“That we take ordinary people off the street and ask them to decide the fate of other human beings — that’s truly remarkable,” Jonakait says. “And it says something about our belief or our faith or our willingness to use ordinary common sense in making the most important decisions people are ever going to make.”
R39, a landscaper, wrote this on his juror questionnaire: “I don’t really care about what happened.”
When pressed in court about this sentiment on Wednesday, R39 says: “I’m not a person who cares that much about other people.”
When court went into recess late Wednesday afternoon, 75 jurors had been dismissed and 20 remained in the potential pool. Once the pool reaches 40, these potential jurors will be subjected to a round of more detailed questioning that will drill down into personal matters and opinions unrelated to pretrial publicity. The judge announced Thursday that the jury would be sequestered for the duration of trial, which is expected to start next week, at the earliest, and last two to four weeks.
Through Thursday, 34 potential jurors had been questioned individually, sitting in the same cushioned chair, in front of the same congregation of media, answering the same convoluted questions from prosecutors and defense attorneys.
De la Rionda is asking B86 on Tuesday if she could disregard hearing that Trayvon had been suspended at school.
“I could try,” says B86, auburn hair tucked behind her ears.
Does “try” mean you can?
“ ‘Probably’ means you’re not sure? Does it mean ‘maybe’?”
“I’m not sure. . . . I can’t guarantee anything.”
“We are inspired by the honesty of the potential jurors,” Trayvon’s family said in a statement Wednesday.
The state will be looking for African Americans and mothers, who would sympathize with the loss of a child, presumes Orlando lawyer Richard Hornsby, while the defense is looking for affluent white male homeowners who understand the desire to defend property.
And how little some jurors are saying they know about the case seems suspicious to Orlando area defense attorney Diana Tennis. There’s been “a lot more stealth volunteer jurors than you would normally see in any kind of case,” she says. You see some people in jury selections who are “horrifically uninformed, but some of these folks go way beyond uninformed into just dubious territory.”
“I don’t have cable. I don’t have Internet,” B65, a churchgoing black woman in a navy silk top, says on Tuesday. “I live my life simple.”
Most other potential jurors seem overrun by life.
E6: “I have a lot going on . . .”
E40: “I’m too busy at work. I just didn’t have the time . . .”
E73: “The children, the house, the dogs . . . ”
And most dismissed the media as slanted and disorienting.