George Zimmerman Makes First Court Appearance; Stand Your Ground Law Being Re-Considered
Neighborhood crime watch captain George Zimmerman made his first court appearance on a second degree murder charge where he pled not guilty and his formal arraignment was set for May 29, 2012.
Represented by his new attorney Mark O'Mara, it was a short appearance where he appeared in a one piece blue jumpsuit with his hands cuffed in front of him. O'Mara said his client is indigent and will likely need the state to pick up the cost of defending Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman himself did not speak unless directly asked a question by the judge.
George Zimmerman had turned himself in once the special prosecutor Angela Corey issued a warrant and said she is filing second degree murder charges against him.
O'Mara said he will likely file a bond hearing between now and then, but no bond discussion happened during this appearance. He has described his new client as frightened and depressed adding to previous reports that Zimmerman has had spells of uncontrollable crying.
STAND YOUR GROUND LAW
There are growing efforts to change the "Stand Your Ground" self defense law or remove it from the books completely. The same efforts are also increasing in the 23 other states with similar laws, though Florida's law give the most protection for those who claim self defense.
CAN GEROGE ZIMMERMAN GET A FAIR TRIAL
Mark O'Mara said, "I think if the trial would be held today, it would be extraordinarily difficult. Sometime between now and an eventual trial date, should it occur, things will calm down and the community will let us do our job", in responding to questions of if his client could get a fair trial with so much media coverage and public outcry, either for or against Zimmerman.
If a trial does happen, it is likely to either be moved to another county where personal involvement of jurors is likely to be less, or juror would be brought to Seminole County, similar to how the Casey Anthony trial was conducted.
A new poll shows that 93% of American's know about the Trayvon Martin case in which George Zimmerman shot the teenager in the chest, but how they feel about it is largely divided by race according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
Reflecting the huge divide, 91% of African-Americans believe he was unjustly killed while only 35% of white people felt the same way. Hispanics were closer to a 50/50 split on if they thought Martin was unjustly killed.