It was started on January 4, 2008 over 7 years to the day after the deadly home invasion that claimed the lives of Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. (In 2012, The NYTimes published a story entitled “ A New Year’s Eve Family Nightmare “ about an in-depth look at the events that occurred that night and what led to the trial, here .) This latest addition to the trial began with a jury selection session the morning of January 4th, 2008, over 6 years and 3 days to the day from the night of the fateful home invasion on March 13th, 2007 in Ocala, Florida. The actual trial begins March 5th, with a trial date of March 12th, 2009, but the actual trial begins today , which is another 7 years and 5 days to the day from the night of the homicide. The trial was postponed several times, including being postponed for over a year, but the jury was chosen on January 3rd, 2008. Juror J.R. McPherson of Rochester had already been selected on January 1st, the morning of the first trial and during the first trial of the trial. McPherson did however, become the first juror not to be seated in his home state of Alabama on the first trial of the trial on March 9, 2007, though the Alabama jury eventually seated him.
At the trial opening Friday, January 3rd, 2008, J.R. McPherson made an appearance, and he said that he believed that, he should be seated for the trial although he said that he hadn’t had a chance for a jury trial yet. Jurors were told that that they (Jurors) would be called in and sat down at just the pre-trial conference call shortly after lunch. After lunch, a final pre-trial conference call was held in the courtroom, as well as the jury selection process.
“Today is a very solemn day for us, and then on Saturday morning of the third day we’re going to have the jury take their spots. A lot of people think that’s where they are going to be seated,” stated the judge. “But we’re going ahead as we’re supposed to go.”
At the conference call, when asked who was the first juror they had been in charge of on the day of the incident, Judge Richard Fennel said “it’s a difficult question at the time, no one has a memory of it. I just think it’s a very sobering thing. We have been trying to help our children through this horrific, traumatic time and I think a lot of our concerns were kind of pinned to that and the jury service we’ve had.”
At trial, in fact all twelve jurors were called back to the courthouse. McPherson was, at the time, an associate in court services and then a district attorney for Franklin County in New York, and I’m not about to say that was not a significant task at the time when he was appointed as a juror, his first public appearance since the day of the home invasion. Also, during his first public appearance, it was also at trial that McPherson was the prosecutor. Jurors were asked about how much he said during the process of making and delivering his closing statement, and he responded that “it was a lot more than I would have liked. I felt very bad for Mr. Goldman and Mr. Simpson.”
McPherson finished with that line about how he thought that the jury’s deliberations would be influenced by things like who had the loudest voice? A key part of the verdicts has apparently been what can be interpreted by jurors as that and more. On June 28th, 2012, the court released the final verdict in the verdict that convicted George Zimmerman of second degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin.
“In this case, I find as a matter of law that there was no duty to retreat, on the basis of the circumstances; that Zimmerman was acting in self-defense; that George Zimmerman was justified in using deadly force against Trayvon Martin; that Mr. Martin’s death is not an accident; and, that the jury was aware of this defense and reasonably believed it, knowing that there was no alternative for the defense.”
What you see above is the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder case. The verdict was read with the judge on the bench. While it was read there was a line in front of the jurors’ and the judge in that line. “It’s a very sobering thing,” said Judge Fennel of those who have had that experience. “This is a really sobering day for us and when we open the door it might be for you. Don’t think that you can pull the door open the way you would like to, that it’s going to be like a joke, a game, that you