Jury Selection Launches Monday In The Murder Trial Of George Zimmerman

Source: Erin Donaghue / CBS News

Lawyers in the George Zimmerman murder trial may face a tricky jury selection process because the typical “conservative, law-and-order” juror usually favored by prosecutors may sympathize with the former neighborhood watch captain, experts say.

Jury selection launches Monday in the case, with six jurors and two alternates expected to be chosen from a potential jury pool of about 500. Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder in the February, 2012 shooting death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin during an altercation in a Sanford, Fla. gated community.

Zimmerman says he killed Martin in self-defense after the teen attacked him, but prosecutors are expected to argue Zimmerman trailed Martin and started the confrontation after he identified the teen as an intruder in the community.

“This is one of these topsy-turvy cases where the conservative/liberal split kind of flips upside down,” said Jeffrey Abramson, law and government professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. “The prosecution usually favors ‘law-and-order’ jurors who are pro-conviction, but in this case, it’s very possible that those jurors with conservative backgrounds might sympathize with vigilante justice and the right to carry arms…. it’s very difficult to pin down who is a good juror for which side because of this flip.”

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