Federal Judge Jessica Recksiedler and Judge John D. Galluzzo have decided not to preside over the Zimmerman case, each citing different reasons. Judge Recksiedler recused herself because her husband works for defense lawyer Mark NeJame in Orlando, the man first approached by Zimmerman's family to represent the defendant. Judge Galluzzo exercised his option to remove himself from the list citing a conflict of interest. It appears Judge Kenneth M. Lester Jr., the third judge in line, has accepted the case.
Amidst all the political pressure and the divisive nature of the case, the state of Florida is doing the best job it can of insuring that Zimmerman gets a fair trial. Here are the finer points of the case:
There is a well qualified judge assigned to the Zimmerman case. It is curious that Judge Recksiedler recused herself earlier than expected after giving the trial attorneys the option to file for recusal after she disclosed her husband's relationship with Mark NeJame. When Judge Galluzzo removed himself from the list to receive the Zimmerman case, it raised questions. However, Judge Lester puts those questions put to rest. Judge Lester just happens to be one of the most experienced Florida judges in criminal trials. He is described as "very by the book" and has given out multiple death sentences to murderers. Even his is daughter said, "He basically told me it should not be hard to make the right decision if you follow the law."
This is exactly the kind of judge needed for this trial and the public should be satisfied with him.
Zimmerman can't be charged with first degree murder. Under Florida law, only first degree murder cases must be presented before a grand jury. The fact that special prosecutor Angela Corey decided to review the case herself, he can not be charged with first degree murder. However, in the affidavit of probable cause, it is not clear that the evidence will support the second degree murder charge since it does not determine how the "confrontation" was initiated. Therefore, it is likely that the second degree murder charge could drop to manslaughter.
Not going to a grand jury creates uncertainty for both sides. Since the grand jury is largely used as a political cover for public prosecutors like Angela Corey, it is unclear whether she is using this high profile case as a way to make a name for herself and advance her career, or whether she is simply following her standard operating procedure of never using grand juries to decide on charges in justifiable homicide cases. She has handled hundreds of cases involving the justifiable use of deadly force and has a reputation for filing as many charges as her office thinks she can prove in court. If we take anything away from her decision, it is that she is confident that there was no premeditation for murder and that she is confident in her ability to handle the political implications of this case.
Angela Corey is going to prosecute Zimmerman to the fullest extent possible by the evidence at her finger tips. This is her reputation which is supported by her office's high prosecution and conviction record.
It will be hard to find an impartial jury. With the amount of media coverage that Trayvon Martin's tragic death has attracted, it is going to be next to impossible to find jurors who have not only never heard of this case, but have not already convicted Zimmerman in their minds. There is talk that they might have to ship jurors in from other counties.
The more time they take to let people cool off, the fairer the trial will be.
In conclusion, combining the facts that Judge Lester will be presiding over this case, Angela Corey is not pushing this off on a grand jury, and that all parties involved are looking at the evidence in the Zimmerman case with horse blinders on, I feel that Zimmerman will get a fair trial despite all the political rhetoric that is being thrown around.