Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine, July 15, 2013
After weeks of media speculation on what the jurors in George Zimmerman’s murder trial might be thinking, one of the six women who acquitted him spoke out for the first time tonight. The woman appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 in silhouette and was identified only by her juror number, B-37. While the verdict sparked protests across the country and a massive discussion on race, the juror says the issue never came up in deliberations. “I thought all of us did not think race played a role,” she said. George Zimmerman would have “profiled anybody who came in and acted strange,” regardless of race, she explained, because he was “overeager to help people” in his neighborhood.
The juror said she feels Zimmerman’s “heart was in the right place. It just went terribly wrong.” She noted that “it’s everyone’s right to carry a gun,” but Zimmerman shouldn’t have gotten out of his car. “I think he’s guilty of not using good judgment,” she said. However, she feels that at some point their “roles changed.” “Trayvon decided that he wasn’t going to let him scare him and get the one-over, up on him, or something,” she said. “And I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him.”
It was reported earlier that juror B-37 plans to write a book about her experience with her attorney husband, but Anderson Cooper said she insists they don’t want to profit from the case. She wanted the public to know that the jurors considered everything very carefully, and cried after they reached their verdict. “It was just hard, thinking that somebody lost their life, and there’s nothing else that could be done about it,” she said. “It’s a tragedy this happened, but it happened. And I think both were responsible for the situation they had gotten themselves into. I think both of them could have walked away. It just didn’t happen.”
Update: Well, that was fast. Juror B-37’s literary agent, Sharlene Martin, announced on Twitter just before midnight, “After careful consideration of the book project with Zimmerman #JurorB37, I have decided to rescind my offer of representation.” Moments later she posted a statement from the juror herself.