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The names of the six-member jury panel that acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin have been made public for the first time, after a new court order, records show.
Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, who had previously ordered the jurors' identifying information be kept confidential, granted access to the names in a ruling March 21.
Zimmerman's defense asked the judge in June to keep the names secret until six months after the verdict. The judge set no timeline then, but noted in her new order they have been withheld more than eight months.
A juror in the George Zimmerman trial claims the case ruined her life and says she's had death threats made against her children, lost friends, her job and will soon lose her home as a result of it.
The juror, a 36-year-old mother of eight who only identified herself as Maddy during an interview on Inside Edition Thursday, was the only juror who showed her face when she appeared on Good Morning America in July.
Since then, Maddy says, she's lost her job as an aide at a nursing home and she and her husband have had to sell most of their possessions.
I'm afraid I don't have much pity for "maddy".
Jury nullification occurs in a trial when a jury acquits a defendant, even though the members of the jury believe the defendant to be guilty of the charges. This may occur when members of the jury disagree with the law the defendant has been charged with breaking, or believe that the law should not be applied in that particular case. A jury can similarly convict a defendant on the ground of disagreement with an existing law, even if no law is broken (although in jurisdictions with double jeopardy rules, a conviction can be overturned on appeal, but an acquittal cannot).
A jury verdict contrary to the letter of the law pertains only to the particular case before it. If a pattern of acquittals develops, however, in response to repeated attempts to prosecute a statutory offence, this can have the de facto effect of invalidating the statute. A pattern of jury nullification may indicate public opposition to an unwanted legislative enactment.
In the past, it was feared that a single judge or panel of government officials may be unduly influenced to follow established legal practice, even when that practice had drifted from its origins. In most modern Western legal systems, however, juries are often instructed to serve only as "finders of facts", whose role it is to determine the veracity of the evidence presented, and the weight accorded to the evidence, to apply that evidence to the law and reach a verdict, but not to decide what the law is. Similarly, juries are routinely cautioned by courts and some attorneys not to allow sympathy for a party or other affected persons to compromise the fair and dispassionate evaluation of evidence during the guilt phase of a trial. These instructions are criticized by advocates of jury nullification. Some commonly cited historical examples of jury nullification involve the refusal of American colonial juries to convict a defendant under English law.
Juries have also refused to convict due to the perceived injustice of a law in general, or the perceived injustice of the way the law is applied in particular cases. There have also been cases where the juries have refused to convict due to their own prejudices such as the race of one of the parties in the case.
I don't really feel bad for the jurors. It is sad, yes, but the real pity should be gone towards the American people.
The people that just can't get behind the idea of American justice that people are "innocent until PROVEN guilty". Not only can they not get behind that idea, but they have to make it about them and believe that their opinions, which have been swayed by the media to condition them to think a certain way, should be placed above that of everyone else.
This is a problem with society, not the court system. The jury system has worked for ages. The problem is the people in this country and the propaganda that fuels them.