Cable news offered a post-courtroom showdown last night as Rachel Jeantel, the prosecution’s star controversial witness in the Trayvon Martin trial spoke out about the jury’s decision. Meanwhile, Juror B37 explained why she found George Zimmerman "not guilty" and why she felt "sorry" for Rachel Jeantel. Oh, and she’s no longer writing her book. Watch the clips inside….
Last night, Rachel Jeantel, the prosecution’s star witness, sat down with Piers Morgan to share her side of the story and to talk about her dearly departed friend, Trayvon. During their interview (which portrayed her in a much more personable light), Rachel discussed why she DID NOT want to attend the funeral (she has a fear of death), how she felt about the controversial cross-examination and how she felt about the media attacks on her. Here are the highlights:
On Trayvon Martin:
Trayvon is not a thug….(He’s) a calm, chill, loving person who loved his family. Definitely his mother. A good friend.
On her reaction to the verdict:
Disappointed. Upset. Angry. Question. And mad.
On the notion the George Zimmerman acted in self-defense:
On being disparaged by the defense:
When the state closed, they’re trying to explain what kind of person I am. And you can see the kind of person I am. Out of the whole stand I never cussed out Don [West]. Even during our little [...] – since March. I’ll hold it back. The only reason I have not said anything to Don West because my parents taught me better. As an adult you don’t have the right to disrespect an adult. Don’t curse – okay I did give attitude.
On her courtroom demeanor:
It’s not that I didn’t want to be there…I was dealing with a lot of stress.
On her speech pattern:
I have an underbite. I had this situation since kindergarten. Words I can say, they can’t come out right.
Watch the interview here:
And on AC360…..
Juror B37, the woman we told you was pitching a book about the trial, gave her side of the story to Anderson Cooper where she explained how the jury came up with a "not guilty" verdict and why she thought George Zimmerman’s heart was in the "right" place. Here are the upsetting highlights:
On the screams heard on the 911 call:
"…because of the evidence that he was the one that had gotten beaten…I don’t think there was a doubt….that everybody else thought it was George’s voice.”
On Rachel Jeantel:
"I didn’t think it was credible, but I felt sorry for her. She didn’t ask to be in this place. She wanted to go. She didn’t want to be any part of this case. I think she felt inadequate toward everyone because of her education and her communication skills. I just felt sadness for her…she was embarrassed by being there, because of her education and her communication skills, that she just wasn’t a good witness.”
On if Trayvon said "Creepy Ass Cracker"
I think it’s just every day life. The type of life that they live, and how they’re living, in the environment that they’re living in.”
On George Zimmerman:
I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place, but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods, and wanting to catch these people so badly, that he went above and beyond what he really should have done. His heart was in the right place. It just went terribly wrong.
Is it just us, or does it feel like Trayvon was put on trial (seeing that she said the BOTH could have walked away despite the fact Trayvon was minding his business in a place he had every right to be), and he never had a chance with this juror….and possibly not with the whole jury? Sounds like this woman–possibly all the jurors as well–simply identify with George and excuse his behavior becasue he "meant well" due to the break ins. Apparently, it doesn’t matter that he was 100% wrong in his assumption. As long as he "meant well"….it’s OK that a boy is dead….
And about that book deal……………
Following the IMMEDIATE backlash Juror B37 received about her proposed book, she AND her literary agent had second thoughts. The Juror released a statement which effectively cancelled the book deal.
“I realize it was necessary for our jury to be sequestered in order to protest our verdict from unfair outside influence, but that isolation shielded me from the depth of pain that exists among the general public over every aspect of this case. The potential book was always intended to be a respectful observation of the trial from my and my husband’s perspectives solely and it was to be an observation that our ‘system’ of justice can get so complicated that it creates a conflict with our ‘spirit’ of justice.
Now that I am returned to my family and to society in general, I have realized that the best direction for me to go is away from writing any sort of book and return instead to my life as it was before I was called to sit on this jury.”
Of course there’s more to the story……
It turns out that the Black Twitterverse had a hand in the squashing the book project. A Change.org petition, started by a young woman who tweets under the handle @MoreandAgain, landed on the timeline of literary agent Sharlene Martin and caused her to rescind her offer to Juror B37. Not to mention the floods of emails and calls we know she received after the Twitterer publushed her contact info. Let’s just hope B37 really does have a seat and doesn’t go looking for another publisher.
Watch the interview (that helped cancel her book deal) here:
In response to her mistreatment by the media, syndicated radio host Tom Joyner reached out to Rachel Jeantel and has now offered her a full scholarship to any HBCU of her choice!