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Jun 20 - George Zimmerman Jury Selected;5 Out Of 6 Are White 1 Is Hispanic
George Zimmerman trial: Jury selection continues today - OrlandoSentinel.com
SANFORD —A jury has been selected in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial.
It is comprised of six women, five of them white.
Attorneys are in the process of choosing the four alternates in the case.
Attorneys in the trial of George Zimmerman wrapped up jury selection questioning this morning, which means a jury will soon be seated to try Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The lawyers are currently discussing which jurors they want to strike from the jury pool, and choosing those who will ultimately try the high profile case.
Each side, state and defense, can excuse 10 jurors without having to explain why. In addition, other jurors will likely be excused "for cause" should Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson decide they're unfit.
The attorneys and judge hope the process will find 10 Seminole County residents — six jurors and four alternates — to try the case.
The potential jurors were questioned this morning by Zimmerman defense attorney Mark O'Mara. When he finished, the jurors were sent out for lunch.
This morning, O'Mara started by asking potential jurors about their thoughts on reasonable doubt and the presumption of innocence. He asked juror K-95 what her verdict would be today.
"It would be not guilty," the potential juror replied. Juror B-35 added that he believes "that a person is innocent until proven guilty," and state must prove its case.
Said juror B-72 on the state's burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt: "That's the way the system works, I've never questioned it."
O'Mara also attacked prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda's a.ssertion from Wednesday that circumstantial evidence is just as good as direct evidence. Circumstantial evidence, O'Mara said, doesn't necessarily rule out "a reasonable hypothesis... of innocence."
Several jurors expressed similar views, with one saying she couldn't base a guilty verdict entirely on circumstantial evidence.
The defense lawyer later moved on to gun rights: Do any jurors, he asked, have issues with the Constitutional right of citizens to bear arms?
Juror B-37 said she takes issues with the types of guns some people own, and added that the training needed to get a concealed weapon permit is "not adequate... It's like, that's it?"
However, she said she wouldn't factor her feelings on that into a verdict.
The jurors were also asked about their ability to set aside what they know. E-22 said "it's difficult to stand outside yourself," but being in a group will help.
O'Mara told the jurors it's alright for them to use their common sense, "we really mean that. We don't expect you to become robots in this courtroom."
O'Mara also told the jurors they can consider witness' biases in evaluating testimony. Several jurors said they can do that.
Said B-51: "I wasn't aware... that those are considerations for us," later adding, "It's good to know that because I didn't know that."