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. killerman

    Everyone hates black people not only whites, everyone. I know asian girls that said their father would disown them if they were with a black man. That goes for Idians, Mexican all all other races. No body wants there daughter to date a black man. So its not a white or black thing, its a black against the whole world thing.

    April 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • wood

      It's called envy, Killerman...

      April 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Granny


    April 14, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cashemire

    Mr George Zimmerman is innocent . He was a voluntary worker! He spent his time helping for the security of the neighborhood ...and now he needs to paid because they (judges)did not recognized his dangerous labor .. justice is too blind.. I pray for him an his family that God protect him for an inadequate judgement !!!

    April 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • fryuujin

      zimm is a first rate dolt, who I bet a million $ wishes he had stayed in the car and let the real cops deal with it. he is 100% responsible for this whole fing mess.

      April 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • fryuujin

      logic does not exist in your life does it

      April 15, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • RIP2HIM

      u should be next to him too.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Free2bme73

      Karma, I totally agree.

      April 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. KarmasAbiotch12

    Its one thing to be proud of who you are and your race but when degrading others only on skin color and not character makes you a big ol jack azz ..... iam proud of who i am but others have the right 2 b proud of who they are .... black ppl did have an ugly past here in america but that does not give them the right 2 still think all whites are racist ... some of the coolest nicest ppl i know are the ones of color and no matter what we are all just people at the end of the day so this white girl says once again quit spewing all this racist bs because karma is a biotch and everything you put out into this world all the negativity will come back 2 bite ya in ur azz so grow up and until u do u will keep sounding stupid and that does not make u better than anyone white black purple we are all one race ... the human race so get over the race war this is freakin 2012

    April 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KarmasAbiotch12

    I feel sorry for people that only want 2 spread hate ....there is obviously enough of that going around...take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are really better than someone because of their skin color....if you are racist and hateful then the answer is NO.....to be better than someone you must have better morals and character and actually be a better person....racism does not make anyone better...justice 4 the martin family and i feel for zzimmermans family too....i hope the best 4 all.....Peace

    April 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. KarmasAbiotch12

    Cool beans 🙂

    April 24, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
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