The purpose of the jury selection process, ostensibly, is to choose individuals that are impartial and who will be able to weigh the evidence and to make a reasoned decision based upon the evidence presented during the trial. In reality, each side is looking for jurors that are receptive to their theory of the case. Normally prosecutors attempt to select persons that are older, law and order oriented and conservative in their philosophical perspective. Defense attorneys typically prefer jurors that are open minded, perhaps younger and who may possess a higher level of education than the average person. Admittedly, these are broad generalizations and each case is fact specific, but generally these are the default starting positions of each side. But, the strategies are reversed in the Trayvon Martin murder trial. In this case the ideal juror for the state is a person who is younger, more educated and more open minded.
As I sit here in my law office, I'm catching a few glimpses of the preliminary proceedings in the George Zimmerman trial. I am familiar with some of the key players in the case. Periodically, I represent criminal clients in Seminole County, Florida. The courthouse is located in Sanford. Sanford is about thirty miles from downtown Orlando where my office is located. I have appeared before Judge Nelson two or three times. She strikes me as a no-nonsense, knowledgable and fair judge. I have also interacted with Marc Omara before he became George Zimmerman's lawyer.
Before Barack Obama won the nomination for President of the United States in November of 2007, the racial attitudes in this country for Blacks were, 'let's try to get along while we move forward at a steady pace.' Our goal was to steadily improve the education of our youth as well as improve our economic situation by gaining better employment and creating companies and therefore jobs and opportunities for ourselves. We planned to get involved with government and politics and make laws that were fair to all but specifically did not hinder us.
This article originally published in West Orlando News Online.
The level of ignorance and apathy among the population really astounds me. We live in a time in history when there is instant news everywhere. You don’t have to wait for images to be developed in the dark room. If you want to know what is going on anywhere in the world, that information is at your finger tips, even if you have minimal technology.
I can only imagine the joy that must have filled the young folks at Chicago’s King College Prep band and drill team when they got the news that they would be among those performing for the 57th Inaugural celebration … the laughter and cheers, I can almost feel the waves of excitement as word spread lips to ears, student to student, sharing in the pride that comes from receiving such an honor.