tv CNN Newsroom CNN July 13, 2013 12:00pm-1:31pm PDT
i'm john king. this is cnn special live coverage in the verdict watch of the trial of george zimmerman. was it murder, manslaughter or self-defense? after 14 days of testimony, slide shows, witnesses, theatrics, and even a little courtroom bickering, the case is in the jury's hands with three choices in front of them: second-degree murder, manslaughter or not guilty. their first decision, they decided to sleep on it. they've been back now for several hours today, and every legal expert in the land says you can never predict what a jury will do. when you take a look at these high-profile cases, you can understand. it took the jodi arias jury 15 hours to convict her in the first-degree murder of her boyfriend, travis alexander. in the casey anthony trial, it
took 10-plus hours to convict her in the death of her daughter. conrad murray, it took nine hours to convict him in the death of michael jackson. and scott peterson, it took 7 days to convict him of the murder of his wife. there are just six days in the george zimmerman trial. >> her children are 11 and 13. she's a proud member of her church. her husband is an engineer. other specifics of the women deciding george zimmerman's fate? juror b-29 is originally from chicago. she's been married for 10 years, she's the only minority on the jury, black or hispanic. she has eight children, only one under 18. juror b-6 is married and has a
son who is on attorney. she loves animals. one juror is the daughter of an air force captain. her child is a pet groomer and another who is a university student. and another one is not married. she's a retired real estate agent. and another one has one son, married to a chemical engineer, she likes to watch football, read and travel. >> we have our panel here. susan, let's start with you. what do you read into this? this is your area of expertise. they deliberated yesterday afternoon, decided to go home a little early. they're deliberating all day today. they had a lunch break. a little earlier they sent a note to the judge they want a numbered list of all the evidence. does that tell you anything about where this jury is in its process right now?
>> my particular opinion would be that right after -- they had already went through their juror -- i'm sorry -- i'm sorry; can you switch over? >> let's move on. >> i can jump in. >> jump in, paul, please. you never know what they're talking about, you don't know how they're organizing, you don't know who is taking charge in there, but at this point, nine and a half hours in and they want a list of the evidence. what does that tell you? >> i think we can read these tea leaves a bit. they're going to look at the evidence, they're going to look at the inventory and then they're going to decide which pieces they want to look at. if we were on the verge of a verdict, i don't think we would see a question like that, and also, when jurors get into the situation when there is a split, four voting one way, two voting another, a lot of times you start to see readbacks because sometimes the four are trying to convince the two, hey, if you
would just listen to this piece of testimony, you'll come around to our view of the case. we haven't seen any readbacks today. it seems to me they're sort of just in the early stages of deliberation, particularly going through the evidence, and i don't think they've reached any conclusions as of right now. >> and trent, from a defense attorney perspective, as you watch this play out, i mentioned other cases where you have 12 jurors. this is under 6 because it's not a capital punishment case. does your experience tell you when you have a tough case like this, do jurors tend to work things out more quickly because they're smaller, or does that not matter? >> a couple things. first of all, john, i think because they're sequestered, they tend to work things out differently. they haven't been home, they haven't seen their families, they haven't been able to tend to personal matters. i think they're going to take it seriously. but in terms of the fact this is such a high-profile case, i think they want to make sure they get it right.
there's been every indication how this jury has conducted themselves during the deliberations as well as how they conducted themselves in open court that they're a very serious, meticulous group. i happen to think not only are are they well into their deliberations, i think they have a jury foreman, they've concluded how they're going to go through the evidence, and one of the things to decide is how are we going to decide? are they going to take a vote, a straw poll, are they going through the evidence, are they going to take a list of the inventory of what that evidence is and figure out what they're going to do? i think there is a lot going on here. >> susan, from your perspective, how much does the psychology of a jury change when they're sitting through a trial, they're listing, they're taking notes or whatever, and now this is theirs. they're driving the process now. how different do they change as a group in their interactions? >> that's called group deliberations, because actually when they're individuals, they think differently than they do when they're in a group.
this is the first time now they've been able to get within their group and talk about their feelings, their thoughts about the case. they haven't been able to do that before. but what's more important, too, this is really how they communicate and their personality styles. those that tend to be more ex textr extroverted tend to be more agreeable. i think the woman in her late 60 sincere going to be the anchor of this group. so behind closed doors, this is what's happening. >> holly hughes is also with us. she's a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. holly, you've worked both sides. i want you to listen to john guy and the prosecution's rebuttal. what has the jury heard last? they heard both closing arguments, they heard the instructions from the judge. let's listen to john guy here. >> let's start at the 7 h-eleve where tha child had every right
to be where he was. that child had every right to do what he was doing, walking home. that child had every right to be afraid of a strange man following him, first in his car and then on foot. and did that child not have the right to defend himself from that strange man? did trayvon martin not also have that right? >> so, holly, help us understand here. obviously the prosecution has a fallback strategy of having some charge that could involve child abuse also get them a conviction. child, child, child. trayvon martin was 17 years old. effective there or overdone? >> no. what you're doing, as a trial lawyer, you don't just want to talk about facts in evidence, john, you want to connect with
that jury, so you want to talk about universal truths. you want to use themes. and what john guy is doing, and very subtly here, is talking about as americans, we are all free to just walk down the street without being accosted. we are all free to take a stand and confront somebody who might be stalking us. so i thought it was very effective because he wasn't in your face about it, but it was subtle. >> i'm going to ask all of our panel to stand by. i want to turn things over to don lemon, he is in sanford, florida and someone emerged very early, someone who has been very influential about this trial. don, benjamin crump, take it away. >> i think it's appropriate we have ben crump on, we just had mark o'mara and for an hour he spoke about this case, and benjamin crump, of course, is the martin family attorney.
before we get into that, how is the family doing right now? >> nair verythey're very emotio. it's been a long eve to justice, and now that they're about to get a verdict in the matter, their rh their emotions are overwhelming. >> especially sabrina fulton. sometimes she had to walk out of the courtroom when they showed pictures of her son and also in closing. why was that? >> we were sitting in court and they start a show of photographs of her baby boy. to us this is a case, but that's still her child, her youngest son, and there is a bond between a mother and son that everybody articulates as something so close. and so she was overcome with emotion, and we went to the attorney commons room, and her and i talked, and she let out all her emotions and grief, and then she read the bible and she looked at me, don, and she said, attorney crump, we're going to be okay. and i thought that was really interesting, because she was
confident in me as the attorney rather than me being confident in her. >> so she feels confident in you? >> she feels confident in me, confident with the jury as a higher court. >> mark o'mara said you basically ran up the animosity against george zimmerman. let's listen and we'll talk. >> do you think that george zimmerman would have even been charged had ben crump not been pulled into this? >> no. ben crump was someone like him, because had ben crump not got involved in the case -- maybe for some good reasons to begin with. if he believed there was something here that was being swept under the rug, then get on into it. i'm very okay with that. >> but you didn't quite say it that way. you made it sound like if not for ben crump, george zimmerman
would be free right now and we would not be in a trial. >> that's correct. i think it was a made-up story for purposes that had nothing to do with george zimmerman and that they complained about trayvon martin being victimized, george zimmerman was victimized by a publicity campaign to smear him, by calling him a racist when he wasn't and a murderer when he wasn't. >> so angela cory and the governor and all who had a hand in bringing on this prosecution, they were all manipulated by ben crump? >> i don't know that it was ben crump doing all the manipulation, but i'm very surprised that they decided not to take this to a grand jury when one was ready to take on the case as the state versus george zimmerman and take on the information to decide if he should be charged with any crime. instead they decided to have a press conference, pray with the victim's family, and announce second or third-degree murder
charges. >> so we may not be here if it wasn't for you. >> well, i think respectfully to attorney o'mara, they seem to just disregard the fact that you have trayvon martin, who was unarmed walking home from the store when he was profiled and pursued and followed by his client, for whatever reason. we will never know. i don't know if george zimmerman is a racist or not, but he profiled trayvon martin for something, whether the way he looked or his ethnicity. we will never know, but i know he got out of his car. he made the decision to pursue trayvon martin. we have objective evidence. so if this was your child, would you just say, okay, police, tell me. i'm not going to arrest a killer on my unarmed son. this is disturbing to many people, and that's why the whole world so watching this case, because you cannot have people kill unarmed teenagers walking home legally whether they're
white, brown or gray and say, it's okay, we're not going to arrest you. >> did trayvon martin say he wasn't going to pursue this? >> no, he called me. when mr. martin first called me, i said, hello, let me make sure i understand these facts. your son had skittles and a can of iced tea and the neighborhood watch coordinator had a a .9-millimeter gun. i said, don't worry about it, you don't need me. he called me back a couple days later, don, and said, mr. crump, i told you they're not going to arrest him. and so that's when we started saying, well, let's write a letter to the police and say, you know, we need to get public knowledge of this. they had a press conference and they confirmed they were not going to arrest him. >> did anybody tell you they were not going to pursue this, anyone on the martin side tell you they were not going to pursue this?
>> no. absolutely not. do you think any parent would say we're not going to have the killer of our unarmed teenage son be held accountable of shooting him in the heart? >> i've seen people accuse you of being a charleton, of benefiting in this case. >> we have far too many cases where black and brown kids are killed dead on the street and nobody says a word. trayvon martin got a lot of attention, leon anderson got a lot of attention, but we have a hundred little black boys who get killed, nobody says a word. when we took this case, my law partner said, you know, crump, we're probably going to spend a lot of money, we're going to spend a lot of time and resources, and it ain't going to happen. and you know what we said? we went to law school to try to make a difference in our community to try to have equality for everybody, and so
we took the case thinking we were not going to profit a penny. >> in that same interview, mark o'mara said, listen, i understand about the plight of young black men. i understand that, and i would go and put my arm around the other side and help them because i prosecute cases like that, and i defend cases like that, but take your crosshairs off of george zimmerman. he's not the one. he's not a racist. he didn't profile anyone. he is the victim in this particular case. >> it's really interesting, because the state of florida did not charge george zimmerman with racially pro filing trayvon martin. they charged him with criminally profiling trayvon martin. it was attorney o'mara and his team who decided to interject race into the trial. if you remember, attorney john guy decided not to interject race in this trial because it's not about black and white, it's about right and wrong. i've never personally attacked
attorney o'mara or any of the lawyers in this matter. i understand we have to be zealous advocates for our clients, and i want to believe, yeah, we fought to get trayvon martin's killer arrested so he can be brought to a court of law to face the evidence against him for killing an unarmed teenage child. and over 2 million people signed petitions that say that the killer of an unarmed child should at least be arrested. >> hold that thought, because i want that to be my last question, but i want to talk to you about self-defense and stand your ground in florida. what would you do about that? >> well, obviously, i don't agree with the stand your ground law. i think there was nothing wrong with our self-defense laws. it's well seated. for 200 years it was working just fine. stand your ground encourages vigilanteism. it encourages people to take the law into their own hands, and that's not good for anybody. it's too subjective. i don't know if there is
anything trayvon martin could have said if the facts were reversed, and he profiled and pursued and shot an unarmed george zimmerman. he could have said stand your ground, self-defense, anything he wanted, he would have been arrested hour one, minute one, second one, and i believe his attorney john guy said, what would your verdict be then? >> it is many in the public's perception and many legal watchers' perception that the prosecution did not do a great job in presenting their case, they did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt their case beyond a reasonable doubt. do you agree with that? are you happy with the case the prosecution put on? >> i think the jury will decide this case. i think the prosecution brought it all together at the end. they do certain things stra treejical
strateejically. what one lawyer does may be different than other styles, but mark o'mara and john guy, their information was very effective, they tied it all together. they pointed out very important things about this gun, this black gun and the inside holster not right to the side of him but kind of to his back. how in the world would trayvon martin ever see that where all the witnesses said it was very dark. we saw the pictures of how dark it was that night. he wasn't reaching for a gun. he didn't even see a gun, so why would his killer say that? >> what do you make of people talking about the possibility of violence in florida and other places if he is acquitted, if george zimmerman is acquitted? >> well, i think you should be asking that question in reverse, if he's convicted, because we have a pattern of showing that all trayvon martin supporters in rallies by the thousands all over the country have been very non-violent. there has not been one single act of violence in any of these rallies when you have 30, 40,000 people expressing their freedom
of expression. i worry about when he's convicted, what are the george zimmerman supporters going to do? >> there's been threats on social media. that doesn't concern you? >> you know all the threats sabrina fulton got? we just don't comment on it all the time. >> what do you think will happen, or will you be okay if he is acquitted? do you think el he will be acquitted? >> i think the parents will be heartbroken. they don't want the killer of their unarmed child to not be held accountable. they don't want his death to be in vain. they will truly be heartbroken because they know their son had every right to walk home from that store and not be profiled or followed for whatever reason -- >> but will you accept that verdict? >> we always said we will accept the rule of law. the martin family has asked everybody to be peaceful. from day one they asked for peaceful justice, and nothing has changed. in fact, they have said they want everybody to follow their
example. they have been very dignified, very graceful, and they want everybody to accept the rule of law. if they can accept it, everybody can accept it, and they don't want people to do what they believe the killer of their unarmed son did and try to take the law into his own hands. >> benjamin crump, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i appreciate you coming over and speaking to us. i know you want to get back into the courtroom as we're waiting. john king, back to you. >> fascinating interview and good job getting crump to sit down with you. you just heard some of it there. sometimes it's been right out in the open, other times often an undercurrent. the rule of race in this trial when we continue.
coverage of the verdict watch. while the jury weighs their guilt or innocence, the prosecutors want the jury to think about zimmerman profiling. this is the prosecution's argument. >> what started this? assumptions. incorrect assumptions on the part of one individual. again, that's the last photograph we have of trayvon martin. this innocent, 17-year-old kid was profiled as a criminal. >> now, listen here to the zimmerman defense attorney, mark o'mara, in his closing argument. >> i also brought into evidence but didn't show you yet, this whole pile of police reports of what other things happened in
the past year at retreat view area. they're there, i could have brought in ms. rumpf, the review. it will show you a lot of things, a home invasion that ms. burtelu suffered through. and i think it will show you in that community there is a rash of people burglarizing homes. you know what else it's going to show you? it will show you a lot of people who were arrested for it, the only people found and arrested were young, black males. what did he do? stayed on the phone, cursed -- yeah, definitely cursed -- he cursed toward those people, maybe including trayvon martin, by the way. at least him, maybe, because he did match the description, unfortunately, and that's just maybe happenstance.
>> let's dig deeper now into the role of profiling in this case. legal analyst sunny hostin is with us, also dan. sunny, wasn't he also say racial profiling? >> i don't think so. certainly he couldn't say racial profiling because the judge ruled that was inadmissible. but you can profile someone as a criminal. there are people that are white, for example, that were part of the mafia, and you could profile that group of people. you could profile people that were part of asian gangs as criminals. i don't know that race is necessarily the end-all be-all here. i think it was the fact that he lumped trayvon martin with other people that he believed were criminal. they happened to be african-american males. and that assumption was wrong, because trayvon martin wasn't burglarizing any homes, he was there lawfully and he was there to see his father, and he was walking home. so i think that is the very
definition of profiling. you look at someone and you make an assumption by their appearance as to what you believe they are doing. and that's a tool that's used by law enforcement all the time, but george zimmerman wasn't a member of law enforcement. so i have been sort of surprised that everyone has said this case is all about race. this case may be about the assumptions that george zimmerman made based on crime, but i don't know that it's about racial profiling. >> danny, do you agree with that? you heard mark o'mara essentially saying, in his view, if you look at other police reports, if you look at other cases, in his view george zimmerman had the right to be suspicious. >> it's really interesting, because if the prosecution had no interest in making it about race, why did judge debra nelson rule they couldn't use the terms racial profiling. if she had not so ruled, her honor, i have to have wondered would prosecution have inserted race into the case to help them?
because once you remove race, the word profiling, as sunny said, is a technique used by law enforcement every single day. if george zimmerman had been wearing a badge and observing a young male in his neighborhood he didn't recognize might be considered just good police work. after all, police reports are full of profiling. a young male, hand to hand transactions. we know hand to hand transactions can be innocent, but oftentimes in a high crime neighborhood, it is not. i don't know when profiling became a bad word, because once we removed the race, i think police used profiling all the time in law enforcement, and it's considered good police work. >> sunny and danny will stay with us as we wait. the jury has been deliberating more than nine hours, and how is the prosecution handling the waiting? mark o'mara says he can't eat or sleep. you'll hear what happened behind
public reacts to the verdict. people in the county are asking for calm. >> as we await this verdict, we would like to remind everyone that the city of sanford has been a peaceful location since that time 17 months ago. and it remains a peaceful location. >> don lemon is on the ground there in sanford, florida. don, what have you seen? we have the public statements right there. what's your sense as far as the depth of the preparations by police? >> well, i've just mostly been spending time here by the courthouse, and it's really tight security here, and they have cordoned off just a special area here for demonstrators. you know, we're going back and forth here about calling protesters or demonstrators. these are demonstrators. there's just a handful, and there are more media out here than demonstrators, and it's been very peaceful. as you heard in the interview i just did with the martin family attorney, benjamin crump, most,
if not all, of the demonstrations for the trayvon martin side of this story have been peaceful demonstrations. and that's what america is about. you are allowed to show your voice and to demonstrate. now, no one should be violent. there should not be violence of any sort in any particular instance, and i think that's what police are warning about. but, listen, i said something on the air yesterday that many people, john, took out of context, including some of my own colleagues and misquoted me. john, never did i once say, mention race or racism or black or white when it comes to police warning people about rigotous behavior. what i said was it struck me as odd that police were mentioning that because it's the policeman's job to honor and serve, and to be prepared for situations of violence just like they are for sporting ooerneven for concerts, any type of event
they have to be prepared for. so it strikes many people as odd that no matter how the verdict plays out that white people or black people might riot and it shows that black people might strike out as bar beaear yanns d people think they were talking about black people here, and that's the difference. watching some of the social media, most people put it as a black-whitish u, and in some way it's kind of profiling people who think that way. anyway, back to the subject at hand. let's talk about what happened inside the courtroom, and i want to talk about what the prosecution, what the defense is going through right now. you heard mark o'mara. i'm bringing in jeff gold now who is a prosecutor and an attorney. mark o'mara says he can't eat, he can't sleep, he lost weight. i saw him up close and personal today. he is very skinny. also other members of the team as well, the defense team, can't
sleep, can't eat, also very thin. don west as well when i saw him today. what are they dealing with? they didn't seem to be as -- in as good a mood as the prosecution when i bumped into them in the elevator today. >> today. and i think yesterday they were in a better mood. first of all, once the jury is out, there is nothing you can do, so you're just waiting. in most situations you go back to your office, start to do some of the work you've been avoiding, just try to do something else. that's one thing. i thought the defense was almost overconfident in its closing. i've never seen a defense -- and they said they would piss off defense attorneys, and they probably did, because not only did they say it's the state's burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, but they said they could prove he's innocent. and mark o'mara may have bitten off a little bit more than he can chew. >> do you think the prosecution was overconfident or the defense? >> no, the defense. i think in saying -- normally, all the defense attorney ever has to say is it's the state's burden to prove my client guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt, and in this case they have to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, and be quiet. he went further and said, i can actually prove my client is innocent, and he knew when he did that, he was taking on a big challenge. he may lose it. >> i thought it was interesting the difference between the two teams, right? when i ran into the prosecution on the elevator, they were nice, they invited us into the elevator, the defense didn't do that, and in a courtroom, you cannot interview anyone. if they talk to you, you can have a nice conversation with them, which i did, and it was very jovial, and then i ran into george zimmerman as well and his family, and he stands -- i don't know if you knew or not -- on the top floor of this courthouse and he looks out onto the courtyard here, onto the media, onto the protesters, the demonstrators, and he is watching at point what goes on and what's happening here. >> a circus to some degree all around him. he's the lead figure. prosecutors had a very, very, very weak case.
if they lose, nobody is going to say anything, because really, frankly, everybody thinks they're going to lose. all they can do is win. so the pressure is off of them. they've done the best they can do. if they win this case, that will be a feather in their cap they didn't expect. the defense, on the other hand, they have the other pressure, the pressure that everybody thinks there is a reasonable doubt. now, if they lose it, did they lose it? >> yeah. thank you very much. jeff gold. john king, back to you. >> don, we'll be back with you in a little bit as well. a conviction, if it comes in this case, that could mean decades in prison for george zimmerman. cnn talks to one ex-con about what life behind bars would be like. that's next. [ mrs. hutchison ] friday night has always been all fun and games here at the hutchison household. but one dark stormy evening... there were two things i could tell: she needed a good meal and a good family. so we gave her what our other cats love, purina cat chow complete. it's the best because it has something for all of our cats!
...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. you're looking at live pictures of the courthouse in sanford, florida. that's where the jury is deliberating for ten hours now on george zimmerman's fate. george zimmerman has been a prisoner from his home since he was charged 18 months ago. a former inmate tells dave mattingly it's nothing, nothing compared to being behind bars. >> reporter: he's been locked up before, but days waiting for an arrest is nothing compared to
what it would have been for george zimmerman in prison. >> i don't see zimmerman lasting six months. >> reporter: he is an ex-con and author who has some grim predictions for george zimmerman if he's convicted. a wannabe cop who killed an unarmed black teenager guarantees trouble. >> there will abe whole litany of people who either want george by extorting him or protecting him, and that's just one case. george zimmerman's first six months to two years is survival. >> zimmerman would have to get tough and quickly. his attorneys attribute his 20-pound weight gain to dealing with what is already stress. his attorney testified he is no fighter. from day one, what is your best advice to him? >> well, communications with the outside world will keep him as sane as he can, because he will get support from various groups and various people. so hopefully that will keep him mentally. i think the prison system will
protect him for as much as they can for as long as they can. >> reporter: these pictures come from the florida website. pictures like these, in a cell 23 23 houhours a day. larry law ton spent 23 years in prison, three of them in isolation. >> what does that mean for george zimmerman? >> you could go crazy. i've watched people kill themselves, hang themselves. >> reporter: and if convicted, george zimmerman could face a life behind bars dealing with daily violence. >> reporter: will he ever be able to stop watching his back? >> great question, and i tell you something. i was in prison for 11 straight years. i never slept for more than six hours. when i woke up, i put my boots on, because there's no guarding
you in prison. >> reporter: george zimmerman, fighting for a life he desperately wants to avoid. coming up, the points the jury is now considering, self-defense. so what's with the stand your ground law after this verdict? our experts weigh in, next. these chevys are moving fast. i'll take that malibu. yeah excuse me, the equinox in atlantis blue is mine! i was here first, it's mine. i called about that one, it's mine. mine! mine. it's mine. it's mine. mine. mine. mine. mine. it's mine! no it's not, it's mine! better get going, it's chevy model year-end event. [ male announcer ] the chevy model year-end event. the 13s are going fast, time to get yours. current chevy truck owners can trade up to this chevy silverado all-star edition with a total value of $9,000.
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they have three options before them: guilty of second-degree murder, guilty of manslaughter or not guilty. but the future of florida's stand your ground law, the controversial law at the start of this trial, is just as uncertain. >> he didn't want to know about stand your ground. didn't want the police to know he knew about it. stand your ground, what's that? and let me suggest to you, in the end, this case is not about standing your ground, it's about staying in your car like he was taught to do, like he was supposed to do, and he can't now cloak himself with the noble cause of a neighborhood watch coordinator violate its cornerstone principle and expect you to absolve him of his guilt. >> frank copyland is a criminal
defense attorney, paul a senior legal analyst, holly hughes, former prosecutor. 17 other states have similar laws. no matter the outcome here, does the controversy about this trial spell an end in your view, or will it simply set the precedent of going back and tinkering with something. >> i don't think there is any question that the fact this law has now taken center stage in this case really is going to invoke, i think, continued debate. remember, the law went into effect was signed by george bush back in 2005, and it's given us some fairly consistent results. remember, the statistics tell us that 73% of the time, in 73% of the time where there is a killing of a african-american, the person walks free in florida. 59% of the time by contrast, if the killing is a white person, 59% of the time, the person walks free. so there is some desperate distinctions in this. it seems to be that if you kill
a black person, their life seems to be less valuable than if you kill a white person. so look, i don't know what the facts were in each of those cases but those are what the statistics tell us, so it's very difficult for those of us criticizing this law, it's very difficult for those to look at the law and perceive the law has given us fair treatment. the problem, i think, though, with the prosecution is that although they want to criticize the stand your ground law, the fact of the matter is, it really isn't a part of the case. remember, george zimmerman had the right to have the stand your ground hearing and he didn't have it. he refused to have it and he waived that hearing. so what he's standing on is the bake reassumption of self-defense, but we all know stand your ground is a fertile ground in florida and these jurors will have to decide the fate of george zimmerman based on stand your ground as well as the common principles, the historic principles of self-defense. >> paul, in your view, self-defense is a historical
self-defense, if you will, in a courtroom, but the way this stand your ground law is written, does it steal the justice in the prosecution's favor, if you will. >> frankly, i don't think it even applies in this case. the stand your ground principle is this. in most places, most places in the united states, if somebody breaks into your house and tries to do harm to you, you have the right to use when you're outside of your home, if you have the ability to get away to escape in safety, you have to try to escape first before you can use force against somebody else. that's the law because the law wants to preserve life. and then along comes stand your ground. it eigarises actually of the ol west, it started in colorado. a man can stand his ground and fight back, he doesn't have to retreat. but that's not involved in this case because frankly this is just a standard self-defense
case, because by the time the encounter between trayvon martin and george zimmerman occur, nobody's saying that zimmerman could have escaped in reasonable safety. that's not part of the defense. the defense is who's the initial aggressor and a lot of other concepts that are different. and the second reason why it's not involved is that in florida they got this strange law where you have a hearing in advance of trial and a judge can hear the case and give you immunity and say we're not even going to let a jury look at this. in most other states, no such hearing exists, no stand your ground hearing exists, in other cas cases it would have been gone to trial and you wouldn't have the controversy here. this is a garden variety standard self-defense case. >> holly, do you agree with that in the sense as paul says he calls it a garden variety self-defense case in the court
of law, will there be pressure from the bar association from the defense bar, from anybody in florida to say let's look at this law again? >> i don't think so. and it is for the very reasons that my learned co-counsel has already mentioned both trent and paul pointed out, they did not avail themselves of the stand your ground when this first happened, when the shooting happened back in february a year ago, we all heard, oh, it's stand your ground. that's what he's going to rest on, but he did not request that hearing. paul made reference to it and in georgia we call it an immunity hearing and you go before the court and essentially ask the court does this state even have a right to charge me, throw this whole thing out, say that there's not even probable cause to arrest me because i had every right to stand my ground to defend myself. so, since that has gone by the wayside and they've gone with your standard self-defense, that's what everybody's focused on now and i think stand your ground has sort of lost its footing and, again, everybody's mentioned it, this goes all the way back to the foundation of
our country. we used to call it the castle doctrine. a man's home is his castle. you have every right to defend yours and what is yours. and your life. so, then, we see this evolution agen if you are out in public do you still have a duty to retreat but all the debates have been lost. >> ask the group to all stand by. the zimmerman jury is an all-female panel, in the tenth hour of deliberations while we don't know their identities, we know a lot about their backgrounds and what has caught their attention in court. [ male announcer ] who loves social networking as much as you?
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accomplish so much. >> the families miss the mel of smoky yellow shirts. we keep them connected back to this wildland fire family. i love these wildland firefighters. i will do anything to protect them and help them. up next the jury in sanford now in its tenth hour of deliberations. is this a good or bad sign for george zimmerman? ready? happy birthday! it's a painting easel! the tide's coming in! this is my favorite one. it's upside down.
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i'm john king, this is cnn's special leave coverage of the verdict watch in the trial of george zimmerman. are they close to a verdict? only six women know the answer to this that question and right now they are deliberating in their tenth hour. how long this could take is anyone's guess. let's take a look at the deliberations in other high profile cases. it took the jodi arias jury 16 hours to convict her. in the casey anthony trial jurors took ten hours and 40 minutes and then acquitted her in the death of her daughter. conrad murray nine hours to convict him in the death of michael jackson. scott peterson jurors took a whopping seven days and then convicted him in the murder of his wife and unborn child and
jurors way back in the o.j. simpson murder trial took less than four hours to acquit him that was 1995. one thing to remember here all of these juries had 12 members. there are just six in the george zimmerman trial and they're all women. cnn's legal analyst sonny hostin brings us along with danny zavalos. we're in the tenth hour now, is there some sort of belief that as long as the deliberations go it favors acquittal, vice versa? >> hen i was prosecuting cases they used to say a quick verdict was a guilty verdict and the longer the jury was out the more likely they were having trouble with the evidence and the more likely there would be some sort of acquittal. but i don't know. i think you've got to throw that out when you're talking about a case like this, a complex case, a complicated case, a case that's not a whodunit, but was the person, you know, legally justified in doing so. i think you've got to sort of throw all of that out and it's anyone's guess because you know that this is a methodical jury.
there are only six of them. they're all women. they initially, john, asked, the first thing they asked two minutes into their deliberations was for the inventory list of exhibits, so that tells you right there this is not your ordinary jury, they'll not make a quick decision and they'll look through each and every piece of evidence to come to a decision. they're going to be very deliberative. i think it's anybody's guess at this point. >> six women, danny, does that do anything to your thinking about how this will play out, not necessarily how it will end, but how it will play out? >> yes, it does. here's why. it's simple math, the more jurors you have or the more people to convince at least in terms of a trial strategy, the less jurors you have, the less as a defense attorney you can get to hang, so the idea of six jurors i think gives some defense attorneys concern. because in theory if you had 100 jurors all you need to hang the case is just one. so you have a better chance. when you reduce it down to six,
it changes the dynamics of deliberations, now there are less people to convince and less likely for holdouts. the converse to that is if there is a holdout he or she on one of six as opposed to one versus 11. so, it's really a question of math. in a case like this, however, there's -- consider the possibility that mark o'mara told them all you have to do is consider self-defense first, if you do, then you're done. he dangled that sort of bone in front of them, so this may be a case where the traditional -- and sunny's absolutely right, an earlier verdict traditionally tends to favor the prosecution at least that's the way the theory goes. but if they're considering that self-defense and they come back quickly, they may have taken mark o'mara's advice to consider self-defense first and that is their door out of the jury room quickly. >> if you are just joining us that jury is in its tenth hour
of deliberating. let's talk about sentencing. the judge didn't tell the jury the guidelines for second-degree murder or manslaughter. is it standard practice in a case like this or would the information change the jury's minds if they say, okay, if we do this, this is the sentencing guidelines, if we do this, here it is? >> it is absolutely standard practice. the jury should not consider what the sentence will be, only what the crime is and, you know, i know that intuitively, most people know that second-degree murder probably carries more time than manslaughter, minimum is 25 years in prison and maximum is life in prison. if you are convicted of man slaughter in florida, you can get up to 30 years and there's no parole in florida, we know that george zimmerman has not served any time. some prisoners get credit for the time they've served. he wouldn't have that ability. he wouldn't have any credit because he hasn't served any time, so he's looking at stiff time, stiff penalties for either
manslaughter or murder two. and hopefully that the jury will not consider that. most people are thinking, well, do you know what, every jury considers that and they must know intuitively that manslaughter is lesser included of second degree so he might get less time but they really shouldn't be considering that. >> danny and sunny will stay with us as we continue to watch the deliberations approaching, the eleventh hour the jury has been deliberating. the last 14 days of this trial has seen their fair share of witnesses and theatrics and even courtroom bickering. some would argue it's the final day that really matters, the closing arguments, they really have the power to sway jury members entering deliberations perhaps still undecided. >> i have to show you, he had the hoodie on. on top of the hoodie, this is from the picture that we showed you. it's not in evidence. just have you look at it. don't even have to believe it's accurate. take a look at it. about two months, three months
before trayvon martin passed away, that's what he looked like. he lost half his blood. we know that. so, on that picture, that we have of him on the medical examiner's table, yeah, he does look emaciated. but here's him three months before that night. so, it's in evidence. take a look at it. because this is the person and this is the person who george zimmerman encountered that night. >> it was at that point martin's mother left the courtroom. the prosecution then took stage for its rebuttal. >> trayvon martin is not, was not, will never be a piece of cardboard. trayvon martin may not have the
defendant's blood on his hands, but george zimmerman will forever have trayvon martin's blood on his forever. >> joining me now our expert legal panel, trent copeland, paul callan, susan constantine, and holly hughes, a former prosecutor. susan, i want to go to you first before we get into reading the closing arguments, i want to ask you about the jury now, they're sequestered, six jurors, four alternates, what is that process like now that they've been through the trial, there's some relief that the testimony and the arguments are over, but can they stay in contact with their friends and family? how does a smaller jury affect deliberations? >> first of all, the judge has already gone through the instructions, a lot of those questions were raised during or right after voir dire because the family is concerned they have kids and they want to connect with their family and the judge emphasized it was
limited contact, so, yes, they're going to see their family but i think it will be highly monitored because they don't want the outside influences because you never know if the family members are watching television or reading the news. at this point in time, they're tired, they've been sequestered for a long period of time, they've hung around with the same people now that they don't even know, they have met, for the last 30 days and, you know, relationships are building, so behind closed doors, you know, they're ready to get this thing over and done with. >> holly, after the days of conflicting testimony, if you're pretty torn, still up in the air sort of maybe debating yourself and you get to the closing arguments, in your view, one side, was there a lopsided advantage? >> you know, i think that when you got to the final close, we saw bernie de la rionda the lead prosecutor start off the first day, and he basically just has one speed, very loud, very intense for about two hours. the problem with that, john, it's kind of like living next to a train station.
when you first move in, you noic notice the rumbling noise, but after a while you tune it out. so, i think we need to focus, you know, very clearly on what mark o'mara and john guy did that second day. and they were both incredibly effective. i think mark o'mara probably connected better with the jurors who are going to take a very intellectual stance because he was very clear with the law. this is what the law is. this is how you analyze it, this is how you go back and deliberate, guys. go to self-defense first. john guy got back up, was very powerful but in a very different way. he appealed to the emotional jurors, the ones who are sitting there who cannot divorce themselves from the fact that they're mothers and that there's a dead -- and we heard some of those jurors were crying. they were emotionally moved. but i think it's a tie when you look at the presentation because o'mara, he had to speak for three straight hours and you really did pay attention for
three straight hours, weaving in the different media items that he used, sometimes a chart, sometimes a power point, sometimes a cardboard cut-out. he held their attention but he was more arguing to the intellectual aspects of what these jurors need to do. >> and, paul callan, the question is, you know, it was compelling as a speaker and he had all of his props and he was using his hands, he was using the cardboard, i guess the question is did he string it together in an effective way that makes the case or do sometimes some of the theatrics become distracting? >> i kind of think of them as a skilled carpenter building, you know, a house of reasonable doubt, you know, that's what he was trying to do. but there have been studies done on this and, you know, you really can't hold anybody's attention for more than, say, 30 minutes or so as a public speaker. and once you get beyond that, what you're really hoping is that an occasional concept will sink in with one of the six
jurors. and despite the fact that lawyers have big egos and all think that their brilliant summation and presentation is going to turn the tide in the case, it's usually the facts of the case that really decide the case. the jury, they go back, they find their own little things here and there. they argue about them. and they reach a conclusion. so, lawyers sort of guide them, point them in a direction, but do you know something, in the end the real speeches are being made by the six women in the jury who are arguing about the evidence right now. >> trent copeland, maybe it's not what makes the final decision in the jury room, but if you go back to high profile cases often there is a signature line. i remember the first big trial i covered was the von claus trial, and no injection, in the o.j. trial it was the famous if the glove don't fit, you must acquit. anything from the closings from either side when the jury first went into the room is ringing in
their head could at least start, set the early tone of the deliberations? >> i do. i think it's a great question, john. what i think it is is the words of john guy the prosecutor said on his hands, blood on his hands. they will remember that. they will remember the autopsy photos of trayvon martin, that lifeless body laying there on the grass. i think they're going to remember the prosecutor when he says that trayvon martin was walking home and that it was a child's worst fear. i think it's important for this jury to remember those words because i think from the prosecution's perspective that's what they have to trade on, it's emotion. what they are essentially asking this jury is to remember the emotion, remember the emotional gravity of this case, to grab ahold of their hearts, to pull at their heartstrings and this is frankly, john, much more of a defense strategy by the prosecution than it is a more traditional prosecution. remember, prosecutors tend to me much more clinical, much more diagnosing in terms of how they review the evidence. in this case it's just the
reverse. it's the defense that wants this jury to be more clinical. they want them to dissect this evidence more carefully as paul callan indicated, they want them to build that house of evidence, that house of reasonable doubt. but it's the prosecution that wants them to rely on emotion. they want to pull at the heartstrings. because, remember, they're women, most of whom have children, many of whom have children under the age of 18, so i think they're really hoping that this jury will connect to them on a more visceral, emotional level. >> our experts with us throughout the day as we continue to watch the jury deliberations in the george zimmerman case and there's already fallout in this case even as the deliberations go on, one of the pretrial witnesses has been fired. the i.t. director from the florida state attorney's office testified the prosecution withheld information from the defense. he said the state didn't share a report from the florida department of law enforcement about trayvon martin's cell phone photos and his text messages. >> i knew that the information existed. and i had been told two
different things by mr. de la rionda, one that fdle would redo the report and the information would be provided and then in a second one that only the source file would be provided. i knew at least one of those approaches was probably inaccurate or wrong. at that point the more that i thought about it, i was curious if i had any legal exposure, and, um, at that point i sought counsel. >> george howell, one of our correspondents on top of this case in sanford, florida, george, was that damaging for the prosecution? >> reporter: potentially. and with regards to this case, let's talk about that, first. it could open the possibility of an appeal if there is a conviction. we're talking about discovery evidence that didn't go over to the defense, didn't get it on time, in a timely manner, it could happen with regards to the case. with regards to the prosecution, there's the possibility of jail
time, that's not likely. it's more likely, john, it could be a fine or even a penalty, a censure, basically, on the attorney, certainly something no attorney would want. >> george howell. >> we heard from your investigators at the time, sereno and singleton, both testified about that investigative process. looking back at it, do you feel that they did their job to the letter? >> i believe they did. you know, the investigation through the trial, i think, it's revealed itself that the sanford police department was doing a proper investigation. and diligently trying to find the truth. and, you know, sometimes the justice system that we have, you know, the results of it, you know, at certain points do not sit well with people, maybe
based on the position that they are. but the police department was looking at this information objectively. we wanted to find the truth and we wanted to seek justice. >> reporter: so putting that interview there in context, that's an exclusive interview i had with the former sanford police chief, you talk him and you talk about ben kruidos, both lost their jobs. bill lee was the police chief and went through the process of the investigation and got a lot of pressure and he believe he lost his job because he didn't make an arrest in the case, he upheld his oath in the case but he was later terminated from that position but you do see two people here throughout the course of this trial who lost their jobs. >> that's remarkable, george, the central question, of course, before the jury but so many fascinating subplots to this case, this trial, as well,
george howell on the ground for us in sanford, thanks so much. up next our expert panel takes a look at the witnesses in the zimmerman trial. who were the most effective and the least? my name is mike and i quit smoking. chantix... it's a non-nicotine pill. i didn't want nicotine to give up nicotine. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. [ mike ] when i was taking the chantix, it reduced the urge to smoke. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation,
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i don't smoke. - hugs from beneful baked delights... - [ barks ]rs ] are crispy, oven-baked dog snacks with soft savory centers, made with beef and cheese. beneful baked delights: a unique collection of four snacks... to help spark play in your day. i'm john king, you're watching special coverage of the verdict watch in the george zimmerman trial. the defense and prosecution called a slew of witnesses to the stand over the course of this trial.
during its closing arguments the defense attorney mark o'mara reminded jurors about the witnesses using the slide show. he talked about the 7-eleven clerk and trayvon martin's friends and neighbors among others. who was the most effect, back with our legal panel, trent copeland, and paul callan and susan constance teen and holly hughes a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. paul, let's start with you, you say george zimmerman's neighbor was most effective for the defense, why? >> actually, i got two ones. one's john good, the neighbor, and the reason i thought he was most effective is he's the only one that really didn't have a relationship to trayvon martin or george zimmerman, he just happened to be in the condo unit that was right next to the scene. he comes out and he really provides important information because he says, "a," it was, in fact, trayvon martin on top of zimmerman and, "b," that it was zimmerman who was screaming for help and ironically i think the second most effective witness
was a stopwatch and that was when o'mara sat there in court for a full four minutes of silence to show that there was plenty of time for trayvon martin to circle back and attack george zimmerman rather than going home if he was, in fact, a child afraid of a man pursuing him. so, a stopwatch and john good, those are the two most effective witnesses in the case. >> and least effective? >> well, least effective i would have to say were a whole series -- all of those witnesses who were trying to identify the scream and saying they're positive it was either trayvon martin or george zimmerman, i really pretty much discount them all. the sound of the scream through the telephone line was so bad that even experts couldn't figure it out, and everybody there was clearly just trying to help family members. and i think in the end, the scream's going to be discounted in terms of that testimony.
and i think that will prove to be a pretty ineffective witness testimony. >> trent, most effective and why? >> well, you know, i think the most effective oddly enough, john, was a witness that didn't testify but the witness did give incredibly powerful testimony and that was george zimmerman himself. look, he never went on the witness stand. he was never cross-examined, but we heard every version of his story. i mean, george zimmerman was allowed to give the reenactment the following day after the incident. he gave an interview at the jail stas that was recorded. he gave audio statements. he was given the opportunity to give all these statements, john, all these statements that i thought were incredibly helpful that are self-serving statements, they seem to be consistent with his narrative of self-defense, he gave all of this without having to face what would have been a rigorous cross examination by john guy or bernie de la rionda, i think he was probably his best ally and he didn't have to take the witness stand to do that. i think the converse for that i think for the prosecution their
worst witness happened to also be very good witnesses for the defense. look, it was detective serana, it was officer singleton, these were some of the people that interviewed george zimmerman, these are some of the people who had to go after george zimmerman's statement and they came to the witness stand on waf of the prosecution and they said, hey, listen, we used every tactic at our disposal, we used every police technique we knew to try to shake his story and we couldn't do it. i don't know that i've ever heard or seen on the witness stand the chief detective say to a jury that i think i believe his version of the story because it seems to have held up. and i think this jury's going to remember that. remember, these are the front line guys, these are the people if nobody is going to carry the water for the prosecution, it will be their lead detectives and they did just the reverse. >> holly? >> i've got a reason for what i'm about to say. it's what i'm going to call sleeper witnesses, the two you don't expect to make the difference, but, remember, john, this entire defense is based on
self-defense and the charge to the jury says what was it reasonable in george zimmerman's mind and the two witnesses, the best one for the prosecution to tell you what was in george zimmerman's mind was john menola one of those neighbors who come out there and he takes george zimmerman's cell phone and he says call my wife. as he's attempting to explain to shelly zimmerman what happened, he said, look, there's been a shooting and george interrupts him and says just tell her i shot someone. and for the prosecution that is an excellent peek into george zimmerman's mindset. he's cold. he's disconnected. he doesn't care, ah, just tell her i shot somebody. on the reverse and i'm going to respectfully disagree with paul callan, one of those scream witnesses that the defense called was a medic in vietnam, and he has a skill set that probably nobody else in the world has. he says i know what it's like to listen to my buddies speak in a
normal voice and then i know what it's like to hear that same person screaming for their life, screaming in terror, screaming in pain. and so i think he brought a little bit of credibility that nobody else could. because who else has experienced that. and he listened to the tape and he said to me that's george zimmerman, and if you believe him, john, if you believe that sill s skill set, gives him unique knowledge. if zimmerman is the one screaming for help, then the self-defense claims stands, because if he's so panicked that he's screaming for his life, he thinks the only way to react is to shoot trayvon martin. >> interesting perspective. the last of our experts to stand by as we continue to watch the jury in the george zimmerman case. george zimmerman's attorney expressed concern that his client might be a racist but he changed his mind after he met him. we'll talk about that next. vo: getting your car serviced at meineke, smart.
live look at the courthouse in sanford, florida, our special coverage of the george zimmerman trial continues, but first, let's check in on other stories making headlines today. edward snowden requesting temporary asylum from russia as he tries to figure out how to get to latin america. he met with human rights and lawyers in the transit zone of the moscow airport and the white house criticized russia for giving snowden what it called, quote, a propaganda platform. and president obama spoke by phone about it with the russian president vladimir putin. egypt's ousted president is being accu ining investigated b prosecutor and the united states is calling on egypt's army to free president mohammed morsi, the former president. it's not clear where he's being
held. the texas state senate has approved one of the strictest abortion measures in the country and bans abortions after 20 weeks and requires abortion clinics to meet standards that could force many or most to close. rick perry called a special session to get the bill through. you might remember it died last month following a nearly 11-hour filibuster. now, back to the zimmerman case. in an interview you're going to see first right here on cnn, his closing arguments behind him zimmerman's lead defense attorney opened up to cnn's martin savidge. mark o'mara talking about his early concerns of taking on a client he was being called the most hated man in america. >> was it a concern for you that he might have been a racist? >> when i saw the 12-year-old trayvon martin picture and the 270-pound george zimmerman picture, yes, no question. and strangely enough, i think that's why most of the people who bve