Whether or not George Zimmerman will take the stand during his trial can be answered with three simple words: Not a chance. However, that doesn't mean the jury won't hear from him. In fact, they already have.
During the State's case in chief they have presented Zimmerman's statements multiple times. Generally, this would be the portion of the trial where one might find a defense attorney feverishly and fictitiously scribbling notes or taking gulps of water from his glass as he relentlessly attempts to avoid eye contact with the jury.
The prosecution's presentation of the defendant's statements are suppose to be incriminating and damaging. The prosecution's goal is to show incriminating admissions by the defendant, inconsistencies by the defendant and a general aim to portray the defendant in a poor light to the jury.
The prosecution has failed catastrophically in this regard. All of Zimmerman's statements have consistently supported Zimmerman's theory of self defense, and all the witnesses have supported the logic and truthfulness of his statements.
Every defendant has the absolute right to remain silent. This is thanks to the Fifth Amendment's right against self incrimination. No defendant can be forced to talk to the police or take the stand during trial.
Likewise, all juries are instructed that, should the defendant opt to remain silent, they must not hold that decision against him.
With that said, there are times a defendant has little choice but to face the jury and speak on his own behalf. Often there is no witness or better witness other than the defendant himself to explain to a jury exactly what occurred that caused him to use force against the alleged victim.
Fortunately, for Zimmerman, the state has presented witness after witness and statement after statement to support Zimmerman's theory of self defense. There is little to no reason at all for Zimmerman to take the stand.
While the defense often needs the defendant to take the stand in order to extract certain testimony, let us take a look at what the jury has already heard without Zimmerman saying a single word from the witness stand:
The state used Detective Serino to admit Zimmerman's statements. Through Zimmerman's own voice captured on video and statements he made to Serino, the jury heard how Trayvon Martin attacked Zimmerman.
They heard how Trayvon was allegedly slamming Zimmerman's head into the concrete. They heard that Zimmerman was allegedly the voice screaming for help.
They heard how Zimmerman was surprised no one came to his aide as a result of his cries for help. They heard that when Zimmerman was confronted with the notion the incident was caught on video, he exclaimed "Thank God!"
They heard a complete and total story of self defense. What's more, they heard that lead detective in the case believed Zimmerman to be telling the truth (ultimately the Judge ordered Serino's opinion about Zimmerman's truthfulness to be disregarded by the Jury).
Further, Serino testified that he was working with all rankings of law enforcement, including the state attorney's office, to gather evidence. He went on to agree that he ultimately had "no physical evidence, witnesses, officers, no one fact anywhere" to contradict Zimmerman's story of self defense.
Serino continued to testify that while he was under outside pressure to move the case forward, the "evidence fit into a self defense theory." The jury heard that Zimmerman remained fully cooperative over the course of weeks and multiple interviews and that ultimately there was "nothing major inconsistent." Essentially, the prosecution was so battered by Serino, that if this was a football game, this would be the moment where the crowd starts to believe the game is over and walks out.
Officer Singleton equally supported Zimmerman's claim of self defense. In fact, when Zimmerman expressed concerns over taking Trayvon's life, Singleton went on to say that if what Zimmerman was saying was true, there is nothing that says "you can't save your own life." What Singleton never testified to, is any evidence to suggest Zimmerman was lying.
Good provided the most favorable defense evidence possible. Good testified he observed Trayvon on top of Zimmerman striking him MMA style.
It's important to note how effective the use of the term MMA is. It allows for the jury to understand and characterize the strikes being thrown upon Zimmerman as purposeful and brutal as opposed to harmless and random swings.
Zimmerman was being injured (and as Detective Serino pointed out for the defense, injury is all Zimmerman needs to show as injuries need not actually be life threatening in order to employ self defense).
A funny thing happened on a way to a verdict, the prosecution called Osterman, Zimmerman's best friend. For the most part he simply confirmed Zimmerman's story of self defense with very minor inconsistencies.