It’s been a year since Trayvon Martin was killed, but — in terms of the legal process — the timeline hasn’t moved much.
On this anniversary of his death, we wanted to take the time to go through what’s happened so far and what still needs to happen. Legal processes are relatively slow in most cases and this is no exception.
It’s not that nothing is happening legally. A lot has happened already in terms of procedure. But there’s still a lot to come.
What’s Happened so Far
It was April of last year when Zimmerman was arrested, following a lot of speculation as to why police hadn’t acted. Two weeks passed, and he was released on bail.
But a judge later realized that Zimmerman was dishonest about reporting his income. So the judge revoked his bail. Several months later, a new, much higher amount was set.
Then, in July, the trial judge was asked to step down and a new judge took over the case, which has yet to go to trial.
For Now Discovery Continues
A big part of a criminal case is the process of discovery where both sides gather evidence and information that is relevant to the case.
That may mean having depositions to hear potential witness testimony, getting records relevant to the case, and reviewing prior statements by both sides. Since Zimmerman’s trial is set for June, both sides still have time to get more information.
The Stand Your Ground Hearing
Florida law allows defendants to defend the use of the force under the now-famous Stand Your Ground law. Using that defense, a defendant isn’t required to retreat before using defensive force against an imminent threat.
As part of asserting that protection, the defendant has to prove that it applies. That means an immunity hearing before the trial begins to convince the judge.
If that hearing is successful, the issue will never go to trial; Zimmerman will be immune from prosecution. The immunity hearing is scheduled for April 22, according to HLN.
Moving Towards Trial
Zimmerman’s trial is still scheduled for June 10, despite his attorney, Mark O’Mara’s, attempt to push for more time. In February, O’Mara asked the court to postpone the trial an additional six months.
But the court disagreed, saying that O’Mara has plenty of time to prepare in the four months remaining before trial, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Keep in mind that June is only the start of trial. The trial process can take weeks and then the jury needs time to deliberate. It’s still a long road ahead.
Curious about what’s happened so far? Check out our Timeline on the case: