Case of Race: George Zimmerman Trial
GAINESVILLE - George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder for last year's shooting death of an unarmed African-American teenager. Zimmerman's defense team argues their client was acting in self-defense when Trayvon Martin was shot. I talked to a few University of Florida experts from the levin college of law to address some of the difficult legal issues surrounding this trial.
It's a case everyone has strong opinions about. According to Kenneth Nunn a law professor at UF, race is the reason it has sparked so much interest. "I think that there are many people that feel a great injustice took place and that trayvon martin was a victim of an overzealous person who was profiling him. And i think that there will be a number of people who will be disturbed if the verdict comes back and that's not the case," Nunn said.
Jennifer Zedalis also part of UF's Levin College of Law hopes race won't impact the trial and that the facts will speak for themselves. Zedalis said, "Race should not interfere. We would hope that the racial issue will not interfere with mr. Zimmerman's right to a fair trial as a person accused of the serious offense of second degree murder."
With all the attention the case has received from the media and the public. Experts here at the university of florida's college of law, it's going to be difficult for zimmerman to get an impartial jury, but not impossible.
Zedalis adds, "In the court, in the trial it's the evidence that should be important. The evidence about what happened, what the motivations of the parties were... You know, that's what should be important. But certainly all of these questions that you are asking are things that the lawyers are going to have to struggle with in jury selection."
Nunn said that despite racial profiling, it all depends on how the case is handled in court and the way that the media reports on it. "Because the question is going to be whether or not people will feel at the end of the day that the outcome in the case was fair and whether or not justice was done," Nunn said.
Trials are open to the public, but seating will be limited as seminole county court is holding a public lottery for each day of the trial. We will have gavel to gavel coverage of the trial starting Monday (June 10th, 2013).
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