A jury consultant says he was keen on an all-female jury panel because they'd be "fairer," and now, the county sheriff in charge of the jurors' sequesters, has outlined their experience. Apparently, the juror's sequester included steaks, manicures, and, er, a trip to see World War Z.
Consultant Robert Hirschhorn was integral to the selection of jurors, and told USA Today he was pushing for the all-women panel. "My number one goal was to get fair jurors that would really be able to listen to the evidence and decide the case on facts and law, not emotion," Hirschhorn said. Women, he added, are better listeners and less judgmental (no stereotyping there) and would place emphasis on the fear Zimmerman claimed caused him to shoot Trayvon Martin on March 26, 2013.
Hirschhorn's comments may give the argument that the jurors were biased towards Zimmerman another leg up. (A bit like throwing gas on an already-raging fire.)
Juror B-37, who told CNN that Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place," (and prompted an angry statement from four other jurors who asked that she not speak for them), was Hischhorn's second-favorite juror, the consultant noted. "She really did try to do the very best job," Hirschhorn told USA Today, describing her as sincere and thoughtful. "I thought she felt a lot of pain going through all this process."
We-ellll... not that much pain. The Seminole County sheriff's office revealed details of the jurors' experience — which legally necessitated that they be anonymously sequestered, away from the media or any members of the public — for the 22-day duration of the trial. This, it turns out, cost the state around $33,000.
The women were housed at the Marriott Hotel, and when not trial-ing reportedly enjoyed mani-pedis, dinners out (to Outback Steakhouse and Senior Tequila's, if you wondered,) and trips to the movies and the mall. While hardly loose diamonds, some are saying the state provided the jurors with unnecessary luxuries. (First and last time 'Outback Steakhouse' and 'luxury' have been used in the same sentence.)
Florida attorney Randy Reep defended the amenities: "While we did not say this then, now it is clear: half the country is going to very vocally find fault with your dedicated effort," he pointed out. "A Bloomin' Onion at Outback would not adequately reimburse these women for the bitterness [of that]."
This just in: Bloomin' Onions do NOT temper sad feelings. STOP. THE. PRESS.
(Image: Outback Steakhouse)