Can Zimmerman Get a Fair Trial?

Friday, April 13, 2012

George Zimmerman, center, at a bond hearing. (Photo by Gary Green/The Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images)

It’s been a month and a half since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. And in that time, America has been exposed to the story of his shooting, and to the face of his shooter, George Zimmerman, in round-the-clock news coverage, online petitions, and public protests.

It’s all part of free speech and a free press, of course. But in the end, could all the public attention affect George Zimmerman’s right to a fair trial?

It’s a question that Wendy Kaminer has been mulling over. Kaminer is a lawyer, social critic, and correspondent at The Atlantic. She’s also the author of eight books, including “Worst Instincts: Cowardice, Conformity, and the ACLU.”

Guests:

Wendy Kaminer

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [3]

Carol Price Dillingham from Norman, Oklahoma

As a prosecutor, I can say with certainty that while it is sometimes very, VERY difficult to seat a jury that the court and the advocates believe can put aside their own frame of reference, listen only to the evidence and make its decision based only on that evidence, it is not impossible. Even with individual frames of reference and excessive press coverage, I have personally observed that our system does work. It works well when the parties, the court and especially the citizen-jurors take their respective duties to heart and each performs according to the oath they take. I have been very impressed in my nearly 30 years as a trial lawyer with the performance of juries. The sanctity of that jury room allows them to put aside preconceived notions and listen to each other as they evaluate only the evidence in light of the judge's instructions on the law. The jury system is one of our most important blessings of liberty; it works.

Apr. 13 2012 11:26 AM
listener

Have "progressive" activists been "poisoning the jury pool" while getting praised by the Attorney General which suggests the administration is using this case for political gain like they shamelessly search for wedge issues on race, gender and class?
Why no mention of the "fantastic point" of inappropriate political involvement by the Attorney General and the President in the discussion and how it harms a fair trial while the guest obsesses over FOX?

Apr. 13 2012 10:38 AM
Mario from Delray Beach, FL

I feel as though the accused will get the same consideration and did the victum recieved. Mario (Delray Beach, FL)

Apr. 13 2012 09:21 AM

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