We’re learning how the George Zimmerman jury reached its momentous verdict. Her face in shadow, Zimmerman Juror B37 cried as she disclosed the secrets inside the jury room. In her interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, she revealed that one juror wanted to convict Zimmerman of second degree murder when the jury took its first vote.
“We didn't just go in there and say, 'We're gonna come in here and just do guilty not guilty.' We thought about it for hours,” she sobbed.
She says Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place,” and she is convinced Trayvon Martin threw the first punch.
Cooper asked her, "You believe that Trayvon Martin was the aggressor?"
"I think the roles changed," she said. "I think George got in a little bit too deep, which he shouldn't have been there, and I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him."
The first vote may surprise people. Juror B37 told Cooper, "We had three not guilties, one second degree murder, and two manslaughters."
As their deliberations unfolded at the courthouse in Sanford, Florida, Juror B37 says all six jurors came to agree that the evidence did not support the second-degree murder charge. They then turned their attention to the manslaughter charge, but even then, she says, there were significant disagreements.
"There was a couple of them in there that wanted to find him guilty of something, and after hours and hours and hours of deliberating over the law, and reading it over and over and over again, we decided there's just no other place to go," said the juror.
On day two, after 16 hours of deliberations, the jurors reached the decision that would transfix the nation. Not guilty.
She said, “After we had put our vote in and the bailiff had taken our vote, that's when everybody started to cry.”
"Tell me about that," prompted Cooper.
"It was just hard, thinking that somebody lost their life, and there's nothing else that could be done about it," she said.
She says the response to the verdict came as a shock to her. "It was just unbelievable that it had gotten so big."
On Monday, Juror B37 announced she was writing a book about the trial, but she’s now cancelling the deal. She said in a statement, “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 the jury."
The interview is getting a big reaction.
"I'm so stunned, I'm almost speechless," said Sunny Hostin on AC 360. "She seemed to just really sympathize, almost empathize with George Zimmerman."
Social media erupted moments after Juror B37’s interview started airing.
“Thank you, Juror B37, for making it clear that prejudice and stupidity did lead to Zimmerman’s verdict,” reads one tweet.
But another tweet reads: “I don’t sympathize with her but I understand, it’s all about the laws.”
The New York Daily News reacted with the headline, "Insult to Injury."
CBS News legal analyst Jack Ford was struck by one particular revelation the juror made. He said, "These jurors did not consider this a racially driven case. She said that all six of them never considered, never focused on race as the driving force here."
Jury consultant Susan Constantine followed the trial in the courtroom. She says she would probably have bumped Juror B37 during the jury selection process.
"She was very expressive. She was a little bit comical. I thought she was a little eccentric for me," she said. "I did not find that she would have been one of my favorite jurors."