In what seems like an unusual move, George Zimmerman’s lawyer plans to delay a request for a bail hearing for two weeks for undisclosed reasons. Mark O’Mara, while failing to disclose a reason for the delay in filing the motion for a bail review hearing, did provide reasons for his client’s failure to be truthful with the court about his finances in the first bail hearing. Mark O’Mara, in his web site said:
“We feel the failure to disclose these funds was caused by fear, mistrust, and confusion. The gravity of this mistake has been distinctly illustrated, and Mr. Zimmerman understands that this mistake has undermined his credibility, which he will have to work to repair.”
I agree that Zimmerman’s failure to disclose the $135,000 funds was based on fear, mistrust and confusion. Zimmerman feared that he would be given a high bail if the funds were revealed. He feared that he would have to forego funds intended for his legal defense and give to a bail bondsman. If Judge Kenneth Lester knew that Zimmerman had $135,000 in funds which were growing by the day, he would have likely set a higher bail. The prosecutor had asked that bail be set at $1 million.
Zimmerman also may have feared that his Stand Your Ground defense may fail. He might then need funds to flee, if necessary. And remember he did go into hiding for 45 days following the killing of Trayvon Martin. It’s not unreasonable to believe he may have intentions of fleeing.
Zimmerman probably mistrusted that the court would grant him a low bail if the defense did not lie about this finances. He’s probably correct. But, he was certainly confused about what would happen if he was discovered to be a liar. He will have an uphill battle to restore his credibility. And he may have irreparably destroyed his credibility in the eyes of the judge and possibly a jury. He may be denied bail until trial.
If his lawyer seeks a bail review hearing, he may be given a high bail. And then there’s the distinct possibility that he could remain in jail on no bail status. So yes, he was confused about his decision to condone what prosecutors call a “blatant lie” by his wife concerning his lack of any finances.
I suspect the reason for the delay in filing the motion by his attorneys is to give Judge Lester some time to simmer down about being lied to by the defense. And remaining in jail for at least two weeks will give his lawyer an opportunity to say Mr. Zimmerman has learned his lesson. Whether that will be enough to procure a bail remains to be seen. For now, Zimmerman is learning that he is paying a high price for his fears, mistrust and confusion. In reality, the real price for him may be higher than any bail. Trayvon Martin paid the ultimate price for George Zimmerman’s “fears, mistrust and confusion”. Trayvon Martin paid with his life.
Post Script- Zimmerman’s new bail hearing has been set for June 29, 2012. So he will have more time to think about his “fears, mistrust and confusion” in jail.
Debbie Hines is a former prosecutor and founder of LegalSpeaks, a progressive blog on women and race in law and politics. As a legal and political commentator, she has appeared in national and local media including the Michael Eric Dyson Show, NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates, RT TV, CBC- Canadian TV, NPR, XM Sirius radio, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Black Enterprise among others. She also writes for the Huffington Post.