The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

June 19, 2013

Jurors reflect on complexities of Zimmerman case

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors and defense attorneys personally interviewed 58 potential jurors over seven days about their media exposure to the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman last year in Sanford, Fla. They have asked 40 jury candidates to return for the next round of questioning and dismissed scores of others. They eventually must whittle down the pool to six jurors and four alternates who will decide Zimmerman's second-degree murder case.

The case has prompted strong emotions on about race, equal justice and gun control, issues that have come to light during jury selection. Jurors' identities are being kept confidential during the trial that is expected to last up to a month. Of the 40 potential jurors, 27 are white, seven are black, three are mixed race and three are Hispanic. Twenty-four are women and 16 are men.

Below is a look at some of the more notable statements by potential jurors — identified just by number — throughout selection process that's in its second week.

"There was fault on both sides as far as I can see, two people being in the wrong place at the wrong time." — Juror B-30, a 65-year-old white man with hearing problems who wasn't asked back.

"I haven't lived under a rock for the past year. It's pretty hard for people not to have gotten some information." — Juror B-51, a white woman retiree, asked about what she knew about the high-profile case. She was told to return.

"I think they politicized it and made it a racial issue, and I didn't like that. I wasn't agreeing with the racial connotation." — Juror B-35, a middle-aged black man who owns vending machines, answering questions about civil rights leaders who came to Sanford for demonstrations. He was asked back.

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