05-28-2017  11:02 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Art Museum Hosts Upstanders Festival May 27

Event includes spoken word, workshops and poster making in support of social justice ...

Happy Memorial Day

The Skanner wishes readers a safe and happy Memorial Day ...

North Portland Library Announces June Computer Classes

Upcoming courses include Introduction to Spreadsheets, What is the Cloud? and Learn Programming with Games ...

Merkley to Hold Town Hall in Clackamas County

Sen. Jeff Merkley to hold town hall in Clackamas County, May 30 ...

NAACP Monthly Meeting Notice, May 27, Portland

NAACP Portland invites the community to its monthly general membership meeting ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Ensuring the Promise of the Every Student Succeeds Act

The preservation of Thurgood Marshall's legacy is dependent upon our dedication to our children ...

CFPB Sues Ocwen Financial over Unfair Mortgage Practices

What many homeowners soon discover is that faithfully paying a monthly mortgage is in some cases, just not enough ...

B-CU Grads Protest Betsy “DeVoid” in Epic Fashion

Julianne Malveaux says that Betsy “DeVoid,” is no Mary McLeod Bethune ...

NAACP on Supreme Court's Decline to Review NC Voter ID Law

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks made the following remarks ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT


(CNN) -- The prosecution in the George Zimmerman trial in Florida asked 40 potential jurors about a wide range of subjects Wednesday, the eighth day of jury selection.

Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on the night of February 26, 2012. He claims he shot the teenager in self-defense.

Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda asked the candidates about their families, their careers and even their criminal histories.

There were some moments of levity.

Multiple jurors said they enjoyed drinking beer. The courtroom erupted in laughter when one potential juror said he participated in competitive barbecue contests but has not won any awards yet. Zimmerman smiled and chuckled along.

De la Rionda also asked the potential jurors about their exposure to firearms.

The jurors' attitudes toward guns may be an important factor in how they view Zimmerman's decision to pursue the unarmed Martin with a gun the night of the shooting.

Most of the jurors said they either own a personal firearm or have family or friends who own guns. One candidate said he was a member of the National Rifle Association. Another said he goes to a shooting range every few months. Only a few of potential jurors said they had limited exposure to guns.

The 40 potential jurors will return to court at 9 a.m. ET Thursday for questions from the defense.

After the defense finishes its line of questioning, the process of whittling down the pool to the six jurors and some number of alternates will begin.

Both sides will have the chance to keep or strike jurors. Each side has 10 peremptory strikes -- which means they will have 10 opportunities to eliminate potential jurors without having to disclose their reasons -- and an unlimited number of strikes "for cause," for such reasons as bias or hardships.

The shooting put a national spotlight on Zimmerman's hometown of Sanford and sparked fresh debates about race relations and gun laws in America.

Zimmerman is Hispanic; Martin was African-American.

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