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WUSF News Staff
Law & Order
Fri April 20, 2012
Judge Considers Whether To Release Zimmerman On Bail Today
Today a judge will decide whether to set George Zimmerman free until his trial for killing Trayvon Martin.
Legal experts tell AP when it comes to the question of whether to allow bail, there is a lot weighing in Zimmerman's favor. He was never convicted of a crime before, he has ties to the local community and he's not considered a flight risk, since he turned himself in last week after he was charged with second-degree murder.
"Although it's not routine for people charged with murder to get bond, they do get bond, and I think there is an excellent argument to be made in his specific case for him to be released on bond," said defense attorney Randy McClean, who practices in Seminole County, about 15 miles northeast of Orlando.
But the two main issues at hand are: would he be allowed to leave the U.S. and how would he stay safe.
Public scrutiny of the Zimmerman-Martin case is intense. And The New Black Panther Party put a $10,000 bounty out to capture Zimmerman.
Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's Defense Attorney plans to ask the judge to allow Zimmerman to leave the area for his own safety, if he's granted bond.
Neighborhood Watch volunteer Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in late February during a confrontation in Sanford after Zimmerman followed Martin despite a 911 operator's telling him not to. Zimmerman says he acted in self-defense under the "Stand Your Ground" law.
On Thursday, Governor Rick Scott set up a task force to review that law and other Florida laws dealing with public safety.