Jury of your peers

By Christina Vazquez, Reporter, cvazquez@wplg.com
Published On: Jun 10 2013 04:04:01 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 11 2013 04:50:09 PM EDT
George Zimmerman Trial

For the Zimmerman trial the demographics of Seminole County suggest the jurors selected will most likely be white. 500 people were chosen at random as the pool of potential jurors in the high-profile case. They need to select 6 jurors and 4 alternates. George Zimmerman's father is white and mother is Hispanic of Peruvian-descent. He's facing 2nd degree murder for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager. Zimmerman claims it was self-defense. Out of curiosity I looked up US Census data of Seminole County to get an idea of what "jury of your peers" may mean in this community. Here's a snapshot

 

White Persons, percent, 2011 81.6 percent

Black Persons, percent 2011 11.7 percent

(Statewide the percentages are White-78.5 percent, Black-16.5 percent)

 

Here are some more nuggets:

Median household income, 2007-2011 $58,908 (That's more than the statewide median of $47,827)

 

High school graduate or higher, % of persons age 25+, 2007-2011: 91.1% Bachelor's degree or higher, % of persons age 25+, 2007-2011: 34.0%

 

Homeownership rate, 2007-2011: 71.5 percent*

 

*This one fact could become very important in this case. Why? Both sides are going to try to find people who see their view of the world. Orlando-based attorney Luis Calderon and Local 10's legal analyst Lee Stapleton had both mentioned how the defense may want someone who lives in a gated community and/or owns a home because then they may share the same property crime concerns which police reports indicate plagued George Zimmerman's Sanford Town home complex in the weeks preceding the shooting. You may recall how Trayvon Martin was in Sanford on school suspension staying with his father who lived in the same development. Zimmerman's defense will argue that this is not a case of racial profiling but rather a concerned neighbor who spotted someone he's never seen before and believed him to be suspicious in the wake of burglaries.  The fact that 71.5 percent of Seminole County own homes according to US Census Data means there appears to be an increased likelihood this kind of person could end up in the jury box. I will definitely be asking our legal analysts about this one and get back to you.

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