George Zimmerman trial: Attorneys continue jury-pool interviews

George Zimmerman trial: Attorneys continue jury-pool interviews

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Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, parents of Trayvon Martin, and their attorney, Benjamin Crump (2nd from left), are greeted by a family friend (left), Monday, June 10, 2013. (Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel) Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, parents of Trayvon Martin, and their attorney, Benjamin Crump (2nd from left), are greeted by a family friend (left), Monday, June 10, 2013. (Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel)
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SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

After a second day of jury selection in the George Zimmerman trial, attorneys on both sides have tried to make some headway through the potential jury pool of 500 people.  The process is expected to last all week, if not longer.

Attorneys been unable to find potential jurors who hadn't heard something about the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by the neighborhood watch volunteer.

By the end of the day Tuesday, dozens of potential jurors had been dismissed after filling out a questionnaire.  Attorneys need to find six jurors and four alternates. In Florida, 12 jurors are required only for criminal trials involving capital cases, when the death penalty is being considered.

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Juror "B-51," a retired, white woman, said it is pretty hard for people not to have some information about the Zimmerman case. 

"I haven't lived under a rock for the past year," she said.

Juror "B-35," a middle-aged black man, said he feels the case has been overly politicized and made into a big, racial issue.

"I don't know what happened, because I wasn't there, but I don't think it was racially motivated," he said of the shooting. 

He told the court that most of his friends were Trayvon Martin supporters, but when asked if he could keep an open mind and give all testimony "full and fair consideration," he replied, "Absolutely!" 

Juror "B-7," a middle-aged white man, said he didn't think Florida's so-called stand-your-ground law was necessary in the state given other self-defense laws that were in place prior to its passage.

He said he thought news media coverage of the case had been "speculative" and devoid of hard facts.

"Juror B-86," a single mother of two sons who works at a school, indicated she may have trouble ignoring news stories about Martin's suspension from high school at the time he was visiting Sanford.

Juror "B-65," the potential juror with the least knowledge of the case, was a middle-aged black woman who says she learned about it when a prayer was held at her church for the parties involved in the confrontation. She said she no longer owned a television.

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson has ordered that the identities of those in the jury pool remain anonymous and rejected a defense request to sequester the initial jury pool.

Defense attorneys asked potential jurors if being isolated during the trial would be a hardship, indicating they plan to ask Nelson to sequester the six jurors and four alternates.  Candidates who move on from the initial round of questioning about their knowledge of the case, face other rounds of interviews with the attorneys.

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In the meantime, the judge has yet to decide whether jurors will hear testimony from audio experts who analyzed a 911 call the night Martin was shot and killed.

Lawyers for Zimmerman say the screams on the call is their client calling out for help. But Martin's family argues it's Trayvon screaming out.

The judge hopes to continue the audio-expert hearing later this week.

Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder, a charge that could carry a life sentence if convicted. He claims he shot Martin in self-defense.

 

Information from wire services was used in this report.


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