SANFORD, FL - JUNE 24: Don West, a defense attorney for George Zimmerman, displays a photo of his client, from the night of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, to the jury during opening arguments in Seminole circuit court, on the 11th day of Zimmerman's trial June 24, 2013 in Sanford, Florida. Credit: Getty Images
If you had any question that the George Zimmerman murder trial was going to be a controversial one, those questions were answered on day one (Monday) of the trial. Especially considering the awkward knock-knock joke one of his attorneys told during the defense's opening argument.
One of Zimmerman's lawyers, Don West, was addressing the jury when he decided to try and infuse a little comedy.
"Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying," West said. And with an almost prophetic tone, he then cautioned that if what he was about to do fell flat, he should be blamed (not Zimmerman).
"So let me, at considerable risk, let me, let me say, I'd like to tell you a little joke," he continued. "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 don't, if you don't like it, or you don't think it's funny or inappropriate, that you don't hold it against Mr. Zimmerman. You can hold it against me if you want, but not Mr. Zimmerman. I have your assurance you won't. Here's how it goes."
He then let the jury have it:
George Zimmerman, who?
Alright good. You're on the jury.
No one responded.
"Nothing?" asked West after the silence. "That's funny," he assured.
Here's how it was delivered:
If you're struggling to get the punchline, the "George Zimmerman who?" line is an attempted pun on the idea that jurors are supposed to enter a trial with little-to-no knowledge of a case beforehand.
The joke was only exhibit B, however, in the day's evidence that the trial is set for some fireworks. Earlier in the day, the prosecution began its opening statement with the word "fu**ing."