Every time I have been called to the courthouse for jury duty I have been released, only a couple of times making it so far as the venire, or jury pool in a particular case, but asked few questions and informed I was not wanted.  Lawyers have to explain to venire persons time and again that just because the attorneys, or one of them, feel the person would not make a "good" juror in that particular case does not mean they would not be a "good" juror in some other case.  Illustrations often include such things as saying that the defendant is employed as a telephone salesperson and if the venire, like the defense lawyer, dislikes being interrupted for telephone solitications, then they, both the lawyer and the venireperson, probably would not make a "good" juror in that particular case.

Attorneys also tell the venire that they are "not trying to pry into your personal life," though they cannot honestly tell them they will not pry into their opinions.  However, when they do this, lawyers find ways of framing their questions designed to coax from the potential juror their "feelings" about this or that, their "thinking on it," &c., hoping to embarrass no one but at the same time seeking a rather candid answer that reveals biases or prejudices.  Wisely, in the George Zimmerman trial now entering the defense presentation in Florida, the jurors were all questioned individually outside the presence of the other members of the venire.  This is a greater guarantee of honest responses, free of intimidation or peer group influences. Had I been among those on the venire, sworn to speak the truth, I probably would not have made it out of this preliminary interrogation.

When I learned that Zimmerman was planning on relying on the defense of self-defense based upon Florida's stand-your-ground law (itself very problematic for me), I thought, He's got to be kidding!  That was because I had heard his 911 call with its crypto-racist remarks and his refusal to do what the dispatcher told him when Zimmerman said "Yeah" in response to the question, "You're not following him are you?"  Zimmerman became the stalker and aggressor.  To me, this is manslaughter at a minimum. Although I rather doubt the prosecution can hang a murder conviction on Zimmerman, the jury's failure to return a guilty verdict on the lesser included offense of manslaughter will be very troubling. 

Lest it be said that because I would be reluctant to vote for a verdict of murder, I might be a "good" juror for the defense. Not so.  There is another reason why I could not hope to be fair and impartial toward Mr. Zimmerman.

The Hannity interview.

Zimmerman went on Hannity, bad enough in and of itself given that jackass of a host, and told the Fox News audience that his shooting of Trayvon Martin's -- the teenager's death --  had been "God's plan."

That's right.  God killed Trayvon, not George Zimmerman.  But if God had a plan to kill Trayvon Martin, why did God not prevent the killing?  If Zimmerman had remained in his car and obeyed the dispatcher, would that have been God's decision? Unwittingly, Zimmerman became on the Hannity show an object lesson in the truth of Epicurius's observation that God cannot possibly exist if he is anything like he is most often described -- as both good and as omnipotent.  God could have kept a 17-year-old boy with a package of Skittles and a can of iced tea alive that night, but he did not.  God put a gun into the hand of George Zimmerman and sent him forth to take a human life.  This is the God of the Old Testament on steroids, slaying indiscriminately for reasons that cannot often if ever be described as "good." 

No, I did not belong on George Zimmerman's jury.  And I am glad I do not live in that county in Florida, for if I did, and if called to a venire, I would not be remotely tempted to fake an open mind in order to get on Zimmerman's jury.  Nothing I have heard so far suggests to me that this defendant is a scoundrel and should be punished.

Santayana was wrong: the last refuge of the scoundrel is not patriotism.  It is religion.

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Zimmerman is simply a product of fox news cult' sure.. etc. his parents racists.. i know spani fuckers they hate blacks just like racists whites hate blacks and on and on.. 
don't bother my greed watch the black man.. ugh hugh... 

hello. someone's following me in car.. 
i better dip. 
hey babe some nutty white guy (aka as crzy cracker in florida it's fun term c'mon folks...
and what? stalked (by a non officer of the law) and killed. hello

Although you put it in a rather crude, arguably racist way yourself, you make an important observation re: "spani fuckers" as you put it.  I grew up in South Texas and was not exposed to black people except the yard man and some domestics my middle class parents hired to help my mother do her house work.  When the civil rights movement got off the ground in the '60s, some Mexican-Americans (now called Hispanics) were resentful, if for no other reason than that the white "establishment" ("creepy crackers"?) had kept them "in their place" (e.g. referring to them as "Meskins" and giving them low-paying jobs and somewhat inferior education) for the better part of a century. Mexican-Americans fought alongside gringos at the Alamo, and if you know anything about the history of the border states prior to what was called Polk's Folly, you may know that Mexico's northern border encapsulated not only Texas but all of New Mexico, Arizona, and California.  It was only because so few Mexicans were willing to settle in Texas that the "Texicans" argued it had been virtually abandoned by Mexico.  But, to this day, at least in increasingly smaller numbers, there really is some resentment among Latinos toward African-Americans.  I just wish you had stated it a bit less awkwardly.  I think one of the women on the jury is of Cuban extraction.  At least she is not completely Caucasian as are the others, apparently.  If nothing else, if that one juror really does harbor some prejudice, it might be against the defendant, not Trayvon Martin.

remember Giffords in AZ.. only diff is that kid (watched same channel same type of racist parents) was up all night and just crazy anti'cop.. irony

bet they were both xtian

wanna get into reality try this:

I don't know whether I would be a good juror for this.  I probably would not be chosen.  I have an opinion on Zimmerman, even though I would be open to the evidence.  He seems to me more like he was over aggressive and too quick to judge, and took the law into his own hands, and he killed a teenager as a result. 

If it boils down to thinking I knew what happened in Zimmerman's mind, I would be a bad person to pass judgement.  I never know what people are thinking.

I am glad this went to trial.  Even if Zimmerman is or is not consciously or subconsciously racist, it seemed to me the initial decision to blow it off without trial, was racist.  If Zimmerman was black and Martin was white/Hispanic, how would that have affected the initial decision not to go to trial?  What if they were both white?  Both Hispanic?  Both Black?

Well, the defense for Zimmerman must have done some pretty fancy dancing ... because Zimmerman has been acquitted.  No 2nd degree murder, not even manslaughter, nothing.  [Loren shrugs his shoulders and wonders what evidence the jury saw that he's not aware of...]

Those six women sure made a fool out of me.  Of course, that's hardly anything unusual.

Those six women just set a VERY dangerous precedent.  I would be extremely scared to be a young black man in Florida.  The US is going backwards.  Treyvon Martin was not allowed to stand HIS ground.  I'm sick over this.

I agree.

booklover, I have a slightly different take.  As you must know, there is a disproportionate number of mostly young African-Americans in our nation's prisons.  I once said "All crimes are political crimes" and even after three years in law school and 30 years in practice, I still believe it.  Most of these young African-Americans are thus political prisoners.  The message of the Zimmers verdict, as they would see it, says to them: You stole $500 from an auto parts store/residential home and you got 10 years in the joint.  Zimmers shot a young black man and he is walking the streets (well, not quite), a free (not quite) man.  Might as well return to a life of crime when I get out: they allow people to kill me when I am minding my own business and doing nothing but buying something in a convenience store and going home in a hoodie.

I agree with that James.


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