Juries, Oy

Juror B37. Holy Smokes.

Juror B37 in the Zimmerman trial, full of racial presumptions, and totally unaware of them.


Did you see or hear that interview with her on CNN? Seems very clear that she makes no effort to be informed about the world at all, and that she carries around a set of racial assumptions, let us say, and is utterly and totally unconscious about them. She thinks Zimmerman's--get this--"heart was in the right place." She thinks this would have gone down the same way no matter what color anybody was. Including, as she put it, "Spanish." Spanish?

What's more incredible than her proud ignorance is that the prosecution didn't strike her in the first place, as Dahlia Lithwick wrote in Slate. She kept bragging--bragging--that she doesn't pay any attention to the world. That she worries about her life and that's it. That she doesn't trust the media, which no one does, but she doesn't even read a thing, not one thing. That "you never get all the information." That last point should have been the clincher. Lithwick:

Gail Brashers-Krug, a former federal prosecutor and law professor, is currently a criminal defense attorney in Iowa. She also jumped back when B37 said, ”You never get all the information.“ “That's exactly what a defense attorney loves to hear,” says Brashers-Krug. “That's reasonable doubt, right there. If I were a prosecutor, that would make me extremely nervous about her.” She adds that B37’s devotion to animals might raise flags for her as well. “The animal thing is weird. She doesn't know how many animals she has, and she mentions her animals far, far more than her two daughters. She strikes me as eccentric and unpredictable. I never, ever want eccentric, unpredictable people on a jury.”

You can watch her entire voir dire here. Eighteen people were interviewed. Each side gets six strikes. So maybe there were people who from the state's point of view were even worse. Well, they had to be pretty bad.

She's apparently not completely hopeless. Someone talked some sense to her, and she seems to have had enough sense to cancel the grubby book deal she made over Trayvon Martin's grave just the day before. The best thing that can happen to this woman is that some local interfaith working group reaches out to her and tries to awaken in her a small flicker of curiosity about the world beyond the parrots and dogs and lizards to which she pledged her devotion and persuade her that people, even different kinds of people, have something to offer the world too.