An alternate juror in the George Zimmerman murder trial said he understands the public's passion following the not guilty verdict on charges Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, but jurors were right not to let such passions influence their decision.
"As a juror, you're not allowed to do that," Juror E-54 said Monday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity."
The jury instructions say emotions and feelings can't be considered, he said. "I know it had to be hard for those jurors to overcome that."
The alternate juror sat with the six female jurors who ended up deciding the case, but he was allowed to go home after closing arguments were made in the high profile case.
Rallies were held across the country on Saturday, a week after the verdict was delivered, in support of Martin, an unarmed black teenager who was shot to death by Zimmerman after a confrontation in which Zimmerman said he feared for his life.
Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer who had followed Martin on a rainy night, thinking he looked suspicious. The NAACP, the Rev. Al Sharpton and others have called for a federal investigation into whether Zimmerman violated Martin's civil rights by using race to profile him as a possible criminal.
The juror, who was shown in silhouette to protect his identity, said he didn't see evidence of racial profiling. Zimmerman "just identified Trayvon Martin as a suspicious guy. I don't see anything in there at all related to race."
The juror also said he doesn't think Zimmerman followed Martin, but lost sight of him and got out of the car to see where he was.
"Both parties had the right to be where they were," the man said. "Trayvon was innocent up until the point where he physically attacked or punched or beat Geroge Zimmerman. They both had opportunities to make other decisions and they didn't do it."
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