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George Zimmerman parents, juror speak out

Juror Speaks Out

One of the six women on the jury that found George Zimmerman not guilty told CNN's Anderson Cooper that it was one of the toughest decisions of their lives.

The interview, Monday night, revealed that the jury was split on its initial vote. Two jurors originally wanted to convict Zimmerman on manslaughter charges, with another wanting to convict for murder.

Juror B-37, who spoke out on television Monday, said she still believes both Zimmerman and Martin are somewhat at fault for what happened.She was among the three who thought Zimmerman should be found not guilty, based on the case presented by the prosecution.

"I think he's guilty of not using good judgment. When he was in the car and he called 911, he shouldn't have gotten out of that car," said Juror B-37.

Based on the evidence presented at trial and witness testimony, Juror B-37 said she believed Martin threw the first punch. She said it appeared Zimmerman truly felt his life was in danger.

When asked if she felt sorry for Trayvon Martin, she said that she continues to feel sorry for both of them.

"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," said Juror B-37.

She said she has no plans to do more interviews and never wants to serve on a jury again.

Zimmerman could still face criminal civil rights charges, as well as a civil suit from Martin's family.


Local Reaction

Local leaders are calling for justice in response to the verdict.

Dozens of people gathered at the Barber AME Church on Meigs Street for a peaceful protest Monday night.

City Councilman Adam McFadden and the President of the Rochester Chapter of the NAACP spoke about the need to stay strong and push for change.

Some said it is time to focus on violence across the country, and in Rochester, that is claiming the lives of young people.


Zimmerman's Parents

The outrage and violence, following the Zimmerman verdict, has Zimmerman's parents worried.

"What are his expectations to live a normal life? He's been such a target for a year and a half? You think he can live a normal life?," said Gladys Zimmerman.

In an Exclusive interview with ABC's Barbara Walters, the family said they have recieved countless death threats both during and after the trial.

Zimmerman's parents said their son is not a racist and apologized to the Martin family for what happened.

"We are deeply sorry for this tragedy, deeply sorry and we pray for the departed. We pray for Travyon Martin," said Gladys Zimmerman.


Rush to Judgement

In high profile trials, there is often a discrepancy between what the public and the jurors take away.

"The judge is the gatekeeper on what they hear," said local Attorney Donald Rehkopf.

Rehkopf said there is usually information the public knows that the jurors do not. Jurors in the Mark Scerbo trial, in the death of Fairport teacher Heather Boyum, did not know his criminal background.

Rehkopf said jurors are instructed not to let emotion cloud their judgement.

"I have tried hundreds of jury trials, and I have spoken with jurors who say down deep we think your guy did it. But, the prosecution couldn't tie it up together, which was the major problem with the Zimmerman case."

In the United States Judicial system, the burden is always on the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Charges come with a physical list of elements that the prosecution must prove. If jurors have reasonable doubt about just one of those elements, they have no option but to find the defendant not guilty.

 
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