Judge Denies Gag Order for Lawyer of Trayvon’s Killer

Despite the prosecution’s argument, the judge said it will still be possible to choose an impartial jury.

Posted: 10/30/2012 03:09 PM EDT
George Zimmerman

The judge in the case of Trayvon Martin’s killer has denied a request from the prosecution to issue a gag order for the lawyer of George Zimmerman, the shooter. 

Last week, Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda argued that Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, has been using a website, social media and news conferences to influence potential jurors. 

He pointed out that O’Mara had launched a website and accounts on Facebook and Twitter since the shooting in February in a suburb of Orlando. O'Mara said it was important to have a presence on the Internet that spoke for his client, as opposed to fraudulent sites.

The prosecution said that a gag order was needed in order to enhance the chances of finding impartial jurors. 

Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed. Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, has pleaded not guilty, insisting that he shot the teenager in self-defense. He has invoked Florida’s controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force in instances where they feel threatened.

Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson said there were a number of methods to ensure that the jury is impartial in the trial, which is scheduled to take place in June 2013. She said there were options such as moving the trial to another county or instructing the attorneys to question potential jurors one at a time and away from other potential panel members.

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