George Zimmerman acquittal: U of D Mercy law professor reacts

George Zimmerman acquittal: U of D Mercy law professor reacts

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George Zimmerman George Zimmerman
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Detroit is now one of more than 100 cities planning a peaceful demonstration on Saturday after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

"On July 20, we are going to march and demonstrate at 211 West Fort Street, which is the United States Department of Justice," said Rev. Charles Williams II with the Detroit Chapter of the National Action Network.

The NAACP is urging the Department of Justice to file federal charges against Zimmerman. The petition already has almost a million signatures.

"You can go to NationalActionNetwork.net to sign the petition that's going across the country," Williams said.

University of Detroit Mercy law professor Larry Dubin said another Zimmerman trial is unlikely.

"There's a fairly high burden necessary in order to bring that type of federal charge after you get an acquittal," he explained.

Dubin said the prosecution dropped the ball, citing a series of prosecutorial mistakes, including poor witnesses and overreaching on the second-degree murder charge.

"To win a trial like that, a circumstantial evidence trial, you have to have a very specific theory of your case. They never developed a theory of their case," Dubin said. "The jury has to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That reasonable doubt, I think, could explain why even very sympathetic jurors could've had a difficult time in finding guilt in this case."

Florida's stand your ground law was a focal point during the trail, but in the end, it is not what Zimmerman chose as his defense, a shrewd move by his defense team.

"Instead of having the judge have to deny stand your ground, they simply went and had the trial and let the jury decide that issue, and it paid off," Dubin said.

"There is something wrong when this young man is walking down the street with some candy and some iced tea and he ends up being shot. To me, there was some viable criminal act that probably took place that was never established in the courtroom," the professor added.

Michigan's stand your ground law was updated in 2006 and now more closely resembles the Florida law.

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