SANFORD, Fla. — The six jurors and four alternates who will hear opening statements Monday in George Zimmerman’s murder trial are beginning their time together in a sequestered bubble: They will not return to their homes for weeks, contact with family and friends will be limited, and Internet and phone usage is restricted.
Court officials are keeping mum about the details of the jury sequestration, which began this weekend. But if past cases are any example, the Zimmerman jurors will not be able to tweet or blog. They’ll read only newspapers that have been censored of anything dealing with the case. They will do almost everything together as a group.
In their hotel rooms, TV news channels will be inaccessible and landline telephones will probably be removed. Deputies will keep the jurors’ cellphones and give them back once a day so they can call loved ones and friends.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys say the sequestration is necessary to eliminate jurors’ exposure to outside influences as they consider whether the neighborhood watch volunteer committed murder last year when he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. After spending almost two weeks picking a jury, the attorneys will make opening statements Monday.
‘‘Your contact with the outside world will be severely limited,’’ prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda warned potential jurors last week.