SANFORD, FL (WKOW) – Jury selection begins on Monday in a Florida courtroom where neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman is on trial for second-degree murder.
The trial will begin with attorney's questioning 500 prospective jurors about their feelings on the media attention the case has drawn. In the end, only six jurors will be chosen before attorney's can make their opening statements.
It has been 16 months since Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, sparking an emotional debate across the country on guns, equal justice under the law and race. Some are calling it the civil rights case of the century.
There is no doubt that Zimmerman shot Martin, but the defense will have to walk a fine line as it tries to convince the jury that Zimmerman, who's Hispanic, felt threatened by the African- American teenager. Lawyer Mark O'Mara will also have to avoid the appearance that either he or his client is racist.
Prosecutors will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that while Zimmerman's actions weren't premeditated, his actions demonstrated a "depraved mind" that did not consider the threat toward human life.
If convicted of second-degree murder, Zimmerman could get a life sentence.