“You can’t put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty,” Maddy, the woman identified only as Juror B29 during the trial, said to ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
A nursing assistant and mother of eight children, the 36-year-old was a Chicago resident when Martin was killed and was selected as a juror five months after moving to Seminole County, FL. She was the only minority juror, being of Hispanic descent. However, the juror says that the case was not about race, at least in her eyes.
“We had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence,” she said. “George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can’t get away from God. And at the end of the day, he’s going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with.”
Once deliberations began, Maddy favored convicting Zimmerman of second-degree murder, which could have put him in prison for the rest of his life. However, the jury was also allowed to consider the lesser charge of manslaughter. On the second day of deliberations Maddy said she realized there wasn’t enough proof to convict Zimmerman of murder or manslaughter under Florida law. Zimmerman maintained he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in an act of self-defense.
“I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury. I fought to the end,” said Maddy. “That’s where I felt confused, where if a person kills someone, then you get charged for it, but as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can’t say he’s guilty. I felt like I let a lot of people down, and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Did I go the right way? Did I go the wrong way?’ As much as we were trying to find this man guilty, they give you a booklet that basically tells you the truth. And the truth is that there was nothing that we could do about it. I felt the verdict was already told.”
Maddy believes she owes Trayvon Martin’s parents an apology because she felt that she “let them down.”
“It’s hard for me to sleep, it’s hard for me to eat because I feel I was forcefully included in Trayvon Martin’s death. And as I carry him on my back, I’m hurting as much Trayvon’s Martin’s mother because there’s no way that any mother should feel that pain,” she said.
Maddy is the second juror to speak in a televised interview, and the first to show her face.
Juror B37, whose face and body were hidden, also appeared last week on Anderson Cooper’s CNN show, and said she believes Zimmerman’s “heart was in the right place” when he became suspicious of Martin and that the teenager probably threw the first punch. However, four other jurors refused to support B37’s remarks and released a statement saying B37’s opinions were “not in any way representative” of their own.–Andrew Asare
Photo Credit: The Chicago Tribune