Zimmerman Jury Member’s Book Deal Killed by Twitter

In News by Dennis Abrams

By Dennis Abrams

Just one day after George Zimmerman jury member B37 announced that she had a book deal in the works, a campaign on Twitter helped to bring it to a quick end, according to uproxx.com.

Less than 48 hours after voting “not guilty” in the controversial case, the jury member announced that she had signed with Martin Literary Management and was planning to publish a book about her experience during the trial. Company president Sharlene Martin, in a press release after the announcement said:

“My hope is that people will read Juror B37’s book, written with her attorney husband, and understand the commitment it takes to serve and be sequestered on a jury in a highly publicized murder trial and how important, despite one’s personal viewpoints, it is to follow the letter of the law. It could open a whole new dialogue about laws that may need to be revised and revamped to suit a 21st century way of life. The reader will also learn why the jurors had no option but to find Zimmerman Not Guilty due to the manner in which he was charged and the content of the jury instructions.”

But outraged at what she saw as an attempt to profit off the trial, a woman on Twitter who goes by @MoreAndAgain decided to take a public stand against this unwritten book. First she tweeted to the literary agency, “Hey, @sharlenemartin, please drop juror B37. Do not help the person who let a murderer get away profit from this tragedy.” She then helped publicize the agency’s information across Twitter so that others could reach out as well: “Only thing I can think to do is flood Sharlene Martin’s phone, email and snail mail, w/ requests that she drop juror B37. That sound good?”

She also started a Change.org petition calling on literary agent Sharlene Martin to drop Juror B37. Within minutes of going online, the petition had more than a thousand followers, and shortly after that, Martin released this statement:

And then shortly after THAT, juror B37 released her own statement:

“I realize it was necessary for our jury to be sequestered in order to protect our verdict from unfair outside influence, but that isolation shielded me from the depth of pain that exists among the general public over every aspect of this case. The potential book was always intended to be a respectful observation of the trial from my and my husband’s perspectives solely and it was to be an observation that our ‘system’ of justice can get so complicated that it creates a conflict with our ‘spirit’ of justice.’ Now that I am returned to my family and to society in general, I have realized that the best direction for me to go is away from writing any sort of book and return instead to my life as it was before I was called to sit on this jury.”

As David D. pointed out on Uproxx, “If anything this is a pretty fascinating look at the power of Twitter and what a little bit of passion and movement can accomplish. It’s not like @MoreAndAgain has a million followers or anything either so it was pretty much word of mouth.”

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.