High-profile defendants in criminal cases who are found not guilty have varying degrees of success living in freedom after their trials. OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson and Casey Anthony are a few cases that come to mind. Now George Zimmerman is facing the trial of public scrutiny after being found not guilty of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
In these early days after the criminal trail, there is a ground swell of public outrage over the verdict. This Saturday, civil rights leaders are calling for a Justice for Trayvon National Day of Action. Demonstrations are planned for more than 100 cities nationwide.
Zimmerman should disappear from the public eye for a while, according to Doug Elmets, a crisis communication strategist interviewed by FOX40 in Sacramento on Monday. But after some months have past, there are steps Zimmerman could take if he wants to reemerge into society.
“For example, if Oprah were to invite him to do an interview, be interviewed by Oprah and answer the tough questions,” said Elmets. “He needs to meet potentially with the African American community. He needs to dispel the notion that he did this intentionally. And over time, he might be able to manage this.”
Elmets said it is unlikely Zimmerman would try to change his name or appearance. In today’s media age, completely disappearing from public view is difficult.
Friends of Zimmerman told Reuters News after the verdict that he has expressed an interest in going on to law school. He may still face a civil trial.