How could be no grand jury in Trayvon Martin death case? Why State Attorney Angela Corey decides not to use grand jury on Trayvon Martin case? She had long reputation for not using grand juries!!!!!
Grand jury canceled in Trayvon Martin case
A decision not to use a grand jury by the Florida special prosecutor investigating the Trayvon Martin shooting says little about whether charges will be filed, legal experts say.
Instead, State Attorney Angela Corey’s actions show a prosecutor who doesn’t mind taking on the pressure of the controversial case and the potential backlash, now that the decision on any charges rests solely with her, lawyers say.
“It speaks to the fact that she wants to do this investigation thoroughly and not be on someone else’s timeline,” said Randy Reep, a Jacksonville-based criminal defense attorney. “It would be folly to make a determination of the quality of the case based on her not taking it to the grand jury.”
Trayvon, 17, was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, 28, on Feb. 26 as he walked home from a convenience store. Police did not arrest Zimmerman, who said he shot the youth in self-defense.
The decision not to use a grand jury should not be considered a factor in Corey’s final determination of the case, her office said in a statement Monday morning.
Corey was appointed special prosecutor on March 22 by Gov. Rick Scott. State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, who handled the case before it was given to Corey, scheduled the grand jury, which was set to convene today.
Corey has long had a reputation for not using grand juries if it wasn’t necessary. In Florida, only first-degree murder cases require the use of grand juries. There is no accusation of premeditated murder in the Trayvon Martin case, so a first-degree murder charge is not an option.
Moments after the announcement, Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family of Trayvon, reacted to the news.
“We want to believe that this would be a positive sign that the prosecutor has enough information to arrest Trayvon Martin’s killer,” Crump told USA TODAY. “The family is really trying hard to be patient and have faith in the system.”
Crump added that he hoped a decision on the case could be made this week.
Corey’s willingness to take on the weight of the case without a grand jury is characteristic of someone known for being “aggressive,” said Reep, who practices in Corey’s judicial circuit and used to work for her office as an assistant state attorney.
Both Reep and Richard Rosenbaum, a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney, say it’s easy to get an indictment from a grand jury because only the prosecution presents evidence. There is no judge or defense attorney.
Deciding on charges without a grand jury is “a fairer way to sort out the evidence against Zimmerman” and “leaves it to experienced prosecutors,” Rosenbaum said.
“As a defense attorney, I’d be happy,” he said. (Yamiche Alcindor – USA TODAY)