tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 8, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
>> say my buddy eliot. >> the thing about it is he has definitely taken on as his mantle from attorney general to governor and in some ways the comptroller position, wall street and you have a client relationship where he would have a lot of sway as of sway as a s activist. i do think reforming wall street is a big passion of his. to your point, it's not a big a passion as political redemption. >> he is the most qualified person to run for that job in the history of that job. i just wonder who the human being is there. bury that's for another show. >> another show. and cable news. >> it will be handled by someone else. ari melber, buddy of eliot spitzer gets tonight's last word. thank you. >> thank you. >> chris hayes is up next. good evening, from new york. i'm chris hayes. i hope you had a great holiday weekend. we are back. and tonight, an "all in" the longest serving governor of texas is calling it quits.
rick perry's legacy is on full display in the lone star state as republicans are in the middle right at this very moment of ramming through another disingenuous assault on women's rights. also tonight, three days after trayvon martin's and george zimmerman's mothers both identified the same screaming voice on a 911 tape as belonging to their respective sons, zimmerman defense took a different approach today. i'll tell you why zimmerman's own team is making sure you know zimmerman was lousy in the gym. plus, what the nazis learned from the california prison system and why it's all horrifyingly relevant today. but we begin tonight in san francisco, where investigators are trying to determine what exactly happened onboard asiana flight 214 that caused it to crash land into san francisco's international airport over the weekend. with 307 people onboard. tonight we know there are two
confirmed fatales in the crash, 16-year-old wang jinlia. both were on the way to attend a church summer camp. 180 people were injured yesterday in a striking scene. asiana's president and ceo flanked by several of the company's board members bowed in apology to the passengers and their families. what we know today is that flight 214 was cleared for a visual landing as it headed into san francisco airport from south korea. but the plane was approaching at far below normal landing speeds. after trying to abort the landing at the last moment, the boeing 777 apparently crashed into the ground losing its tail in the process. among the survivors was wen xiang who spoke to fox's kttv. she was traveling to the united states for vacation with her 4-year-old son, who after crawling through a hole in the side of the plane and suffering from minor injuries, said he wanted to continue his trip. >> he always said, i don't want to stay at the hospital.
i want to go to the america hotel. i like hotel. i need a bath. >> earlier today, ntsb chairwoman deborah hersman said the investigation into what exactly happened on asiana's flight 214 is just beginning. joining me now, nbc news correspondent, tom castillo. tom covers aviation and has been reporting on this story since the crash. and tom, what do we know about the possible array of possible causes at this moment in the crash? >> reporter: well, let me set the scene for you here. behind me is the remains of flight 214. sitting out there on runway 28 left. you can see that, well, in a minute you're going to see planes have been coming and going right by it all day. what we know now is that there were three captains onboard that plane, as well as a first officer. and one of those three captains was training to -- training may not be the exact precise language -- but was in his final hours of learning how to fly the 777.
now, he had flown many other aircraft for some time including the 747. he had 10,000 hours of experience, but only 43 on the 777 and he was on his first approach attempt ever to san francisco with a captain who was checking him out. now, in addition to that, there was another captain onboard and there was a first officer onboard. that's normal. you normally would have four pilots onboard a trans-pacific flight like that because you want to spell each other when somebody gets tired. but the question that everybody is asking here is how is it possible with that kind of experience in the cockpit, two captains, two veterans with 10,000 hours each under their belts, how could you apparently not pay attention to the air speed? because the ntsb is saying that the air speed on this aircraft really fell dangerously low. generally you want to hit the end of that runway, you want to come in just like this united airlines flight is coming in right now. you want to come in at about 137 knots and notice that he is touching down almost where the
remains of flight 214 are right now. they were coming in at 103 knots. not 137 knots. 103 was their lowest speed just seconds before they hit the end of the pier here. when they hit the sea barrier wall. so the question investigators are asking is, how could that happen? generally the co-pilot is supposed to be watching the air speed and the descent rate. the pilot is supposed to be watching the -- actually doing the flying. so was it one captain thinking the other was watching the airspeed and the other one thinking that the other one had it? there's some question about that. they're interviewing the crew in korean and english. they're trying to get some answers to that. there's another tragic twist to the whole story. that is as firefighters responded with a full emergency response on saturday, the fire department says it now believes one of its responding rigs accidentally hit one of those two girls that was out on the
runway. one of the two teenagers who died. did that cause her death? they don't know. the coroner is investigating that. but as you can expect, that is heartbreaking and very distressing to the fire department which engaged in a heroic rescue effort and got all of those people off of that plane safely. chris, back to you. >> nbc's tom costello, thank you very much for that. when i first started seeing information about asiana's flight 214 on twitter, started reading witness reports, saw pictures of a smoking plane, reports that the tail of the plane snapped off, i got that horrible plummeting feeling you sometimes get when first encountering breaking news. we were looking at a situation where hundreds of people may be dead. then i saw these incredible pictures coming in of the survivors of the crash walking away. walking away from a boeing 777 whose tail had broken off. more than 300 people were onboard and all but 2 survived. seeing those people reminded me of the miracle, the truly global
civilizational miracle that is the safety of commercial air traveling. not that long ago, airline travel was much more dangerous. before this weekend, there had not been a fatal commercial jetline crash in the united states since february 2009. it was less than 20 years ago we watched two crashes in the united states in just one year. 1996. and 340 people were killed. since then, the commercial airline industry, particularly in the united states, has undergone a safety revolution. on every given day in this country, nearly 50,000 flights pass through our national airspace. 50,000. so very few of them suffer any type of incident, it seems like a miracle. now, to be clear, air travel does have risks, particularly in smaller noncommercial planes. just yesterday, a small air taxi in alaska crashed killing ten people. from 2010 to 2012, 61 people died in air taxi accidents. during that same time period, there were zero deaths from commercial air accidents in the
united states. commercial air travel in the united states has quickly become the safest mode of transportation. safer than riding your bike or getting in your car. in fact, over the weekend, a runaway oil tanker exploded in a quebec town killing at least 13 people and destroying about 30 buildings. approximately 40 people in that town are still, as of this hour, missing. for that horrific stomach-churning accident, and other transportation accidents, simply don't bring out the same response of us. on cable news or in society as a whole because there is something unique about plane crashes. there just is. something about them that stokes our deepest fear, something that provoked us as a society to marshal the manpower and resources so making sure getting on a commercial flight is the safest way to travel. imagine what we an do to fight so many of the other dangers we face with that same kind of resolve. joining me, mary schiavo. former department of transportation inspector general
under presidents george h.w. bush and bill clinton, and attorney specializing in transportation litigation. and mark gerchick. aviation consultant and author of the book "full upright and locked position." not so comfortable truths about air travel today. mark, i want to begin with you. the most incredible fact here is the tail of this plane appeared to snap off and only two fatalities. what does it say about the engineering, the simple engineering, the structural integrity of this massive vehicle that that could be the case? >> absolutely. the engineering of these aircraft is quite amazing. the 777, itself, has been proven to be one of the very safest aircraft around. you know, you have to think about some of the interior of the airplanes, too. the flammability of the materials in the seats. that has been worked on. the seats, themselves, are able to withstand 16 gs of force. when you hit an impact with these seats. many, many technological improvements have been made that have made these airplanes very,
very strong and very passenger protective. >> mary, the -- from what we're learning, again, the ntsb is very careful to caution, it's very early in this investigation, but it looks like it's possible, at least, the first plausible hypothesis some kind of pilot air here. and people are pointing the fact that this pilot had less than 60 hours of training on a 777. how does training work? how have we -- what systems have we come up with to produce pilots that don't do this regularly when they have to fly new planes into airports they've never flown into before and fly new routes? >> first and foremost, there are differences between carriers. for example, many united states-based carriers actually require a minimum of 100 hours to be making this landing. >> ah, interesting. >> so air carriers vary. we do a lot of training on simulators and do a lot of our flying in auto pilot. the ntsb has been critical in many recent accidents that we've become so dependent on the new, wonderful, very lifesaving technology we don't know the
old-fashioned stick and rudder flying. and they were cleared for a visual approach 17 miles from the end of the runway. so they had 17 miles to set this up and fly it the old-fashioned way. i think the ntsb will say with all this wonderful life-saving technology, and indeed autopilot probably would have saved this flight, but it wasn't available because of the instrument landing system was out, that we don't do stick and rudder flying. >> explain so i understand. 17 miles out, they are clear for visual landing. what a visual landing means is i'm going to take myself off the auto pilot, the computer-activated guidance that has been operating the flight until now, and i'm going to fly the plane like i drive my car. i'm going to manually say how fast it goes and how low it s goes at israel ate proaches. >> precisely. at that point, you lose other data that comes automatically. there's an automatic glide slope that tells you what altitude and how you're supposed to be descending. and your proper sink rate, and all that was gone. they headed over this body of
water. a 17 mile straight-in final is a long way, but they had to cross a body of water. you have a greater sink rate over a body of water. >> you go down faster. >> right. you go down faster. it's possible the flight got away. of course, it's still possible they had problems with the altimeter. and the airspeed indicator. >> it's possible there are mechanical problems here as well. mark, my question to you is how do we understand the safety revolution that has happened in commercial air? i mean, it just seems to me when you're thinking about this as a problem to solve, you have so many moving parts. i don't mean the moving parts of jet airlines going at hundreds of miles an hour. i mean, you have different governments, right? a plane has to go in south africa and in germany and in buton and all sorts of different places. you have different governance regimes, you have different regulatory regimes, you have different air carriers, you have different languages. how have we arrived at this point we're able to pull this off so routinely with such a small error rate?
>> i think it's thanks to, in part, the u.s. leadership on this issue about air safety. many countries, and there are others who have been leading, but many countries look to the united states as the primary and key group involved with air travel. now, of course, they are the ones who are certifying these aircraft as are the europeans and others, but these aircraft need to be certified by regulatory authorities after vast amounts of testing and checking over and monitoring. so we also have things like a common language. english is now the common international language of aviation. whether you're in korea or japan or in bhutan, you need to speak english to air traffic controllers. >> is this -- are there aspects of the safety revolution that we don't appreciate or have gone sort of out of the radar? >> yes. there are some things, and they're mechanical things that are very important. collision avoidance systems. every day in america collision avoidance systems save flights
to keep planes from colliding. that is a new development within the last 15 years. >> i got to say, you go on flight tracker. we were looking at the evo morales plane in bolivia and pull up flight tracker. this is a weird representation because there are icons on the screen, man, there are a lot of planes in one area. >> collision avoidance saved two planes like ten days ago in new york city. and the other thing is advanced ground proximity warning. 15 years ago we would have perfectly good planes in night, in bad weather, fly into the ground, into the mountains, and not know it. cfit it was called. now this system gives you enough warning that you can get the plane back up. you can apply power and get out of the system and get out of the danger. >> you know, people -- i was giving a talk this weekend and talking about lots of things that have gone wrong in the past decade. people sometimes say you're so dour, you're so pessimistic. i just look at air safety as this kind of amazing model for
us about that we just all decided as a society this is unacceptable. i think about the people that died in the west, texas, fertilizer plant. i think about the folks up in this town in quebec who have watched this horrific accident. just imagine us marshalling those same assets. to get to the bottom of that. mary schiavo. former department of transportation inspector general. mike gerchick, former chief counsel for the faa. thank you both so much. >> pleasure. coming up, last time texas governor rick perry made a big speech, he took a tasteless swipe at state senator wendy davis. today he was before the cameras again and it was what he did not say this time that i found so revealing. i'm going to clue you in next. "i'm part of an american success story," "that starts with one of the world's most advanced distribution systems," "and one of the most efficient trucking networks,"
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late breaking news out of wisconsin to report right now where a federal judge has just in the last hour granted a temporary restraining order blocking a new law set to take effect today. that was likely to force half of the state's abortion clinics to close their doors. planned parenthood, which is suing to stop the law signed by scott walker, says now that the
law is being temporarily blocked they will be able to continue to provide abortion services while the lawsuit proceeds. in addition to target regulations designed to close down clinics, the new law would also force women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound. the law was passed through the legislature in the middle of june, but just signed into law by republican governor scott walker on friday, as in the day after the fourth of july in a private ceremony. the court is set to revisit this issue again next week. meanwhile, similar bill is still working its way through the legislature in texas, and boy does it have texans riled up. we'll take you to the texas capitol where the battle over abortion rights is happening live right now. ifteen percent or more on car insurance. yep, everybody knows that. well, did you know some owls aren't that wise? don't forget i'm having brunch with meghan tomorrow. who? meghan, my coworker. who?
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i remain excited about the future. and the challenges ahead, but the time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership. today i'm announcing i will not seek re-election as governor of texas. >> that, of course, rick perry, the butt of a thousand "i forgot the third one" jokes. and a man who also happens to be the longest serving governor in the long history of texas. after announcing today he will not seek another term as governor, he hinted at exciting future challenges that politics watchers are roughly translating to mean running for president in 2016. given that perry built up to announcing that he's not running for governor again with a pre-produced video plus almost ten minutes of live speechifying about his awesome record of creating jobs, and freedom, and more jobs. given all that, presidential speculation seems like a pretty
safe bet, but though it is major big picture political news, there is something far more interesting than what rick perry said today. and that is what rick perry barely mentioned today. he talked in great detail about his record on jobs and the economy, but he spent no time talking in specifics about his antiabortion record, about the pitched political battle that is currently raging at the capitol in austin right now. he identified himself as generically pro-life and made one oblique reference to the special legislative session he authored -- ordered -- without mentioning the prime topic of that special session. the draconian antiabortion bill that was successfully and famously filibustered by democratic state senator wendy davis during the last special session. rick perry's avoidance of the issue seems particularly meaningful when you see how unavoidable it is on the ground in texas at this very moment. people from both sides of the abortion divide started lining up to testify on this bill before dawn today, in the middle
of the night. testimony started in the state senate around noon eastern today. that testimony is still going on. senate hearing is now entering its ninth hour. it is a fight that is consuming the state capitol. here's just one example of what texas senators heard today from the folks who lined up overnight to testify. >> i have never in my life heard so many women have to say, i was raped, but i was lucky, i didn't get pregnant. i hope to never hear this phrase again, but today, in solidarity, i would like to say i was raped, but i was lucky i didn't get pregnant. i do not want an abortion ever. i do, however, have a constitutional right to an abortion, and i want that right protected. and when legislators want to limit my access to this constitutional right, i want to know why, and i expect them to be willing and able to answer questions about why they think
they know more about ensuring the health and safety of texas women than texas women and their doctors. >> tracking public opinion on abortion is treacherous business, one of the most difficult issues to get reliable polling on. so much changes depending on how you ask the question. but here's a tip off. watch the way antiabortion republicans are right now fighting this battle and you won't need polling. the way they're approaching this issue shows even they don't believe they're on the side of popular american opinion. given the chance today to use a high-profile much anticipated nationally watched speech to make the case for the draconian antiabortion bill he is pushing through in texas, rick perry did not say the word abortion. that is the anti-abortion republican m.o. right now. it's the sneak attack. don't talk about abortion, don't say it's your priority, just do it. like when ohio republicans snuck a laundry list of new abortion restrictions into the state's budget, which republican governor john kasich signed into law on a sunday night.
or when wisconsin governor scott walker signed that bill that was blocked tonight by a federal judge, the one designed to shut down most of his state's abortion clinics on the friday after the fourth of july in a private ceremony. nothing is more telling than the way republicans are fighting against abortion rights. nothing tips the republican governor's hand more than the fact they refuse to be forthright on this issue. the fact they refuse to talk about what they're doing. it's a sure sign they don't believe the people they represent are behind it. joining me now is evan smith, ceo and editor in chief of the "texas tribune." evan, i found it really interesting, this speech, particularly because it was rick perry talking about jobs and the economy which was supposed to be the rick perry platform that was going to catapult him to the head of the pack in the primary in 2012. it did not go that way. and i have gotten the sense from people i know around rick perry that he actually, that's the stuff he cares ant. he does not care that much about the abortion issue, yet he also made a political calculation not to talk about this huge battle that everyone in the country has their eyes on.
>> right. he gave it a little bit of time. you're right. he didn't really focus on it. he said one sentence worth on the subject. really this speech was about rick perry's record going backward and the thing he's proudest of and the thing if he runs again for president in 2016, we're going to hear a lot about -- or 2014 -- 2016, is the economy, the economic factor. since rick perry has been governor, more jobs have been created in texas than the other 49 states combined. whether or not he's responsible personally for any of that, he gets to claim the credit because he's been the guy in office for these 13 years. that's going to be the basis for a campaign. i don't think, at least in a general election campaign, you're going hear an enormous amount about life because nationally the issue does not have as much resonance as it does in texas. >> in terms of the resonance in texas, i've been following the developments closely, and i'm fascinated to see what was largely a mobilization on one side of this issue to try to
block the bill in the last special session. >> right. >> has now become a counter-mobilization, a mobilization on both sides. you have people in color-coded t-shirts going to the capitol, both sides testifying. how novel, how anomalous is this in texas state politics? >> well, it's enormously surprising to have seen one side take the lead on this. the other side was caught flatfooted. i think as we sit here tonight, chris, there's an antiabortion rally at the capitol. mike huckabee and the duggars and a bunch of people associated with the pro-life side are rallying. the numbers are not as great. at least when i left my office, they were not as great as the numbers last monday when the pro-choice people were rallying. but they're making up for lost time tonight. look, there's going to be another rally in favor of abortion rights tomorrow. i think it's anomalous in a sense we haven't seen these kinds of numbers of people come from all over the state and march on the capitol on any issue in a very, very long time. in my 20-plus years of watching capitol, i can't quite remember this many people mobilized on this kind of issue ever before. in that respect, maybe you're right but it was surprising perry didn't make more hay of it
today. >> this is my read of the perry thing, it's the republican party in microcosm. he understands, he's a pretty politically savvy guy. he understands his pathway to the nomination ultimately and to being president if that were to happen is this jobs record. that's what he wants to focus on like a laser. but the republican party base demands this tribute be paid because the people in the base really do care about this issue. they really want to see the representatives go after it and so it's precisely a disconnect that bedevils the republican party writ large. >> yeah, i think that's true. you have to think if you're rick perry you're running in a field in which you need to differentiate yourself from quite talented politicians. he really ran against a aa baseball team worth of republican candidates last time. he couldn't beat herman cain. this time he's running against the 27 yankees. major league players. they're all very talented. he needs to differentiate himself some way from them. he's going to stake out turf on the very far right end of the spectrum including on the choice
issue and hope that carries him over the line. in a general election, chris, in the end it's going to be the economy. it's going to be the jobs record. what we thought in 2012 would be his big issue, it's going to have to be his big issue in 2016. the kind of antiabortion rights rhetoric we've heard from perry over time may not play well enough in a general election to get him elected. >> evan smith from the "texas tribune." thank you so much. >> thank you. female inmates being sterilized illegally in california. more on this incredible story next. geoff: i'm the kind of guy who doesn't like being sold to. the last thing i want is to feel like someone is giving me a sales pitch, especially when it comes to my investments. you want a broker you can trust. a lot of guys at the other firms seemed more focused on selling than their clients. that's why i stopped working at my old brokerage and became a financial consultant with charles schwab. avo: what kind of financial consultant are you looking for? talk to us today.
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more than 80 years ago nazi theorists took their concept for the so-called master race, or at least developed it based on something cultivated here in our own country. in fact, in 1924, adolf hitler wrote "i have studied with great interest the laws of several american states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would in all probability be of no value or injurious to the racial stock." he was talking about eugenics, the concept of selective human breeding. one of those american states hitler wrote about was california. as a model to one the nazi's own eugenics program. for more than half a century, california was the epicenter of the american forced sterilization movement. the idea here, of course, was to improve the human race by making sure that less desired traits could be eliminated from gene pool.
at the time, people like adolf hitler believed less desired traits were exhibited by jews, people of color, prisoners, the mentally ill and other folks deemed unfit. forced sterilization was such a popular idea both at home and abroad that even united states supreme court endorsed it. in 1927, justice oliver wendell holmes who is a great hero of mine in many respects but not in this one wrote "it is better for all the world if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or let them starve for their imbicilety, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. three generations of imbeciles are enough." state lawmakers in california finally banned the practice of forced sterilization in 1979, and a variety of safeguards were put in place to make sure people are apriced of their rights and not coerced into sterilization.
the practice left such a heinous stain on california that in 2003 former governor gray davis issued a public apology stating "to the victims and their families of this past injustice, the people of california are deeply sorry. it was a sad and regrettable chapter in the state's history and is one that must never be repeated again." well, in a shocking new piece out yesterday, the center of investigative reporting we have now learned the california of department of corrections and rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates between 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals. now, it appears some women agreed to the the procedure, though the state approval regulations weren't properly followed. while in other cases it appears women only gave their consent during labor which, of course, isn't really consent since, and i'm only speculating here, the pain of childbirth does not create the optimal setting for making an informed decision about one's future reproductive health. according to the report, over a 13-year period the state of california paid close to $150,000 to sterilize these women. one of the doctors responsible for performing the procedures, a man by the name of james
heinrich, said the cost was like a drop in the bucket compared to, "what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children as they procreated more." but here's the thing. sterilizing female inmates in california without the state's approval is the tip of the monstrous iceberg that is the california prison system. just last week, a three-judge panel doubled down on their order that california's democratic governor jerry brown release nearly 10,000 inmates. conditions were ruled by the supreme court to violate the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. so far, governor brown has refused to do anything about it and is appealing the decision back to the supreme court. and today, prisoners in california launched their third hunger strike to protest what they're calling the subject to decades of indefinite state-sanction torture by a long-term solitary confinement. in california, inmates can be held in solitary confinement indefinitely, and in pelican bay state prison, nearly 100 inmates
have been in solitary for more than 20 years. an expert on torture for the u.n. has called solitary confinement, "a harsh measure which is contrary to rehabilitation. in 2005, 44 prisoners in the california prison system committed suicide, 70% of whom were in solitary confinement. today we look back at generations of routine forced sterilization and we gasp in horror. in part because of the nazis, it seems so clear to us that this practice was an abject moral abomination. but generations hence, our grandchildren will look back at the conditions in prisons in california and the severe mental, spiritual and emotional oblivion of solitary confinement, and mark my words, some future governor of the state will come before the citizens to apologize and express profound moral regret for how we treated the incarcerated. jerry brown can save that future governor the whole pathetic
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as a blog gizmodo discovers. infrastructure proposals for the big an apple during the mid 20s century were impressive and epic. seemed like anything was possible. judging by these sketches, we do mean anything. the hudson river was supposed to be filled. a dream airport was proposed for midtown manhattan as well as a dome intended to keep the air clear for folks in the bubble. no word of what accommodations will be made for folks living outside the bubble. fortunately, well, i think fortunately, none of these plans came to fruition, but it does give you something to consider the next time you hear someone freak out about the new bike lanes. the second awesomest thing on the internet today, an ode to the ubiquitous hipster. chances are if you're watching this program, you or someone you love might be a hipster. these new hipster heat maps show where one can find hipsters in their natural habitat in a city near you. the city of portland is so chalked full there's an entire program devoted to them. now the state of oregon is taking things a step further.
oregon is one of 17 states writing its own health insurance exchange. to prepare people for enrollment, the state is rolling out a few ads. the campaign, part of the cover oregon program, is as much a nod to progressive health care as it is a celebration of all things cage-free and ethically sourced with an indie folk twist. ♪ where i'm free to be healthy and happy and strong ♪ ♪ live long in oregon >> that is the actual ad. we're not joking. not to be outdone, an ad from new jersey's federal exchange will feature this over the top table flip and a whole bunch of profanity. the third awesomest thing on the internet today brings us to pamplona, spain. where a century's old tradition is unleashed on the cobblestone streets during the running of the bulls. get ready, amigos, for a full-on attack. we root for the animals within reason, of course, in this. do the terrific job of letting the tourists know who's boss. it was revealed today through through the magic of instagram that one of the runners is none other than new york jets coach
rex ryan. that's ryan in the middle, doing his best earnest hemingway impression, wearing a red t-shirt cartoon bull with the words bad toro. the photo was tweeted out by the star of the nbc reality show of "ready for love." the fact the two met on the streets of pamplona was amaze organize an elaborate pitch for "hangover 4." ryan was uninjured while participating. we have no video of ryan running for his life while running for bulls. if we did, it would be the biggest highlight of the jets' upcoming season. you can find all the links for tonight's #click3 on our website, allinwithchris.com. we'll be right back. like taking a first step. and then another. and another. and if you do it. and your friends do it. and their friends do it... soon we'll be walking our way to awareness, support and an end to alzheimer's disease. and that? that would be big. grab your friends and family and start a team today.
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helps defend against these digestive issues... with three strains of good bacteria. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. today was the first full day of the defense's case in the trial of george zimmerman who's charged with the second-degree murder in the killing of trayvon martin. zimmerman had pleaded not guilty claiming self-defense. prosecution rested its case on a friday. one of the prosecution's final witnesses before doing so was trayvon martin's mother, sybrina fulton. this is ms. fulton listening to part of a 911 recording in court and her reaction. >> i can't see him. i don't want to go out there. i don't know what's going on. >> you think he's yelling help? >> yes. >> ma'am, that screaming, or yelling, do you recognize that? >> yes. >> and who do you recognize that to be, ma'am?
>> trayvon benjamin martin. >> trayvon martin's brother also testified about that very same recording. >> what parts of the recording do you recognize as your brother's voice? >> the yelling and the screaming. >> had you ever heard trayvon martin yell or scream as the two of you were growing up? >> i've heard him yell, but not like that, but, yes. >> the defense opened its case with several witnesses including zimmerman's uncle, saying the person yelling for help on that recording was george zimmerman. the defense called the defendant's mother, gladys zimmerman. >> do you know whose voice that was screaming in the background? >> yes, sir. >> and whose voice was that? >> my son, george. >> and are you certain of that? >> because he's my son. >> today, the defense brought back to the stand the lead investigator of the case, chris serino, to testify as to the reaction of trayvon martin's father. detective serino played the recording for tracy martin two
days after his death and asked martin if he recognized the voice. >> he looked away and under his breath, as i interpreted it, said no. >> the defense also called to the stand tracy martin, himself. mr. martin's own testimony seemed to contradict officer serino. >> i think the chairs had wheels on them and i kind of pushed away from the -- away from the table and just kind of shook my head and said i can't tell. >> so your words were "i can't tell"? >> something to that effect, but i never said, no, that wasn't my son's voice. >> mr. martin said he listened to the tape again at the sanford mayor's office and played it about 20 times and knew that it was, in fact, his son, trayvon's voice. joining me now is karen desoto, criminal defense attorney. james peterson, msnbc contributor, director of african studies. and associate professor of english at lehigh university. and tim wise, anti-racism educator and author of the book "dear white america: letter to a new minority."
it was incredibly difficult to watch trayvon martin's father on the stand today trying to hold it together, trying to keep his composure under these conditions. and it's strange to much time being spent on contesting this one piece of evidence, whose voice is on the tape? why is that important to the case, karen? >> it's important because obviously the defense wants to prove that zimmerman was not the aggressor, he didn't provoke the situation, and that he didn't create the situation. so if he was the one crying for help, obviously, you know, he wasn't the one who put himself in that situation. that's what they're trying to prove, and obviously whoever's crying for help is the person that's in a position of vulnerability. and if that's zimmerman, obviously his self-defense is going to be a lot more credible. >> it strikes me as bizarre just watching this, this kind of contest over the plausibility of trayvon martin as essentially the aggressor in all of this, which, yeah.
>> i mean, how do we arrive at that? trayvon martin is the victim. he's no longer with us. not only can he not defend himself, but i think we can talk more about this, but this really cuts along racial lines and, you know, when i was listening and watching tracy martin today, i was unable to keep my composure, because at the end of the day if you studied his face over the course of this trial, he has sort of been an examination of pain and loss and frustration in this particular case. he really reflects, i think, the way the black community feels about the trayvon martin case right now. >> and let's be very honest. even if you look that evidence in the light most favorable to george zimmerman, here's the reality. if george zimmerman does not perceive trayvon martin as a threat from the beginning, he does not pursue him, and no one knows who trayvon is, he's still alive, and george zimmerman is a pathetic wannabe cop. because he decided this young man didn't deserve to be in the community, he followed him and that is the process which led to all of this horrible action. >> that, to me, is the deep moral truth about the justice here, but it's not necessarily
the legal truth that is salient, right? because it is the case, the way the charges have been brought and the way the case has been instructed, if it turns out the jurors believe, it was, in fact, george zimmerman screaming help on that tape, that can clear the bar for him to be acquitted. >> well, in florida, lesser included offenses are automatic. there will be a charge for manslaughter. >> explain what that means. >> lesser included offense is manslaughter. which is culpable negligence. so you really don't have to do the depraved mind thing. if they can prove, negate his self-defense which would be saying he created the situation and, therefore, he was negligent for putting themselves into that situation, then you would have an argument for the manslaughter charge. i do believe that's probably what the prosecution is going to at least focus on now because second-degree i believe is off the table. >> i think it's awful we have to settle for that ultimately, because the court of public
opinion sees this case. they see that a kid went to a store to buy skittles and iced tea, to walk back home to his father's home and didn't make it back. and we don't see anything else beyond that. so this criminal justice system, this justice system is not working out for -- >> i think what's interesting n woulding out. >> i think what's interesting about the way we watch this case, the trial, the side we find ourselves on, the part of the trial that we end up rooting for, and i -- let me tell you, my friend circle includes a lot more defense attorneys than it does prosecutors. i know my friends are -- there's a lot more public defenders in my friend circle. that's a fact about me, we're seeing an interesting reception on each side of the political aisle. out there owning it. the ones getting involved and staying engaged. they're not afraid to question the path they're on. because the one question they never want to ask is
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didn't have that gun? >> no, sir. >> you feel you would not be here? >> i feel that it was all god's plan and for me to second guess it or judge it -- >> is there anything you might do differently in retrospect now that time has passed a little bit. >> no, sir. >> that was fox news replaying an interview with sean hannity that happened that got played in court, quite sympathetic interview. i'm here with karen desoto, criminal defense attorney, msnbc contributor james peterson, and tim wise. we're talking about the zimmerman trial. what's interesting to me, tim, as someone who locates himself on the left, i tend to be very skeptical of the machinery of the criminal justice system. particularly, growing up in the bronx when i did, at the time i did. >> because of the data. >> because of the data. exactly. >> it's a biased system. >> yet, here we are, i find myself being very angry at the defense or watching the defense with skepticism and watching on the side of the prosecution. >> well, let's be honest.
people on the right who would normally completely willing to support the state and the d.a.s in just about anything they do, in this particular case are all public defenders. >> that's right. exactly. everyone's a -- >> i think what this tells us, it's an important point for us to make, for all of us to think about, none of us come to any of these issues particularly when race is in the frame from a totally objective place. when race is in the picture, we all -- class, sexuality, anything is in the picture, we come with our own assumptions. very few people who were saying george zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty. of course, that's true in the court of law. how many of those people were thinking o.j. might be innocent when he was in the -- >> exactly. or was saying that about ariel castro when those three women came out of the house in cleveland which was a monstrous crime. he's also innocent until proven guilty. today in court we saw in some ways the defense trying to use the political kind of explosion around this case to their own defense. >> i agree.
i think that one of the defense tactics was to put trayvon martin's dad on the stand to set up the next witness which was the chief of police who basically testified that it was what the mayor did by playing the tape to trayvon martin's dad was improper, it was not best practices. and kind of gave this inference that there was some kind of political -- >> right. here's the mayor kind of helicoptering in to an active investigation. >> not the police. the mayor. >> the irony here, right, of course we all saw this injustice play out in realtime. the injustice of the nonarrest. yet it's remarkable to see that injustice was then redressed and now in the actual trial the sequence of that being used, itself, by the defense -- >> i mean, again, look at this police department. look at the history of the sanford police department. this is not an a-police police department. for them to point the finger at
the mayor for playing politics, we have to go back to the moment where there wasn't an arrest, we were looking squarely at the sanford police department. this is not the kind of prosecution you normally see in these kinds of cases. at the end of the day i think the court of public opinion is not going to match up what's going on in the courtroom and that's where we're getting the tension as the case starts to wind down. >> well, i think one of the problems is the state of florida giving out concealed weapons to their citizens when it's very, very difficult in other states to get a concealed weapon. then expect that these type of things are not going to happen. i mean, it's really, no one is winning in this case, but the state of florida, i think the martins should go ahead and file something against the state of florida for liability correlated to that. if you're going to give george zimmermans of the world guns who are not military, not trained police and expect this is not going to happen -- >> someone who's not, you know, historically been proven to be the most stable individual. i mean, this is what happens when we have an overly armed society, any society, particularly, where racial bias is so prevalent, all of these things combine to create these disasters. >> criminal defense attorney karen desoto. msnbc contributor james peterson.
anti-racism ed kuwaiter educator tim wise. thank you for being here. that is "all in" for this evening. the "rachel maddow show" starts now. tonight, special guest host, ezra klein. good evening, ezra. >> i should have known i would have seen you around these parts. >> i'm looking forward to the spitzer interview. i'm going up to my office to watch it. >> thank you very much. thank you to you at home for sticking around the next hour. just because rachel has the night off and well deserved, it does not mean the news took the night off with her. there is the huge announcement texas governor rick perry made today about his political future. then also in texas, the popular uprising to the abortion bill that governor perry is making sure, making certain the texas senate is going to get a chance to actually pass. that battle is heating up again tonight after the long holiday weekend. and as chris mentioned, for the interview tonight, you might have heard of former new york governor eliot spitzer, maybe running for office again. he's not running for governor or senator or even mayor. he's running for local comptroller. we will ask him why.