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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  February 22, 2013 6:00am-8:00am PST

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the credibility of a detective who is on the level of a warrant officer and who on the main agreed with the assertions made by the defense on their version necessarily means that the state's case is not strong. we are dealing with circumstantial evidence what one would expect? there are no other witnesses. the only one that knows what happened there is the accused. it is a matter of cause that when you are dealing with circumstantial evidence, pieces of the puzzle need to be put together and those pieces of the puzzle may not yet all be before me and of course the state obviously in the normal sequence of events would by the time that the state is ready or trial ready have more pieces of the puzzle and when that happens and assuming the matter reaches the stage where evidence is led in the trial itself, and at the close of the state case for example, if all the pieces of the puzzle leave the court with
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an inference as the only reasonable inference to the exclusion of all others, that it was the deceased who knew it s was, that it was the applicant who knew that it was the deceased in the toilet, fired from the distance as indicated by the state, then of course, the accused may have a case to answer. in considering the state case and strength of the state case i'm mindful of the decision of s. versus brankees, page 575, supreme court of appeals, handed down by the honor acting justice of appeals shongway page 578 he goes to implicate a application of bail pending appeal "whether the sum of circumstantial evidence is sufficient to establish that felon's complicity in the planning and preparation of the robbery must be during the appeal for the purpose of the appeal is not
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necessarily to go beyond simply stating the evidence, likewise i consider the outset of the bail application whereby the very nature of things, the investigation is at a very early stage. this court is left with no option but to police weight on what i have before me." it is practical impossible within a matter of a week for the state to have all the pieces of the puzzle where the applicant is the only person who can tell what happened, and as i sit here i'm indeed handicapped to the extent that as a court, i have no option but to perhaps look into the future and almost guess the prospects of success of the state case during the trial. having said that, i will venture to say and i appreciate that i am not the trial court in as much as the defense has found concessions in the evidence of the investigating officer to their advantage, the improbabilities as highlighted by the investigating officer but
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more underlined by the senior counsel representing the state, there are some aspects of the version of the accused that are quite pronounced. i have difficulty why he did not ascertain the whereabouts of his girlfriend and difficulty coming to the fact the accused did not seek to verify who exactly was in the toilet when he could have asked. i have difficulty appreciating why the deceased would not have screamed back from the toilet. i have difficulty also with understanding why the deceased and the accused would not of like mind in those circumstances escape through the bedroom door, then venture into the toilet. i have a problem also as to why the accused would further
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venture into danger knowing full well the intruder was in the toilet leaving himself open to be attacked before he shot, because he heard the noise, left that area, went to fetch the firearm, returned, and to my mind, what if the intruder came out and was waiting for him and upon sight of him shot him? i have difficulty in appreciating why the accused would not seek to ascertain who exactly was in the toilet. i have some difficulty with the defense's version at this early stage for the part that i play as the presiding officer in the bail application that the accused chose to sleep on that side of the bed that particular night and yet indicating that the deceased had slept there the night before. for those reasons and many others, and i'm not the trial
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court, there are improbabilities which need to be explored and possibly will only be ventilated if the accuse gives evidence under oath and for that reason i'm saying that the defense has failed to show this court that there's a weakness in the strength of the state's case to the point that it can constitute an exceptional circumstance to their benefit. but equally, against the backdrop of the circumstantial evidence of the state case, to some extent the evidence or the weak evidence on some areas of his testimony by warrant officer hilton bota and having regard to the above, i find that whilst it would have been necessary for the applicant to show the weakness of the state's case as an exceptional circumstance,
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likewise the state not through its own doing cannot equally show that the state's case is so strong and water tight that its applicant must come to the conclusion he must free or evade his trial. with regard to the personal circumstance circumstances and the issue more especially section 64b, read with section 66, and that turns on the issue of whether the accused will choose to flee not because of the strength of the state's case but because he's not tied in south africa.
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what are the emotional family and community ties to the place which he's to be tried. he's a south african citizen. is he a professional athletic, athlete and resides at 286 silver wood estate. he resided in the republic of south africa all his life and he frequently travels abroad to participate in international sporting events. he regards south africa as his permanent place of abode, he has no intention to relocate to any other country. he admitted he has friends and family in south africa although he has friends abroad. he owns immovable property in south africa, the immovable property where he currently resides at silver wood estates, this property is valued approximately $5 million and encumbered by a mortgage bond in
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the amount of $2 million. there are two further immovable properties within weeping willow estates which properties have a combined value of approximately $1.6 million, bonded to the value of one. he has an estate in cape which is $1.7 million not bonded, he owns movable assets, household furniture and effects, motor vehicles and jewelry valued in excess of half a million. he has cash investments in excess of $1 million at various banks within the country. he has what are the means and travel documents held by the accused which may enable him to leave the country. he has two south african passports, one in full, he needs the passport to compete overseas, but is willing to surrender the passports to the investigating officer, should it be a condition of bail. he is not in possession of any
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other travel documents and undertakes not to apply for such documentation pending the finalization of these proceedings. his professional occupation provides him with an income of approximately $5.6 million per annum. now we have debated the issue including the discussion on the heads of argument, and i as a court, having an inquizitorial power inquired from the investigating officer whether he thought it probable a person who is of international stature would not only risk losing his career but seek to be a fugitive in any part of the world, more especially as we discussed today, being a person who has to use prosthesis and whilst ad nit knell has argued but why, in the
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same vain, would the accused get involved in a fight at melrose arch, or discharge a firearm under the table? i think what we are seeking to establish is the ends to which one would go to save himself, and in advocate knell's scenario i don't think that falls so much for consideration. the issue before me is whether this accused, being who he is, and with the assets that he has in the country would possibly want to seek to duck and dive all over the world when, even by the state's own concession, he may at worst case scenario face cull possibly whom tide. in as much as the minimum sentence legislation may be applicable there is a professionition for special circumstances or substantial and compelling circumstances which would cause the trial judge to deviate so it may not
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necessarily be the case that he is now committed to face 15 years imprisonment or life in prison. i cannot find that the accused or i cannot find that it has been established that the accused is a flight risk or that ground has been established that seeks, that is needed to be established. turning to the issue of whether the ground in section 64a, section 65 has been established where there's a lickkelihood wi present a danger to the public, i have regard to what has been placed before me, indeed so there are separate incidents and i indeed raised and caused the investigating officer to explain the circumstances of the charge that was withdrawn against the
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accused by a complainant called sam. now the accused has shown tendencies of adepression. i think it's quite clear because it's not in dispute that he used foul language, threatening to conduct himself in a violent manner. it's not in dispute that he threatened to break somebody's legs. it's not in dispute further the accused caused his friend to try to manipulate a complainant into not taking the matter further, but i think one should differentiate between individuals who have outstanding cases against them, individuals against whom they are reported matters, individuals who have previous convictions and individuals who i have had -- individuals with regard to whom the state has placed evidence under oath before me that have a propensity to commit violence.
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now, in this particular instance, warrant officer bota initially responded saying i have an objection to bail because the accused is a flight risk. he will not stand trial, it's a serious charge. i've gone into the seriousness and strength of the case and the weaknesses thereof. i do not think that warrant officer bota spent as much time as he ought to have if he wanted to show that the accused has a propensity to commit violence. if you need to do that, there is ample room and ample time for to you do that by looking at the background of the accused. one could be ingenious and even try to get any kind of medical report that can show that the accused is not of stable mind. that was not done. i do not have the dates of the incidents. i have a er haverbal and anothe verbal. discharge of a firearm passed under the table, is that an
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opportunity to show he has a propensity of violence? i appreciate that a person is dead but i do not think that's enough more especially investigating officer merely touches on these three incidence, that ground has not been established and in coming to my conclusion state versus rudolph 2010, where in that particular matter the accused past behavior included among others the fact that he of an interdict against him relating to domestic violence and out on bail on charges of rain and attempted murder. that is the type of violence that would find the establishment of the ground that would vitiate against the accused taking bail. the honor judge in the matter of
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state versus devi and others indicated and i quite, an applicant in a bail application is given a broad scope to establish the requisite circumstances whether they relate to the nature of the crime, personal circumstances of the applicant or the accused or anything else that is particularly cogent. the judge was seized with the matter which required the accused to show exceptional circumstance circumstances exist to justify his release. the judge referred to the matter of another case to which i have referred and also referred to rudolph 2010 1 scr written it was found personal circumstances to an exceptional degree may lead to a finding that the
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release on bail is justified. he goes on in the judgment to say in the context of section 16.11a the exceptionality of the circumstances not be such as to persuade a court that it would be in the interests of justice to order the release of the person of the accused, a certain measure of flexibility in the approach is required and he referred to s. versus mohammed, 1992, 507c adds it would be futile to attempt to provide a list of possibilities which will constitute such exceptional circumstances, to incarcerate an innocent person for an offense which he did not commit could also be viewed as exceptional. excuse me.
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it could not have been the intention of the legislature in section 64a of the act to legitimize at random the incarceration of persons who are suspected of having committed schedule six offenses who after all must be regarded as innocent until proven guilty, and s versus jonas 1998, 677 se, the real case he goes on to add argued before me on behalf of the state, the respondents, is that there say strong case against the appellants and it could encourage the appellant not to stand trial. i'm saying this because the state did not seriously seek to argue that the appellant is a flight risk. to ignore the personal factors
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of an applicant sunday section 1611 he goes on to add would have the effect of denying an applicant a reasonable opportunity to produce evidence to satisfy the court of the existence of exceptional circumstances but most importantly it would be difficult, if not impossible to establish such exceptional circumstances.
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the other case which i everyday acting judge said on page 58 theish eye which took the balance in appellant one's favor in respect of deciding that he had discharged the onus of proving exceptional circumstances was the evidence of the investigating officer that he was not regarded as a flight risk, not likely to interfere with state witnesses and further concession that there was no reason to regard the release of him on bail as likely to constitute a threat to the public. so what the investigating officer in that particular matter did was merely confirm that the grounds that need to be established before bail may be refused in the interest of justice exists and i turn to look at the facts of this
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particular matter as mr. pistorius be able through his own evidence and that of his witnesses after their statements and that of the evidence of the state case that the grounds that need to be established in the interests of justice before he is released on bail have indeed been established. i want to just turn quickly before i deal with that on the score of public outrage and the presentation of evidence to establish the grounds in section 64a to e. if this case, this particular matter evoked public outrage in any way my view is that the state in opposing bail ought to have placed before me exactly where this outrage lay. i have some difficulty also with
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the fact that even though there may have been individuals in the court and outside the court who took umbrance at the violent nature of the deceased's death before i can find it established as a ground that there will be a shock and outrage in this particular matter if i release the accused on bail, i cannot certainly do so on my own and in isolation. i would need to be, i would need to have evidence before me in that regard and if that is the ground on which or the ground that the state wishes to show has been established which prevent the accused's release on bail there are factors that would convince me to do that.
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whether the shock or outrage of the community might lead to public disorder if the accused is released is one of them. whether the sense and security among members of the public will be undermined or jep diced by the release of the accused. i must highlight whilst bail is inquizitorial and the standard in bail is not that in terms of the applicability of the law of evidence, i cannot flagrantly disregard the fact that there needs to be a proper basis laid before the establishment of grounds in the criminal procedure act. i do also wish to indicate there t is an area of concern where
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the state is in possession of information, albeit in a magazine that the accused for instance has property in italy, that the state machinery sound and solid as it is, did not contact for instance interpol or any other international police agency to help determine whether the accused indeed has a property in his name in italy and whether or not he is allowed to use it, and had that been done, then the accused would as a matter of course not mentioned in this affidavit and that would have certainly counted against him. having regard to the fact that the accused is not a flight risk, because is he not a flight risk and the accused does not show a propensity to commit violence the accused, there is no evidence before me, will interfere with state witnesses, and there isn't proper evidence
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before me relating to the public perception of the matter. and having regard to the totality of the evidence before me against the factors that need to be established before the accused may be denied bail, i find that the very non-establishment of those factors set out in section 64a to e together with the fact that the accused has in this instance offered a version under oath at a very early stage and i do not attach any weight to the investigating officer's concessions with regard to the defense version but the fact remains ordinarily one gets flimsy affidavits merely saying i deny the allegations, i will not flee, but in this instance the accused has reached out to try to meet the state's case of course against the background of those improbabilities that i have seen and mentioned that
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fact, that reaching out in the affidavit the way he did, placing it before the court, together with the fact that none of the factors that need to be established have been establish established, i come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail. >> yes! >> these are the conditions of bail concerned. >> all right. >> okay so they've broken away again and you heard from desmond nair said "i've come to the conclusion that the accused has
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made a case to be released on bail" this wraps up going on close to two hours of walking through not only the last four days of this case but also literally going through the history of jurisprudence in south africa and bail hearings, et cetera, et cetera. let's begin with robyn curnow outside the courtroom. i know you've got an attorney with you, an expert in south africa law. is he surprised and what does he make of this ruling? >> reporter: okay, i'm just going to bring him in, in two minutes' time if you could hold on while i get a microphone handed to me. according to this entire process, many legal experts have felt this is an exceptional way that this is being handled that this kind of long ruling, this sort of experience that we've just endured the last two hours is unusual. i'm going to try to bring in llewellyn lewis, i want to warn you and your viewers we are in a tight closed environment so if
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the shot is messy and the camera man is worried about seeing the lights, don't worry. this is more important. what we want to know from you is what is your reading of this and how different is it to other cases? >> first of all this was a well balanced, well reasoned, well researched judgment, all in all it burned down to a lecture in academic lecture in both proceedings and basically summarization of the legal positions in south africa with regard to both proceedings. >> reporter: which must have been tough for people in the u.s. or around the world listening. >> of course. >> reporter: tough for us even here. >> to summarize whatever has to be said as far as bail is concerned, there's no easy task but i think the chief magistrate nair did so decently. i think it was a well balanced argument and all in all i think it was fair. >> reporter: you said all along that oscar pistorius would get bail. was it necessary to drag this on in such a way? >> i don't think so.
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ultimately i stand by my initial comments to say the ultimate question before court was whether he will be able to stand trial ultimately and that's precisely what the magistrate determined that he's not a flight risk, not going to run away anywhere in the world and ultimately he will see his day in court. >> reporter: has all this been theater or thorough? >> i think it was a thorough judgment. i think also the magistrate made sure that, from an international perspective, everybody would be familiarize them with the nitty gritty and detail in south africa law with regard to these offenses once and for all. >> reporter: he doesn't want someone to come back to him at the end of the trial and cast doubt over his judgment. >> exactly and to answer your follow-up question which i presume will you ask me next is whether the state will be inclined to bring in, appeal against the judgment of the magistrate, i don't think so. i think this is the end of the road for now. obviously what will follow is a mountain for both sides to climb on the one side to do the
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investigation. on the other side to prepare for a proper defense and in six months to a year's time from now we'll know what the outcome will be. >> reporter: when a trial takes place. give me some sense of what happens now. does oscar walk out of the court building behind us? >> he will be taken down to the prisoner's spot of the court, pay the amount of bail to be set soon. bail receipts will take place and then he's entitled to his freedom and he will be released immediately. whether that will happen outside the building, it's already past court hours or whether he will be transferred back to the police station first remains to be seen. there's no reason why he can't walk out scott free right now. >> reporter: literally from this gate behind us. we're positioned by the gate he's been coming in and out of. we might see him coming out in the next half an hour i have heard there is a process that might take half an hour. give me some sense of what
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happens now. obviously the state goes back and builds their case around oscar pistorius' affidavit. >> exactly. >> he gave them the evidence, essentially their best piece of evidence. >> precisely. the thing is oscar must stand with his current defense before court. he can't alter his version at a later stage because that will have an influence on his credibility ultimately. in a nutshell the state has six months to a year to prepare around the defense placed byes acar and it's no easy task. oscar also faces a difficult path ahead. he must make sure that those things that were mentioned by the magistrate regarding the suspicions raised by the court must also be adhered to and those are difficult questions they will have to answer and under oath. >> he's hired a lot of experts, a lot of, you know, additional people to help him build his case that is already sort of
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half on the table. someone described the case as like building a house, this is just the foundations. have they got a strong case because it appears this magistrate poked holes in both the state and the defense's conduct or legal arguments this week. >> i've seen from the outset it's a well balanced argument and judgment that was raised. you must also be mindful of the fact ultimately oscar will not only stand trial on murder. there's a competentent included in the charge of murder, culpable homicide and the minutest negligence on the side of oscar will amount to a conviction on that count alone. so we call it the one percentage rule and that's not an easy task. >> reporter: in the best case scenario he still faces jail term. >> faces a long road ahead. i don't necessarily say it will culminate in a jail term but make sure, make no mistake a person still died and the courts are reluctantly going to look at it, frown upon it and say a
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person must not walk out scott free for committing a killing of some sort. >> reporter: llewellyn lewis professor in law thank you. >> robyn curnow thank you. the news is oscar pistorius has been granted bail, right now they're on a five-minute recess and working out the details of the terms of the bail, how much money obviously is going to be the big question. we get to david smith he was in the courtroom, the africa correspondent for "the guardian." thank you for talking with us. give me a sense of what the reaction was on the part of oscar pistorius. we've been watching throughout the entire here as he sometimes sobbed and sometimes was in shock. what did he do in the courtroom when the judge announced "i've come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail"? >> you know there was nothing too theatrical, he seemed like a man lost in his own world and
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even when that ruling came down, he remained sort of relatively impassive in the dock. there was a bit more reaction from his family, although i think by that moment everyone had realized which way it was going, and relief all over their faces and even now they're sort of embracing, they're locked in circle, holding prayer, but t others punched the air and shouted "yes" great relief for the pistorius family. >> the chief imagine state desmond nair was sometimes incredibly dull while he would lay out the history of jurisprudence in south africa but you could see him getting more animated in his voice was when he talked about the mistakes that were made specifically by the lead investigator, botha, and he would tick off all of the things
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that were failures upon the part of botha but at the same time said he is not the state's case. how much do you believe that from the judge's perspective did the mistakes that were made led to the bail being granted? >> you broke up there at the crucial moment but just to say that yes he did do that with relish, sort of picking apart the detective's evidence and interestingly made no reference to the detective himself now facing charges of attempted murder which is obviously made headlines, but at the same time yes he stressed the detective is not the same as the state and after all, this is only a bail hearing and when we come to trial and there's no idea when that is, they will have forensic tests and ballistic tests and you know, the situation will look different and of course the
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magistrate did also leave some improbabilities in oscar pistorius' version. he went towards the danger and he didn't check who was in that bathroom so there's still a long way to go and questions for both sides to answer. >> clearly. so david i'm having a little bit of a hard time hearing you. i can imagine the noise around you now in the courtroom where you are people are just really ramping up the noise but i wanted to ask you, what happens next? we know that he could in the next 30 minutes or so, once the amount of bail is set, he could literally walk out at technically free because he only has to now prepare for the charges against him, in south africa, how do you think that will be perceived? where does this conversation go among the people in south africa as he walks out and prepares for his upcoming trial? >> well, of course we get some real time reaction these days on twitter, which is then extremely popular as a tool in south
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africa following in this case and i've seen reaction both ways, even up to the minute people screaming strongly he should not have been released and others more supportive, the public opinion has shifted both ways and i think we will now see some criticism from groups campaigning against violence against women which had been a hot topic already even before this case and some of those groups have already made that known about this and some claims that pistorius is a wealthy white famous man is receiving preferential treatment over a lot of people in south africa's justice system. i think either way the magistrate could not win. there will always be controversy. >> let me ask you one final question which was what was the reaction from the relatives and friends of reeva steenkamp who
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were in the courtroom? >> reporter: they have only just appeared in the last few hours so they've been most absent from this case and a couple of close friends and they remain somewhat stony faced and i was close to them and i immediately turned to them for comment and they just said no comment. and the older of the two natives who were here almost like veeva's almost mother figure became quite upset and started to cry, so yes, it will be interesting to see what the other members of the steenkamp family have to say. >> david smith, the africa correspondent for "the guardian." we appreciate your insight from inside that courtroom. let's talk more about this. i began to get some signals i thought when the chief magistrate was talking about the lead investigator. he sounded very angry. he would tick off, it was the first time he sounded very
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engaged as opposed to the reeling off sort of the history of south african law and what they have done historically in bail hearings. he sounded very mad. >> that was certainly part of it although i think the main thing that the judge was concerned about was the issue of risk of flight and the prosecution had no real good reputation to the argument that he's so famous, he's disabled, he's a native, he'll surrender his travel documents. that was the most persuasive. >> the magistrate did a good job, long job but good job of laying out every single argument that had been presented on either side after he went through all of the mistakes of the lead investigator and then said all of the improbabilities on the case of oscar pistorius. >> he said of course this is a bail hearing but he did go through that and it's clear to
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me from listening to the magistrate that there's a feeling that oscar pistorius isn't the only one on trial. to a certain extent we get a trial of the south african legal system, how it works and operates, whether the interests of justice will be served by all of this and i think that everyone realizes we're under the microscope even if it's just on audio not on video. >> i would believe that's why the lengthy involved sort of walking us through the process of walking us through the process. >> and i think the fact that he was sort of upset with how just the bail hearing had gone speaks to a larger concern that if there can't be justice for a woman who is wealthy and famous and white in south africa, what woman can there be justice for. >> it will be interesting to see which direction this case goes if in fact david smith from "the guardian" was talking about that, the immediate aftermath of this, who comes out sort of -- >> let's just be clear about one thing. this is a huge, huge victory for pistorius.
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he doesn't have to go into south african prison. that's the most immediate thing. that is an enormous just advantage for his life. it is also a lot easier to prepare for trial when you are out on bail than when you are in prison. it also allows him to push for delay which criminal defendants want to do, kick the can down the road. evidence rarely gets better with time. it's a lot easier to argue for delay when you're living in your nice house in pretoria rather than locked up in prison so across the board in terms of his immediate life and his legal future this is an enormous victory for pistorius. >> ted sigh mon in high profile cases you said it's better to have your client out in logistics for the case but also from terms of how people perceived the case as well. >> absolutely. i think it's surprising but
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yesterday we covered this in detail and i think the judge did an excellent job. it was careful. it was comprehensive. it was considered. it was deliberate and it was important that he did this so that the world could see why he was making his decision. he gave the history of the law of south africa, he then carefully went through the affidavit provided by pistorius, which we talked about yesterday, the reason he did that was to demonstrate and attack and rebut the premeditated nature of the case, but if he hadn't put that in, i think we would have been in a different situation. a all of that boded well for him. he's more ease toil cooperate with counsel and effectuate a better defense. it was very interesting and you couldn't tell exactly where the judge was going especially when he said the defense failed to show the weakness in a case, and at that moment it seemed lining it might be going the wrong way
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for pistorius. he immediately followed it up by saying, but the state could not show that its case was so strong that the defendant would flee, and that is the standard, and that's what turned the case, and that's why he released him. it was not only there was no risk of flight but they had failed to show any propensity of violence or danger in the future or that he would interfere with the case. >> he definitely was not happy with the investigator and he was not happy with sort of the case as it has been presented to him even though he did say an investigator does not become the state's case but certainly even while he was saying that he was sort of saying it's a big part of what he had problems with what the state had done. >> if you went through it he was very balanced. he probably went through at least 20 facts that i wrote down that were supportive of the position of the defense, and while there is some speculation as to some of the version presented by pistorius, it's still ambiguous. one of the big questions that
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the judge presented was, you know, why didn't he wake his girlfriend? why didn't he shout out to her before he went in? why did he intrude on the alleged intruder? and there's another reason for that, too, and i don't want to sound overly defense oriented. he may have wanted to have the elements of surprise over the person he perceived as intruding. he didn't want to touch her or thought she was there and have her get surprised or yell or something so there's a possibility on the other side of why he acted the way he did. >> clearly his defense team will be walking through all of these things that the magistrate has highlighted as improbabilities and as you've mentioned some and others that the magistrate mentioned where here you have a guy described as terrified yet he runs toward the bathroom saying that he doesn't even put his leg prosthesis on. >> we don't know -- >> this is what the magistrate laid out. >> we don't know he ran to, maybe cautiously approached. >> you're a defense attorney so
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we understand this is exactly what his defense attorneys will be doing. andrew nevilling editor of "heat" magazine in south africa. it was your magazine that did the last interview with reeva steenkamp. first, what do you make of the judge granting bail for oscar pistorius? >> well, good afternoon. to be honest with you, we weren't sure where it was going to go before but i think despite the long, long, long bail hearing, i guess it's fair. that's my personal opinion, but the response on twitter is very mixed at the moment in south africa. quite a few of reeva's friends have spoken out already saying they're not happy with the decision. >> on what grounds have they said that? have they given their reasons why they're unhappy? >> no. i mean let's be honest, it's
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probably more emotional than anything else because they've lost a friend, but it's just been outcries of no, how can it be, that kind of thing, but no explanation as of yet. >> we're hearing now and this is breaking news in to cnn that bail has been set and the amount is $28,500, so this is the bail that we know that oscar pistorius -- $250,000 is the amount. hold on while i turn to jeff toobin for a little bit of analys analysis. $28,500 u.s. equivalent of rand is not a high bail. >> it's not a lot but once the judge made up his mind that oscar pistorius is so famous and so tied to south africa that there is basically no way for him to flee, and that he's going to surrender all his travel documents and his passport, the amount is actually not all that significant. this is not obviously a lot of
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money even in south africa, but i think what's really important about this case is his ties to the community, his personal situation rather than the dollar amount of bail. >> what's been, andrew, the fallout from this case in sort of the bigger picture? one of the things we know that the defense team has been positioning there's this culture of fear and that somebody who is famous would be likely and expected to be fearful. that's what oscar pistorius is sort of describing as he explains what he did the evening that he shot and killed his girlfriend. explain that to us here in the united states who don't necessarily get that. >> okay, well let's be honest, south africa is known for its crime and from what i understood initially that was the fear level was coming more from is there an intruder in my house. the famous aspect you just mentioned, i mean like that's a
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whole different scenario compared to crime. stalker and somebody in your house, a criminal coming to steal from you or harm you is two different things. somebody made a point if he was fearful why not have bodyguards outside his house monitoring his property. that is quite a question. >> interesting. what do you think will happen next as oscar pistorius goes back? we've been told it could be 30 minutes before sort of i guess the paperwork essentially is done and he's able to walk out basically a free man as the trial moves forward? what will the community reaction be as he walks around? what happens there? >> we can only wait and see. his friends and family are thrilled but there are quite a lot of people close to reeva and
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i think it's going to be very, very split but very interesting to see the next couple of months unfold. >> we'll be watching it as well you, andrew neveling editor of "heat" magazine. we get back to robyn curnow outside the courthouse and has been talking to some of the people who have been watching and listening to the proceedi s proceedings. robyn, good morning again. >> reporter: hi there. what has been fascinating about this case and about oscar pistorius' celebrity in a way is how he has been loved and his life story has cut across racial and class in this community which is so broken and so divided still nearly 20 years after apartheid. often one news story rings true with only one set of the community. what has been fascinating about this is that the whole country from the poorest of the poor to the wealthiest of the wealthiest have been gripped by the minute details of this case. so i want to bring in a young
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south african, he's been at work all day, he came down to the court, have a look at me, came down to the court because he was fascinated. how have you been following the case? >> i've been reading the paper, checking it out on twitter, facebook and walking two blocks from my office to here every day just to see what the scene is like and yes -- >> reporter: why? what for you has made this such a personal issue? >> i'm a big fan of oscar, what he's done as an athlete and how the people came down on him the first moment they heard what this happened. it's heartbreaking to see the different jokes on twitter. >> reporter: there are bad jokes out there. >> it's in bad taste i should think and i thought let's let the law take its course and, yes. this bail application just took
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a way lot longer than it should have i think that's all. >> reporter: you, your friends and family, have you been talking about this in ways, following it in detail the way a lot of people have? >> yes and it's amazing how my family members would feel completely different to how i am. >> reporter: do they think he should go to jail? >> some of them think he should rot in jail and he's a danger to society. it's funny how yesterday we called him a hero and the following day people just say no, he should just be put to the sword. >> reporter: that is the sort of spectacular fall from grace and i think that makes many people quite emotional about this. how do you see this playing out over the next few months? do you think oscar is going to literally divide the country between for oscar and against oscar? >> actually at the moment that's how it is. that's how it is. you can see that divide and like i said let's just let the law take its course and we'll see.
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i just hope that his celebrity status won't come back to bite him because with high-profile cases like this, the celebrity status tends to come back and bite them because the law wants to come down hard on them. >> reporter: teach them a lesson. >> because they think that because they are celebrities, they're above the law and that's not actually the case i think. >> reporter: have you seen the pictures, there have been a few of them of oscar and a lot of journalists described it, it looks like he's really a broken man, physically this is not the hero. he seems to be physically broken by this. just give me some sense of how it's made you feel seeing this. >> what i said to my colleague earlier was that she said that oscar is always breaking down, ever since the -- >> reporter: crying. >> crying all the time. we tend to forget oscar is only 26. he's still a young man and it must be tough for him. him. he has got a long road ahead of
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him and for this to happen, it's sad for the athletics, the pair li ra olympic and the country as a hole. >> do you think this whole debate about gun violence and the high levels of crime in south africa, do you think its about that or a personal human tragedy? >> it's a personal human tragedy. it could have happened to any one of us. that's what i think. it could have been me, yeah. >> thank you. >> okay. >> reporter: no doubt he will be coming down to the court after work during that trial. there's the high court around the corner from her where it's most likely to play out next year. i just want to give you a sense of the experience inside the court. my producer just passed me a piece of information. after discussion the bail was raised to a million rand. the next court date is june 4.
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just to continue, i spent a lot of time watching oscar in the court and also speaking to some of his family and friends. i got a sense from his family the one day that they're very worried about his mental state. i think there's going to be a family gathering around this man watching his closely as he tries to graple emotional and psychologically with the implications of what he did. >> robyn curnow. you heard from the young man who was interviewed, you can tell he was a beloved state hero. also everyone very concerned about his state of mind and how is oscar holding up and sort of the conversation about the victim has been a little bit lost. >> i have covered a lot of these celebrity murders. this is how the public reaction always works, which is how is the defendant reacting, what is it like for him? are people rushing to judgment? and the victim disappears from the story. it was so interesting to hear
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that gentleman talk and you don't want to interpret too much from a single man on the street but this is what goes on in these celebrity cases. >> time passing is better for a defendant? >> there are a million reasons why more time is better. mostly passions cool. people's memories fade. one of the classic questions on cross-examination is are you one of those people whose memory gets better with time. there's nobody whose memory gets better with time. evidence gets lost. people move on and forget things. it is always better for the defense to have a delay. >> robin mentioned that the magistrate even though the bail had been set at 250,500 rand which is $28,500. now it is $114,000 u.s. and as
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money mentioned as well there is a june 4th court date. he was also told by the court to surrender his firearms and his passport referring back the fears that he might flee. >> the argument that he was not a risk of flight, that was clearly the most important argument to the judge. the prosecution had no real good response to that. this guy is a celebrity. he is well known inside south africa and outside south africa and frankly here's a guy with prosthetic legs. thas a distinctive character. the idea that he could slip into anonymity is knots a plausible argument and that did seem to me for all the analysis of the evidence, that was the key factor in the judge's decision to grant bail. >> i found it interesting that the judge credited the defense team with going on the record with some version of the events.
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doesn't that raise the bail for pistorius because he purchased his release really with giving some evidence to the prosecution that they may use against him later on? >> i think you make a really excellent point. that was something that all of us who followed these cases criticize. don't commit yourself so specifically to a story when you are a defendant in advanced of seeing all the evidence in the case. it turned out to be very helpful on the bail decision. however -- >> the spokesperson said the same thing. we've been following the tweets. they said it was risky to do that but they did it to get bail. >> but it very much could come back to haunt them. if the physical evidence comes in, the ba lis tics, he could be in trouble. one very interesting thing that the judge mentioned that we haven't talked about in terms of the evidence, remember one of the issues in the case is why were there two cell phones in
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the bathroom? because the prosecution asserted that's because she was in fear for her life and that she wanted to -- >> lock herself. >> lock herself in and call for assistance. the judge pointed out that the prosecution did not see if calls has been made on those phones. that's something certainly they're going to do now and it could be very helpful. it could not be helpful. >> let's go back out to ted simon. ted, we know you're a criminal defense attorney, a very high profile one but i want you to take off your defense hat for a moment and put on your prosecutorial hat. we were talking about the risks of the defense team. in laying out the affidavit they didn't have to put him on the stand specifically. what are the risks is there in what we've already heard in that affidavit? what is at risk that the prosecutors will pick apart? >> certainly by advancing a version of facts there is some
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risk but you're always weighing risks and benefits. in this particular case, we talked about this yesterday, that it was a smart move, at least for bail, to provide that affidavit. yes, the prosecution will try to pick at it, find things that are inconsistent, but they may or may not be able to do that. i would return to something -- this wasn't solely about risk of flight. more particularly under south african law and just what the judge said, it was that the state could not show their case was so strong that it would amount to the fact that the defendant would want to flee. so they are inter twined. the case is not so strong and therefore he's not likely to flee in addition to the fact that he has significant interest to south africa. i don't want to go into too many points but let's start thinking about what the judge said. he said they didn't find any phone calls. the crime scene may have been
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contaminated. they agreed to the likely version of the defense statements. the prosecution could have done more. they went so far as to see if the officer was using the correct language, his home language which was african as opposed to english. they didn't investigate the memory stick. the distance was too far -- >> on and on and on but then as you know he said he is not the state's case. he picked the investigator botha as someone who made a long list of mistakes but said he is not the state's case. the state's case is going to be experts. >> that is true but it doesn't neg gait the fact that that is a series of individual facts that work in favor of the defense. they're not necessarily going away. it just puts into play that there are substantial problems with the case and yes this will largely become a forensic case and experts on both sides.
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>> i have to stop you there. we're coming to the top of the hour. i want to thank you for joining us from washington d.c. this morning. i want to throw the final question to the panel as we wrap up this morning. you, cameron, had late out the issues of the violent attacks on women and this will come high profile as this case goes to trial on june 4. >> it's also pefr residential treatment of him and maybe him versus his girlfriend. >> as much as ted laid out the list of things that botha did wrong, we know the judge laid out after that all the inconsistencies and probably bilths of oscar pistorius. >> he's in a world of trouble but let's not over analysis. today was a huge victory for him. he's not going to be in prison for the for seeable future. that's unusual in south africa as most countries.
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sure, he can try to deal with the problems in the case down the line, but he's getting out of prison. that's huge. >> huge news as he's granted bail which is roughly $114,000. i big question is going to be how people respond. >> right now we know the accused. we know him through the olympics, through tv commercials. will we get to know the victim now? will we get to see what she's about, the reality show she was shooting. will she be humanized in the media in the coming weeks and what effect will that have on our trial. >> we appreciate your time this morning. cnn news room begins right now. have a great weekend, everybody. we'll see you back here on monday morning. >> good morning to you, i'm carol costello, continuing breaking coverage. oscar pistorius gets bail.
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a south african magistrate announced his decision last power after pain takingly reviewing case law. the magistrate does not believe pistorius is a flight risk. the judge said bail on $114,000. u.s. dollars. he can not return to his home, give up his passport, surrender his guns and give up alcohol. the magistrate said he would not be swayed by public reaction. >> in this case, this particular matter, evoked public outrage in any way, my view is that the state in opposing bail ought to have placed before me exactly where this outrage lay. i have some difficulty also with the fact that even though there may have been individuals in the court and outside the court who
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took um brans at the violent nature of the deceased death. before i can find it established as a ground that there will be a shock and outrage in this particular matter if i release the accused an bail, i cannot certainly do so on my own and in isolation. i would need to be -- i would need to have evidence before me in that regard, and if that is the ground on which -- or the ground that the state wishes to show has been established which prevent the accused release on bail, then there are factors that will convince me to do that. whether the shock or outrage of the community might lead to public disorder if the accused is released is one of them, whether the sense of prison security among members of the public will be undermined or jeopardized by the release of
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the accused. now, i must highlight that whilst bail, the standard in bail is not that in terms of the law, the applicability of the law of evidence, i cannot flag rantly disregard the fact that there needs to be a proper basis laid before the establishment of grounds in the criminal preceding act. i do also wish to indicate that it is indeed an area of concern that where the state is in possession of information albeit in a magazine that the accused for instance has property in
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italy, that he did not contact for instance inter poll or any other police agency to help determine whether the accused has property in his name in italy and whether or not he's allowed to use it and whether that was done the accused did not mention it in his affidavit, that would have certainly countered against it. having regard to the fact that the accused is not a flight risk, neither because -- is not a flight risk and the accused does not show a propensity to commit violence, the accused, there is no evidence before me, will interfere with state witnesses and there isn't proper evidence before me relating to the public perception of the matter. having regard to the totality of the evidence before me against the factors that need to be
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established before the accused would be denied bail, find that the very nonestablishment of those factors set out in section 64 a to e together with the fact that the accused has in this instance offered a version under oath at a very early age and i do not attach any weight to the investigator's investigating officer's consessions with regard to that version but ordinary one gives an affidavit merely saying i deny the obligations but in this instance the accused reach out to try to meet the state case of course against the background of those improper bilts that i have seen and mentioned. that reaching out in the affidavit in the way that they did, placing it before the court, together with the fact that none of the factors that
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need to be established have been established, i come to the conclusion that the accused as made a case to be released on bail. >> wow, and then a cheer went up in the courtroom. robyn curnow has been covering this trial. she joins us from pretoria. i must say this was some kind of bail hearing because this does n not often happen in the united states when the judge lays out the entire case and takes two hours to final come to the conclusion that he can grant bail. is this unusual even in south africa? >> reporter: it is. i was speaking to a legal expert earlier. he said it is unusual, but just remember this case is unusual. this is an extraordinarily high profile murder case and i think this judge really is acutely
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aware that his every word, his every minute detail is going to be scrutinized. was this theatre or was he being thorough and i got a mixed reaction in terms of what people thought. in terms of legal experts, they felt he was fair. if you spent as we did, two hours glued to this judge's statement, he kind of in a way ripped apart both the state and the defense's argument. i think he was fair in saying they were both weak. so i think that's what is key. obviously a lot of work on both sides to push their case forward in the next few months. we get a sense that there's only going to be a trial by the end of the year. >> i was going to say a couple of things that struck me going through this. the judge would interrupt his line of thought to ask oscar
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pistorius if he was okay. so take us back inside that courtroom. i know you weren't there but one of our producers were and i'm sure you've talked to diane by now. what was oscar pistorius's demeanor as all this was going down? >> reporter: you know, i think we've talked over the past few days how he was always so physically broken, he was crying. he was sobbing and in the last two days we've seen him become more insulated, he is cocooning himself physically and emotionally. he seems shut down. there have been questions has he been sedated, is he exhausted or totally overwhelmed by what is happening to him. in a sense he didn't really react to this announcement. his family behind him you heard whooped in joy but he kept his head bowed from what i got in
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court. this is a man whose family have spoken to him in court. they did say they are going to be watching him extremely closely now. he's certainly i don't think going to be left alone. many people in south africa say he looks like he's broken and people need to watch him. from a family point of view there's going to be a lot of people protecting him. also then of course we are looking to hear have there been any reaction from reeva steenkamp's family. we're waiting for a statement but we haven't heard anything on that one. >> robyn curnow reporting live from south africa this morning. aa massive snowstorm is crossing the united states heading east and leave chaos in its past from texas to chicago. we'll show you the damage.
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talk back just about 20 minutes away. we're discussing three hot stories making headlines this morning. the first of which the oscars are this weekend and the movie lincoln is up for several awards including best picture. >> congress must never declare equal from god. >> quite interesting. the reason for lincoln's success is that a white pro tag nis sweeps in to save black people. the talk back question of the
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day is the key to winning on oscar a white man?
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now to the massive winter storm that's been slamming 20 states. 60 million people affected this morning. record snowfall, slick icy roads, dozens of car crash and that storm is now headed east. from space it looked like a massive white blob. the top half has more than a
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foot of snow in some states and the bottom half powerful thunderstorms that could cause floods and tornados. look at the chaos its caused. this bus lost control and slammed into a light pole. conditions like this are why missouri's governor issued a state of emergency. now the storm heads northeast dropping freezing rain in indiana. >> it's just really slippery out here and really hard trying to maneuver and drive and stay focused and safe out here. if you don't have to be out here, i recommend don't come out here. >> that's advice people in chicago need. look at all the manningled cars that spun out on the side of a highway. more than a dozens crash reported overnight. another problem, trying to fly in this snowy mess. one pilot in wichita, kansas took a wrong turn on a taxi way and got trapped in deep snow for two hours. >> by far the most entertaining delay i have ever had in lie life. it's laughable to me.
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>> kansas got 14 inches in wichita, nearly setting a new record. places like heys had a monster 17 inches of snow. some people were overjoyed to see that much white stuff. >> it snows so infrequently. we've been in a bad drought, really, really hot temperatures in the summer and no moisture. we're thrilled to see snow or ice or whatever we can get. >> in texas people are dealing with the harsh realities of the storm. the powerful winds knocked down trees and ripped roof off homes and we know one person has died. a 74-year-old woman was killed off a tree fell on her home. >> straight ahead in the news room, collapsed in california, a crane at the new bay bridge topples over. we'll tell you about it next.
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every day on the busy streets of new york this man is hunting. he received his college degree last year he moved here from the west coast and thought finding a job in marketing was the next logical step. >> not necessarily it would be an easy task but it wouldn't be something that almost eight months since graduating i am still struggling with. >> he's not alone.
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>> our economy is adding jobs but too many people still can't find full time employment. >> when president obama took office 134 million americans were working in nonfarmed jobs. today after massive losses and a slow recovery we're only 1.2 million jobs better off and many pay less than those who were lost. a reept study by the center for college affordability found almost half of college graduates are in jobs that do not require four year degree, things like janitorial service, taxi driving and retail sales. this professor helped author that study. >> let's say each one of them were making $20,000 a year more in income which is quite plausible. we're talking about $400 billion a year in lost wages. >> numbers like that have made some economic analysts argue that underemployment may be every bit as damaging to the
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economy as unemployment. and this man is caught in the middle of it all. for now he's taking freelance jobs as a photographer and part time work with moving companies. but -- >> i can only support myself so long before i may need to move back home. >> he may be the next one needing to move back home. tom foreman, cnn, washington.
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20 minutes past the hour. checking our top stories now. you know those batteries blamds for causing a fire in one of boeings knew dreamliner jets. the 787s have been grounded for five weeks. if boeing can find a solution they might fly again in a few months. a gunman still on the lose in las vegas. one of the victims was an apierg
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rapper from oakland known as kenny clutch. las vegas taxi driver kenny boldin was also killed. he moved to las vegas to start a better life. crew are looking at a crane from a new bay bridge. no one was hurt. a witness said it sounded like a plane crash. the new bridge scheduled to open labor day weekend. look closely through the trees and you'll see three army paratroopers stranded in branches. this happened during army training exercise. firefighters had to be called in to rescue them. the army says no one was hurt though and that's a good thing. [ male announcer ] how do you engineer a true automotive breakthrough? ♪ you give it bold new styling,
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okay. [ male announcer ] with citibank's popmoney, dan can easily send money by email right from his citibank account. nice job ben. [ male announcer ] next up, the gutters. citibank popmoney. easier banking. standard at citibank. welcome to our new half-hour talk show, talk back three hot
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topics, great guests and of course your comments. on tap today do we need a national guard to stop gun violence. is it key to oscar handing out a white savior. talk back's political spin on the academy awards. playing with us today robert zimmerman, a democratic straight to my knowledge, jason johnson profession of political science and ana navarro, cnn contributor and republican strategist. nice to have you here. first talk back question is the national guard the answer to gun violence? hey, when all else fails call in the troops complete with a military general, battle trained soldiers and armored vehicles. >> got to reinforce the liberties of the people to be able to walk the street and so little girls don't get shot in a school yard. that's a shame. that shouldn't be happening in america. >> that is retired general
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russell hon ray, hero of new orleans talking about violence in chicago, more than 500 murders there in 2012 and the aforementioned hadiya pendleton who was killed. the general knows a thing or two about restoring order. after katrina the city was in shambles until the tough talking general and his troops took over. oh, yeah, take that drug dealers and gang leaders. of course the people and especially local chicago police might have a problem with federal intervention, but still, is the national guard the answer to gun violence. or tweet me @carol cnn. jason johnson. >> it makes perfect sense for us to respond to gun violence by
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highly militarized responses. it's not how you clean up bad neighborhoods. what you do is hire more police. you hire police from those particular communities and you have the police walk the streets. you have things like what rudy jewel any did in new york which is take care of quality of life crime, take graffiti off the walls and clean up garbage. these are the ways you stop gun violence. it's not about bringing in troops and scaring everybody in the street. >> just the sight of the general saying to some stupid gang member prone to violence saying put that gun down or i'm going to get you, that sounds good to me, actually. >> it sounds good to me, too. i love the general. i think he would do a great favor to chicago if he would move there. i don't think militaryizing chicago or any of the other urban areas facing huge amounts
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of gun violence is the way to do it. carol, i was born in nicaragua. i lived through a civil war. i think what it's like to have armed men all over your countries and parks and schools. we have to solve this in rational ways where we involve the parents, the schools, the police, the local authorities, the federal authorities. militarizing it is not the answer. >> he's saying if we go in and try to control the violence somewhat then police can actually do their jobs, they can investigate crimes, grow closer to the community and take care of some of the things that ana and jason were talking about. >> that's a very valid point but we're not going to do it with the general coming across like a grade b clint eastwood movie. we have to know what to do and how to do it.
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we did it in los angeles with the l.a. police chief. it's about as ana pointed out involving the parents, getting guns off the streets, education programs for our young people and perhaps after school for them. there's a whole approach that has to be taken and it's not done by undermining our law enforcement officials or militarizing our streets. >> why don't they do that? >> it's very important we make this clear. i'm not making a cultural poverty argument. most of the people in these neighborhoods are poor. they're not doing anything wrong. they're being held hostage by a criminal element. police want to get up, go to work and go to school. you hire more police for that neighborhood. you have a local police officer where he or she walk down the street on a regular basis. that's how you end gun violence. the criminals don't want to get into a shootout with cops. it's a simple solution.
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it costs money. >> let's address that money issue. cities across america are strapped. they can't just go out and hire new police officers. is that really the answer? don't they need help from the federal government of some kind? >> i think they need to prioritize. all budgets, whether it's local, state and federal need to put pry orty on putting police on the streets in places like chicago. the problem is not as big as it is in chicago and everybody needs to take ownership of it. it's not the federal government, the state government, the local government. everybody needs to act together and take ownership. one of my very good friends is a former nba player. he has been going back and forth to chicago cooperating to tell kids that kids like him who glue up in extreme poverty, grew up with siblings with drug habits can make it out, that there is a
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way out. more people need to do that. this needs to be something we all take on. we're all chicago and need ownership of this. >> why are you shaking your head? >> it's a culture poverty argument. it's a suggest that the reason these kids are shooting at each other is because they haven't had good role models. criminals are shooting people. you need police to stop criminals. it's great i say ya came back to chicago since he beat them as a piston for so many years. it's not the people are wrong. the people are suffering. >> jason, you need the kids not to become the criminals. kids are becoming criminals and we need to capture them before that happens. >> robert? >> we're not going to do it, ana, with i say ya thomas alone. there's a roll we have to play
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as a nation in addressing these issues. let's be clear about what is happening in washington today and why it's undermining the city of chicago. there's a mind-set from washington and the republican members of congress that sequestration is an acceptable way of doing business, that we can engage in massive irresponsible cuts that no one thinks is a logical approach to budgeting and that under mines education tornopportunities for younger people that leads to abuse, violence and more chicagos. >> i think we can leave democrats outs of that one. >> i'm going to try not to roll my eyes at your suggests that republicans are the ones responsible for rahm emanuels city, barack obama's state. >> they're responsible for walking away -- >> you laying the blame on republicans and making this a
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partisan issue, frankly i don't think helps anything. >> we're going to have to wrap this up and get to our facebook responses. the question, is the national guard the answer to gun violence? yes, get the guns out of the hands of those monsters who don't value the lives of innocent people. wally, what a joke, anybody that believes that military patrolling the streets is a good idea needs to open up their history book, keep the conversation going next talk back question, is the key to winning an oscar a white savior? ay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief
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talk back question for you this morning, is the key to winning the oscar a white savior? i'm taking a page from's david sa roet ta who says steven spielberg's lincoln is the front-runner for the oscars because the common hollywood theme in this case president lincoln sweeping in to rescue the blacks. hundreds of thousands of dead during your administration. congress must never declare unequal that from god was created equal. you're on the world stage now, the fate of human dignity in our
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hands. this moment is now! >> now many historians have criticized lincoln for having no major black characters. this is a movie about slavery. he writes it's disappointing that in a movie explaining the ob ligaments of slavery in the united states african american characters do almost nothing. dispointing perhaps but not surprising. hollywood has hit gold with white savior type films before. >> big mike, why were you going to the gym? >> because it's warm. >> do you have anyplace to stay tonight? i want to interview you about what it's like to work as a maid. i'd like to do a book of interviews about working for white families. >> do you recognize those movie, the blind side and the help earned $425 million and won two
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oscars. obviously the white savior is a winning formula. . i want to bring in nischelle turner. she's our correspondent in los angeles. nischelle turner has covered hollywood for a very long time. i'm sure you sat down with many african-american actors. has that question come up with conversation before? >> i think the question of is there a white savior in a lot of movies has definitely come up. i'm not sure if it's the question of do you need this in order to win an oscar. i think more so the general skoensz is it's an easier way to get a movie made in hollywood if you have that central character who is, i guess, more enticing to the general public than just a specific audience. so that question does come up but more so than can i just get a movie made. we heard spike lee talk about it
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time and time again as a black director and making movie centers on black characters to get movies made. >> you're saying a movie about a black savior, it would be difficult to have that movie made and perhaps it wouldn't attract an audience as a movie about a white savior? >> we've seen this, carol, this year in dang go unchained. there's been criticism of that movie, why did this get all the acclaim of other movies. why didn't jamie fox get a best actor nomination because he was the central character. some people speculate in the black community that maybe it's because he was kind of this big, bad character, the central character in the movie that wasn't very sympathetic to white people. >> plus, jason -- i see you shaking your head there. even in that movie a white guy got the ball rolling, right. >> this is a conversation i have with my friends all the time
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which is why i don't usually watch the oscar. there's a theme that black people are in a subservient role. there's a theme that the way african-americans are depicted in the ways no one else is depicted. monster ball several years ago holy berry gets an oscar. no one would make a movie with char cleez they are on. black people are depicted in hollywood that are not at all respectable in what a white audience is perceived. >> ana, how do you feel about how latinos are depicted. can you think of one where a latino was a primary roll and was a well liked character? >> i'm thinking, i'm thinking as you're asking me. i have to tell you this is not
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really my bailiwick. i think i have seen two of the oscar nominated movies this entire year and it's not because there's not enough african-americans or latinos. i think we have made some strides. i think there's progress to be made yet. as we see more latinos, more african-americans, more diversity in terms of directors, in terms of financing executives at studios is something that might happen. you know something, carol, i have no idea. i don't know if jason does, if anyone does of what it takes to get the voters of the academy. i'm waiting for robert to blame republicans. >> robert, i apologize for not getting to you. we have to wrap this segment up. i didn't get to the white guy. i apologize. >> he could still be the savior. >> can i make one point, carol? >> yes. >> this is a really important
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topic and there are a lot of good examples to move this point. the movie lincoln, however has not proved the point. lincoln is not about educating the be ligaments of savory. it's about a bold politician who put together the votes in an all white congress and got that amendment through the congress. i think it's a really important point. and he was a republican president. >> thank you very much. i want to find out with what your facebook friends think about the question. is the ski to winning an oscar a white savior. no. the movie gandhi won several academy awards. it had nothing to do with a white safe yor and everything to do with a brown savior. jim says didn't jamie fox win an oscar for ray? it's about good scripts. keep the conversation going. or tweet
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me @carol cnn. coming up next, talk back's take on the oscars. we're giving out our own awards. we're going to call them the cappies. it's our oscar with a political spin.
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two days aago. we have our take on the oscars.
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we call them the cappies. we honor the most memorable political moments of the year. first nischelle turner joins us again with a behind the scenes look at the final oscars preparation. we want dirt. >> i know you like to dish so i'm going to dish a little bit for you this morning. i jumped right into the panel in the last segment so i didn't get a chance to say greetings to you from hollywood and the red carpet. it was all covered about 20 minutes ago but it is open and it is the red carpet. i'll give you a little bit of dish. here at the academy awards you may be able to kind of get the motto even if you don't win you win. that's because of the gift bags, the swag bags that the nomys take home. even if they don't win they take home a bag that's worth $50,000. they get trips to hawaii, trips to australia.
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circus classes for their children in this gift bag. there's even a one year membership to london me throw airport vip service. hand crafted tennis shoes in this bag, just about anything you can imagine. it's almost like the rich get richer situation that we see. i also talked to some people, carol, that they call the bleacher creatures who are the fans that you see on the bleachers behind me. these people get to come for their hollywood experience at the oscars but they get to be put into this lottery, 20,000 people enter this lottery to be one of 700 people that get to sit in those bleachers. they don't get a $50,000 gift bag but a small parting gift from the academy. they don't get their trip paid for. they have to pay for everything. they had to come here at 8:00 in the morning, sit in those bleachers all day because the
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red carpet doesn't open until 3:00. they tell them don't wear your finest does because you're going to be packed in there. >> i don't know if i would do that. nischelle turner. thanks for dirt. we appreciate it. now it's time for talk back's pick on the oscars. we're calling our awards the cappies. awards for the best political moments of the year. three categories and our panelists pick the winners. first off the best political smack down and the nominees are hillary clinton testifying on benghazi. >> we were misled that there were supposedly proeft protests and something sprang out of that. that was not the fact and the american people could have known that within days and they didn't know that. >> with all due respect, the fact is we have four dead americans. was it because of a protest or guys out for a walk one night that decided they would kill
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americans. what difference, at this point does it make. >> our second category john mccain versus one of his constituents. >> we have had enough time. >> we have had enough time. you know something, again, i have had town hall meetings for 30 years. people are happy i have town hall meetings and i listen to them and get back to them. that's what this is about but occasionally a get a jerk like you. >> a third nominee in this category best political smack down, tag romney defending his dad after a presidential debate. >> what is it like for you to hear the president of the united states calling your dad a liar? >> you jump out of your seat and want to rush to the debate stage and take a swing at him. you can't do that first because there's a lot of secret service
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but also because it's the nature of the process. >> of course tag later apologized for that. i know it took heavy duty thought on our panelists part to pick a winner. i want to go through the three of you to find out. do these political smackdowns in the grand scheme of things matter in your world in how things get done? >> they shouldn't matter but in some respects they do reshape the debate. hillary clinton is a good example of why i schochose her. when they tried to play partisan politics it did change the debate. i got to give an honorable mention to tag romney when he said his dad didn't really want to be president after running for seven years. >> i kind of like john mccain myself, ana. >> i think it's for john it's rocky one, rocky two, rocky
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three. this is a sequel for john. it's not a strange occurrence for john mccain to get a feisty person at a town hall and for him to get equally feisty. i actually had missed john mccain doing this. i think it's great. it shows voters and the american people that all politicians are not staged, scripted, they get mad. they have feelings and they are capable of feeling out every nour and then. >> i'm sure, jason, that's part of why tag romney said what he did. all these arrows are shooting at him. >> i would love to see him take a swing at obama. i don't think he could get him. realistically speaking it's good acting on his behalf but i have to give it to hillary clinton. she's fantastic at creating a
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feeling of indignance. it stems from our 20 year career all the way back to the clinton administration. >> it is time to announce the winner. you knew it was going to be hillary clinton. hillary clinton. i'm sure she's honored today. our second category, best dramatic performance. the nominees are john boehner for his crying. >> if you come here humbled by the opportunity to should have, if you have come here to be -- >> okay, the second nominee for best dramatic political moment, the unveiling of michelle obama's bangs. and our third nominee in this category which first came through a twitter -- final nominee -- i'm messing this up. now i know how hard it is to do the actual oscars. nancy pelosi who was not happy when asked about her age. >> some of your colleagues say
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that you are staying on prohibits the party from having a younger leadership and it hurts the party in the long term. what is your response? >> next, next. i guess -- you always ask that question except to mitch mcconnell. let's for the a moment honor it as a legitimate question. >> let's get right to the winner in this category. the winner is -- that would be nancy pelosi. although i don't think her answer endeared her to many people but who knows. it was interesting to watch. our final category, biggest political gaffe. our first nominee president obama and -- >> if you have been successful you didn't get there on your own. if you were successful, somebody
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along the line gave you some help. there was a great teacher somewhere this your life. somebody helped to create this unbelievable american system that we have that allowed you to thrive. somebody invested in roads and bridges. if you got a business, you didn't build that. >> or his former rival, mitt romney. >> 27% who are with him who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing. >> and what about marco rubio. >> i have been here in washington, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight. >> and the winner for best political gaffe is mitt romney. quickly to wrap this up, jason
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johnson, why was mitt romney the winner in this category? >> it literally cost this man the e election. when you can deliver one line that costs you a once this a lifetime opportunity that you have been shooting for since you were born, that's an amazing performance of all time. >> or marco rubio which had positive effects, the other side of the coin. >> marco rubio was the biggest blockbuster. he has managed to sell more than 3500 water bottles. i think he gets the biggest ticket sale award for sure. also, he handled it very well after the fact. he laughed at himself. people aren't used to seeing politicians laugh at themselves and not take everything so seriously. good for him. he gets best comedy. >> ana, jason, robert, thank you for joining us today. the next hour of news room after a quick break.
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