Trayvon Martin case: Prosecutor won't use grand jury


Tamarii Cummings and his mother Patricia Cummings, who are related to Trayvon Martin, pray along with other supporters as they gather during a rally in Trayvon's honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Special prosecutor Angela Corey said on April 9, 2012, that she will not be using a grand jury to determine whether charges must be filed against the shooter, George Zimmerman.


Joe Raedle

Special prosecutor Angela Corey said on Monday that she will not take the Trayvon Martin case before a grand jury, according to the Associated Press.

Corey said she will continue to investigate the case and will not use a grand jury which was scheduled to meet on Tuesday in Sanford, Fla.

According to ABC News, a statement from Corey's office said, "The decision should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case," on whether charges would be filed against George Zimmerman, the Hispanic neighborhood watch captain who admitted to fatally shooting Martin, a 17-year-old unarmed, black teenager.

More on GlobalPost: Trayvon Martin case: Complete coverage

MSNBC noted that the grand jury was scheduled by a previous prosecutor, to determine if there was enough evidence to proceed with a trial. The decision on whether to pursue charges will now rest solely with Corey.

The AP noted that under Florida law, only first-degree murder cases require the use of grand juries. Corey took over from the original prosecutor, Norm Wolfinger, who had called for the grand jury and later recused himself from the case.

The case received nationwide attention after Zimmerman was not arrested for the shooting, with the Sanford police accepting Zimmerman's claim that he shot Martin in self-defense. It spurred fierce debate on Florida's "stand your ground" laws which allow an individual to use lethal force in self-defense, as well as raising the question of whether Martin's race played a role in the killing.

More on GlobalPost: Poll: Trayvon Martin case opinions divided along racial lines

The Martin family's lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said, "We had hoped she had enough evidence without the need to convene a grand jury. The family is trying to have patience and faith through all of this," according to CNN. Crump added, "We want a very public trial so the evidence can come out and show people that the justice system works for everybody."

The Sanford police department closed its doors to the public temporarily on Monday as protesters blocked the entrance, singing and carrying a banner that read "We are Trayvon Martin," said CNN. The march, which began on Friday about 40 miles away in Daytona Beach, continued through the weekend and ended in Sanford.

City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. said, "The city of Sanford hopes the actions of the students will be as peaceful and orderly as the previous rallies and marches have been," according to CNN.

More on GlobalPost: Economic growth pulls Rwandans out of poverty