Six Women selected to determine George Zimmerman's fate
Mahogany Linebarger Special to the AmNews | 6/22/2013, 9:24 p.m.
After a highly publicized jury selection, six women was selected to sit on the jury for the trial that will determine whether George Zimmerman was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed young Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman is being charged with second-degree murder after following, confronting and shooting Martin in February 2012. Zimmerman was only arrested after a national out cry for justice. He then began claiming self-defense. Protests and rallies have continued since Martin's death as the details of the case and the process of selecting a jury has gone on.
Of the six women selected, none are African American. There will be one Latino women who has six children. The others include a white women who works as a animal rescuer and who used to have a concealed weapons permit and a women who said that she used Martin's death as a cautionary example to her children.
There were also four alternates chosen for the trail, two are men and two are women. All of the alternates are white and almost all the jurors have children.
The fact that not one of the jury members is Black is sparking much debate amongst citizens and media alike. Diana Tennis a defense lawyer in Orlando tells the New York Times that the chances of having a jury without any black people were high given that in Seminole county is only 11 percent black. But she also added that in the event that Zimmerman is acquitted the fact that the jury consisted of not one Black person maybe a point of contention.
Jury selection was constantly reported on during the nine days it took. Selections were expected to take two to three weeks but by the end of day eight both sides had questioned the remaining 40 people and dismissed 30 of them.
Comparisons are being made is terms of the importance of race between this trail and the O.J. Simpson. Tennis says that race should not be a factor but it may certainly be resonated, especially if Zimmerman is found innocent. She said, "It's not statistically significant, but whether or not it's significant for the community depending on the outcome is another thing."
With the jury now selected the trail will officially begin with opening statements will begin on Monday. The trail is expected to last anywhere from two to four weeks. However, if the prosecution finds the trial unfair they maybe able to file for retrial to be determined by a judge. In addition, the identities of the jury members will remain anonymous for the duration of the trail.
After court was adjourned on Thursday, Zimmerman and his attorneys left, but not before giving a brief statement. Defense lawyer Mark O'Mara told reporters, "What I do think we have, and I'm very happy with this, is six jurors who have told us that they'll be fair and impartial."
Martin's family and attorneys released a statement where they expressed the same expectations for a fair and impartial trail. They stated, "With the makeup of this jury, the question of whether every American can get equal justice regardless of who serves on their jury panel will be answered," the statement read. "Equal justice under the law is not a black value or a white value."