(h/t Heather at VideoCafe)
I just watched the interview with Anderson Cooper and Juror B-37 from the Zimmerman trial. This juror is a middle-aged white woman with two daughters in their 20s, married to an attorney. She had signed with a literary agency for a book deal brokered by her husband, apparently, but the agency backed out of the deal after some significant backlash and a Change.org petition that was on the verge of going viral.
After watching this interview, I think there should be an investigation into whether or not the jury properly deliberated. According to reports, the jury asked two questions. The first was for a full evidence list and the second was for clarification on the definition of manslaughter. That question was not answered. Instead, the jury acquitted him about an hour later.
On the first round of voting, the split was 3-2-1, with three not guilty votes, 2 manslaughter votes and 1 second-degree murder vote.
According to juror B-37 in this interview, there were a "couple of them in there that wanted to find him guilty of something."
Well, that more or less implies this juror was bent on finding him NOT guilty, doesn't it?
When Cooper started to question this juror about the evidence, she confused the defense medical examiner witness with the friend of Zimmerman's who swore he knew it was Zimmerman screaming for help because he was a medic in Vietnam who could recognize his buddies' cries for help. And then things got very interesting. Here's the transcript of the clip, with some commentary from me.
COOPER: What did you think of George Zimmerman?
JUROR: I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place, but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods, and wanting to catch these people so badly, that he went above and beyond what he really should have done. But I think his heart was in the right place. It just went terribly wrong.
COOPER: Do you think he's guilty of something?
JUROR: I think he's guilty of not using good judgment. When he was in the car and he called 911, he shouldn't have gotten out of that car. But the 911 operator also, when he was talking to him, kind of egged him on. I don't know if it's their policy to tell them what to do, not to get out of the car, to stay in their car. But I think he should have said, stay in your car, not can you see where he's gone.
Projecting a bit there? "George" had his heart in the right place? What evidence led her to that conclusion? The remark about fcking punks always getting away? Yes, surely that's having his heart in the right place. As to the 911 dispatcher, did she miss the part where they told him they didn't need him to follow Trayvon Martin? The exact words were "OK, we don't need you to do that."
Furthermore, not using good judgment does not suggest he was afraid of a damn thing. Not one damn thing. If he was afraid, he would have stayed in his car and let the cops handle it.
Memo to Juror B-37: If the guy really had his heart in the right place he damn well should have stayed in that car, especially when the 911 dispatcher did NOT egg him on, but simply said we don't need you to be following the guy.
COOPER: Do you feel George Zimmerman should have been carrying a gun?
JUROR: I think he has every right to carry a gun. I think it's everyone's right to carry a gun. As long as they use it the way it's supposed to be used and be responsible in using it.
COOPER: George Zimmerman obviously did not testify, but his testimony essentially was brought into the trial through those videotapes, a number of videotapes. He walked police through a re-enactment of what he said happened. How important were those videotapes to you?
JUROR: I don't really know, because I mean, watching the tapes, there's always something in the back saying, is it right? Is it consistent? But with all the evidence of the phone calls, and all the witnesses that he saw, I think George was pretty consistent and told the truth, basically. I'm sure there were some fabrications, enhancements, but I think pretty much it happened the way George said it happened.
Wait, what? There were some "fabrications, enhancements" but it pretty much happened the way "George" said it did? WTF is that, exactly? Fabrications are LIES, Juror B-37. Lies should have cast doubt on Zimmerman's story, but instead, you went toward innocence? Any agenda hiding in the back of your pants like Zimmerman's gun?
COOPER: When George Zimmerman said that Trayvon Marten reached for his gun, there was no DNA evidence. The defense said, well, had testimony in, well, it could have gotten washed off in the rain or the like. Do you believe that Trayvon Martin reached for George Zimmerman's gun?
JUROR: I think he might have. I think George probably thought that he did, because George was the one who knew that George was carrying a gun. And he was aware of that.
COOPER: You can't say for sure whether or not Trayvon Martin knew that George Zimmerman was carrying a gun?
COOPER: So you can't say for sure whether or not Trayvon Martin reached for that gun?
JUROR: Right. But that doesn't make it right. I mean, it doesn't make it -- there's not a right or a wrong. Even if he did reach for the gun, it doesn't make any difference.
Oh, au contraire, little lady. It makes the difference between manslaughter and getting off without any consequences. You see, if the gun was stuffed into the back of Zimmerman's pants, how did Trayvon Martin know he had a gun? And if Martin knew Zimmerman had a gun, then why would he have jumped the dude in the first place? Furthermore, how does it come to pass that you ASSUME Trayvon Martin reached for the gun, but even if he didn't it doesn't matter?
You bet your lily white ass it matters. It's the very heart of the case, Madam Juror B-37.
Zimmerman has always been consistent in this. Zimmerman's story has always been that Trayvon reached for the gun so Zimmerman shot him. Always. The FEAR that Zimmerman claims to have felt comes from his belief that Trayvon was reaching for the gun, or so he claimed.
Without that fear, Zimmerman should have been convicted of manslaughter. So what I hear Juror B-37 saying is that they ignored the evidence in order to overlook manslaughter as a realistic verdict, and convinced the other jurors to go along with it .
For two days I've watched people I know and respect express their agony, deep disappointment, and yes, anger over this verdict. I've had empathy with the first two, but struggled with the anger piece because I fundamentally want to respect juries. Now I understand, because this interview made me angry too. I will let Shonda Rhymes (@drgoddess on Twitter), speak for me through her open letter to this juror.
You are a disgusting human being. And I find your desire to write a book after you set a child murderer free to be disgusting and that’s why I repeat the insult. You are a racist and could never think about what Trayvon Martin might have been thinking or feeling. Perhaps you need to read my Closing Argument.
You talked about how sorry you felt for George Zimmerman’s life, through your tears. Anderson Cooper had to collect himself when he realized you were only crying for “Georgie” and asked, “Do you feel sorry for Trayvon?,” to which you replied, “I feel sorry for both.”
See how you couldn’t even condescend to feel for Trayvon, alone, not even for a moment?
That’s how we know you’re a disgusting human being.
Juror B-37, don't judge Rachel Jeantel so harshly as you did in this interview, because here's the truth: Jeantel faced her own shortcomings to climb up on that stand and try to tell what she knew as truthfully as she knew how to tell it. You, on the other hand, didn't give a damn about the truth. If you did, you wouldn't have been codependent with "George" and convinced your fellow jurors to toss out the law in order to let your guy walk free.
You really are a disgusting human being.