The prosecution at the George Zimmerman trial has come in for repeated drubbings. There was more criticism Tuesday, but there was some praise, too.
Mark NeJame, legal analyst for Central Florida News 13, applauded the state's chronological presentation as clean and easy to follow.
On CNN, NeJame raved over prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda's questioning Tuesday morning of Chris Serino, lead detective in the case. "This prosecutor, to his credit, rose this case from the dead," NeJame said. "He came back. A lesser prosecutor couldn't have done that."
WKMG-Channel 6's Tony Pipitone said de la Rionda came out firing Tuesday in questioning Serino and did a good job of pointing out inconsistencies in Zimmerman's story.
WKMG legal analyst Luis Calderon agreed that de la Rionda was able to get Serino to make certain concessions. Calderon gave de la Rionda a B grade for Tuesday, but said the prosecutor earned a C for the trial overall.
Still, the defense was scoring better overall. Calderon handed defense attorney Mark O'Mara a B grade for Tuesday, but an A for the whole trial.
WFTV-Channel 9 legal analyst Bill Sheaffer didn't see the state chipping away at Zimmerman's claims of self-defense in shooting Trayvon Martin. The reason: Zimmerman was "fairly consistent" in his main statement that Trayvon went for Zimmerman's firearm, Sheaffer said.
The replay of Zimmerman's interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity sharply divided the analysts. Zimmerman came across as a most unsympathetic character, and the interview was "a huge, huge mistake," said Jeff Deen of WESH-Channel 2.
Fellow WESH analyst Alisia Adamson said the "Hannity" interview made her cringe and was very damaging to Zimmerman.
Yet WOFL-Channel 35 legal analyst Diana Tennis said she didn't think the "Hannity" interview was so terrible because it put Zimmerman's story out there another time without the defendant taking the stand.
The analysts repeated that point when Mark Osterman, Zimmerman's good friend, took the stand. Osterman came across decently and probably told Zimmerman's story better than Zimmerman could, Tennis said.
Judge Alex Ferrer, doing analysis for WOFL, said the state got some inconsistencies out of Osterman but it wasn't worth putting him on the stand because the jury heard the entire self-defense story again.
Analysts were mostly unimpressed with a medical examiner's testimony that Zimmerman's injuries were insignificant.
WKMG's Calderon said Dr. Valerie Rao's comments probably didn't connect with the jury, because she made assessments without viewing the injuries and O'Mara was able to suggest alternatives to her views.
"She did not physicially examine George Zimmerman," WFTV's Sheaffer agreed. "And we have a witness that did examine him that the state put on."
WESH's Deen said the severity of Zimmerman's injuries was a red herring for a jury. "The circumstances under which he was placed -- in the dark, under threat, and he did get beat up --that's the jury question," Deen said. "Is what he did reasonable under the circumstances? Not how severe his injuries are. He didn't even have to have any."
The most blistering comments about the state could be found on Fox News Channel. Judge Andrew Napolitano said the state's approach to the case was a head-scratcher because the government made "a conscious choice to demonize the defendant." Zimmerman's explanations are lucid, and the differences in them are minimal, Napolitano said.
"The government has been shooting itself in the foot, and what they did today, they shot themselves in both feet," Napolitano said.
Judge Ferrer, jumping over to Fox News, said the state's case played like "Groundhog Day" and showed the prosecution's desperation.
Even on what was a good day for the state, the defense came in for more praise.
WOFL's Tennis said the defense was "in a very good position right now" and continued to do well Tuesday. She predicted the defense team would make a few points in presenting its case and get out quickly. "They need not to lose any of the ground they've made," she said. (O'Mara told WKMG Tuesday night that the defense plans to put on a lot of witnesses.)
WFTV's Sheaffer was definite that Zimmerman won't take the stand. "There is no chance in the world," Sheaffer said. "He has testified through the state's introduction of these statements without being cross examined."
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