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.”

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Woman, teenager found dead in Lake Erie; 2 missing

    The bodies of two of four missing boaters were recovered in western Lake Erie on Thursday, a day after the group left for an afternoon of fishing and sent pictures to relatives.

    April 18, 2014

  • Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

    Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that’s similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it’s not too hot and not too cold for life.
     

    April 18, 2014

  • Lordstown eyes fall rollout of updated Cruze

    Production of the updated Chevrolet Cruze is tentatively set to begin early this fall at the General Motors facility in Lordstown, a plant official confirmed.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • A year after background check defeat, modest goals

    Democratic worries about this November’s elections, a lack of Senate votes and House opposition are forcing congressional gun-control supporters to significantly winnow their 2014 agenda, a year after lawmakers scuttled President Barack Obama’s effort to pass new curbs on firearms.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • College Board provides a glimpse of new SAT

    Anxious students — not to mention their parents — can get a heads-up for how the redesigned SAT might look in two years.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Poll finds Clinton trouncing entire GOP field

    Hillary Clinton isn’t only the strong front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, but she’s well ahead of every potential Republican rival, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll.
     

    April 16, 2014

  • Ukraine bares teeth against eastern uprising

    In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, government forces repelled an attack Tuesday by about 30 gunmen at an airport, beginning what the president called an “anti-terrorist operation” to try to restore authority over the restive region.
     

    April 16, 2014

  • U.N. Security Council sees grim images of Syrian dead

    The U.N. Security Council fell silent Tuesday after ambassadors viewed a series of ghastly photographs of dead Syrian civil war victims, France’s ambassador said. The pictures showed people who were emaciated, with their bones protruding, and some bearing the marks of strangulation and repeated beatings, and eyes having been gouged out.

    April 16, 2014

  • U.S.: Russia causing Ukraine unrest

    The White House on Monday said there was “overwhelming evidence” that Russia is fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but suggested that President Barack Obama has not yet concluded that Vladimir Putin’s actions warrant broader sanctions on key Russian economic sectors.

    April 15, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

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