April 12th, 2012
11:37 AM ET

Expert 'would not be surprised' to see Zimmerman get bail

George Zimmerman faces a second-degree murder charge in the killing of Trayvon Martin - a charge of such magnitude that bail is usually not granted, a Florida legal expert said Thursday.

"It's uncommon, but not unheard of," to grant bail in such cases, said Charles Rose, director of the center for excellence and advocacy at the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida.

Any bail would be large and need a significant financial requirement, whether in money or property, from Zimmerman or his supporters, Rose said.

"The judge will have to hit the range for what is appropriate in cases like this," he said, possibly around $250,000.

The magistrate judge hearing Zimmerman's case Thursday will consider Zimmerman's character, his likelihood to make subsequent court appearances, and his ties to the community when deciding whether to grant bail, Rose said.

The law professor said he didn't think Zimmerman posed a flight risk as he's become so recognizable through media coverage of the case that he'd be spotted almost anywhere.

The magistrate will also determine where and under what conditions Zimmerman would live while on bond, Rose said. The neighborhood watchman would not be allowed to leave the state.

That could pose a problem for Zimmerman, his lawyer said Wednesday.

"I think nobody would deny the fact if George Zimmerman is walking down the street today, he would be at risk," Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara, said.

Thousands have converged on Sanford, Florida, where the killing took place, to join in protests calling for Zimmerman's arrest and decrying the police department's handling of the case.

And earlier in the case, the New Black Panther Party, described as a hate group by a civil rights organization, made a $10,000 bounty offer for the capture of Zimmerman, despite vehement opposition from, among others, Martin's family.

Zimmerman, 28, who had been in hiding, turned himself in Wednesday after authorities said he would be charged in the case. The killing took place on February 26.

"You could make an argument that (Zimmerman) would be safer to remain in custody," Rose said.

But he said the authorities may prefer to have Zimmerman released on bond because of the "nightmare" it would be to guarantee his security in custody.

Rose said it's likely that the bail question has already been negotiated between Zimmerman's lawyer and prosecutors.

"I would not be surprised to see him walk in the door and walk out the door," Rose said.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Justice • Trayvon Martin
soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Dade Man

    Put him in general jail population and save the tax payers tons to support his sorry a>>>>

    April 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Yep, and the Zimmerman family will live quite comfortably on the $17.4B Florida taxpayers will have to give them.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Stan

    Blacks are showing their true selves. Just animals.

    April 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • 305ladyleo

      Just like you just showed your true colors. Oh I forgot, you have no color.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*mds


      April 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real "Stan the Man"

      yo momma

      April 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real "Stan the Man"

      @ STAN, Stop talking about your momma!

      April 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Steve

    All I know is that if this had been a young white boy that had gotten shot, the public would have never heard about it.

    April 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Dalloway

      That means all good Americans have to look out for each other more otherwise we'll get picked off one by one.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • common sense

      You right cause that person ass would be in jail....

      April 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Garth

      Steve – that's because if he is white, the shooter would have been arrested on the spot.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      My guess is, if the roles were reversed, the black kid would have been taken into custody, questioned, and charged. If he then did the smart thing – get a lawyer right away, claim self defense and get any injuries on the record – charges would have been dropped because the case was unwinnable. If he didn't do the smart thing – wave his rights and sign a confession – he'd be in jail now. But either way, it would NOT be national news.

      April 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      Boohoo Steve. Is it possible that the shooter would be rotting in jail and therefore there would be no need to hear about it?? Maybe??

      April 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real "Stan the Man"

      @Steve, stop thinking and acting like Stan...George Zimmerman was enough, don't you think so? Let's not have 2 others being as cynical, fruitless, defiant, arrogant, ignorant, stupid, racist, etc. as brainless George!!!

      April 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Name*mds

    He's not mex anyway from preu second heres a tip wait an think about what you say before you type whoo whoo racist

    April 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    I'm not trying to be rude but black people are simply lower on the evolutionary scale than everyone else. They act like they are straight out of the jungle.

    April 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*Ann-Belinda Honablezh

      From an anthropology perspectiv, so are you. All races begun in Africa and with enviroment adaptation, there were physicological change.

      Think before putting the foot in ones mouth.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • lib

      I could say that for whites also still in the caveman era. Your comment can go both ways. THe Blacks held decent peaceful demonstrations. Had they not thie would have been swept under the rug. THank God it wasn't Some of those so called "Black animals" you mention have served this country to save your racist freedom

      April 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Really, are you serious? You actually posted a statement like this and think that you are superior?? EVERYONE is equal no matter what race, colour, size, etc. You, however, have proven yourself to be one of lower intelligence and I will not speculate on what skin colour you are or where you live or race but pathetic is all I can say you are for your appalling comment.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*colyn

      Chrissy that was beyond RUDE! It's not only the BLACK PPL that wants justice for Trayvon, there's other racist out there to hoping for some type of justice!

      April 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      This is not the person who usually posts as chrissy, just some hateful troll who hijacked her name.

      April 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bklyngrl66

      Chrissy, the only person that seems to have been living in the jungle is you! Go take a look at the many black men and women fighting in the armed forces. Go take a look at how many black men and women are coming out of the City and Federal Bldings from work, let's not even mention the magnificent Kingdom of Ancient Egypt which was led by a many nubian men and women. Go back to the jungle Chrissy and mend your sterotypical, dumba$$ brain damage. While you're at it, think about Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Ted Kazinski, Skin Heads, Hitler and the KKK and on and on the list goes and tell me there are no blemishes of f'd up behavior by white people.

      April 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • tikibistro

      I'd love to see what you'd say if I cought you walking on the southside.

      April 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Chrissy you really need to get out of the house more, I really feel sorry for you when you judge somebody's intelligence by the race of their skin...but I guess stupidity and ignorance and you are the living proof....get a real live..

      April 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      chrissy, would it be fair then to say that white people act like they are straight out of the grave?

      April 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cece Young

      Wow! Really???? And people actually have the nerve to say there is no more racism and hatred in this country.

      April 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • @chrissy, in REPLY

      I will pray for you, girl...because you an your people like Steve and Stan, (Not to be confused with The Real Stan-The-Man), are pitiful individuals who need to back to Antarctica because your LIMITED MINDS AND WORTHLESS brains are FROZEN and ICED!!1

      April 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LabRat

    Nor would it be a surprise to have a dismissal of all charges.

    April 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Captain Obvious

    "But he said the authorities may prefer to have Zimmerman released on bond because of the "nightmare" it would be to guarantee his security in custody."

    How hard could it be? Put him in a private cell. Feed him his meals in that cell. Same as they do for dirty cops and other high profile criminals.

    April 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Alexk

    I see no reason why he shouldn't be given bail. The guy has already had plenty of opportunity to run and chose not to. He turned himself in as soon as charges were brought against him.

    I could see doing it for his safety, but if that were the case he should be put in protective custody and not in prison.

    April 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      ...bond your equity $$$'s where your mouth is or shutup...!

      April 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lee

    BTW my comment was in reply to "Chrissy"...

    April 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. shannon

    Innocent people are gunned down every single day here in America and for no good reason, most of the time the shooter isnt even caught, heck there are even eye witnesses to alot of senselss murders so I question why is this murder any different than any other murder of an innocent person? Maybe if people got so upset about all murders then there would be a few less? Just a thought....

    April 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*colyn

      Shannon, what you are saying is so true, but its up to the family to get involved and fight for justice for their love one's!

      April 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. GoldenGod

    I'm not sure why bail would be unheard of in this case. There is a guy in the Charleston, SC area who was just granted bond after he murdered his girlfriends son, stuffed his body in a trash can and filled it with cement.

    April 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chrissy

    Zimmerman should have just showed the boy a stick of deodorant. Deodorant and soap are a blacks worst nightmare.

    April 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexander

      LOL. :). 🙂

      April 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Real American

      Any coward can sit in front of a computer and spew the most vilest comments and fill brave but just a thought do us all a favor the first black man you see go up to his face and tell him what you fill about him, and pick one who looks like he ain't for kno BS

      April 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tikibistro

    The comments here shows this Countries true colors. If this were a Black man who shot a white child, that Black man would be under the jail. Oh, I know quite a few white Animals. Oh and your president is still black and will be until 2016. ha ha

    April 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chris Fischer

    When a white person dies at the hands of a black person... I never see riots, protests, or those two morons named Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson speaking about that. I've never seen any white hate group place a bounty out, or gather by the thousands. I don't see college funds, or recognized groups like the NAACP for whites. We would be racists if we did those types of things, but since they were treated bad by people who aren't even alive anymore we all have to deal with this BS every time something happens and they decide to make it about color. wow!

    April 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cece Young

      @Chris Fischer- I hate to be the one to tell you this, but when a white person dies at the hands of a black person, there is and has historically been, no delay in an arrest or receiving a conviction. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is.

      April 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cece Young

      @ Chris, and also, all of the organizations you mentioned, NAACP, etc. came about at a time when blacks had no rights in many places and needed representation to change the laws. It's kind of the same thing when women were treated like second-class citizens, couldn't vote etc. Hence the birth of women's right's organizations, the feminist movement etc. These kinds of organizations were not needed for white men back then because they had all the power and made the decisions. For me this means, as BLACK WOMAN, I would have been doubly screwed back in the 60"s lol

      And it's amazing but today you still have people who believe that women and blacks should be treated inferior. Many of the comments on this site prove it. Not saying that about you, because you made a valid observation, but about many of the others spewing hate on this site.

      April 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cece Young

      Of course there are always exceptions to the rapid arrests and convictions of black people, i.e, OJ Simpson. But, that is an exception.

      April 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SuperCrotch

    Zimmermans father was a judge in Fl. For several years. Thats why they're takin their time with this. U wont hear this from the media til later

    April 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
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