A member of the jury for the George Zimmerman trial, known as Juror B37, announced plans to write a book about the trial, then stated she that she had changed her mind and would not author a book about the experience after all.
Juror B37, who also participated in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, announced that she had signed with the Martin Literary Management agency. According to MediaBistro, the juror contacted the agency on Sunday.
B37 said she would be writing the book with her husband, who is an attorney. The agency’s president, Sharlene Martin, said her “hope is that people will read Juror B37’s book... 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. 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.”
Martin said the book could also “open a whole new dialogue about laws that may need to be revised and revamped to suit a 21st century way of life.”
However, in a statement released by Martin late Monday night, the juror said she would not be writing the book after all, saying she had been isolated from the effect of the verdict on the American public.
(Editor's note: Sharlene Martin later contacted the Los Angeles Times and said she had been the one to terminate the relationship between herself and the juror.
"I decided to rescind my offer of representation after watching Juror B37 on Anderson Cooper 360," she said. "I believe I made a grave error in judgment in wanting to represent this story. Shortly after the show aired, I reached out to B37 and suggested we terminate our book representation agreement. She and her husband agreed.")
Juror B37 said, “[I was] shielded... from the depth of pain that exists among the general public over every aspect of this case."
She said the book was supposed to be “a respectful observation of the trial from my and my husband's perspectives solely.”
“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," she said in a statement, which was tweeted out by Martin. “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.”
Before the juror’s announcement, a New York City resident named Genie Lauren started a petition on Change.org asking Sharlene Martin to back out of the book deal.
“Please don't allow this person to profit off of the injustice that they've served to the American public,” Lauren wrote. “We deserve better. Trayvon Martin's family deserves better.”
The petition was closed, but not before it received 1,346 signatures.
In a Los Angeles Times article, writer Hector Tobar questioned the speed with which Juror B37 had signed the book deal and what that might mean for the case.
“Anyone who’s ever tried to reach a literary agent over the weekend will question the timing of said announcement, which came less than 36 hours after the jury found Zimmerman not guilty of all counts,” Tobar wrote. “Is it possible that Juror B37, or her husband, was in contact with the agency before the six-woman jury even began to deliberate? And might a desire to transform her experience as a juror into a marketable story have influenced B37’s view of the case?”
While the juror’s identity has not been revealed, answers that she gave during the voir dire portion of the trial proceedings indicate that she is a middle-aged, white mother of two children who grew up in a military family and at one time had a permit for a concealed weapon.