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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Jun 25, 2013

The acting judge in George Zimmerman’s high profile criminal case announced the jury will be sequestered throughout the duration of the trial. The decision is actually a reversal of the original court order.

 

 

Judge Debra Nelson has indicated the subsequent trial will last anywhere between two and four weeks. Nelson was quoted as saying, “Based upon that approximate stipulation, I will be sequestering the jury.” Only recently had Nelson ruled the jury consisting of six members would not be sequestered and retain their anonymity.

Zimmerman’s trial is receiving national attention from the media, popular public opinion nearly impossible to separate. At the core of the issue is the possibility racial profiling led to the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, 2012. Zimmerman, currently standing trial for second degree murder, claims he shot Martin in self-defense. Florida law at the time of incident made such action legal.

While sequestering a jury is considered exceptionally rare, the uniqueness of Zimmerman’s criminal case quite nearly demands for it, ensuring a fair trial is possible. Jury members will be removed from their families and homes, forced into isolation throughout the trial.

The potential for bias is high among prospective jurors. One potential juror has already made explicit statements about the case through the popular social media site Facebook.  Examination through the presiding legal counsel proved effective in making the determination, yet the possibility of further bias remains strong. Over 30 potential jurors have already been dismissed.

Throughout four days of jury selection 20 potential candidates remain up for selection. Legal teams are seeking 30 strong candidates before moving on to finalize their selections by voire dire, the more intensive form of questioning.