Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Trayvon Martin shooting: no grand jury for Zimmerman

 Zimmerman in police custody. (Sanford Police Dept.)
Florida state attorney Angela Corey, the special prosecutor appointed to investigate the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, said on Monday that the case will not go to a grand jury.

The decision does not rule out the possibility that George Zimmerman, Martin's shooter, could be arrested.
The grand jury had been set to meet Tuesday in Sanford, Fla., where the Feb. 26 shooting occurred.

"From the moment she was assigned, Ms. Corey noted she may not need a grand jury," a statement from Corey's office read.  "The decision should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case. At this time, the investigation continues and there will be no further comment from this office."
According to the Associated Press, Corey has "a reputation for not presenting cases before grand juries if it wasn't required." (Only first-degree murder cases require the use of grand juries in Florida, the AP noted.)

The lawyer for Martin's family, Ben Crump, said in a statement that he was hopeful the announcement by the special prosecutor would be followed by the announcement of Zimmerman's arrest.

"We had hoped she had enough evidence without the need to convene a grand jury," Crump said. "The family is trying to have patience and faith through all of this. We know we want that day to come. We want a very public trial so the evidence can come out and show people that the justice system works for everybody."
According to Orlando's WFTV, Zimmerman could be arrested as early as this week.

Meanwhile, Hal Uhrig, Zimmerman's attorney, called Corey's decision not to involve a grand jury "courageous on her part."
Earlier Monday, lawyers for the neighborhood watchman said that if Zimmerman is not charged, he would speak out. Zimmerman has not spoken to the media since the shooting.

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