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Lexington NAACP, Lawyer Talk Zimmerman Case Future

Reported by: Amanda Stevenson
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Updated: 7/15/2013 6:53 pm
George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of Trayvon Martin Saturday.

Since then, many march in protests, wearing hoodies--like the one Martin was wearing the night he was killed--and demanding justice.

"There's clearly a lot of pressure on all sides to take certain courses of action. Obviously, these kinds of cases don't happen in a vacuum," said Dan Carman, a criminal defense attorney in Lexington.

He said Zimmerman's was a fairly simple case of self defense, "It was just a weak case for murder, it was a weak case for manslaughter."

President of the Fayette County chapter of the NAACP, Rev. Jim Thurman, said he believes it's always been a civil rights case.

"The most basic of civil rights was violated--you got a young man that's dead. Who's civil right was the right to life," he said, adding that he believed Zimmerman's "bad decision" was motivated by race.

The organization's officials stance is to wait and see what the Department of Justice decides.

Carman said it could be tough to prove.

"They may have both legal and factual difficulties in that kind of federal civil rights criminal prosecution," he said, adding that a different path might be easier, "In a civil suit by the family for wrongful death or a similar cause of action, remember that the burden is much lower...an easier burden for them to meet than beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a much higher burden."

Thurman said this case is a lot like Rodney King's.

"We haven't learned from the past and we're doomed to repeat it. And I think this is one of those situations," he said.

Zimmerman may be a free man, but Dan Carman said the story isn't over.

"Mr. Zimmerman and his supporters are not finished paying attorney's fees quite yet."
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