On Monday, one of the six jurors in the George Zimmerman trial spoke to Anderson Cooper on CNN with her identity concealed, and told Cooper that Zimmerman had justification for shooting Trayvon Martin because he thought his life was in danger.
Juror B-37, who was the child of a member of the military, formerly carried a legal concealed weapon, and is the mother of two children, said that race was not a factor in Zimmerman’s actions and that Zimmerman did not racially profile Martin.
She said of her fellow jurors, “All of us thought race did not play a role,” and added that she believed Martin had initiated the fight that led to his death and had also thrown the first punch. She said of Martin, “I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him,” and of Zimmerman, “He had a right to defend himself.”
Juror B-37 also acknowledged that an initial poll of the six women on the jury showed three believed Zimmerman not guilty, two thought he should be convicted of manslaughter, and one wanted the most severe charge of second-degree murder. She said:
There was a couple of them in there that wanted to find him guilty of something. And after hours and hours and hours of deliberating over the law, and reading it over and over and over again, we just decided there’s no other way or place to go (but acquittal.)
But she said most and possibly all of the jurors thought it was Zimmerman’s voice, not Martin’s that was calling for help on the 911 call Zimmerman made. She said, “I think it was George Zimmerman’s. All but probably one (juror agreed).”
She stated that the jury had worked hard to reach a decision, and shed tears before they came to their final agreement: “I want people to know that we put everything into it. We thought about it over and over.”
She said the only mistake Zimmerman made was to follow Martin after an emergency dispatcher had warned him to avoid doing so, and concluded that nothing would have happened if both Zimmerman and Martin had walked way from each other. She said, “I feel sorry for both of them.”