With opening statements set for Monday, the judge ruled prosecutors can use loaded language, such as 'wanna-be cop,' to describe Zimmerman, but that they must avoid the term 'racial profiling.'
Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel/AP
A Florida judge on Friday rejected a motion from George Zimmerman’s lawyers to censor prosecutors, ruling that the state is perfectly free to use charged references like “wanna-be cop” and “vigilante” to describe Trayvon Martin’s killer.
Judge Debra Nelson did, however, tell prosecutors to avoid using the term “racial profiling,” agreeing with defense attorney Mark O’Mara’s theory that the phrase could “infect the jury with a racial component that won’t be supported in fact.”
After nearly two weeks of jury selection, opening statements in the murder trial are expected Monday, leading to a flurry of last-minute maneuvers around what facts, analysis, and legal theories will be allowed in the courtroom.
The motion by Mr. O’Mara to censor the prosecution isn’t all that unusual for defense attorneys looking, at the very least, for issues on which to base an appeal in case they lose. The motion was also intended, as O’Mara said, “to try to separate [the facts of the case in the courtroom] from what everybody else outside the courtroom wants it to be.”