6 women on jury in teen's killing
SANFORD, Fla. — A jury of six women was picked on Thursday to decide the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who says he fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in self-defense.
Prosecutors have said Zimmerman, 29, racially profiled the 17-year-old as he walked back from a convenience store on a rainy night in February 2012 wearing a dark hooded shirt.
Race and ethnicity have played a prominent role in the case and even clouded jury selection. While the court did not release the racial makeup of the jury, the panel appeared to reporters covering jury selection to be made up of five white women and a sixth who may be Hispanic.
Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.
After Thursday's hearing, Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara was asked what he would say to people concerned there were no black jurors.
“People can look at it and have this response, that there's no blacks on the jury, or no this or no that, or no men on the jury,” he said. “Tell me that we did something wrong in the process and I'll agree with you.”
Prosecutors refused to comment for the duration of the trial.
Two of the jurors recently moved to the area — one from Iowa and one from Chicago — and two are involved with rescuing animals as their hobbies.
One juror had a prior arrest, but she said it was disposed of and she thought she was treated fairly. Two jurors have guns in their homes. All of their names have been kept confidential and the panel will be sequestered for the trial.
Opening statements are scheduled for Monday.
The central Florida community of Sanford is in Seminole County, which is 78.5 percent white and 16.5 percent black.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys chose the panel of six jurors after almost two weeks of jury selection. In Florida, 12 jurors are required only for criminal trials involving capital cases, when the death penalty is being considered.
If convicted, Zimmerman could face a life sentence.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Federal officials: Dallas nurse free of Ebola
- Feds fault security of tax info gathered for health care law benefits
- Doctor 1st Ebola virus case in New York City
- Fight against Islamic State at impasse, military commanders say
- Man shot from behind, Wecht’s autopsy finds
- Huge gold nugget goes on sale for $400K
- Court: IRS not targeting conservative tax-exempt groups
- Defacements in national parks lead to outrage, probe
- Missouri officials faulted by feds for ‘selective’ probe in police shooting death
- White House may enhance security
- Internet providers asked not to take ‘fast lanes’