PoliticsNation   |  July 12, 2013

Highlights of closing arguments in Zimmerman trial

Joy Reid, Faith Jenkins, Ken Padowitz, and Marcia Clark join PoliticsNation to discuss the some of the most emotional and theatrical moments from the closing arguments in the George Zimmerman trial.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> right now george zimmerman 's fate lies in the hands of six jurors who have just finished deliberating for the day. they went into that jury room today after hearing arguments that were very different in their presentation, their style, and staging.

>> now we have our first very large graphic. this is what happens when you get carried away with graphics. they get ten feet long. how many times was it said that trayvon martin -- i'm going to show you what mr. de la rionda mentioned. it's an animation. it's not evidence. to your section, but first there is the shot, to the nose, we contend. number one is where the flashlight is found, george 's small flashlight is key.

>> in the prosecution's rebuttal, the state took a different approach.

>> i don't have any audio clips for you. or video clips or charts or big, long, ten-foot-long timelines. i don't have all the fireworks. all the animation. but come back with me. come back with me to that scene where it happened that night. come back with me and bring with you your god-given common sense .

>> two different approaches. both may have been effective, but how did it play to the jury? the panel is back with me. faith, we saw animations and graphics from the defense, and more emotion from the prosecution. what approach was more effective?

>> well, the defense obviously doesn't have the emotion on their side in this case, and that's why you saw o'mara's closing arguments really lacked the drama throughout it. and he made a point of trying to paint trayvon as this very scary individual. he brought out the cardboard figure. he showed the animation. and he was sending that inference, that message there. trayvon martin was not only just scary to george zimmerman , but juries, he should be scary to you too. and then john guy came back in his rebuttal and said but this is who trayvon martin really is, this 17-year-old. he just turned 17. he has skittles. he had iced tea . he was being followed. he knew he was being followed. and his last emotion was fear.

>> now, let me ask you, ken. when you look at the fact that he did, he being o'mara, used the cardboard cutaway, let me show exactly how he used that, and then how john guy for the prosecution responded.

>> you know how tall he is. take a look at him compared to my eye height.

>> maybe about the fact that the city attorney 's office decided to charge him, he has to have done something wrong. maybe that's the impression you have.

>> he was responsible for this state, not being able to ask trayvon martin to step forward so i could put my hand on his shoulder -- i'd love to do that. who is responsible for that? and trayvon martin is not, was not, will never be a piece of cardboard.

>> tell us. what do you think, ken, was the most effective there?

>> well, there was a treasure trove of lawyer toys used by o'mara. and you know what? normally, and in many cases, they're very, very effective. a good portion of the closing argument he used photographs of each witness and said something about each witness. and it was flashed on a screen before the jury. very effective. the computer animation , i did the first computer animation in the state of florida . the one he used not effective. fell flat. wasn't a good use of animation. but now in the response from the prosecutor, that was brilliant. he turned it around. he had the last word, which that is what he had, and he basically took the items, the toys, the legal, you know, items that are being used in front of these juries, the demonstrative aids and turned it around and smacked down the defense attorney with it. so i thought the last word really was the best word. i think that was the most effective for the prosecutor to basically push aside those demonstrative aids and minimize theory effectiveness by how he talked to the jury about them. i thought it was brilliant by the prosecutor.

>> marcia, your view of the two contrasting on those particular items we showed.

>> you know, to me, it's kind of a lesson to be learned there is such a thing as a bridge too far when it comes to the demonstrative exhibits. a little bit is good. can be very effective to punctuate the important points. and then you tibb overboard and you turn into disneyland. and, you know, i thought the cartoon was actually -- sorry, the animation probably more effective than i thought it was going to be because he did play the 911 tapes in conjunction with them. and i thought that was a good use of the tool. but it went too far. and then when he stood up the cardboard cutout of trayvon martin in an effort clearly to show that trayvon martin could look menacing, could look imposing because he was taller than george zimmerman , i think that that was taking it a bridge too far. and as we saw, it backfired. checkmate. the prosecutor stood up and said that's a cardboard cutout. trayvon martin was a living young child, and don't tell me -- there is only one reason he's not here for me to put my hand on his shoulder, because of this guy over here. great. wonderful. it shows how you can take all the animation and the whoopty whirly gigs and go a little too far. and giving john guy the open door he walked through to smack them down and say this is about human beings , not cardboard cutouts, and not cartoons. and he did it beautifully.

>> joy, both the prosecution and the defense talks about common sense , the jurors using common sense . let me show you this.

>> be careful with the common sense because common sense is the way we run our everyday lives, the way we make those snap decisions that we have to make every day. if you start using those same processes that we're used to everyday that look at things, make a decision and move on, that subtly and unintentionally you're going to minimize or diminish in standard that has to be applied in this case.

>> common sense is so important. this isn't a complicated case. it's a common sense case. i'm asking you to use your common sense . use your heart. use what you know is real. use what you know you heard and the law in this case.

>> joy, you've been down there. you have one side saying your common sense may not understand the complexities of this case, and may not be able to deal with the standards that you need in the law. you have another one saying this is a common sense case. what do you say, joy?

>> rev, i have to tell you, i was a little confused by mark o'mara using that tactic. i'm not sure i would have done, that because it essentially concedes that the common sense answer to this case is that george zimmerman is guilty. but that you need to suspend that, you need to ignore your common sense . and i think mark o'mara did the same thing with emotion. there is a risk that you condescend a little bit to the jury when you say maybe your common sense and the emotional part of you, all you six female jurors wants to go this way, but you need to not do that. don't think like that. you need to think -- you need to use your reason and not your common sense , use your reason and not your emotion there is a risk that in doing that, i know across social media , there was a lot of people responding to it that way, that it come across a little condescending, where as with john guy , it was the opposite. he was saying embrace your natural common sense . he even said come with me. it was almost like a pastor. he was giving a sermon. let's just use common sense and use your emotions, embrace that part of you. so i think for female jurors, i would guess that john guy 's presentation was probably more effective, more impactful. and we'll see when you combine that with the evidence what that does in the deliberations.

>> faith, the fact that the jurors have ended their deliberations today, and they have made the requests for evidence, should we laymen read anything into that? is the length of time and the extent they seem to go through evidence, will that send a signal, or are we just trying to look through the weeds for anything?

>> no. you shouldn't read anything into this. i mean, they just got the case today. there are only six jurors deliberating in this case. so i don't expect deliberations to take too long. but they just got the case today. they just were charged on the law. and they've asked for the evidence. so they're really just getting started. and so i don't think there is anything to read into the fact that they stopped deliberations today. they going to start again at nine income the morning. i do believe that these jurors, like most jurors, they really do take their jobs seriously. they understand the stakes of this case, that one person is dead and the other person is on trial really for his life. and so they understand that. and i think they're going to take this seriously and they're going to be diligent in their deliberations.

>> ken padowitz, thank you for your time this week. the