B29, a juror in the trial of George Zimmerman, who killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, has come forward to say he “got away with murder”.
But the 36-year-old, named as Maddy in an ABC News’ Good Morning America interview, said they could not find him guilty based on the law.
The only non-white member of the six-woman jury, Maddy suggested the trial had been little more than a sham.
Florida neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was cleared after shooting dead 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012.
There were nationwide protests following his acquittal of murder and manslaughter charges earlier this month. George Zimmerman claimed self-defense.
Maddy, a nursing assistant and a mother of eight who had recently moved from Illinois to Florida, said she feels she owes an apology to Trayvon Martin’s parents.
Juror B29 has come forward to say George Zimmerman got away with murder
“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?>>” she told Good Morning America programme.
But she said that based on instructions from the judge, she could not convict George Zimmerman under Florida law.
“That’s where I felt confused, where if a person kills someone, then you get charged for it,” Maddy said.
“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.”
Known as Juror B29, she said she initially voted to convict 29-year-old George Zimmerman of second-degree murder, but changed her mind after nine hours of discussing evidence on the second day of deliberations.
“I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury,” she said.
“I fought to the end.”
Maddy, who is of Puerto Rican background, said the trial was “a publicity stunt”, because she believes Florida laws provided no opportunity to convict. But she said George Zimmerman will still be judged.
“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.”
Earlier this month, another juror – known only as B37 – told broadcaster CNN that she believed George Zimmerman had good intentions, but events “just went terribly wrong”.
B-37 – the juror who wanted to pen a book- is a white woman who volunteers rescuing animals. She is married to an attorney and has two adult children. She said she and her husband used to have concealed weapons permits. During the last round of questioning, she said she had an issue with the type of weapons people are allowed to carry. She also thought weapons’ training was inadequate for people seeking permits. “It should become harder,” she said.
B-51 is retired, unmarried and doesn’t have kids. She has lived in Seminole County for nine years working in real estate and run a call center where she said she had experience resolving conflicts. When asked if George Zimmerman did something wrong by following Trayvon Martin instead of waiting for police, she said: “Yeah, I guess he did do something wrong.”
A six-woman jury acquitted George Zimmerman of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in a gated community in Sanford, Florida
B-29 recently moved to central Florida from Chicago. She enjoys watching the Real Housewives on television and works as a nurse on an Alzheimer’s section of a nursing home. She said she hadn’t paid much attention to the shooting. She said she has been arrested, but her case was dropped. It’s not clear why she was arrested or exactly what happened to her case, though she said she was treated fairly. She is married and has several children. A prosecutor described her as “black or Hispanic” during jury selection.
B-76 is a white woman who has lived in central Florida for 18 years. She manages rental properties with her husband of 30 years. She has two adult children, including one who is an attorney. She is involved with rescuing animals in her free time. During jury selection, she said she had been the victim of a nonviolent crime. “Everyone deserves a fair trial,” she said.
E-6 is a white woman who is married and has two children. She has worked in financial services and has lived in Seminole County for two years. She is active in her church and involved with her children’s school. During jury selection, she said she didn’t know the facts of the case well.
E-40 is a white woman who works as a safety officer and recently moved to Seminole County from Iowa. She describes herself as a football fan. During jury selection, she said she had been the victim of a nonviolent crime.
George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watchman who shot dead unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin last year, has been found not guilty.
Lawyers for George Zimmerman, 29, argued he acted in self-defense and with justifiable use of deadly force in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The jury retired on Friday to consider its verdict on charges of either second-degree murder or manslaughter.
The case sparked a fierce debate about racial profiling in the US.
Protesters are gathering in Sanford, the Florida town where the shooting took place.
Police and community leaders have appealed for calm.
After the verdict, Judge Deborah Nelson told George Zimmerman he was free to go.
“Your bond will be released. Your GPS monitor will be cut off when you exit the courtroom over here. And you have no further business with the court,” Judge Nelson said.
George Zimmerman showed little reaction as the verdict was read out.
“Hopefully everyone will respect the jury’s verdict,” his lawyer Mark O’Mara told reporters after the case.
Mark O’Mara said George Zimmerman would now have to be “very cautious and protective of his safety because there is still a fringe element who have said that they would revenge – that they would not listen to – a verdict of not guilty.”
Lawyers for George Zimmerman argued he acted in self-defense and with justifiable use of deadly force in the death of Trayvon Martin
Another member of his defense team, Don West, said: “I’m thrilled that this jury kept this tragedy from becoming a travesty.”
The case brought into sharp relief some of the most divisive issues in the United States: race, gun control and equal justice under the law.
Florida police did not arrest George Zimmerman for six weeks after the shooting, provoking mass rallies in Florida and throughout the US.
Under the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law, the use of lethal force is allowed if a person feels seriously under threat.
Benjamin Crump, the Martin family lawyer, said: “Trayvon Martin will forever remain in the annals of history… as a symbol for the fight for equal justice for all.”
He, too, appealed for calm, saying “for Trayvon to rest in peace, we must all be peaceful”.
The family’s legal team said they were not in the courtroom when the verdict was read out.
State Attorney Angela Corey said she believed prosecutors had “brought out the truth on behalf of Trayvon Martin”.
“This case has never been about race or the right to bear arms,” she said.
“We believe this case all along was about boundaries, and George Zimmerman exceeded those boundaries.”
As the jury retired on Friday, the judge told the panel of six women to consider whether George Zimmerman acted in self-defense and with justifiable use of deadly force.
Without explicitly discussing race, the prosecution had suggested George Zimmerman assumed the African-American teenager, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt as he walked in the rain, was up to no good.
But the defense said Trayvon Martin punched their client, slammed his head into the pavement and reached for George Zimmerman’s gun.
The accused, who was legally armed with a pistol, had been sitting in his vehicle on a dark street when he saw Trayvon Martin.
George Zimmerman telephoned police to report a suspicious person, then left his vehicle in apparent pursuit of the teenager.
Shortly afterwards, Trayvon Martin was found dead, shot in the chest.
Earlier, George Zimmerman’s lawyer said he had proven his client’s “pure, unadulterated innocence” in Martin’s death.
But prosecutors said the accused had told a series of lies.
President Barack Obama commented on the case last March following calls for the arrest of George Zimmerman.
He said the “tragedy” of an unarmed black teenager shot dead in Florida should prompt some national soul-searching.
“If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” President Obama told reporters at the White House.
Following the verdict, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – best known for its battles against segregation and discrimination – said it was calling “immediately for the Justice Department to conduct an investigation into the civil rights violations committed against Trayvon Martin”.
“This case has re-energized the movement to end racial profiling in the United States,” Roslyn M. Brock, chairwoman of the NAACP, said in a statement.