Trayvon Martin’s mother said today she is devastated after hearing the only minority on the all-female jury say that George Zimmerman got away with murder.
Syrbrina Fulton spoke after juror B29 told Robin Roberts she feels she is carrying the death of Trayvon Martin on her back and is hurting just as much as his grieving mother.
The juror, who is referred to only as Maddy, said that as a mother herself, she is having trouble eating and sleeping after acquitting the 29-year-old, and said she was sorry for letting Sybrina Fulton down.
‘She thought no one cared about her son,’ she told Robin Roberts. ‘I do care, but I could not do anything about it. I feel like I let them down.
‘I am carrying Trayvon Martin on my back. George Zimmerman is guilty of murder but I stand by the decision we made because of the law.’
Sybrina Fulton released a statement this morning saying: ‘It is devastating for my family to hear the comments from juror B29, comments which we already knew in our hearts to be true. That George Zimmerman literally got away with murder.’
This afternoon she told a National Urban League gathering in Philadelphia on Friday to use her tragedy to stop the same thing from happening to another child and she blamed Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law for allowing her son’s killer to go free.
The message, she said, is to use her son’s story to prevent other children from dying the same way.
‘My message to you is please use my story, please use my tragedy, please use my broken heart to say to yourself, “We cannot let this happen to anybody else’s child”.’
The nursing assistant was the first juror to come out and show her face after speaking on Good Morning America. She said she is not being paid and has no book deal but she wanted to come forward to tell her story.
The mother-of-eight also revealed she ‘fought to the end’ with the rest of the women as she initially believed he was guilty of second-degree murder and certainly manslaughter.
But even though they all ‘felt in their hearts he was guilty’, the evidence – or lack thereof – meant they could not convict.
‘George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can’t get away from God. And at the end of the day, he’s going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with,’ Maddy said. ‘[But] the law couldn’t prove it.
‘You can’t put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty. But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence.
‘That’s where I felt confused, where if a person kills someone, then you get charged for it,’ Maddy said. ‘But as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can’t say he’s guilty.’
When asked by Roberts whether the case should have gone to trial, Maddy said, ‘I don’t think so.’
‘I felt like this was a publicity stunt. This whole court service thing to me was publicity,’ she said.
The Puerto Rico native also revealed she is having trouble sleeping at night as she constantly wrestles with her conscience over whether she made the right decision or not.
‘As much as we were trying to find this man guilty…they give you a booklet that basically tells you the truth, and the truth is that there was nothing that we could do about it. I feel the verdict was already told.’
The revelation will undoubtedly reopen wounds and further divide the country.
A Washington Post-ABC poll released on Monday revealed that 81 per cent of African Americans said they did no approve of the verdict while 51 per cent of white people said they disapproved.
Maddy also said race never came into the jury’s deliberations – despite civil rights activists saying Martin was shot dead because he was black.
Prosecutors said Zimmerman, 29, racially profiled Martin – a claim disputed by the defense team.
Maddy is only the second juror to speak in a televised interview, and the first to show her face. When B37 appeared on Anderson Cooper’s CNN show, she appeared as a silhouette. She was widely criticized after saying Zimmerman’s ‘heart was in the right place’ when he followed Trayvon Martin, who she said threw the first punch.
The other jurors distanced themselves from her, especially after it came out she was planning on writing a book about the experience.