CNN Poll: Most believe Trayvon Martin's shooter should have been arrested
George Zimmerman made his first court appearance on Thursday April 12, 2012 in Seminole County, Florida. He is charged with the murder of 17-yr-old Trayvon Martin.
April 18th, 2012
05:00 AM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: Most believe Trayvon Martin's shooter should have been arrested

(CNN) - An overwhelming majority of Americans believe the man who killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin should have been arrested, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday.

George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, shot and killed Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26. He was arrested last week and charged with second-degree murder. Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense.

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Wednesday's poll reported 78% of Americans polled saying they thought Zimmerman should have been arrested, compared to 11% who said he should not have been arrested.

The results mirror an earlier CNN/ORC poll, taken before Zimmerman's arrest in late March, which showed 73% of Americans saying he should be arrested and 11% saying he should not. The earlier poll indicated 16% were unsure whether Zimmerman should be arrested.

Zimmerman is scheduled to return to court Friday for a bail hearing.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from Friday to Sunday, with 1,015 adult Americans, including 910 registered voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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Filed under: Florida
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Woody

    Everyone needs to be better educated today . My question is why do we put guns into the hands of our military at age 18 , general public age 18, and police officers by age 21 with only 12 weeks of training but to do surgery you have to have over 12 years of college . Is it just easer for society to put guns into the hands of the less educated ? Why do we trust in people with guns with only 12 weeks of training than give them a badge ? We need to better educate people with guns and while we are at it lets bring back drivers ed as a car can be as dangerous as a gun .

    April 18, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  2. Dan Green

    I agree with the arrest. The details need to come out in court. I'm not convinced that Treyvon Martin did not start the attack, nor am I convinced Zimmerman didn't stalk him. What I'm wondering is whether or not he went after Martin after being told not to, or Martin actually went after Zimmerman. I don't think we'll ever have the facts because the lawyers will spin it every which way they can. I think it will end with Zimmerman getting little to no jail time due the the "stand your ground" law and the muddied facts, and then I think there will be violence in the streets.

    April 18, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  3. Caron Speas

    I am absolutely shocked and ashamed of those 11% who think he should not have been arrested. What that man did is so obviously criminal. He judged, convicted, sentenced, and executed a boy in the span of a few minutes. And that's okay with 11% of the people???? Shame on you!!!! What kind of a society do we live in, anyway?

    April 18, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  4. Joe - Wilmington, DE

    "John Wayne" Zimmerman...Product of the NRA and brave vigilante with a 9mm strapped to his belt. Otherwise, a helpless coward. He should indeed be locked up.

    April 18, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  5. Heat2Hot

    The reason so many people agree that Zimmerman should have been arrested is because they understand the law. If we enabled everyone in the country to shoot someone because they were losing a fight half of the country would be dead. This is why the Stand Your Ground Law here in Florida was written to say "you must meet force with force". A fist is "non-deadly force" in this state. Those with common sense understand this. Those who have taken a concealed weapon class have been taught this. Those who support Zimmerman support him due to having a personal agenda and not the law.

    April 18, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  6. Martin

    A child was killed so I don't understand what the should not's and unsure's are thinking. I see why the press only cover white kids that have been murdered or kidnapped. Trayvon's parents should be so thankful because normally the press really don't give a crap.

    April 18, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  7. king

    Lesson, be at the forefront of this case, because it will swallow up rareness and the law, when emotions takes over logic. There is a person dead, and the person that lives during this incident have his story the to tell, what happen to the other half of the story. This is why the shooter should have been arrested, just to find out the dead person story, this story would only have to come through evidence, since dead man tells no tales. This is America, don't change our system of justice because we add emotion into the mix. If was a white person that got shot and it was a black person doing the shooting, white and black folks would want justice to be done, this is our system, lets not start setting a precident, that will bring back the wild wild west.

    April 18, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  8. SDG

    Arrested? Maybe. Charged? No. But we'll see it all unfold in the courts that Martin was an aggressive attitude laden thug and Zimmerman was merely doing his community role like more people should.

    April 18, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  9. PotandKettle

    Zimmy is toast and should have been in jail since the police arrived at the murder scene. Right wing wackos and gun nuts do not run this country. Murder is still against the law.

    April 18, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  10. Adrian

    Before ignorant Americans begin to make stupid comments, NOTE: the article reads “78% of Americans polled saying they thought Zimmerman should have been arrested”. We are all Americans; let’s not make this a “color issues” because it’s not.

    April 18, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  11. aztekman

    with the MSM's misleading depiction of the evidence, I am surprised the number is so low

    April 18, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  12. Tony

    And if the system works he will be found guilty. But we all know what happened to the coward's on the Casey A jury.

    April 18, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  13. dd

    ha gotta love the cnn polls....they should read...polls show whatever cnn wants you to think, you think, no questions asked

    April 18, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  14. scott

    Now that he has been arrested. Hopefully, He will get a fair trial and the truth will come out. CNN needs to do another poll. Should the black panther's be arrested for the bounty placed on his head, and Jessie Jackson and others for insighting any riots that get started.

    April 18, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  15. Guest

    There is no way Zimmerman will get a fair trial b/c obama and the media have already convicted him.

    April 18, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  16. Charles Bronson

    Yo Homey ! Better find a remote corner in a far away land and hide under a rock HOMEY ! BAIL ? You mean BAIT !

    April 18, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  17. Mary

    Glad to see this poll. It's only common sense that this grown man be arrested for attacking an unarmed teenager. You can't just go around confronting people because they "look scary" and not suffer any consequences for it.

    April 18, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  18. Bob

    Don't agree...not even closely

    April 18, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  19. Chelopez54

    I think Zimmerman should be found guilty. first of all- neighborhood watch does not need a GUN!
    Anyone carrying a gun on crime watch is looking for trouble. And he has found it. Carrying a gun even if legal is for your protection, I believe crime watch is NOT being a police officer. If you follow me at night, I would be frightened enough to scream out or act out if you follow me like that. the kid probably thought someone was going to hurt him, rape him or rob him. It is a sad story but I still think he is guilty and I am afraid there will be an uproar if he is let off. I would be part of that if I could because I have a young brother too.

    April 18, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
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