The Justice Department then filed a civil rights suit against the officers, alleging "deprivations of federal rights under color of law," and two were convicted in 1993. A court sentenced them to 30 months in federal prison.
Weinstein said the Justice Department can't file similar charges against Zimmerman because he is a private citizen instead of a police officer or government official of any kind.
"There are no other relevant sections under which to prosecute him" other than the hate crime statute, which covers "offenses involving actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin," Weinstein added.
However, Martin's family can still file a civil wrongful death lawsuit against Zimmerman to seek penalties and damages. Such a legal move carries no criminal penalty or prison time.