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Zimmerman Not Off the Hook Just Yet

He could face civil trial or a federal civil rights trial
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2013 9:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – When the judge in George Zimmerman's trial told him last night that he had "no further business with the court," that didn't mean he had no further business with any court. He still could face a civil trial or a federal civil rights trial in the death of Trayvon Martin. So far, the Martin family hasn't said whether it would pursue the first or support the second. In fact, the family lawyer gave a perfectly lawyerly statement on Fox News Sunday when asked about whether the Justice Department should step in, reports Politico:

  • "The beauty of our country is that we have several tiers of government, several aspects of laws and that different times different aspects apply," said Darryl Parks. "Different laws apply at different times, different places apply at different times. That would be a different arena."

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The NAACP, meanwhile, has started a petition on its website demanding that the Justice Department bring federal charges, reports USA Today. "The most fundamental of civil rights—the right to life—was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin," says the petition. "We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges." Jesse Jackson tells CNN that his Rainbow PUSH coalition also wants the feds to take a close look, and Democratic lawmakers are joining the push. All of which will make for a "difficult" decision to say the least for Eric Holder, the nation's first black attorney general, reports the Hill. Holder's Justice Department began a separate investigation of the incident earlier this year, though Holder has cited a "very high barrier" for criminal charges. (Read more NAACP stories.)

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