In the days since 29-year-old George Zimmerman was acquitted of second degree murder and manslaughter charges, attention has shifted to the six female jurors who decided his fate.
One member of the jury, identified only as B-37, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Zimmerman and the teenager he says he shot in self-defense, Travyon Martin, were “both responsible for the situation they had gotten themselves into.” Four other jurors have since distanced themselves from her remarks and appealed for privacy.
“Serving on this jury has been a highly emotional and physically draining experience for each of us,” said the four jurors in a joint statement. “The death of a teenager weighed heavily on our hearts but in the end we did what the law required us to do.”
Juror B-37 will not be writing a book about the case. She said that because the jury was sequestered, she had been shielded “from the depth of pain that exists among the general public over every aspect of this case.”
NBC News reported that the Seminole County Court is making counseling available to the jury members because of how emotionally taxing the experience had been.
Richelle Nice, who was a juror in the high-profile murder trial of Scott Peterson, said she was not offered counseling, but that she could see why it would be necessary.
“You have the weight of the world on your shoulders, and you want to do what’s right,” said Nice on NewsNation Wednesday. “But you have to follow the law, and you have to follow what’s presented to you, so it’s a very definite struggle.”
Scott Peterson was convicted in 2004 of murdering his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son. Like the Zimmerman trial, Peterson’s received significant attention that, for Nice, has yet to dissipate.
“It’s nine years for me, and I still have people that recognize me, that come up to me,” she said. “You’re either loved or you’re hated, and I think in this case with the Zimmerman trial, they’re going to have a really rough road ahead of them.”
Note: George Zimmerman has sued NBC Universal for defamation. The company strongly denies the allegation.