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Defense attorney's joke met with crickets online

NEED TO KNOW
  • Twitter users judge opening statements in Zimmerman trial
  • Mostly negative response to Don West's joke for jurors
  • Opinion of prosecution ranged from 'perfect' to 'lullaby'
Defense attorney's joke met with crickets online

On the first day of the George Zimmerman trial, four-letter words went over a lot better than a knock-knock joke -- at least among trial-watchers. What the actual jurors thought of each side's opening statement is, of course, far more significant, but also unknown.

If keyboard-pounding Twitter users are any indication, however, George Zimmerman's defense team may already be facing an uphill battle.

People on the social media site quickly rendered their own verdict Monday -- overwhelmingly in favor of the prosecution, who opened its case repeating Zimmerman's own expletive-laced words from the night of the killing. Meanwhile, defense attorney Don West's knock-knock joke fell flat. Leading up to the trial, Zimmerman supporters have been very active and vocal on social media in their defense of the former neighborhood watchman, making Monday's shift that much more interesting.

"Great", "perfect" and "effective" were among the terms used by HLN's Twitter followers when asked to describe the prosecution's opening in one word. Some also went with "boring" and "lullaby."

Reflecting the general tone of Twitter's virtual jury, one-word responses such as "embarrassing", "painful", "messy" and "clumsy" were attached to West's presentation by HLN's followers. Much of the criticism of the defense's opening was pegged to West's joke, which was delivered early on and seemed to leave a bad impression.

Here's a representative sample of the observations and reactions to the opening statements which were shared Monday on Twitter:

After the opening statements, four witnesses made their way to the stand Monday afternoon. Court was recessed early after the defense objected to prosecutors playing a 911 call made by George Zimmerman in August, 2011. The issue will be discussed first thing when attorneys arrive back in court Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN

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