In a disturbing interview on AC360, during which Zimmerman juror B37 referred to killer George Zimmerman, 29, as “George,” admitted to writing a book with her lawyer husband — a deal that has disappeared due to the social activism of Twitter user @MoreandAgain — and basically said that she believed “George’s” version of events.
Though 4 other Zimmerman jurors issued a statement distanced themselves from the insensitive and problematic statements made during the interview, Florida’s WFTV has discovered that jurors spent hours of alone time with family that could have impacted the verdict.
Channel 9’s Kathi Belich confirmed the jurors were left unsupervised with guests at times, which WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said is more than enough time for a member to have said something that could have influenced a juror and possibly impacted the verdict.
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said Judge Debra Nelson allowed jurors generally no more than two hours of alone time with visitors once a week.
Nelson didn’t decide until three days into the trial to sequester the jury after potential jurors voiced concerns about their privacy and safety.
Channel 9 obtained the agreement the judge had all of the jurors’ visitors sign in which they agreed “the case or anything even remotely related to the case must not be talked about.”
Sheaffer said allowing sequestered jurors to have unsupervised visits invites criticism and questions over the integrity of the verdict.
“It only takes two seconds for an inappropriate comment to be made to a juror by a family member inadvertently or otherwise to possibly affect the verdict, how they look at the case,” Sheaffer said.
Read more about how juror B37 sneaked onto the jury — and if it will have any effect on the verdict — here.