Zimmerman Not Done With Courts Yet

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With the full acquittal behind him, George Zimmerman will still have to answer to the courts if either a civil trial or a federal civil rights trial continue to proceed.
While murder or manslaughter charges are behind Zimmerman in terms of criminal proceedings, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin may face litigation from the family of the deceased or prosecution by federal attorneys. The Martin family is known to have been considering a wrongful death lawsuit, which would seek to hold Zimmerman accountable for the death of their son.
Federal prosecutors began exploring the possibility of attempting to prosecute Zimmerman under federal criminal laws according to civil rights statutes. The federal Justice Department has received evidence from Florida officials and from the FBI and will determine if a federal crime was committed.
Zimmerman could be charged under these separate civil rights laws without the “double jeopardy” provisions being in effect given his acquittal on the Florida criminal charges.
Zimmerman’s family has also spoken out regarding potential court proceedings. Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman, Jr., has spoken to the media and claimed that a civil lawsuit would reveal new perspectives on the fateful events of February 26, 2012.
The Martin family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, has confirmed that the Martins have been exploring the possibility of a civil lawsuit.
A key difference for the civil lawsuit is that the plaintiffs (the Martins) would not have the burden of “beyond a reasonable doubt” proof as is the case in the criminal murder and manslaughter trial.
In the potential civil rights prosecution, federal attorneys would argue that Zimmerman committed a hate crime. Such prosecution would need to prove that Zimmerman was engaged in racial profiling when he encountered Martin, that he shot the teenager out of racial bias rather than self-defense, or both.

With the full acquittal behind him, George Zimmerman will still have to answer to the courts if either a civil trial or a federal civil rights trial continue to proceed.

While murder or manslaughter charges are behind Zimmerman in terms of criminal proceedings, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin may face litigation from the family of the deceased or prosecution by federal attorneys. The Martin family is known to have been considering a wrongful death lawsuit, which would seek to hold Zimmerman accountable for the death of their son.

Federal prosecutors began exploring the possibility of attempting to prosecute Zimmerman under federal criminal laws according to civil rights statutes. The federal Justice Department has received evidence from Florida officials and from the FBI and will determine if a federal crime was committed.

Zimmerman could be charged under these separate civil rights laws without the “double jeopardy” provisions being in effect given his acquittal on the Florida criminal charges.

Zimmerman’s family has also spoken out regarding potential court proceedings. Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman, Jr., has spoken to the media and claimed that a civil lawsuit would reveal new perspectives on the fateful events of February 26, 2012.

The Martin family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, has confirmed that the Martins have been exploring the possibility of a civil lawsuit.

A key difference for the civil lawsuit is that the plaintiffs (the Martins) would not have the burden of “beyond a reasonable doubt” proof as is the case in the criminal murder and manslaughter trial.

In the potential civil rights prosecution, federal attorneys would argue that Zimmerman committed a hate crime. Such prosecution would need to prove that Zimmerman was engaged in racial profiling when he encountered Martin, that he shot the teenager out of racial bias rather than self-defense, or both.

 

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