SANFORD, FL – The unique makeup of an all-female jury in the George Zimmerman murder trial has been under intense media scrutiny since the panel was seated on Thursday, after a two-week jury selection process.
Despite their uniformity in gender, the six jurors that will decide Zimmerman's fate in the death of Trayvon Martin come from a diverse section of society.
In all, 211 people were quizzed by attorneys about their views on firearms, crime, race and self-defense. Of the six women picked, one is a light-skinned black woman of Hispanic descent.
B29, described in open court by the prosecution as "black or Hispanic," is a married mother of eight children. Likely in her 30s, she is a recent transplant to central Florida from Chicago and works the overnight shift as a nurse in a facility for patients of dementia & Alzheimer's disease.
A churchgoer, she said she first saw T-shirts of Trayvon Martin in Chicago but has not followed the case. She said that there are many murders and shootings in Chicago and the Martin shootings did not initially stand out. She also revealed that she doesn't watch or read news but likes Bravo reality TV shows and "drama" movies.
She raised her hand when the large jury pool was asked if anyone had ever been arrested. She implied that it had been years ago in Chicago.
As for the other jurors, B76 is a white female in her late 50s or 60s. A resident of Seminole county since the 1990s, she has two adult children, including one who is a lawyer. She said that once, while discussing the case, her daughter questioned why Martin was out so late before his encounter with Zimmerman. Yet she said she has "open mind" about Zimmerman case.
She said she only watches local TV news because she does not have cable. During her initial questioning by lawyers, she pointed to the Martin family section in the gallery and asked out loud, "Is that his mom?"
B37 is an animated White middle-aged woman, likely in her 50s. Married with daughters, she follows NBC local news and is a regular “Today Show” watcher. She volunteers for animal rescue groups and keeps "lots of cats," dogs, birds and lizards at her house.
Notably, B37 said she once had a concealed weapons permit but let it expire. Her husband does have such a permit and owns firearms. She also said that the state should provide more instructions and guidance to people who get this permit.
E6 is a white blonde female, likely in her 30s, who often wears business suits to court. Unemployed, she worked previously in financial services. She is a mother of an 11- and 13-year-old. An avid news watcher, she asked a lot of questions during the voire dire process. She also said that she is a victim of domestic violence and that was arrested once in the 1990s.
Both E6 and B76 were initially striked by the prosecution, each side had as many as 10 peremptory challenges, but the judge rescinded the strikes after Zimmerman lead defense attorney challenged their validity on a "gender neutral" basis.
B51 is an elderly white female in her late 60s or early 70s. Retired from multiple careers, she once ran a call center. She said she did not follow the Zimmerman/Martin case because she was dealing with the estate of her uncle who passed away recently. She called the Martin shooting "very sad."
E40 is a white female in her 60s, who just moved to Seminole County, Fla., from Iowa. She learned about the case from national NBC. She has the newspaper delivered on Sundays but she said "didn't have time" to follow Zimmerman case because she was "too busy" at work.
The jury has had their identity protected by Judge Debra Nelson due to the intense national media attention that the case has garnered. Nelson granted a defense motion, which was agreed to by the state, that asked to hold the jurors' names anonymous until a period of time after the trial was concluded. The defense had initially argued for six months but Nelson said she would define the exact duration at a later time.