Attorneys Clear Issues Before Opening Statements

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Two of the jurors recently moved to the area — one from Iowa and one from Chicago — and two are involved with rescuing animals as their hobbies.

One juror had a prior arrest, but she said it was disposed of and she thought she was treated fairly. Two jurors have guns in their homes. All of their names have been kept confidential and the panel will be sequestered for the trial.

The central Florida community of Sanford is in Seminole County, which is 78.5 percent white and 16.5 percent black.

In Florida, 12 jurors are required only for criminal trials involving capital cases, when the death penalty is being considered.

If convicted, Zimmerman could face a potential life sentence.

On Feb. 26, 2012, Zimmerman spotted Martin, whom he did not recognize, walking in the gated townhome community in Sanford where Zimmerman lived and where the fiancee of Martin’s father also resided. There had been a rash of recent break-ins, and Zimmerman was wary of strangers walking through the complex.

The two eventually got into a struggle, and Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest with his 9mm handgun. He was charged 44 days after the shooting, after a special prosecutor was appointed to review the case.

Martin’s shooting death and the initial decision not to charge Zimmerman led to public outrage and demonstrations around the nation, with some accusing Sanford police of failing to thoroughly investigate.

The six jurors were culled from a pool of 40 candidates who made it into a second round of questioning. Two men and two women also were picked as alternates.

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