What lies ahead for George Zimmerman?

Reactions to the verdict and legal future

WRITTEN BY: Michael DeLaney
Image Source: zennie62 via Flickr

If you were hiking in the wilderness for the past several days or just happen to be sobering up from a weekend bender, then you may have missed it: George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder charges.

George Zimmerman was found not guilty of both second-degree murder and manslaughter of Trayvon Martin on Saturday July 13. The Zimmerman verdict has stirred up a significant emotional reaction across the country from Americans of all backgrounds. Law enforcement worried that the news of George Zimmerman’s trial might lead to violence and riots in response.

Though the majority of the public responses to the Zimmerman verdict were peaceful rallies, there were a few instances of violence. In Oakland, California particularly there were reports of vandalism, property damage a few arrests.

The bulk of the reactions to the George Zimmerman trial were merely vocalizations of disappointment in the justice system. President Obama even commented on the case, saying that despite this being a tragedy “we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son."

Though a jury has indeed spoken on the George Zimmerman case, it is highly unlikely that the 29-year-old’s struggle, both personal and legal is even close to being over. George Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara knows that there is a difficult road ahead for his client. In a report with CBS News O’Mara said:

"I'm sure that if he could wave his magic wand he would just sort of get his life back…He has to be very cautious and protective of his safety because there is still a fringe element who has said at least in tweets and everything else that they want revenge."

Since being acquitted of murder charges, George Zimmerman is still legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon, even the gun that killed Trayvon Martin. Whether or not someone would attempt to harm George Zimmerman is anyone’s guess, but he will have the right to protect himself.

In terms of his legal future, this may not be the last time that George Zimmerman will enter a courtroom in regards to the death of Trayvon Martin. The NAACP has called for a civil rights case from the Justice Department, but it doesn’t seem that any such case will be filed in the immediate future.

Atlanta civil litigator Lance LaRusso told NBC 11 that the Florida Stand Your Ground law that initially protected George Zimmerman from a criminal case could potentially protect him from a civil case as well.

The Zimmerman verdict leaves many Americans across the country divided on the issues of race, gun laws and gun violence. George Zimmerman may intend to slip away and live a quiet life, but it is doubtful that this is the last we will hear of him and the killing of Trayvon Martin in the news.

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