Zimmerman To Face Jury of Women
George Zimmerman will face a jury of women in his second-degree murder trial. Attorneys concluded jury selection Thursday, selecting six women as jurors and two men and two women as alternates. All are white except one juror.
The pool predominately was composed of women.
The jury includes a woman whose husband is an attorney in the space industry. The alternates include an avid arm wrestler who says he could talk about the sport all day.
Zimmerman defense attorney Mark O'Mara said the jury selection was fair and open to the public.
"The state struck the first black juror, and then we got our six. I had questions about two black jurors on their ability to be fair and impartial, and we talked about that. That's been, I think, now put on record as to my thoughts, and the judge agreed."
O'Mara struck two black women. He said one failed to disclose a relationship with a witness and had posted her summons on Facebook. The other failed to disclose her pastor's activism in support of Trayvon Martin.
The state struck a black man but wasn't required to give a reason.
The jury will determine whether Zimmerman committed a crime when he shot and killed Martin. The former Neighborhood Watch volunteer says he acted in self-defense.
Their verdict also will have political and racial implications, and in recognition of this pressure the judge has ruled they will be sequestered and will remain anonymous.
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Courtesy of the Associated Press, June 20th 8:30 p.m.
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 potential life sentence.