Well worth your time if you can spare it, especially if you watched the CNN interview with juror B37. The contrast is striking in that B37 seemed convinced of Zimmerman’s basic decency but thought he bore some moral responsibility for the shooting by leaving his car to keep an eye on Martin. This guy, juror E54, is in a sense the opposite: He’s very much no-nonsense and “just the facts,” seemingly agnostic on what type of man Zimmerman is, but ultimately he thinks Zimmerman bears even less moral culpability for the incident than B37 does. Why should he have stayed in his car, he wonders, when he had as much of a right to be there as Martin did? (E54 also thinks it’s nonsense to want to dump “stand your ground” laws after this since they were basically irrelevant to the trial.) It’s amazing after watching these two interviews to think that, according to B37, three jurors started deliberations wanting to convict him of either murder or manslaughter. The two we’ve heard from are rock-solid in their belief that self-defense was justified; I’d be curious to hear from one of them who wasn’t so solid about how they evolved in the course of deliberations. But maybe that’s the point here — you’re not going to be eager to talk to the media about your conclusions if you had misgivings about them at some point. The jurors who firmly believed in acquittal all along are naturally more likely to want to engage with the cameras running.
Part one is him talking about the nuts and bolts of the evidence, part two is what it was like to be a juror, and part three is closing arguments and the aftermath. That’s where he calls out the prosecution for John Guy’s close, which was indeed all about appealing to the heart with “no details, no evidence” offered to help the jury fit the facts to the law. That’s the whole case in a nutshell. “Justice” demanded that Zimmerman be prosecuted and convicted, except that there was no evidence to get a jury to reach that conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt. They were supposed to do it for moral and “social” reasons, not legal ones. Didn’t work. Exit quotation from Jeralyn Merritt: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. With each passing day, the case appears less and less like a case of monumental social and political import. There was a shooting and the evidence showed self-defense. The state misjudged how an impartial jury would view its evidence and overcharged the crime. The jury applied the law to the evidence produced at trial and acquitted.”