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George Zimmerman’s defense rests case

After just four days of testimony, the defense for George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin rested without the defendant taking the stand. Not that Zimmerman really needed to. His version of events were told over and over again during the trial.

Family and friends said the screams on the 911 calls were his. An instructor from a fight-training gym Zimmerman patronized for a year said he was a “one” on a scale of one to 10 when it came to his prowess as a fighter. Another witness also portrayed the neighborhood watch volunteer as a weakling. And then there was a lot of man-on-doll action to demonstrate the positioning of Trayvon on Zimmerman using a life-sized foam figure.

The closing arguments start Friday afternoon. The prosecution will go first then the defense. There may even be a rebuttal closing followed by instructions to the jury for its deliberations. Remember, the burden is on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman committed second-degree murder with “depraved mind” and with “ill-will, spite and hatred.” The lesser charge of manslaughter will likely be among the menu of charges the jury can consider.

Then the waiting for a verdict begins. And when that gets started, it would be useful for all to recall what Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump told me in February. “We can live with a jury verdict” and “[w]e will respect the rule of law,” Crump said, with Trayvon’s mother Sybrina Fulton nodding in agreement. “We won’t resort to vigilante justice. We will let vengeance be unto God.”

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