MIAMI — A juror who said she initially wanted to convict George Zimmerman told ABC News on Thursday that he “got away with murder” in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager.
But faced with Florida’s self-defense laws, the juror, the second one on the six-member panel to speak out, said she felt compelled to acquit Zimmerman, 29, a volunteer neighborhood-watch coordinator.
“George Zimmerman got away with murder,” said the juror, who allowed ABC to show her face and use her first name, Maddy. “But you can’t get away from God. And, at the end of the day, he’s going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with. The law couldn’t prove it but, you know, you know, the world goes in circles.”
Freeing Zimmerman had been heartbreaking for her, she said, adding that she owed the Martin family an apology.
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“It’s hard for me to sleep, it’s hard for me to eat, because I feel I was forcibly included in Trayvon Martin’s death,” Maddy, the only minority on the all-female jury, told Robin Roberts, the anchor of “Good Morning America.” “As I carry him on my back, I’m hurting as much as Trayvon Martin’s mom, because there is no way that any mother should feel that pain.”
Calling herself the “juror that was going to give him the hung jury,” Maddy said she “fought to the end.”
She said she had voted to convict Zimmerman of second-degree murder right after she first entered the jury room for deliberations. But in the second day of deliberations, she realized the law would thwart her, she said.
“A lot of us wanted to find something bad, something we could connect to the laws,” said Maddy, who had recently moved to Sanford, Fla., from Chicago. “But as the law was read to me, if you have no proof he killed him intentionally, you can’t say he’s guilty,” she added.
Maddy, a Puerto Rican mother of eight, known as juror B29, provided a different perspective from the first juror who spoke out. That juror, B37, who spoke to Anderson Cooper of CNN last week, said Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin in self-defense. She had voted to acquit him at the start of deliberations.
But the two jurors ultimately agreed on the same fact: Florida’s controversial self-defense laws and the lack of solid evidence made it almost impossible to convict Zimmerman.
In a portion of the ABC interview that is to be broadcast Friday, Maddy said she did not think the case should have gone to trial. “I felt this was a publicity stunt,” she said.
Material from The Miami Herald is included in this report.