George Zimmerman interview may prove bad for defense

Everyone in Minneapolis can agree that if you are charged with murder, you should probably avoid things that are bad for your defense. Any kind of violent crime will automatically come with considerable media attention, whether that is just in Minneapolis, across the state or across the country. The more public the case, however, the more difficult it may be to successfully defend against the criminal charges.

Minnesotans are familiar with the George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin case. Though Zimmerman has said that he was justified in shooting Martin in February, many media sources and individuals have speculated about whether this is actually true, affecting common people’s understanding of the case. With the serious charge of murder hanging over his head, it would be reasonable that Zimmerman would only do what is best for his case.

Surprisingly, however, Zimmerman was recently interviewed on national television, something that has tremendous opportunity to backfire. Some criminal defense lawyers have said that giving an interview could potentially lead to a slip of the tongue, which could then be admitted into evidence against Zimmerman. Even if what Zimmerman says conforms to his defense, it is possible that his interview could be misinterpreted or taken out of context by the jury.

Though suspected violent crimes in Minnesota have not reached the level of infamy as the Martin case, many suspects and their criminal defense attorneys know that giving an interview may not be the best idea. It is impossible to control what a journalist asks and no one wants to be put into a situation in which he or she says something that could possibly strengthen an indictment.

For Zimmerman, however, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Source: Christian Science Monitor, “George Zimmerman’s Fox News interview: Risky step for Trayvon Martin’s killer,” Mark Guarino, July 19, 2012

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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