George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who killed Trayvon Martin, plans to ask the state of Florida to cover $200,000 to $300,000 of his legal expenses, his attorney told the Orlando Sentinel Monday evening.
Because Zimmerman was acquitted, state law requires Florida to pay all his legal costs, minus the biggest one: the fee that goes to his lawyers.
That includes the cost of expert witnesses, travel, depositions, photocopies, even that animated 3-D video that defense attorneys showed jurors during closing argument that depicts Trayvon punching Zimmerman.
Defense attorney Mark O’Mara said Monday that he would soon prepare a motion, asking Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson to authorize the payments.
That motion, he said, “is in the works.”
George Zimmerman, the killer of Trayvon Martin who was found not guilty of second-degree murder last month, just can’t stop doing things that thrust him back into the spotlight. There was the “look, I’m a hero” rescue of a family in an overturned vehicle. Then there was the “You didn’t see my name?” speeding ticket in Texas. But Zimmerman’s latest attention-getter defies comprehension.
Like it or not, according to Florida Statute 939.06 Zimmerman is entitled to be reimbursed. George Zimmerman was found “not guilty” by a jury of his peers. If the state of Florida does not like it and tries to block the motion, maybe next time they should provide more sound legal judgement and not be forced into the prosecution of an individual for political reasons. Maybe this will be a lesson to them to actually put on a case based upon fact, rather than emotion. Or maybe next time they will actually present a case.
The Sentinel reported that Zimmerman’s request would be based on a Florida law that says a defendant who’s acquitted isn’t liable for costs associated with his or her case. It must be approved by a judge or a clerk.
O’Mara told the newspaper he expects the Judicial Administrative Commission to throw up roadblocks.
“That’s where the fight is,” said O’Mara, who told the paper he’s been paid nothing by Zimmerman but has kept billing records.
If I had a son, he would look like Christopher Lane, the 22-year-old Australian baseball player shot dead while jogging in Oklahoma.
If I had a father, he’d look like Delbert Belton, the 88-year-old World War II veteran beaten to death in Spokane, Wash.
And yes, if I had a son, he’d look like the white teenager who police say drove the getaway car in the Oklahoma killing.
These are all true statements if we identify ourselves and each other only by the color of our skin, which, increasingly seems to be the case — including our own president.
Barack Obama helped lead the way when he identified himself with Trayvon Martin, shot by George Zimmerman in the neighborhood-watch catastrophe with which all are familiar. Stepping out from his usual duties of drawing meaningless red lines in the Syrian sand, the president splashed red paint across the American landscape:
“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
In so saying, he essentially gave permission for all to identify themselves by race with the victim or the accused. How sad as we mark the 50th anniversary of the march Martin Luther King Jr. led on Washington that even the president resorts to judging not by the content of one’s character but by the color of his skin — the antithesis of the great dream King articulated with those words.
Not content with murdering an innocent black teenager, getting away with it, and having racist gun nuts fund his defense, George Zimmerman plans to ask the state of Florida to cover $200,000 to $300,000 of his legal expenses. His attorney told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday that they will sending the state the tab because under state law, once acquitted, the defendant is entitled to have their legal expenses paid for.
Zimmerman has enjoyed riding a wave of fame brought on by his murderous act. According to The Washington Post, “Zimmerman used a Kel-Tech 9-mm pistol to shoot Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Fla. So, what did the former neighborhood watch volunteer do this weekend? According to TMZ, he went to the gun manufacturer’s Cocoa, Fla., headquarters to apparently shop for a rifle. Not only that, Zimmerman got a tour of the facility by the owner’s son and posed for at least one smiley-faced picture with an employee. The visit set off widespread head-scratching and curse-filled questioning. But the reaction from Shawn Vincent, the spokesman of the attorney who kept him from rotting behind bars, was the best. We certainly would not have advised him to go to the factory that made the gun that he used to shoot Trayvon Martin through the heart. That was not part of our public relations plan…”
I bet demanding another $200-300,000.00 from the taxpayers wasn’t a part of their public relations plan, either. Conservatives have embraced Zimmerman, and no doubt they’ll find a way to justify sticking the taxpayers with a million dollars plus bill caused by Zimmerman’s decision to follow Trayvon Martin.
The Orlando Sentinel has put out a story about George Zimmerman’s recent visit to the gun-factory that made the gun he used to shoot Trayvon Martin, titled ” George Zimmerman’s gun-factory visit ‘inappropriate,’ says rep.” The misleading headline states that Zimmerman’s representative believed the visit was “inappropriate,” which was not what the representative actually said. The Sentinel quotes the Reuters report of what was really said by the representative to Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara. “We understand how George visiting the factory that produces the gun used to shoot Trayvon Martin is seen as inappropriate,” Shawn Vincent, spokesman for Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara, told Reuters on Friday.-Orlando Sentinel
The question of race has been front and center for the past five years, during the tenure of the first black president.
Obama has tended to be cautious on the subject, but he has been more forthcoming of late, especially after the killing of Martin and subsequent acquittal of Zimmerman.
In the immediate aftermath of the killing, Obama noted, “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Last month, after the verdict, he went one step further in that identification saying, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago” and offering a number of instances of racial stereotyping and prejudice that he had himself suffered as a younger man.
But even if those comments were lauded among Obama’s supporters, they were among several reasons why Herman Cain calls the president’s record on race relations “lousy.”
He added: “There were expectations that he would set the proper tone for race relations in this country. He has not done so. The things that he has been outspoken about have simply created more friction.”
I’m sorry, America, we’re stuck with the Zimmermans. They won’t go away. Rather than recoil from his status as the man who shot an unarmed 17-year-old, George Zimmerman is enjoying his celebrity, while Robert Zimmerman continues to collaborate with the right-wing media-entertainment complex to make his brother out to be the real victim in Sanford, Fla., last year – the victim, first, of “thuggish” Trayvon Martin, and then of civil rights leaders like the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, as well as Martin’s parents.