Reporter's Notebook: Potential juror E22 likes to garden, E13 loves horses...OK...Why does that matter exactly?

By Christina Vazquez - Reporter

SANFORD, Fla. - Criminal Defense Attorney Lyle Mazin put it this way: "Horses and gardens are ice breakers to find out who likes guns and community patrols."

During Round 2 of jury selection in the George Zimmerman trial we learned a lot more about the 40 potential jurors in the pool. Some details are understandably relevant to this case like their opinion on gun rights.

But other questions appeared more trivial and many jurors were visibly uncomfortable having to answer personal questions in the public setting.

Criminal Defense Attorney Amir Ladan said the information helps inform attorneys of the potential jurors' psyche, "the backgrounds play a role in how they will receive the evidence and information," during trial.

There were also moments of laughter and that too is a strategy explained Ladan. Lawyers want potential jurors to feel comfortable because it prompts candid answers, "By being light-hearted hopefully they are letting their guard down, giving you the skinny and not just the yes or no answer."

Those moments also help increase the lawyer's "like-ability factor" with potential jurors.

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