Now famous, George Zimmerman is probably getting used to a high level of scrutiny. However, a recent lie to the court has him back in custody.
Recently, it was discovered that Zimmerman and his wife lied to the court. The lie did not concern the facts of his case. They falsified their financial information in order to receive a lower bond. Upon discovering this, the court revoked Zimmerman’s bond. Now he is back in jail and is being held without bail.
What is interesting about this development is that everyone involved now knows that Zimmerman lied. Craig Seldin, an expert lawyer who has followed the incident for the past several months, notes that this is bad news for Zimmerman. In the court of law, credibility is key. And any defendant who will lie about money to get a lower bond does not have much credibility.
However, is the lie enough to sway the legal system against Zimmerman? Some would say that it definitely is. Once someone is a proven liar in court, the odds are stacked against them. A well thought-out lie could certainly save him. If he would lie about one thing, he could lie about another, right?
The lie, however, did not concern the details of the case. That means that Zimmerman could still be credible on the events in question. His lie was a desperate ploy to escape incarceration, not necessarily an attempt to obstruct justice.
Zimmerman’s legal team set up a bond hearing. This will allow him to explain himself and speak to the judge’s concerns. They also hope that his voluntary surrender to the court shows no risk of flight.
In the end, Zimmerman’s credibility remains the essence of the issue. He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder of Trevon Martin, maintaining it was self-defense. His case rests on whether or not the jury believes his version of the story. However, Attorney Craig Seldin believes that the recent debacle has thrown a monkey wrench in Zimmerman’s defense strategies. Once credibility is questioned, it is severely difficult to recover.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law gives individuals broad license to use deadly force when threatened. This case is likely to become a battle about the usefulness and application of the law.
Craig Seldin has practiced law at his own firm since 1978. He practices law in a wide range of fields. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Seldin is a current member of the Texas State Bar.