The not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin murder trial has caused debate over civil rights across the country.
Some East Texas NAACP members are in Florida now for a conference. Monday we spoke with Kenneth Davidson, the President of the Palestine NAACP group, who is in Florida right now. He says he hopes to join with Longview NAACP in coming weeks to plan further action.
One East Texas attorney, however, says action isn’t likely to make any difference.
“From the court room point of view he’s pretty safe. From his personal point of view, he’ll have to figure that out himself,” Blake Bailey, an attorney at Bailey Law Firm in Tyler, said.
The not guilty verdict that came in Saturday, signified the end, although for many people across the country, it’s not over. Civil suits may follow, from either side, but according to Bailey those civil suites are not likely to stick.
“I would say that in all likelihood he’s not going to ever serve any jail time and they’ll never be a civil rights action brought and if it is it would probably be lost,” he said.
What’s next for Zimmerman depends on if he decides to pursue civil action.
“The remedy for that is money damages and I’m sure Mr. Zimmerman is not a multi-millionaire and very good chance he’ll never recover any of it, it wouldn’t be covered by insurance for instance,” he said.
The federal government could file suit, too, but Bailey said, “If I was a U.S. attorney I would not bring a civil rights action because I don’t think I could meet that burden of showing that the reason that Mr. Zimmerman killed this young boy was because of racial hatred.”
The difference is in the courtroom.
“The advantage is that it would force Mr. Zimmerman to answer questions under oath and that might have some personal satisfaction for the family.”
In a civil suit, monetary compensation would be sought.
Though Bailey says any civil suit is unlikely, “there is some good that can come out of it.”
He says, the reaction this trial evoked is good.
“We are the freest people in the world and we have a system that has its kinks and armors no question, but it works,” he said.
He says it’s important that the American people are aware of that.
Bailey also noted that though it may not have been the outcome many were hoping for; the system did work, saying reasonable doubt was the determining factor in this case.
Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.
WWBT-TV NBC 12
P.O. Box 12
On Your Side
Video and Pics