Zimmerman Juror: Race Played No Role

Monday, 15 Jul 2013 08:44 PM

By Greg Richter

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In the first vote of the jury in the George Zimmerman murder trial, three voted not guilty, two voted manslaughter and one voted second-degree murder, but none of the jurors believed race played a role in the incident, a juror said on CNN Monday.

"I think his heart was in the right place, but it just went terribly wrong," Juror B-37 said on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" Monday night.

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Five of the six jurors believed it was Zimmerman's voice screaming for help on the 911 recordings played in his murder trial, Juror B-37 said. The sixth juror wasn't necessarily positive the shooting victim, Trayvon Martin, was making the pleas, but she simply wasn't sure, the juror told Cooper.

The woman appeared in silhouette and her name was not used on the news show, but her voice was not noticeably distorted.

She told Cooper she found the original investigator, Christopher Serino, to be truthful. Serino testified he believed Zimmerman to be not guilty, but the prosecution successfully had that remark stricken the next day.

"It made a big impression on me," the juror said. "He deals with this all the time. He deals with murder, robberies. He's in it all the time and he has a knack to pick out who's lying and who's not lying."

She was skeptical of the prosecution's presentation. Prosecution witnesses and some of the defense witnesses knew what had happened, she told Cooper.

"Some of it was taped, so they couldn't rebuke any of that," she said, referring to 911 calls recording the incident.

One tape was the most significant, she said, because it recorded the incident "before the struggle, during the struggle, the gunshot, and then after."

She did not find the so-called "star witness" for the prosecution very credible. Rachel Jeantel was on the phone with Martin just before the attack.

"I didn't think it was very credible, but I felt very sorry for her," the juror said. Jeantel seemed to feel inadequate because of her lack of education and communication skills, the anonymous juror said.

Jeantel was difficult to understand sometimes, the juror said, because she used phrases the juror was unfamiliar with. But she didn't think the term "creepy-ass cracker," used by Martin to describe Zimmerman on the phone, was racial.

"I just think it's everyday life. The type of life that they live and how they're living."

Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place, but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhood," the juror said. He wanted to catch people so badly "he went above and beyond what he should have done."

Zimmerman should never have gotten out of his car that night, she said, but she felt like the 911 dispatcher egged him on.

"I think he's guilty of not using good judgment," she said.

She does believe, however, Zimmerman had a right to have a gun with him.

She said the videotapes of Zimmerman's accounts didn't carry much weight. But she said other evidence proved he was telling the truth, though there likely were some "fabrications, enhancements."

"But I think it happened pretty much the way George said it happened," she said.

It didn't matter to her whether Martin reached for Zimmerman's gun, as Zimmerman claimed, "because George had a right to protect himself at that point."

She also thinks Martin threw the first punch. Asked if Martin was the aggressor, she said, "I think the roles changed. I think George got in a little bit too deep … but Trayvon decided he wasn't going to let him scare him and get one over on him. I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him."

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She said racial profiling played no role in the event. She believes Zimmerman would have acted the same way with a white, Hispanic, or Asian person.

"I think he just profiled him because he was the neighborhood watch and he profiled anybody that came in acting strange."

She didn't buy the prosecution's argument that Zimmerman was a wannabe cop. Instead, she believes he is just an overly helpful person, as was seen when he offered a new lock to the victim of a break-in and gave his and his wife's phone number to her.

The juror would be comfortable having Zimmerman on her own neighborhood watch, she said, as long as he didn't go too far.

"I would be comfortable having George," she said, "but I think he's learned a good lesson."


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