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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Osama bin Laden's Son-in-Law Captured; Vatican to Start Papal Conclave Tuesday; Jodi Arias Back on Witness Stand
Aired March 8, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks.
Good evening, everyone. Osama bin Laden's spokesman and son-in- law in court just blocks away from ground zero. How he's caught, how he'll be tried, and what his capture does to Al Qaeda. Peter Bergen and John Miller, one of the just a few journalists who sat down with bin Laden will join us.
Also, tonight, the week's most unforgettable moments from Jodi Arias on the stand from cross examination to rare jury questions to what happens next in a murder trial no one can stop talking about.
We begin though tonight with breaking news. The head of one of America's largest airlines speaking out about the TSA's decision to allow certain small knives back on commercial flights. In a letter that TSA Delta CEO, Richard Anderson, writes, and I quote, "we must object to the agency decision to allow small knives back in the aircraft cabin. We have consulted with our flight attendant group and we share their legitimate concerns regarding this decision."
We are trying to reach him by phone right now. But joining us right now is Veda Shook, international president of the association of flight attendants.
Ms. Shook, what do you make of this? Clearly, you must be pleased that it Delta CEO is weighing in on the side of flight attendants on this. Why are you opposed to this change by the TSA?
VEDA SHOOK, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS (via phone): Because it's completely unnecessary to introduce a weapon into the aircraft, to introduce knives back into the cabin makes no sense.
COOPER: Is it out of concern for the safety of flight attendants that -- and other personnel onboard the aircraft that is your primary concern here?
SHOOK: Well, as flight attendants, we are in charge of the entire cabin, so our job is to be the first responders in any event and also the last line of defense in our nation's aviation security. So, the attempt to reintroduce knives on board absolutely could impact any passenger onboard, and we are there for safety and to protect each and every passenger on each and every flight. COOPER: The counterargument to this is these aren't weapons which are going to bring down an aircraft and this will allow TSA screeners more time to look for the kind of hidden weapons, you know, explosive devices, that actually would bring down an aircraft. To that you say what?
SHOOK: Well, it doesn't make sense, again. So, we appreciate all that our transportation security officers do each and every day to make sure that America's aviation system is the safest in the world. But, to say that's going to somehow free up resources doesn't make any sense.
Today, there's a complete prohibition on knives coming through security. And to ease that restriction just is going to create a bottleneck. It doesn't make any sense. How big is this knife? Is it long enough, wide enough, does it lock, does it not lock? You know, that is going to create confusion at the check points where as right now there's a complete prohibition and we want to see it stay that way.
And in reference to the airline support, this issue was raised a few years ago, and it was, you know, flatly shot down, and we had airline support. Now, myself, I'm a flight attendant with Alaska airlines, and that's one of the airlines that also was opposed to this a few years ago. We're expecting more airlines to join in this chorus with us today's.
As Alaska airlines' CEO at the time remarked in 2000, Alaska airline's passenger had a 2 1/2 inch knife and attacked the crew members. And he says that a weapon such as a pointed tip could cause great harm on crew members and passengers in the cabin. So, the story was the same seven years ago as it is today. We are all better off, and we are all safer without weapons onboard the aircraft.
COOPER: Veda Shook, I appreciate your perspective. I appreciate you talking to us. Thank you very much.
I want to bring in John Miller from CBS. John also worked for the Los Angeles police department and the FBI and intelligence.
What do you make of that argument? Flight attendants say this is ridiculous. This makes no sense whatsoever?
JOHN MILLER, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, CBS THIS MORNING: Well, first of all, you have to sympathize with the flight attendant point of view here. The flight attendants were the first victims of 9/11. They were the ones who were killed with box cutters and knives that were at that point legal to bring on planes. But they weren't the 2 1/2 inch blades of the Swiss army knife or the knife that people carry on their key chain.
What TSA is trying to do is two things. Number one, they are trying to align themselves with the rest of the airline industry across the globe, which is the same rule, knives are OK, nothing longer than a 2 1/2 inch blade, again, the kind of knife you would find on a key chain. That's not the kind of device that is going to bring down an airline. And we have learned when somebody gets disorderly on a plane, it is the crew and the passengers who come -- in the post-9/11 world, if something happens on the plane, the crew will tie the passenger up, they were tie up, that tied up person down, tape them to the seat. We have seen that even if it's the pilot who is on one instance, so, that is one thing to harmonize it with the rules that all of the other countries have.
The second part is the important part, which is while they are looking at the x-rays trying to find that little two-inch knife, they need more time to concentrate on how the terrorists are planning to bring down a plane, which is PETN or TATP explosives hidden in a printer cartridge or the case in China with the explosives were hidden inside of the tubes of the man on crutches or the underwear bomb for the second generation under their bomb where we see on their testing, just got past a check point because they were focused on can I find a lighter or a little knife. They should be focused on the passenger's behavior, what did the intelligence tell us and who do we need to take a closer look.
COOPER: So, you think, this action might free up time at the TSA checkpoints? Because their president should be saying it creates confusion. They are going to thinking, OK, is that under two inches? Do I still have to look at it?
MILLER: Well, I still think, when they see a big knife, that's going to be a no-go. That is what the rule says. But, I think that they will spend less time locking for these tiny objects, again, the things that are not going to bring down the plane and more time focused on a mix of passenger behavior and intelligence information on terrorists joining in tactics and the things that could be hidden that you could find at second or third glance if you spent the time rather than looking for the little knife.
COOPER: They set the date for this back late in April, so, I think--.
MILLER: That April 25th, so you know, what they are looking for is just what Ms. Shook is telling us, which is, they wand feedback from the industry. They want to see if this is a deal breaker. But again, they are trying to align themselves with how the rest of the world does on the post 9/11.
COOPER: And now that we hear from the CEO delta who he agrees with the flight attendants (INAUDIBLE) bad idea.
John Miller, this is obviously, all playing out as a top al-Qaeda spokesman who also happens to be Osama bin Laden's son-in-law pleaded not guilty today in a federal court here in New York. He is accused of plotting to kill Americans. He was arrested last month in Jordan according to a spokesman for U.S. congressman Peter King. King is the chairman of the House Homeland Security committee where Osama bin Laden counting his son-in-laws as part of his inner circle ling ago. U.S. officials say he was tapped at al-Qaeda's official spokesman after the September 11 attacks. In other words, he was a big catch back then, or so it would seem. The decision to hand on this case in the civilian court has re-ignited a bitter debate. Two of the only journalists who have ever interviewed bin Laden are John Miller, sitting right here, and our CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen, who joins us now as well.
Peter, what do you make of this? I mean, is this really a big catch?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, this is a guy who made a poor marital choice, which was marrying one of bin Laden's daughters. As a result of which he was part of the bin Laden inner circle, but he is, you know, he is a propagandist. He's, you know, even the indictment itself doesn't mention any act of terror plots he was involved in. And I mean, John Miller, who remembered that he kind of there was a period where he was somewhat public in the late '01, 2002 time period, and he disappeared from sight. And he disappeared from sight for good reason because he wasn't that important. He was living under some form of house arrest in Iran, and he has sort of on ice. And you know, has had very little impact on al-Qaeda since or even when he was being very prominent. He was mostly just making statements and you know, statements were very poisonous statements, but that doesn't mean he was involved in 9/11. In fact, the evidence we have suggests that he wasn't involved, didn't even know 9/11 was going to happen, a videotape that was recovered in an al-Qaeda safe house showed bin Laden just ring to his spokesman saying hey, we didn't even clue this guy in.
COOPER: John, I read that there is some thought that perhaps he has information about the relationship between Iran and the people who were part of al-Qaeda who were given or allowed to go into Iran and have been living the for years.
MILLER: They did. Anybody who was part of the al-Qaeda senior leadership crew that was under house arrest in Iran overtime would be able to give the U.S. intelligence on how that worked. They all know a good deal about it which is Iran had people under fairly tight house arrest and then sometimes they would loosen that valve and allow them to meet, communicate overseas, just depending on the atmosphere over time.
COOPER: Do you think this a big catch, and what do you make of him being tried here in the United States?
MILLER: Well, first of all, I think it's a symbolic catch. You know, when you have said who says I'm speaking for al-Qaeda who goes on television and shakes his finger at the United States on September 12th, 2001, a smoke is still coming out from ground zero and says prepare -- we are preparing an army of thousands against to - we are going to attack Jews and crusaders. Be ready for a storm, especially the storm of airplanes. Don't fly in planes and don't live in high rise buildings because you won't be safe. That is somebody who is acting as part of al-Qaeda. That's material support of terrorism. That's conspiracy to kill Americans, and that's what it says in the indictment.
Whether he should be in a federal courtroom downtown or in a military tribunal, I think that's a political argument between Democrats and Republicans. I'm not a political guy, but if you look at the numbers, Guantanamo has been up for a decade. They have convicted four people in serious cases. At the same time, the federal courts have tried 500 terrorism cases here in the United States, 67 of those involving people who were captured overseas. They're indicted, a year later, they're on trial. After that, 87 percent of them are serving long or life sentences. So you have to ask yourself, which system is working and which system is struggling?
COOPER: And Peter, we did hear from Republican senators Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, among them, criticizing the Obama administration for bringing this guy to civilian court and not to Gismo. Senator Graham said the administration, quote, "snuck him in under the nose of Congress." Do you think that's a valid criticism?
BERGEN: I'm not sure. But, I just wanted to sort of amplify and second what John was saying. I mean, there's nowhere worse in the world to be an alleged terrorist than in New York's state federal court. I mean, the conviction rate in New York State for these kinds of crimes is 100 percent. The conviction rate in Guantanamo is less than one percent. In fact, some of the convictions in Guantanamo have actually been overturned and the sentences that have been handed down have been mini school (ph) because it's time served and then a few months and whatever country the accused terrorist comes from.
So, both on the question of the fact that the senators are quite sure that the convictions have been overturned, and that very few cases have actually been tried, Guantanamo is not a very realistic place to put anybody.
COOPER: Peter Bergen, appreciate you being on, John Miller as well. Thanks very much.
Let us know what you think about this. Follow me on twitter @andersoncooper. Do you think he should be tried here in New York?
Next, they have set a date to choose the next Pope. Though, the conclave is secret, we will take you behind the scenes while keeping a close eye on the sex abuse scandal surrounding the Catholic Church.
And later, where does another riveting week of trial in the Jodi Arias trial leave the defendant? We will tell you the key moments that could give you the key for alive (INAUDIBLE) or death row with expert analysis from Mark Geragos and Jeff Toobin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any memories of slashing Mr. Alexander's throat?
JODI ARIAS, KILLED BOYFRIEND, TRAVIS ALEXANDER: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you were asked on cross-examination if you did that, do you recall telling us that you did?
COOPER: History is now just four days away from being made at the Vatican. Today, they set a date, March 12th, Tuesday, to open the conclave in which 115 Roman Catholic cardinals will elect the next Pope. They will make history because any papal transition does, of course, especially so this time. For the first time in 598 years, the previous pontiff will be alive to see it.
There's another element, though, in the mix. Controversy over the many sex abuse scandals rocking the church and some of the 115 cardinals. Earlier tonight, I spoke with David Clohessy, the national director of SNAP, Survivors Network for those Abuse by Priest, also John Allen, our senior Vatican analyst and senior Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Report.
COOPER: So John, firs, walk us through the process. The Sistine chapel is, I mean, has been transformed for this conclave. What has to happen before Tuesday?
JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, two things, Anderson. There is some logistical things that still have to be taken care of. I mean, for example, the chimney atop the Sistine chapel still has to be fixed. That famous iconic chimney that gives us the black smoke that meaning no Pope has been elected or the white smoke saying we have a Pope. There's still a bank of tables that have to be arranged inside the Sistine chapel where cardinals have carefully assigned seating and so on. So, all of that has to be done.
But, in the meantime, the more important stuff is, there is some political heavy lifting that has to go on in the next four days because at this stage, I think, the consensus is there's no clear front runner for the papacy. The last thing these 115 cardinals who are going to cast votes want is to go into the Sistine chapel and become deadlocked and have to stay there for three or four days. Because then, they will be projecting images of paralysis and gridlock and in fighting. And that is not the message they want to project. SO, they have about four days to get their act together and to try to have a game plan when they go into the Sistine chapel on Tuesday.
COOPER: And John, each of those 115 cardinal electors get a ballot Tuesday afternoon for the first round of voting. They actually write the name of their choice in a secret way. How do they do that?
ALLEN: Well, actually, what the ballot will do is the ballot is a piece of paper about this big. All the names of all of the cardinal electors are written on it in Latin. So, you mark the guy you are voting for. But then, then each cardinal is also assigned a mark unique to him that he places on that ballot. And the logic there, Anderson, is that the rules actually specify that you have to have two thirds of the vote plus one, and you cannot vote for yourself.
COOPER: And John, as you see it from your reporting, is there a front runner at this point or a clear front runner? ALLEN: No, that is exactly the problem. In 2005, when Benedict XVI was elected, then, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the obvious front runner. All the conversations leading up to the conclave were organized around him. What we have now instead is a field of maybe six, seven, eight, as many as ten plausible candidates for whom you can make an argument, but no one of them just towered over the field. And the risk therefore, is that in the early ballots of the conclave, the votes could be spread, no one could be getting close to the two thirds majority, 77 out of the 115 votes, which means they would have to go back to the drawing board and spend more time. And as I say, that's a scenario they would like to avoid because they don't want the world to perceive them as disunified or paralyzed.
COOPER: And David, cardinal Dolan who is there for the conclave, he has a blog. On it today, he talked about what the cardinals have been discussing since they have been there, everything from preaching and teaching the faith and recruiting more pastors to marriage and abortion.
Interestingly, though, he felt the need to add this. He said, quote "those are the big issues. You may find that hard to believe since the word on the street is all that we talk about is corruption in the Vatican, sexual abuse, and money. Do these topics come up? Yes. Do they dominate? No."
And those excavation marks are his. As the head of the survivors network for those abuse by priest, David, what do you make of those comments?
DAVID CLOHESSY, SURVIVOR'S NETWORK FOR THOSE ABUSED BY PRIEST: Well, we are grateful any time anyone discusses child sex crimes. They happen in secret and secrecy is crucial to keeping the crimes going, so discussion is good. But these are men who have talked about that issue for many, many years. Obviously, action is what is needed. And we would hope, frankly, that they would that, the pedophilia crisis would be a little higher on the priority list in the days ahead.
COOPER: Your group, David, released a list of papal candidates who you say are the most concerned about becoming the next Pope. How did you choose -- and we're showing their pictures, how did you choose these men on the list?
CLOHESSY: Well, it's a combination, Anderson, of hurtful things that they have done and hurtful things they have said. This crisis exists all over the world, but it's really only bubbled up to the surface in the western nation. So in the developing countries, there are papal candidates about whom we know very, very little. But we have certainly seen bishops who have fought against legal reforms that protect children. We have seen bishops who have used hard-ball tactics in court. We have seen bishops who continue to transfer predators and endanger kids. And those were the men we targeted on our list.
COOPER: John, once voting gets under way, I mean, the media is shut out. The tweeting by the cardinals ceases, right? ALLEN: Yes, absolutely. There are actually electronic jamming devices as both inside the Sistine chapel and the hotel where the cardinals will be staying, precisely to insure that cardinals who might try to sneak a blackberry or an iPad into that environment aren't able to post tweets or update their Facebook status.
COOPER: John Allen, appreciate you being with us. David Clohessy, as well. Thank you, guys.
Coming up, the Jodi Arias trial. If you missed any of the testimony this week, we are going to catch you up. Jurors asked her more than 200 questions, including this on the night she killed her boyfriend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is it you have no memory of stabbing Travis?
ARIAS: I can't really explain why my mind did what it did. Maybe because it's too horrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, she says he was physically abusive.
Just ahead though, you are going to hear from two of Travis Alexander's friends who say that could not be further from the truth.
COOPER: On crime and punishment tonight, Jodi Arias returns to the witness stand next week for her 18th day of testimony in her murder trial. She's accused of killing her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. The Arizona courtroom was dark today, and the defense was probably ready for a break. It was quite a week for them. Again, with the Arias' lawyers asking the questions trying to undo any damage from four days of cross-examination. For the first, we also have a sense of how her testimony is playing to the jury.
Randi Kaye Reports.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Jodi Arias, this week was all about proving she never planned to kill Travis Alexander.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you go to Mr. Alexander's home on June 4th with the intent on killing him?
ARIAS: No, I didn't.
KAYE: The jury is well aware Arias has changed her story three times. Two years after the killing, she finally said she did kill Travis Alexander, but in self defense. She claimed his anger and the physical abuse worsened after she caught Alexander masturbating to a photo of a young boy. But if it was so startling, why hadn't she written about it in her journal?
ARIAS: It was a highly negative event and a negative experience for me and it is not something that I wished to remember.
KAYE: Another week, another sex tape. This time, the defense played mainly Alexander's voice, an effort to paint him as the more experienced sexually.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot say I don't work that. We've had two and three-hour sessions many times.
KAYE: The defense did all it could to clean up Arias' image. Even trying to explain away the text message arias sent to Alexander suggesting she dress up like a dirty little school girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea of the school girl in the outfit, was that something that -- that you were interested in or something that you were doing to please him?
ARIAS: It would be more for his pleasure because just being with him was enough for me, but he enjoyed that kind of stuff.
KAYE: By midweek, it was the jury asking the questions. More than 200 in all delivered by the judge. They started with this zinger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you put the camera in the washer?
ARIAS: I don't have memory of that. I don't know why I would do that.
KAYE: The cram raw contained pictures of Alexander in the shower. This one taken just two minutes before his death. Photo time stamps put arias at Alexander's house at the time of the killing.
And what about Arias' failing memory the day Alexander died? She has testified she shot Alexander first and doesn't remember anything after that. Here in court, her defense lawyer tried to raise even the slightest doubt that it was Arias who stabbed Alexander nearly 30 times and sliced his throat so deep his head was nearly cut off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any memories of slashing Mr. Alexander's throat?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you were asked on cross-examination if you did that, do you recall telling us that you did?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was that a recollection or a logical assumption on your part?
ARIAS: It was definitely not a recollection.
KAYE: The jury also wanted to know this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you place Travis' body back in the shower?
ARIAS: I could only speculate because I don't remember.
KAYE: And this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is it that you have no memory of stabbing Travis?
ARIAS: I can't really explain why my mind did what it did. Maybe because it's too horrible.
KAYE: When the jury's questions were done, Arias' defense lawyer stepped in, yet again. to try to repair the damage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So Jodi, that is the ultimate question. Why should anybody believe you now?
ARIAS: I lied a lot in the beginning. I understand that there will always be questions, but all I can do at this point is say what happened to the best of my recollection. And if I'm convicted, than that's because of my own bad choices in the beginning.
KAYE: Bad choices that could cost her, her life.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Phoenix.
COOPER: Bad choices indeed.
Jodi Arias and her lawyers have tried to paint Travis Alexander as physically abusive, a man who attacked her in a rage. That's not the image that Travis Alexander's friends say he was like.
Jacob and Holly Mefford, they were friend within the two couples, socialized after Alexander started dating Arias. Mefford said they saw red flags early on about Jodi Arias, including the time that Alexander described being robbed at gun point, and they say Arias didn't seem interesting the story at all. You will see that tape in the moment. I spoke with the Meffords earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Jacob, say when you first met Jodi, your internal alarms went off. What do you mean by that?
JACOB MEFFORD, FRIEND OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: She just had a very spooky kind of like a seductive style energy when she walked into the room. And you know, when you looked her in the eye, she had an empty like there was no soul behind those eyes.
COOPER: And Jacob, the woman you see on the stand, is that the way you remember her back then? JACOB MEFFORD: If you mean the lying, manipulating Jodi, absolutely. The one that she's trying to portray to the rest of the world like she's some meek, you know, honest person that just wants the best for people, you know, this battered woman that she's trying to portray, absolutely not. That's, you know, the person she's trying to portray is not who I see on the stand. The lying, manipulating Jodi that she's always been is definitely who where see on the stand.
COOPER: Holly, do you agree with that. Even the way she looks, the meekness that she's sort of trying to project, is that at odds with the way you remember her?
HOLLY MEFFORD, FRIEND OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: She was never meek or quiet or reserved the way she is. She is more - the real Jodi is the aggressive Jodi. You see talking to the prosecutor. That, the real Jodi.
COOPER: Holly, I want to play the video that your husband shot of Travis telling a story about a near death experience. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tough people that's like pull the trigger or whatever. You one of those people who talks like they're tough, whatever, whatever, just to see how you'd react.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: What do you see? What kind of behavior do you see in her?
HOLLIE MEFFORD: In Jodi, I see that she's very apathetic in that moment. She's annoyed almost like she doesn't want to be there. She doesn't care to hear this story. She's not interested in any way.
And I know for me, if my husband had experienced something like that, and knowing Travis, we were in that moment. We were so into his story. We were so in the moment with him experiencing it, it was very poignant for all of us.
And she just -- she just didn't even care. It was almost like she was frustrated that she even had to waste her time listening to it.
COOPER: Jacob, did you ever see this side of Travis that Arias is describing on the stand? You know, she describes him as a man who was loving and fun at times, but angry and abusive at other times. Did you ever see any of that?
JACOB MEFFORD, FRIEND OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: Absolutely not. Travis was one of the softest, sweetest people I've ever met. He got -- not that there's anything wrong with this, but manicures weekly, had a pug named Napoleon.
He could hardly shoot a gun when we went out on four-wheeling trips and things like that. He was anything but that macho, aggressive, you know, woman beating deviant that she's trying to describe him. He was completely polar opposite of that.
COOPER: One of the things I find so creepy about what she did, I mean, beyond the killing itself is photographing him 2 minutes before she killed him. I assume you have seen them, the photos where he's looking directly into the camera lens, directly at her.
And these photos were taken literally 2 minutes before she killed him. I just find that so bizarre. When you see those photos, particularly that face shot of him, I mean, what do you see?
JACOB MEFFORD: I see somebody that is -- when I look at those, he's completely unsuspecting. That's what scared me for Travis, was he had absolutely no idea what was coming. And it was a sucker punch. It was a complete cheap shot by her.
She caught him when he was not ready. And that tells me that there's no way that it could have been self defense because two minutes before, he's, you know, supposedly attacking her, why is he that relaxed in a shower?
That's what I see when I look at it, somebody who is completely unsuspecting that his life is about to be taken from him.
COOPER: I appreciate you being on. I know it's not easy and I appreciate you talking about your friend. Thank you.
JACOB MEFFORD: Thank you.
COOPER: Our legal panel joins me now, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos, co-author of "Mistrial, An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works and Sometimes Doesn't."
Mark, you heard the Meffords there talking about the Jodi Arias they remember and also the Travis Alexander that they knew. And they say she's nothing like the sort of quiet, meek person now on the stand. What do you make of that? Is that just part of the make under that Jeff was talking about before?
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That's precisely what it is. You don't have to get someone who knew her to look at the before and after pictures and understand what is going on. There's a crafted effort to put forward somebody who does not look like the vixen or manipulative vixen that she looks like beforehand. This is now the frumpy librarian.
COOPER: Jeff, I mean, Jodi Arias has made some pretty serious claims against Travis Alexander saying that he was a pedophile, he was abusive and all this stuff. The prosecution hasn't put anybody like the Meffords on to be kind of character witnesses for them. Is that something --
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, they could in theory, but that seems likely to be a side show that would actually probably dignify Arias' claims with more credence than they deserve. There is no evidence he was a pedophile. There is no evidence he was abusive.
Her own diary doesn't record anything untoward that he did to her. So I mean, it just seems like such a transparent attempt to justify her behavior after the fact. You know, and dragging Travis' name through the mud after he has no chance to defend himself. That's her only -- her really only hope in this case, but it's -- I can't believe the jury is going to buy it.
COOPER: At this point, how long can you see her being on the stand for?
TOOBIN: This is longer on the witness stand than any witness in any trial I have ever been involved with covering. She's now well --
GERAGOS: I couldn't agree more. For 30 years I have been practicing, I have never seen anything like it.
TOOBIN: The judge, you watch the trial, the judge is basically not participating. In a death penalty case you can sort of understand that because in a death penalty case, the judge wants to give the defendant every opportunity to tell her own story.
But at this point, I mean, I would think the judge would want to step in and impose some sort of order and, you know, attention to the rules of evidence so that she could, you know, so this trial ends some day.
GERAGOS: I don't know, I mean, any state where you get into this 250 questions, I talked to a lot of lawyers, trial lawyers I know today, and they were just as aghast as I have been. The idea that somehow you're trying the case and jurors are getting interactive and it's going on, not just 12 questions, but hundreds and hundreds of questions, I mean, I think it just turns the system upside down. It's not supposed to be like this.
This isn't what an adversarial system is. I know that we hear from people saying it's a search for the truth, this and that. That's true, within an adversarial system. They're not supposed to have all these deputized DA sitting in the box, asking questions, they're supposed to be the impartial fact finders.
TOOBIN: As you know Mark and I disagree about this. I think this Arizona system is great. I do not think jurors should be bumps on a log. Given a life or death decision, they should have the opportunity to ask questions, circumscribed by the rules of evidence, which the judge does by deciding which questions to ask --
GERAGOS: Would you say 150 of those questions were circumscribed by the rules of evidence?
TOOBIN: I mean, look, I think enough is enough, but I think it's a tremendous tribute to the jury that they're so focused and asking so many questions. That indicates such knowledge of the case. COOPER: If you're her lawyer, do you want her off the stand? Because the longer she is on the stand, they can ask her questions, right? Do you want to try to get her off?
GERAGOS: You want her off, but at this point, that's few and far between to be able to kind of pull that back.
TOOBIN: Well, her lawyer obviously has a different strategy. I mean, her lawyer has just kept her up there, asking her all these Oprah style questions about how did you feel, what was your relationship? Did you live him, did you love him unconditionally? Basically trying to give this big picture of her life to the jury, maybe it will work on the death penalty, maybe it will not.
GERAGOS: I think that's exactly what he is doing. I think you're right. He's decided, OK, you want to make this a daytime TV show, Jerry Springer Esq, I'm going to welcome it, I'm going to roll around in it.
TOOBIN: It's a risk. I mean, we'll see. I just think his strategy --
COOPER: You people with PhDs, you're so judgmental.
GERAGOS: He's so judgmental with his PhD and by the way, in order to be a prosecutor, don't you need a JD?
COOPER: Jeff Toobin and Mark Geragos, gentlemen, thank you very much.
Still ahead, our investigation into accusations of really ungodly discipline at a religious boarding school, former students say they were abused, even choked by staff members. The owner of the school said the accusations were overblown. See what happen when the state tried to take action. We're keeping them honest ahead.
Also, surreal scene on the North Korean TV, Kim Jong-Un's troops running toward him when he visited the front line. We'll show you what happened.
COOPER: Keeping them honest tonight, a religious boarding school in Montana that attracted national attention for the kind of discipline it allegedly practices, what some call out right child abuse.
Our 360's Gary Tuchman reported extensively on those allegations. Now the subsequent outcry prompted Montana State legislature to act, taking up legislation late last month to try to regulate such schools. As Gary is going to report tonight something else stopped that action cold.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a religious boarding school for troubled children in the mountains of Western Montana, the Pinehaven Christian Children's Ranch where the scenery is beautiful, but where some accusations are so very ugly. A husband and wife who worked there until 2010 as house parents said this about their time there.
DENISE BINGHAM, FORMER PINEHAVEN HOUSEPARENT: Children are hurt at Pinehaven. When kids won't obey, physical pain is used to get them to comply, whether it's pressure points. Sometimes they were drug down the hill. Sometimes they were choked.
TUCHMAN: Former student Melissa Stasiuk remembers one particular houseparent.
MELISSA STASIUK, FORMER PINEHAVEN STUDENT: He picked me up by the -- under my neck, just like at my trachea, and he's about 6'2" and I'm about 5 foot nothing. I'm maybe 4'10", and he picked me up by my throat and slammed me down on the kitchen table.
TUCHMAN: The owner of the ranch is Bob Larson.
(on camera): Why do you think so many people are saying such bad things?
BOB LARSON, PINEHAVEN OWNER: Ultimately, we only have one enemy who wants to defeat the good in the world and that's Satan.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): So did the devil make this man do it. Ned Kent is the houseparent Melissa Stasiuk was referring to.
(on camera): Some of the kids who are now adults tell us you used to choke them?
NED KENT, PINEHAVEN EMPLOYEE: That's totally false.
TUCHMAN: What is it you did to them?
KENT: Use pressure points to restrain them.
TUCHMAN: What does that mean?
KENT: You have places on your body where nerve endings are real close --
TUCHMAN: Show me, where on my body?
KENT: Right there.
TUCHMAN: Show me.
KENT: Right there.
TUCHMAN: So you do it two hands or one hand?
KENT: Usually just one.
TUCHMAN: Could that not be interpreted as choking of an adult puts pressure points on a child?
KENT: I suppose it could be.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): We interviewed seven former students and employees at Pinehaven who said choking and other types of assaults were part of life on the ranch. The accusations of the few that led many in Montana to demand its stop, to once and for all try to put an end to the abuse.
What could possibly be controversial about that? Bob Larson testified before legislators who were considering a bill to regulate religious boarding schools. He said the accusations are overblown.
LARSON: I don't think anybody here believes everything you read in the newspaper because they have their own agenda.
TUCHMAN: Schools like Pinehaven don't have to be regulated by the state like all other schools, no matter that Pinehaven is unaccredited , unlicensed, and teachers don't even have Montana teaching certificates, but an influential conservative leader in Montana says the bill would be a violation of church and state.
JEFF LASZLOFFY, MONTANA FAMILY FOUNDATION: It would absolutely be against the constitution for the government to regulate it a church.
TUCHMAN: However, the sponsor of the bill said the issue is protecting the children.
ELLIE HILL (D), MONTANA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: I'm very proud of my religious education. This is not about religion.
TUCHMAN: Representative Ellie Hill points out that every other religious boarding school in the state except Pinehaven has voluntarily agreed to be regulated, but Bob Larson said there is no more choking or so-called pressure pointing and spent at least 20 minutes in the state capital talking and doing the type of PowerPoint one would do for perspective students and their families.
LARSON: We invite you to come to Western Montana and visit Pinehaven.
TUCHMAN: When Larson finished suddenly the pace picked up. Judiciary Committee Chairman Krayton Kerns was in an interrupting mood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Try to be brief, please. We're running out of time. Step up, state your name, one minute or one sentence either way. We're on to the next question. We have to learn to ask and answer the questions briefly. We're running out of time.
TUCHMAN: Finally, one legislator in support of regulating Pinehaven couldn't take it any longer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am extremely upset about what is happening right now. I don't think there's anything more important than the safety of our children, and we listened to a 20-minute presentation that had very little to do with the topic of this bill.
TUCHMAN: The questioning of Larson were short, a vote was taken, 12-8 against regulation. The bill was dead. Krayton Kerns, the chairman of the committee, was one of the 12 who voted not to regulate Pinehaven.
(on camera): Don't you think if there was someone in the state looking over the place, the children would be safer?
KRAYTON KERNS (R), MONTANA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: I don't think it would change it.
TUCHMAN: Why do it for the other schools?
KERNS: Regulation that Tuxly told us, brave new world regulation is a key to stabilization. I don't buy it.
TUCHMAN: Why do it for the other schools, for industries.
KERNS: Good point. Let's repeal all of that.
TUCHMAN: Are you serious?
KERNS: Yes, why do we need that so much regulation?
TUCHMAN: Even when it comes to the safety of children?
(voice-over): Jenny Eck voted for regulation. She was the one who was emotional during the hearing.
JENNY ECK (D), MONTANA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: It was shocking that we are hearing about children being abused and we didn't do anything about, not even get all of the information on the table. I definitely lost sleep over it. It's really troubling.
COOPER: Gary Tuchman joins us now. Can this bill be reintroduced during the legislative session?
TUCHMAN: This bill is dead for this session, Anderson, and unlike most states, Montana's legislature doesn't meet every year, only in odd number years so the bill can't be reintroduced until the year 2015.
COOPER: If they had approved the bill, what were the chances in the House and Senate?
TUCHMAN: It was by party lines, eight in favor were Democrats, 12 against were Republicans. Republicans do dominate the House and the Senate, the full House and the Senate, but proponents of the bill do believe it would have passed both those chambers and the governor is a Democrat, and the governor made it very clear that he, too, supported the bill, which means he would have signed the bill.
COOPER: It's interesting that it's the only religious school that doesn't accept some form of regulation. Fascinating report, Gary. Appreciate that. Thanks very much.
Up next, searching for answers in the lion attack that left an intern at a animal sanctuary dead, the latest on the investigation.
And Justin Bieber hospitalized. We'll tell you why when we continue.
COOPER: Let's get caught up on some of the other stories we're following. Zain Asher joins with the "360 Bulletin" -- Zain.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, one market watcher calls it the most optimistic jobs report of the entire recovery. Word today the economy is once again adding enough jobs, 236,000 last month to start bringing down the unemployment rate again down to 7.7 percent. That's lower than what it was when President Obama took office.
A state funeral was held today for Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, who died Tuesday. Thirty two heads of state paid their respects. Thousands of mourners waited for hours to view his body. His body will be put on permanent display in a glass casket at a military museum.
A wild scene from North Korean TV, Kim Jong-Un visits troops near the South Korean border causing a frenzy. This comes just hours after North Korea stepped up its nuclear threats against the U.S.
The Cat Haven where a lion attacked and killed an intern on Wednesday has reopened. Meanwhile, California Fish and Wildlife authorities have taken swabs of the teeth and claws from the lion's remains. Yesterday, the coroner said the lion used its paws to pick at a gate and get inside an enclosure before killing the intern.
And it's been a rough time for Justin Bieber in London. He shared this photo on Instagram of him in the hospital last night. Bieber went there after shortness of breath during a concert, and then this morning, he got into an altercation with a photographer. Not exactly a good week for him -- Anderson.
COOPER: No, it was not. Thanks very much, Zain.
Coming up, two pet tortoises get romantic with each other and made it straight on to the "Ridiculist."
COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." Tonight, we have a tragic tale from England where a house fire started because of the burning passion of two pet tortoises being intimate with each other. The tortoises' names are Henry and Alice. We don't have a picture of them, but these random tortoises look like they might be in the throws themselves.
Apparently Henry knocked over his own heating lamp, which then set fire to some wood chips and the room subsequently burst into flames, also burning down the garage. The owners say Henry had just come out of hibernation. I didn't know tortoises were so into morning sex, but don't say the "Ridiculist" never taught you anything.
Thankfully the tortoises' owner has escaped the fire safely. Sadly like a tiny reptilian Romeo and Juliet, Henry and Alice perished in the flames. Believe it or not, this isn't the only story of tortoise intimacy that has come across our desk.
Just last month, a London zoo tried to put a pair of tortoises in the mood to make sweet, sweet love to each other by bringing in what else? A French pianist.
Chariots of Fire theme, really? That was supposed to get them in the mood to knock shells. First off, would you get busy with a French pianist staring at you and cameras in the room, but Chariots of Fire? How about Al Green, Fog Hat's Slow Ride, but in this choice, this is the song for this occasion.
That was "Happy Together" by The Turtles. Sadly, the London zoo tortoises were more interested in food than each other, but maybe the zoo dodged a bullet there because if we learned anything and really everything for the dearly Henry and Alice, when tortoises go at it, their love can literally burn down the house.
That's it for us. We'll see you again one hour from now. A special edition of 360 at 10 p.m. Eastern focusing on the Jodi Arias trial. "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" starts now.