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George Zimmerman defense opens with knock knock joke

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com
George Zimmerman defense opens with knock knock joke
Don West, a defense attorney for George Zimmerman, displays a photo of his client from the night of the shooting of Trayvon Martin on the eleventh day in the trial of George Zimmerman in Seminole circuit court, Sanford, Florida, June 24, 2013. George Zimmerman is accused of second degree murder in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. UPI/Joe Burbank/Pool | License Photo

Defense attorney Don West began his opening statement this morning in the trial of George Zimmerman for the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida.

The racially-charged case and surrounding controversy over so-called Stand Your Ground self-defense laws, led to widespread media attention when Sanford, Florida police didn't arrest Zimmerman after the shooting, citing his self-defense claim.

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Zimmerman was later charged with second degree murder by a special prosecutor.

West told jurors that Zimmerman is not guilty, and instead "shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense after being viciously attacked."

Then West told a knock-knock joke: George Zimmerman who? "Alright, good. You're on the jury."

The ill-concieved joke was a reference to lengthy difficulties during jury selection, due to potential jurors having already been influenced by intense media coverage of the homicide.

Earlier, prosecutor John Guy began his opening statement -- the first words of the day -- with a profanity quoted from Zimmerman's phone call to police reporting a suspicious person the night of the shooting: "F---ing punks. These a--holes always get away."

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