Like the Casey Anthony case, the George Zimmerman trial gives legal analysts a lot of room to speculate. Hey, they have hours to fill, people.
But if the talk makes you think, it can be time well spent. That's true of the lively discussion on Anderson Cooper's special program on CNN, "Self-Defense or Murder?" The program, at 10 weeknights, offers talk that has been especially provocative and colorful.
"The case is far from over," legal analyst Sunny Hostin said on Monday's edition. "And so for us to say that they can't sustain a second-degree murder charge at this point, the beginning of the second week, is ludicrous."
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin.
But lawyer Mark Geragos basically wrote off the prosecution. "This case is close to being over," he said. "And Sunny is aptly named, because she is Pollyanna if she can put a sunny face on this prosecution because this prosecution is dead in the water."
Geragos listed the way things had gone wrong for the prosecution. "The problem you have got is, they have now put on the videotape of Zimmerman, which I'm sure MarkO'Mara is there thanking the Lord," Geragos told Cooper. "He will never have to put his client on. ... The cops have come in and essentially eviscerated the prosecutor and you're at a point -- you know, the emperor has no clothes."
Geragos saw police payback in the way Sanford police officers Chris Serino and Doris Singleton testified Monday.
Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin agreed. "The answers were so enthusiastically pro-Zimmerman," he said. "These cops could have answered these questions in a more neutral way, but they really did seem to be going out of their way to say that George Zimmerman was a great guy."
Geragos' verdict: "This case is dead. The case is dead."
Hostin countered: "Save the tape."
Other commentary doesn't have those fireworks because other programs rely on single analysts.
On ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday, Dan Abrams said Serino and other witnesses seemed to help the defense more than the prosecution. Abrams said there were inconsistencies in Zimmerman's statements to law enforcement, "but when you look at the big picture, the statements are strikingly consistent about what happened that night."
On NBC's "Today," Lisa Bloom said Zimmerman's biggest inconsistency was about whether he was following Trayvon. But she highlighted that Serino, "the toughest investigator in the case," believed Zimmerman.
Will Zimmerman take the stand? "No way, no how," Bloom said. "And most of the attorneys I talk to say absolutely not. Why subject him to a cross examination when the jury has already heard his story?"
Is the prosecution dead in the water?
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