Lawyers acting for George Zimmerman, who shot dead the unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin on a Florida housing estate, have abandoned their attempt to have his murder charge thrown out on the grounds of self-defence.
Neighbourhood watch leader Zimmerman, 29, had been expected to claim immunity from prosecution at a hearing in April under the state’s stand-your-ground law, which allows for the use of deadly force when a person feels their life is in danger.
But in a surprise move, his lawyer, Mark O’Mara, told a judge that the defence would take its chances at Zimmerman’s trial in June for second-degree murder. He said he still intended to pursue the argument that his client was acting in self-defence in February 2012 under a violent onslaught from 17-year-old Martin.
To be clear, Zimmerman is maintaining his innocence, saying that the death of Trayvon Martin was an act of self-defense; however, he will now face a jury trial instead of potentially being granted immunity by Judge Debra Nelson. George Zimmerman’s trial is scheduled to begin on June 10, 2013.
14:40 // 9 months ago
Syrian leaders should be brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face justice for murder and torture, UN investigators urged on Monday as the EU renewed its blanket arms embargo on both sides in Syria's bloody conflict.
Britain, however, secured the agreement of its partners to make it easier to supply “non-lethal” equipment and training to maintain security in rebel-held areas, which was not previously possible. But it had not sought agreement to send weapons, Whitehall officials insisted, rejecting claims from Brussels that it had.
Unfortunately, efforts to bring justice to the Syrian leadership loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are unlikely to go anywhere, because they requires the full support of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members. Considering Russia and China’s previous reluctance to support Western intervention in Syria, it’s unlikely that either will suddenly be supportive of charging the Assad regime with war crimes.
15:07 // 9 months ago
Ten-year-old Nathaniel Pendleton Jr. recalled the way his big sister Hadiya would often greet him with a few gentle slaps on his cheeks whenever she came home from school.
"She said it was with love," he said.
Nathaniel etched “I miss you” and “I love you” on his arm Wednesday, a day after losing his only sibling when a gunman opened fire on a group of students just blocks from King College Prep on the South Side.
While it’s hard to say any single death is more important than another (particularly in a place where young people are dying so frequently), we suspect that Hadiya Pendleton’s time in Washington D.C. last week will make her death an intense topic of discussion as the gun control debate continues around the nation. Our hearts go out to the Pendletons, and all of Hadiya’s other family and friends, during what we can only imagine to be one of the most difficult times of their lives.
17:08 // 10 months ago