YouTube Anderson Cooper Video: Key Clips From Juror B37 Interview
On Monday, the George Zimmerman trial juror known only by her court identification number, B37, gave an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN.
Shrouded in darkness, Juror B37 shed light for the first time on the jury process that took place behind closed doors over the course of 16 hours and ultimately produced a "not guilty" verdict for George Zimmerman late on Saturday evening.
B37, who is a middle-aged white woman, made it clear that her sympathy extended not just to the victim, but also the defendant. "I think George Zimmerman was a man whose heart was in the right place," she stated in the interview.
Nevertheless, she believed that Zimmerman was, at least in part, to blame for escalating the situation. "He went above and beyond what he really should have done ... I think he's guilty of not using good judgement ... he shouldn't have gotten out of that car."
As for the defense's self-defense claim, B37 was unequivocal. "He had a right to defend himself," she said. "If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him, or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right." When asked whether Zimmerman should have been carrying a firearm, she replied, "I think he has every right to carry a gun."
On the subject of Rachel Jeantel, the prosecution witness who caused controversy with —well, pretty much everything she said and did on the stand — B37 said, "I didn't think [her testimony] was very credible" and stated that she could not understand Jeantel "a lot of the time."
At one point in the interview, B37 revealed that she felt "very sorry" for Jeantel and expressed her belief that Jeantel felt "inadequate" because of "her education and communication skills."
In a separate segment on CNN with Piers Morgan, Jeantel reacted to the juror's statement, saying that she felt "angry" and "upset" by B37's remarks but pointed out that she had restrained her emotions throughout the trial.
The subject of emotions was a common theme in the post-trial CNN interviews. Partway through her interview with Cooper, Juror B37 started to choke up. "It was just hard, thinking that somebody lost their life ... It's very emotional," she said.
The juror also hinted at her own feelings of guilt over the verdict, lamenting, "All the people that want him guilty aren't gonna have any closure."
"I feel sorry for both of them," she stated. "I think both were responsible for the situation they had gotten themselves into. I think both of them could have walked away; it just didn't happen."
Intriguingly, B37 explained that she thought it was Zimmerman's voice on the 911 call. "All but probably one" of the jurors agreed, she stated. She did not explain how the jurors were able to come to this conclusion.
Throughout the interview, she expressed her belief that Zimmerman did not racially profile Martin, stating that race didn't play a role in the case for her or, in her opinion, for the five other members of the jury. "We never had that discussion" in the jury room, she remarked.
In response to the question of why Zimmerman followed Martin, Juror B37 pointed to the fact that Martin was "cutting through the back" of the Florida community at night, stopping and starting, walking without a purpose, and looking into houses. However, she acknowledged that these facts were Zimmerman's "rendition" of events.
On Sunday, just one day after the verdict came down, the media reported Juror B37's decision to publish a book about her experiences on the Zimmerman jury. Following a massive backlash on Twitter, she subsequently backed down on her decision.
You can watch the entire 36 minute Juror B37 interview on CNN below.
Gabe Grand is an editorialist for PolicyMic.