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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  July 13, 2013 3:00am-4:01am PDT

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erence. membership helps make the most of your cashflow. i'm nelson gutierrez of strictly bicycles and my money works as hard as i do. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. tonight's lead, verdict watch in the george zimmerman trial. the jury's decision could come down at literally any moment. these are live pictures from the seminole county courthouse in sanfo sanford, florida, where jurors have been shut away in the jury room, deliberating for about 3 1/2 hours now. by this point, they've probably selected their foreman and are reviewing the evidence. after 12 days of testimony and 53 witnesses, these six women on the jury must decide whether george zimmerman is guilty in the shooting death of 17-year-old trayvon martin. this morning, they heard mr.
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zimmerman's lawyer make closing arguments for the defense. >> you look at all of this evidence, and you have to say, i have a reasonable doubt as to whether or not the state convinced me he didn't act in self-defense. that's all you have to do. you don't have to write "innocent" on the bottom of the verdict form. really look at those instructions, apply them, go back and get back to his life. >> after that, the state had its final chance for a rebuttal. prosecutor john guy made a passionate final plea to the jury. >> this isn't a complicated case. it's a common sense case. and it's not a case about self-defense. it's a case about self-denial.
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the defendant didn't shoot trayvon martin because he had to. he shot him because he wanted to. that's the bottom line. >> what do we owe trayvon martin? 16 years and 21 days forever. he was a sons, he was a brother, he was a friend. and the last thing he did on this earth was try to get home. >> trayvon martin may not have the defendant's blood on his hands, was george zimmerman will forever have trayvon martin's blood on his, forever. >> trayvon martin was killed february 26th, 2012, one year, four months, and 16 days later, a jury in a court of law is
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deciding whether george zimmerman should be criminally responsible for his death. every second that goes by brings us closer to that verdict. with me now is my all-star legal panel, joy reid, managing editor of, former prosecutor, faye jenkins, defense attorney, kim patowitz, and former prosecutor, marcia claude. she's author of "killer ambition." thank you all for being here. >> thank you. >> great to be here. >> thank you. >> marcia, how did the defense and prosecution do today in their final arguments to the jury? >> reverend, i thought they both did a really good job, very strong. and it's interesting, the different styles that they have to adopt, and wisely so. you know, the defense approaches this from a very calm, very reasoned, let's all calm down now and think rationally, you know, and try to step away from all the sympathy issues that are very much in play for the
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prosecution, and with john guy, i thought, very effectively used to his benefit in talking about the young man and boy, even, you know, 17 years old, to me, i have two sons, and they were once 17, and they were boys. and this man, george zimmerman, in contrasting the two, very effectively, i thought. >> now, let me go to you for this, kim. you had prosecutor john guy and the defense attorney, mark o'mara, they both talked about the fog and how zimmerman following trayvon martin, how that plays into the jury deliberation. listen to their contrasting ways of dealing with this. >> every shred of law that applies to this case, you will have before you. what you won't have is any law that suggests something like following somebody is illegal, because it's not. >> right up until the time of
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his death, was that child not in fear when he was running from that defendant? isn't that every child's worst nightmare? to be followed on the way home, in the dark, by a stranger? isn't that every child's worst fear? that was trayvon martin's last emotion. >> ken, what was the more effective approach to you? you've tried over 30 murder cases in florida. >> well, the defense attorney, mr. o'mara, did a very competent, good job. and he focused on basically trying to eliminate this following. he wants the jury to focus on the few seconds right before the shooting, so he can talk about
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his self-defense. so, he effectively talked in a conversational, professor-like way to that jury, to get across that point. you can't really look at anything other than what happened right at the time of the shooting. on the other hand, the prosecutor, john good, he was brilliant. just brilliant. this was a fantastic closing argument. and the way he handled that is he said, don't look at the last chapter, look at all the chapters of the book. and all the chapters of the book, right from the beginning, include the following, the following of this kid who was just there holding candy and walking home. and the following in the dark, every kid's worst nightmare. that was just brilliant, how he weaved that into his closing argument, and very, very effective with this jury. >> i might note that the jury has sent a note that they are finished deliberating for the night and will return 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning to deliberate. again, the jury has stopped
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deliberating tonight and are going back into their sequester and will pick up deliberations, 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. joy reid, let me go to you on what was just said about the following. is it important, based on how the judge gave instructions, is it important for the jury to know the whole story of the following going forward, or based on the instructions, do they only have to consider the moments around the shooting? >> what the prosecution has to prove is george zimmerman was the initial aggressor. that whatever happened during the few minutes during the fight, it was george zimmerman who instigated the fight. and what they were trying to weave in in the end, and i thought john guy was also very, very good. it was very emotionally
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affecting, and i was very confused as to why the prosecution didn't say before. this is a kid being followed who is probably scared. the idea that somebody is following you, is that in and of itself aggression? is the fact of following someone, trailing them, chasing them, and finally catching up to them, did that prevent fear to trayvon martin, such that he had a right not only to defend himself, but that he was in fear of his life. it takes away from the notion of george zimmerman as a victim, and for the prosecution, it makes him the guy that was the perpetrator, the guy following, stalking, scaring this kid, and ultimately killing him. >> faith, you're on the same point? >> well, first about john guy. i agree with ken and joy about him, because in trials, when you're trying cases, your message, in order for you to believe in the message as the jury, you have to believe in the messenger. john guy was a messenger today. he spoke on behalf of trayvon martin. he spoke on behalf of his parents. he spoke on behalf of the state of florida and he delivered a message, not just about those few moments, when he said, we
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don't really know what happened in that altercation between trayvon and george zimmerman, but here's what we do know. and he painted that narrative from beginning to end, which ended with trayvon martin being shot and killed and his last emotion, his last thought was fear. because a man he did not know was following him. and i thought that was a great point today. >> marcia, let me ask you something that's going to be critical. in florida law, and in the law as you know it, you've been a prosecutor, does the prosecutor have to remove any doubt of self-defense or does the prosecutor have to debunk that it was reasonable for him to feel that it was self-defense and the defense has the to establish that it was more than reasonable. because i kind of heard in o'mara's closing, that as long as you have any doubt that it was self-defense, then you've
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got to acquit george zimmerman. >> well, not any doubt, but a reasonable doubt, for sure. and it's the prosecution's burden to not only prove their case in terms of a second-degree murder, but also disprove that george zimmerman was justified. they have to disprove that they had a reasonable belief in his own imminent death or great bodily injury. it's a burden for the prosecution to shoulder and that's why it was so important for john guy to start with the very beginning of everything, as he did to effectively, in showing the mind-set of george zimmerman. the ill will. these punks always get away with it. showing that he's already targeting and thinking of trayvon martin as a criminal, with no basis for it as all. and gets out of his car. and why does he get out of his car? that's great. start with it right there. you don't even need to get out of your car. if all you want to do is tell the police that somebody might be up to no good, you call your
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police and stay in your car. there is no excuse to get out of your car whatsoever, especially not the lame one he gave about looking at the street sign. >> what about what the defense says, at that moment, he had other choice but to use self-defense, which was reasonable. what is the evidence they presented to say, he was in absolute fear of his life and that was reasonable? >> what the defense wants the jury to believe, at the moment he was in this fight with trayvon martin, that martin was going for his gun. and the only way he could protect his life and protect himself was to grab the gun first and shoot trayvon martin. if you believe that, you believe his self-defense and then there's an acquittal. if you don't believe that. if you don't believe that trayvon martin saw the gun, if you don't believe that trayvon martin can get to the gun, that calls into question the entire self-defense argument that they're making to the jury.
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and keep this in mind. the prosecution, once the defense raises self-defense, the prosecution has to prove under florida law that beyond a reasonable doubt, there was no self-defense. so the burden shifts to the prosecution once self-defense is raised by the defense. but make no mistake about it. the law is like mud. this jury is going to hear this law from this court, and they're going to be like every jury. they're going to have a hard time going through it, because lawyers can't even agree what that gobbledygook means when the judge reads that law to that jury. >> faith, having said that, and about seeing the gun or grabbing for the gun, let me show you some of what john guy laid out in terms of the inconsistencies and tell me whether that addresses some of that from the prosecution's standpoint. >> sean knoffke told me to get an address. that didn't happen. listen to the tapes.
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listen to the walk-through and listen to the non-emergency call. sean knoffke never said that. why? why lie about that? it's so important, that's why. because he wasn't going back to the car. he was going back to trch trchl. trayvon martin covered his mouth and nose. really? you really think if that were true there wouldn't be george zimmerman blood on these sticks that they pried under his fingernails? do you really think that's true? that was a lie. there's only two people on this earth who know what really happened, and one of them can't testify and the other one lied. and not one lie, over and over and over again. what does that tell you about what really happened out there? >> faith, is it enough to say
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that the self-defense claims by mr. zirm mab were based on lies? is that enough to debunk any doubt about his self-defense? >> if the jury wants -- in considering self-defense, in order for the jury to believe george zimmerman acted in self-defense, in order for this jury to believe that he reasonably feared for his life, they have to trust in what he said. they have to believe the statements that he made. that's why the state went after these statements, went after his own words. they're using his own words against him, because they're telling this jury, you simply can't trust him. you simply cannot believe him. and if you don't belief him about these facts, not knowing the name of the street, not continuing to follow trayvon, then you cannot believe him about self-defense. we already know, he's admitted to shooting and killing trayvon, and if you don't believe him about self-defense, then, guess what, jury, he's guilty of murder. >> joy, when you look at the charges, second-degree murder,
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which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and manslaughter, which if done with a firearm, has a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, hearing both the defense and the prosecution, what do you, what do you think is likely to be the impression the jury goes in, before we hear any of the evidence that they send for or try to review? >> well, you know, rev, i think interestingly enough, the two things i think the prosecution did firmly establish was, number one, that george zimmerman did follow trayvon martin, notwithstanding his statements. and number two, that he did act with spite. i think it's hard not to interpret, you know, f'ing punks and these a-holes always get away. i think that they could clear that bar. so i'm not sure if that gets you to the level of second-degree murder or not. that's really up to the jury. but i think that faith makes a really important point. the only person that establishes george zimmerman's self-defense claim is george zimmerman,
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because there were no other witnesses to the entire fight. but the second thing that establishes george zimmerman's claim is his wounds, the actual blood on the back of his head, the nose, the bloody nose, and that sort of thing. you also saw john guy today try to take that apart. they showed the same picture that mark o'mara used very effective will be i have to say, during the defense presentation, and they say, look at this guy. does this guy look like somebody who has to fight for his life. look at his nose. does that look like it's a life threatening injury? and it also had the effect of showing a fitter george zimmerman, not the sort of pudgy, soft guy you're seeing there, but someone who looked a lot tougher. so i think the prosecution needs to take down not just his statements by saying he was false in other things, but they also have to take down what is really the strongest defense evidence and that's the bloody nose and the bloody head. >> i'm going to ask the panel to please stay with me. much more to talk about coming up. what evidence did the jurors find most compelling?
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we go live to the courthouse in sanford, florida. stay with us. ♪ you're not made of money, so don't overpay for boat insurance. geico, see how much you could save. [ herbie ] eh, hold on brent, what's this? mmmm, nice car. there's no doubt, that's definitely gonna throw him off. she's seen it too. oh this could be trouble. [ sentra lock noise ] oh man.
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right now george zimmerman's fate lies in the hands of six jurors who have just finished deliberating for the day. they went into that jury room today after hearing arguments that were very different in their presentation, their style, and staging. >> now we have our first very large graphic. this is what happens when you get carried away with graphics. they get ten feet long. how many times was it said that trayvon martin -- i'm going to show you what mr. de la rionda mentioned. it's an animation. it's not evidence.
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to your section, but first there is the shot, to the nose, we contend. number one is where the flashlight is found, george's small flashlight is key. >> in the prosecution's rebuttal, the state took a different approach. >> i don't have any audio clips for you. or video clips or charts or big, long, ten-foot-long timelines. i don't have all the fireworks. all the animation. but come back with me. come back with me to that scene where it happened that night. come back with me and bring with you your god-given common sense. >> two different approaches. both may have been effective, but how did it play to the jury? the panel is back with me.
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faith, we saw animations and graphics from the defense, and more emotion from the prosecution. what approach was more effective? >> well, the defense obviously doesn't have the emotion on their side in this case, and that's why you saw o'mara's closing arguments really lacked the drama throughout it. and he made a point of trying to paint trayvon as this very scary individual. he brought out the cardboard figure. he showed the animation. and he was sending that inference, that message there. trayvon martin was not only just scary to george zimmerman, but juries, he should be scary to you too. and then john guy came back in his rebuttal and said but this is who trayvon martin really is, this 17-year-old. he just turned 17. he has skittles. he had iced tea. he was being followed. he knew he was being followed. and his last emotion was fear. >> now, let me ask you, ken. when you look at the fact that he did, he being o'mara, used
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the cardboard cutaway, let me show exactly how he used that, and then how john guy for the prosecution responded. >> you know how tall he is. take a look at him compared to my eye height. >> maybe about the fact that the city attorney's office decided to charge him, he has to have done something wrong. maybe that's the impression you have. >> he was responsible for this state, not being able to ask trayvon martin to step forward so i could put my hand on his shoulder -- i'd love to do that. who is responsible for that? and trayvon martin is not, was not, will never be a piece of cardboard. >> tell us. what do you think, ken, was the most effective there? >> well, there was a treasure trove of lawyer toys used by o'mara. and you know what? normally, and in many cases,
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they're very, very effective. a good portion of the closing argument he used photographs of each witness and said something about each witness. and it was flashed on a screen before the jury. very effective. the computer animation, i did the first computer animation in the state of florida. the one he used not effective. fell flat. wasn't a good use of animation. but now in the response from the prosecutor, that was brilliant. he turned it around. he had the last word, which that is what he had, and he basically took the items, the toys, the legal, you know, items that are being used in front of these juries, the demonstrative aids and turned it around and smacked down the defense attorney with it. so i thought the last word really was the best word. i think that was the most effective for the prosecutor to basically push aside those demonstrative aids and minimize theory effectiveness by how he talked to the jury about them. i thought it was brilliant by the prosecutor.
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>> marcia, your view of the two contrasting on those particular items we showed. >> you know, to me, it's kind of a lesson to be learned there is such a thing as a bridge too far when it comes to the demonstrative exhibits. a little bit is good. can be very effective to punctuate the important points. and then you tip overboard and you turn into disneyland. and, you know, i thought the cartoon was actually -- sorry, the animation probably more effective than i thought it was going to be because he did play the 911 tapes in conjunction with them. and i thought that was a good use of the tool. but it went too far. and then when he stood up the cardboard cutout of trayvon martin in an effort clearly to show that trayvon martin could look menacing, could look imposing because he was taller than george zimmerman, i think that that was taking it a bridge too far. and as we saw, it backfired. checkmate. the prosecutor stood up and said that's a cardboard cutout. trayvon martin was a living young child, and don't tell me -- there is only one reason he's not here for me to put my
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hand on his shoulder, because of this guy over here. great. wonderful. it shows how you can take all the animation and the whoopty whirlygigs and go a little too far. and giving john guy the open door he walked through to smack them down and say this is about human beings, not cardboard cutouts, and not cartoons. and he did it beautifully. >> joy, both the prosecution and the defense talks about common sense, the jurors using common sense. let me show you this. >> be careful with the common sense because common sense is the way we run our everyday lives, the way we make those snap decisions that we have to make every day. if you start using those same processes that we're used to everyday that look at things, make a decision and move on, that subtly and unintentionally you're going to minimize or diminish in standard that has to be applied in this case. >> common sense is so important.
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this isn't a complicated case. it's a common sense case. i'm asking you to use your common sense. use your heart. use what you know is real. use what you know you heard and the law in this case. >> joy, you've been down there. you have one side saying your common sense may not understand the complexities of this case, and may not be able to deal with the standards that you need in the law. you have another one saying this is a common sense case. what do you say, joy? >> rev, i have to tell you, i was a little confused by mark o'mara using that tactic. i'm not sure that i would have done that, because it essentially concedes that the common sense answer to this case is that george zimmerman is guilty. but that you need to suspend that, you need to ignore your common sense. and i think mark o'mara did the same thing with emotion. there is a risk that you condescend a little bit to the jury when you say maybe your common sense and the emotional
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part of you, all you six female jurors wants to go this way, but you need to not do that. don't think like that. you need to think -- you need to use your reason and not your common sense, use your reason and not your emotion there is a risk that in doing that, i know across social media, there was a lot of people responding to it that way, that it come across a little condescending, where as with john guy, it was the opposite. he was saying embrace your natural common sense. he even said come with me. it was almost like a pastor. he was giving a sermon. let's just use common sense and use your emotions, embrace that part of you. so i think for female jurors, i would guess that john guy's presentation was probably more effective, more impactful. and we'll see when you combine that with the evidence what that does in the deliberations. >> faith, the fact that the jurors have ended their deliberations today, and they have made the requests for evidence, should we laymen read anything into that? is the length of time and the extent they seem to go through evidence, will that send a signal, or are we just trying to
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look through the weeds for anything? >> no. you shouldn't read anything into this. i mean, they just got the case today. there are only six jurors deliberating in this case. so i don't expect deliberations to take too long. but they just got the case today. they just were charged on the law. and they've asked for the evidence. so they're really just getting started. and so i don't think there is anything to read into the fact that they stopped deliberations today. they going to start again at 9:00 in the morning. i do believe that these jurors, like most jurors, they really do take their jobs seriously. they understand the stakes of this case, that one person is dead and the other person is on trial really for his life. and so they understand that. and i think they're going to take this seriously and they're going to be diligent in their deliberations. >> ken padowitz, thank you for your time this week. the rest of the panel are staying with us. still ahead, six jurors will decide the fate of george zimmerman. how did they react in the jury
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six women jurors will decide if george zimmerman committed a crime the night he shot trayvon martin. we'll go inside the courtroom. that's next. [ brent ] now steve's looking pretty good so far.
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[ herbie ] eh, hold on brent, what's this? mmmm, nice car. there's no doubt, that's definitely gonna throw him off. she's seen it too. oh this could be trouble. [ sentra lock noise ] oh man. gotta think fast, herbie. back pedal, back pedal. [ crowd cheering ] oh, he's down in flames and now the ice-cold shoulder. one last play... no, game over! gps take him to the dog house. [ male announcer ] make a powerful first impression. the all-new nissan sentra. ♪ the all-new nissan sentra.
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for two centuries, we have lived by the constitution and the law. no juror has the right to violate rules we all share. at this time, if all you have will please take your notes with you and follow deputy jarvis back into the jury room. >> that was 2:28 p.m. when judge nelson sent the jury on their way to begin deliberations. they deliberated for three and a half hours and are done for the night. the jury consists of six women, five of them are white, one is black or hispanic. five are mothers, and they range in age from their 30s to 60s. so how did they react to today's closing argument and rebuttal? joining me now live outside the courthouse in sanford, florida, kyle hightower, reporter for the associated press, who has been inside that courtroom for every second of this trial.
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kyle, what did the jury look like when they got the case today? >> reverend al, i would say anxious and maybe a little stoic as they left the courtroom this afternoon. this is a group that whenever judge debra nelson has asked them for breaks, for water, to stretch out a little bit, they always denied her. but today they took her up on an offer right before lunch to take a break before she gave them their official instructions. they seemed very stoic and anxious as they left the courtroom today. >> now you reported one juror had a strong reaction at one point today when prosecutor john guy said this. let me play to it you. >> don't misunderstand me. your verdict is not going to bring trayvon benjamin martin back to life. your verdict is not going to change the past, but it will forever define it. >> kyle, what did you see at
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that point? >> well, obviously, reverend al, it was a line. it was obviously designed to elicit emotion. and juror b-29, the juror from chicago, originally from chicago, with eight children, only one child over the age of 18, she wiped away a tear. i mean, it was very noticeable. she reached up and wiped the corner of her eye and the bottom of her eye twice to wipe away a tear. it definitely elicited emotion that i think john guy was trying to go for. >> all right, carl hightower, thank you so much for your time. so what are the jurors discussing now, and when can we expect a verdict? lisa bloom joins the panel. and lisa, the jury is done deliberating for the night. and earlier they asked for an evidence list. what do you make of that, and what do you make of this juror with the tear? >> well, she was obviously moved. and this is a very intense case there is no question about it. you know, we talk a lot about the fact these jurors are mothers, and that's true.
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they're also professionals, a number of them. and let's include their brains as well as uteruses when we're talking about them. one ran a call center. one of them, for example, ran a call center and supervised 1,200 people. another ran a construction company. two of them work in the medical industry. so i would like to talk about them as full human beings and not just mothers. this jury deliberated as you said for three and a half hours today. and they're not done. it's a little bit of a slam i think to mark o'mara, if i may say so, because he seemed to confident in his closing argument that there was going to be a quick verdict. i think he was even implying to them that they should write innocent at the bottom of the form. well, he didn't get that today. i don't think he is going to get that at all. he might get a not guilty, but he is not going get them to write innocent at the bottom of the jury form. >> marcia, this jury has been sequestered for more than 18 days. you know about sequestered juries. how does that impact what goes on? >> i do think it makes them move more quickly. obviously they all want to get
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home. no question about that. they have been pushing really hard through this trial. there is a bit of a stutterstep, as we just heard, from the live reporter, the ap reporter, now that they know the case is coming into their hands and they're going to have to actually deal with it. i can imagine them kind of doing a little bit of a gulp. it's bound to happen. they're going to come in and hear different opinions. people who think they're friendly and get along very well are going to be surprised by what they hear from the people they thought they knew after living together for 18 days. nevertheless, with the pressure of knowing that they cannot leave this hotel, these confines until they finish, i think they will push through to finish. i'm not surprised they department come today, not at all there is enough here to think about. there it is a simple case and there are not hundreds of witnesses. but nevertheless there are very sharply defined opposing points of view that can be brought to bear in the jury room. i would expect to see a verdict by tomorrow night. >> joy, let me go to you. one of those witnesses, marcia
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said it wasn't a lot. but one was sybrina fulton, the mother of trayvon martin. and mark o'mara brought her up in his closing argument. listen to this. >> miss fulton, how dare you question the mom of a passed away 17-year-old. doctors cut people sometimes when they do their work, and that was something i had to present to you to something about the way it happened. >> how important and effective was sybrina fulton's testimony that o'mara even clarified why he did what he did? >> well, you know, rev, i think any time the mother of the victim testifies, it's obviously impactful. it obviously effects the jury and it's effective. she said what you would expect her to say, that she heard her son crying out on that 911 call. i think she was a very good witness for the prosecution. but mark o'mara has a job here, which is to try to get the
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juries to step back from the natural sympathy and emotion you'll feel when talking about a dead teenager. he's got to get them to put that aside. i think anything that he can do to mitigate what jurors might feel was a tough questioning of her, i don't think it was tough questioning of her. listen, i understand you're sympathetic to this mom, but that's not your job. his presentation was professorial, not the emotional presentation, because it is his job to drain the emotion out of the case, to walk people back from their emotional instant response and to get them to just look at whether or not the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. >> now, let me go to you, faith. when you heard readbacks, when you review testimony, obviously emotions and personalities of witnesses and all are gone. in this particular case, as a lawyer, who do you think will be -- who would that help the most in terms of just reviewing
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solid evidence and testimony without emotional as we go through all the deliberations? >> well, i think it depends on what readback the jurors asked for. i mean, if they are considering all of the prosecutors' witnesses and what they said, they may ask for more readback to get clarification on that. but these jurors, some of them have taken notes. some of them have not. it's their recollection that will rule. and so they may ask -- this trial has been three weeks. so they may just want to remember specifically there may be some internal debating going on about what a witness said. and about certain facts. so they may just want to recall what that witness said and ask for readback based on that. so you can't really read a lot into that. because like i said, i think some witnesses have taken a lot of notes. but the jurors may not want to rely on someone else's notes. they may want the information from the court reporter herself. >> all right. panel, please stay with me. we have a lot more to discuss. the right to self-defense.
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but whose self-defense? the answer to that question is key to this case. oh, he's a fighter alright. since aflac is helping with his expenses while he can't work, he can focus on his recovery. he doesn't have to worry so much about his mortgage, groceries, or even gas bills. kick! kick... feel it! feel it! feel it! nice work!
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when the jury comes back tomorrow morning, they'll be wrestling with one central question. did george zimmerman kill trayvon martin in self-defense? that claim is at the heart of mr. zimmerman's case, but today the prosecution again raised another question, something lots of people have been e-mailing me about. didn't trayvon martin also have a right to self-defense? >> that child had every right to be afraid of a strange man following him, first in his car, and then on foot. and did that child not have the right to defend himself from that strange man? did trayvon martin not also have that right? >> faith, why did the prosecution think this was so important for the jury to think
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about? >> because they're focusing on who was the initial aggressor here. they're not trying to tell this jury exactly what happened when george zimmerman and trayvon martin met. they're trying to show this jury george zimmerman was the initial aggressor from the very beginning. in fact, it started months before he ever saw trayvon martin with his mind-set, with these people always getting away, referring to all the young black males that he previously called the police about. so the prosecutor wants to focus on who the initial aggressor was, and based upon george zimmerman being the initial aggressor, so what he got punched? so what he has these injuries. trayvon martin had every right to defend himself. george zimmerman was the one following him. >> you know, reverend al, faith is right. the problem is the prosecution didn't argue that. they fought so hard to get into evidence those prior events where george zimmerman called about african-american males in the community. 100% of the calls he made about suspicious people in the community were about african-american males.
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they got it in, and then they didn't argument it in closing argument. so what the jury heard was the defense version of well, it's very reasonable that he was suspicious because it was raining and he was walking around. and the prosecution didn't say -- i didn't frankly in my opinion have the guts to say that's not what this was about. i mean really, we can look at autopsy photos. we can look at the deceased remains of a 17-year-old, and we don't have the guts to talk about race? i think that's what is really underlying this case, the failure of the prosecution, among other things to talk about race and say of course he was profiled because he is african-american. we have the statistics. >> didn't he argue that he was profiled, marcia, and the fact that they didn't bring in race and have the defense say that there is no evidence of race here, and let me bring in three of his black friends.
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the profile statement they made, the fact that they used over and over about him calling people a-holes, doesn't that really give the jury the picture that he had some hardened feelings without giving a layup shot to the prosecution? >> i totally think so. i have to say i really agree. and here is the thing. they got those calls in. the calls were there, and they were pretty good evidence of a mind-set that predated him ever seeing trayvon martin. and that was a good thing to do. you have to walk the line of the race card very, very carefully, and you don't want to overplay this, because you can really turn a jury off. you have to be careful what you're doing here. and i thought the prosecution did. they said number one that he was profiled. they did say that. and everybody knows what they're talking about. the jury understands what that means. they're not stupid. and then on top of, that don't forget, you don't want to alienate your jury by leaning too heavily on it, so they didn't. but they put it out there for sure. having had the calls, you never remember to say everything in closing argument. i've never seen a prosecutor or a defense attorney remember
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every single point. they don't have to. you don't have to. this is not about everything they needed to say. they certainly made all of the strongest points. lisa, they heard those calls. they're not forgetting it. this is not a year-long trial. it's only a three-week trial. they remember it. >> but joy, let me bring joy in. joy, you and i and others may have our feelings. the question is what you want to put in front of a jury and make sure that it is something you can back up. do you think that the defense was prepared to try if they had played race? and clearly in my opinion, when you bring up profiling, everybody knows what you mean. don't you think they had some scenario set to bring in black friends of zimmerman to answer that? >> well, probably. but i think also more importantly, that mark o'mara, if they could have gotten it in, was also prepared to bring in text messages, pictures from trayvon martin's cell phone, other things that if you combined them with that grainy 7-eleven photo, the photo of
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trayvon with the shirt off and the gold takeaway grill in his mouth, all of that was painting the picture of a scary black man. and recall, defense are the one that put on the stand a woman who had her home broken into. they were the ones who said who was breaking into homes? these young black men. so race was brought into the trial. it's just that -- listen to john guy's accent. this is a southern man. he understands he is trying a case in the south. people sometimes forget florida is still the south. and that there are attitudes about race that pre-exist that could also exist in the jury. i think they might have been afraid to bring it up in fear of alienating the jury, but there is no doubt that racial profiling is what this case is about. i think everyone understands it. but i think the prosecution might have been afraid to say it. >> can i add something to that? they were subtle in bringing it up, and i think they were right to do that in this circumstance. they don't want the jury to feel pressure that they have to make a race-based statement with their verdict. they want the jury to make a humanity-based statement and that's what john guy was doing there. >> i got to stop it there.
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thank you to the panel, and thank you for your great analysis. we'll be right back with my final thoughts on this trial. stay with us. mine was earned in djibouti, africa. 2004.
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this case is in the hands of the jury. six women who heard from more than 50 witnesses. they will begin deliberations again at 9:00 a.m. eastern time tomorrow morning. i'm in birmingham, alabama, headed home around that time. i will be thinking about a 17-year-old kid that i know. what protects him if he feels he is being followed by someone not in law enforcement? i will also be thinking about those that are feeling threatened, feeling that someone is doing something wrong. what protects them against unforeseen criminality, even if it's in their own head? that's what this trial is about. and how the law protects both of them and not violate either one of them. if one of them were violated, the other one is the one that should come out of this trial with the jury saying the other one was the one whose rights we
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must protect. this is what this is all about. that's where your opinion and my opinion must be based on. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. thanks for watching. have a good weekend. see you back here on monday. waiting for a verdict. the verdict in the george zimmerman back to deliberating in matter of hours. in texas, while you slept, a fight over an abortion bill that ends in a dramatic and sweeping way. we will take you to austin, where it all happened, just hours ago. and place your bets. london and the world anticipate a royal birth in some unique ways, including putting money on it. and in business news, do women pay more than men when it comes to car repairs? a new survey with some surprise results. good morning, everybody. welcome to "weekends with


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