The names of the six-member jury panel that acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin have been made public for the first time, after a new court order, records show.
Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, who had previously ordered the jurors’ identifying information be kept confidential, granted access to the names in a ruling March 21.
Zimmerman’s defense asked the judge in June to keep the names secret until six months after the verdict. The judge set no timeline then, but noted in her new order they have been withheld more than eight months.
Attempts to reach the jurors by phone and in-person Thursday were unsuccessful. The Sentinel typically does not name jurors unless they’ve agreed to be interviewed.
In Florida, the names of jurors usually are public and are announced and used by the judge and attorneys during jury selection.
Nelson’s order follows an inquiry last month by the Sentinel.
In a letter, Sentinel attorneys asked Nelson for a specific ruling on how long she planned to maintain the jurors’ anonymity, noting it was already “well past the six month ‘cooling off’ period requested by the defense.”
The defense, in its motion, argued a delay was needed beyond the trial to allow “for any community passions to cool.”
Source: Orlando Sentinel | Jeff Weiner and Rene Stutzman