Attorneys clear issues before Zimmerman trial - WFLA News Channel 8

Attorneys clear issues before Zimmerman trial

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SANFORD, FL (WFLA) -

Prosecutors in opening statements may say that George Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin but they may not say the Miami teen was racially profiled by the neighborhood watch volunteer.       

Judge Debra Nelson made that ruling Friday ahead of Monday's expected opening statements in Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial.       

Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming he fatally shot Martin last year in self-defense.      

Defense attorneys had objected to prosecutors saying Martin was racially profiled. Martin was black and Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.

The profile language issue is means prosecutors have to be careful about their wording, said Roger Futerman, a Tampa Bay area criminal defense attorney not involved in the case.

"It's an interesting language of semantics," he said. "The state has to be very cautious that they don't go over the line because they could cause a mistrial."

Opening statements are set to begin Monday morning before the jury of six women. Two women and two men will serve as alternates.

News Channel 8 will have live reports from Sanford covering the Zimmerman trial, beginning Monday morning.

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