July 16, 2013 |
It is a tragedy that Trayvon Martin ended up dead in his scuffle with George Zimmerman, a tragedy that Zimmerman caused. He shouldn't have assumed that Martin was up to no good, and he shouldn't have pursued him after a police dispatcher warned him not to. And yet not every tragedy or bad judgment is proof of a crime, much less a federal civil rights violation. When federal prosecutors bring charges after defendants have been acquitted in state court, they test the principle of double jeopardy, forcing suspects to stand trial twice on essentially the same facts.
July 13, 2013 |
SANFORD, Fla. - George Zimmerman was acquitted on Saturday of all charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager who was slain last year in a confrontation that touched off a national debate about race and guns. The jury of six women returned the verdict after more than 16 hours of deliberation over two days. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder, but the jury had the option of finding him guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter. Zimmerman stood stone-faced as the verdict was read.
July 16, 2013 |
A string of misperceptions has driven the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman tragedy from the very beginning, including the public misperception that perfect justice can be found in a court of law. The misperception that propelled events from the very start was Zimmerman's assumption that a black kid in a hoodie did not belong in his neighborhood. If he had known Martin was the guest of a local resident with no other mission than to reach home with the package of Skittles he had just purchased, Zimmerman would not have followed the young man. In fact, if he had simply not held a stereotype in his head that a young African American in a hoodie is very likely a criminal, Martin would be alive today and Zimmerman would not have had his own life turned upside down.
June 25, 2013 |
The police department official who worked with George Zimmerman on establishing a neighborhood watch program at a gated community in Sanford, Fla., testified Tuesday that members of such groups were not supposed to follow suspicious people and were told to stand aside and allow the police to do their jobs. On the second day of witness testimony in the well-publicized murder case, Wendy Dorival of the Sanford, Fla., police department described the protocols under which neighborhood watch groups operated.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 2013 |
Watching the George Zimmerman murder trial on TV is like being caught in a match of emotional ping pong as you try to anticipate what the jury is thinking: If the detective says Zimmerman never changed his story, does that make his claim of self-defense more believable? If, on the night he put a bullet through Trayvon Martin's heart, Zimmerman is heard telling a police operator, “These ... always get away,” does that demonstrate the ill will, hatred or spite required for a second-degree murder conviction?
September 26, 2013 |
George Zimmerman's wife is raising questions about his innocence in the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, as the couple's marriage continues to publicly go sour. “I think anyone would doubt that innocence, because I don't know the person that I've been married to," Shellie Zimmerman told NBC's "Today" show on Thursday as her lawyer sat beside her. “I have doubts," she said, yet added, "I also believe the evidence" that led to his acquittal. The Zimmerman saga took another turn this month when the couple got into a marital spat at George Zimmerman's house in Lake Mary, Fla., a few days after Shellie Zimmerman filed for divorce.
July 13, 2013 |
SANFORD, Fla. - In a case that touched off a national debate on race and guns, George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager killed during a confrontation on a rainy night in Florida last year. "There's to be no outbursts upon the reading of the verdict or afterwards," Judge Debra S. Nelson warned the packed courtroom in Seminole County awaiting the verdict from the jury of six women who began deliberating on Friday and worked a 13-hour day Saturday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2013 |
Trying a case in the court of public opinion is nothing new. But the use of social media in the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman, who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012, has broken new ground. Zimmerman's media-savvy attorneys don't just give news conferences and show their faces on cable news networks. They have a Twitter feed @GZLegalCase, with more than 6,500 followers, and a website devoted to their client's case. On the website, they acknowledge they are onto something new: “We understand that it is unusual for a legal defense to maintain a social media presence on behalf of a defendant,” they write , “but we also acknowledge that this is a very unusual case.” “We are not surprised to discover that our decision is controversial," they add. "Some have called it unethical, and some have called it brilliant…Using social media in a high-profile lawsuit is new, and relatively unprecedented, but that is only because social media itself is relatively new …. Social media in this day and age cannot be ignored, and it would be, in fact, irresponsible to ignore the robust online conversation.” Robust is putting it mildly.
July 12, 2013 |
SANFORD, Fla. -- The six women who will decide whether George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager, or acted in self-defense began deliberations on Friday afternoon after receiving their instructions from the judge. Judge Debra S. Nelson read the charge to the jury after the defense and prosecution completed their formal arguments. Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Martin, 17, on the night of Feb. 26, 2012 in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman maintains he shot Martin in self-defense after Martin suddenly attacked him. PHOTOS: The controversial case in pictures The prosecution argues that Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, profiled, tracked and deliberately shot the teenager, who was returning from a convenience store after buying candy and a soft drink.