|Courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel|
Right about now, George is probably hoping that out of those 40 potential jurors, his defense team can narrow those down to 12 fine folks who'll follow in the grand tradition of the all-white jury.
Last time on DDSS, yours truly left you with the image of George Zimmerman sweating bullets over jury selection, hoping he wouldn't end up with, ahem, a jury of Trayvon Martin's peers, so to speak. With the selection of six women, five of whom are white and one who's Hispanic, George can rest a little easier. Looks like what I said about the grand tradition of the all-white jury is slowly coming into fruition.
To my understanding, Florida courts only require a jury of 12 in capital cases where the death penalty is on the table. That leaves the fate of Zimmerman and the opportunity for justice to be truly served hinged on the decision-making processes of six female jurors and if needed, one or more of their four alternates (consisting of two men and two women).
I don't like where this is going. Not one bit.
Let's take a look at the jury, courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel. Parts that stand out to me are highlighted as follows:
B-29: A nurse on an Alzheimer's ward who is black or Hispanic, has several children, is married and lived in Chicago at the time of shooting. She said she doesn't watch the news, preferring reality television: "Right when we got here, I got cable... I love my reality shows." During jury selection, she said she was arrested once in Chicago.
B-76: A white, middle-aged woman who said Zimmerman had an "altercation with the young man. There was a struggle and the gun went off." Has been married 30 years, and is unemployed. She formerly worked with her husband in his construction company. Her 28-year-old son is an attorney in Seminole County. She also has a daughter, 26, has been a victim of non-violent crime and rescues "a lot of pets."
B-37: A middle-aged white woman who has worked for a chiropractor for 16 years and has many pets. She described protests in Sanford as "rioting." Her husband is an attorney. She has two daughters: A 24-year-old dog groomer and a 27-year-old who attends the University of Central Florida. She used to have concealed weapons permit, but let it lapse. Her husband also has one.
B-51: A retired white woman from Oviedo who has a dog and 20-year-old cat. She knew a good deal about the case, but said "I'm not rigid in my thinking." She has been in Seminole County for nine years, is unmarried and has no kids. She previously lived in Atlanta, and used to work in real estate. She also ran a call center in Brevard County which she said had 1,200 employees.
E-6: A young white woman and mother who used to work in financial services. She used this case as an example to her two adolescent children, warning them to not go out at night. She has lived in Seminole County for eight years, and is married to an engineer. She was arrested in Brevard County, but said she "was treated completely fairly." Her husband has guns.
E-40: A white woman in her 60s who lived in Iowa at the time of the shooting. She heard national news reports and recalls the shooting was in a gated community and a teenager was killed. She described herself as safety officer, is married to a chemical engineer and loves football. She has a 28-year-old son who's out of work. She said she's very well versed in cell phone technology, and has been a victim of crime.
And the alternate jurors:
E-54: A middle-aged white man with a teenage stepson who wears hoodies. He recalled seeing photos of Zimmerman's head and face that show injuries. E-54 loves golf and genealogy, and said he's been married for five years to a technical engineer. He grew up in Seminole County and has a teenage stepson.
B-72: A young man who is possibly Hispanic, does maintenance at a school and competes in arm wrestling tournaments. He said he avoids the news because he does not want to be "brainwashed." He grew up in Chicago, is single and an alumni of Phi Beta Kappa. He is very physically active, and was a high school athlete. He said that he doesn't believe you can determine a person's strength based solely on their size or how they look.
E-13: A young white woman who goes to college and works two jobs, one of them as a surgical assistant. She heard the shooting was a "racial thing." She said she could be a fair juror "just because I don't really know that much." She is single, has lived in Seminole County for 17 years and attends church. She also owns and rides horses.
E-28: A middle-aged white woman who has worked as a nurse for 26 years. She knew little about the case and has no opinion about Zimmerman's guilt. She has lived in Seminole County since 1985, and has been married for 28 years. Her husband is a teacher and they have two adult children, 27 and 23 years old.
These are the people tasked with determining whether George Zimmerman will be convicted for the murder of Trayvon Martin or be cleared of his current charges. In addition, the judge in the case, circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson, is disallowing the prosecution from presenting two audio experts who maintain that the source of the screaming heard on 911 tapes was most likely Trayvon Martin.
Little wonder the Martin family had to turn to the power of prayer in hopes of getting something vaguely resembling justice. This trial has all the elements of a monumental clusterfuck, one with deep-setting effects that could last for years, if not decades. Let's pray that it turns out otherwise.