Mark O’Mara wins not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman in massive high profile trial
Irish American from Queens, New York succesful in latest ‘Trial of the Century’
Lead Attorney Mark O’Mara who secured the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman, the man charged with second degree murder of Trayvon Martin, is a deeply proud Irish American.
His masterful summing up at the end of the trial is widely credited with swaying the jury
He made clear his affinity with his Irish heritage in a letter to IrishCentral soon after he was named attorney for Zimmerman and he referred extensively to his Irish past.
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."
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.”
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.”
O’Mara, a central Florida defense attorney and former prosecutor, has nearly 30 years experience having represented clients in criminal cases running the gamut from drunk driving to the death penalty.
Most famously he became a household name on the local Orlando station, WKMG Channel 6, during Casey Anthony’s trial. O’Mara appeared regularly to air his critique on how the case was being handled.
O’Mara’s latest client, Zimmerman, had been charged with the second degree murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was walking home from the convenience store to his father’s fiancée’s home on 26th February. The 28-year-old self appointed neighborhood watch volunteer, Zimmerman, called the cops but before they had arrived he shot the unarmed teenager after a struggle.
He took on Zimmerman’s case after his ex-attorneys had dropped their client, deeming his behavior erratic.
O’Mara has said he will not take a fee from Zimmerman and has expressed concern about papers, which could violate the privacy of his client and Martin.
Speaking in court, O’Mara said, “He's frightened.” He went on to describe the case as "a horrible intersection of two young men's lives and it ended in tragedy. We have to figure out how it happened, why it happened, and who might be responsible for it."
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To be fair, most American words and slang came FROM Ireland to begin with. I plan to visit Ireland and learn as much as possible. Can't wait.New Northern Ireland flag is not an option, loyalists tell Richard Haass
I think we have enough flags in Ireland as it is.Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
@Chuck: My point is that immigrants who are willing to work for low wages are not to be demonised but rather be pitied and/or admired. It's the greedyHow Christmas was in my father’s time
molliebawn, many many kids in rural Ireland used to share shoes or only wore them for special occasions so as not to ruin them or wear them out too fa