Reporting Jim DeFede
MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Angela Corey is about to become the country’s best known prosecutor.
On March 23rd, Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed Corey, the State Attorney in Jacksonville, to be the special prosecutor to investigate the shooting death of 17-year-old Miami teen Trayvon Martin.
The move came after Sanford police had previously declined to press charges against the man who killed him, George Zimmerman, and a national outcry erupted.
The 57-year-old Corey is known as a no-nonsense career prosecutor.
She spent 25 years as an assistant state attorney before being named State Attorney of the Fourth Judicial Circuit in Northeast Florida in 2008.
She has prosecuted 65 homicide cases and has a reputation as a tough conservative in the courtroom. She’s also someone used to public pressure, prosecuting people when she feels charges are warranted and not just based on if she can win the case.
Her critics say she is too aggressive, specifically citing her controversial decision to prosecute a 12-year-old boy in adult court. The boy allegedly beat to death his 2-year-old brother and supporters maintain he should be tried as a child.
Corey sees herself as an advocate for victims’ families.
“I take them on and they become like family to me and I don’t believe Trayvon’s family will be any different to me,” said Corey. “I think if the public will be patient they would understand that this is a very complicated area of the law and we are going to do everything we can to make sure the public also has all the answers they need.”
A graduate of the University of Florida Law school, Corey was born and raised in Jacksonville. Active in Republican Party politics she was the ideal choice for Gov. Rick Scott to take over the case.