George Zimmerman is seeking a hearing that could clear him if a judge rules that he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense under Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.
Prosecutors contend Zimmerman profiled Martin simply because he was black and wearing a hoodie.
“The primary focus of a ‘stand your ground’ hearing is whether George Zimmerman reasonably believed that his use of his weapon was necessary to prevent great bodily harm to himself at the hands of Trayvon Martin.”
“The defense asserts that there is clear support for a strong claim of self-defense.”
Team Zimmerman is pinning its hopes on the Florida law, which allows people to use deadly force — rather than retreat — if they have a reasonable belief they could be killed or badly harmed.
The hearings are mini-trials — except that the burden of proof is on the defense rather than the prosecution. A judge, rather than a jury, decides the outcome.
And If Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. rules in Zimmerman’s favor, it would not only knockout a trial but would insulate the shooter from future lawsuits.
No date has been set for the hearing, which is not expected to happen for several months.
Zimmerman, 28, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and is free on $1 million bond.