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. Lyn

    Ignorant uneducated humans are the most prejudice ones.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      The law was not at fault.
      The 911 Dispatcher persiflaged a caller identifying himself as a watchman, not asking if he was armed, and not addressing the situation. of a armed citizen identifying himself as a watchman, calling for assistance . and the authorities fabricated false charges against Zimmerman.

      April 13, 2012 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Cesar The Chorizo Chimp Of Chihuahua

      Who taught you that piece of genius?

      April 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. amommy

    I think he like oj and Casey should stay locked up until a verdict says otherwise.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Blck Panthers

    watch out white people we are coming for you

    April 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |

    So glad Zimmerman was finally arrested. I know the defense will bring up the "Stand Your Ground" defense, but Martin was also a citizen of FL and perhaps had to stand his ground against an armed, adult male who was pursuing him. I'm not saying that Martin in any way attacked Zimmerman, but if he did, surely he had the the Stand Your Ground Law supporting him. If nothing else comes out of this case I hope Florida will rethink this rediculous law.

    April 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      The law was not at fault.
      The 911 Dispatcher persiflaged a caller identifying himself as a watchman, not asking if he was armed, and not addressing the situation. of a armed citizen identifying himself as a watchman, calling for assistance .

      April 13, 2012 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. c rob davis

    At least Casey Anthony case didn't need the "WWW" to make an arrest to have a trial seeking justice. Unfortunately the Sick Young lady got off the hook for murdering her child.
    Society typically has doubt of a young black male in a gated community at night wearing a hood is "suspect" on initial sight alone due to the prejudices that are taught in our schools. That notion in itself sparked the initial delay of action by the law enforcement. MINDS WILL THINK THE SAME GARBAGE THAT HAS BEEN TAUGHT THROUGHOUT HISTORY. LEARN DIFFERENT, THINK DIFFERENT. DO NOT ASSUME. LISTEN TO THE POLICE IF YOU THINK ENOUGH TO CALL THEM, "CITIZEN PATROLMAN" ! Seek Knowledge!

    April 12, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bb

      i must have missed the 'blacks are dangerous' class in high school but I can tell you if I see some punk in a gang banger outfit trolling my neighborhood he has my attention because with a high degree of likelihood he is up to no good and chances are during the trial there will be additional evidence brought up (Duke lacross anybody?)

      April 12, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar The Chorizo Chimp Of Chihuahua

      "Think different" – "Listen to the police"... huh?

      April 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lisa

    To the person made that comment about blacks came from the jungle take a good look at yourself and ask yourself why do you have to wash your hair everday

    April 12, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. killerman

    Whats funny is everybody in the world has African blood in them. The study was done and proven that all people decendents are african so basicly everyones black.

    April 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*Crystal

      you're exactly right
      No one is 100% of any race....we all mixed with something.....go look up your family history you'd be
      Surprised at how many races you are

      April 12, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Alex Nelson

    Zimmerman should do some prison time for playing judge, jury, and Éxecutioner. That's how I see it.

    April 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Name*Crystal

    My kids are Mexican/American an
    They get treated like crap cause they are mixed.....I hate a racist person.i am an American and my husband is
    Mexican and I get sick of all the racist remarks that
    Me,my husband and ESPy kids have
    To hear.it's damn Ridiculious.i don't care what color you are we ALL are HUMAN and
    Deserve the same
    Respect,rights,& freedom....Zimmerman took the law into his hands and killed that poor child cause he
    Black....what a damn shame......justice needs to be served for TRAYVON & HIS FAMILY.......RIP TRAYVON

    April 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ArmyWife

    I think the world needs to move on, Zimmerman is got 2nd degree murder on him! The media covering this is bull crap!! What about our soldiers who are dying for us everyday so we can sleep in peace at night! They don't get this kind of media coverage!

    April 12, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Marine5484

    Well this "expert" is wrong....he is remaining in jail.

    April 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      The people that submited an affidavit as support of probable cause in a court of law consisting of profiling and the dispatcher that did not send any help iniatially and instructed Zimmerman to keep watching and call back are lying marxist communists if they think thats probable cause for their malicious fabricated charges .

      April 13, 2012 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bubba

    White Hispanics get bail, black Hispanics don't. 🙂

    April 13, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jungle Mentality

    Trayvon was a Black Panther and was dusted.. high as a Georgia pine on PCP when he attacked Zimmerman. They said he was behaving like a wild animal. Screaming like a banshee and charging at people like a raging bull. The police went ahead and told Zimmerman to put him down. They can't have Black Panthers on PCP running around nice neighborhoods. Spike Lee is a Black Panther too. He runs PCP in media outlets. The problem surrounding this is Black Panthers on PCP.

    April 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dean

    Trayvon did something stupid. Chances are, he would have done something stupid again (probably sooner than later), possibly with a gun. I'm glad Mr. Zimmerman put him down. He saved some lucky family much grief. And he saved the taxpayers of Florida the cost of incarcerating Trayvon (either for a single long strech, or several shorter stretches).

    April 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • RIP2HIM

      what did he do? go to the store? when is that considered to be stupid? I didnt kno it was an issue to visit your relatives and go to the store.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. KarmasAbiotch12

    We can all sit behind our keyboards and spew whatever we want .... thats america but honestly why all the racist hate comments ..GROW UP... zimmerman is answering 2 the charges....let the martin family have some peace now and justice will prevail......btw i am white and do not beleive this case was only based on race ....zimmerman should not have been carrying that weapon....very sad what happened but rude ..ignorant..uneducated comments will not make anything better ...so keep your racist hate to yourself because it just makes you sound immature...none of us were there so until the case is over ..everything said is speculation exceoth the 1 known fact ...mr. martim lost his life very unfortunately and my heart goes out 2 the family ......not all white ppl are racist ....i see racist ppl in every color so lets all stick 2 the real issue JUSTICE for an unarmed person !!!!!!!

    April 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
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