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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  July 17, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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who have the influence and pow tore modify the laws that left me with no verdict option other than not guilty. no other family should be forced to endure what the martin family has endured. i'm anderson cooper. that's it for our "ac 360"
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good evening. a new statement - mailed from b37 is just that, stunning. she's calling only legislators to change the laws that says tied her hands, guaranteeing george zimmerman's acquittal. she begins by saying that our "360" exclusive interview was also her last. quote, thank you for the opportunity to vent some of the anguish which has been in me since the trial began. for reasons of my own, i needed to speak alone. then comes the part about the laws. she writes, my prayers are with all those who have the influence and power to modify the laws that left me with no verdict option other than not guilty in order to remain within the instructions. no other family should be forced to endure what the martin family has endured. she's referring to stand your ground and self-defense. juror b-37 says she was planning to write about her experience but says, as for the alleged book deal, there is none at this time. there was an agreement to explore the concepts of the book. the relationship with the agency ceased at the moment when i realized what had been during in the world during my weeks of sequestration. she concludes, my prayers are with trayvon's parents and for their loss. i now wish me and my family to recover from being selected for this jury and return to my normal life. more on her call in her words to modify the laws that left me with no verdict option other than not guilty. she set the stage for it in our "360" interview.
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today, we went back through our interview to take another listen to what she told us. what we found were key moments where she is alluding to the difficulty she and jurors had getting past the letter of the law. listen. >> the law became very confusing. >> tell me about that. >> it became very confusing. we had stuff thrown at us. we had the second degree murder charge, the manslaughter charge, we had self-defense, stand your ground. and i think there was one other one. >> you sent a question out to the judge about manslaughter. >> yes and what could be applied to the manslaughter. we were looking at the self-defense. one of the girls said -- asked if you can put all the leading things into that one moment where he feels it's a matter of life or death to shoot this boy or if it was just at the heat of passion at that moment.
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>> so that juror want told know whether the things that had brought george zimmerman to that place -- >> exactly. >> not just in the minute or two before the shot actually went off -- >> exactly. >> but earlier that day, even prior crime? >> not prior crimes, just the situation leading to it, all the steps. as the ball got going -- >> from him spotting trayvon martin, getting out of his vehicle, whether all of that could play a role in -- >> in determining the self-defense or not. and after hours and hours and hours of deliberating over the law and reading it over and over and over again, we decided there's just no way -- other place to go. >> because of the two options you had, second-degree murder or manslaughter, you felt neither applied? >> right. because of the heat of the moment and the stand your ground. he had a right to defend himself. and he felt threatened that his
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life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right. >> even though he followed trayvon martin, that didn't matter in the deliberations. what mattered was the final seconds, minutes when there was an altercation and whether or not in your mind, whether or not george zimmerman felt his life was in danger. >> that's how we read the law. that's how we got to the point of everybody being not guilty. >> i think he did. >> what makes you think that? >> because of the evidence on the t, on the sidewalk where george says he was punched, there was evidence of his flashlight and keys there, and a little bit farther down, there was a flashlight that he was carrying. and i think that's where trayvon hit him. >> so you think based on the testimony you heard, you believe that trayvon martin was the aggressor? >> i think the roles changed. i think george got in a little bit too deep, which he shouldn't have been there. but trayvon decided that he wasn't going to let him scare him and get the one over up on him or something, and i think trayvon got mad and attacked him. >> do you have any doubt that george zimmerman feared for his life? >> i have no doubt that george feared for his life. >> ahead, on the streets, protesters are calling for civil rights charges against george zimmerman. >> no justice, no peace. >> in the jury room, did race come up at all? do you feel that george
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>> exactly. i think he just didn't know when to stop. she's talking about modifying laws that left her with no verdict option other than not guilty in order to remain within the instructions. does that mean if florida was not a stand your ground state george zimmerman could have found not guilty? >> it simply gives the definition of self-defense that is broader than it used to believe. it is an invitation to people to use deadly force legally in a way that it might not have been legal in the past. so i don't know for sure that it would have been a different result. but certainly the range of a
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self-defense defense would have been smaller. >> stand your ground was never brought up in the trial, yet in the instructions to the jury, it was put in. >> the reason he didn't do the stand your ground hearing before hand is that would have been collateral -- it would have bound him for civil liability. so he's got the option now to do stand your ground in a civil lawsuit. but my first reaction to this interview, this is exactly the reason that you want sequestration. because now that the jurors are kind out of that sequestration, they're getting influenced by everything going on around them, whether it's the media and other people, and now she's sliding back. that to me is -- i think she should just stand her ground and say this is my decision. this looks like something her husband crafted. >> everyone thought because they didn't have that initial immunity ground, stand your ground wasn't an issue.
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it's always an issue in florida. when they read the instructions to the jury and the judge charged the jury, she said george zimmerman had a right to stand his ground if he felt that he was in danger of imminent death or great bodily harm. in many other states that don't have stand your ground, that instruction isn't given. they have a duty to retreat. so they have a duty to defuse the situation. >> danny, we have a question that relates to this, why did mr. martin not have the right to stand his ground? do both parties have the right to stand their ground? >> legally, we never reached that question because trayvon is no longer with us. but one could make the argument, we would need to change the facts and say george zimmerman is deceased and if he was, is it possible? yeah, maybe, if the facts were different. but one of the things -- the thing about stand your ground is typically it's viewed as immunity.
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that's the main usage is an immunity hearing before the trial. >> which means you wouldn't go to try. >> right. it's taken away from the jury's hands. had he proceeded to that hearing, he would not have waived that right at trial. it gets folded into the jury instructions. what's unusual here is that the jury doesn't have to show their work, like it's high school. they just come back with not guilty. so the only way we ever really reach how they analyze it is through interviews like this. we're already seeing these jurors, they're not getting along, they're not seeing eye to see. nearly 70% of those who invoked stand your ground go free, and it's being used in cases legislators never intended for it to be used in. >> or did they? we can't divorce this from its political context. stand your ground is part of a group of laws that, when republicans took over in
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hospitals of states after 2010, they passed. it is part of a general belief that gun rights should be expanded, that the second amendment has a broad definition and that stand your ground is an example of how individuals have a right to use guns to defend themselves. so i don't know what legislators -- maybe they don't like all the implications, but it was clear when it was past in florida and elsewhere, that it was about expanding the right to use guns. >> it does seem -- this investigation found that stand your ground, the defendant's claim is more likely to prevail if the victim is black. >> that's right. whenever there was legislation about stand your ground, law enforcement officials always testified against stand your ground. they feel that it takes the power away from the police and puts the power in the hands of the everyday citizen. >> right. but to jeff's point, law enforcement is always pro gun
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control, too. >> so there is that tension, too. >> now you have eric holder talking about looking at stand your ground. >> the florida legislature, which is very conservative -- >> and eric holder is not the poster child for the florida legislature. >> eric holder, one of the most disliked members of the obama administration by republican legislators. it's just not going to happen. it's not going to change. >> him saying that to the naacp in orlando, that ensures -- talk about red meat. that ensures it will never happen in florida. >> one thing i want to mention is, if you remember the prosecution's closing rebuttal argument, john guy said, didn't trayvon martin have the right to stand your ground? so to the question that was posed on facebook, that's been an issue. many people are saying why didn't trayvon martin have the right to stand his ground? >> in any homicide case, you have the argument that one of
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the -- at least half of the main witnesses are gone. so that's one of the main complaints of law enforcement is that you don't have that person anymore, although you can piece together some defendant's statements if he's given them, which happened here, and use that as evidence against him, but they do have a valid point, that their main witness is gone. >> do you think this encourages people to -- if they have a gun in a fight, to pull it out and use it? >> i do. it takes that civility away from us. it takes away that humanity, let me defuse the situation, let me retreat. let me do what most people do, which is flee as opposed to fight. >> even though i agree completely with what sunny is saying, the way that we are ramping up the mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes is -- puts people in a very precarious position.
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either you're going to be totally vindicated or as this other case in florida with the woman who fired the warning shot, you're going away. >> isn't it interesting, if you shoot a black guy, you don't go away. >> unfortunately, it's affecting the african-american community -- >> of the reverse is very small. so that's something to consider, as well. we want to talk more about this coming up. danny mentioned this case of a woman who shot in the air, and tried to use hand your ground. we'll talk about her coming up. we'll be right back. a lot more ahead. all business purchases. so you can capture your receipts, and manage them online with jot, the latest app from ink. so you can spend less time doing paperwork.
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tonight, keeping them honest in florida stand your ground law. the outcome of the george zimmerman trial has brought new scrutiny of another case in florida involving a gun with a different ending. in zimmerman's case, he used a gun to kill trayvon martin but found not guilty. with a woman named marisa alexander, she used a gun, but didn't shoot anyone, just a warning shot into a wall. it took the jury less than 15 minutes to convict her and now she is in prison for 20 years. gary tuchman got the only on camera prison interview. >> reporter: she walks down the
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jail hallway in handcuffs. marisa alexander has been sentenced to 20 years, convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. she says she was standing her ground, from a husband who had been arrested before on charges of abusing her. he was arrested for doing what to you? >> he choked me. he pushed me forcibly into the tub. he pushed me so hard into the closet that i hit my head against the wall and i passed out for a second. >> reporter: her husband received probation after that incident. months later, alexander says she was in the bathroom at their home here in jacksonville, florida, when her husband started pounding on the door. she says he was in a jealous rage over text messages on her cell phone. >> he managed to get the door open. that's when he strangled me. he put his hands around my neck. >> reporter: alexander got away from her husband and made a fateful decision. she ran into the garage but says
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she did not have her keys and the door was stuck. so instead she grabbed her gun she kept in the garage. what did you think you were going to do with it? >> i thought i was going to have to protect myself. >> reporter: were you thinking you might have to shoot him? >> yeah, i did. if it came to that. he saw my weapon at my side. when he saw it, he was even more upset and that's when he threatened to kill me. >> reporter: how is he going to kill you if you're the one with the gun? >> i thought it was crazy, too. >> reporter: why didn't you run at the door at that point? >> there was no other way to get out. >> reporter: what if you had run around him to get out the door, your life would have been easier. >> the law states i don't have to. >> reporter: instead of running, she did what she thought was allowed by law. she believes she stood her ground and fired the gun into the wall. nobody was hurt, but it was enough to scare her husband, rico grey, and he left the house with his two young children from a previous relationship.
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she was safe from her husband but not the law. she was arrested. her stand your ground defense rejected and found guilty by a jury. marisa alexander's husband rico grey agreed to do an interview with us to counter his wife's allegations. but he made the decision not to do the interview, claiming that going on camera would put his life in danger. however, later he sent us an e-mail saying he would do an interview if he got paid, which cnn does not do. but he has already said quite a bit. during a deposition with the prosecutor from the office of state attorney angela corey, and a defense attorney for his life, he acknowledged hitting his wife in the past and said this about the shooting incident, "if my kids weren't there, i knew i probably would have tried to take the gun from her. i probably would have put my hand on her." marisa alexander's attorney asked him what he meant, and he responded, probably hit her. i got five baby mommas, and i put my hands on every last one of them except for one.
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>> i believe when he threatened to kill me, that's exactly what he intended to do. had i not discharged my weapon at that point, i would not be here. >> reporter: but later at a court hearing to determine whether she should get immunity based on the stand your ground law, rico grey changed his story, saying he lied repeatedly to protect his wife in the deposition, claiming he did not threaten to kill her, testifying, i begged and pleaded for my life when she had the gun. the jury deliberated for 12 minutes before convicting her. the jacksonville naacp wrote a let tore the trial judge, saying marisa alexander may not have received justice because of her gender, race or economic status. some african-american news websites are saying much the same thing, that if she had been white, her defense would have been accepted. but alexander will not say if she agrees with that possibility. >> i'm going to be honest, i'm uncomfortable answering that. >> reporter: for now, her main
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home is an appellate court agrees to hear her case. she had a baby girl with rico grey three years ago, but only sees her child in photographs. rico grey has custody. he's considered the victim. his wife, the criminal. >> this is my life i'm fighting for. this is my life, and it's my life is not entertainment. it is my life. >> reporter: the 20-year sentence is mandatory, meaning no chance of parole. gary tuchman, cnn, jacksonville, florida. >> we're joined by marisa alexander's attorney. bruce, where does your client's case stand? >> it's on appeal right now. we are in the first district court of appeals in tallahassee. the briefs have been filed and we're waiting for the court to respond to us, either with oral argument or with an opinion itself. we expect something sometime in
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the fall. >> one of the most interesting things about this case is not just the stand your ground, but the issue that just drives me crazy is she was ordered not to speak about her testimony overnight with her lawyer. the judge actually insinuated themselves into the attorney-client privilege, which i think is outrageous. this whole case just shows exactly what we've been talking about for three weeks. angela corey's office prosecuted this. i had virtually an identical set of circumstances in california, a case like this. a husband, a wife, the gun went off, one shot, nobody hurt. my gal, however, was very pretty, blonde, 40 something-year-old, she did not do one day in jail, not a single day in jail. she was given straight probation and that was the end of that. this woman in florida is doing 20 years, and but for the defense attorneys and to some
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degree because of what's happened in the notoriety surrounding zimmerman, she may stand a chance getting that case reversed. >> bruce, do you think the notoriety will help? >> i don't think the notoriety is really a factor, quite candidly. we're trying to focus this case just on the facts of what happened in the courtroom in jacksonville. we really think we want to separate ourselves from the political things, all the social things out there, because we think on the merits, as mark said, this case should be reversed. >> angela corey was asked about this on hln and i want to play what she had to say. >> i heard the other day that someone, i think from the naacp, was trashing us for prosecuting marisa alexander. she fired a shot through a wall on the other side of the wall were two young black boys, younger than trayvon martin. they're not victims? >> jeff, what do you make of this?
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>> no, they're not victims! they were not hit! it's surreal. >> she made them a victim. >> she can pretend that they're victims. look, i love the american legal system. this is what i do for a living. but you watch a case like, this and the only response is despair. i don't have any great insight. the idea that this case could have been prosecuted, prosecuted successfully, sentenced the way it was. >> who is the judge that didn't use -- there are ways to get around these mandatory minimums. judges can do that. they can strike it. they can say no. they can act as a 13th juror. and you have to wonder who is the judge who staid, you know, this is a great idea. this poor woman was getting the hell beat out of her, and now she does the one thing that she is supposed to do. mind you, this is not stand your ground walking down the street, she's in her castle, her home,
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she's in the garage. if somebody had burglarized that, it would have been first degree burglarized and she uses the gun to scare him off and some judge thinks it's a good idea to say you can't talk to your lawyer about your testimony overnight. so i'm going to take away your sixth amendment right. >> bruce, why was it important to fire that warning shot into the wall? >> to save her life. this man was a serial woman abuser. he is a classic person who has battered women his whole life. she thought it was either she was going to get killed or she had to scare him away. that's what she did. >> the interesting thing about these mandatory minimums, they take the discretion away from the judge, but the d.a. retains the discretion. now you have to rely on the reasonableness of the d.a. a lot of them are very reasonable. >> she was offered -- she had a
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different attorney on the first trial, but they were offered a plea agreement, a three-year plea deal. she turned it down. >> three years in prison for trying to save her life. >> but look at the larger picture. the larger picture is your stand your ground law in florida. she thought she had the right to stand your ground. >> she's almost served three years, but it's -- they talk about stand your ground. this to me is even more reason why somebody should disbar or impeach or do whatever they need to do with an lay corey. she's a menace. she can't prosecute -- >> that's not fair. >> what is not fair about it? in this case do you think that is -- >> she's enforcing the law on the books. >> oh, come on! >> prosecutors have that discretion. >> that's the law. >> increasingly with the new addition to these criminal
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codes, the authority rests more and more in each prosecutor. so yes, sunny is right, she's enforcing the law. but because they have so much discretion, they couldn't enforce all the laws at all times. >> i think she was better off shooting and hitting him, because then you wouldn't have the argument that the bullet went through the wall. >> would that have made a difference if she had hit him? >> you know, we can speculate all over the place on this case, and i understand the social aspect of this. we have a woman in prison for 20 years. there are errors in her trial and we want to correct the imperfections and what went wrong in her case, bottom line. >> mark, you talked a lot about racial disparities in the criminal justice system. is this an example? >> this is a perfect example. if this was a pretty white woman, it never -- you wouldn't see 20 years. you just wouldn't. what we've been talking about, what i've been saying, it just
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wouldn't happen. you're not going to have -- it may be a situation where somebody pulls the trigger on a serial beater who beats all his baby's mommas and doesn't hit nibble and she's white and doing 20 years, i would like to see that case. >> mark, here's the bottom line from our perspective. whether we agree with you or disagree with you, this woman is in prison. >> i'm with you. i'm with you. she should not be in prison 1,000%. >> what i don't want are the social issues to hijack her appeal. that's my concern. >> this is the difference between a lawyer trying to do his job in a case, he's doing exactly what he should be doing. those of us from the outside are obligated to point out the racial aspects, the social aspects, the prosecutor's incredible abuse of discretion
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here. >> i'm being very judicious of what i'm asking. but we'll continue to follow this. mark and jeff will stay with us. i want to get their take on how the sequestered jurors in george zimmerman's trial spent their time outside of court, everything from a trip to outback steakhouse to bowling and movies. also ahead, after george zimmerman's acquittal, president obama asked for calm reflection but he hasn't said anything else about the case since. we'll take a look at why.
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tonight, new details about how the sequestered jurors spent their time when they weren't in
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court, details that start to fill out a picture of what they were doing over the three weeks and how isolating it is to be sequestered. we now know they spent 22 nights at the marriott hotel, they each got their own rooms. there was also a suite where they ate together and socialized. they worked out at the hotel gym, they went to movies approved by the court, and they also went bowling and shopping is, manicures and pedicures, fireworks on the fourth of july. they went out to eat a few times at local restaurants. and their families were allowed to visit on weekends. they also went on a road trip where they went to see the ripley's believe it or not museum. it's rare nowadays that you get a jury sequester. >> incredibly rare. there are not that many high profile cases and it's just incredibly expensive for the county. not just for the hotel rooms but because of the overtime for all
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the court officers who have to be with them all the time. it costs a fortune. >> how common is it to do these things? >> very common. i remember both during the peterson case, when -- they were not sequestered during the trial, but they were sequestered during deliberations, and i remember during o.j. one of my clients was the caterer for the group, and they had -- they could order what they wanted. they had outings. >> they went to amusement parks. the o.j. simpson case was months. and one of the things i think is so interesting, we've seen the tension among the jurors. those sorts of arrangements breed tension. imagine being stuck with strangers for that long with only having limited contact with the outside world. >> there's only six people. >> it's hard to pair off and the clicks become different and you're forced to be there every
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single day, it's a high pressure situation. the cost factor i always thought that the media should pick that up, because generally the reason you're sequestering them is to keep them isolated from the media. so i've always thought if the courts were smart, they would charge for the pool coverage or something like that. >> easy for you to say, mark. >> i don't take a position on that. it's interesting when you have a jury like this, six people which as we learned from juror b37, when they got into that jury room, they were evenly divided. three people wanted not guilty, three wanted some sort of charge, two wanted manslaughter, one second degree murder. i'm interested in the dynamic of how they change people's minds one way or the other. >> it's in virtually every case, except for maybe that marisa alexander, in almost every case
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i tried, they're almost always divided initially. that's why when you're picking a jury, it's really more jury deselection. you're looking at who am i going to get in there that's got a strong enough way to drive the case? i always call them drivers. there's goats and sheep as one of my clients said. you want somebody that takes charge. other people will follow along. so that's how it usually happens. if you can pick that person who is going to be your advocate. as i said last night, you arm them in the closing argument with the arguments they're going to use with the others. that's generally how the case will unfold. that's one of the reasons you saw yesterday and tonight to some degree, b37 adopting the defense's arguments, because that's what they do. they've all listened to the same evidence. but it's who can best articulate the arguments that they have given or their side has given. >> it's important to say also, there's nothing improper about jurors trying to influence each
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other or changing their minds. that's why they call it deliberation. you can have a system where everybody presses a button and you have a majority vote. >> how often is it that there's one holdout? b37 was saying at the end, there was really one person left who wanted some sort of a charge against george zimmerman, and that essentially they wore her down, in her opinion. >> it's frequent. i see it a lot. i can think of a case i had in riverside county where i tried that case twice and it was a hung jury both times. we were set to do it the third. so it happens i would suspect, i don't have any statistics on this, more often where you have a 12-person jury, just by the odds of it. any time you put more than five people in a room, you're going to get different opinions. >> i only had one hung jury as a prosecutor. the interesting thing to me, i could tell just by looking at the jury who it was, and i was right. and it's just -- there's body
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language, you get to know these people in this wide nonverbal way. >> interesting. thank you very much. president obama has been notably silent on the zimmerman verdict. up next, we'll look at the line he walks on issues of race and justice. the great outdoors, and a great deal. grrrr ahhh let's leave the deals to perfect! yep, and no angry bears. up to 30% off. only at ♪ hooking up the country whelping business run ♪ ♪ trains! they haul everything, safely and on time. ♪ tracks! they connect the factories built along the lines. and that means jobs, lots of people, making lots and lots of things. let's get your business rolling now, everybody sing. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪
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>> >> late word out of washington on the zimmerman verdict. justice department official telling us that the assistant attorney general held a conference call on monday with civil rights leaders, describing it as a listening session. president obama has been conspicuously quiet on the verdict, letting his attorney general do the talking. randi kaye explores some of the reasons perhaps behind the relative silence. >> reporter: when trayvon martin was killed, president barack obama was in the midst of his re-election campaign. he took nearly a month to comment on the teenager's death. and when he did -- >> if i had a son, he would look like trayvon. >> reporter: his comment became the story. >> this is a president who is
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very mindful of not wanting to be a lightning rod. he wants to be a facilitator for the discussion. >> reporter: which may explain the president's reluctance to wade into racial issues. still, at times, there was no escaping it. >> i'm the son of a black man from kenya and a white woman from kansas. >> reporter: in 2008, when the racially divisive sermons of his former pastor nearly brought down his first campaign for president, obama delivered this long awaited speech on race. >> this is where we are right now. it's a racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years. >> it's a balance between addressing the policy objective that you have as the commander in chief and also speaking out as an african-american man, as someone who has faced his open challenges in his life. it's the dance between the public and the personal. that's what the president has to
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navigate. >> reporter: a year after his so-called race speech, president obama found himself in the middle of another race related firestorm, police arrested an african-american harvard professor in his own home after he showed i.d. listen to what the president said. >> i think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry. number two, that the cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. >> reporter: charges against the professor were later dropped. the president tried to smooth things over and save his plunging poll numbers by inviting the professor and the sergeant who arrested him to what became known as a beer summit at the white house. and now with the zimmerman not guilty verdict divide thing country, the president may be struggling once again to find his footing.
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after the verdict, a muted response. nothing on camera, just a paper statement void of any mention of racial tension. the president wouldn't want to be seen as coming down on one side or the other. but that doesn't mean he won't talk about it in the near future. for now, though, he'll leave decisions about a possible federal case against george zimmerman up to attorney general eric holder. the first african-american to hold that post. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> a lot to talk about. with us tonight, charles blow. and cornell belcher. i saw something the president said back in 2009. he said, i'm not somebody who believes that constantly talking about race somehow solves tensions. what solves racial tensions is fixing the economy, putting people to work, making sure people have health care and ensuring every kid is learning out there. it's an interesting statement. cornell, let me start with you.
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what do you make of it? do you expect the president to be talking more about racial issues? >> well, look, i understand that we all sort of want the president to talk more about racial issues. but i want us to understand by doing so, we are inherently playing into a double standard. and that sort of encapsulates the problem. we want the president to make a presidential statement and then go further. so to a certain extent, barack obama is trapped in this racial problem where he can't simply be president. he has to be president and address these issues in a way that george bush had to be president. >> it's an interesting point. >> i absolutely believe that. you can't expect this man to solve the legacy effecting of 400 years of oppression in five years of being president. it's not fair to him. it's actually demeaning to the conversation and for the people
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who work around the issues of social justice and civil rights. it's real demeaning position to take to say now we have a black president, that changes things. that solves these problems. no, it doesn't. in fact, the president operates on a national level with federal laws, a lot of these problems exist on local levels, local municipalities, on the state level. even if you look at where most black people live, which they call it the black belt east texas up to the carolinas, the president lost almost every one of those states, even though most of the black people in those states voted for him. they are trapped in a local situation that requires local solutions where people have to be on the ground helping to solve those -- the problems that they have, and interacting and solving that racial dynamic and
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smoothing out that racial legacy locally. you can talk till he's blue in the face. he can't solve that, not in five years. >> cornell, by talking about it, while it might satisfy some who want to see the president out in front on these issues, it also alienates a lot of people who then feel he's not the president for everybody, i suppose. you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. >> it's problematic. i think race is to our culture what social security is to politics, it's the third rail. you touch it at your own risk. here's the problem. by not having these conversations about race and by not bringing this divide together, we have people who are literally dying. i mean, trayvon martin is a -- his death is a product of our lack of racial understanding. so at some point our leaders do have to address it. and by the way, i understand the double standard i just talked about with barack obama.
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now i'm going to play right into that, because at some point we have to have our leaders have this conversation, and people are dying because we keep kick thing can down the road. look, you have people on the progressive side and african-americans that say he's not doing enough for the african-americans and he gets attacked for it. on the other side, we had people saying he's just doing things for the african-americans. once it's polarized, nothing moves forward. there is no -- very little conversation that doesn't get muddied up in the muck of racial polarization. if you want to move climate control, whatever the conversation, the racial polarization mucks it up and makes things harder. but people are dying because we're not having this conversation. >> but this is the conundrum of
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having a black president. he sucks the air out of the room. his very presence is a double edge sword. there is the amazing imagery that is being created of just having him be in the white house, in the skin that he's in, and his family and his wife and his children and you can't even measure what that means. he can't talk about it the way civil rights leaders would talk about it. we expect something from him that he cannot give and it's not fair to ask him to give but the people who have the voice, who have the years and the decades in the trenches, whose work this is, have less of a voice. it's a real strange situation that's happening right now. >> charles blow, thank you. cornell belcher, great to have you on. next, how the magazine is
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available now at following a number of stories. isha? >> anderson, "rolling stone" magazine is responding to the outrage over its latest cover featuring boston bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev. publishers say they're offering readers a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens. several companies are refusing to carry the issue. there's no let-up in the heat wave gripping the northeast. add humidity to the nix and it feels like 110 in some areas. north korea's warning that the panama ship loaded with sugar and -- lindsey graham of south carolina is suggesting a boycott of the 2014 winter olympics in russia if president putin allows
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edward snowden to stay in russia. south carolina's supreme court has ruled that matt and melanie can finalize their adoption of little veronica. the biological father tried to use the indian child welfare act to fight for her custody, but last month the supreme court turned him down. >> we had them on the program a couple weeks ago when the court ruled. thank you very much. we'll be right back. g now, ever. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ helping this big country move ahead as one ♪ ♪ norfolk southern how's that function? ♪
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this is piers morgan live. welcome to the viewers in the united states and around the world. the jurors say b-37 doesn't speak for them. b-37 says she's in anguish. a man that calls the trial a side show and blasts me for my interview with rachel jeantel. i'll go head-to-head with larry elder and in the wake, justice in america. who gets it and who doesn't? exhibit a, marissa alexander. she says she was trying to stand her ground to fire a shot to scare off her abusive husband. >> i believe when he said he would kill me, that's what he would do. >> she's behind bars for 20 years as george zimmerman walks free. i'll talk to her attorney.