tv Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield CNN September 9, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT
show. the thing, is you have to go back and look at what colbert looked like on his first "colbert report." because that was also maybe a little stiff, maybe not so great. so i think we're seeing the beginning of what's to come and this was a fabulous first show. >> sofia, thanks so much. one of our favorite moments from "the colbert report --" not the colbert report but stephen colbert, we'll leave with you now. my favorite song, thanks for joining us "at this hour" "legal view" without the song and ashleigh ban fiefield joins us. >> now that sounds presidential, governor, no, president jeb bush! >> hello, everyone, i'm ashleigh banfield. welcome to "legal view". i want to begin with breaking news off the top. we're expecting to hear at this time from the attorney now for freddie gray because earlier today city of baltimore approved a $6.4 million settlement to the
gray family. this is billy murphy. let's listen in. >> it's never said to any of you what result they are seeking in this case except that they want justice. they have told you what justice means to them. that is a verdict in the criminal case based solely on the evidence presented in court and on the law as the jury is instruct. whatever the outcome, they're going to live with that. and so they are not advocates far particular position very unusual in my experience. one of the many reasons i'm really, really proud to represent that family. now, the settlement in this case represents civil justice for freddie gray's mother and his biological father.
and because mayor rawlings-blake had the foresight to take decisive action accomplished it without litigation, which is an extraordinary result. why? lengthy litigation in trial puts grieving families through hell because it forces them relive their tragedy over and over in ways large and small. if this civil case had been filed in federal court -- which was our plan -- it could easily have taken three years to resolve. and no grieving family wants to go through that. and our city would not want to go through that. we just keep the controversy on that side alive for that length of time. instead, the mayor reached out to the gray family in compassion
to seek healing, resolution, and closure and we were happy to enter into those discussions. justice delayed is justice denied. in addition to kpe sags and closure for freddie's mother and father the mayor has pledged to them that body cameras will begin deployment in the western district in the heart of this where this incident took place. next month is part of the 150 officer pilot program to determine which state of the art camera system and which best practices in terms of regulating the on and off switch should work the best. and by starting this video body camera pilot program in freddie's neighborhood, she honors freddie gray's memory. because we all agree he should not have died.
and so that memory, we hope, and these cameras, we hope, will prevent future tragic interactions between the police and the citizens. now, as we've learned around the country, video body camera footage will document in great detail the interactions between our police and our citizens. and we also know that we're -- video body cameras have been properly deployed, thoughtfully deploy deployed, citizen complaints have fallen dramatically. where there's been misconduct, it will usually be obvious and where there has been no misconduct, that will also be the case. in addition, knowing that police interactions with the public are recorded will exert what we believe to be a calming effect on the community because both
sides are currently suspicious of the other. and it will prevent situations from escalating and prevent bad outcomes. tragedies will be avoided and this is a big deal for the gray family and will be a healing force for them and the community. now let me -- i watched the mayor's press conference with great interest and one of the questions jane miller asked and is an interesting question. does this set some kind of precedent from the city. there are two reasons why that is not the case. the first reason is implementing body cameras will so dramatically we believe reduce this kind of stuff that the cities budget pressure will enable them, we hope, to continue the meaningfully
resolve only the real cases and will prevent frivolous cases from being filed by either side. and when you factor in that plus the city's notorious ability to keep settlements low, with the exception of only a handful of cases, i have no doubt that this will not set a precedent for future cases. in other words. each case will be decided on the basis of the unique facts of that case and on nothing else. so i speak on behalf of all the members of freddie gray's family, including his stepfather and i thank you and your colleagues, ms. mayor, for your leadership in making sure
freddie gray did not die in vain and because you have taken the lead to implement body cameras as quickly and as thoughtfully is as possible. our information is that these cameras will be implemented as early as october but it may slip or advance in accordance with the circumstances. now let me make one more statement and then i'll take some questions. in the wake of the disturbances that rocked the city after freddie gray's death, the family has consistently opposed violence and always supported peace in the community. and even during their grief they stopped to make the strong
statement immediately after freddie's funeral that violence was not acceptable, violence only makes things worse and violence dishonors the citizens of this great city of ours. i love baltimore. you know, we've got some problems but the gray family and the rest of us, our team, want to make the reforms that are going to make us an even greater city and prevent these instances of violence from happening in the future. that is a noble undertaking and i'm sure i share that with the overwhelming majority of citizens of baltimore who want to put this behind us as quickly as possible.
one other thing. there are questions as to whether this settlement, announcing it now, would somehow prejudice the criminal case. absolutely not. all the parties involved understand that settlements are not relevant in any way to a criminal case. we have two different systems of law. we have on the one hand the criminal justice system where the standard of proof is significantly higher than the civil justice system where both sides bear equal responsibility for presenting a case. such that the standard in civil cases is very low and that is whoever puts on the best case, however slight, is entitled to
prevail. and that lower standard is what put the city at risk. >> so you're throng billy murphy in baltimore as he gives a news conference effectively confirming what we have been reporting and this is that there is this $6.4 million settlement between the city of baltimore and his client, the family that is left behind in the death of freddie gray. freddie gray's family will be paid out that $6.4 million. in fact, a different board actually made that approval today, cnn has also agreed to this settlement. but make no mistake, this is a civil issue, not the criminal issue. the criminal issue has yet to be settled. six officers are still in the middle of hearings about how their case is going to be heard. six of them will get separate cases, all of them separate trials, but this week they have to hear as to whether it's even okay to hear the case in that city or whether that jury pool is too tainted by all the coverage and then there's this. the civil case being settled
before the criminal case. this decision to settle comes months after gray suffered that fatal spinal injury while he was in police custody and under the settlement the the i is going to accept liability in gray's arrest and his death but baltimore will not acknowledge any wrongdoing by those police. >> the civil claims is completely unrelated to the criminal case the six officers currently face. the city's decision to settle the civil case should not be interpreted as passing any judgment on guilt or innocence of the officers. >> well, it's been accepted by freddie gray's family. it is effectively a done deal by now. what is not a done deal, again, as i said, is where this s this trial, criminal trial, all six of them criminal trials, where will they be sneld that city has already said sorry, here's some money for what happened.
so there's a change of venue hearing scheduled for tomorrow for those six officers charged in connection with gray's death and they are very serious charges and those lawyers representing those six are furiously scratching away on what they're going to propose to the judge hearing this change of venue motion. joining me now to discuss this, cnn legal analysts paul callan and danny cevallos. you can say as many times as you want this does not acknowledge any wrongdoing. when you pay money to people, but what i don't understand is why the city would do this when the family never sued. the family hadn't even gone on record with the court saying "we think this was a wrongful death." what happened here, paul? >> well, ashleigh, it's a strategic blunder of monumental proportions by the city of baltimore. they -- >> it's like a preemptive strike. >> it is a preemptive strike and it's political, not legal. i say it's political because you have a large african-american population in baltimore that feels it's been treated unfairly by the police traditionally and now this is a symbolic jess
dhour them. why is it such a catastrophic error for the city? remember, bill murphy who's a very persuasive guy just says "the grieving family." we're going to tend grieving process now. that's completely untrue. there's going to be six trials. who's the focus of all six trials in addition to the police officer? >> freddie gray. >> freddie gray. the family will hear about freddie gray through all six trials. so it doesn't solve any grieving and i think the second thing is that the change of venue motion now the judge is going to be looking at a fact pattern where baltimore has already sent a message to the entire jury pool that the police made a mistake and we're paying $6.4 million to make up for it. >> the police union is upset about this, danny, and they put out a super strong statement, that's an official term, super strong. "it is with tremendous amount of concern and alarm that we we act to the proposed wrongful death
settlement. to suggest there's any reason to settle prior to the add jude case to the ending of the criminal case is obscene and without regard of the fiduciary responsibility owed to the tax paying citizens of the city. there has been no civil litigation filed for has there been any guilt determined." the judge last week said the words he was concerned about the state attorney marilyn mosby's comments wh when she announced the indictments on the steps of the courthouse and she said -- the judge said it's troubling but those comments didn't rise to the wlefl a their trial could not happen. so now we have this on top of that. those two things together, those troubling comments and this settlement lexington this mean a change of venn zblu. >> the rule about changing venue goes back to the shepherd case which you may remember was "the fugitive" tv show was based on that. and what it says is this, the
mere fact of pre-trial publicity itself is not enough to rise to the level warranting a change of venue. in maryland, a defendant bears a heavy burden when they seek to change a venue and they have to the-to-know shot only the existence of pretrial publicity but some actual measurable prejudice they suffered and what does that mean? in every case it comes down a case by case analysis, whether or not we'll get these facts, the pre-trial publicity was so pervasive that it's impossible to have a fair trial. every case is unique, every case is different but don't forget the defendant bears the burden. it's not an easy motion to win. >> i have to leave it through there but you'll come back not only in this show but for those hearings to see what happens in the change of venue motion. thank you, danny, thank you, paul. up next, county clerk kim davis walks out of jail, wants to go back to work -- but could her unwillingness to back down on the marriage license fight actually put her right back behind bars?
and, by the way, the remedy she wants? has she actually had it all along? we'll answer that in a moment. you premium like clockwork. month after month. year after year. then one night, you hydroplane into a ditch. yeah... surprise... your insurance company tells you to pay up again. why pay for insurance if you have to pay even more for using it? if you have liberty mutual deductible fund™, you could pay no deductible at all. sign up to immediately lower your deductible by $100. and keep lowering it $100 annually, until it's gone. then continue to earn that $100 every year. there's no limit to how much you can earn and this savings applies to every vehicle on your policy. call to learn more. switch to liberty mutual and you could save up to $509. call liberty mutual for a free quote today at
on the seventh day kim davis rested. the rowan county clerk is taking the day off, maybe even two off after spending six days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses in her little corner of central kentucky. in her absence, her deputy clerks have so far done the job. they've issued ten marriage licenses and seven of them went to same-sex couples. none of those licenses actually had the name "kim davis" on
them. the question now, though, is whether kim davis is going to comply with a federal court order to do her job or whether she's just going to stay in contempt and go back to jail. i want to ask one of her lawyers, horatio nehet, senior counsel with the group liberty council. harry, thank you for being with us. the question i have for you, which is so confounding to me, is that the accommodation your client wanted was that her name not be on the certificate. but i actually just got the certificate and while you can't see it on tv right now, trust me when i say her name is not on it. it is a blank form that you can actually write a nape in. her clerks have been doing that and everybody's suggesting that this actually is fine. isn't that a fair accommodation for your client? >> thank you, ashleigh, for having me with you. good afternoon. under kentucky law, the deputy clerks are powerless to alter
the form as issued by governor bashir and his executive offices. to the extent the form was altered last week, that would serve to invalidate those marriage licenses. the accommodation kim davis has asked for was elected to judge bunning. they are the ones with the authority to provide that accommodation yet judge bunning decided instead of providing it to butt her in jail for her faith. >> so, sir, i'm sorry, i have to interrupt you there. the plaintiffs in the actual case that we're talking about, they have not alleged that the alterations that you speak of within a problem. they didn't say it invalidated their licenses, they're not making a stink about it. who's making a stink that filling in a name -- because kim davis had to type or write her name in. it's not punched out on the form
automatically. what's the problem? >> there's a lot of discussion about us being a nation ruled by laws. when the law says that the form cannot be altered by the deputy clerks, that's the law and it's unfortunately not up to the plaintiffs or anyone else to decide whether or not those certificates are valid. beshear. even as altered, the licenses still purport to be issued under the authority of the rowan county clerk. now, everyone knows who the rowan county clerk is and everyone knows that the rowan county clerk has not, in fact, authorized those licenses to be issued. for example, if we refer to "president barack obama" or "the president of the united states" those are interchangeable and everyone knows that it's one in the same person. it's the same exact situation in rowan county. that is why the accommodation here has to come from someone
with the authority to provide it and it has to remove both kim davis' name and office from the form. >> i hear you. it's technical but it makes sense what you say. the so the question is when your client goes back to work, whether it's friday or monday, is she going to sign those forms or is she going to stop those deputies from signing their names to those forms? >> well, look, only kim davis is in a position to decide what kim davis will do. >> she hasn't told you one way or the other? because there is a contempt issue and you are in court with her over a contempt issue so it is a big deal. it's not a secret. it's not sort of a "i wonder what she'll do that day." what does she plan to do, sir? this is serious. >> what i can tell you, ashleigh, is that this is, in fact, very serious and kim davis has already made it clear to judge bunning and the entire world that she is not going to
compromise her conscience. she is not going to violet the core of who she is as a person. that has not changed inside those prison walls. in fact, if anything, kim davis' resolve has become stronger. so we'll have to wait and see what kim davis does when she returns to work. >> i know you have spoken at length with your client. i know you have spoken at length with your client and the other attorneys as well from liberty who have represented her and you have all said the same thing over and over in the last 24 hours and this is she will not violence her conscience. does that that mean she will quit before she will sign an order with her name -- a license with her name on it or does it mean she will go back to work and wait to be called back into that judge's courtroom and go back to jail. which one is it? >> that is another thing that came davis has made absolutely clear and this is that thshe wi not under any circumstances relinquish her post, the position to which her county
elected her to serve. she loves people, she loves the rowan county and she wants to be able to serve them while remaining true to her conscience. kim davis will not resign her post. >> okay, so the only way i see this playing south that she goes back into the office on friday or monday or whatever day it is and she either personally decides not to fill her name in on those blank forms and then sign her name or she tells those other deputies they can't do it, either. is she going to interfere with the business of that office even if she doesn't have to sign her name or fill her name in? is she going to tell those deputies not do it, either? >> kim davis' conscience prohibits her from allowing marriage licenses to be issued in her name under her authority and that's what i can tell you. she will not violate her conscience. it's -- >> wow, that sounds to me like we're going to be talking to you
again next week when she's hauled back in for contempt. i mean, this is going to be a really round about story and it may not come out well for her if she ends up back in jail. >> you know, i hope it doesn't come to that because what we have to veb that there are very simple, common sense, easy win-win solutions, accommodations that could give kim davis what she needs -- >> well, mr. mihet, i'm going to have to disagree with you. it's not that simple and you know it. >> it's very simple. >> i'm out of time but i'd like you to come back tomorrow. >> i'll be here. >> you say it's simple and the governor says it's not that simple, that he can't make accommodations for every single person down the line. he made an accommodation for the supreme court, that's a big deal, for the entire state when he put the executive order in the place with the gender-neutral form because i know what you're talking about. it's not that he's going to do it for every single person that raises an issue that he or she doesn't like who raises an issue on her religion. >> i'll be here, ashleigh. he changed it once, he can
change it again. >> might not be tomorrow, might be friday. depends when your client goes back to work. thank you so much, sir, no us to talk to you. >> thank you, ashleigh, have a great day. >> you too. up next, a teenage guy and girl had sex and she lied about her age and she ended up on the dreaded sex offender list because of it. and he was even forced to move out of his own house because he has a younger brother. can't live with the younger brother. can he get his life back? that's next.
turned upside down when he was put on the sex offender registry might have a chance to get off that registry. zach anderson was labelled a sex offender when he was 19. kyra phillips reported on how this story unfolded last month. >> zach went on a racy dating app called "hot or not" hoping to meet a girl. he did. they had sex and that's when the problems began. how old did she say she was? >> she had told me she was 17. >> but she lied. she was actually 14. by law, he had committed a sex crime. he was arrested and convicted. now zach is on the same list of sex offenders as child molesters and pedophiles and his parents say that's a colossal mistake. when you heard those words, that your son was a sex offender, what was your reaction? >> it's a kb ee's a blatant lie.
it's not true. it doesn't even fit our life-style. it doesn't fit how we raised our kids. >> even the girl's mother appeared in court testifying she didn't want zach labelled as a sex offender because "he's really not." we also obtained this letter that the girl in question gave zach's family. "i'm sorry i didn't tell you my age," she writes. "it kills me everyday knowing you are going through hell and i'm not i want to be in trouble and not you." >> so being on that registry meant he couldn't go to malls or parks or live at his own home because he has a 15-year-old brother. but now a judge threw out
anderson's original sentence. apparently the prosecutor breached the plea agreement. i'm joined by zach anderson who sits alongside of his father lester. thanks so much to the two of you for joining me. what are you hoping happens when you go through a new sentencing? >> i'm hoping it will get overturn and that i can go back to living a regular life and doing the things i enjoyed befo before. going back to college, living life as a young adult. >> is it just the issue of the sex offender registry? that aspect you're hoping gets overturned? >> that's the main thing. the terms are very strict and there's things i can't do that someone my age will do on a regular basis. >> do you have any idea if the mom and caught thor are going to come to the new sentencing and pitch their case as well saying "we never intended for this." the daughter wrote you that letter saying she's sorry she
lied to you. >> i haven't heard from them because i'm not allowed contact so i don't know if they'll come or not. >> lester, in the grown-up's version of the law the judge in this case was really tough when he spoke about your son. the words he used it was almost though it didn't matter that everything that zach did was -- couldn't be exkathmandued and i'm paraphrasing what the judge said. there will be a nudge judge there's going to be a new judge. what makes you think he will see things differently? >> i think just the fairness of -- this judge is known for being harsh in sentencing. obviously looking at the facts, looking at the testimony of the mother and the daughter begging for leniency for our son as well
hyda in michigan is in place for cases like our sons and that's what should have been granted. we have a new attorney and there are things that he'll deal with that possibly our other attorney didn't so all in all we're hoping the new judge will see differently. there were some air ros through the process of the first one. maybe they'll get it right and do things right as opposed to last. >> lester and zach, i appreciate you taking the time to share this story with cnn. there are a lot of parents very concerned about what could happen to their teenage kids in a similar circumstance. so thanks so much for your time and we'll look forward to updating your story when that happens. >> thank you. coming up next. an emergency hearing today in texas. by now you've probably seen the video of high school football players taking out a referee so violently. i doubt you have heard the alleged reason behind this hit and who may have been the person
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certainly, like it was on purpose. watch closely. right for him. look at that. the ref hits the field with such force, the second kid comes in, straight up ramming him with his head. today school officials are now giving us some clues as to why this may have happened in the first place. ed lavandera is live with us right now from dallas. so this school is actually saying that the kids had a reason for doing what they did? >> well, i don't think they would go as far as saying they had a reason. nobody is condoning even if they were upset with what was going on on the field school officials are definitely saying that what these two students -- student athletes did was completely inappropriate. but the allegations are -- a couple different layers they're looking into. one, several players on the john jay football team saying that this particular umpire was making racial slurs throughout the course of the game on several different occasions. that is being investigated.
and also -- and if you have watched about 30 minutes worth of highlights from this game, not the entire game, but according to the people have watched much longer portions of this game that it was very intense, a lot of -- in the words of one committee member from the team that was watching and conducting this hearing this morning a lot of trash talking, a lot of back talking to the refs throughout the course of the game, that it was a "time bomb waiting to go off." and it did late in the game there. so there's also the accusation against an assistant coach on the john jay high school team that "the ref should pay for cheating us." now school officials are looking into whether or not that either inspired the players to do what they did or if they were directed to do it. that assistant coach has been put on administrative leave and he's being investigated as well. so it's quite a mess, ashleigh. >> i'm not so sure those reasons would go over well in a criminal court. ed, you and i could be talking about criminal proceedings in the future. isn't the prosecutor doing a deep dive into this for assault
charges? >> well, we know that the marble falls police department -- this is a separate town where from where san antonio is, but the game was played in marble falls, texas, that the police department there is looking into this case and putting together its case to pass along to the prosecutor there in marble falls and they say that they are open to looking into that. the police chief there in marble falls scheduled a press conference for tomorrow morning with an update on the situation. we've tried to go back to get a sense of whether or not they believe this means charges should or should not be filed so all of that still pending as well as the future of these two students, the superintendent of the school district in san antonio says there will be a disciplinary hearing for these two students "sooner rather than later." and then it's up to the uil, the university interscholastic league, the governing body here in texas that oversees athletics and extra curricular activities in the state, they could come back and impose further sanctions at a later date if
they don't like the way the school district has handled this particular investigation. so all of that very much up in the air. but so far school district officials are saying that despite what has happened here on the field that the football season will not be canceled for the school. ashleigh? >> i don't know that those boys are going to get on the field, though, for the season. we'll watch, eddie, thank you very much. ed lavandera live for us in dallas, texas. coming up, some newly revealed details about that case of a south carolina man who was shot in the back while running away from a police officer. will this new information make any difference as to that officer's right to get out on bail while he's awaiting a murder trial?
some pretty intriguing new details in the case of a former south carolina police officer who is charged with the murder of an unarmed black man. the court documents that are failed this week alone show that walter scott, who is deceased had cocaine and alcohol in his system when he was shot and killed by a north charleston police officer named michael slager. this as activists issue a new call to keep slager behind bars. that former police officer has a hearing tomorrow. his defense will fight to get him bail. i will remind you that that victim was shot in the back.
it wasn't like every other shooting you've seen. i want to bring back cnn legal analyst paul callan and forensic scientist larry kobilinsky. dr. kobilinsky, first to you. the tox report said there was cocaine and alcohol in his system. but if you look really sort of deep down into it, it was pretty darn small. i mean, the amount of cocaine was 36 nano grams per milliliter. that compares to an impaired driver who might have, like, 87. does that that make a difference on how you behave if you have that small amount in your system? >> it's generally difficult to state what one's behavior with a fixed amount of cocaine. however, if there is a significant amount, it can make somebody aggressive and even violent. however, this amendment is so low i would say that it's very unlikely that it had any kind of impact on scott's behavior. >> and i don't have the report in front of me saying what kind of blood was found on the officer's clothing but does it
speak to you that there was something else afoot? >> well, clearly there was some contact. i don't believe the officer was bleeding. i mean, i'm assuming here that it was mr. scott's blood. there must have been contact. when that contact was made is not clear. i know there was a scuffle but we don't know when that happens. is. >> bail is so often just about flight risk, what do these details matter? >> well, they're important. when judges look at bail considerations, they're looking at flight risk and when you evaluate flight risk you look at the strength of the case. and in evaluating that the officer's lawyers is going to stand up and say, you know, walter scott was a bad guy, he had traces of cocaine and alcohol in his bloodstream he took the taser and maybe tried to use it on the police officer. >> that's in the report as well that it was fired six times in 67 seconds.
>> that's right. so in the end the lawyer will say the officer was in fear of his life and acted in self-defense. >> is this strong enough to get him sprung? >> it's hard to say. i would say probably not given how clear the video is but -- >> the video is excruciating. >> but police officers almost never get put in without bail. so it's rare to see a police officer incarcerated before trial. >> paul callan, dr. kobilinsky, thank you as well. next to a case that may remind you of drew peterson. a man on trial for the murder of his second wife and there's an investigation into the death of his first wife as well. did harold henthorn deliberately push his wife off -- his wife of 12 years -- off of a cliff? we danced in a german dance group. i wore lederhosen.man. when i first got on ancestry i was really surprised that i wasn't finding all of these germans in my tree. i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna.
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a colorado man is on trial charged with first degree murder the death of his second wife. in case you're wondering, his first wife sandra died in 1995, apparently crushed under her car in their 12th year of marriage. police at the time said they believed this was an accident. then in 2012, his second wife died plunging face first off of a cliff at rocky mountain national park. guess what? they were also celebrating their 12th wedding anniversary. the man maintains her death was also an accident but the wife's brother testified yesterday that
on the day she died and over the next few days his brother-in-law was telling several different stories to the point the family became suspicious. >> it's an extremely logical conclusion to come to that he had a hand in my sister's death. to have two wives die of freak accident accidents -- you're -- your -- the odds are better off that you win the powerball lottery. >> reporter: unbeknownst to the family and to the dead wife toni henthorn herself, court documents showed that harold n henthorn had three life insurance policies taken out on his wife and all told they were $4.5 million. what was especially troubling to the police was that harold henthorn couldn't seem to explain why he had a park map with an "x" drawn exactly where
it's 1:00 p.m. in washington, 7:00 p.m. in budapest, 8:00 p.m. in damascus. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. up first, presidential candidates in the united states staking out positions against the iran nuclear deal and in favor of tax reform. we're covering two developing stories playing out this hour. right now on capitol hill in washington, opponents are holding a rally blasting the agreement. among the headliners who will be speaking, senator ted cruz, donald trump, and the former alaska governor and the former vice presidential nominee sarah palin. in garner, north carolina, meanwhile, republican presidential candidate jeb bush getting ready to outline his