George Zimmerman's Sentence Would Range From Nine Years to Life


Video via The Orlando Sentinel

Jury deliberations in George Zimmerman's murder trial recessed this evening and are scheduled to resume tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, a correction about the penalties Zimmerman faces if he is convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter: The other day I noted that the maximum penalty for second-degree murder in Florida is life, while the maximum penalty for manslaughter is 15 years. But using a gun to commit manslaughter raises it from a second-degree felony to a first-degree felony, thereby increasing the maximum sentence to 30 years, with a minimum of nine. Those are the penalties Zimmerman would face if convicted of the lesser charge. Fortunately for him, manslaughter is not one of the offenses that trigger the mandatory minimum sentences established by Florida's "10-20-life" law for felonies committed with a gun; otherwise he would be facing a minimum sentence of 25 years.