Op-Ed: 'George Zimmerman got away with murder,' so says Juror B29

Posted Jul 26, 2013 by Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi
"One who breaks an unjust law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law."
George Zimmerman leaves court after acquittal.
George Zimmerman leaves court after acquittal.
Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
Martin Luther King, Jr.
George Zimmerman got away with murder . . . " are the words of Juror B29, a 36-year-old married mother of eight, known only by her first name, Maddy. She spoke them to Robin Roberts, and "Good Morning America" will air the entire interview on Fri., July 26.
Maddy, the only "minority" of the six-person, all female jury, is of Puerto Rican descent, refers to herself as a "black Hispanic" and works as a nursing assistant. She recently moved from Chicago to Florida, and was chosen as a Zimmerman juror five months later.
She is the second juror to speak publicly, and although she refuses to release her surname, she did reveal her first name and allowed her face to be viewed on camera during the interview, unlike Juror B37 whose face was obscured.
From the beginning of deliberations, Maddy said she wanted to convict Zimmerman of second-degree murder, but realized on the second day of deliberations, the evidence was not there, per an ABC report.
She said the prosecution did not prove the case, and although she, and other jurors knew in their hearts that Zimmerman was guilty, but Maddy said, "We had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence."
She, like juror B-37, seemed confused about the law, but referred to a booklet which was given to her and other jurors:
"I felt like I let a lot of people down, and I'm thinking to myself, 'Did I go the right way? Did I go the wrong way?'" she said. "As much as we were trying to find this man guilty ... They give you a booklet that basically tells you the truth, and the truth is that there was nothing that we could do about it."
This juror's confusion is obvious, because there is no question that Zimmerman intended to kill Martin. The question is whether it was in self defense and if Zimmerman felt his life was in danger, thereby "standing his ground." Although "stand your ground" was not used as a defense, it was part of the law the jury was instructed to consider.
(Link to legal analysis of Maddy's interview.)
Sybrina Fulton, mother of the slain teen, said it was "devastating" to hear Maddy's statement that "George Zimmerman got away with murder," and for her, it only confirmed what she and her family already knew.
However, Maddy added she feels the trial was a "publicity stunt" and the case should never have been tried. She also said the prosecution did not prove Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin--a major point of contention in the court of public opinion.
The juror's statements, at times, are random. If the trial was a "publicity stunt," then how did Zimmerman get away with murder? Is B29 expressing that there was not enough evidence presented to convict Zimmerman, although she believes he committed murder? It is difficult to sort through all of her statements, because they are disconnected.
Maddy said she fought until the end and would have been the one vote that resulted in a hung jury. However, she did not and is ambivalent about whether she did the right thing. Perhaps if she had fought harder, Zimmerman would not be a free man.
She apologized to Trayvon's parents because she felt "as though she let them down" and also indicated if she were them, she would continue in the quest for justice. When Maddy was asked by Roberts if she was firm in her decision, She said yes, because of the law, but in her heart, she knew Zimmerman was guilty. Undoubtedly, Maddy should have kept her thoughts to herself, instead of unleashing them on the public and Martin's parents. No mortal has the ability to absolve her guilt.
Perhaps she had forethoughts on a future interview; after juror B37 spoke, four other jurors signed a statement saying B37 did not speak for them, reminded the public they didn't ask to be on the Zimmerman trial and asked for privacy. Maddy's signature was not on that statement.
Maddy said she finds it difficult to eat and to sleep at night and also said she was "forcefully included in Trayvon Martin's death" in her role as a juror, adding "as I carry him on my back, I'm hurting as much as Trayvon Martin's mom is."
It is obvious Maddy has strong feelings, but she couldn't possibly grieve as Trayvon's mother does, and unlike Fulton who could not affect the verdict, Maddy could have continuously voiced her opposition and was afforded every opportunity to "stand her ground."
Here's her entire statement on Zimmerman getting "away with murder:"
"George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can't get away from God. And at the end of the day he's gonna 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."
This is a statement Maddy and those who strongly disagree with the jury's decision can agree on, as most believe "you reap what you sow." As Zimmerman deals with questions and answers, so will Maddy, as she is not without fault, but bears some culpability, in a travesty of justice.