All Female Jury in George Zimmerman Trial: What’s the Defense Thinking?

An all female jury will decide George Zimmerman’s ultimate fate for his alleged role in the murder of Trayvon Martin, multiple news outlets reported Thursday afternoon. The motivations for both sides, the prosecution as well as the homicide defense lawyers, to settle on this panel of Mr. Zimmerman’s peers are interesting, in that it appears one is taking a much riskier gamble than the other. How will the choice of these six women – five white and one minority – play out over the course of the trial? We have our theories, and of course, we’re going to share them.

Wooden gavel

Eliminating the Rogue Juror Element

A juror with an agenda is a nightmare scenario for the defense. This person can poison the deliberation process and effectively grind the proceedings to a halt with their preconceptions of the evidence and prejudgment of guilt or innocence. Weeding this type of juror out of the pool is critical for defense attorneys to have a legitimate chance at their theories being received and understood. The central thread, that Zimmerman acted in self-defense when he allegedly shot and killed Martin, can’t fall on deaf ears for them to win an acquittal in this matter.

Tough Sledding for the Defense Team

Legal pundits and established trial attorneys weighing in for media outlets have commented that the all-female jury may not buy the defense theory that Zimmerman legitimately feared for his life as easily as a jury dominated by men would. This, experts explain, is because of the tendency for women to avoid confronting problems head on, which would make Zimmerman’s decision to defense his life allegedly, less plausible. Ultimately, the presentation of facts, and the jury examining those facts with an open mind, is what’s going to make all the different in their final decision.

Decorative Scales Of Justice In The Courtroom

Foundations for a Conviction Appeal?

The old legal saying goes that a guilty verdict is just the foundation of a solid appeal. Zimmerman is Hispanic, and only one minority exists on the entire jury, including the four alternates. In addition, there are just two male alternates, meaning that this selection may have been a strategic maneuver on the part of the defense. In the event that the jury chooses to find Zimmerman guilty for Trayvon Martin’s murder, his defense lawyers may argue that he didn’t receive a fair trial because the jury’s makeup carried an inherent racial bias. Will that be successful? It’s anyone’s guess at this stage of the game, but it’s a possible avenue.

Reports indicate that the jury’s racial makeup mirrors that of Seminole County, which is predominantly white (78.5 percent) and 16.5 percent black. This trial may be the biggest of the year and one the highest profile in recent memory. Zimmerman receiving fair treatment is crucial for the integrity of the system.

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