There were some interesting, and sometimes shocking, revelations about a couple of today’s prospective jurors.  One was prospective juror E73, who stated that she doesn’t “own a gun, I can’t conceive of being armed, I can’t conceive of shooting someone.”  This might make here an awkward juror on a case that is likely to center on an act of armed self-defense by a lawfully armed civilian.  Then there was R39, who simply disbelieved in the legal possibility of killing in lawful self defense, saying that “murder’s murder, no matter what. Even if it’s self-defense.  Self-defense doesn’t make it right to kill somebody.”  He was promptly dismissed by the Court after the State’s questioning, without any need for the defense to question him.

Far more disturbing, however, was prospective juror E7.  Although he claimed, when questioned by the State, that he had arrived at “no conclusion” in this case, after extensive questioning by the defense, this happened:

It would emerge after extensive questioning by the defense that he had, back in March 21, 2012, actively posted on a Facebook page, “Coffee Party Progressives.”  This Facebook page was strongly pro-Trayvon, and anti-Zimmerman, with one poster commenting:  “I say give the guy [Zimmerman] some skittles and an iced tea and shoot him in the head.” (We do not know whether any of the content captured in the screen captures below is that of E7, only that they represent the content posted on the page on the same date the Court determined E7 had posted.)

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It appeared, in short, to be a deliberate attempt by E7 to deceive the court as to his state of mind in order to obtain a seat on the jury, deny Zimmerman his Constitutional rights to a fair and impartial jury, and obtain an improper conviction of Zimmerman for murder in the second degree.

Details of this event drawn from today’s summary of day 3 of the jury selection process:

Prospective Juror E7

E7 is a white male, in his 50’s, who works in the entertainment industry (a musician and a painter) but says he is currently “underemployed” and “things are slow.” At first he was relatively interested in the case, and thought that if the police didn’t arrest Zimmerman, there must have been a reason for that.  He feels that someone has a right to defend themselves, and shouldn’t be arrested for doing so lawfully.

Later two things changed that impacted his thoughts and actions.  One, Zimmerman was finally arrested.  Since the facts of the case didn’t change, He wondered why the arrest didn’t happen in the first place, and believed that he should have been, since he was now.  The other thing that changed was how heated the debate became, at which point he consciously decided to avoid the case and not discuss it further.

E7 says he made a conscious decision to avoid the case and not discuss it to prevent “making enemies,” and that he stopped talking about the case after he saw people around him “get so heated.”   He believes, he said, that “all these suppositions don’t mean anything,” and that he’s heard recording in the case but didn’t come to any conclusions.  He recalled seeing pictures of “alleged” damage to Zimmerman’s head.  He said he believed that if someone’s within their right to defend themselves, they shouldn’t be arrested.  He said he was aware that there’s a dispute about who is screaming on the 911 audio, but that “I haven’t formed a conclusion.”

Curiously, after a busy bench conference Judge Nelson addressed E7 directly, asking him if he had made a number of Facebook posts she held in her hand, on a page called “Coffee Party Progressives.”  He indicated that he had.  Judge Nelson sends him from the room and confirms for the record that he had made a relevant Facebook post on March 21, 2012.

NOTE:  In the interests of better informing Legal Insurrection readers on this matter, I took the liberty of examining the “Coffee Party Progressives” Facebook page and comments from March 21, 2012.  Although the comments are identified by individual name, we have no knowledge that any of the individual commenters are, or are not, prospective jurors in the Martin case, and are not suggesting that to be either the case or not.  Nor do we have any knowledge that any of the images below are of the post referenced by Judge Nelson in court today as those posted by prospective juror E7.  The images below are provided solely to give Legal Insurrection viewers a sense of the “flavor” of the “Coffee Party Progressives” Facebook page and its commenters.

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[Note — The title of this post was changed shortly after publication to better reflect the content of the page in question.]

Andrew F. Branca is a MA lawyer with a long-standing interest in the law of self defense.  He authored the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense” (second edition shipping June 22–save 30% and pre-order TODAY!), and manages the Law of Self Defense web site and blog.  Many thanks to the Professor for the invitation to guest-blog on the Zimmerman trial here on Legal Insurrection!


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