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The New York Daily News reported earlier this week that a potential juror in the upcoming George Zimmerman trial lied when he claimed he had not yet formed an opinion on the case:
A member of a pro-Travyon Martin group was unmasked Wednesday as he tried to get on the Florida jury in George Zimmerman’s trial for shooting the unarmed teen.
A white male potential juror identified on his Facebook page as Jerry Counelis gave long, rambling answers about his impartiality when asked basic questions by attorneys.
Counelis, known as panelist E-7, said he was an unemployed painter and musician and had no problem being sequestered if chosen to serve on the jury.
After both prosecution and defense attorneys finished questioning the potential juror, they requested a sidebar with the judge.
Circuit Judge Debra Nelson said she had a question for Juror E-7
She then asked if Counelis posted something to the Coffee Party Progressives Facebook page on March 21 .
Nelson circled something on a piece of paper and handed it to him, and told him to look at it and tell the court if he posted it.
Counelis answered “yes.” This is what he posted:
According to its Facebook page, the Coffee Party Progressives is a group “dedicated to seeking justice for Trayvon Martin.”
On March 21, Counelis wrote on its page that the justice system “needs an enema.”
“In Sanford … & I CAN tell you THIS. ‘Justice’ IS Coming!” he wrote, adding that “with the noise WE made … it couldn’t be covered up.”
There were several other incendiary remarks about Zimmerman and police in Sanford, Fla., where Martin was shot.
With all that in mind, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that the man, clearly biased against defendant George Zimmerman, was understandably dismissed from the pool of potential jurors on Wednesday. Well, it was understandable to everyone, it seems, but Counelis himself … who returned to the courtroom on Friday to express his outrage and ended up being escorted out by law enforcement:
SANFORD, Fla. — Channel 9 has learned a potential juror in the George Zimmerman trial who had been dismissed Wednesday returned to the Seminole County courthouse on Friday and had to be escorted out.
The man, referred to only by his juror number, E7, was at the courthouse demanding to know how the defense learned of a website post that got him dismissed earlier this week.
Once inside the courthouse on Friday, the dismissed juror began to express several concerns about his privacy and his treatment by the court system, so an investigator referred him to the clerk of courts and advised him to seek legal counsel.
Authorities said that’s when the man walked away from the investigator and down to the jury assembly room. There, the officer told E7 he had been dismissed and was not allowed in the jury assembly area or have any contact with any potential jurors until after the trial has concluded.
The deputy clerk of court referred E7 to the clerk’s office, which is when he replied, “Do they know what they are in for?” referring to other potential jurors.
The dismissed juror then went to the Clerk’s Office. When finished, E7 was advised that he was barred from entry to the courthouse until the conclusion of the Zimmerman trial.
But E7 told Channel 9’s Ryan Hughes on Friday that he simply went to the courthouse to ask court officials to urge the judge to further protect prospective jurors.
“This is all I did, and this is hurting me,” he said about the media attention after his dismissal.
E7 was hoping more information isn’t released by the court in regards to other jurors, saying some media outlets have called him a “stealth juror” who “lied his way on the jury” to find Zimmerman guilty.
He told Hughes he was taken into a holding area and was photographed before officially being barred from the building.
E7 said he was escorted to vehicle as deputies took pictures of his car.
I don’t think I have to tell you that this man was in no way interested in “protection” for panel of citizens on the jury pool. He is a dedicated #Trayvon Martin supporter who hoped to lie his way onto the jury in order to extract his own “justice for Trayvon” but got caught by George Zimmerman’s thorough and diligent defense team before any harm could potentially be done. Now he’s embarrassed and is demanding that the “privacy” of those on the panel be “protected” so they don’t get exposed like he was.
Here’s a tip, Mr. Counelis: If you don’t want to get caught in the act of lying about your opinion on a court case then don’t lie in the first place. Duh.
I’ve been actively involved in debates about this case on social media sites since the story first broke and I can honestly tell you I have not come across a more fanatical, crazed, militant, ill-informed, obtuse, juvenile, ignorant group of people in my life, and that’s saying a lot. Facts mean absolutely, 100% NOTHING to these people, and the conspiracy theories they come up with rival anything the left or right could come up with on any number of issues. In fact, the more agitated types – of which there are a lot – would have been perfectly at home in the late 1800s and early 1900s when lynching was an “acceptable” form of “justice” in the United States. Ironic, especially when you consider that the lynching was taken out on innocent black men denied jury trials because they were assumed guilty based on the color of their skin. Fast forward to now, where a “white Hispanic” is on trial for the killing of a black teenager.
The jury questioning and selection process will continue next week. Please continue to pray for a clarity and peacefulness of mind for all involved in this case, including the prosecution, defense, the judge, the jury – and the families of both Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. God knows none of them need any more unnecessary surprises like opinionated jurors who try to worm their way onto the jury.