But, for the moment, let's ignore the whole "Wild, Wild West," shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later attitude that the "Stand Your Ground" law engenders. Just for now, let's concentrate on the trial.
Let's also ignore the fact that the defense attorney opened with a knock-knock joke. A knock-knock joke that bombed.
"Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying," he explained. "So, let me — at considerable risk — let me say, I would like to tell you a little joke. I know how that may sound a bit weird in this context under these circumstances. But I think you're the perfect audience for it as long as you — if you don't like it or find it funny or appropriate, that you don't hold it against Mr. Zimmerman, you can hold it against me. I have your assurance you won't?"No, really, dude. If you're begging them to laugh, it was a bad joke. Trust me. I should know.
"Knock, knock. Who’s there? George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman who?" West said. "Alright, good, you’re on the jury."
"Nothing?" he added when the jury apparently failed to laugh. "That’s funny. After what you folks have been through the last two or three weeks."
Instead, let's highlight another part of the defense attorney's opening statement. He tried to claim that Trayvon Martin was not unarmed.
"Trayvon Martin armed himself with the concrete sidewalk and used it to smash George Zimmerman's head; it's no different than if he picked up a brick or bashed it against a wall," Mr. West said, "and the law is very specific as to when you can defend yourself if the other person has a deadly weapon."Really, that is an awe-inspiring defense. In order for it to work, you have to completely redefine the legal definition of the word "unarmed."
Because if Trayvon Martin was "armed," by the prosecutor's definition, then nobody who exists in a three-dimensional environment can ever be defined as "unarmed."