Jun 10, 2013

The time has come. George Zimmerman is finally standing trial for the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin - the unarmed teenager he shot dead last February.

We've been gearing up for the big day by providing you with a play by play of what's transpired since that fateful night, and now we're going to keep you updated on the specifics of the trial for the next six weeks.

Here's what to expect today:
- Jury selection is expected to begin today. Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson ordered the clerk of counts to summon a total of 500 potential jurors. Between 100 and 200 of those Seminole County residents showed up this morning, and 100 more will show up each day as needed until the panel is seated. In the end, a panel of six jurors plus four alternates will be chosen.

- Nelson and lawyers will give 100 jurors lengthy questionaires to fill out. When they are finished, Nelson will review them and then question jurors individually.

- As it stands now, the process will take an estimated two or three weeks. The rest of the trial will take another two or three weeks. However, sources close to the case believe a jury could be decided just this week.

The demographic that will be chosen for the jury has been a hot topic since Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder. Here's what the defense and the prosecutors are looking for:
- According to Orlando jury consultant Susan Constantine, defense attorneys are looking for jurors over 40 years of age. They'll also want managers, authority figures and people who are analytic (ex: engineers) because those people tend to focus on facts, not emotion.

- Prosecutors are expected to favor people ages 18-35. They are also hoping for people who rely more on emotions in decision making - social workers, people in service industries etc.

Based on statistics, this is what the jury might look like:
- According to Constantine, the defense will favor white jurors and the prosecution will favor black. But based on Seminole County demographics, there are likely to be fewer blacks on the jury.

- According to U.S. Census data, 11 percent of Seminole County's population is black, compared to 16 percent for the state as a whole.

Source:  Global Grind


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