US

Zimmerman jurors treated to the good life

Ariel Cohen Contributor

Florida taxpayers spent thousands of dollars to keep the George Zimmerman trial jurors happy during their sequestration.

The six female jurors were reportedly treated to steak dinners, movies, spa treatments and day-trip travel excursions during the course of the trial.

For the twenty-two day duration of the trial, the six female jurors were cut off from society, living in an isolated Marriott hotel in Lake Mary, Fla., USA Today reports.

Jurors watched television, went out to movies, exercised in the hotel fitness center and ate meals together at the hotel. Occasionally, they dined out at Senior Tequila’s in Winter Springs, according to a statement from the Seminole County sheriff’s department.

Family and friends could visit the jurors on weekends, as long as they signed an agreement stating they would not discuss the trial.

To further add to the feel of imprisonment, jurors were not allowed to watch what they wanted on TV, listen to the radio, read the newspaper or surf the Internet. They could only leave the confines of sequestration to go to chaperoned appointments for “personal care.”

The excursions were meant to make sure the jurors lived a balanced life and kept a clear head. The six jurors eventually acquitted George Zimmerman of any crime.

“Serving on this jury has been a highly emotional and physically draining experience for each of us,” the jurors said in a statement. “The death of a teenager weighed heavily on our hearts but in the end we did what the law required us to do.”

Although exact costs are not available, the hotel was about $1,000 per day, and meals cost approximately $375 per day. In totally, the twenty-two-day sequestration added up to about $33,000. The Seminole County sheriff’s office estimates the entire trial proceedings cost taxpayers about $320,000.

Follow Ariel on Twitter