Trayvon Martin: The Casey Anthony Analysts are Back

By Hal Boedeker | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted 1:33 p.m. EST, March 28, 2012

To cover the Trayvon Martin tragedy, local stations have brought back analysts from the Casey Anthony case.

WFTV-Channel 9 this weekend will build its "Central Florida Spotlight" around the "stand your ground" law. The guest will be attorney Bill Sheaffer, who provided Anthony analysis. The show airs at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and repeats at 4 p.m. Sunday on sister station WRDQ-Channel 27.

WFTV supplied this preview: "It's been more than a month since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's death, and still police have not charged or arrested the man who pulled the trigger, George Zimmerman. Now Gov. Rick Scott has requested a special task force to revisit the 'stand your ground' law. Even its original sponsor says it is not being used as intended in the Trayvon Martin case. WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer takes a closer look at what the law really means."

In a WFTV report Tuesday, Sheaffer said the stand-your-ground defense results in an acquittal 80 percent of the time it's used.

On Tuesday, WKMG-Channel 6 turned to attorney Mark NeJame, who offered Anthony analysis. NeJame said that Zimmerman's attorney was handling the case "the right way so far."

Zimmerman family friend Joe Oliver, who is black, and leaks from the Sanford Police Department have helped counter the negative publicity for Zimmerman, NeJame said. "Zimmerman's attorney doesn't have to have his fingerprints on it. Other people are doing the work for him," NeJame added.

NeJame predicted that the public won't hear from Zimmerman "until the dust has settled" about who is screaming for help on the audio tape.

"Before they want to commit to a position, they want to know, in fact, more," NeJame said. "Then they can go ahead and address it. To make a statement right now or lock in Mr. Zimmerman's position and then find out that facts, evidence, the tape or otherwise come up with contrary positions puts you in a dangerous position."

Viewers are in for another lesson in the law and public relations from the TV analysts.The local stations are returning to a formula that worked: showcasing the analysts who riveted viewers during the Anthony case.

NeJame said that Trayvon's family are properly addressing the issue in Congress. "People don't realize this is an NRA -- National Rifle Association -- backed law, and you heard them incredibly silent, and they're never silent," NeJame said.

Those were the analysts I saw Tuesday. I'm sure I'll see familiar faces on the other channels. WOFL-Channel 35 brought on a new analyst, attorney Aramis Donell Ayala, to explain that the state attorney or the grand jury could bring charges against Zimmerman.