90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, April 12, 2012

Zimmerman Makes Court Appearance In Fla. Shootings

George Zimmerman, center, stands with a Seminole County Deputy  and his attorney Mark O'Mara during a court hearing Thursday in Sanford, Fla. (AP/Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel, Pool)

George Zimmerman, center, stands with a Seminole County Deputy and his attorney Mark O'Mara during a court hearing Thursday in Sanford, Fla. (AP/Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel, Pool)

The ASSOCIATED PRESS

SANFORD, Fla. – Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has made his first court appearance on a second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

During the brief appearance Thursday, Zimmerman stood up straight and wore a gray prison jumpsuit. He spoke only to answer “Yes, sir,” after he was asked basic questions about the charge against him and his attorney.

The judge said an arraignment would be held on May 29 before another judge.

Zimmerman was charged after a public campaign to make an arrest in the Feb. 26 shooting, which has galvanized the nation for weeks. Some legal experts had expected Zimmerman to face a lesser count of manslaughter and say a prosecutor will face steep hurdles to win a murder conviction. Zimmerman has claimed that he fired in self-defense.

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Rex

    The examples of cases that used Stand Your Ground as a defense sound like they are getting away with “he started it.” If people are getting away with going from defense to the offensive, it should no longer be called Stand Your Ground.
    Either way, once you are safe and the problem has been diffused, Stand Your Ground applies no more.

  • Attyjgd

    If Tryvon had a legal gun and shot Zimmerman, could Trayvon claim ‘stand your ground’?
    Would he be believed?
    Does Florida want to be the new wild west with legal gun battles were each thinks the other is attacking?
    The problem with the ‘stand your ground’ argument is people assume here is a clear ‘good guy’ and a clear ‘bad guy’.
    What if there isn’t? Is the dead guy always to be seen as the ‘bad guy’ and the ‘good guy’ is just faster on the draw?

  • Fietsbode

    I have yet to hear anyone mention the relative size and weight of the two involved. From the photos, Travon looks like a boy, an adolescent, while Zimmerman looks physically imposing. If I’m right, I would find Zimmerman’s behavior and claims even harder to believe. 

  • Inveterate Thorn

    It is unfortunate that the media has consistently referred to this incident as (some variant) Trayvon Martin Killing. Language of this type is very biased, implying that Martin was a complete innocent in this case. Also, unfortunate is that Mr.Martin is going to be on trial as well, digging into his history. All a defense attorney needs to show is that Martin had any history of violent reaction to confrontation.

  • Daniel W

    I find it especially disturbing that  Dennis Baxley, who actually wrote the “stand your ground” law currently
    in place in Florida doesn’t think it shields
    Zimmerman from the consequences of his actions. According to Baxley,
    this law was written to apply to his victim, Mr Martin.

  • Dsanchez

    To me the verdict should be decided based on where and how the boy was shot. If the bullet wounds say it was a scuffle, this says one thing. If the bullet wounds shoe he was shot in point blank range thus paints a completely different story

  • Fraziersl59

    The prosecution should embrace the stand your ground law and use it to their advantage. As the facts are given, Zimmerman, after being told not to by 911 dispatch, both stalked and confronted Trayvon. As a result, Trayvon “stood his ground” and was murdered for it.

  • Spacehoax

    I think the woman who charged Zimmerman with domestic violence would know if he was likely to take advantage of his position in power in a hate crime kind of way. 

  • Cmole1

    I am the neighborhood watch captain in our neighborhood and am just about sick of the people who feel the right to invade others personal space.  I believe that Zimmerman took this to an extreme because he had easy access to a firearm.  Don’t we also need to look at the availability of guns in the hands of novices?  Additionally, being a woman, I have to express that when I am alone walking and see someone in a hoodie walking towards me, in earnest, I’d cross the street in avoidance for personal safety.  The “Stand Your Ground” defense should only apply while on your own property.

  • J.Larsen

    The “stand your ground law” gives me compelling reason not to vacation in Florida. What other states have “stand your ground laws”? Perhaps Illinois should start advertising for people to move here because we are concealed weapon and “stand your gound” free.

  • overtaxed

    I am tired of the welfare state spokespeople “after a public campaign to make an arrest” getting their way based on threats. I can see the city and country are scared of black panthers, bounties, and other violent “blood in the streets” language. No arrests here, oppressed people are just that way. Contantly bashing the white community. I know there are good solid minority citizens out there, but if you do not speak out against the violent, you stand with the violent, and I will be forced to see you as different and watch you when you enter my neighborhood. There will be no “blood on my streets”.

  • Pablo

    WAY too much time on the air over-covering this story.  5-10 minutes would suffice.  With all respect to the victim, there are so many bigger things going on in the world.  People can get the endless over-coverage, useless speculation, and ‘expert’ opinions on their cable tv 24/7.  We don’t need it on your usually excellent show.

  • Zolan

    I hope you’ll be talking about Piers Morgans interview with Zimmerman’s brother lastnight and his response to Morgan asking if he had anything to say to the Martin family and there was no apology. It’s understandable for the Zimmerman family to deny the incident being a murder but instead of saying, “for pete’s sake leave it to the court…….we lost our privacy you lost your son,” a apology for the loss of a life is definitely needed. 

  • It

    Zimmerman had as much right to be on that street as Martin did even if he was profiling Martin. Martin attacking Zimmerman is when this became a crime.

  • Sti

     i have a point about “stand your ground” rule. every one says that Zimmerman is  entitle to that rule. But why it should not be considered if Travon may also deserve to be entitled to that rule. From the police tape it revealed that Travon was talking to his Girl friend and was complaining that he was being followed by one white man. It is also clear from the conservation between police and Zimmerman that Zimmerman was telling to the police about his persuasion towards Travon and police asked him not to. So the situation is that he was persuading Travon and Travon was scared of his persuasion ( as per his conversation with his gf). Hence, if this situation stands correct then at that point of time if Travon attacked Zimmerman to defend him from the possible attack of zimmerman, then why Travon will not be entitled to the “stand of the  ground” rule at that point of time for attacking Zimmerman?

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

April 22 Comment

What Do We Have To Teach Plato?

Philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein discusses her new book "Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away."

April 22 20 Comments

Children’s Literature: Apartheid Or Just A General Lack of Color?

African-American children's book authors Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers weigh in.

April 21 Comment

Remembering Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter

We remember the boxing champion, who was twice wrongly convicted of murder, with his longtime friend and defender.

April 21 2 Comments

‘Wait Wait’ Host Peter Sagal Runs Boston Marathon As Guide

For the second year in a row, the host of NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" is running with a legally blind athlete.