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More Resignations at Rutgers; Plan B Available to All Ages; A Look into James Holmes' Home; Snow White, Domestic Violence, and Jodi Arias
Aired April 5, 2013 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Only about a third of those who served during the Korean conflict are still alive, making it almost certain the "Forgotten War" will stay that way.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": All right, thanks so much for joining us today.
I'm Fredricka Whitfield. I'll see you again tomorrow in the "Newsroom," beginning at noon Eastern time.
The "Newsroom" continues right now.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Thank you very much, Fredricka Whitfield.
Hello everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield, and a busy day happening right now.
More serious fallout from the scandal at Rutgers University. ESPN is reporting that athletic director, Tim Pernetti, is out of a job.
This comes after the firing of head basketball coach, Mike Rice, and the resignation of the assistant coach, Jimmy Martelli.
For Martelli this all is a result of what you have on your screen, a video broadcast by ESPN showing coaches, at least one in particular, physically and verbally abusing the players.
Our Pamela Brown joins us now on the telephone. Pamela, what more do you know about this decision? Is this whiplash? Is this strategic? Or is there nothing to read into it because it's just too early?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Right now, Ashleigh, it is simply too early.
We have been reaching out to the university today. So far, we -- they are -- officials there are staying tight-lipped. There is a press conference at 1:00 today at Rutgers University, so we hope to learn more then. But right now, according to ESPN and other reports, the decision was reached Thursday that Tim Pernetti, the athletic director at Rutgers, will go as well. It's still not clear whether he was fired or if he resigned.
Of course Pernetti took responsibility for the decision back in December to suspend Mike Rice after he became aware of the video that we saw, and that video was released to the public on Tuesday.
From there, there was major public outrage that more was -- that Rice wasn't fired. So, of course, we learned on Wednesday that Rice was fired. We also learned, as you mentioned, Ashleigh, that the assistant basketball coach, Jimmy Martelli, resigned on the heels of Rice's firing.
Again, we are hoping to learn more at this 1:00 press conference, but that is what we know right now.
BANFIELD: So I'm just getting some updated information here, Pamela, and forgive me if you will.
I'm getting it as we speak, and that is the university obviously trying to either get ahead of this or catch up to this because this is obviously a breaking report, has announced that they're going to give a full public press conference at 1:00 p.m. about these reports about Pernetti's firing.
And at the same time, I have to ask you, if you read the blogs about this, you will see a lot of people outraged, but you will also see a lot of players who say, what's the big deal? I've been through this. No biggie.
But I'm wondering what the Rutgers players are saying about these developments, or are they saying anything?
BROWN (via telephone): Well, right now the Rutgers players have just been responding to the firing of Mike Rice, for the most part.
And it's interesting, you know. A lot of the players are actually coming to Rice's defense, saying that the video isn't what it seems, that Rice made them better players, that he was just passionate about his job.
And so it's interesting to hear their perspective on the fallout over this video, but, of course, I'm sure we'll be hearing more reaction from the players if these reports are true that Tim Pernetti is out as well.
BANFIELD: OK. I don't think anybody would deny that Mike Rice was a passionate, passionate person. You just have to look at some of the videos that have been playing live on television.
People have been seeing for years the passion on the sidelines. It's just what passion you can translate into those private practices and what's allowed and what isn't.
All right, Pamela Brown, working the story for us at Rutgers. Thank you for that.
I want to move on now to Plan B, not because it's secondary in this newscast. B is for "bombshell." A federal judge in New York today ruled the so-called "morning-after pill," sold under the name Plan B, will be available to women and girls of any age, and they don't need a prescription to get it.
The Center for Reproductive Rights had sued the Obama administration over age restrictions that supposedly put politics over science, some said.
I am joined now by CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen. So Elizabeth, effectively, a judge has come in and said the administration is wrong on this one, but this can't be the last word at this point.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I don't think it's going to be the last word because they can always appeal this decision, and in fact, Ashleigh, when we got in touch with the FDA, they said we can't comment on an ongoing legal process, makes me think they want to make this to go on even longer than it already has.
BANFIELD: So what does this effectively mean? Does this mean today, everywhere in the United States, if you are 16- or 14-years-old and you don't want to tell your parents that you are pregnant or perhaps fearing of pregnancy, you can go and get Plan B without anyone knowing?
COHEN: Right. No, not the next day.
What this decision says is it says is, in 30 days, Plan B should be made available to anybody who wants it without a prescription.
Right now, Ashleigh, as we speak, if you're under the age of 17, you would need a prescription, which, of course, would be something that might really discourage girls from getting it because they might have to tell their parents, and go to a doctor, and all of that, or they might have to tell their parents, so that would definitely be a discouragement, a roadblock, if you would, to getting that drug.
BANFIELD: So I want to bring in our senior analyst for a moment, Elizabeth.
And, Jeffrey Toobin, perhaps you can weigh in on this for us. As this breaks, it makes me wonder what Kathleen Sebelius and the Health and Human Services Department is saying about this right now, overruling the FDA and saying that Plan B should not be made available.
Are the lawyers circling the wagons as we speak?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST (via telephone): Well, presumably the Justice Department will try to get a stay of this ruling.
But this is a 59-page opinion by Judge Edward Korman in Brooklyn federal court. It is so scathing. It such an attack on the Health and Human Services Department for bowing to the pressure of conservatives.
This isn't bowing to the pressure of liberals. This is bowing to the pressure of conservatives to limit access to Plan B.
Judge Korman has had this case for a decade. He has been frustrated over and over again as he has seen politics infect this process where he says there is -- all the evidence is that this drug is safe for over-the-counter use.
The only reason it's not available is because of political pressure, which the Health and Human Services Department bowed to, and he's not putting up with it anymore.
Now whether he's overturned by a higher court, we don't know, but the status quo is now that this drug should be available to anyone, anytime, soon.
BANFIELD: And would you make it clear, for anyone who doesn't understand, this is a Brooklyn judge. How could that possibly affect, say, a teenager in Nevada or California or Washington state?
TOOBIN (via telephone): He is a United States district court judge, so this is where the challenge to the rule was brought.
So his ruling, if it stands, has nationwide effect, and so it is a lot more than just Brooklyn that is affected by this ruling.
BANFIELD: And, Elizabeth, maybe you could be clear for us on the statistics here. I think people might be shocked to hear that the United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the developed world, and not just by a little, by a lot.
COHEN: By a lot of bit, that's a good way to put it.
BANFIELD: Does it have anything to do with the extraordinary restrictions we have on contraceptives? Because there are places where it's a lot harder to get them.
COHEN: You know, it's a whole combination of reasons.
So, for example, it's harder to get contraceptives in this country than in many other countries. They're more expensive. They are more roadblocks, like this one.
But you also have to look at things like the poverty level. The poverty level in this country is higher than in many other developed countries, poverty levels and teen pregnancy rates often go hand in hand.
Also there's a culture in this country that could make some young people scared to talk to their parents about contraception. That culture doesn't exist in the same way in some other countries.
But the end result of all of these things mixed together, Ashleigh, is that teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. are almost twice as high as they are in the United Kingdom and in Canada. That's a huge difference. BANFIELD: Amazing. Amazing, considering the lifestyles are so extremely similar in those particular nations you mentioned.
Thank you very much, Elizabeth Cohen and Jeffrey Toobin as well, for jumping on this very developing story. Obviously a lot more to come as our day progresses here at CNN.
And, as we go to break, how about this? A Batman mask, jars of bullets, booze, a gas torch, just a couple of the things that were found inside the apartment of the Colorado theater shooting suspect.
Now how about this? Drugs, lots of them. How does that help him as he moves forward in his case? You'd be surprised.
BANFIELD: We are now getting an inside look at the home of the man who was accused of slaughtering a dozen people and attempting to kill dozens more at a Colorado movie theater last summer.
There are documents now that are showing what the officers found when they searched James Holmes' apartment.
Take a look at this, among other things, a Batman mask, two jars of bullets, a shotgun, rifle rounds, ammo clips, paper targets, a gas torch, four brands of beer, bourbon and rum, textbooks, several pill bottles with pills, a glow stick, black spray paint and video games, including "Starcraft" and "Oblivion," as well as 50 cans and bottles of yet unidentified bottles of liquid, unidentified to us, anyway.
James Holmes is facing 166 charges, including murder and attempted murder, in that rampage during the screening of Batman, "The Dark Knight Rises."
Other documents show that the psychiatrist who treated this suspected mass killer, James Holmes, warned police a month before the shooting spree.
The psychiatrist is Dr. Lynne Fenton. She's with the University of Colorado medical campus.
CNN's Martin Savidge is with us now from Aurora, Colorado, and, in New York, defense attorney Joey Jackson. He's also a law professor and "In Session" contributor.
Marty, let me start with you, if I can. Can you tell me anything more specifically about the kind of drugs that they found in his home and the kinds of comments apparently that got that psychiatrist so worried she told the police?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, well, both of those are rather interesting.
Let's talk about the drugs first you mentioned. There was a breakdown. That's what we found in these affidavits, these documents, was the detail. And the drugs that were found inside of the apartment, which is the one located directly behind me here, they found anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills.
They also found things like ibuprofen. Then on top of that they found the sleeping pills. So that's quite a combination.
They also found cans of beer, which they list all of them. They found bottles of booze. And then the bullets and all the weaponry and the paraphernalia.
But -- so the drugs raise a level of concern because it indicates you have a person who has some problems.
Then you have the psychiatrist, and as you point out, this is Lynne Fenton that came forward 38 days before the attack and went to the authorities here on campus at the University of Colorado and said, look, I have this client and I really do believe he's dangerous. He's having these confessions of wanting to commit homicide.
The authority, the police officer, took that down and apparently felt so moved that she canceled his key card that allowed him access to sensitive areas on campus, but that's all the documents show.
We don't know if any other action was taken, and, of course, many are going to look at this and say, oh, a missed opportunity here that could have perhaps prevented the tragedy.
That's too much to read into just a document drop, but people are going to think that.
BANFIELD: Marty, hold for a second.
Joey Jackson, step in where Marty just left off. When I hear anti- depressants and anti-anxiety drugs found inside his home, I immediately think that's evidence in a case where you're trying to prove that you're insane. Because one of the prongs you've got to prove is that he's been treated for these kinds of illnesses in the past and he's got the drugs to prove it.
JOEY JACKSON, CONTRIBUTOR, "IN SESSION" ON TRUTV: Sure, Ashleigh, but there is a problem here. If you're the defense, you're going to argue that this demonstrates he was suffering from mental disease or defect for which he was getting treatment. That speaks to the issue of mental illness, it speaks to the issue of insanity. If you're the prosecution, however, you started off this segment by demonstrating what was in his home. What does that show? It shows premeditation and establishes a plan, and in order to plan, you have to be lucid, you have to be logical.
And remember also, Ashleigh, under the Colorado law, what you do have to show is it's a mental disease. Not one induced through medication. That's not acceptable. You have to show you were laboring under a mental disease, and number two, that you did not know right from wrong. If you go with the way the insanity, it is still a tough haul if you're going to do that as a defense. BANFIELD: Sill that uphill battle. Marty, back to you on the issue of the comments that the psychiatrist made to the police. I'm not assuming for a moment the documents going into detail, but when you break privilege, it's got to be pretty darn serious. Is anyone talking about what he said specifically, and then what was done about what he said?
SAVIDGE: Yes, well, right now that conversation's only just beginning. We reached out to the University of Colorado because it was their law enforcement to which the psychiatrist went. The psychiatrist, we should point out, was required by law to report this because of the very dangerous nature she felt from her client. But beyond that, the university is not commenting so far. They say that they have not had the chance to look through all of these documents. Perhaps they will comment later.
So they haven't said anything. But specifically she described her client as dangerous. That was the word that was used. And then she also mentioned that he had stopped seeing her. In other words, he was no longer getting treatment from her. But in the same time he was sending her threatening e-mails and texts. So clearly, she was so worried she went to the authorities. But we don't know what was done after that, Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: Wow. I sense that the discovery process is going to be even more fascinating as those e-mails and texts come out. Marty Savidge great reporting. Thank you. Joey Jackson, thank you as well for your insight, especially with the death penalty issue.
Now I want to take you into the fairy tale world. Believe it or not, Snow White, you know the story living in the cottage with the seven dwarves. And believe it or not, she now lives in an Arizona courtroom in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Trust me, a cross examination where Snow White is the issue? You have got to see this.
BANFIELD: To the Jodi Arias murder trial now where yet again another head-scratching development in a deadly serious murder case in which the defendant is claiming she was fighting for her life. In that effort, Jodi Arias's team has put forth an expert witness to say that Jodi was a victim of domestic violence. But the prosecutor in this case, Juan Martinez, seemed to have a pretty tough same containing his disdain for this witness and her line of work. Watch what happened in court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALYCE LAVIOLETTE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EXPERT: Do you want the truth, Mr. Martinez? Or do you want yes or no?
JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR, JODI ARIAS MURDER TRIAL: I'm asking you questions. You seem to be having trouble answering my questions. If you have a problem understanding the question, ask me that. Do you want to spar with me? Will that affect the way you view your testimony. (CROSSTALK)
LEVIOLETTE: Mr. Martinez, are you angry at me?
MARTINEZ: Is that relevant to you? Is that important to you? Does that make any difference to your evaluation whether or not the prosecutor is angry? Yes or no?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Objection.
LAVIOLETTE: It makes a difference to me the way I'm spoken to, and I would like you to speak to me the way I speak to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Well, just when you thought it was safe to pick your jaw up off the floor, Snow White was invoked during cross-examination. The witness you're seeing, Alyce LaViolette, has given lectures over the years on fairy tale characters and domestic violence. Here's one of the lectures from 2008. It was found on Youtube. She's trying to hit home that domestic abuse is not always as it appears. She suggests that blissful Snow White could today qualify as a victim of domestic violence. An abused woman, still cooking and cleaning and still whistling a happy tune. But that seemed to be enough for this prosecutor, Martinez. He went off, especially when it came to comparing Snow White to Jodi Arias.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTINEZ: She lived in what could be best described as less than ideal circumstances, correct?
MARTINEZ: And same thing with Snow White, right? She lived in a situation that was less than ideal circumstances, right?
LAVIOLETTE: She lived with the seven dwarves and according to the Disney version, she was pretty happy.
MARTINEZ: She lived in a shack, right?
LAVIOLETTE: I thought it was a cute little cottage, Mr. Martinez.
MARTINEZ: Okay, but there are seven dwarves that she's living with, right? No one of her own age is living there, right?
LAVIOLETTE: I don't know the age of the dwarves. I'm sorry. But I don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Okay, so joining me now "In Session" correspondent Beth Karas and Jean Casarez. They are outside the courthouse in Phoeniz and they have followed every moment. They are both smiling. But it's deadly serious. First to you, Jean. We see all sorts of things happen in the courtroom and lots of points are made with very unusual anecdotes. This may be one of them. My interest is to know how it went over. Were people fascinated or rolling their eyes? And if you could be specific about the jury.
JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION" ON TRUTV: I think people went both ways. I think some people were shocked. There was a stress that formed in your stomach when this started. Other people know this is how Mr. Martinez is. And the jury was focused. I mean they're serious, they're focused, there was laughter in the courtroom, but let's look at the evidence for a moment.
Mr. Martinez's duty is to discredit this witness as much as he can, and this is his tenor, this is his style. This is how he does it. But Ashleigh, we will never see this again in modern times because let's look at the defense direct examination. They focus, especially yesterday, on the text messages, e-mails, instant messages, journal writings of Travis. And they showed his anger through his own writing. And LaViolette specializes in angry men. That's one of her specializations. And so then you have the cross-examination and you suddenly have that angry man that she has just explained is because of control, power, and fear. It was an amazing dynamic.
BANFIELD: So Beth, look I get it. Prosecutors will often use a rapid- fire, angry attack as a strategy to break a witness to get them to say something. I'm not sure I got where he was going with this witness because there would be evidence. Travis is a victim here, but make no mistake, there were some very ugly things he said to Jodi Arias.
BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION" ON TRUTV: Right. He hasn't finished his point. When court broke for the week, he was still making his comparison here to Snow White. So I think he'll still pick that up on Monday. I think his point will ultimately be that she'll find abuse in almost any situation. She can turn a situation into an abusive one, even a popular fairy tale. He did get her at one point to say that Jodi Arias was the victim in this case. He said, you're telling me Jodi Arias is the victim here. And of course it is not in dispute that she butchered Travis Alexander, and that's why she's on trial. And she kind of faltered, and said, well, yes, in the abusive situation, she was the victim. And, you know, I don't know how that went over, but at one point she was calling Jodi the victim.
BANFIELD: So Jean, the tactic is sometimes very successful and sometimes it backfires when you beat up on somebody on the witness stand. I'm not sure if you got a sense of it in the courtroom. Did it feel like she was adequately challenged or did it feel like she was just beaten up unfairly?
CASAREZ: Let's put it this way. The stress and the tension in that courtroom and the feeling in many people's stomachs was a knot. So that would be sort of on the negative side. The stress level. He's been like this with other witnesses, Ashleigh. Not all, some. But he wants to discredit some that he doesn't particularly like. This is the first lady that he's done it to. And I don't want to sound sexist, but I think there is a different dynamic when do you it to a lady, someone who is very nice, very calming, as she testified. And someone that is an expert in her field.
BANFIELD: You know, Jean, I think you hit the on something there, because this jury is made up of people right from their 20's to their 70's and a lot of times people react differently if you're in a different demographic. So you may have hit something very specific. Jean Casarez and Beth Karas, do not go away. It would be great to ask juror number five what she thought about that exchange, and technically you could because she got booted off the panel. So why did she come back to court? She says she doesn't want any attention at all, and there she is, front and center, sitting in court now as part of the gallery. What gives?
BANFIELD: Usually people try pretty darn hard to get out of doing jury duty. You can think of all sorts of things to say to get out of jury duty. I disagree. That's my soapbox, but let's talk about juror number five in the Jodi Arias murder trial. She did not try to get out of jury duty. She got on it, and then got kicked off. But then she came back to watch in the courtroom. It's really hard to miss considering she has such a specific hairdo. You can't miss her in the gallery. Jurors probably noticed her too. She gets the most difficult onerous case that she would have to struggle with, a death penalty case, and instead of leaving it behind her, she came back for more.