Zimmerman juror ’29’ suffers for her vote to acquit
Zimmerman trial juror who fled the Sunshine state after receiving death threats is determined to come home and rebuild her life after her tenure as a juror at the George Zimmerman trial turned her life upside-down.
“I have committed along with my team to Maddy’s cause 100 percent pro-bono and have asked my contacts to help raise awareness of her plight and raised money for her,” said David M. Chico who is the attorney for Zimmerman juror B-29 “Maddy.”
Donations to Maddy’s cause can be made at DavidChicoLaw.com/jururB29. Her last name is withheld at her request.
Disruption of her life ensued due to the acquittal, said the mother of eight. “My life changed after the trial.”
Even though the verdict has displaced Maddy and put her life in danger, she said in hindsight she would have made the same decisions today as she made in the jury-pool. “I don’t think I could have done anything different.”
After she appeared on ABC News, the only minority juror on duty at the blockbuster trial, lost her job.
David Acosta, who was potential Zimmerman juror H-81, said he was dismayed that Maddy, who did nothing wrong, is being subjected to threats. “All of this is creating financial hardship for her and her family; anyone looking at being a juror in a high profile case will face this risk.”
“It’s not supposed to that way,” he said.
In Sanford Fla., a six-member jury July 13 acquitted George Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Florida is one of only a few states that permit six-member juries.
Jurors were instructed to consider a “Stand Your Ground” law enacted by the state in 2005. Stand Your Ground gives individuals the right to use deadly force to defend themselves without a duty to retreat.
Maddy, one of the six women who delivered the verdict, said being in the jury box was frustrating and has requested her last name be omitted. The jury deliberated sequestered for approximately seven days.
Since the verdict, she received death threats against her family and was forced to leave Sanford to protect them, said Chico. “She originally left Illinois to raise her children in a safer environment and feels very sad about having to return to the rough neighborhood in Chicago where she currently lives.”
The Celebration, Fla. law group will support Maddy in accomplishing two goals, he said. “First, she hopes she can return to Florida and; second she believes Stand Your Ground law needs to change and wants to raise awareness about this issue.”
Chico, who was the assistant prosecutor in a 2005 matter against Zimmerman for battery on a law enforcement officer, said he followed the 2013 trial with zeal. “There are social questions raised by this tragedy: the race component and the gun control crowd vs. the ‘I’ll die for the Second Amendment’ crowd.”
“When Maddy walked into my office by happenstance, I had to help her,” he said.
Acosta said there is a proper venue to address issues in the law that the public dislikes. “If people are not happy with the law they should vent to the legislature, not to a good citizen who just fulfilled her civic duty.”
When Maddy went public with her story, it was not for financial gain, he said. “She did not ask for money or a book deal – it was never about money.”
After the verdict, Maddy said the public sentiment was overwhelming, said Acosta. “Some people have been directing their anger about the verdict at her.”
“Maddy is a wonderful person, happy, healthy kids; her jury duty is over she just wants to focus on her family,” he said.