The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

June 17, 2013

Jurors share concerns, and opinions, on Trayvon Martin shooting

SANFORD, Fla. — Seminole County residents poured into the criminal courthouse in Florida last week as potential jurors for the trial of George Zimmerman. By the dozens, most were sent back home.

The first week of jury selection focused on pretrial publicity: what jurors know and how they feel about the Feb. 26, 2012, fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Only 28 jurors survived that test. They will return to court Tuesday. Attorneys will continue questioning on those topics Monday with potential jurors they haven’t gotten to yet.

Though many were dismissed without being called to the courtroom, jurors questioned by attorneys in the case gave frank assessments of the shooting and its aftermath. Their thoughts were varied - and, at times, harsh.

Last week was difficult for Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, who were in court each day sitting through jury selection.

At times, prospective jurors had harsh things to say about their son - and their parenting.

On Tuesday, a middle-aged white woman who works in a middle school and was identified as prospective juror B-86 criticized them as parents. Trayvon had been expelled from school, she said — in reality he’d been suspended 10 days.

If not for that, she said, he would not have been in Sanford instead of at home in Miami Gardens, and there would have been no confrontation with Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

“This could have been prevented,” the woman said.

Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda asked the woman whether she could put that out of her mind if Trayvon’s status at school was not among the pieces of evidence admitted at trial.

“I can’t guarantee anything,” said the woman, who later was among a group of prospective jurors asked to return Tuesday for broader questioning.

Earlier that day, prospective juror B-7, a middle-aged white man who described himself as open-minded, said he’d heard reports that Trayvon was “sort of a thug looking for a fight.” He, too, was asked to come back Tuesday.

Trayvon’s parents did not respond to either of those comments directly. But after the trial ended that day, they appeared before reporters alongside family attorney Benjamin Crump, who read a prepared statement.

“We are inspired by the honesty of the potential jurors. Their answers have been forthright and we have faith that the justice system and the members of the public who are selected for the jury will perform their civic duty in a fair and impartial manner.”

Text Only
World, nation, state
  • U.S. blasts Israel for Kerry criticism

    The Obama administration pushed back strongly Monday at a torrent of Israeli criticism over Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest bid to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, accusing some in Israel of launching a “misinformation campaign” against the top American diplomat.

    July 29, 2014

  • Outlook on Medicare finances improves

    Medicare’s finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program’s giant hospital trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year’s estimate.

    July 29, 2014

  • Plan to simplify 2015 health renewals may backfire

    If you have health insurance on your job, you probably don’t give much thought to each year’s renewal. But make the same assumption in one of the new health law plans, and it could lead to costly surprises.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hospital shooting suspect charged with murder

    A man accused of fatally shooting his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist at a suburban Philadelphia hospital complex before the doctor returned fire has been charged with murder.

    July 28, 2014

  • Man seeks video of Oklahoma City bombing

    One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

    July 28, 2014

  • Bill in Congress to help veterans with PTSD

    A group of lawmakers have joined together to help veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Post Traumatic Brain Injury (PTBI) and other war injuries get speedy medical treatment — and avoid Veteran’s Administration bureaucracy and Department of Defense lack of accountability.

    July 28, 2014

  • U.S.: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine

    Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists also has crossed the border.

    July 28, 2014

  • U.S. says Russia is firing across border into Ukraine

    Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.

    July 25, 2014

  • Gaza sides agree to lull but truce efforts stall

     Israel-Hamas fighting looked headed for escalation after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry failed Friday to broker a weeklong truce as a first step toward a broader deal and Israel’s defense minister warned Israel might soon expand its Gaza ground operation “significantly.”

    July 25, 2014

  • Planes with Ukraine bodies arrive in Netherlands

    Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the crash site which has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

    July 24, 2014

House Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video