The George Zimmerman jury spoke first on July 13, 2013 and now the lone minority juror, B-29, speaks out for the first time in a July 25, interview with Robin Roberts and blames the law as the sole reason for the not guilty verdict, in what perhaps, appears to be an effort to assuage and appease her guilty conscience. Many African Americans waited to hear, if B-29 would speak, and now that she has given an interview, she only adds insult and fuel to the fiery feelings in the black community about the injustice of the verdict.
Juror B 29, a mother of 8 children, was new to Florida and lived in Chicago at the time of the killing of Trayvon Martin. In an effort to explain the verdict, she tells Robin Roberts that her first vote was for guilty for 2nd degree murder but as the deliberations wore on, she could not find anything in the law to support her verdict. She says there was a lack of evidence. And that’s where her story strays and leaves out some important details.
First, the jurors are bound to apply the law to the facts. And as jurors, they can discard some testimony and believe other testimony. And they cannot make assumptions but they can use their common sense. In order for the jury to find George Zimmerman not guilty of either 2nd degree murder or manslaughter, the jury must find Zimmerman’s various versions and major inconsistencies to be credible and other state witnesses’ to be non-credible. And juror B-29 who is a mother of 8 children should know better than anyone that when children lie, it’s because they either don’t want to tell the truth or have something to hide. That goes ditto for adults.
In reviewing the evidence and testimony, the jurors, including B 29 had to discard the testimony of Rachel Jeantell, Trayvon Martin’s friend, Selma Mora, the Hispanic neighbor who heard “the child” screaming and three other neighbors who along with Mora, saw Trayvon Martin on the bottom with George Zimmerman straddling and hitting him. B-29 apparently believed neighbor John Goode, the only neighbor who testified to seeing Trayvon Martin on top of George Zimmerman. And the jurors had to believe that Trayvon Martin did not have a right to defend himself against a man who had been suspiciously following him while he was en route home.
There were so many inconsistencies in the various versions that George Zimmerman told depending on to whom and when he was speaking. He told a different version to his best friend, Mark Osterman who wrote a book of Zimmerman’s account than he did to the police detectives. He told Osterman that Trayvon Martin touched his gun but to the detectives, a different version emerged. To Sean Hannity, Zimmerman knew nothing about Stand Your Ground but to his professor, he was the best student in an extensive course on Stand Your Ground. According to Zimmerman, his head was hit against concrete 25 times but he refused to go to the doctor’s or hospital for treatment. And Detective Serino testified that he believed the injuries were exaggerated because he wasn’t hurt that bad. Zimmerman did not recognize his voice on the 911 tape as the screams saying it didn’t sound like him.
It is difficult to find juror B-29 to be believable when she says the verdict was based on the law and the case lacked evidence. She left out that they applied the law to the facts. And to find that the defendant was not guilty of manslaughter or murder meant they believed George Zimmerman’s factual account, although she didn’t say which account they believed.
But for juror B-29 to blame the jury instructions as the reason for the verdict is quite frankly, disingenuous. B-29 clearly did not understand the definition of manslaughter which did not require any intent to kill as she states in her interview. She says they couldn’t find any intent to kill. The jury instructions read in part on manslaughter were: “In order to convict of manslaughter by act, it is not necessary for the State to prove that George Zimmerman had an intent to cause death, only an intent to commit an act that was not merely negligent, or excusable which caused death.” Juror B -29 who refers to herself as “Maddy” did not succumb to the jury instructions or lack of evidence but ultimately sided with the other 5 jurors after deliberating for 15 hours, most of it on day 2.
Juror B-29 would have been better to remain silent, if she was not going to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Juror B-29, like George Zimmerman, left out some important parts of the story.