July 14, 2013 |
Lawyers tried to treat it like a routine homicide trial in a small town in Florida, but the George Zimmerman case moved beyond that, becoming part of the national debate on race and violence. Moments after a six-woman jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all charges, questions began to pop up at news conferences held by the prosecution and defense teams and in cable television commentary as lawyers dissected each side's legal strategy. Should Zimmerman have been charged at all and should he have faced such a stringent accusation as murder?
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.
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.
December 11, 2013 |
George Zimmerman's most recent brush with the law came to an uneventful end Wednesday when Florida authorities said they would not charge him with domestic violence. His girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, had called police last month alleging that he pointed a gun at her face. He was arrested and released on bond. But she recanted her story in an affidavit signed Friday, saying she wasn't afraid of Zimmerman and wanted the court order that barred him from contacting her lifted.
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 15, 2013 |
The George Zimmerman trial was a friend to cable TV news until the end, with big ratings for Saturday night's verdict. More than 10 million total viewers watched the culmination of the month-long trial live on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC on Saturday, according to Nielsen. A jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. The case had attracted national attention and sparked racial tensions. Fox led the way, with 3.7 million during the 10 to 11 p.m. hour, when the not-guilty verdict was delivered.
September 11, 2013 |
George Zimmerman may stay out of jail. On Wednesday, the Lake Mary, Fla., Police Department said investigators may not have enough evidence to make an arrest in connection with the bizarre altercation that happened this week between the man who killed Trayvon Martin and his wife, who is divorcing him. A police spokesman told reporters that an iPad that was being used to record the incident was too badly smashed to immediately retrieve video...
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.
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.