An all-female jury will hear the murder case next week against George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch captain accused of killing Trayvon Martin.
Opening arguments will be Monday in Sanford, Fla., before Judge Debra Nelson. CNN reported that prosecuting and defense attorneys said the jury was composed of five white women and one black or Hispanic woman
, but the news organization could not confirm that.
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There are four alternate jurors, two women and two men, who also will be present at the trial. The Orlando Sentinel published general details about each of the jurors
, including professions, backgrounds and family information.
Zimmerman shot and killed Martin, 17, in February 2012, and claimed the killing was in self-defense. Prosecutors claim Zimmerman profiled and killed the black high school junior. Zimmerman pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
When police didn’t promptly arrest Zimmerman, the public outcry was loud and outraged, igniting discussions about race relations and gun laws throughout the country, CNN reported. Eventually the police chief was fired and Zimmerman was charged.
Defense attorney Mark O’Mara questioned about 40 jurors in the pool. He talked about justifiable homicide, but crossed a line with Judge Nelson when he explained that Florida law did not require individuals to retreat when threatened. She told him not to interpret the law for the jurors, CNN reported.
After jury selection, attorneys returned to a hearing on admitting screams captured on a 911 tape. Problems with identifying the screams and what was being said may keep the tape from being admitted as evidence.
CNN reported that Hirotaka Nakasone, an FBI audio engineer, had doubts about using the recordings.
“A screaming voice is too far for us to address,” he said. “It might mislead in the worst case.”
Legal analyst Kendall Coffey told NBC News that the all-female jury should not be a significant factor in the trial’s outcome
. He said the prosecution probably wouldn’t be unhappy about the jury.
“And in a perfect world, the prosecution would want to see a jury of mothers,” Coffey told NBC.
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