Michael Skolnick, the political director for rap mogul Russell Simmons and co-president of GlobalGrind.com, says that a potential juror’s taste in political news led to his dismissal from the George Zimmerman trial.
On CNN’s “Newsroom” on Tuesday, host Carol Costello questioned the makeup of the jury. Mark Nejame, a legal analyst for CNN, explained that the jury composition was a product of the racial makeup of Seminole County, Fla., the county which city of Sanford is in.
“When you look at the composition of Seminole County, it’s eleven percent African-American,” Nejame said. “And when you look at Sanford, it’s 30 percent African-American. So when you subtract Sanford from the overall Seminole County, you have, you know, a very, very small minority, specifically African-American representation within Seminole County. So when in fact you condense that down to a jury, the odds of getting an African-American on the jury are very slim when you’re in Seminole County.”
Costello reminded her guests that the prosecution had struck down one black potential juror, and Skolnick suggested it was because he was a viewer of the Fox News Channel.
“Yeah, he was also, I was just — he was also a Fox News watcher,” Skolnick said. “So that was, you know, problematic for the prosecution.”