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Meet the Zimmerman Trial Jurors

Meet the Zimmerman Trial Jurors

In-depth profiles of the 6 jurors and 4 alternates, how they answered questions during voir dire, and what we know about them.

We will continue our live coverage of the Zimmerman trial starting with Opening Statements tomorrow. As before, we will have live video and Twitter feeds all day, and an end of day wrap up.

But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the 6 jurors and 4 alternates selected, and what we know about them.

It is a remarkable feature of American trials that from the first word of opening statements until the last word of closing arguments the jury seems hardly to exist. Barring start-of-day instructions and end-of-day admonishments from the judge, the jury sits as a silent observer of each side’s arguments in the case.

This seeming vacuum of their presence stands in sharp contrast to the intense scrutiny they received during jury selection prior to the trial proper,and the tense waiting upon their verdict once they have entered deliberations as the trial approaches it finale. The fact that in this case the jury will not even be shown on camera creates an even greater sense of their absence.

In fact, of course, the jury is very much present, listening painstakingly (one hopes) to each side, to each argument, to each word of each question, and each response. How all this is heard, analyzed, and assigned by them to a conclusion is, of course, to a large extent a function of each juror’s personal knowledge and life experiences.

To better understand how the jurors may be perceiving this case as it now moves inexorably forward to their deliberations we have turned to our extensive notes taken from the nine days of jury selection.  From these we have selected those observations specific to each of the six selected jurors and the four alternates.  The results are presented below, first for the jurors followed by the alternates (in alphanumeric order by juror ID for each group).


Juror B29

B29 was first presented to the court for preliminary voir dire on Day One of jury selection, June 10. She is a Hispanic nurse who works the night shift with Alzheimer’s patients. She was a resident of Chicago at the time of the shooting, having arrived in Seminole county only four months prior to the start of the trial. This relatively recent arrival to the area is part of the explanation for why she says she has “no idea” about the case. In addition, she explained, “I don’t like watching the news, period,” and “I don’t read any newspapers, don’t watch the news.” She also indicated that she didn’t tend to watch crime procedural programs, saying that she preferred to real world to “make believe.”

She did, however, recall that some “little boy had passed away,” and she assumed that “he was a kid, 12 or 13.” She recalled seeing pictures of Trayvon in various formats, including T-shirts. She recalled hearing people talking talking about the event in the context of the “child who died.”

B29 has eight children, the oldest of whom is 20 and recently returned home to look for work. She as been married for 10 years. Asked if she worked with any charitable type of organizations outside her regular job she answered, “My house is my organization.” She speaks passionately about her children.

She was one of the prospective jurors who had previously been arrested, but said the matter was no longer pending, that she had been treated fairly, and that she wouldn’t hold the fact of her arrest against either side.

Upon final voir dire by the defense she affirmed that she would have no hesitancy in finding Zimmerman “not guilty” if she had a reasonable doubt of his guilt, even if she possessed as much as a considerable certainty of his guilt. She also acknowledged her duty to listen to both sides of the argument as presented in court, and to not “bring your problems [prejudices] into this trial.”

Juror B76

B76 is one of two jurors the State sought unsuccessfully to strike from the jury. She is a white, middle-aged woman, who was also first questioned in court on the first day of jury selection. She recalled that there had been some kind of struggle, that a young man had been shot and that Zimmerman had been injured.

Like many of the prospective jurors she was unhesitant to express her disdain of the media, saying that she didn’t believe what she heard on TV news.

She has been a resident in Seminole country for almost two decades. Married for 30 years, she has two children, a 28-year-old son and a 26-year-old daughter. She and her husband once ran a construction company, but currently she is unemployed and her husband manages their several rental properties, which provide their main source of income. She spends much of her time rescuing pets in need of care.

In terms of recalling crime in her neighborhood, B76 mentioned teenagers vandalizing signs, but a call to the police seemed to resolve the matter. They had an already established Neighborhood Watch Program in her neighborhood at the time, and she recalled using it to call her neighbors about it at the time.

Although B76 described no personal experience with firearms, she did say that several close family members own guns.

On questioning by the defense B76 suggested that circumstantial evidence alone may not be sufficient to support a criminal conviction, that you “would need something more.”

On the subject of “taking the law into your own hands,” a theme pushed by the State in voir dire, B76 pushed back, mentioning the Good Samaritan law. If you see a person who needs help, you don’t necessarily just wait for the police to arrive. “If I saw someone beating a child I would definitely get involved, I’d push the person down if I needed to, to protect the child.” She also wondered aloud why “a kid”, meaning Martin, was out at night getting candy.

Juror B37

B37, first presented to the court on the second day of jury selection, Tuesday, June 11, is memorable as the woman with many pets: 3 dogs, 4 cats, a parrot, a crow with one wing, two lizards . . . it seemed almost an aside when she also mentioned two daughters. She has lived in Seminole county for 18 years, and has been married for 20. She has two children, a 26-year-old and a 24-year-old.

She was another juror with explicit disdain for the press, saying the best “use for newspapers is for the parrot’s cage, that’s a better use than reading.” When asked directly if she trusts the media, she answered firmly, “I do not.”

She recalled the protest marches in the area as “rioting.” Her recollection of the shooting is that it was an “unfortunate incident,” but that she had not formed an opinion about what happened. She further recalled that Zimmerman had been involved in a scuffle, lat at night, and a “boy of color” had been killed.

It is notable that B37 is the only juror to have previously possessed a license to carry a concealed firearm (termed a CCW, “concealed carry weapons,”in Florida), although she had allowed the license to expire and no longer carried a firearm (and apparently did so rarely if at all when she was licensed). Her husband still owns guns, however, and B37 expressed no uncertainty about her ability to use and shoot a gun, saying she has gone to the range shooting.

When questioned by the defense on final voir dire she affirmed that “I’ll just follow the law,” in evaluating the evidence and coming to a verdict.

Juror B51

B51, like B37, was first questioned on the second day of jury selection. She is retired, unmarried, and has no children, and lives with a dog and a 20-year-old cat. She has lived in Seminole county for 9 years.

She recalled basic facts about the case, including that Zimmerman was in the Neighborhood Watch Program and had a gun permit. She said she had not yet formed an opinion about the case, and that she was open to changing her mind if presented with contrary evidence. “I’m not closed minded.”

She seemed surprised that the Neighborhood Watch Program in Zimmerman’s community was so active and organized. When asked if Zimmerman was doing something wrong by being part of the Program, she answered, “No, he was doing what he was supposed to be doing.”

She also recalled hearing that Zimmerman had been told by the police not to follow Martin, that they had “asked him to wait . . . I’m thinking he didn’t wait was the problem . . . he didn’t wait.” When asked later if she thought Zimmerman had done something wrong in not just waiting for the police, she vacillated, saying, “No. Perhaps he did. Yes.”

Unusually for this jury pool, she also indicated that she was a newspaper reader. She recalled that some people felt that Zimmerman was not arrested quickly enough, and that’s why the police chief had lost his job.

When being questioned by the defense in the final voir dire, B51 noted that calling Zimmerman “the defendant” seemed to suggest that he had to defend something, and she acknowledged that in fact the burden is on the State to prove Zimmerman guilty. She also affirmed the importance of not considering her own biases in coming to a verdict.

Notably, she explicitly thanked O’Mara for so clearly explaining many of the legal concepts and the jurors roles in his final voir dire.

Juror E6

E6 was one of two jurors the State sought unsuccessfully to strike from the jury. She is a white mother with adolescent children, 11- and 13-years-old, and again was a jury first presented to the court on the second day of jury selection. She had lived in Seminole county since 1999.

She was among the jurors who had been previously arrested, but says that she was treated fairly, was deserving of it, and would not hold it against either side in this case. She explained that it had been a domestic violence matter.

She seemed quite nervous in her first day at court. She said she had seen “a headline here and there” about the case, but didn’t follow it closely. As so many other jurors, she discounted the credibility and trustworthiness of the press, saying that she takes the news “with a grain of salt,” “I don’t put much stock to what’s in the news, it’s so speculative.” She acknowledged the importance of basing the verdict only on evidence presented at trial.

She was aware that Zimmerman had been “a neighborhood watch person,” and said she thought that neighborhood watch could be either a good or bad thing, depending.

She recalled seeing pictures of Zimmerman’s bloody face, “just the one basic picture.” She also said that she had heard the recordings of both Zimmerman’s non-emergency call and the Witness #11 911 call. She said she didn’t have an opinion about who might have been screaming in the background of the 911 call.

She told the Court that her husband had several guns in the household, including a 9mm pistol and .38 caliber revolver, and a couple of rifles. Her 13-year-old son also has a hunting rifle and some BB guns. E6 has been to the range once shooting actual firearms, and has done target practice with the BB guns.

In the context of the discussion of circumstantial evidence during the final voir dire by O’Mara, E6 said that the State “would have to produce first-hand witnesses and facts to overcome any reasonable doubt.” She professed to understand and to favor the higher of standard of proof required in a criminal case than in a civil case, because “the repercussions of a criminal case follow you for the rest of your life.”

E6 also asked a couple of interesting questions. She asked, “if all the evidence is presented and they’re trying to point it to one conclusion but as jurors we could imagine a scenario that also fit the facts with all the facts presented, would that be reasonable doubt?” She followed that up by asking to explore in further depth the concept of “a reasonable and prudent person.”

Notably, when she first heard about the shooting she used it as a cautionary tale for her children, warning them to not go out at night, and not to conduct themselves in dress or manner so as to give a “false impression.”

Juror E40

E40 is a white woman in her 60s who was living in Iowa at the time the shooting occurred, and who was also first questioned by the court on the second day of jury selection. She had lived in Seminole county for only 7 months prior to appearing for this jury service. She works as a safety officer, a profession she has practiced for more than 25 years. She has one child, a 28-year-old son currently looking for work. She had once before, 20 years ago, served on a criminal trial jury, and had liked the experience.

She does not have guns herself, but mentioned that her brother-in-law has hunting rifles. She expressed a concern that there was a responsibility attached to bearing arms, and that it was appropriate that someone have to have some training if they were to walk around with a concealed weapon.

Her preliminary voir dire on pre-trial publicity went very quickly, especially compared to the other jurors–it was late in the day and there was a definite sense that the lawyers were becoming fatigued. She recalled hearing about the shooting on the national news, including that a teenager was killed and that it had happened in a gated community. She said she “just didn’t have time” to follow the case because she was too busy at work.

She affirmed that she would keep fellow jurors focused on the evidence and the judge’s rules.

Alternate E54

E54 is a middle-aged white man who was first questioned by the Court on the second day of jury selection. He has lived in Seminole country for 14 years. He has been married for 5 years, and has two step-children, 16- and 20-years-old.

E54 was by far the best-informed juror of that day, and perhaps of the entire selection process. He recalled seeing photos of the injuries to Zimmerman’s head and face, and that Zimmerman had phoned the police to report a suspicious person. He also recalled that there was a later 911 call. He knew that Zimmerman had not been arrested right away, but that he was eventually charged with second degree murder. He recalled Zimmerman’s injuries and that Zimmerman had been “attacked.”

He recalled the protests at the time, and expressed wonder at why there were protests when the police apparently thought there was no reason to even charge Zimmerman. When he heard that Zimmerman had been arrested he assumed that new evidence must have emerged. He later characterized the protests as, “a good thing, I guess, because we’re trying to learn the truth.” He recalled the protests starting off as local people, the national people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackon Jr. getting involved.

Asked about crime in his neighborhood he said that he assumed there has been crime, but that he wasn’t personally aware of it. E54 affirmed that he would base his verdict on the evidence produced in court.

Interestingly, E54 noted that his own son dresses in the same way as Trayvon had, and like Juror E6 he had used the event to instruct his son “just to be careful, people who wear that outfit can be misconstrued.”

Notably, when questioned by the defense in the final voir dire, E54 stated that to “speculate means I don’t have all the facts. I would have to add assumptions.”

Alternate B72

B72 was first questioned by the Court on the third day of jury selection. He is a white or hispanic male in his 20s, and described himself as a “jack of all trades.” He is a young man who does maintenance at a school, and who, interestingly, competes in arm wrestling tournaments, which he described as his passion. He seems otherwise physically active as well, including spending time at the gym and competing when in high school in weight lifting, track, and football. Like the majority of jurors selected, B72 was first questioned in Court on the second day of jury selection. He has lived in Seminole county for 9 years.

Asked if he remembered when he first heard about the case, he answered that it was a memorable day because he had just done his first one-handed pull-up. He recalled that Zimmerman had been a “community patrol guard,” and answered “I don’t know,” when asked if Zimmerman had pursued Martin. The things that stuck in his mind about the case were the words “Zimmerman,” “Trayv-e-on,” (mispronounced), and “skittles.”

He said that he avoids the news because he does not want to be “brainwashed.”

Alternate E13

E13 was unusually first questioned by the Court on the third day of jury selection. She is a young white woman who currently goes to college and works two jobs. Her affect in court was giggly and light-hearted. She has lived in Seminole country for 17 years, is unmarried and has no children.

She recalled hearing that the shooting was a “racial thing,” based on the things the Martin family had said, and added, “A lot of people think that.” Still, when asked for her own thoughts on the matter she responded, “I don’t really know.”

She noted that her stepfather has a few firearms, and the she has gone to the range with him at least one time.

Alternate E28

E28 was also first questioned by the Court on the third day of jury selection. She is a middle-aged white woman who works as a nurse. She has resided in Seminole county for about three decades. She has been married for 29 years, and has two adult children. She once before served a juror in Texas more than 30 years prior, and enjoyed the experience.

She expressed little knowledge of the case, and that she’s nothing good or bad about Zimmerman. The case was not a matter of discussion in her social circles, and she said she “purposely did not” research or rad about the case after receiving the jury summons.

In response to defense questioning in the final voir dire on the matter of circumstantial evidence she noted that, “You would have to not be able to hold much credibility to circumstantial evidence, because it’s circumstantial, it’s not to be something you can conclude on.”

On the matter of the higher standard of proof in criminal compared to civil trials, she said she did not have any problem with that, because “like you said earlier” (responding to O’Mara), “it’s taking someone’s liberties away instead of just property.”

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense,” now available in its just released 2nd Edition, which shows you how to successfully fight the 20-to-life legal battle everyone faces after defending themselves. UPDATE: July 5, 2013 is the LAST DAY to take advantage of the 30% pre-order discount, only $35, plus free shipping. To do so simply visit the Law of Self Defense blog.

BREAKING: “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition” is now also being carried by, at list price but with a commitment for 2-day delivery.  A Kindle version to come within a week or so (I hope).

Many thanks to Professor Jacobson for the invitation to guest-blog on the Zimmerman trial here on Legal Insurrection!

You can follow Andrew on Twitter on @LawSelfDefense (or @LawSelfDefense2 if I’m in Twitmo, follow both!)on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.


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Andrew, This is the best trial coverage I’ve ever read. Keep up the amazing work! (Though today seems you are rehashing old coverage, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes a re-cap helps to organize things in a tidy manner).

How each of the Voir Dire responses provides an insight into the jurors will pale in reaction to the actual evidence presented.

As an analogy, everyone can say how they might react in a stressful situation, but until the situation arises, no one can be 100% sure how they might react to it. I am really looking forward to seeing the State’s actual case, and how the Defense responds to it. I would like to think of myself with this outstanding coverage, as somewhat of an “armchair juror”.

If we can get the same information that the jury gets, it will be interesting to see how opinions form in the forums that might be a mirror into how the jury deliberations are progessing.

    We did, indeed, recycle some prior content for this post. That prior content of the jurors, however, had previously been spread over disparate posts–the pre-trial publicity voir dire, the State’s voir dire, and the defense voir dire. For each of the final jurors (and alternates) we went back through all the prior jury coverage, picked out the relevant portions of each juror, and combined them for ease of reading here.

    But don’t worry, hot, fresh, new trial content kicks in again today, with the launch of the trial proper and opening statements.

    Personally, I can’t wait to hear the State’s theory of the case.

Joey Williams | June 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm

What’s the point in using Letter/Number designations for the jurors (i.e. “B76”)? Their faces have been broadcast on television, and the amount of personal information released makes any hope of anonymity a joke.

Given how easy it is to locate people via the Internet, I find it impossible to believe that these jurors won’t find reporters at their door, and receive phone calls from individuals on both sides of the issues. While there may be rules regarding contact by parties to the judicial proceedings, what (if anything) is preventing correspondents for the MSM from seeking to interview the jurors?

I don’t see why juror information needs to be made public at all. I have served on juries in the past, but I always assumed that the information I provided on questionnaires was confidential. Given the detailed information I see in this posting, I certainly feel like if I am ever called for jury duty in the future I’ll come up with a reason to be excused so I don’t find details of my daily life written up in the media and on the Internet.

I still find it ironic that a jury of his ‘peers’ is all-female.

    healthguyfsu in reply to georgfelis. | June 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I’d guess that women is the compromise the defense used to eliminate racially-charged individuals from infiltrating the jury panel.

E6 I will bet is the “opinion leader” on the jury, which is often NOT the foreman/person/thingy.

Thanks for the overview.

[…] the trial kicks into gear this week, Legal Insurrection has a very detailed look at the jurors and how they answered questions during the jury selection […]