Zimmerman juror wins, loses book deal all in a day
We don’t know who Juror B37 is -- only that she isn’t going to write a book about the George Zimmerman trial.
Except she was going to! Or at least until the juror’s book agent fired her over Twitter, half a day after hiring her.
And maybe because the juror decided herself not to write the book because of public outrage. It’s not totally clear.
Every major criminal case spawns a cast of minorly intriguing supporting characters, and Juror B37’s moment of consideration in the national consciousness may have peaked with her nameless, faceless interview with Anderson Cooper on a darkened CNN set Monday night.
“I want people to know that we put everything into everything to get this verdict,” the juror said, getting tearful as she explained why she’d come forward for a TV interview. “We didn’t just go in there and say we’re going to come in here and do guilty, not guilty. We thought about it for hours and cried over it afterwards. I don’t think any of us could do anything like that ever again.”
In the occasionally halting interview, Juror B37 -- who during jury selection revealed herself to be a pet owner and a mother of two -- revealed crucial information about the jury’s outlook on the case. Half of the jurors initially thought Zimmerman, 29, was guilty of manslaughter or second-degree murder, but later agreed upon a not-guilty verdict after reviewing the evidence and Florida’s state laws.
A couple of the jurors “wanted to find him guilty of something,” the juror said.
But while the juror’s remarks were being broadcast over CNN, an online backlash was already underway. A collection of tweets by Twitter user @MoreAndAgain showed the mounting pressure on Los Angeles-based Martin Literary Management agency president Sharlene Martin to drop the juror’s book deal.
I say we contact her and request that she drop juror B37, as an agent. — Cocky McSwagsalot (@MoreAndAgain) July 16, 2013
Only thing I can think to do is flood Sharlene Martin’s phone, email, and snail mail, w/ requests that she drop juror B37. That sound good? — Cocky McSwagsalot (@MoreAndAgain) July 16, 2013
Hey, @sharlenemartin, please drop juror B37. Do not help the person who let a murderer get away profit from this tragedy. — Cocky McSwagsalot (@MoreAndAgain) July 16, 2013
The private message that I just received from Sharlene Martin via Change[dot]org reads as follows (wait for it): — Cocky McSwagsalot (@MoreAndAgain) July 16, 2013
“I appreciate your passion for the death of Travyon Martin. Stand by for a message shortly. I grieve his death as well.” - Sharlene Martin — Cocky McSwagsalot (@MoreAndAgain) July 16, 2013
Then came the message from Martin, who has represented other clients in the media spotlight, including Raffaele Sollecito, who was charged with murder in Italy alongside his then-girlfriend, Amanda Knox.
After careful consideration of the book project with Zimmerman #JurorB37, I have decided to rescind my offer of representation. — sharlene martin (@sharlenemartin) July 16, 2013
Then, in a statement dated later that night and issued through Martin, Juror B37 said she wouldn’t write a book.
“I realize it was necessary for our jury to be sequestered in order to protest our verdict from unfair outside influence, but that isolation shielded me from the depth of pain that exists among the general public over every aspect of this case,” read the juror’s statement.
“The potential book was always intended to be a respectful observation of the trial from my and my husband’s perspectives solely and it was to be an observation that our ‘system” of justice can get so complicated that it creates a conflict with our “spirit’ of justice,” the statement continued. “Now that I am returned to my family and to society in general, I have realized that the best direction for me to go is away from writing any sort of book and return instead to my life as it was before I was called to sit on this jury.”
Here was some of the other reaction directed at Sharlene Martin over Twitter after she announced the book was off.
@sharlenemartin the fact you even ent the possibility of representing this despicable excuse of human speaks VOLUMES about your integrity. — Mel. (@MeldigicourtJ) July 16, 2013
I think you made a big mistake dropping the juror. The controversy by itself would have sold the book. @sharlenemartin — Sacerdotus (@Sacerdotus) July 16, 2013
@sharlenemartin sad you even extended an offer of representation to that juror in the first place. good to see you were able to save face — D Thomas (@Dondeemite) July 16, 2013
@sharlenemartin the book will shed light on why this case wasnt about race at all and everyone of all races need to see that — Nick Rice (@N_S_RICE) July 16, 2013
@sharlenemartin Thank you. Your former client needs to help change laws in her state instead of profiting off of injustice that she allowed. — Lisa Bolekaja (@LisaBolekaja) July 16, 2013
@sharlenemartin Shame you let yourself be bullied. I want to hear from ALL the jurors what their thought processes were. — Jim Harrell (@jimharrell1) July 16, 2013
.@sharlenemartin thank you for rescinding, but shame on you for even considering representing such a callous & deplorable human being. — ANA (@full_of_moxie) July 16, 2013
@sharlenemartin you just want make money off the death of a young black male you should be ashamed — Big Game Jermaine (@bgame504) July 16, 2013
Thank you @sharlenemartin for making the best decision not publishing the book. May you be blessed in your further endeavors! — HarlemIced-Z (@Hrlm45FlyGuy) July 16, 2013
Times staff writer Hector Tobar contributed to this report.
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