George Zimmerman’s murder charge, explained:
Seven long weeks later, George Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
Why murder instead of manslaughter? Many defense attorneys were surprised that Angela Corey, the Florida state attorney, opted for the tougher charge. Their conclusion: “Corey and her team of prosecutors must know something that the rest of us don’t,” says Dan Sullivan in the Tampa Bay Times.
What happens now that he has been charged? Zimmerman will be arraigned Thursday, and can ask to be released on bail. It’s possible that the 28-year-old could be granted bail because he has proved that he’s not a flight risk. But if he does get bail, he will almost surely remain under protective custody.
Will Florida’s gun law protect Zimmerman? To win immunity under the law, the burden of proof is on the defendant, and few meet it to a judge’s satisfaction. “Most judges, I think, are comfortable letting the adversarial system play out before a jury rather than make decisions themselves,” Ralph Behr tells Reuters. During Wednesday’s press conference, state attorney Angela Corey told reporters, “If ‘stand your ground’ is an issue, we’ll fight it.”
How much jail time could he get, and what is the most likely outcome?