tv CNN Newsroom CNN July 13, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT
courthouse in sanford, florida. we're covering that closely. you are watching cnn's special coverage of the george zimmerman trial. i am chris cuomo. good morning to you. >> hey everybody. i'm kate bolduan. thanks for joining us. a lot to get to. >> day two of what we're calling verdict watch in the george zimmerman trial. the jury working through lunch showing how determined they are. we'll be live from sanford with any updates. the judge in the case, debra nelson, certainly no nonsense on the stand. we'll talk to another well-known judge to get her take on it, someone you know very well. another story we're watching closely, nsa leaker edward snowden is still in the moscow airport reportedly applying for political asylum in russia. will he be allowed to stay? that has serious implications. first here as we show you george zimmerman, the jurors are showing their intention to spend every second they can working until they reach a verdict.
that's the good news. they've decided to deliberate through their lunch hour today. nearly in their eighth hour of deliberations as we've been telling you here. they could work as long as they want tonight, judge nelson being very open-ended in honoring their own sense of commitment. what are the options on the table? we'll put a graphic for you. george zimmerman could be found guilty of second degree mur carcar murder. that means the prosecution showed beyond a reasonable doubt that he had evil intent and caused the death. he could be convicted on a lesser charge of manslaughter meaning he intentionally did an act that wound up killing trayvon martin. that may be much more fertile ground for the jury. that's what the experts are telling us. of course, he could be found not guilty. what if they don't agree? it has to be unanimous. the six womena unanimous. >> let's talk with george howell
who has been live outside the sanford courthouse from the beginning. we'll talk more about the case in a second. a quick question to you. there's been some concern about protest demonstrations, hopefully no violence following a verdict. there have been some protests and demonstrations outside the courthouse meantime. what's the scene like there at the moment? >> reporter: kate, remember, when this trial started we saw a few protesters. we're seeing them now as the trial comes to an end. you see a couple dozen several dozen protesters in support of trayvon martin holding signs on one side of that area. on the other side you see a handful of people showing support for george zimmerman. so far it's been a peaceful protest here on these grounds. remember, we even heard from county officials, city officials just the other day saying here in sanford, the mood remains peaceful, remains calm. there are people who are showing, you know, protests for
either sized on the case. there have been no real problems as of this point. >> looking ahead just a bit, because obviously we are waiting and watching like everyone else for the jury's verdict, they are now hours into deliberations. we've been talking about -- chris laid out the possible options that are on the table. we're talking second degree murder, manslaughter and not guilty of course is an option as well. what kind of sentences are we looking at in each case though to remind viewers, that is not a question that is on the shoulders of the jury. they don't know what kind of sentence, that's up to the judge. what could george zimmerman be looking at depending on what, if he is, convicted with? >> reporter: absolutely, kate. let's talk about first the lesser charge of manslaughter. a jury may hear that and say, hey, that's a slap on the wrist. in the state of florida, not necessarily. talking a minimum of ten years behind bars, up to 30 years behind bars. then when it comes to second degree murder. that is a minimum of 25 years in
prison. it's an enhancement due to the use of a weapon a gun, a 25-year enhancement. a minimum of 25 years and then up to the discretion of the judge, up to life behind bars. in this state there is no parole. so a life sentence means a life sentence. there's also that possibility, kate, that it could be not guilty. if that is the case, he could be released as the verdict is read or after the verdict is read, i should say, or the judge could release him a little later, obviously go through a processing phase. that could happen. >> obviously, george, a lot of people are saying even if he's exonerated here, even if he goes free, he'll never really be free, that this has stained him, if he's not seen as legally responsible, that morally and publicly people will hold this against him. his life could be very difficult. his lawyer has been talking about that. that's something we'll have to see as the verdict comes out and the story evolves from that. george, let me try something else out on you, it's a new development we learned about a
person connected to the case. the i.t. director in the state attorney's office has been fired. his name is ben kruidbos. here is why he matters. he testified before the zimmerman case went to trial that the state attorney's office withheld evidence from the death. kruidbos testified about images and deleted text messages on trayvon martin's cell phone. you remember the attorneys fighting about what they wanted to get in and why and things had been withheld. the prosecution denies withholding anything. we want you to listen to some of the testimony from before the trial started. take a listen. >> what concerns do you have now that you have taken the path of disclosing this information? um -- >> personally. >> personally? that i'll lose my job. >> uh-huh. do you think that that potential was worth the risk you took in disclosing it? >> yes, i do.
>> why is that? >> i think all the information being shared is important in the process to make sure that it's a fair trial. >> you thought that you had an obligation to disclose or potentially disclose something that potentially had happened, but -- and you were upset about it i guess, right, because you felt you might be criminally liable in some way, right? >> i didn't know what you had turned over. i was concerned that i would have legal exposure based on that. >> yes, sir. yet you still continued to work there at the state attorney's office and do stuff for myself, mr. guy and other people. you had no problems doing that. >> no. >> okay. thank you. no further questions. >> george, those are the facts as we understand them, a little bit of what the testimony at issue is.
what have you learned about why this could matter? >> well, here. itself, certainly this sets up e the possibility of an appeal. if information did not get over to the defense team in a good amount of time, if they weren't able to get that information, then certainly that angle could be open to them. as far as the prosecutors themselves, if they are found, in fact, that they are -- that they're in violation of handing over discovery as they should have, for the prosecutors it could meantime behind bars. that's not likely, but that could happen. more likely it could be a fine or it could be a sanction on each attorney's record. certainly that's something no attorney, no prosecutor would want, chris. >> thanks, george. let's bring in our legal analyst sunny hostin, former federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney mark nejame to talk about this. chris and i were talking about this earlier. one issue we have not picked up on yet, and it's an important part of the discussion and an important reason why this trial
has gotten national attention, race, and the role of race in this trial. i want both of you to weigh in, but first to you, sunny, what in the trial, what role has race played in the trial that you have seen or not? >> you know, it certainly may have been the elephant in the room, but no one talked about race in the room. in fact, in closing, the government said to the jury, john guy said to the jury this is not about race. certainly there was the argument i think early on that the government's theory was based on racial profiling, but the word racial profiling was not introduced in this trial. in fact, what they refer to was criminal profiling. that's completely appropriate because there were other young black teens that george zimmerman says were burglarizing homes and he identified trayvon martin as another person possibly burglarizing homes.
for him it seemed to have been the fact that he may be a criminal which is why he called the police and called him a suspect. i think many people are saying that this case is about race. certainly in the courtroom that i've been sitting in every day, that hasn't been mentioned. >> a lot of it goes to the fact that the arrest took a long time, and people believe that's because the victim was african-american. >> prior to the trial. >> prior to the trial, the reason there wasn't arrest early on was because the victim was black. if the victim had been white, it would have been different. where it wound up resting its head during the trial was actually in what this profiling might be about. mark nejame, all these calls the prosecution used to show ill will, to show the secondary murder intent come from before the event. is there any proof of anything that george zimmerman said or did son this night that goes in that direction at all?
>> well, let's just be straight about it. it frustrates me to no end about the dancing that goes on. of course race is a central issue to this trial. just because you don't mention race doesn't mean that it's not been discussed. most of our communication is non-verbal. by saying there's a profiling going on, absolutely suggests that there is a young black teenager walking in the streets with a hoodie on, and that's suddenly discussing the issue of race. you heard that time and time and time again from the prosecutor. it didn't escape the defense. what did the defense do? remember the one witness, the african-american lady who was ill and she was in her bed. that was brought in timely. why? because they wanted to show george was universal in his embracing of people, black or white. that was a conscious decision, to have an african-american friend come in thole make a statement. >> then the defense injected race. >> that's what i just said.
>> not the state. >> i said everybody did. the reality of it is is that race is a central issue. if race wasn't an issue, why do we have the trayvon martin family attorney saying this is the biggest civil rights case in this century so far. of course it's an issue and we need to take the scales off our eyes and understand that we still have racial issues in the united states. >> it's not an issue in the trial. >> because i've taken the legal position that i didn't think there was probable cause, i've had people write to me and say i'm a racist because i have a legal opinion. of course race is an issue. and it rears its ugly disgusting head throughout. and we have a long way to government we've done well but we have a long way to go. all the subtle overtones have been there from before the arrest, during the arrest and it weaved its way through this trial without stop. >> to remind our viewers, as the focus now obviously is on the jury at this moment, it's just after 1:00 in the east.
they worked through lunch. that was from noon to 1:00. they're now back deliberating and we're watching and waiting to see exactly what happened. sunny hostin, mark nejame. great to see you guys. thanks so much. other stories we're watching. in texas the state senate passes one of the more restrictive bills in the country. critics say it will impose new restrictions on abortion clinics in texas, effectively shutting most of the clinics down. proponents of the bill say it shows a greater respect for human life and improves the standard of care at the clinics. the bill originally failed after a filibuster. rick perry is expected to sign it into law soon. we've got an exclusive interview with governor perry that you'll see tomorrow on state of the union with candy crowley at 9:00 eastern on cnn. in san francisco, a third
person died from injuries suffered this the crash of flight 214. in keeping with the wishes of the family, doctors are not releasing the victim's name, only saying she was a young female. those are the stories we're watching. obviously we're on verdict watch for you. eyes on sanford, florida. now, if you thought that judge judy was tough, wait until we show you the no-nonsense judge in the zimmerman case. she is really a model for jurists. we'll show you why when we come back. stay with us. ments. and we've made a big commitment to america. bp supports nearly 250,000 jobs here. through all of our energy operations, we invest more in the u.s. than any other place in the world. in fact, we've invested over $55 billion here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor. our commitment has never been stronger.
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androgel 1.62%. welcome back everybody. the jury on their second day of deliberations now. their job obviously to figure out the fate of george zimmerman. we are monitoring the courthouse throughout the hour as we get any developments. we'll be bringing them to you. one of the interesting aspects of this trial has been the dynamic in the courtroom as orchestrated by the judge.
judge nelson, she has been really strong, especially with the defense. we'll show you a little taste of how the judge has run this trial. take a look and a listen. >> i understand. i've already ruled, and you have -- you continually disagree with this court every time i make a ruling. i have provided you on three separate occasions with the court's professional conduct in the courtroom, and included in that is do not continue to argue with the court after we've ruled. if i have made a mistake in this case, you will appeal. if there is a conviction, it will get appealed to a higher court and they can review it to determine whether or not i made a mistake. this is my ruling on this issue. you are free to communicate that to the jury in your closing argument. i am not instructing them on that. moving on. >> i would like to -- >> moving -- >> i'm not disagreeing. >> there's just a little taste of it. >> we've watched a lot of this.
let's talk about this more with someone who knows more about being a judge than we do, a former judge well known for her no nonsense tv trials, glenda hatchet. give us your take. judge debra nelson has more people critiquing her performance because she's on national television and everyone is watching this moment by moment. what do you think of her style and how she's handling and managing her trial? >> i'm very impressed with the way she's done it. frankly, because of her, this case has moved i think very efficiently. i think in the back of her mind she's completely conscious of the fact that there's a sequestered jury. i think she has been very methodical in her rulings. people have not always agreed. she has been very clear about what she did. i'll tell you honestly, that if they had posed those an ticks in
my courtroom, there would have been fireworks. i thought she was extremely patient and far more lenient in certain circumstances than i would have been. for example, when the judge rules, that's it. i mean, you know, when i rule, i'll let you say whatever you want to say, make all the arguments, but once i rule, that's the end of the conversation, period, nothing else. and for him to continue -- dorp don west to continue like he did, i thought bordered on really the possibility of being held in contempt in that courtroom. >> judge, sometimes strength is restraint though, right? that is something judge nelson showed there. >> she did. >> something we've been dealing with with the audience through this story is people are fascinated by the fact that the judge and counsel are going at it. please, tell everybody how common that is. >> it is very common. >> give us a sense of that. people feel like -- first of all, the jury wasn't there. but oh, my goodness, this judge
doesn't really like this attorney and it's going to affect the outcome. give us a sense of the dynamic. >> absolutely, chris. i'm glad you brought that up. people are thinking they're adversaries and aren't getting along. really i appreciate lawyers who are passionate and tenacious and really zealous about representing their clients. i think that is a plus. i think that we come to expect that in the courtroom. i do think a couple times they really did cross the line. but she is there to really set the parameters. the fact that there are some exchanges and people are going oerks my goodness, i don't think that's netslycessarily have a problem. i would rather have a zealous attorney vigorously arguing for their client than someone passive and let's things go. these are high stakes, and the defense understands that this man's life really is on the line as to whether he is going to be acquitted and spend the rest of his life in prison or perhaps on
the manslaughter charge spend could be up to 30 years. so a lot at stake, and i think people are being very critical of the judge. this is a hard job, especially when you've got the world watching. >> especially, as you well noted, when they have a sequestered jury. that's something we've heard a lot of, that she cares very much about the jury and moving things along and not wasting their time and only keeping them there as long as they need to be and getting them what they want. i think a lot of people are also taking note about that. >> we should be very grateful. we saw a different kind of tact in the jodi arias trial that took on and on and on. i'm glad to see an efficient judge, frankly. >> stick with us. we'll take a quick break. when we come back, a jury consultant is going to join us, a consultant who worked with the o.j. simpson trial will be joining us. we'll talk about what goes in to picking a jury because they have such an essential role.
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while we don't know their identities, we've learned a lot about their background. here is cnn's randi kaye. >> reporter: for weeks the jury of six women has been a captive audience as prosecutors and defense lawyers tried to sway them. from the moment it started, pure drama. prosecutor john guy's opening statement. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> [ bleep ] punks. these [ bleep ]. they always get away. those were the words in that grown man's mouth as he followed in the dark a 17-year-old boy who he didn't know. >> reporter: cnn legal analyst sunny hostin has been in court every day. >> the inference is, yeah, these are shocking, ugly, hateful words. and that wasn't lost upon the jury. i looked at them very, very closely. and some of them did seem shocked and offended almost by
the words. >> reporter: at other times the jury seemed to be captivated by the defense, especially when defense attorneys pulled out a dummy in court to help illustrate the confrontation. >> i was very impressed when they all stood up to get a bird's eye view of when the actors, the lawyers were atop the dummies and trying to replicate, reproduce what was going on between trayvon martin and george zimmerman. i think that was very telling. it showed how into this they were, like they were watching a dennis match. >> reporter: jurors were especially engaged when the mothers of trayvon martin and george zimmerman testified. five of six jurors are married and almost all of them have children. prosecutor john guy keyed into that here. >> was that child not in fear when he was running from that
defendant? isn't that every child's worst nightmare, to be followed on the way home in the dark by a stranger? isn't that every child's worst fear? that was trayvon martin's last emotion. >> i looked directly at the jury when he said those words, and their eyes didn't leave his face. and so i think that it couldn't have been more powerful for the makeup of that jury. >> reporter: juror e6 put down her pen and stared at the prosecutor. her children are 1113, a proud member of her church. rp other specifics on the women
deciding zimmerman's fate. juror b29 is originally from chicago, married for ten years, the only minority on the jury, black or hispanic, she has eight children, only one older than 18. juror b76 has a son who is an attorney. she's unsxloid now but used to run a construction company with her husband. she loves animals. juror b37 is the daughter of an air force captain. one of her children a pet groomer, another a student at the university of central florida. juror b51 is the only juror who isn't married. she's a retired real estate agent and a transplant from atlanta. juror e40 is married to a chemical engineer. she has one son. in her spare time she watches football, reads and likes to travel. this jury took lots of notes, copious notes while george zimmerman's reenactment at the scene was being played in court, also when the medical examiner and dna expert testified. it seemed as if they wanted to
be sure they understood what was being said, they didn't want to miss a thing. ashley merimen is n expert on jury behavior. she believes they'll exhaust every alternative and look at every piece of evidence. >> women's social circles are based in pairs, telling your best friend all your secrets and having no hierarchy. everyone has an agreement and avoids conflict. they really continue to apply that even in that group setting. >> reporter: she says don't expect any yelling in this jury room, but don't expect a quick verdict either. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> randi kaye wrapping it up for us. a lot to consider with this jury. >> very much. now we want to come back with our special coverage of the george zimmerman murder trial. we have with us former judge glenda hatchet. also with us in atlanta as we await the jury's decision, the jurors have been deliberating for nearly eight hours, we want you to know they're certainly putting in a full day's work
already. let's bring jury consultant joellen demetrius joining us from phoenix. it's great to have both of you here. people say this is very weird, this is a six-person jury, all female. the six-person part is not weird, in florida, non-capital case, you don't have 12 jurors, you have six. now we have the all-female part. let's start with you, jo ellen. how unusual is that and why do you think the two sides wound up there? >> well, chris, it is unusual to have a single-gender jury. sometimes you end up with that if you have people get off and alternates come in. i think what's important to realize is from both side's perspective they agreed on this jury. we know the prosecutor tried to get rid of a few of the jurors. the judge said no, you can't do that. the same thing is true with the
defense. truly this is a jury that both sides have agreed upon. but it is very unusual that it is an all-female jury. i'm not that surprised, though, because i think that what perhaps both sides wanted to take out of the picture was the mail perspective which is that as males grow up, they're more likely to be in physical confrontation verses we women, we're more likely to get into verbal confrontations. so they wanted to take the personal experience out of male jurors saying, well, i would have done such and such in this situation and george zimmerman didn't. >> judge, i want to bring you in to this as well. we heard over and over again, you heard randi kaye talk about it in our piece that this is a very engaged jury, nobody needed to be woken up when they got into the nitty-gritty detail during some testimony. we can't get into their heads. we know that.
what do you take away from that? >> i think this is a going to be a very decisive, deliberate, tenacious jury. it was interesting because i was here friday night with a bunch of lawyers here at cnn back in the back, and we were debating the whole thing. people thought that this would be a quick verdict. i said absolutely not. i think they're going to take their time. i think they're going to be particularly meticulous about this because i think they understand how much is on the line. and we owe jurors a great debt of gratitude because this is a tough thing. i got a tweet last night from a juror on the brian nichols case, the guy who shot the judge, and just the pain you could hear still in his voice. so this is a tough haul, and i think they'll be working really hard to get it right. >> it's interesting, something we keep hearing from people
including both attorneys. it's something, jo ellan i want you to speak to before we wrap the segment. both attorneys talked about emotion. the defense attorney said remember, this isn't about how you feel, it's about law and effect. a lot of people in the audience come at us saying what they think women will do because of their inclinations. jo ellan you measure jurors for a living. is there any reason to believe they'll be more about their heart than their head? is there any reason to believe that or is it just a stereotype? >> to an extent it is a stereotype. certainly doing years and years and years of jury research, what we do here in focus groups and mock trials is people, women, talking about emotional impact. you don't have men talking about that. so it is a stereotype. but generally there's always some truth to a stereotype.
>> all right. we're going to leave it there. great to see you guys and great to get your insight. again, we'd love to, but we can't get into the heads of the jury. they have a tough job ahead of them. we're watching and waiting to hear what their verdict is. great to see you both. thank you. >> men may not talk about it. it doesn't mean they're not feeling it, not influenced by it when they're in the box either. no reason to sell this jury short. they've showed everything from this point so far that they're taking it seriously. >> i think also the fact that the majority of them are parents, the fact they're parents is also something both sides are trying to play on. >> absolutely. let's take a break here. it's about 35 minutes past the hour. we're going to be watching the george zimmerman case, of course. but other news as well. tens of thousands of egyptians rallying in cairo in support of the former president, mohamed morsi. meanwhile the state department here in the u.s. has a message for the new egyptian government. what is it and why are they sending it? we'll tell you about it when we come back. t here?
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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. george zimmerman, there he s back in a florida courthouse today waiting the hear the verdict in his trial. the jury deliberating for more than eight hours at this point. we're watching everything coming out of that courtroom. we'll bring you updates when we get them. we also have other news to catch you up on. here is what we're watching. the state department is calling for the release of former
egyptian president mohamed morsi calling his detention, quote, politically motivated. this as tens of thousands of morsi supporters gathered in cairo to protest his ouster. rail stations across france are observing a moment of silence to honor the victims of a fatal train crash there. at least six people were killed and 22 injured when a passenger train derailed south of paris. the head of the railway says a mechanical failure caused that crash. the zimmerman trial is grabbing people's attention across the country. social media has played a big part and is exploding with support for both sides. nick valencia is joining us. he's been monitoring twitter and facebook with the reaction. people have been very passionate to say the least. >> some people have been obsessed. george zimmerman and trayvon martin, two of the most popular names on the internet today. each has had their name tweeted
thousands of times, kate. what we're seeing throughout the morning, this trend is currently the blackout for trayvon martin. you see it was tweeted out earlier by benjamin crump, the family's attorney. you've seen flo-rida. p. diddy, the mother of trayvon martin taking this out showing solidarity with trayvon. there's been everyday viewers and residents of the united states. i asked people to send me tweets. one came all the way from nigeria, this one talking about the u.s. justice system. they say it will mean less if he walks free, calling on george zimmerman, they're saying it's murder. that deserves justice. michael wore thi weighed in with his tweet as well. he said i believe george zimmerman will get what he deserves. god knows what he did and he can't escape god's justice. some are showing their
solidarity by trying to get the hash tag i am george zimmerman trending. he has a facebook page which jumped over 11,000 likes in the last hour. this one one of the most clicked-on comments. 10,000 americans believe george zimmerman is innocent. hash tag zimmerman, #freethez. as we wait for the second, it's only going to get more trendtion ton social media forums. >> this trial has captivated the country. important to note, six people not on social media, six people not watching facebook and twitter, the six women in the jury. >> absolutely. they are sequestered and not allowed to take in any outside media. that's a good thing. opinions are all over the place. we're on twitter as well. we're happy to answer your questions whenever we can. remember, at the end of the day, what matters most is we've got to respect the process.
that's what these six jurors have showed us by their example of working through lunch, asking for a detailed list of exhibits. they seem to be doing their job the right way. >> several hours into their deliberations. >> absolutely. we'll be watching it. we'll be watching sanford, florida, whenever anything comes in, we'll be telling you. the question, of course, is what will george zimmerman's fate be. when we come back, we'll be joined by two experts who have been on both sides of the bench, prosecution and defense. what's their take? we'll let you know. you really couldn't have come at a better time.
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jurors in the case deliberating right now. we're waiting for their verdict. we've been telling you that all morning. that's the job as we keep following this story throughout the hour. joining us right now, two people who know what it's like to wait for a jury. we have page pate and tanya miller. we've been talking about race here and whether it's an issue and why it's an issue and how. let me put something on the table. prosecutors were talking about profiling and why they believe and argue that george zimmerman was targeting trayvon martin because he reminded zimmerman of black kids wearing hoodies who had been committing crimes. that was their theory, they used prior 911 calls. here is what i want to ask you, mr. pate. if race is a part of this trial
why didn't the prosecutors charge george zimmerman with a law that's on the florida books called aggravation of crime by selecting victim based on prejudice? >> you're right, chris, that charge is available to the state. but it's a tough charge to make. i don't know that you want to stand in front of a jury and not only accuse george zimmerman of being a murderer, but being a racist murderer. >> what you're doing, mr. pate, as the prosecutor when you're saying listen to these old 911 calls, not the calls that night, not anything he said about trayvon martin, but what he said in the past about people who look like trayvon martin, aren't they doing it there? if they're doing it there, why not just bring the charge? >> i didn't say you should ignore race as the prosecutor. you have to suggest to the jury some reason that mr. zimmerman is out for trayvon martin. if it's racial, if it's because he thinks he's a criminal, there has to be the ill will, the hatred. for them that was one way of showing it without overtly calling him a racist. you'll notice they didn't do
that during the trial. >> tanya, if you're saying the reason george zimmerman ignored 911 operators, went after him with a loaded weapon, is because he has it out for kids like this, isn't that the message you're sending to the jury? >> i think it very nuanced. i think the prosecution tried to explain to the jury why this happened, why trayvon martin looked so suspicious to george zimmerman, why you can conclude that he had ill will toward trayvon martin when he followed him, when he pursued him and when he made all these false assumptions about him without sort of adding that extra layer of proving that this was a racially motivated homicide, that he sought out to kill trayvon martin because he was black. i think that would have been adding more of a burden to their case than they needed to. >> paige, let me ask you this,
continuing on the vein of charges, where do you stand on the idea of overt charge? the prosecution has taken quite a bit of heat for not being able to meet the threshold of george zimmerman being able to be convicted on the second degree murder charge. they have manslaughter ha is also an option for the jury. do you think they over charged here, they overstepped and couldn't meet the threshold? >> i'm certain they over charged. it happens all the time. prosecutors will go into a courtroom and say, look, we're going to put on our best case, we'll charge him with the highest, most serious crime we can and hopefully p the jury doesn't see the evidence to support that, they'll say the guy shouldn't walk away. we've got the other charge available to us. the law supports it. the evidence supports it. i may not seem fair but it happens in trials. >> what do you think, tanya, do you think it was strategy? do you think it was a miss accide misstep? >> when you're elected to be the prosecutor and make those
charging decisions, you are invested with a certain degree of discretion. your job is to protect the public, and if you see a crime and you think it warrants the highest charge notwithstanding the fact that reasonable people might differ, you're still going to go for that highest charge, give the jury the opportunity to consider your case as strong or as weak as it may be and ultimately make the decision. prosecutors do it all the time. it's very common. >> if i can add one thing to that? i think it's easier for the prosecution to prove a manslaughter case if they initially charge him with second degree murder. it's very hard for a jury to simply analyze one charge and say, okay, we're going to convict him of this or we're going to let him completely go. if you give the jury an option, you're more likely to walk out with a conviction. >> appreciate it from both of you. page, tanya, thank you for the insight. we'll move on now. it's an important point you made. people want to put a lot of things into this trial.
maybe it would be helpful to look at what the prosecution is doing, what at the facts they brought forward, the facts and the law and the process is what we have to expect as we await the verdict there. we're covering other stories this morning. the nsa leaker, edward snowden has now made a russian airport his temporary home, looking the stay even longer in the country. he's asking russia for temporary asylum. we'll have an expert analyst on who will give us the take on the best option for the nsa leaker when we come back after the break.
it's been eight hours in deliberations and six jurors responsible for george zimmerman's fate are still behind closed doors, still working through all the information that's been put to them by the court. they're lo you're looking now at live pictures of the court in sanford, florida. >> we will bring you the verdict as soon as we hear. in the meantime, edward snowden holding temporary asylum
in russia. he is holed up in the airport. he has been grand asylum in russia and bolivia. but he said it's impossible for him to accept real asylum because the united states won't let him leave. >> will he stay, will he go, where will he end up? will the u.s. ever get him back as the administration clearly wants. we'll talk more about this with cnn analyst bob barry is with us now. we can talk about the best option for snowden in his flight path, which is difficult enough and carries great risk, but in general, what do you think the best option is that snowden faces right now? >> kate, i think he should stay in russia. they have a long history with taking american defectors. it's fairly safe, it's a stable government. putin would be fully behind this, the president of russia. going to venezuela is a real problem. you could have another coup
there, a change in government. the new government may feel it's best to turn him over to the united states, so i think his best option truly is staying in moscow. >> when you talk about the best option for snowden, that might not be the best option for u.s.-russia relations. we know president obama spoke yesterday, and the readout from the white house is pretty innocuous, but it says the two leaders recognized the bilateral relations and noticed a range of security, including the status of mr. edward snowden and the cooperation on counterterrorism in the lead-up to the olympics, which i guess is another topic they were talking about. do you believe this would have a serious impact, if he did stay in russia, on u.s.-russia relations? it's already tense, but could it get worse? >> i think it would have an impact. the problem is there are hundreds of russian defectors living in this country that the
russians would like to try to bring back home. we're not giving them up and they're safe here. so the russians are saying, look, guys, this is the way the game is played. he's on our turf. we have him, you do this to us, we're going to do it to you. and the president is mad about syria, a couple other issues, and anything to poke it in his eye right now would serve the russians well. >> you, of course, work for the cia, and i want to look at this from another perspective which is, what is your take? it seems both sides of the debate have an impact on how harmful the leaks were that snowden put out there. what's your take? how harmful were those leaks that snowden gave up? >> frankly, without being inside the investigation, i would say it's the worst espionage case we've had in 20 or 30 years. it hearkens back to rick ames, the cia.
the snooping, the rest of it is enormous damage to the united states, and this is why it's such a big case and why the administration wants the guy back so badly, to find out exactly what damage he did do. >> also, isn't it also a question of what else does he have? what additional damage can he do? >> kate, if you stick a thumb drive in an nsa computer and just start sucking it all up, who knows what he's done? this is a huge failing on the part of the national security agency, and the only way to find out, of course, if they have a thumb drive, but short of that is to ask snowden what he downloaded. >> bob baer, great to get your take on this. it's a story we continue to follow and we still need to find out where snowden will end up, and will he end up in a courtroom here in the united states? we will see. it's just short of 2:00. we're monitoring the george zimmerman trial.
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sanford, florida, keeping his eye on the courthouse. dan, to you. >> thanks so much for joining us, everyone. jurors are now in their eighth hour inside the seminole county courthouse deliberating whether or not george zimmerman is guilty in the crime of the death of 17-year-old trayvon martin. in this hour, you're going to hear from one of the main voices in the case with a new candid perspective never before heard. martin savage sat down with lead defense attorney mark o'mara, and we tried to do the same with prosecutors and the martin family. however, they are choosing to speak after a verdict is reached. but o'mara offered to open up just after he finished his closing argument, knowing he has said and done all he can for his client. >> you were not the first attorney in this case? >> no, i wasn't. i was sort of second and third. >> so there's a period you were actually a spectator before you became involved. >> and a