George Zimmerman's Fund Drive

Yesterday, George Zimmerman's lawyer posted and tweeted the defense fund was out of money and desperately in need of $75,000 to $150,000 for experts, deposition transcripts and other expenses.

Since then, they have raised $12,000. Some of the donors have explained why their are contributing.

“I don't know if George Zimmerman is guilty or not, but he deserves the ability to defend his self in court as best he can. This donation wouldn't be necessary if certain individuals and organizations hadn't attempted to act as his judge, jury, and executioner in the wake of that terrible night. Good luck, and may the truth prevail, whatever it may be.”


Another said:

“I believe GZ should have equal access to funding as the prosecutors. I have not forged an opinion on his guilt or innocence. I support fair trials for all. Good luck.”

O'Mara writes:

If you believe that George acted properly in self-defense; if you feel he is being wrongly prosecuted; if you feel that George deserves a fair trial, please consider sending one last donation. Even the smallest donations of $5.00 and $10.00 are significant when multiplied by the thousands who contribute.

O'Mara and West have not yet been paid any legal fees.

Mr. O’Mara and Mr. West have not been paid a cent for their services; many interns work diligently for no money; some staffers work for far less than they deserve. Meanwhile, the State of Florida has spared no expense in it’s prosecution of George Zimmerman.

To donate to the George Zimmerman Defense Fund via PayPal, go here.

Regarding comments: If you don't approve of contributing to Zimmerman because you think he's guilty, don't bother to comment. When I get back to the computer, such comments will be deleted. This is about getting a fair trial and leveling the playing field between the state and defense. If you want to debate the merits of the case, do it on one of the Zimmermann case posts, not here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    How does anyone get a fair trial (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by redwolf on Thu May 30, 2013 at 03:59:46 PM EST
    with these levels of costs? You'd have to be making half a million a year to handle the costs without too much trouble.

    Public defender (3.00 / 2) (#6)
    by cboldt on Thu May 30, 2013 at 04:16:35 PM EST
    After you have been financially wiped out, you qualify for a public defender.

    Now you see why the Fla. legislature passed the immunity provision into law.  A person who is justified in using force should not then be exposed to the cost of a legal defense - at least that's how it is supposed to work in principle.

    Just another worthless law, against prosecutors and courts who disrespect it.


    There ought to be... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by bmaz on Thu May 30, 2013 at 06:37:01 PM EST
    ...an ability to be declared indigent b/c the attorneys are effectively pro bono and get help on trial costs from the state.

    Simple answers to simple questions... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Fri May 31, 2013 at 09:44:56 AM EST
    you need to be a wealthy defendant, or have sponsors, to get a true fair trial in this country.

    I believe public defenders do they best they can, but they just can't match the time, resources and staff of the prosecutors office.  It is an inherently unfair system...it would be nice if public defenders got matching taxpayer funds, dollar for dollar & staffer for staffer, for what the prosecution has allocated on any given case.

    My question is why does it take a case like Zimmerman's to wake people up to this sad fact of our criminal justice?  It's a "standard operating procedure" disgrace.  So is the fact that people sit in a cage before trial just because their poor and can't make bail.  Equality under the law my arse.  


    public defenders - unfair rap? (none / 0) (#50)
    by Philly on Fri May 31, 2013 at 09:56:31 AM EST
    A lot of folk assume that paid representation is better, and that justice (effectively) has a price tag.  I'd be curious to see statistics backing that up.

    Looking at actual studies, it seems public defenders get a bad rap and actually do as good or better job in many cases.

    Public defenders as effective-as private attorneys?

    Does the Lawyer Make a Difference? Public Defender v. Appointed Counsel


    Maybe better.. (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Fri May 31, 2013 at 10:13:55 AM EST
    at copping pleas, which leads to another criminal justice problem, innocent people pleading guilty because of the resource imbalance.

    Or compared to appointed counsel, who are also at a resource disadvantage and may not have their heart in it like a public defender does.

    Neither link seems to dispute that those that can afford a "cadillac" defense get a far better shot at a true fair trial compared to public defenders, appointed counsel, or an affordable private small practice.

    Like I said, I don't doubt the vast majority of defenders do the best they can with the deck stacked against them.  But the deck is stacked unless you can afford the cadillac, of this I thik there is no doubt.  


    The bigger issue is the cronic underfunding of (none / 0) (#90)
    by msaroff on Fri May 31, 2013 at 02:42:06 PM EST
    public defenders nationwide.

    It's turning the guarantee of counsel into a Texas style joke,


    WOW! (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by DebFrmHell on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:33:07 PM EST
    The cat's away so the mice are really playing,

    and she just got back and is (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 10:27:07 PM EST
    cleaning the thread of comments not related to the funds raising issue.

    Donation Update (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Cylinder on Fri May 31, 2013 at 05:52:08 PM EST
    Robert, Jr tweets

    Since announcing #defensefund was hurting, $32K has been raised! 1/4 of the goal! Please get word out, fair trial will depend on funding.

    gunslinger? (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 09:36:16 AM EST
    and minorities are suffering without the same efforts..... forget that Zimmerman would be the minority in this case if Martin were an Irish kid.  
    This case would be one no one would have even heard of.  It would have been a case of simple self defense.  But whatever, you aren't making any statement about guilt or innocence....gunslinger, lol.

    wouldn't this be true of any normal person? (4.00 / 4) (#12)
    by cpinva on Thu May 30, 2013 at 07:49:01 PM EST
    This is about getting a fair trial and leveling the playing field between the state and defense.

    so, what makes mr. Zimmerman such a special snowflake, that everyone should contribute to his personal legal defense fund, as opposed to another person, where the question of whether or not they even committed the act they're being tried for exists?

    mr. Zimmerman is, of course, entitled to as fair a trial as is possible, with competent legal counsel representing him, no question about that. aside from the publicity his case has garnered, his case is no more special than the average gang banger's murder trial, who probably suffers from much less defense than mr. Zimmerman has so far.

    Nobody claims Zimmerman is more deserving... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by citizenjeff on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:24:48 PM EST
    ...than others of legal services. It's just that Zimmerman's financial burden is particularly great because of the special prosecution he's enduring. Also, it's important to condemn prosecutions that lack probable cause, and high-profile cases are especially important because it's when public opinion tends to sway authorities. We need to send a signal that political or otherwise arbitrary prosecutions won't be tolerated, and evidentiary standards must be applied consistently. To not send that signal is to invite and encourage government agents to keep abusing us. Maybe Zimmerman is "a special snowflake," because there's no probable cause to prosecute him, and everyone is watching.

    what does make him such a special (none / 0) (#153)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 09:42:30 AM EST
    snowflake?  Why is an incident that the cops clearly saw as self defense now being tried as 2nd degree murder?  Why is there a need for a self defense fund in the first place?
    Fact is that this is an extraordinary case and Zimmerman needs help.  Since it is a case discussed on this blog OFTEN, it seems like linking the fund raising link here might be reasonable.

    Sorry... (1.00 / 2) (#24)
    by ackbarsays on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:32:30 PM EST
    but Jeralyn said if you want to DEBATE the merits of the case, then those comments would not be welcome here.  I wasn't debating the merits of the case with anyone, simply relaying what I wrote to someone on another blog in trying to convince him to support the defense fund, and hoping that it might help others to answer their own questions regarding financial support when they question the morality of Zimmerman getting out of his truck.  I assume, since my comment was directly to Jeralyn, that if she has a problem with what I said, she will moderate it, so it's not up to you to use my post as an attempt to get in your pro-Trayvon talking points.  Since Jeralyn said that you are not to debate the merits of the case, your questions to me about Martin are most definitely a violation of the posted rules.  I'd be happy to debate those issues with you elsewhere.

    you started out talking about (none / 0) (#148)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 10:50:05 PM EST
    the donations and then veered into discussing a moral quandry re: the facts of the case and asked people to comment about this perceived "moral quandry." That was completely off-topic and generated about 100 comments discussing the "facts" (which of course were anything but a discussion of undisputed facts), racism and other topics I specifically said were off topic and would be deleted.

    Your comment has been deleted.


    Had to delete first version (none / 0) (#1)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:34:07 PM EST
    of this thread which had the paypal button because coding got messed up. A comment by AGB that had been posted to the first post got deleted with it. ABG, don't bother to repost. As usual, your post is just an anti-Zimmerman screed with misrepresentations. Many defendants, through their lawyers or friends or relatives, seek donations publicly on websites and have websites set up with documents and news of the case. There's nothing inappropriate about it.

    Here's one for Stephen Kim, charged with espionage in the case in which the Fox news reporter's telephone records were seized. Kim's lawyer is Abbe Lowell. (It's just an example, please keep this thread to Zimmerman.)

    Screed? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri May 31, 2013 at 08:43:58 AM EST
    Everyone sets up their own legal defense fundraising efforts.  The question is how to choose the ones to promote and support or whether supporting broad defense funds is appropriate. I (and my firm) give generously to such funds and as a minority I very much believe in them.

    The debate is always around which ones to support and what is being said by that support.

    Not all causes are equal.


    Thanks for the reminder (none / 0) (#4)
    by Cylinder on Thu May 30, 2013 at 04:01:15 PM EST
    Donating - thanks for the reminder. I used a pre-paid card as is my habit for on-time internet purchases. It's also a good practice if you wish to avoid scrutiny from anyone who might have access to your regular bank records.

    Robert, Jr. tweeted yesterday that the donation site has experienced bandwidth issues, though I had no trouble processing my donation earlier.

    My suggestion, when you go to the grocery pick up your favorite pre-paid card at the register and add $20. That's around the price of a single carry-out that you probably didn't need anyway. If you hear someone complain about the government's actions in this case - let them know that the most direct way to check that abuse is to help fill a war chest.

    Question for Talk Left (none / 0) (#5)
    by Cylinder on Thu May 30, 2013 at 04:09:07 PM EST
    I'm guessing you do not encourage it, but do you discourage members using "Donated via Talk Left" or similar in their donation comments?

    no if you want to refer (none / 0) (#146)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 10:23:22 PM EST
    to TalkLeft when donating to the GZ legal fund, that's fine. It's your choice.

    Thread cleaned of comments (none / 0) (#149)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 10:51:23 PM EST
    not related to the GZ defense fund. I specifically stated such comments would be deleted upon my return, and they have been.