Prosecutor: No grand jury for Trayvon case

Miami HeraldApril 9, 2012 

The special prosecutor assigned to investigate the Trayvon Martin case will not be using a grand jury to determine whether to arrest George Zimmerman, her office confirmed Monday morning.

The former prosecutor on the case, Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, had elected to use a grand jury, and had scheduled the group to meet on Tuesday.

Duval County State Attorney Angela Corey told The Miami Herald in an interview last month that she did not expect to need a grand jury, and would likely make the decision on whether or not to charge Zimmerman herself.

“I always lean towards moving forward without needing the grand jury in a case like this,” Corey said last month. “I foresee us being able to make a decision, and move on it on our own.”

On Monday, her office confirmed that no grand jury would be used in the case.

In Florida, the decision on whether to indict someone in capital cases must be made by a grand jury. In all lesser cases the decision to file charges are routinely made by prosecutors. But in highly controversial or difficult cases, prosecutors often defer to a grand jury, leaving the politically charged decision to a panel of citizens

Corey’s office pointed out that the decision not to take the case to a grand jury should not be taken as an indication of which way she’s going to decide.

“The decision should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case,” her office said in a release.

Trayvon, 17, was shot and killed by Zimmerman on Feb. 26 while walking through a Sanford neighborhood where he was visiting. Sanford police opted not to arrest Zimmerman, who claimed self-defense. After public outcry, Gov. Rick Scott assigned Corey, the state attorney for Duval, Nassau and Clay counties, to take over the case on March 22.

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