Criminal Defense Blog

Legal standard for pressing federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman

The federal Department of Justice is still investigating whether there is sufficient evidence to bring a federal criminal case against George Zimmerman, namely a prosecution alleging that George Zimmerman violated Trayvon Martin’s civil rights.

The law in question is the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.

Unlike the title, the “Hate Crimes Prevention Act,” may suggest, the government wouldn’t have to prove that George Zimmerman hated Trayvon Martin because he was black. What the government would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that George Zimmerman “willfully caused bodily injury” to Trayvon Martin, because of Trayvon Martin’s race.

The opinions and information in this blog are not intended to be legal advice, and are not a substitute for obtaining advice from a qualified attorney about your particular matter.