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. Paul B

    Lets be a lil more mature about this folks. Treyvon Martin deserves justice, that is for sure. But as to prejudging George Zimmerman without all the facts is equivalent to the Witch hangings of our earlier years as colonies. The media has stretched and munipulated facts in this case already, simularly to the OJ Simpson case. In that case and this case you had and have injustice. Both require and deserve attention to detail, not rumors nor hate speeches nor false witness. Let the courts handle it first, then make a decision on what u believe.

    April 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    @ my troll, please post your bigoted garbage under your own name! No posts prior to this one are mine! And while youre at it remember that a *child* was senselessly killed at the hands of an ego trippin idiot! Does not matter what color he was!!

    April 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Name*onelove

    The facts will never come out in this case...

    April 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    That wasn't me posting above. I don't like the coloreds.

    April 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • 46323

      Why don't you FO, you mindless twit?

      April 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Name*onelove

    Stan u are a piece of crap ..man up and come try me.btw I'm white & people like you are a waste of air

    April 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Fr33th1n3r

    The sacrificial lamb is making his way to the altar of Infinite Political Correctness to have his heart cut out to appease the NAACP gods, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson...

    April 12, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • 46323

      Maybe that sacrificial lamb needs to be slaughtered the way he did to another human being. Jerk.

      April 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mischa

    Just read an article that put a whole different spin on this case...makes you go...hmmm...

    April 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Eric

    Another CNN expert, oh god!

    April 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. e white

    george zimmerman made a bad mistate when he decline to follow order that was given to him. when you given order, you must obey. a hard head make a soft butt.

    April 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharptonandjacksonrpos

      It was not an order by an officer it was not unlawful to follow him or question him it was a standard response for dispatch to give to not follow but it was not illegal what he did

      April 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rodneyagim

    We need peace we need facts and we need that man the death penalty

    April 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. polskipaul

    he will never get bail......he's not black

    April 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. blogs-o-matic

    Did any of you bright intellegent non racist people speak out this much about the Casey Anthony child murder case?

    Didn't think so.

    She was white and a white little girl was murdered and she got away with it. Walked right out of the court room.

    Now, who are the real racist?

    April 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      With all due respect, were you around these blogs when the CA trial and aquittal was going on?
      There was plenty of outrage, I assure you!

      April 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • cherry

      uhuh...exactly right..

      April 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bob123

    Guys innocent til proven guilty...

    April 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. valwayne

    Mr Zimmerman had plenty of time to disappear if he wanted to disappear. Instead he turned himself in before they even announced they were going to charge him. He hardly seems to be a flight risk. The purpose of a bond is to insure the person charged with a crime shows up in court. Is there any doubt with Mr Zimmerman? Not hardly! I don't see any reason except politics not to release him with a minimum bail requirement! Unless of course the purpose isn't to ensure he shows up in court, but rather to please the lynch mob?

    April 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. HisMajesty

    Where is my post

    April 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
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