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George Zimmerman trial: Book agent "made a grave error in judgment in wanting to represent this story," report says

An anonymous juror in the George Zimmerman trial is speaking out. Juror B37 told CNN's Anderson Cooper that the jury was originally divided during deliberation and ultimately declared Zimmerman not guilty. Charlie Rose reports. CBS

Zimmerman juror breaks silence
An anonymous juror in the George Zimmerman trial is speaking out. Juror B37 told CNN's Anderson Cooper that the jury was originally divided during deliberation and ultimately declared Zimmerman not guilty. Charlie Rose reports.
(CBS/AP) -- A literary agent who offered to take on a Zimmerman juror as a client told the Los Angeles Times she "made a grave error in judgment in wanting to represent this story," the paper reports.

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READ: Trayvon Martin Shooting: A timeline of events

Sharlene Martin said Monday that she had signed the juror, known only as B-37, who spoke publicly on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Monday night about her experiences weighing the fate of former neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. On Tuesday, however, Martin announced in a statement she had "decided to rescind my offer of representation." B-37 also said in a statement that she had not decided to write the book.

Zimmerman was acquitted Saturday night by a panel of six women of second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. He claimed he shot the teen in self-defense during an altercation last year.

The announcement of the book deal prompted an outcry on social media, with one Twitter user urging followers to write and e-mail Martin to protest the book. A change.org petition was also launched, and was closed after garnering more than 1,300 signatures. The petition read: "Please don't allow this person to profit off of the injustice that they've served to the American public. We deserve better. Trayvon Martin's family deserves better."

Martin wrote in an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times that she decided to rescind her offer of representation after watching B-37's interview on Anderson Cooper 360.

"I believe I made a grave error in judgment in wanting to represent this story. Shortly after the show aired, I reached out to B37 and suggested we terminate our book representation agreement. She and her husband agreed," Martin wrote to the Los Angeles Times.

She also wrote she reached the conclusion before the petition launched.

"Although I fully appreciate the sentiments of those who took the time to sign and write me of their concerns, I had already reached the conclusion that this was a book that should not be written by this Juror."

Speaking with Anderson Cooper, B-37 said she believed Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place."

While Zimmerman made some poor decisions leading up to the shooting, including leaving his car when police told him not to, Martin wasn't innocent either, B-37 said in the interview.

"I think both were responsible for the situation they had gotten themselves into," said the juror. "I think they both could have walked away."

She said that three jurors- including herself- were initially in favor of acquittal, two supported manslaughter and one backed second-degree murder.

The juror said she didn't think Martin's race was the reason Zimmerman followed him on a dark, rainy night. She said she also believed Martin threw the first punch and that Zimmerman, whom she referred to as "George," had a right to defend himself.

"I have no doubt George feared for his life in the situation he was in at the time," the juror said.

In a statement, B-37 explained that being sequestered had kept her shielded "from the depth of pain that exists among the general public over every aspect of the case." The juror said that the book was meant to show that our justice system "can get so complicated that it creates a conflict with our `spirit' of justice."

The agent had written in a statement obtained by the Orlando Sentinel that the book would detail "why the jurors had no option but to find Zimmerman not guilty due to the manner in which he was charged and the content of the jury instructions."

  • Crimesider Staff

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