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Inside HLN's virtual Zimmerman juries

  • Five mock 'virtual juries' made up of HLN viewers are deliberating the case
  • In reaching a decision, they have discussed inception, intent and the importance of proving a case
Inside HLN's virtual Zimmerman juries

Monday night at 10 p.m ET on a special edition of HLN After Dark, Vinnie Politan is one-on-one with the Zimmerman prosecution team to try to find out what happened. HLN has been all over this case, and nothing is off-limits in this primetime interview.

As the real jury debates George Zimmerman's fate behind closed doors, a group of HLN viewers and readers are doing the same in our exclusive virtual Zimmerman mock juries. Since no verdict has been reached, we can't show you their conversations yet, but we can say there are many heated debates going on: When did a confrontation become a crime? How do you separate gut instinct from the instructions of the law? How do you determine what really happened in a case when one of the key players is deceased, and the other refuses to talk? Here are just some of the interesting points our virtual jurors have raised:

'When did this confrontation become a crime?'

Charles A, Jury 1: "My views of the other witnesses is that they can at best know what happened AFTER THE FACT. They cannot attest to the start. So let's say we take all of them as being infallible. Do we then give Zimmerman a pass, if he did indeed create and escalate the conditions that led to him believing he was justified in using deadly force. As a juror holding that belief I could not acquit him."

Coming soon to HLN: Georgia v. Andrea Sneiderman

Jean P, Jury 1: "When does the law say the aggression started...In my view, we all have to look at everything that led up to the point of contact."

'It's a matter of law, not emotion'

Rick S, Jury 2: "For me, the State doesn't have to do much proving their case. The inconsistencies and outright lies from Zimmerman are sufficient for me to distrust his version of events. The only way for him to have any hopes of me believing him is for him to take the stand (which he's not going to do) and clarify his statements."

Joyce F, Jury 3: "I do not see any evidence of guilt in a legal sense. There is no evidence that GZ had his gun out previous to the fight. That is speculation. There is no proof that GZ is not telling the truth, that is speculation. The fact that we do not know exactly what happened is reasonable doubt. Without evidence, my vote is a firm not guilty."

Linda D, Jury 5: "Before going any further I would like to say I am terribly sorry that Trayvon was killed. I am so sorry his family lost him. I have lost a son and that pain is horrible. I will pray for his family. But remember fellow jurors we must put those feelings aside, and focus only on the facts and what we heard as evidence in this trial. Sympathy, anger and blaming have no place in this discussion and verdict. I am reminding myself also."

Jim C, Jury 3: "This is a unfortunate incident in that a young man's life was taken. However, the prosecution has failed in proving a case against George Zimmerman."

'The 'Stand Your Ground' law goes both ways!'

Wanda T, Jury 4: "The aggression started when George Zimmerman got out of his car... George should have continued on to Target... he had already called the police and decided to follow that child, accosted him and murdered him... nobody in their right mind who says it is okay to be followed is lying to themselves... be honest, would it be okay for someone to follow you?"

Earnie E, Jury 4: "The only thing TM is guilty of is going home from the store and standing his ground because GZ confronted him for no apparent reason. I look at it this way, who was GZ to follow and confront TM for no reason? If GZ did what he did to TM, I would have don't the same as TM, stand my ground and ask why are you following me in the dark rainy night."

'The truth lies in their decisions. How can you come to a verdict if you don't know what they were thinking?'

Shearer B, Jury 3: "Manslaughter, though, is a different ball game all together. To convict Zimmerman of manslaughter, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman acted with culpable negligence the night he shot Martin... If the jurors add up all the decisions and actions that Zimmerman made that night, they could easily conclude that Zimmerman acted negligently that night and that, if it weren't for his negligence, Martin would still be alive."

Anne W, Jury 5: "Why didn't George Zimmerman announce himself? He has had all this criminal justice training and wanted to be a law enforcement officer -- I know that's one thing they teach is to announce yourself. I saw in previous comments about Trayvon's ability or know how to fight but let's not forget George Zimmerman was trained for MMA style fighting which is mixed martial arts, including boxing."

Jennifer L, Jury 2: I have been waiting for this trial, and I just can't get over Zimmerman following Trayvon. We all want to know what Zimmerman's state of mind was, when this happened, and we can hear it. I would like to know what Trayvon's state of mind was, when he visibly noticed he was being followed and watched by a strange man.

As you can see, there are many, many layers to this trial. If you were a juror in the case, what would you be considering?

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