AFRICANGLOBE – The lone Hispanic member of the jury that acquitted George Zimmerman says Zimmerman “got away with murder” in the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin.
In an interview with ABC News that aired Thursday evening, the woman identified as Juror B29 said she feels she owes an apology to Trayvon Martin’s parents over the verdict that touched off protest demonstrations around the country.
The juror said the six-member, all-female jury followed Florida law and found the evidence did not warrant a murder conviction.
“You can’t put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty,” said the juror.
She declined to be identified by her full name and was referred to in the interview as “Maddy.” She allowed her face to be shown in the interviews to air on World News and Friday on Good Morning America.
She was interviewed by GMA anchor Robin Roberts.
The identities of the jurors were sealed by the Florida court and have not yet been made public. ABC News said she did not allow her full name to be used out of concern for her safety.
She was described as a 36-year-old nursing assistant and mother of eight children. A Puerto Rican, she had moved to Seminole County, Fla., from Chicago only five months before her selection to the jury.
She is the second of the six jurors to speak publicly since the verdict.
Zimmerman, 29, is a White Hispanic and Trayvon Martin, 17, was Black. The case was racially charged from the outset, and prosecutors alleged Zimmerman had racially profiled the teen.
Maddy said the case was not about race as far as she was concerned.
“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, she added, “the law couldn’t prove it.”
Maddy said she favored convicting Zimmerman of second-degree murder when the jury began its deliberations.
“I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury. I fought to the end,” she said.
After nine hours of discussion about the evidence, however, Maddy said, she concluded there wasn’t enough proof to convict of murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter under Florida state law.
She said she “felt confused” because “if a person kills someone, then you get charged for it.”
“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,” she added.
Zimmerman, who did not testify in his own defense, contended he shot and killed Trayvon Martin out of self-defense during a confrontation in a neighborhood of Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012.
She said she has wrestled with whether she made the right decision.
“I felt like I let a lot of people down, and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Did I go the right way? Did I go the wrong way?'” she said.
She said she owes an apology to the victim’s parents because she feels “I let them down.”
“It’s hard for me to sleep, it’s hard for me to eat,” she said. “… I’m hurting as much (as) Trayvon Martin’s mother because there’s no way that any mother should feel that pain.”
By: William M. Welch