(SANFORD, Fla.) — The jury selection process in the George Zimmerman murder trial will move on to round two on Wednesday, as the prosecution and defense look to whittle down a pool of potential jurors into a final list of jurors and alternates.
A jury is expected to be seated as early as Wednesday, but the process could go through Thursday.
The prosecution and the defense team Tuesday agreed on a pool of 40 potential jurors that included 16 men and 24 women. It took both sides seven days to collect 40 potential jurors fit to move on to the next round, called regular voir dire.
On Wednesday, 30 of the 40 potential jurors will be brought into the courtroom and further questioned as a group on their beliefs and biases.
In February 2012, Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Fla., shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin after a confrontation in the dark. Zimmerman has cited self-defense as his reason for shooting the unarmed teen, who he said had been acting “suspiciously.”
During Wednesday’s process, both the prosecution and the defense will have 10 strikes, meaning they can excuse as many as 10 jurors without an explanation. Until this point, the jurors were only excused “for cause,” meaning they were too closely related to the case or knew too much.
The counsels must agree upon a final six jurors and four alternates who will be sequestered for the duration of the trial. For now, Judge Debra Nelson has ruled the names of the jurors will be kept secret.
Of the 40 potential jurors, many are white and female. In the racial breakdown of the jury pool, there are 28 white potential jurors, 19 of them female and nine male. There are only six black potential jurors, three male and three female. There are four Hispanic potential jurors and two who identified as mixed-race.
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