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. HisMajesty

    Where do they come up with these experts? To say that the person's safety in jail is a consideration is false. The court assumes that the jail can safely hold a person. To suggest that the authorities might not want to keep him in remand is just more sensationalism that CNN has becoming very good at .

    April 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Name*Yummy Jackson

      The reason they say that is because they want to protect him from the streets, the black panther or some else is gonna kill him for what he did but regardless, their gonna do the same in prison as well. I've heared of judges here that said the reason they kept someone in custody or sentanced them for a certain amount of time was for their protection. Either way, their not protected at all. Cause they can't hide forever.

      April 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Name*Yummy Jackson

    He shouldn't be granted bail, no matter how his ties to the community is and as for his character, he killed an inoccent person that was in the community visiting his father.

    April 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • MB

      I totally agree in what u have said Zimmerman is going to get killed if someone sees him on the streets he is a walking target both on the streets and in Jail He best better watch his Back cause someone is going to kill him if they get to him without protection he can not hide Forever he gonna get what coming to him and it is a matter of time Shalom

      April 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • usamare

      Bashing someone's head into the cement is not terribly innocent, and if someone is rude, it's not justification to strike them or bash their head into the cement.

      April 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fl guy

      Innocent? Are you the judicial system? No. People who assume either direction is half of the problem with this. Should the defendant have shot him? Heck no and thats what he he be tried on, but that doesn't mean the deceased was innocent.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      Innocent says you, in this country it is innocent until proven guilty. He did a bad thing, however, there is scant evidence of murder2, thus bail is just

      April 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. No such thing as a innocent black person

    the only innocent black person is a dead one.

    April 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • marie

      WHen my son gets his Air Force fighter pilot I hope they also give him your address.

      April 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. K. Broze

    I cant beleive CNN is allowing these racial comments to go on. Theres a death and possibly the end of a life for another. Wheres the American compassion and when will prejudice expire?

    April 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fl guy

      You should ask the NAACP the same question as they are just as guilty at times.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      Exactly he is getting a raw deal due to race, if they were both black or both not, then this would be a non issue. It is the black community that turned this to a race case. Shame on the naacp, shame on al sharpton, shame on jessie Jackson, they are the über racists. No better then the kkk of old.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. No such thing as a innocent black person

    my prejudice will expire when they do

    April 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. JOSE0311USMC

    ZIMMERMAN ACTED IN SELF DEFENSE , SEND HIM A DONATION ...GO TO GOOGLE AND WRITE---ZIMMERMAN DONATION WEB PAGE

    April 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • MB

      YOU ARE CRAZY TO THINK HE ACTED IN SELF DEFENSE ZIMMERMAN KILLED MARTINS SON IN COLD BLOODED MURDER AND HE IS GOING TO PAY FOR WHAT HE DID TO THAT TEEN HE WILL GET JAIL TIME AND IF SOMEONE SEES HIM ON THE STREET IT WILL BE GOOD BYE ZIMMERMAN CAUSE SOMEONE WILL KILL HIM IF THEY FINE HIM OUT OF JAIL HE IS GUILTY AS CHARGED AND JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL AGAINST HIM SHALOM

      April 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. john

    He sucks

    April 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dean

      Trayvon? Not anymore.

      April 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mary

    It's easy 4 people 2 say innocent til proven guilty, but where is that same justice 4 the Martins?!

    April 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. zito

    I have sat and listened to the white collective speak thier thimble full of infinite knowledge on this case, and it sickens me that they have nothing more than stereotypes and bigotry in thier hearts in regaurds to the murder of a child. However I am not shocked. This all plays up to the perfect storm. What are you all going to tell GOD when he stands before the whole grafted lot of you. Makes me wonder if any of you wlll be left in the end.

    April 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fl guy

      It goes both ways. At times the NAACP and other groups for protection are guilty of the sane thing. Everyone white, black, purple, yellow, blue, everyone is guilty of it.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mei-Lin

    He should remain in jail because he will live in fear when he is out in public.

    April 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. mickey1313

    The fact that the government knows the black panther s put out a bounty, and the fbi isn't officially labeling them terrorists is a disgrace. They have been a threat for years. Considering alqada is government backed, they (bp) are probably the most dangerous group active in America today.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Lyn

    The black panther party is only a threat when black Americans are violated of their civil rights!

    April 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Popcorn

    It really doesn't matter. Everyone should forgive, love, and be kind to each other. Let's all show kindness to our fellow man. Show that you are the better person by being a good kind person. May GOD be with you and bless you always.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Lyn

    how do you act in self defense if you pursue someone else with the intent to harm?? he will get life in prison!

    April 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. killerman

    At 28 years old, you would have to be a straight punk to let a 17 year old high school boy best you. Everyone on here that thinks that Zimmerman was in the right to kill a kid for beating the hell out of him are punks A** sucker too.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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