July 16, 2013
Possible titles for the Zimmerman juror’s memoir
by Dustin Kurtz
Juror B37, one of the jurors who acquitted George Zimmerman from all wrongdoing just three days ago, has signed on with literary agent Sharlene Martin. The juror, who likely will not remain anonymous for long, is now pitching a memoir, co-written with her attorney husband, about her experience of the case.
George Zimmerman, in case you, like Juror B37, only use newspapers to line parrot cages, is the man who stalked, then killed, a teenage boy in Florida for the crime of being black and carrying skittles. He was arrested only reluctantly by local police and will, after his acquittal, be given back the gun with which he shot Trayvon Martin in the chest.
In a statement about the deal Martin (Sharlene, not Trayvon; the latter was a teenager legally gunned down by a stranger on a dark night and so cannot really write statements anymore, thanks) wrote:
My hope is that people will read Juror B37’s book, written with her attorney husband, and understand the commitment it takes to serve and be sequestered on a jury in a highly publicized murder trial and how important, despite one’s personal viewpoints, it is to follow the letter of the law. It could open a whole new dialogue about laws that may need to be revised and revamped to suit a 21st century way of life. The reader will also learn why the jurors had no option but to find Zimmerman Not Guilty due to the manner in which he was charged and the content of the jury instructions.
When the very first mention of the thing is a masterpiece of defensiveness you know it’s going to be an entirely inoffensive book, right?
The book isn’t yet written, but seeing as this juror found an agent a few dozen hours after freeing Zimmerman, she should be able to crank this literary gem out pretty quickly. The only question remaining is, what should the book be called? We have some suggestions:
Skittles of Wrath: They’re Pretty Scary if You Think About It, I’m Sure You’ll Agree
The Invisible Man, or, Wait, Not Man, Teenager, but He Looked Pretty Big in Those Photos of His Helpless Murdered Body They Showed Us
Democracy in America: Thirteen Easy Tips and Tricks for Shitting on the Legacy of de Tocqueville
Shame: Seven Easy Steps to Free Your Life of This Utterly Deserved Emotion
Twelve Angry Men: Boy That was a Good Film, Remember That One? So Good. Anyhow Here’s Your Gun Back
Wuthering I Clearly Wanted to be on This Jury for Some Reason and My Motives are Hugely Suspect
Where the Sidewalk Ends is Safer Than Florida Because I Somehow Believe That Sidewalks are Lethal Weapons and You Deserve to be Shot for Being Near One
Through the Looking Glass, in which I Should Not be Able to Face Myself
Kill a Mockingbird: Seriously Go for It, I’ll Acquit You
UPDATE: It looks like the book isn’t going to happen after all. First, Martin got cold feet and released this statement:
“After careful consideration regarding the proposed book project with Zimmerman Juror B37, I have decided to rescind my offer of representation in the exploration of a book based upon this case.”
Then the juror herself decided against the project, though it’s unclear if this was the result of a genuine epiphany or the realization that a book deal might be harder to come by than initially expected:
“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.”
This, of course, doesn’t mean that this project will never happen, but it’s not happening now. And that’s a good thing.
Dustin Kurtz is former marketing manager of Melville House.