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In Zimmerman Trial, Jury Selection Focuses on Pre-trial Publicity

June 12th, 2013 | WMFE - On day three of jury selection in George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial, attorneys are having a tough time finding jurors who aren't familiar with the case. Attorneys are asking potential jurors what they do know, where they learned it and how it might influence their ability to render a fair verdict.

[George Zimmerman returns to the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center - photo: Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel]

One-by-one, attorneys are interviewing potential jurors, asking questions like, How many times have you heard about the case?

Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked one potential juror what he remembered about Trayvon Martin.

"He had Skittles?"

Another potential juror, a black woman, was asked how she was affected by Fox News' coverage.

"Truthfully it didn't affect me one way or the other," she said. "I don't believe black people were being targeted, and you can't speculate without having the trial."

The law requires jurors to consider only evidence presented in the courtroom. Jurors are asked to forget virtually everything they've heard about the case.

Attorneys are getting closer to selecting six jurors and four alternates. At least 70 potential jurors have been dismissed. After they narrow the pool to 30, potential jurors will face more questioning on issues like guns.

Zimmerman will face trial in Sanford, the same place where he says he shot and killed Martin in self-defense.

Martin's parents told reporters they are encouraged by jury selection.

"We are encouraged that we as a family can get justice for our son, Trayvon," Tracy Martin said.


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