The Associated Press April 17, 2012, 08:23AM ET

Gov. Scott: Outcry didn't lead to Zimmerman charge

The prosecutor who charged a neighborhood watch volunteer with killing an unarmed teenager was driven by facts and not by public pressure, Gov. Rick Scott said Monday.

Scott said special prosecutor Angela Corey's action against George Zimmerman was not the result of outcry over the Feb. 26 shooting of 17-year-old Martin.

"I don't think Angela gets influenced by things other than what the facts are," he said. "She's somebody that cares about victims, she wants due process for everybody involved, she wants to get the facts out. She makes decisions based on the facts and on what's right."

Zimmerman was charged last week with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting in a gated community in Sanford, near Orlando. Zimmerma, who is expected to plead not guilty, says he acted in self-defense.

The arrest came nearly six weeks after the shooting and subsequent protests nationwide that stirred a debate about race and self-defense.

Scott said he was confident Corey would "continue to do the right thing."

The Republican governor spoke to reporters outside the Palm Beach Strategic Forum, sponsored by the International Economic Forum of the Americas. Asked what credit President Barack Obama deserves for what some see as a rebound in the economy, Scott said the credit should go to businesspeople.

"The truth is there's a bunch of individuals that feel comfortable building their businesses, they take the financial risk there the ones that are hiring people," he said.

A small group of protesters stood outside the Palm Beach Convention Center with signs criticizing Scott, including "Some Cuts Don't Heal" and "Rick Scott is a Health Care Vampire."

The governor took the stage at the forum after a former Pakistani prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, who said the U.S. exit strategy in Afghanistan was perhaps more important than its entrance into war there.

"If you just walk away, you can open Pandora's box," he said.

About 900 people from 20 countries were participating in the two-day forum.


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