*According to Zimmerman’s older brother, if Trayvon Martin’s family decides to more forward with a wrongful-death suit against George Zimmerman they could headed for a world of trouble.
“A myriad of things that were off-limits in a criminal trial would come into play in a civil case. Specifically, things that might not be very flattering to Trayvon or his family,” Robert Zimmerman Jr. said in an email to The Huffington Post.
As we’ve reported, Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this month of all criminal charges in the 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The judge presiding over the case ruled that during the trial, Zimmerman’s lawyers were not allowed to mention Martin’s alleged history of fighting or pictures of drugs and guns found on his cell phone.
“Public opinion was swayed by a false presentation of this case from the beginning,” Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara said at a press conference after the ruling. “The Martin family, through their handlers, presented a picture of who Trayvon was and who George was that is wholly inaccurate.”
The Martin family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, told ABC’s “This Week” that after the not-guilty verdict, the family was considering filing a suit against Zimmerman.
“They are going to certainly look at [a lawsuit] as an option. They deeply want a sense of justice. They deeply don’t want their son’s death to be in vain,” he told ABC.
To win a civil case, the plaintiffs don’t have to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. But under the Florida’s stand your ground law, anyone who uses deadly force in a situation where they fear for life, they are provided criminal and civil immunity.
It would the judge’s task to determine whether or not the law applies in this case.
His brother doesn’t expect Martin’s family to actually file suit.
“I don’t expect a wrongful death suit…There is the potential assertion of civil immunity before the case would even start — things that were off limits during the case might also come up then. Also, a criminal acquittal goes a long way to supporting a civil immunity claim,” Robert Zimmerman Jr. said.