George Zimmerman’s future is largely in the hands of a jury that’s finally deliberating after a nearly three week trial in connection with the killing of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s defense team presented its closing arguments, followed by the state’s rebuttal. The jury of six women, five of whom are white, was given instructions by Judge Debra Nelson, and will decide whether Zimmerman is not guilty, guilty of manslaughter, or guilty of second-degree murder.
Despite a trial that has rather cautiously avoided race up until closing, defense attorney Mark O’Mara explicitly cited early-on that most of the break-ins in his client’s neighborhood were committed by criminal “young black men.” Martin, of course, was not breaking into a home on the night in question. He was also unarmed. But while awkwardly lugging a considerably large piece of sidewalk in the courtroom, O’Mara did argue that the victim was equipped with a weapon, telling the jury “Trayvon Martin armed himself with concrete.”
O’Mara also played for jurors a controversial animation, created by an artist, that’s based on shoddy assumptions—like Martin using his left hand to swing at Zimmerman, although Martin was right handed. The defense attorney closed his statement by asking jurors to allow Zimmerman to “get back to his life” by acquitting him.
After a short break, state prosecutor John Guy began with a slow moving, and poignant argument about the human heart. He reminded jurors that Martin was the victim, and that, like any other child, his fear was to be followed by a stranger in the dark. Responding to the defense’s claim that Zimmerman was innocent, Guy argued, “If ever there was a window into a man’s soul,” it was Zimmerman’s spiteful voice on the 9-11 call. He repeatedly asked the jury if Trayvon Martin did not also have the right to defend himself the night he was killed by George Zimmerman.
After a lunch recess, Judge Nelson instructed the jury from a document that clearly lays out the jury’s responsibilities and options. AP reporter Kyle Hightower tweeted that the one juror appeared to be wiping a tear from her eye during rebuttal; it happens to be the one juror of color in the trial. But it remains unknown, of course, when the jury will come to a decision, or what that decision will be.