Day 2 of jury selection in George Zimmerman murder trial ends

Juror questioning focused on media coverage before trial

SANFORD, Fla. - Day 2 of jury selection in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial has ended with lawyers questioning potential jurors on what they know and have heard about the case.

[Chat recap  | Mobile users, view Local 6's full site to see chat | Video:Report from courtroom]

Another 100 potential jurors walked through the doors of the courthouse on Tuesday morning.  Of the 100 jurors from Monday, 41 potential jurors were dismissed, with 40 being dismissed before individual attorney questioning. One juror was dismissed after individual attorney questioning.

Eleven potential jurors were questioned on Tuesday. Even though Trayvon Martin's death caused a national media firestorm, it apparently didn't get the attention from many remaining potential jurors.

"Don't have paper, don't have Internet, I live my life simple," one juror said.

Another, who said she loves animals, used said, "newspapers are used in the parrots cage."

One potential juror who heard about Martin's suspension drew the most contentious questioning.

"Being a single parent with two boys of my own, I'm very strict with them," the juror said. "I don't want to judge but I just want to say this could have been prevented had he not been up here."

In other words, no suspension in Miami, no trip to Sanford and no shooting.

Another juror, a black male and an avid Fox News viewer who said he took offense to Al Sharpton and other civil rights leaders leading protests before Zimmerman's arrest.

"I couldn't read the man's mind and tell if he wanted to kill the guy cause he was black or what I just figured that," the juror said. "Maybe they were met at the wrong point in time and things went wrong and they disagreed and something happened and I don't know what happened because I wasn't there but I don't think it was racially motivated."

At least one potential juror expressed concern that if they were to render an unpopular verdict they would be worried about retaliation from people in the community.

State attorney Bernie de la Rionda  and defense attorneys Mark O'Mara and Don West focused on questioning jurors on what they've learned about the case in the news and on social media.

Some jurors said they've noticed protests and events in the community and know much about the case, down to details like Zimmerman's injuries. Others said they didn't follow the case much at all and only saw opinions on Facebook.

Each juror will be interviewed, but ultimately, the court is only looking to identify six jurors who will determine if Zimmerman is guilty of the second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. An additional four alternate jurors are also being sought.

The potential jurors were introduced to Judge Debra Nelson, lawyers and Zimmerman, then handed a questionnaire that, a source tells Local 6, does not inquire very far beyond basic biographical data. Specifically, jurors were questioned about dealing with the hardship about sitting on a jury for perhaps six weeks.


The juror questionnaire will be released to the public when the jury is selected, officials said.

Nelson must also listen to final testimony, and then rule on whether voice recognition experts can be allowed to testify at trial. Pretrial testimony on whether experts could determine if Martin or Zimmerman was screaming for help on 911 calls took three days last week, but the matter is still unresolved.

After 16 months of questions, controversies and protests, the stage is carefully being set for Zimmerman's trial, which is expected to last more than a month.

The emotionally-charged case has drawn worldwide attention, sparking a national debate about race, equal justice and gun control.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in Martin's Feb. 26, 2012, shooting death. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.