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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Steubenville Rape Victim's Mother Speaks Out; Remaking the Republican Party
Aired March 18, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.
And authorities had three-and-a-half years to investigate this man's killing. The best we can tell, they didn't even try. Now people where he lived in Mississippi and died want to know, why didn't his life count? One of whom is the victim's mother, who joins us tonight.
And yet another stunning claim in the Jodi Arias trial about why she's so fuzzy on the details. Can stabbing, shooting and slashing somebody just slip your mind? We will talk to an expert.
We begin, though, with breaking news you will see only here, a mother speaking out tonight about the rape of her 16-year-old daughter and the verdict against the two young men who were just convicted of it. In Steubenville, Ohio, a town where high school football is king, these two rapists who assaulted this woman's 16-year-old daughter, well, they were local royalty, local heroes on the playing field, elsewhere seemingly untouchable, so much so that despite their rape convictions yesterday, they still enjoy the loyalty of many in Steubenville, including two teenaged girls who were arrested today, accused of making online threats against the rape victim, including a death threat.
You just saw some video of what happened in court yesterday. Now, if you watch this program regularly, you know we always try to focus on the victims of crime. Obviously, because of the age of the victim and the nature of the crime against her, we're not using her name or showing you photographs of her.
We are showing you what happened in court because that is part of the news, but we're leading off the broadcast with the victim's mother because we believe the focus, as always, should be on the victim of this terrible crime. Our only look at this young woman -- and we're blurring the image -- are in the photos that were posted and tweeted by other teens.
You will remember we first learned about this crime when these photos of the victim were posted and tweeted with various hashtags, including hashtag rape. And there may be charges yet to come against some of the witnesses who took the photos and posted the tweets, and other teenagers and adults even who either enabled this crime, neglected to report it, or maybe even tried to cover it up.
First, though, the breaking news, the words of the 16-year-old girl's mother.
Today, CNN's Poppy Harlow met with her.
She joins us now with the exclusive.
Poppy, what did this mom have to say?
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Anderson. Well, I just came back from meeting with the victim's mother and she wanted to release an audio statement to us, so I want to play that first for our viewers in full.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My family and I are hopeful that we can put this horrible ordeal behind us. We need and deserve to focus on our daughter's future. We hope that, from this, something good can arise. I feel I have an opportunity to bring an awareness to others, possibly change the mentality of a youth or help a parent to have more of an awareness to where their children are and what they are doing.
The adults need to take responsibility and guide these children. I ask every person listening, what if this was your daughter, your sister or your friend?
We need to stress the importance of helping those in need and to stand up for what is right. We all have that option to choose. This is the start of a new beginning for my daughter. I ask that you all continue to pray for her and all victims and please respect our privacy as we help our family to heal. Thank you.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HARLOW: Pretty incredible, Anderson, that broader message of hope coming from a mother of a victim who has gone through absolute hell. She said two things that really stood out to me. She said help those in need stand up for what is right.
When I was here months ago first reporting on this, I sat down with the police chief here in Steubenville, and he told me, what bothered me most about all of this, of course, the rape and the fact that there were witnesses and very, very few of them would even come forward and tell us what they saw, Anderson.
COOPER: And it seems like that investigation now is going to continue into who witnessed it, who stood by, who maybe even tried to cover it up.
This is incredible, though, Poppy, because two Steubenville teenaged girls were arrested today for making threats toward this 16- year-old, toward the survivor of this rape. You spoke to the sheriff about those arrests. What did he tell you?
HARLOW: I did, and can you believe that some of those threats started coming yesterday just about an hour after the verdict was handed down? The sheriff told me that he got calls from as far away as Texas from people who are seeing this play out on Twitter. So I just got done with meeting him and he told me why he arrested these two girls. Before I play that, I want to warn our viewers that some of these tweets that he reads involve explicit language.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED ABDALLA, JEFFERSON COUNTY, OHIO, SHERIFF: One says: "You ripped my family apart, you made my cousin cry, so when I see you, bitch, it's going to be a homicide."
I take this seriously.
HARLOW: Of course. And the next?
ABDALLA: And the next is: "I will celebrate by beating the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of Jane Doe."
HARLOW: You said one of these girls has admitted?
ABDALLA: Yes. They have. And she was crying and, again, we're dealing with kids, again. But the attorney general had just left the building. The judge was still in the building when I received messages there are death threats already against the victim.
They both appeared before Judge Kerr, our juvenile court judge, tomorrow morning. I hope this sends a warning and I can assure you we have been monitoring Twitter for 24 hours and continue. If there's anybody out there crosses the line and makes a death threat, they are going to have to face the consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Now, the family knows about these threats. They also know that the two girls are in custody right now. As you heard, they are going to be in court tomorrow. The sheriff told me they are going to face charges.
The family has security. I'm assured that they have that 24/7, but, Anderson, I think the bottom line here, even after a guilty verdict on all counts comes down, this girl, this victim continues to be victimized on social media. And that has played out through this entire saga.
COOPER: It's unbelievable. Poppy, I appreciate the reporting.
That, of course, only the latest in a case that opened a lot of eyes about a lot of things, not just sexual violence against women, but also bullying, the power of social media to amplify acts of cruelty.
Let's talk more on what happened and what happened in court, also give you the back story from CNN's Gary Tuchman. Again, if there are kids in the room, a warning, some of the details in the report are explicit. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JUDGE THOMAS LIPPS, OHIO JUVENILE COURT: It is the court's decision that both of the defendants are hereby adjudicated delinquent beyond a reasonable doubt on all three counts as charged.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Adjudicated delinquent, for minors, that's the legal term for guilty.
The prosecutor then made her argument for punishment, as both defendants, Trent Mays and Malik Richmond, openly sobbed in court. They both faced a maximum sentence of being behind bars until their 21st birthdays.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the things the states sees in this case is absolutely no remorse for what happened to the victim. And the absolute disregard for another human being cannot go without punishment.
LIPPS: Is there anything that Trent Mays would like to say?
TRENT MAYS, DEFENDANT: I would truly like to apologize to (AUDIO GAP), my family and the community. No pictures should have been sent around, let alone even taken. That's all, sir. Thank you.
TUCHMAN: Malik Richmond tearfully spoke directly to the victim's mother.
MALIK RICHMOND, DEFENDANT: I would like to apologize to you. I had no intention to do anything like that. And I'm sorry to put you guys through this. I'd just like...
TUCHMAN: The man holding Richmond is the chief probation officer for the court.
RICHMOND: I just want you to realize that I'm sorry. I know I ruined her life, for life
TUCHMAN: The victim's life was splashed all over the Internet in this photo. The picture circulated widely on social media before the trial, sparking public outrage. It shows a seemingly unconscious teenaged girl carried by two young men. That's Malik Richmond on the left, Trent Mays on the right.
Police say the rape occurred during all-night partying on August 11, 2012. Three days later, the accuser's mother went to police with a flash drive including tweets and other possible evidence. Social media was abuzz with many of those same tweets and videos by fellow teens, referring to that night in a vulgar manner. This tweet read, "Song of the night is definitely Rape Me by Nirvana."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if that was your daughter?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it isn't. If that was my daughter, I wouldn't care. I would just let her be dead. TUCHMAN: In addition to both teenagers being found guilty of rape, Trent Mays was found guilty of an additional charge for a photo he took of the naked victim. The families of both defendants were given a chance to speak before the judge ruled on their son's sentencing.
BRIAN MAYS, FATHER OF DEFENDANT: We're very sorry for putting (INAUDIBLE) through this. We're very sorry for putting everybody through this, the (INAUDIBLE) family, community, school, everybody else.
TUCHMAN: Malik Richmond's father made a case for leniency.
NATHANIEL RICHMOND, FATHER OF DEFENDANT; I'm sorry for what you all had to go through. And I hope somewhere in your hearts that you can forgive Trent and Malik for the pain that they have caused your daughter. And, Your Honor, I beg you in the name of God for leniency for Malik.
TUCHMAN: Malik Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year in a juvenile correction facility, Trent Mays, a minimum of two years, because of the additional charge against him. Outside the court, the victim's mother spoke off-camera.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach or a parent. It is a God-given gift instilled in all of us.
You displayed not only a lack of this compassion, but a lack of any moral code. Your decisions that night affected countless lives including those most dear to you. You were your own accuser through the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on. This does not define who my daughter is. She will persevere, grow and move on.
TUCHMAN: And now the city of Steubenville, Ohio hopes it, too, can move on.
Gary Tuchman, CNN.
COOPER: Let's dig deeper now with attorney and children's advocate Areva Martin, also senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Jeffrey, just legally, it's important to point out -- a lot of people in Steubenville are focusing on their tears in the courtroom, but it's important to point out the victim herself didn't get a chance to speak because of her age. But, also, had they pled guilty, they could have gotten probably a much lesser sentence. They all along were saying they weren't guilty, and now all of a sudden they're very apologetic.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: And considering the awfulness of their crime, the fact that they will serve a maximum of three or four years is really pretty modest. If they were adults, they could have gotten 20 years for this crime. It's also important to point out, this was not a close case on the evidence. There were admissions through the social media. There were eyewitnesses to this rape and there was, of course, the evidence that the victim was in fact unconscious. So no one was surprised by the verdict.
COOPER: The fact that there was a hashtag rape is just extraordinary to me.
TOOBIN: Well, you know, the next chapter, if there is another chapter, will deal with the people around the perpetrators.
We now know who committed the rape. The question is, can the legal system deal with anyone else? Did anyone else commit crimes that the legal system can address or are we now just in the realm of like what are people like in America now?
COOPER: Areva, what does this case say to you? It speaks on so many different levels to so many different things.
AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY: It's so troubling to me, Anderson, as a parent, as a lawyer, as a children's rights advocate, the desensitized nature of what has happened here.
And just like Jeffrey said, there's a certain brazen attitude about these defendants in terms of this crime. They then come in and say, you know, we did this and how can we work it out. They were insistent that they did not rape this young lady. And, in fact, when you look at some of the witness testimony, the victim was put on trial, which is often what happens in rape cases.
And I hope that the adults -- you know, I have got to ask, where were the parents who own the home where this party took place with all of this drinking? Where were the coaches, where were the teachers, the educators and the parents of these young people to guide and direct them?
So I hope that the attorney general broadens his net and that there is a full-scale investigation of so many more people who clearly had so much to do with this. There is a law in Ohio that can, you know, cause someone to be charged for failing to report a felony. And, clearly, in this case, a rape is a felony. So I think we're going to see more coming out of this attorney general's investigation.
COOPER: And, Areva, the fact that you have now two other teenaged girls who have been arrested for making threats against this 16-year-old rape survivor is -- again, it's stunning.
MARTIN: It's just -- you know, it just leaves me speechless, Anderson. Again, I ask, where are the parents? If your kids are following this court case and if you're watching this, has someone sat down to say in social media, there are consequences for your actions? Taking these pictures, disseminating them caused an additional charge for one of the defendants. Making death threats, talking about a homicide on Twitter is just plain stupid, in addition to being criminal conduct, which we heard the sheriff in this town say he's going to prosecute and take very seriously. So I hope that this is a wake-up call for the parents, the educators and, you know, people across this country to realize that these are serious crimes and rape is not something to be taken lightly.
I just can't even imagine what this young lady is going through, revictimized by the social media campaign that took place afterwards. All of these students, this is a teachable moment for all of them.
COOPER: And, again, they were all along saying this was consensual. And that was their line during this entire trial. For them to be crying now, being apologetic, you know, that's not what they were saying before.
TOOBIN: You know, I don't know what the answer is. I don't know how you stop behavior like this.
But, you know, these kids, they're kids, but they're not 10 years old. They're 17, 18 -- 16, 17, 18 years old. You know, I don't know if parents -- does a parent need to say, don't rape? Does a parent need to say don't threaten a rape victim with killing her?
It's so crazy and awful that the damage has been done long ago if kids are inclined to do that, and, you know, piece of advice from parents, I don't know what good that would do.
MARTIN: I do, Jeffrey, I do think parents have an obligation to talk about sex. They do have an obligation to talk about boundaries. They have an obligation to talk about what is consensual sex.
And, no, I would hope that a 16-year-old doesn't need, you know, a lesson on what is rape, but they do need to know that a girl that is intoxicated the way this young woman was is not capable of consenting to sex. And that seems to be -- you know, they were really confused about that concept and said she consented. You cannot consent to a sexual act or any act when you are as intoxicated as this young woman was.
TOOBIN: And let's not forget the horrible influence of alcohol on all of this, the fact that so many of these kids, that the perpetrators were drunk, that is just, I mean...
COOPER: On top of the horror of the rape, to be videotaping it or taking pictures and tweeting them out or sending them out, just a lack of thought, again, it's one of those stunning cases. And that's why we're trying to focus on this victim tonight and we should call really a survivor of this rape, because, as the mother said, this is not going to define her daughter. I think that's an important point for that family, that this doesn't define who her daughter is and that she's going to move forward with her life.
And we hope that there are certainly resources available for her.
Areva, I appreciate you being with us, Jeff Toobin as well.
COOPER: Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will be tweeting tonight.
Just ahead, the battle over remaking the Republican Party. The GOP give themselves a report card for some failing marks, but not everyone's on board for a makeover. Sarah Palin fired up the crowd at the big CPAC meeting this weekend by taking aim at the establishment -- "Raw Politics" on that ahead.
Also, is it really possible that accused murderer Jodi Arias has no memory of stabbing her ex-boyfriend more than a dozen times? That's her story, as you know. How does it stack up? We will talk to the experts ahead -- the latest from the courtroom.
COOPER: "Raw Politics" -- the big CPAC meeting in Washington over the weekend exposed a glaring rift in the Republican Party, a lineup of conservative headliners, including Sarah Palin, who took aim at the establishment, including Karl Rove.
Palin also jabbed New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg over his failed ban on supersized sugary sodas, calling it a victory for proponents of small government. While she and other conservatives are resisting changes in their party, a study commissioned by the Republican National Committee and released today is prescribing a major makeover, stat, for the GOP.
The report says the party needs to offer -- quote -- "a more welcoming conservatism." It also says -- quote -- "We have lost the ability to be persuasive with or welcoming to those who don't agree with us on every issue."
Here's how it lays out the stakes -- quote -- "Unless changes are made, it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win another presidential election in the near future."
A new CNN/ORC poll shows why the RNC is worried. Take a look. Just 38 percent view the GOP in a favorable light; 54 percent of voters surveyed have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party. Reince Priebus, the head of the RNC, said the party will invest $10 million to try to reshape its message and broaden its appeal.
Here's what he told Wolf Blitzer today on "THE SITUATION ROOM."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Our moms used to say it's not what you say, it's how you say it. And I think it's a lot of that. We need to go back to Reagan's words when he used to say my 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy.
We need to be in the community and we need to accept, I think, different voices within our party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining me, CNN political contributors Margaret Hoover and Charles Blow, and Gayle Trotter, senior fellow at Independent Women's Forum.
Margaret, so the RNC chairman is saying the Republican Party's policies are sound, that it's the message that has to change. Is that the case?
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I think he's largely right there, although you do notice in his messaging, Anderson, the other thing when he said 80/20, what he's saying there is there has got to be room for people that have different views on different issues, which means we're getting rid of this necessity to have absolute orthodoxy on every issue, this RINO-hunting instinct, to get people that don't believe the same things we believe on say gay marriage or immigration reform -- he's preaching tolerance within the context of the movement and the party, which is new.
That's fantastic. I'm very heartened by this report. I think there's a lot of really important information there and, frankly, they're right. Look, 22 percent of the millennial generation self- define as Republican. The majority of them are turned off by it. This report positively identified that the kids are turned off by things like gateway issues, such as same-sex marriage, because they think the party's intolerant.
COOPER: Gayle, what do you make of that? Over the weekend, Sarah Palin got into it with Karl Rove, calling Republicans to -- quote -- "furlough" the consultants.
I just want to play that for our viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: If they feel that strongly about who gets to run in this party, then they should buck up or stay in the truck. Buck up and run. The architect can head on back to -- they can head on back to the great Lone Star State.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I appreciate her encouragement that I ought to go home to Texas and run for office. I would be enthused if I ran for office to have her support.
I would say this, though. I don't think I'm a particularly good candidate, sort of a balding fat guy. And second of all, I would say if I did run for office and win, I would serve out my term. I wouldn't leave office midterm. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: What about that? Should Sarah Palin be really pointing fingers and telling people to run when she basically quit?
GAYLE TROTTER, INDEPENDENT WOMEN'S FORUM: Anderson, this is a distraction. The future of the Republican Party is bright and exciting. This is a marathon and not a sprint.
And Republicans cannot go against their core principles. It's really a matter of driving home these core principles and going after Obama and the left on these issues that in these demographics that we're losing in, to say that Republicans favor things like school choice. Look where Obama is in D.C. If you look at school choice there, he spent three years arguing against funding the D.C. scholarship program.
COOPER: Where do you see the brightness?
TROTTER: ... the lowest rate in the entire country. And we can't give up on those issues.
COOPER: But where do you see the brightness? You say things looks bright. The RNC doesn't seem to think so.
TROTTER: No, the Republican Party, all this inner discussion between different wings, this is normal.
If you read Michael Duffy's book "The Presidents Club," this is nothing new. And this is something that has gone on since Nixon and Reagan and it happened in the liberal party, too, the Democratic Party as well. The reason it's a bright time for the Republicans is because in the last three weeks, we have had a lot of victories. Look at Rand Paul drawing attention to the Fifth Amendment constitutional violations of this administration.
Look at the sequestration. It was supposed to be a big disaster and it hasn't been.
COOPER: All right, you're saying things look bright.
TROTTER: Look at the continuing resolution on Obamacare. That is wildly unapproved by the American public.
COOPER: Charles, do things look bright?
CHARLES BLOW, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I fully submit I must live in a different world because I don't see where it looks bright for the Republican Party at this point.
I mean, this entire report to me is a joke. Even though it sounds harsh on the face of it, it's really all about messaging and mechanics. It's very little about actual policies.
COOPER: And you're saying that's a false...
BLOW: That is a real problem for the Republican Party, number one.
And, number two, the Republican Party has become something of like a wildlife game preserve for intolerance, for anti- intellectualism and for kind of obstruction.
TROTTER: That's ridiculous.
BLOW: Excuse me. I let you talk, didn't interrupt.
BLOW: I will let you talk when I'm finished.
And the problem is not all Republicans are that way. That's not the problem. The problem is that the Republican Party has become a home for people who feel like that.
BLOW: So when you see kind of intolerance -- and you just pick your brand of intolerance -- those people are too often part of the conservative movement of the Republican Party. That is the problem.
COOPER: Gayle, let me let you respond to that.
TROTTER: That is absolutely not true.
You talk about anti-intellectualism. Calling the other side dumb and unkind is not an intellectual argument. Why don't we go to the issues? Let's talk about the attacks on the Bill of Rights.
BLOW: There are some facts.
COOPER: Let her...
(CROSSTALK) TROTTER: Those are the things that Republicans need to be talking about. I'm a basketball player. You don't go ask the coach of the opposing team and the players on the opposing team how to win the basketball game.
Everyone knows that they're not going to give you good advice. It's the same in this case. Republicans do not need to learn or be lectured by liberals about how to succeed.
COOPER: For you, the policies themselves don't need to change at all?
I mean, the core principles don't change. Obviously, the policies change. They have to change in response to the times. But the core principles of the Republican Party are free people and free markets.
TROTTER: And anything that the Republicans are out there advancing should fall into one of those two categories.
COOPER: Margaret, do you side with Gayle on this?
HOOVER: Yes. No, I actually think Gayle's right. You will surprised there.
Of course, I was shaking my head when Charles spoke as well. I adore Charles, but Charles is not sort of looking out, I think, for the best interests of the Republican Party. I don't think that's his job. That's not what he's paid to do. That's not what he likes to do.
And what Charles I think doesn't get quite right is that there is really actually earth-shattering stuff from conservatives in here. Charles, we never have seen before the Republican Party establishment call for comprehensive immigration reform. I mean, that is a very different policy.
BLOW: What are you talking about? That's not true. That's not true.
HOOVER: You haven't seen -- not in this Republican Party post- George W. Bush.
BLOW: Right. Exactly. Exactly. Say that.
(CROSSTALK) HOOVER: So, what you have seen is, you have seen a huge swing in the party. It's gone from Tea Party Republicans, sort of an insular, more isolationist party, come back around and...
BLOW: Because they can't win.
BLOW: We deserve -- well, don't we deserve credit for evolving, then? That's what's really going on here. I think the document's not a joke. This document is actually a sincere effort for the party to really look at.
COOPER: We unfortunately have got to leave it there.
Gayle, thank you very much, Gayle Trotter, Charles Blow, Margaret Hoover.
We will continue this. As always, you can find more on this story at CNN.com.
Coming up next, is this man's skin color the reason why police have not investigated his killing in the three-and-a-half years since it happened? His mother joins us, along with the brother of another African-American man who was killed in a hit and run in the very same county in rural Mississippi. What is going on there? We are going to investigate that.
And, later, whether or not you buy Jodi Arias' amnesia about the details of killing her boyfriend, is the story even medically possible?
That and more when we continue.
COOPER: Welcome back. "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, we wanted to know how it's possible that a man can be killed, run down by a car, possibly on purpose, possibly because of the color of his skin, and nothing whatsoever be done about it.
His name was Garrick Burdette, and he was killed -- killed, likely run over by a car or truck -- in Panola County, Mississippi. It happened three and a half years ago. Three and a half years ago.
Now, ever since, until our Drew Griffin got involved, authorities have done precisely nothing to investigate his death. Nothing, that is, except leave the public, the victim's mother included, with a mistaken impression that they were on top of it, that they actually were investigating when they weren't. Here's part of Drew Griffin's report.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Did they ever come up and down these streets handing out flyers, knocking on doors, asking people if they've seen anything?
RUBY BURDETTE ELLIS, MOTHER OF HIT-AND-RUN VICTIM: No. Not over this way.
GRIFFIN: Do you know of any activity that way?
ELLIS: No. No one's saying anything.
GRIFFIN: So how do you know that they're investigating?
ELLIS: Well, they had put it on the paper, you know, when they found him dead, and then they had put in there -- and then they wrote it in the newspaper. They said it was still being investigated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A mother putting her hopes on a newspaper article that was more than three years old that just happened to say the police claimed they were investigating.
In fact, they weren't investigating. To this day the sheriff's department has yet to go on the record with a reason why. We'd love to know. We've invited them to be interviewed any time.
In addition, certainly fueling suspicion, there's a racial dimension to this. Garrick Burdette's death is not the only hit-and- run death in that county involving an African-American victim.
Last summer a car with three young white men in it struck and killed Johnny Lee Butts, allegedly steered right at him. The driver was charged with murder but not hate crimes.
Again, we'd love to ask the local sheriff why his African- American constituents think there are two standards of justice at play in his county, depending on the victim's skin color.
Joining us tonight is Ruby Burdette Ellis, whose son was killed three and a half years ago, and Fred Butts, who lost his brother last summer.
Ruby, first of all, I'm so sorry for the loss of your son, Garrick. It's incredible to me that the sheriff's office had never been to your house in the past three years. What made you think over these last three years that they were investigating your son's death?
ELLIS: It had been reported in the newspaper and on the accident report that it was still under investigation.
COOPER: Why do you think it took them so long to start investigating?
ELLIS: I'm really not sure, because I was thinking they were investigating all the time. I was just wondering why they hadn't came out.
COOPER: What do you think it was that made them start asking questions three years since the death of your son?
ELLIS: Well, CNN, they came out, and they tried to get in touch with them and talk to them to see why they hadn't investigated. And after that, they came. They came to me after they had talked to CNN.
COOPER: Fred, your brother was deliberately run over, killed while walking on the side of a road by a white driver. The driver was charged with murder, but the D.A. didn't think there was enough evidence to say it was racially motivated. Do you believe your brother's death was a hate crime?
FRED BUTTS, BROTHER OF HIT-AND-RUN VICTIM: Yes, I actually do. Because if you look at it, you got three young white teenagers driving a car, and they cut off the road and hit him intentionally. You know, and he had on short sleeves, and there was evidence that showed that he was a black man.
COOPER: Do you feel if your brother hadn't been black, that his case would have been handled differently?
BUTTS: Yes, absolutely.
COOPER: What gives you that feeling?
BUTTS: Well, you just think about it. If it had've been three young black guys that ran over an older white man on the side of the road, I feel that the case would have been, all three of those would have been in jail right now.
COOPER: Are you -- are you angry, are you frustrated that the investigation is only starting now?
BUTTS: Well, I'm not actually angry, but I'm kind of more like disappointed that people would actually still do this type of stuff and that they would seem like that the law enforcement's not really interested in it being racial, just kind of like surprised that it's still going on like that.
COOPER: You know, I was surprised, the sheriff told our Drew Griffin not to stir up trouble, which when I heard that phrase, that sounded like a phrase they would have used many, many years ago. Do you -- when you heard about what happened to Ruby's son and the fact there was no investigation until -- until now, what do you make of that?
BUTTS: When I actually heard it, I was kind of shocked that there had been no investigation. Only they wasn't interested in trying to find out what was going on with her son, what happened, or nothing like that.
COOPER: Ruby, do you have faith that the sheriff's department will actually do everything in their power now to investigate your son's death? ELLIS: Well, now I do; since CNN came in, I do.
COOPER: Ruby, does it frustrate you that it took some outsiders coming in and starting to ask questions to get them to actually investigate the death of your son?
ELLIS: Don't frustrate me, but it hurts.
COOPER: Ruby, again, I'm so sorry for the loss of your son and that it's taken three years for an investigation to even begin.
And Fred, I wish you the best, and I hope justice is done in both these cases. Thank you so much.
ELLIS: Thank you.
BUTTS: Thank you.
COOPER: Pretty incredible. We'll continue to stay on that.
Let's get caught up with some of the other stories we're following. Isha Sesay is here with the "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, HLN ANCHOR: Anderson, two very heartbreaking stories there. And a new twist in the allegations against U.S. Senator Robert Menendez to tell you about.
A police spokesman in the Dominican Republic now says that three women who claimed to have sex for money with Menendez were paid by an attorney to make those false claims.
Former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, announced for the first time that she supports marriage rights for same-sex couples. She made the announcement in a video produced by the Human Rights Campaign.
And Anderson, you made some news of your own this weekend, I see, at the GLAAD Media awards. That -- let's show our viewers. Madonna presenting you with a Vito Russo Award for your contributions to promoting equality. It is quite an honor, and if I may say so, very well-deserved.
And then this is the only bit that troubles me. You smooched Madonna.
COOPER: I was carried away in the moment. You know? What can I say?
COOPER: It was -- it was great of her to -- it was great of her to be there. She was -- she was...
SESAY: Are you blushing?
COOPER: I am. You have me all kerfuffled. SESAY: OK. Bye-bye.
COOPER: All right. Bye. Thanks for that.
Up next, serious news. Does Jodi Arias have amnesia? She admits she killed her ex-boyfriend. She says she doesn't remember doing it. Will a jury actually believe her? Randi Kaye has the latest from another bizarre day in court.
Also ahead, more than 20 years after one of the biggest art heists in U.S. history, the FBI announces they know who did it. Details ahead.
COOPER: In "Crime & Punishment" tonight, the Jodi Arias murder trial and the mystery surrounding her memory.
Now, Arias admits killing her boyfriend, as you know, but claims it was self-defense. The prosecutor's working hard to make the case this was premeditated murder.
For Arias, having a lousy memory may be her best defense, but after changing her story over and over, the question is will the jury believe she really doesn't remember? Randi Kaye takes a closer look.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jodi Arias has amnesia.
KIRK NURMI, JODI'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Do you have any memories of slashing Mr. Alexander's throat?
JODI ARIAS, MURDER DEFENDANT: No.
KAYE: At least that's what her defense team would like the jury to believe.
JUDGE SHERRY STEPHENS, PRESIDING OVER TRIAL: "Why did you put the camera in the washer?"
ARIAS: I don't have a memory of that. I don't know why I would do that.
KAYE: And defense lawyers are hoping this psychologist, a defense witness, will convince jurors Arias isn't faking this.
RICHARD SAMUELS, PSYCHOLOGIST: It appears as if she suffers from dissociative amnesia.
KAYE: Dr. Richard Samuels says that dissociative amnesia is something that occurs after severe trauma, such as a killing. The acute stress that follows sends a surge of chemicals to the brain that block the brain from storing any memories.
SAMUELS: The more intense the crime or intense the distress, the more complete the amnesia tends to be.
JENNIFER WILLMOTT, JODI'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: When you say more complete, what do you mean?
SAMUELS: The loss is greater. The loss is more permanent. Most of what's occurred is not remembered, as opposed to perhaps some of it being remembered.
KAYE (on camera): Jodi Arias has testified here in court over and over she doesn't remember anything after shooting Travis Alexander back in June 2008. This is key, because she stabbed him nearly 30 times and sliced his throat so deep, his head was nearly cut off. His bloody body was also dragged back into the shower and rinsed off. Could it really be she doesn't remember any of that?
(voice-over): Arias has said bits and pieces of memory have returned but not the whole picture of the killing.
WILLMOTT: So those memories, like, do they ever come back?
SAMUELS: If they're not there, they can't come back. They're simply not there. Flashes of events may be vaguely remembered. But there's no way of knowing in advance whether that's going to happen.
KAYE: Arias had left Alexander's home and was driving through the desert to see another man in Utah when she says something suddenly clicked.
ARIAS: When I sort of came out of the fog, I realized, oh, crap, something bad had happened. And I was scared to call any authority at that point.
KAYE: That sudden memory is something Dr. Samuels calls intrusive thoughts, memories that appear at the very beginning of a trauma and hours after it.
SAMUELS: The intrusive thoughts that were referred to me, that were mentioned to me, involved the beginning of this traumatic event. She reported remembering that he was threatening her life, and then at the end, she began to remember becoming reconnected to her environment while on that road, covered with blood.
KAYE: Yet, even as she became reconnected with reality on that desert road, there are some things Jodi Arias says she still can't recall now, nearly five years later. Where in the desert did she toss the gun, and what about the knife? Both weapons she used to kill are still missing.
KAYE: Now, this psychologist has a real history. He was fined for an ethics violation, Anderson, in New Jersey, and the prosecutor went after him on that very same thing here in court in Phoenix. He jumped on him for not only evaluating Jodi Arias but treating her by buying her a self-help book. Now, the psychologist says he needed to do so, because she had low self-esteem and she was suicidal, and buying her that book was the only way he could get her through his evaluation.
But the prosecutor said, "Didn't you have a duty to report that she was suicidal? You don't go and buy her a self-help book."
But it didn't end there. The prosecutor also went after him for his -- his finding that she had PTSD. Turns out we learned in court today that that finding was based on old data from when she was still sticking to her story that two intruders killed Travis Alexander during a home invasion. She changed that story two years later, admitted, Anderson, that she had killed him. And he admitted in court today, that psychologist, that he had never retested her. That was a big moment.
COOPER: Yes. All right. Randi, thanks. Let's bring in our legal panel. Joining us now is senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin again. Also with us tonight, criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, co-author of upcoming new book, "Mis-trial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works and Sometimes Doesn't." And clinical psychologist, David Swanson.
Mark, the prosecutor really ripped into the defense expert, questioning his objectivity, asking about that self-help book that Randi was talking about. Do you think it presents some sort of an ethical issue?
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I don't think it presents an ethical issue. I mean, that's what good prosecutors do with expert witnesses and even bad prosecutors do with expert witnesses.
Most of this stuff that was brought up today I don't think was of any great moment. And I don't think this is any kind of a news flash, this idea that somebody could have post-traumatic disorders or be dissociative and that they would have, in some sense, stabbed somebody 29 times.
I mean, you know, this is -- I have been on the receiving end of this so many times when prosecutors will put up experts who will explain so-called complaining witnesses' lack of memory in terms of this kind of testimony, this very kind of testimony. It's just the defense using exactly what prosecutors do all the time, the same kind of testimony when explaining why their witnesses' memory isn't so great, because they're suffering from some kind of post-traumatic stress.
COOPER: Jeff, do you think the prosecution did any damage to the witness? They basically brought up this financial thing he had to deal with and take an ethics course in another case.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. You know, I thought Samuels was a very good witness on direct testimony. But I thought he looked awful today, Mark. I think you're really minimizing how much -- how effective the prosecution was. The ethics violation; the fact, you know, the book, maybe you can say it was no big deal, but it really did look like he was more of an advocate than an analyst. And the fact that, you know, PTSD is a big...
TOOBIN: I mean, PTSD is a big part of the defense here, and the fact that the analysis that led to that was while she was still lying about all this, I thought he looked pretty bad.
GERAGOS: Well, except that the stuff about the book, if you've got somebody that's been hired by the lawyer, there is all kinds of ethical quandaries for whether or not you're going to go report whether your duty is to report to the authorities or whether your duty is to report to the lawyer.
Here in California, we've got a recent case within the last three weeks, where the defense expert, if it's hired by the lawyer, is supposed to only report to the lawyer. You don't have a duty to report to the court or the ethical duty to report to the authorities when they're suicidal.
So I think that there's, you know, a little bit of gamesmanship on the part of the prosecution here in terms of the kinds of cross- examination.
COOPER: David, I want to bring you in. You're a criminal psychologist like the guy who's on the stand now for the defense. Is it, do you think, unethical for him to give this defendant a self-help book?
DAVID SWANSON, CRIMINAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I think it says a lot about the relationship that they had. Obviously, he felt some sort of affection for this client. You don't typically go out and buy books for your clients unless you feel bad for them, and I think that might be where the line was crossed.
Certainly, if somebody is suicidal in my practice, I do whatever I can do to get them into the hospital and get their family and other people around them who are normal parts of their support system in place. But I don't give them a book to respond to something like that.
COOPER: David, they talked more today about Arias's memory and this fog she was allegedly in during the attack. What do you make of this analysis that she suffers from dissociative amnesia? Is that something you can fake?
SWANSON: Yes, well, PTSD certainly has built into the criteria the idea of memory loss. This whole idea is that something was so traumatic that the brain kind of kicks in, takes over and blocks it out.
The two areas he was referring to were the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory, and the prefrontal cortex. That being said, though, Anderson, I think this is going to be a very difficult case to prove for two reasons. One is because she knew enough earlier on to admit that she killed him in addition to telling different stories. Somebody who has PTSD, who doesn't remember anything, says, "I don't remember anything."
Secondly, in a courtroom, when you're bringing up details about the murder, people with PTSD are traumatized. Bringing up things like this are very disturbing. They don't typically tend to respond in a coy way. They will break down and cry, but you also see that look of terror involved.
TOOBIN: Remember also how convenient her memory loss is. She remembers all the supposed abuse from -- from her boyfriend, that is the victim, but she can't remember abusing him. That strikes me as a real problem.
COOPER: Mark Geragos, your final thoughts?
GERAGOS: At the same time -- I was going to say, but at the same time, that's absolutely consistent with much of the literature on PTSD. I mean, that is precisely what -- you've got -- you've got psychiatrists talking about it on the stand throughout this country every day.
COOPER: All right. Mark Geragos, Jeff Toobin, David Swanson, good to have you on. Thanks.
An apparent suicide at a university in Florida revealing an arsenal inside his school dorm. We'll tell you what police found that suggests there were plans to use the weapons in an attack, maybe on the campus.
And a judge sending troubled actress Lindsay Lohan back to rehab. The latest on today's sentencing, ahead.
SESAY: I'm Isha Sesay with "360 Bulletin."
School officials at the University of Central Florida say they believe a former student found dead in a dormitory today was plotting to attack the school. The school's police chief reports the body was found with several guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, explosives and notes indicating plans for an attack were in the works.
The FBI is marking the 23rd anniversary of one of the nation's largest art thefts by announcing a break in the case. The bureau says it now knows who was behind the robbery of 13 priceless works from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The FBI is not releasing any names but says the suspects are members of organized crime.
Lindsay Lohan is heading back behind bars. A judge has sentenced the troubled actress to five days in jail and 90 days in a locked rehab facility. That's just part of a plea deal for a probation violation. And, an unexpected end to a mixed martial arts match. Neither fighter wins, because both go down at the same time. It was ruled a rare double knockout.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: We ran out of time for "The RidicuList" tonight. That does it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.