If you asked the Washington Post they would say that Rachel Jeantel was on trial in Sanford, Florida as much as George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case based upon their June 27 report about the first week of trial testimony. But a Washington Times report says media misreporting put the murder defendant on trial for his life, and it threatens his court case even now.
MSNBC’s PoliticsNation host Al Sharpton is asking “How will the jury react to Rachel Jeantel?” after she spent two days and approximately five hours on the witness stand in front of them this week, because he wants to know if Jeantel’s testimony hurt the prosecution or not. And he invited two guests on his show to find out.
Sharpton asked criminal defense attorney Billy Martin for his take on the testimony by Jeantel this week, and Martin believes Jeantel will win sympathy from some of the female mothers on the jury, and lose some with others. But he also believes she will win overall when it comes to these facts: Trayvon was being followed, he attempted to elude Zimmerman, and he reported to her that he was unsuccessful in doing so.
Sharpton’s other guest on the show, former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey, was asked to weigh in on what his view was on how important it will be to the jury to hear the racial slur Martin called Zimmerman.
Coffey felt that the prosecution definitely does not want this jury to think that “it was Trayvon Martin who was using ugly language and maybe had some attitudes about somebody like George Zimmerman.” So he thinks if Sybrina Fulton does end up testifying in the case then she needs to address that disclosure, to try and downplay the language.
Sharpton wondered aloud how the jury would take hearing from her that her son not only used negative slurs against the white race like “creepy a– cracker,” but also used negative slurs against his own race with the “N-word.”
Fortunately, the six-woman jury has already been educated by the judge about the strict criteria they must use to weigh all evidence heard in this case. And they will be further reminded before they are sent off for deliberation at the end of the trial, at which time the judge will give detailed direction on what testimony and information is (and what is not) able to influence their decision on guilt or innocence.
Al Sharpton’s guest Billy Martin said that it is his belief that the jury of women will focus on the facts of the case when they eventually go into deliberation, and he sees those facts as 1) who was the aggressor?, 2) who had the ability to flee?, and 3) who had the gun?
However, he isn’t taking into consideration that jurors will also be required to consider these facts as well: 1) Officer Smith says Zimmerman’s backside was wet and had grass on it, as if he had been on his back on the ground at some point during the struggle with Trayvon, 2) The paramedic on the scene acknowledged that Zimmerman was bleeding from his nose and had a swollen upper lip as well as lacerations on the back of his skull when treated at the scene, and 3) two witnesses in the complex where the shooting occurred have testified that they both saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, with both thinking Zimmerman was the one crying for help. And Zimmerman told Officer Smith as much when he handcuffed him, acting confused about why no one appeared to come to his aid when he did.
Atlanta Crime Examiner Radell Smith has a degree in criminal justice and behavioral forensics, and she has successful experience in profiling unsolved homicide cases.
© Radell Smith