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Zimmerman lawyer: Jurors followed law, not their hearts

By Phil Gast, CNN
updated 1:11 PM EDT, Sun July 28, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "I stand by the decision because of the law," juror B29 told ABC
  • Zimmerman defense: Jurors must vote by the law, not their hearts
  • Juror B29 also said Zimmerman "got away with murder"

(CNN) -- George Zimmerman's defense team says people should delve into the "substance" of other comments made by a juror who claimed the man who killed Trayvon Martin "got away with murder."

Juror B29 got it right when she said the six Florida jurors had to follow the law, rather than their hearts, Mark O'Mara said in a statement Friday.

The 36-year-old juror, who used only her first name of Maddy out of concerns for her safety, told ABC on Thursday that she and others on the panel felt Zimmerman was guilty, but that wasn't enough.

"I stand by the decision because of the law," she said. "If I stand by the decision because of my heart, he would have been guilty." She also said, "George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can't get away from God."

Juror to ABC: He 'got away with murder'

At the beginning of deliberations, Maddy told ABC, she wanted to convict Zimmerman of second-degree murder. But she realized on the second day of deliberations that there wasn't enough proof to convict him of murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Zimmerman 'got away with murder'
Trayvon's mother: Use my tragedy

Juror B29 said the evidence showed that Zimmerman was guilty of killing Martin, 17, in February 2012 at a neighborhood in Sanford, Florida.

"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," she told ABC.

O'Mara said that the defense acknowledged Zimmerman killed Martin -- in self-defense. He said a "juror's job is not to decide what a law should be, her job is to apply the facts presented at trial to the laws they are instructed about."

"We do ask jurors not to reach their verdicts based on what their hearts tell them; for the verdict, a juror must set aside emotions and follow the law," said O'Mara. "Based on her comments, Juror B29 accepted a tremendous burden, set her feelings aside, and cast a verdict based the evidence presented in court and on the law she was provided."

His statement labeled B29 as a "model juror."

Thursday night, Martin's mother said she was devastated after hearing the juror's comments.

"It is devastating for my family to hear the comments from juror B29, comments which we already knew in our hearts to be true. That George Zimmerman literally got away with murder," Sybrina Fulton said in a written statement. "This new information challenges our nation once again to do everything we can to make sure that this never happens to another child."

Maddy is the second juror to speak about the high-profile case since the all-female jury acquitted Zimmerman earlier this month.

She and other jurors also have identified themselves by their numbers from the jury pool.

Opinion: What if both were white?

Last week, the woman known as Juror B37 told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" that Zimmerman "didn't do anything unlawful" and was "justified" in shooting 17-year-old Martin last year.

Zimmerman has been out of the public eye since the jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder on July 13.

Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, had a confrontation with the unarmed African-American teen after calling police to report a suspicious person, and he said he shot Martin in self-defense.

Juror B29 stressed that she and the other jurors took their responsibility seriously.

"I don't want people to think that we didn't think about this, and we didn't care about Trayvon Martin, because we did. We're very sad that it happened to him," she said.

Trayvon's mom: Law let Zimmerman off the hook

CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.

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