ABC News anchor Dan Abrams sat down Friday to take your questions on Facebook about the George Zimmerman murder trial. A Florida jury is deliberating whether he is guilty of second degree murder or manslaughter for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin last year. In no particular order here’s what you asked Dan:
Tracy Schuch asks: How long do you think the jury will deliberate?
Dan Abrams: Just in the spirit of being proven wrong later I will predict a verdict at 3 p.m. Saturday.
UPDATE: Dan tweeted earlier today: “Its 3:01 p.m. So my 3p guess on Zimmerman trial jury verdict was wrong. (Didn’t deliberate as long as I thought last night but still wrong!) ”
Lannetta Somerville asks: With only 6 jurors, is there a possibility of there being a “hung jury”?
Dan Abrams: Before a hung jury would be declared the judge would instruct them to go back and try to reach a verdict. If it was deemed hopeless, then the judge would call it and then prosecutors would have to decide whether to retry Zimmerman. In this case I believe they would.
Byron Nichols Jr. asks: Was Trayvon using his stand your ground right ever brought up? If not, why?
Dan Abrams: In the end this wasn’t a stand your ground case. But regardless even if Trayvon was justified legally at first and he started beating up Zimmerman and then Zimmerman reasonably believed he was in danger of great bodily injury, he can use deadly force. That’s just the law.
Sergei Blair asks: Is it legal for jury to be all one gender? Isn’t there some rules for equal representation in the jury?
Dan Abrams: Nope. Law only prevents them from EXCLUDING jurors based on race or gender.
Jason Jenkins asks: How can self defense be applied when Zimmerman was the stalker?
Dan Abrams: Because the law of self defense in this case is only based on whether at the moment he shot him was he reasonably in fear of great bodily injury. (They also dispute that he stalked Trayvon Martin but that is a fact question.)
Zac Taylor Lipson asks: If he ignored the operator’s advice/words and went after him, doesn’t that carry a lot of weight in the decision of guilty or not, and what charge as well?
Dan Abrams: It may, but legally the only thing that should matter is what happened the moment Trayvon was shot. If Martin was beating Zimmerman and Zimmerman reasonably believed he was about to get beaten some more, then as a legal matter it should be not guilty.
Jill Hodges Parsons asks: Why has the media tried so hard to make this about race?
Dan Abrams: Really? The media made it about race? Its not the reality of the races of those involved and some of the facts? No question as more facts have emerged it has become less and less about race, but its not the media’s fault.