable amount of time talking to Sgt. Anthony
Raimondo about what he did prior to his law enforcement career and why
he desired to become a police officer. While the on the surface the questions
might have seemed trivial, what O'Mara just explained to the jury
is that at some point, every cop is a "wanne be cop." Even the
impeccable Sgt. Raimondo.
Written by Orlando criminal defense attorney Lyle B. Mazin