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Trayvon Martin case: Is George Zimmerman being unfairly tried in media? (+video)

Conservative commentators decry a rush to judgement over George Zimmerman, but others say without the media attention there'd be no new investigation of Trayvon Martin's death.

By Staff writer / March 30, 2012

In this image taken from video at the Sanford, Fla., Police Department, George Zimmerman, in red jacket, is escorted into the Sanford police station in handcuffs on Feb. 26, 2012, the night he fatally shot Trayvon Martin.

Sanford Police Department/AP

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Washington

Is neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman being unfairly tried on TV for shooting unarmed teen Trayvon Martin? That’s what some commentators are saying now, one month after the pair’s fatal encounter in Sanford, Fla.

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The Florida funeral director who prepared Trayvon Martin's body for burial says he no saw bruising or signs of a struggle.

Mr. Martin’s death was a shame, Fox News talk show host Bill O’Reilly said on the “O’Reilly Factor” Thursday, adding that circumstantial evidence indicates that Mr. Zimmerman may have jumped to conclusions and racially profiled Martin as someone up to no good.

But Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey is now investigating Martin’s death, Mr. O’Reilly said, and there’s no reason Oprah Winfrey and other celebrities should be demanding an arrest prior to the probe’s finish.

“When it comes to the pundits, I’m angry about the rush to judgment,” said O’Reilly. “When it comes to Trayvon’s parents, however, they should be cut some slack.”

O’Reilly’s fellow conservative William Bennett, the former secretary of Education, went further in an opinion piece for CNN Friday. Recent revelations have painted a more complicated picture of both Zimmerman and Martin, he wrote, with the former emerging as a part-Hispanic registered Democrat, and the latter as a teen who’d been suspended from school.

Jesse Jackson’s assertion that Martin’s death shows blacks are “under attack,” and Spike Lee’s tweeting of the wrong address for Zimmerman’s parents, forcing an innocent couple to flee their home, illustrate a deeper problem in dealing with the case, according to Mr. Bennett.

“Many people are not on an impartial hunt for justice but are exploiting this crisis for personal or political gain and claiming that it is representative of larger societal problems,” wrote Bennett.

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