From the beginning with the 911 operator telling George Zimmerman that they didn’t need for him to follow Trayvon Martin, to State Prosecutor Angela Corey bringing the charges against George Zimmerman, women have played a major role in this case. From the quiet grace of Sybrina Fulton enduring every mother’s nightmare of having to bury her child, to Judge Debra Nelson and the six diverse women on the jury who now have the fate of George Zimmerman in their hands, women have been front and center in the George Zimmerman trial. After giving the jury instructions by which the jury is bound to decide the case, applying the law to the facts, Judge Nelson turned the case over to the 6 women jurors.
These six women, ranging in ages from 30’s to 60’s, who now are deliberating the case know their decision will have an impact far beyond this case. Their faces or identity have not been revealed. We know very little about them, except 5 are white and one, B-29 is being described as Hispanic or black. Five are mothers, some are married, some are single, some are long time Seminole County residents and two jurors, B-29 and E-40, are new to the Sanford area and come from Chicago and Iowa, having lived there for less than one year. But their common thread of being women, is one that no one can predict how it will play out in the jury deliberations and discussions.
As a generalization, women often appear more interested in details so it was no surprise that their first question was to ask for an inventory of all of the evidence. Presumably, the question showed their intent to actually meticulously and methodically review the evidence and discuss the case. Prosecutor John Guy told them to start at the beginning. They deliberated for 3 ½ hours on Friday and retired to their hotel for the evening. Deliberations will continue on Saturday morning.
The points that the jury will need to decide are numerous. There are only one of three ways the case can be decided: guilty of 2nd degree murder; guilty of manslaughter or not guilty. Both sides made valid arguments. The focus of the defense’s argument was on reasonable doubt and not making assumptions. The State with John Guy’s closing argument rebutted the defense saying they can use their common sense.
If one thing might linger in these jurors’ minds and their own curiosity, it is the remarks made in rebuttal closing by John Guy, using the dummy model, as a demonstrative prop, to illustrate how the last moments of Trayon Martin’s life unfolded. And John Guy repeatedly told the jurors to practice on each other to see if George Zimmerman’s account of how Trayvon Martin sat on top of him while hitting him and if Zimmerman was still able to pull out his concealed gun underneath him and make a perfect shot into the heart. Guy says it’s impossible, according to Zimmerman’s account.
The pitch to jurors to use their common sense is one that should resonate well with women jurors. But perhaps, the one point that will resonate with at least one juror, E-6, a young white woman, is the notion that it is every child’s nightmare to be followed by a “creepy” stranger. Juror E6 said during jury selections, that she told her two adolescent children that this case is an example of what can happen if they go out at night. Perhaps, the main thing that will resonate most with the other mothers on the jury is the fact that Trayvon Martin was on his way home after buying candy. And George Zimmerman did not stay in his car.
While the jurors are told they cannot decide the case based on their emotions, no one can leave their background and feelings at the door during deliberations. And if they apply their common sense to the evidence, they will reach a verdict that will stun, sting and sentence George Zimmerman.