Mark O'Mara, the lawyer for George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed Trayvon Martin more than a year ago, filed a motion asking that jurors be kept in isolation because of the international attention the case has received.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charge, insisting that he shot the unarmed 17-year-old high school student in self-defense.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the parents of Trayvon Martin, said he did not have an objection to the request that the jury be kept in isolation.
"We don’t mind the jury being sequestered but what we do mind is not knowing the identities of the jurors," Crump said, in an interview with BET.com.
"We want make sure the jurors reflect the population of Seminole County," he said, of the trial that is scheduled to begin June 10 in Sanford, Florida. "There shouldn’t be any special consideration for George Zimmerman. I’m sure that if the shoe were on the other foot, there would not be a request for special consideration for Trayvon Martin."
O'Mara also asked that the jurors be allowed to take a tour of the area in the gated community in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando, where Martin was shot. O'Mara said that the inspection of the scene would offer jurors a greater opportunity to determine the credibility of the various witnesses.
The trial, with deep racial overtones, is being eagerly awaited. The teenage Martin was African-American and Zimmerman is of white and Hispanic background. Martin's parents have maintained that their son was the victim of racial profiling. Zimmerman, on the other hand, says he was attacked by the teenager and was protecting himself by shooting Martin.
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(Photo: Red Huber/The Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images)
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