June 24th, 2013
01:45 AM ET

The Zimmerman trial: What you need to know

Opening statements begin Monday in the trial of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain accused of fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. He says he shot the unarmed teen in self-defense.

A jury of six women will decide Zimmerman's fate, which has already drawn some scrutiny from the public about whether he will get a fair trial.

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • U.S.
soundoff (260 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    An eye for an eye!

    June 30, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • flamespeak

      So many use that saying without truly understanding its meaning. An eye for an eye means that if you were to cause someone to go blind, it is your responsiblity to become their eyes. You read for them, you describe what needs to be described, etc.

      A tooth for a tooth means that if you removes someone's ability to defend themselves or hunt for or acquire food (pretty much total disarmament) you are responsible for feeding them, hunting for them, and protecting them.

      July 1, 2013 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    Todays Quirky News: UK researchers found that the size, weight, shape and color of cutlery all affect how things taste. Fork Yeah!

    June 30, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. flamespeak

    The media coverage and bias of this trial pretty much elminated the possibility of an impartial jury, but in the event that they found one, there is way too much reasonable doubt in this case, even with their 'star witnesses' that a guilty verdict should not happen. If a guilty verdict is turned in with what has been presented so far, that would be a true affront to justice. You can discuss the set-up leading to the shooting all day and all night, but the prosecution has to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that that Zimmerman stalked and murdered Trayvon Martin and so far they cannot prove that. His stance of self defense, his injuries, the only credible eye-witnesses, and all physical evidence points to Zimmerman's stance as being what happened far more than what the prosecution is trying to prove and if you cannot prove your case as a prosecutor, then you shouldn't have even touched the case. This is why the previous prosecutor declined to take the case and why he was not charged until it became a race baiting media article.

    July 1, 2013 at 5:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • BOMBO

      Seems simple, doesn't it. But it's hard to argue logic against emotion.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BIG SHIZ

    He's guilty, that's all I need to know.

    July 1, 2013 at 10:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Really CNN / TJI ? The date is now 8-1-2013. This story was posted on 7-24-2013. Do you realize what this means ? This means that:
    (1) We have all ceased to exist in the reality of a dimension in which events would naturally occur !
    (2) The world itself has discontinued it's rotation which in essence has frozen us in time and has prevented any new events from occurring !
    (3) You have decided you just don't give a hairy rats butt about your readers and just have decided the heck with it.

    So CNN – TJI, which is it ?

    July 1, 2013 at 10:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      Whoops. Got a little ahead of myself. Let's try todays date is 7-1-2013 and story posted 6-24-2013'

      July 1, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pete

    @banasy,bobcat,blocked again and like bobcat said totally rediculous with trolls here more than we are,adios all if this keeps up..Maybe they want to infuse new blood that's all because they see us communicating with each other ,right!! Take care all and happy blogging where ever you are!!

    July 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Could Trayvon Martin have called 911 the night he was killed? He could have disconnected from Ms. Jeantel.

    July 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. BOMBO

    One reason why it is unwise to try an unwinnable case – double jeopardy. Often prosecuters will bide their time, waiting for new evidence to come out. A witness who previously didn't come forward. A previously overlooked video. A new forensic technology. A suspect admitting to a friend years later. So if a prosecuter waits, they can get the conviction. If they try the case knowing that they will likely lose, then they have no chance to retry years later.

    July 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Portland tony

    Friggin' Amazing....Glanced at CNN and (2) at noon today....You'd think the world had stopped for this routine trial......while across the world,events in both the near and Far East that will affect more Americans than this 2nd degree murder trial are rapidly taking shape! Interesting case of jurisprudence and live TV, but ? News?

    July 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    How can Detective Doris Singleton be so gullible? Her posture regarding Zimmerman's statements seems to be one of belief! However, Ms. Rachel Jeantel clearly stated that Mr. Martin said, "get off, get off," so Zimmerman was on top. Ms. Jeantel is truthful: she is a minor.

    July 1, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. banasy©

    I am extremely tired of getting my posts deleted, if indeed they are published and not blocked.

    July 1, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. banasy©

    For heaven's sake! Why won't my post stating it is 7/1 and not 8/1 POST? What is WRONG with that???

    July 1, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Diana

    Is the Prosecution going to bring ot the fact that Zimmerman lied about the money he received and didn't tell the judge the truth when bond was set and his bond was revoked??!? Or did everyone forget about that? Prosecution needs to bring out that Zimmerman is not all that honest!

    July 2, 2013 at 2:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pete

      @Diane,yes plus he was going to police school at a junior college so he knows how to manipulate the police,investigators,jurors and others in his presentations..Remember the NRA,ALEC are legally backing his legal team money wise and did anyone know Floridas Stand Your Ground Law was pushed,paid for by the NRA,ALEC having Jeb Bush as governor signing it into law..ALEC was found not to long ago having white supremisist,KKK members as employees also so there's your injected racism as well!!

      July 2, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • flamespeak

      @Pete

      SYG laws have absolutely nothing to do with this case, no matter how hard the media tries to spin it that way. SYG comes into play if someone is an obvious threat to you or a loved one and approaches them to blatantly inflict physical harm, you don't have to run away (so long as you were legally allowed to be where you were at the time) and can instead fight back up to and including using deadly force. SYG laws do not come into play at all if someone is already being assaulted and uses a firearm to defend themselves from further bodily harm (such as what Zimmerman claims happened that night), that is straight-up vanilla self-defense.

      July 4, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Portland tony

    All I can say is while I certainly believe in man's right to protect his home and what he holds dear from outside intruders and violence, no person has the right to go to town and arbitrarily kill folks that for various reason might appear threatening. This Florida law has "vigilante" written all over it and just like the unwritten code that applies to police officers "you get one free bad killing" as a cop,,,,any more and you're out!. You may stand your ground when it's "your ground" you are protecting. Zimmerman will will walk...not because he was truly morally and legally right, but because a poorly drafted law says he was!

    July 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • objective black guy

      Will anyone be objective about this? Or are all blacks going to automatically assume that this youngster was killed because he was black? He was thrown out of school that day, was in a bad mood, and didn't appreciate being asked questions by anyone, so he attacked and nearly killed Zimmerman. So who is the aggressor here? Recently a white woman was badly beaten by a black guy and nobody spoke of anything racial in that context. I guess they would if she were armed and killed the poor unarmed person first.

      July 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      @OBG ....all I can say here is: If a little green man comes into my house or on my property whether he is in a good mood or not and he intends harm, I have a right to stop that little green man by any means at my disposal. If, on the other hand, the little green man is walking down the street but is still in a bad mood, I have no right to pursue, stalk or confront him. That's for law enforcement to do. They deal with these little green men everyday!

      July 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • flamespeak

      @PT

      You are not doing anything illegal by following the individual. In order to be considered stalking, it has to be habitual. You are also within the law to confront someone verbally. These generally aren't good things to do, but there is absolutely nothing illegal about them.

      July 5, 2013 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. BOMBO

    Well, the prosecution has one more witness before they rest – Martin's mother. She will give an emotional testimony, but has no relevant facts to give, she was not a witness to the incident. So with that in mind, the defense has already won. The prosecution did not prove their case, did not even come close. The defense don't actually need to do anything else.

    July 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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