After all we have heard about Stand Your Ground laws and the back-and-forth discussions about whether or not George Zimmerman should be convicted of murder for shooting Trayvon Martin it was a shock to many when Zimmerman waived his right to a Stand Your Ground hearing this week. If the judge found in his favor at the Stand Your Ground hearing after all, the case would be over.
Instead, Zimmerman will face second-degree murder charges. His trial is expected to take place this summer.
There are many reasons why a criminal defense team may recommend one strategy over another and many reasons why Zimmerman and his attorneys have decided to waive the hearing. There is no one-size-fits-all criminal defense strategy that fits with every case; the facts and circumstances must be weighed each time a decision to move forward is made.
By waiving his right to a Stand Your Ground hearing, Zimmerman is not necessarily waiving his right to assert that defense at trial. It is possible that Zimmerman’s team wanted a jury to decide whether he had acted in self-defense the night he shot and killed 18-year-old Martin, rather than a judge. It is possible that his team was simply not ready to present at the hearing and waiving it will allow them until the actual trial date to fully prepare. He has already requested and been denied an extension of time prior to trial.
Or there could be countless other strategic reasons for his criminal defense team to recommend waiving the hearing.
In the meantime, Zimmerman is under around-the-clock GPS surveillance while he awaits trial.
For more information about North Carolina’s Stand Your Ground Law, please see our previous post.
Source: Huffington Post, “George Zimmerman Waives Right To ‘Stand Your Ground’ Hearing In Stunning Twist To Trayvon Martin Case,” March 5, 2013