George Zimmerman’s lawyer: “A good Irish Catholic boy”

Now he’s defending the accused in this year’s most sensational murder case:

Attorney Mark O’Mara will have the eyes of the world upon him as he takes on the position of defense lawyer for George Zimmerman, the man charged with second degree murder of Trayvon Martin, a minor, in Florida.

When asked why he took this case, despite the unpopularity of Zimmerman’s side of the story, O’Mara told AP, “It’s what I do.

“I’ve done it for a long, long time. I think I’m pretty good at it. Mr. Zimmerman needs a very good and focused defense so we’re going to build him one.”

O’Mara, originally from Queens, New York, followed his parents to Florida after high school, as his father had retired to the south after a career as president of the fire officers union.

He said he had known since grade school that he wanted to be an attorney.

“As a good Irish Catholic boy, the first possibility was to be a priest,” O’Mara said. “The second one was to be a lawyer.”

As a defense lawyer O’Mara sees himself on the “front line” of protecting civil liberties.

“People harass criminal defense attorneys sometimes, but it’s like going to a dentist — you never really want to go to one but you want them there when you need one,” O’Mara said. “Not to sound too uppity about it, but we’re the ones who really make sure the rest of us can enjoy the liberties that the Constitution guarantees, and that it’s done right if it’s going to be done at all.”

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  1. Gerald Price says:

    Just a note to say goodbye to you and your patheos compatriots. It has been most enlightening, but I am not here to be sold detergent and vacation packages by blaring commercials. Thank you again for some most interesting words and thoughts to ponder.

  2. George Zimmerman deserves a fair trial. The parents of Trayvon Martin (not to mention the people of Florida) deserve the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The Stand Your Ground law is in my opinion a bad law and it is a pity that it takes the death of a teenager to overturn it (hopefully) The big questions in my mind after reading this article, have to do with: Why Zimmerman’s having been an altar boy and this new lawyer having “a Catholic upbringing” should have any place in a news story–even on Patheos–(although I am curious as to whether they still go to Mass weekly). I would like to see the Church speaking out against the Stand Your Ground law…seems more in keeping with the respect life womb-to-tomb positions of the Church.

  3. pagansister says:

    This trial will indeed bring the “stand your ground law” up for more scrutiny since that may be the excuse Zimmerman uses to defend himself against the murder he committed. Yes, I guess I have already made up my mind that he is guilty and should pay the price. His lawyer may have a hard time getting a jury that hasn’t already made up their minds. (I live in Florida, not Sanford however). I do have a question—what does his defense lawyer being Catholic have to do with anything? Zimmerman unquestionably deserves a good lawyer, as is his right in this country. O’Mara will have his work cut out for him in this case.

  4. Zimmerman is a melting pot in himself; German last name but a Hispanic of Peruvian origin. He is very far from the stereotypical “white” as you can be. I don’t know if he ever will get a “fair” trial after the tremendous hoopla surrounding the case. Both the victim Zimmerman deserve justice. Will they get it?

  5. debi jane says:

    i understand that a lot of people have made up their minds on this case and have found george zimmerman guilty before his trial. i think that is really sad because we really don’t have all of the facts. we have what the media has fed us and they certainly have demonstrated their bias. to me, the big question that needs to be answered is “who was yelling for help before the gun was fired”. if it was trayvon martin and george zimmerman shot him while he was pleading for help, he would have to be a monster and certainly should pay the price. on the other hand, if zimmerman was the one calling for help, in that desparately pathetic voice, it paints an entirely different picture. the opinions of the so called “experts” that it was “likely not zimmerman” do not reach the standard of irrefutable evidence. it is pretty hard not to have formulated an opinion of this case and i have an opinion too but i am trying very hard to keep an open mind. most importantly, i hope the court seats 12 open minded jurors who will listen to all the evidence. how can people of conscience sleep at night if an innocent man spends the rest of his life in jail? In this case, I fear that’s entirely possible.

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