The jury likely found George Zimmerman (pictured) not guilty because the defense provided a clear picture about the holes in the prosecution’s case.
Although we know that George Zimmerman killed Trayvon, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman is guilty of murder. Beyond a reasonable doubt means that if members of the jury had one doubt about Zimmerman’s guilt, they had no choice but to find him guilty. That is a very high burden, especially since the State did not have great witnesses or video evidence. Zimmerman had injuries on the night of the shooting and the forensics evidence may have been flawed or lost due to errors.
The defense, through cross-examination and direct testimony, poked several holes in the case. The worst testimony was that of the Medical Examiner, Dr. Shiping Bao. While on the stand, Bao was very combative and discussed many of the mistakes that the investigation had. For example, Dr. Bao testified about the proper way to handle the evidence, including the body of Trayvon and the physical evidence, such as the hoodie that Trayvon was wearing. Those issues in the investigation provided enough leverage for the defense to expose and discuss the flaws in the case: The lack of photos of Trayvon’s body, the mildewed clothes that may have spoiled evidence, and the nail scrapings gave the defense enough to win.
In cases like these, the physical evidence can make or break a conviction.
In addition, the State did not have a firm theory of what occurred. During a criminal trial, juries need a definite set of events and firm theory in order to reach a decision that does not involve doubt.
Without a strong story to grasp, there will be doubt inserted and the jury is left wondering what happened, which makes them arrive at a not guilty verdict.
I was perplexed by the State mentioning several alternate theories of the case. Saying there are alternate theories gave the jury enough doubt as opposed to providing one definite theory of what occurred and that theory being left for the defense to put holes in the case.
Zimmerman’s statements being entered in to evidence provided Zimmerman’s account of events.