By: Taren Vaughan
The six jurors in Zimmerman trial were allowed to spend hours of time alone with their families and friends during trial? The outcome of the Trayvon Martin murder trial has caused thousands of citizens across the nation to get involved in the fight for justice. And a number of Black celebrities are doing everything in their power to help with the cause, including boycotting the state of Florida until changes are made to the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. As for the individuals who were directly involved in the trial, Trayvon’s friend and the prosecution’s key witness Rachel Jeantel got a chance to offer her opinion on the verdict and so did one of the jurors who voted for George Zimmerman to be found not guilty.
Juror B37 recently did an interview with Anderson Cooper and as expected, her interview caused more outrage to surface with the responses she gave to the questions she was asked about the trial. She even mentioned that three of the jurors initially wanted to vote Zimmerman guilty but ended up changing their minds. Looking at the makeup of the jury, many people felt Trayvon didn’t stand a chance. However, a new bit of information has raised eyebrows as it is being reported that the six women who served on the jury were sequestered during the trial but were allowed to spend hours alone with their friends and family members, WFTV Channel 9 reports:
Channel 9’s Kathi Belich confirmed the jurors were left unsupervised with guests at times, which WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said is more than enough time for a member to have said something that could have influenced a juror and possibly impacted the verdict.
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said Judge Debra Nelson allowed jurors generally no more than two hours of alone time with visitors once a week.
Nelson didn’t decide until three days into the trial to sequester the jury after potential jurors voiced concerns about their privacy and safety.
Channel 9 obtained the agreement the judge had all of the jurors’ visitors sign in which they agreed “the case or anything even remotely related to the case must not be talked about.”
According to legal analyst Bill Sheaffer, Judge Debra Nelson allowing the jurors to have unsupervised visits can bring about heavy criticism and cause people to question the verdict’s integrity:
“It only takes two seconds for an inappropriate comment to be made to a juror by a family member inadvertently or otherwise to possibly affect the verdict, how they look at the case,” Sheaffer said.
The law says it’s up to the judge to decide how far to take the sequestration of jurors.
And there are questions being raised now about juror B37, who reportedly signed with a literary agent hours after the verdict and about when she and her husband discussed a plan to write a book.
“We’ll never know unless someone comes out and admits it, and what are the chances of that?” said Sheaffer.
At this point, WFTV Channel 9 has not been informed as to whether or not Juror B37 or any other members of the jury did anything wrong while the trial was taking place.