George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who is currently being tried for second-degree murder in the shooting death of unarmed seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin, has formally filed a request through his attorney, Mark O’Mara, to have Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler removed from the case after a potential conflict of interest came to light.
Zimmerman claimed self-defense and Florida’s highly controversial “Stand Your Ground” law allowed him to retain his freedom until a special prosecutor decided that there was adequate evidence to charge George with second-degree murder in the slaying of Trayvon. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty in a case which has sparked nationwide protests.
The potential conflict of interest arises from Recksiedler’s husband, who works with attorney Mark NeJame who was approached by Zimmerman’s family in regards to legal representation and NeJame referred them to his current lawyer, Mark O’Mara.
Florida’s governor rejected suggestions that formal charges against Zimmerman were only filed because of immense public pressure demanding the shooter’s arrest.
The Associated Press, in addition to other Florida news organizations, are challenging the sealing of records pertaining to the case. Records which may contain information such as Trayvon Martin’s autopsy report, full police reports on the incident, and transcripts of witness interviews. Normally, all of the aforementioned is public information under Florida state law.
If Recksiedler is replaced by a new judge, Zimmerman’s bail hearing has the potential to be pushed back. His bail hearing is currently scheduled for Friday.
Do you believe that the potential conflict of interest serves as justification for assigning a new judge to Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial?
Source: Huffington Post