No Grand Jury in Trayvon Case
The special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case announced that she has decided against using a grand jury, her office said Monday.
The state attorney has maintained that a grand jury is unnecessary to file possible criminal charges against Zimmerman, but the news release issued on behalf of the Florida special prosecutor, Angela Corey, warned the public not to read too much into the move.
Grand juries are generally used to create a buffer for controversial cases, but there is also the possibility of backlash from keeping the public out of the proceedings.
The Seminole County Grand Jury was scheduled to meet Tuesday to hear the evidence in the death of Martin, the 17-year-old victim who was shot by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, 28, on February 26 in Sanford, Florida.
Many civil rights activists have accused Zimmerman, a Hispanic man, of shooting Martin because he was black. Protestors around the nation have been calling for Zimmerman's arrest despite his claim of shooting Martin out of self-defense.
Corey's decision to bypass the grand jury was unexpected, says Professor Kenneth Nunn. According to the professor of law at the University of Florida, you only have to have probable cause for a crime to have occurred and he believes a smoking gun and a dead body in this case is a definite probable cause.
“I don’t see what benefit the prosecution gets by making this decision at this late hour," he added.
Meanwhile, protests over Trayvon's shooting continue. The case has sparked nationwide debate on issues like race and laws of self-defense.
Specifically, protestors have zeroed in on Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" Law that allows watchmen like Zimmerman to use deadly force if they are in danger of being seriously injured or killed.
Zimmerman’s family has insisted that the shooting was not racially motivated.
In Los Angeles, various civil rights and community group members will gather to march at a rally in Pershing Square Monday at 4 p.m. in order to demand justice for Trayvon Martin.
While witnesses and attorneys offer various accounts, prosecutors continue to try to understand what happened that night and whether there is enough evidence to charge Zimmerman with the shooting.