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Shanice Patrella
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Shanice Patrella   My Press Releases

Trial By Jury: My Experience 2 of 2

Published on 7/18/2013
For additional information  Click Here

Once the individual voir dire was completed by both the prosecuting and defense attorneys it tok them about 24 hours to come to a decision to the 10 people that they would go ahead and select to the be on the case for George Zimmerman vs. The State of FL on behalf of Trayvon Martin.

 

I can tell you that some of the line of questioning during the voir dire gave subtle hints about how each attorney was going to go ahead and try his case. The questions that the defense attorneys asked had more to do with the stand Your Ground Law and the knowledge of the castle doctrine that had been adopted just a few years ago by Florida legislature. They also inquired about the use of the neighborhood watch and our knowledge of how the process actually works.

 

Choosing a jury that is going to be impartial must have been extremely difficult for this particular case because of the certain attention that the case has gotten and since many of the details of the case had been given to the media before the attorneys had even stepped into the courtroom.

 

I believe the reason that I had not been chosen for this certain jury was not due to race (contrary to popular belief) but because I had knowledge of the case, I knew certain witnesses and because I had been so plugged into the social media. I, personally, do not watch too much news. I feel that many of the “personalities” that you see on TV have certain biases and sometimes those are hard to ignore when they give strong arguments to why they feel that way. I am “plugged in” as far as it comes to social networking. I am active on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Google+, among many other things where there is a lot of personal opinion about how certain people feel. It is definitely hard to get away from those feelings. It is even harder, had I been selected from the jury to unplug myself from these sources of information.

 

For this case, the jury had been sequestered which means that the court was able to determine a secret location for the jurors to stay for the duration of the trial with very limited contact to the outside world. For those that had watched any part of the trial, at the conclusion of the day the judge would instruct the jury not to watch, listen to, or create any social media profiles or blogs that reveal details or opinions of this case. That definitely would have been one of the hardest parts for me!

 

Now that the trial is over, I had a chance to stop and think about some important things that people really do have to consider before criticizing the jury on their decision. Firstly, if you live in Florida it is most likely that you were able to watch the trial with the minute-by-minute coverage that most of the major news stations were broadcasting. People have to realize that a lot of what happened in the courtroom, the jury did not witness. The decisions made by the judge who to allow, the motions that were filed, and the attempt to add 3rd degree murder by child abuse. The jury is completely unable to consider any of that information because they were NOT in the courtroom when these things were presented. The public has almost more knowledge than the jury was able to consider.

 

Whether you agree or not, the verdict is the verdict. Zimmerman was acquitted for both second degree murder and manslaughter simply because the state was unable to prove their case. They were unable to provide sufficient evidence (both direct and circumstantial) that would conflict with the fact that George Zimmerman may have been protecting himself. I know there are a lot of people who are on either side and I find it almost appalling the way the public has been acting. A good friend of mine is childhood friends with George Zimmerman and was present for much of the trial. Even HE had to face the media and the blatant ignorance of people.

 

It is a sad day in America when you cannot defend yourself and you are found in a court of law that you are not guilty. I am fairly happy that I did not get onto that jury because anonymity is something that I do not handle very well… I would just say god speed to both families in their time of hardship because neither will be the same again

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