I figured it would go at least this far. Even if the evidence they thought they have is scant, the political firestorm surrounding this case almost guaranteed that it would go to a grand jury. I should note that were I in either side’s shoes, I’d want this outcome. For Martin, it’s a chance to have the evidence publicly aired. For Zimmerman, if he really is an innocent man as he says, here’s his chance to be exonerated by an impartial jury. This is an interesting detail we haven’t seen previously:
Zimmerman said he had stepped out of his truck to check the name of the street he was on when Trayvon attacked him from behind as he walked back to his truck, police said. He said he feared for his life and fired the semiautomatic handgun he was licensed to carry because he feared for his life.
If that statement is true, then Martin is the aggressor and Zimmerman would be legally faultless, which we discussed in the previous post. The question would then be whether he reasonably believed he was in fear of great bodily injury or death, justifying his use of deadly force in self-defense. If he was indeed walking back to his truck, he was already retreating, and a duty to do so would not have factored into this case, unless he was close enough to his truck to make an escape in complete safety (a difficult standard).
Another common mistake people are making in this case is believing that the attacker has to be armed to be able to use deadly force. This is not the case. The law allows for deadly force to be used on an unarmed attacker in some circumstances. That one party is armed and the other not doesn’t really matter. Only the circumstances under which deadly force were used matters.
H/T to Miguel, who has more.