News / USA

Jury Begins Deliberations in Zimmerman Trial

Assistant state attorney Bernie de la Rionda presents evidence to the jury in the state's closing arguments against George Zimmerman, Sanford, Florida, July 11, 2013.
Assistant state attorney Bernie de la Rionda presents evidence to the jury in the state's closing arguments against George Zimmerman, Sanford, Florida, July 11, 2013.
VOA News
An undated handout photo released by the Martin family public relations representative of Trayvon Martin.An undated handout photo released by the Martin family public relations representative of Trayvon Martin.
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An undated handout photo released by the Martin family public relations representative of Trayvon Martin.
An undated handout photo released by the Martin family public relations representative of Trayvon Martin.
A jury of six women in Florida has started deliberating the verdict on whether shooting suspect George Zimmerman is guilty of murder in the 2012 killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin.
 
Zimmerman's defense lawyers gave closing arguments Friday in Sanford, north of Orlando, followed by a final rebuttal by the prosecution team.
 
The all-female jury will decide whether he is acquitted or convicted of either second-degree murder or manslaughter. Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, has pleaded not guilty. A murder conviction could lead to a life sentence, while manslaughter in Florida carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
 
Zimmerman was driving in his neighborhood when he saw 17-year-old Martin and called police. Zimmerman — a neighborhood watch volunteer — got out of his vehicle and followed Martin, whom he considered a suspicious person. A confrontation and struggle followed, ending with Zimmerman shooting Martin.

Zimmerman was driving in his neighborhood when he saw 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and called police.  Zimmerman - a neighborhood watch volunteer - got out of his vehicle and followed Martin, who he considered a suspicious person.  A confrontation and struggle followed, ending with Zimmerman shooting Martin.

Zimmerman says the shooting was in self-defense, with Martin slamming Zimmerman's head on the concrete pavement as he fired his gun. The prosecution says Zimmerman profiled the teen and assumed he was up to no good.

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by: dawn shelton from: grand rapids mi
July 13, 2013 10:56 PM
i feel as if these neighborhood watch people thunk they can do anything. and they get away with it. its a shame. we have some here that do the same thing what ever they want and they are beleived no matter what just because kids are black or hang in a group they think they got to be in a gang if thay took the time to get to know there neighbors they might see most of them are good kids

by: Anonymous
July 12, 2013 4:53 PM
Why are these pictures years old... he was 17 ... release the picture of the 711 shopping pictures and add that to this... completely diff perspective...

by: Longtime VOA listener from: Norfolk, UK
July 12, 2013 4:50 PM
I'm genuinely disappointed how poorly VOA's website is covering U.S. news these days. I thought VOA had a Miami bureau - couldn't you post a report on the Zimmerman case written by your Miami correspondent (if you still have one?) rather than this very brief summary by an anonymous writer? How about putting some detailed journalistic analysis on your website written by staff correspondents which put the Zimmerman case into context for your audience, explaining its significance for race relations?

And regarding your top news story at the moment, the Snowden asylum application in Moscow - your report is written by Reuters. Have you not thought of asking your Moscow correspondent to write a report for the website? Or perhaps your State Department correspondent? That would be much more effective than just sticking a Reuters report on the site. Original content is so much more effective than recycled news agency stuff. Why would internet users look at the VOA news website if it contains mostly news agency reports that are available everywhere?

These criticisms are meant in a positive way and I hope they are helpful. As a longtime VOA listener, I would love to see VOA news return to the high standards you used to have in the 1980s and 1990s, rather than the slow moving, newswire-reliant news source you have sadly become today.

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