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No Grand Jury In Trayvon Martin Shooting

A specially-assigned prosecutor has announced that no grand jury indictment will be sought in the case against George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Florida, man accused of shooting and killing 17-year old Miami Gardens teeanger Trayvon Martin.

This information is not terribly surprising. In Florida, a grand jury indictment is only needed in order to charge a person with first-degree (premeditated) murder.

Other charges, such as second-degree murder or manslaughter can be charged directly by the prosecutor through the filing of an information. A grand jury indictment is not needed.

This is not surprising since there is no allegation that George Zimmerman planned on murdering Trayvon Martin. The allegation is that George Zimmerman first confronted Trayvon Martin and then shot him during an altercation.

George Zimmerman has asserted a Stand Your Ground defense. Mr. Zimmerman claims that while returning to his car after trailing Mr. Martin through a neighborhood (on suspicion of burglary), Mr. Martin confront Mr. Zimmerman and began to beat him.

The facts are in dispute at this point. No filing decision has been made yet.