Zimmerman Case: What's Next?

Law professor says former defendant could face federal charges


By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Now that the State of Florida's case against George Zimmerman is over, questions arise about a federal case that could be brought against him in the death of Trayvon Martin. We spoke with a local law professor to find out, in fact, what's next.

University of South Carolina law professor Patrick Hubbard says the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial is no surprise, based on the evidence that was or was not presented.

"It was a hard case. It was always a hard case." says Hubbard. "Everybody tried to figure out who was yelling for help. Nobody could definitively say who was yelling for help. There were no eyewitnesses. It was circumstantial evidence going in different ways."

Civil rights advocacy groups are calling for a state civil rights case against Zimmerman. But, Hubbard claims because of Florida's Stand Your Ground law, Zimmerman is immune and cannot be charged civilly. On the other hand, he could face such charges in federal court. In fact, in an effort to push for a federal case, Midlands residents plan to hold a rally this Saturday and march from Finlay Park to the Matthew J. Perry federal court house, as part of the "Justice for Trayvon 100 City Vigil."

However, professor Hubbard warns, it, like the State of florida's case a federal case will be very hard to prove.

"It would be complicated finding and proving the precise statute and constitutional violation. How do you know he did it to deny his civil rights? We don't know what happened."

Details on the march/rally are as follows:

Members of the Midlands community will march/rally Saturday morning, July 20, in honor of Trayvon Martin. The rally will begin 10:30 am at Finlay Park. After the rally, there will be a march from Finlay Park to the Matthew J. Perry Federal Court House to participate
in the “Justice for Trayvon 100 City Vigil”. Organizers say the non-violent demonstration is a way to exercise their constitutional rights, sign a petition to call on the Department of Justice to act, show their support to the Martin’s family, help collect school supplies, as well as feed the homeless. Those who participate in the rally/march are asked to wear a "hoodie" as symbol of homage to Martin.

School supplies and can food items will be welcomed as a show of solidarity.

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Kimberly said on Wednesday, Jul 17 at 9:02 AM

If he had not gotten out of his vehicle,followed an unarmed teenager who had a right to be where he was, he would not have been attacked. Zimmerman is a wanna be cop - punk with a history of assault, domestic violence and now we are finding out from a relative, possible molestation. He is no poster child of integrity. If he had not had a gun in his posession, making him feel important and authoritative, he would not have approached Martin, plain and simple. He got off because he was the only one living to tell his side of the story. Leave people alone and you won't have to worry about getting your head banged (which I'm still not convinced happened the way he said it did) on the sidewalk.

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hootie said on Monday, Jul 15 at 6:48 PM

GZ shot a person who was banging his head against cement....he used self-defense...Line up for a good head banging all of you bleeding heart liberals....let's bang your head against cement and watch while you get pummeled and slammed. Save it, I know, all of you complainers would merely grow another head for more banging, right?

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