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Margolis files bill to diversify juries

Observers were quick to raise questions when six women, five of whom were white, were impaneled in the recent George Zimmerman trial. 

"It was the first time I’ve ever heard of a jury that all looked the same," state Sen. Gwen Margolis said. "It was disturbing."

In response, the Miami Democrat has filed a proposal that would make future panels less homogeneous.

The bill, SB 94, would require the juries in capital and life felony cases to "reflect the demographics of the county in which the case is to be tried."

"Not that I don’t love women, but there should have been a variety of perspectives up there," Margolis said Wednesday. 

What's more, the bill would require a 12-member panel for life felony cases like Zimmerman's. Under current law, only capital cases are heard by a dozen jurors. The panels for all other criminal cases have half as many members.

"With six people on the jury, one person can dominate, which seemed to be the case in the Zimmerman trial," Margolis said.

Comments

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whasup

The more jurors we have, the easier it will be for one rogue member to hang it. Generally, this will only result in more trials where juries won't reach decisions. Good or bad, that's what will happen.

G

The only hispanic on the jury wanted to acquit from the start of deliberations. I watched her interview on TV, face hidden, of course. Also she stated that one of the white women wanted to find him guilty of 2nd degree murder but was talked out of it by the group including the hispanic juror.

Seth Sklarey

Jury if your peers. What the hell does that mean? The jury should look more like the defendant than the victim to ensure a fair trial. Didn't we spend years trying to put more blacks on juries with black defendants? The primary American concept is to get a fair trial for t h e defendant rather than more convictions to satisfy the lynch mob mentality that evolved in the Zimmerman case.Zimmerman is a jerk but he was not guilty as charged.

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