George Zimmerman Trial Coverage > Prosecution Team

De la Rionda: Zimmerman lacked 'courage' to testify.


I overlooked this when it came out.

ABC, 7/15/13

--- Quote ---Florida prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda had "prayed that [George Zimmerman] would have the courage to take the stand," he told ABC News in an exclusive interview Sunday [/14] . . .
--- End quote ---

You can hear Bernie say it, about 1:12 on the video.

I think it is juvenile, unprofessional, and downright dumb for an attorney to suggest that a defendant's decision on testifying is a test of 'courage'. Is this a common thing for a prosecutor to say after a trial?

A real journalist would have asked de la Rionda how he would advise clients if he were a defense attorney.


--- Quote ---De la Rionda, who would have cross-examined Zimmerman had he taken the stand, said he would have been interested to see how the former neighborhood watch captain answered several of his questions:

"Why did you assume because [Trayvon] Martin was wearing a hoodie, he was committing a crime? Why did you assume that because he was walking he was doing something improper? Why didn't you identify yourself? Why did you assume he didn't belong in the neighborhood?"
--- End quote ---

Is that the best he could do?  :o  These questions either have an incorrect premise or were answered by Zimmerman in interviews.  For example, the only mention Z made of the hoodie was when Noffke asked him what M was wearing.  His reasons for finding him suspicious have always been moving slowly in the rain looking at houses, didn't recognize him even though he felt he knew what most of the people who lived in the neighborhood looked like, seemed to be on drugs.  I wonder if Bernie read any blogs during the case besides the one at the CTH.

Bernie dropped a few 'hoodie' references during the trial. I suspect he knows better, and wouldn't actually have put the question to GZ on cross.

I'm going to call sour grapes here. Just my layperson opinion, though. Mr. de la Rionda was largely unable to impeach statements he, himself handpicked from hours of police statements and media interviews.

Maybe instead of taking his butthurt out on Zimmerman, Mr. de la Rionda could focus on creating  a professional development module titled How to Cross Examine a Use of Force Expert Without Opening Doors to "Zimmerman Had No Other Option" Testimony, then send John Guy to it.

That's just friendly, layperson advice though.


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