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George Zimmerman Trial Live Updates: Jury Selection Reveals Interesting Cast Of Characters

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Jury selection in George Zimmerman's murder trial resumes in Florida on Friday, following four days of interviews with an interesting mix of candidates. The potential jurors have varied in age, race and education, as well as in personal and religious beliefs.

Court watchers have seen a broad spectrum of prospects. Some were undecided and open-minded, while others were candid -- and occasionally bizarre.


The most notable include:

  • An apparent transplant from the 1800s who referred to Trayvon Martin as "a boy of color."
  • A young landscaper who said, "I'm not a person who really cares about other people."
  • A local resident and "Law & Order" junkie who was disappointed the shooting happened in her town: "This really didn't need to happen in Sanford."
  • A young arm-wrestler, and apparent conspiracy theorist, who remembers the shooting because it happened the same day he did his first one-armed pull-up. "I have a dark view of the media ... I don't want to be brainwashed," he said.
  • A middle-aged female who is married to a retired police officer, gets her news from AOL, and believes in the right to carry arms. "I think he was just defending himself ... I consider myself better educated. My opinion is pretty firm," she said.
  • A Hispanic man who said Zimmerman is guilty because he broke God's law: "The 10 Commandments say don't kill."
  • A member of a pro-Travyon Martin Facebook group who was apparently caught trying to sneak his way onto the jury.
  • A potential juror who said he gets his news from Fark, a partner of HuffPost Weird News.

Since Monday, 24 potential jurors have made it through questioning about pretrial publicity. Eighty-five others, from an initial pool of 500 Sanford-area residents, have been deemed unsuitable to sit on the jury.


Zimmerman, 29, stands charged in the death of 17-year-old Martin. Zimmerman shot and killed Martin as the teen was walking from a Sanford convenience store to the home of his father's fiancee on Feb. 26, 2012. Defense attorneys argue that Martin attacked Zimmerman, who acted in self-defense. Prosecutors have deemed Martin's death an instance of second-degree murder.

If the first four days of jury selection are any indication, day five should be equally interesting.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 9:00 a.m. EST.

Read below for minute-by-minute updates from court Friday:

"He's a wannabe cop!" Bernie de la Rionda closing out the #ZimmermanTrial

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The judge has called recess. She told the jury they will be brought back into court Monday at 9 a.m. for opening arguments.

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The jury has been sworn in. They have been given a packet on the sequestration process.

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Those summoned to court that were not selected to sit on the jury have been dismissed.

"You are free to go," the judge said.

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The judge just asked Zimmerman if he is happy with decisions that have been made by his attorneys and whether he accepts the jury panel. He said yes to both questions.

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The alternates are

E54: A white man. E73: A white woman. B72: A young man, possibly Hispanic.

E13: A white female college student.

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All six Zimmeman jurors are women. Six are white and one is Hispanic.

E6: Stay-at-home mom and a victim of domestic violence.

E40: A white woman in her 60s. Moved to Florida from Iowa after the shooting.

B37: White woman who is an animal lover.

B51: Retired call center manager.

B29: Hispanic nurse with eight children. She moved to Florida from Illinois after the shooting.

B76: A white woman.

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The judge is listing the jurors and asking both sides if they have peremptory strikes against any of them.

B12 - Strike by prosecution because of comments she made visiting Zimmerman's website.

B86 - Strike by prosecution because she said Trayvon had been expelled from school and shooting would not have occurred if that had not happened.

B29 - No strike.

E6 - Strike by prosecution because she said she was concerned about being sequestered and expressed an opinion about the difficulty of sending someone to prison. The judge denied the strike.

B76 - Strike by prosecution because she had asked why Martin was out late buying candy. The judge denied the strike.

B7 - Strike by defense.

B37 - No strike.

B51 - No strike.

E40 - No strike.

B35 Strike by prosecution.

E54 - No strike.

E73 - No strike.

M75 - Strike by defense. Defense said they are concerned because she is a friend and co-worker of a witness in the case and did not disclose it.

B72 - No strike.

E22 - Strike by defense. Defense concerned because she said police should have been more active and her pastor of 19 years, with whom she works for, wrote a "pointed letter" to the Orlando Sentinel that was "very pro-Trayvon." The pastor also allegedly gave a sermon that he was in favor of Martin's side. The defense said they consider her to be "somewhat stealth" because she did not disclose the information.

E13: No strike.

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De la Rionda has asked to strike P67, for cause. The prosecutor said the potential juror has limited understanding of the English language and has said serving would be a hardship.

O'Mara objected. He said the juror can understand English.

The judge declined to excuse the juror for cause.

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Court is back in session

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O'Mara has finished addressing the jury. The judge has called the afternoon recess. The live blog will continue when the trial resumes at about 2:15 p.m. Eastern time.

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O'Mara asked the potential jury members if Martin's age or race should be given "special consideration." Nobody said yes.

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O'Mara is talking to the jury about guns and carry permits.

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"I'm getting very close to being done," O'Mara said.

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O'Mara asked the potential jury if they thought neighborhood watch programs are "a good thing or a bad thing." They all agreed it is a good thing.

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The potential jurors are discussing their personal experiences with crime.

"My nephew was shot and killed ... It was a home invasion, he was shot through the door," E-73 said.

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O'Mara is discussing Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law with the potential jurors.

The law states a person may use justifiably force in situations where they have reasonable fear of an unlawful threat.

More on the law: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/stand-your-ground

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The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

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The instructions state that the use of deadly force is allowed if the person reasonably believes his or her life or the life of another is in danger.

More about Florida law on self-defense: http://www.husseinandwebber.com/florida-law-self-defense-use-of-force.html

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The judge just read a portion of the self-defense jury instructions to the potential jurors.

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O'Mara started to read the self-defense jury instructions to the potential jurors.

"You must judge him by the circumstances in which he was surrounded at the time the force was used," O'Mara said.

The prosecution objected and now the attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

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"I think that when your life is in danger ... you kinda just react," a potential juror said.

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O'Mara is asking the jury about their thoughts on people taking the law into their own hands.

"If there's sufficient reason to take the law into your own hands should you?" he asked.

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"I don't think God gives us common sense ... I think we get common sense from our life experiences," O’Mara said.

The defense attorney was referencing a comment de la Rionda made to the jury yesterday, in which he said the jury should use their "God-given common sense."

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"You make assumptions as you move through life [and] you have to be careful decisions you make on the outside don't come in [the courtroom]," O’Mara said.

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O’Mara is talking to the jury about how they make "everyday decisions" in their lives.

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The Huffington Post is live blogging Friday's testimony. Check back here for updates.

Related on HuffPost:

Trayvon Martin Timeline
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