Dismissed George Zimmerman juror files civil rights claim - New York News

Dismissed George Zimmerman juror files civil rights claim

Posted: Updated:
  • 911 CallsMore>>

  • 911 calls released in Sanford shooting

    911 calls released in Sanford shooting

    Wednesday, April 11 2012 9:52 AM EDT2012-04-11 13:52:36 GMT
    Sanford Police have released the 911 calls placed on the night of a fatal shooting which took the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
    Sanford Police have released the 911 calls placed on the night of a fatal shooting which took the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
  • Exclusive InterviewMore>>

  • Robert Zimmerman interview

    Robert Zimmerman interview

    For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.
    For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.
SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

A man who was dismissed as a potential juror in the George Zimmerman trial claims his civil rights were violated.

The Florida Civil Rights Association (FCRA) announced earlier this week that the association will provide legal representation to Jerry P. Counelis, known as juror E-7, saying he was unfairly banned from the Seminole County Courthouse on Friday.  The FCRA also alleges that Counelis was defamed by Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara.
 
"Counelis filed a complaint with the Florida Civil Rights Association alleging violation of his civil rights during the jury selection process in the George Zimmerman's murder trial of Trayvon Martin," said J. Willie David, III, the organization's president.  "I'm highly troubled and disturbed by the reckless and defamatory comments made by George Zimmerman's Defense Attorney Mark O'Mara who sounded off to news reporters about Mr. Counelis' character."

When questioned by attorneys during the first phase of jury selection last week, Counelis appeared eager to serve on the jury, saying he could withstand the hardships of being sequestered.  

The self-described musician and painter told attorneys he didn't have an opinion on the Zimmerman case.  But the defense discovered a posting on a Facebook page for the "Coffee Party Progressives" about Trayvon Martin, which they believe indicated otherwise.

"I just want to know if that's your posting," Circuit Judge Debra Nelson asked him.  "I don't need an explanation for what is posted, I just want to know if it is, in fact, your posting," she said.

"Yes," he replied.

Counelis was then escorted out of the courtroom by a deputy.

Later, defense attorney Mark O'Mara said the incident could have cost taxpayers thousands of dollars in damage. 

"It's devastating to a case to have a juror who has an agenda, but it's really devastating to the system, because we start losing faith in the system," he said.

Counelis returned to the courthouse on Friday to publicly express concerns about privacy and the jury selection process.   He was again escorted out of the courthouse and has been prohibited from returning to the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center until the trial ends.

David emphasized that Zimmerman is entitled to a fair trial, but he said his organization will continue to monitor the Zimmerman trial to ensure that the rights of jurors and protestors are protected.  

"Prospective jurors do not seek out the public forum," David said.  "They are summoned by the court, often unwillingly, to fulfill a public civic duty."  He added, "The Court is duty bound to protect prospective jurors and jurors from privacy intrusion and character assassination by defense attorneys, prosecutors and the news media."

The FCRA describes itself as a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting and expanding the civil rights and civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitutions and civil rights laws of the United States and  the State of Florida.  

  • Photos of Casey Anthony

  • Click here to see photos of Casey Anthony through the months.
  • Trayvon Martin Coverage

  • Click here for stories, photos and 911 calls from the Trayvon Martin case.

Follow us on Pinterest

 

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • FAA ends ban on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv

    FAA ends ban on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:11:59 GMT
    The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. carriers from flying to Tel Aviv. The announcement was made late Wednesday night.The FAA had extended the ban on Thursday afternoon after its first ban went into effect 24 hours earlier. The decision was made after a rocket launched into Israel from Gaza landed near the Ben Gurion Airport.
    The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. carriers from flying to Tel Aviv. The announcement was made late Wednesday night.The FAA had extended the ban on Thursday afternoon after its first ban went into effect 24 hours earlier.  The decision was made after a rocket launched into Israel from Gaza landed near the Ben Gurion Airport. United Airlines will be the first U.S. carrier to resume flights to Israel after a two-day hiatus caused by combat.
  • New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the iconic Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs.
    The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the iconic Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs.
  • Suspect arrested in dismembered Brooklyn woman murder case

    Suspect arrested in dismembered Brooklyn woman murder case

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:08 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:08:03 GMT
    Police say they arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the murder of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered in Bay Shore. Suffolk County homicide squad and the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Leah Cuevas, 42, on Wednesday night. Cuevas lived on 346 Sumpter Ave. in Brooklyn, the same address as the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27. Cuevas was charged with second-degree murder and held overnight at Suffolk's Fourth Precinct.
    Police say they arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the murder of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered in Bay Shore. Suffolk County homicide squad and the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Leah Cuevas, 42, on Wednesday night. Cuevas lived on 346 Sumpter Ave. in Brooklyn, the same address as the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27. Cuevas was charged with second-degree murder and held overnight at Suffolk's Fourth Precinct.

FOX 35 Weather Authority

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices