The George Zimmerman Legal Defense Fund

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 30 2012 1:09 PM

The George Zimmerman Legal Defense Fund

It's been one week since President Barack Obama commented on the killing of Trayvon Martin and law enforcement's decision not to arrest George Zimmerman. Another way to put it: This has been the week of the Zimmerman fightback, the rising up of people who think the guy's getting railroaded.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

One example: The gun rights advocates of Legal Boom. The four concealed-carry advocates who run the organization have, up to now, used it to pressure localities and towns to drop their gun bans. Yesterday they posted a long explanation of why Zimmerman might have acted within the law, and announced a new project: A legal defense fund.

There has been rumor that this is a scam, we vehemently refute these claims and maintain that it is soley for the defense of Zimmerman in these hard times. Whatever funds are not used will be promptly and without question given back to the original donator.

Christopher Kossman, speaking for the group, isn't "at liberty to say" how much money they'd raised so far. He can talk about the mission.

"There was an unfortunate set of circumstances," explains Kossman, 23, who co-founded Legal Boom six months ago. (The name is a play on the write-your-own-documents site Legal Zoom.) "Trayvon is dead, and Zimmerman's life, whether he's tried or he isn't tried, is now basically ruined. Even if Zimmerman was justified in what he did, and we believe that the evidence says he was, his life was ruined. It harks back to Casey Anthony situation. She was found not guilty, but her life was irreversibly changed."

There's a big difference between Anthony's case and Zimmerman's. The Anthony trial was, largely, tabloid junk with no great import. The Zimmerman situation, says Kossman, is a potential threat to gun rights. After all, Gov. Rick Scott is appointing a team to look at the validity and effects of the state's "Stand Your Ground" law.

"I'm very, very concerned," says Kossman. "But if we can prove that Zimmerman was innocent, and change the perception of the masses, the buzz about Stand Your Ground will stop. The battle begins here with Zimmerman. The criticts of the law have as much evidence as we do, and they're making and drawing conclusions on something know nothing about."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


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