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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Ariel Castro Charged; Neighbor First to Rescue Kidnapped Women; Jodi Arias Guilty of Murder; Cleveland Police Coming Under Heavy Scrutiny for Failures in Investigations of Kidnapped Children
Aired May 8, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world.
Tonight, breaking news on two huge stories. Ariel Castro, charged with kidnapping and raping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight. His brothers, Onil and Pedro, had no charges filed against them.
Listen to this dramatic police dispatch recording of the moment the police found these women.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This might be for real. We found them. We found them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: And in Phoenix, sex, lies and murder. Jodi Arias found guilty. Police say she is on suicide watch and just a little while ago, she gave a dramatic new interview in which she said she would rather get the death penalty than life in prison. Listen to what she told the FOX affiliate in Phoenix.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JODI ARIAS, CONVICTED OF MURDER: I said years ago that I'd rather get death than life and that still is true today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I'll talk to a friend of Jodi Arias and of the man she killed. Meanwhile in Cleveland, a joyous family reunion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There she is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are so happy to have Amanda and her daughter home. Until this moment for me, it is -- I still feel as it is a dream. I still pinch myself. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Police say the victims left the house of horrors only twice in a decade. And watched their parents on TV at vigils for themselves. They say when Amanda Berry escaped on Monday, the other two victims chose not to run away. And that Ariel Castro, seen here in custody, would test them by pretending to leave, and then beating them if they made a move to escape.
They also called a case against Ariel Castro a slam dunk. Tonight, new details on the rescue from the unsung hero in the case. It's not who you think.
Now I want to go right to Cleveland where Ed Gallek of WOIO is live for us.
Ed, another day of dramatic new developments on this story. You came face-to-face today with Ariel Castro. Tell me about that.
ED GALLEK, WOIO, CLEVELAND REPORTER: Yes, good evening. And I did come face-to-face with him with my cell phone, because I was checking some police records at the Cleveland Police headquarters, and all of a sudden, investigators started walking this guy down to another room for another interview. It was FBI agents, it was also the Cleveland Police sex crimes investigators and all of a sudden, here's this guy, the house of horrors, the man everybody is talking about, right there in front of my eyes.
So on his way back, I shouted a couple of questions at him and he wasn't talking, he was hiding his face. So suddenly the monster is hiding his face, embarrassed. But I asked him, "How could you do this? What would you say to those women?" And his response, nothing.
MORGAN: What was your impression of him physically? I mean, he looks on the video we just saw there to be a reasonably small man, which is surprising, given that he held three women captive for so long.
GALLEK: Yes, you would think this guy might be a football player type size person. But I was surprised, he's only about 5'8", and so he was much smaller than many of us would think. And I'm told by detectives that even in interviews he's kind of meek.
MORGAN: Right. And we're also hearing some very disturbing information coming out from those interviews. We haven't corroborated this yet, but I understand you've got some well-sourced detail. Tell me in particular about Michele Knight because she's made some pretty startling claims, we understand.
GALLEK: Yes, what Michele Knight told police is that she got pregnant by this captor, Ariel Castro, at least five times, in her words, then Castro would starve her and beat her and force her to lose the baby. So she said he repeatedly made her pregnant, and then basically forced her to miscarriage at least five times. And then Michele Knight was forced to act as a midwife or a nurse in the house and deliver the baby of Amanda Berry, one of the other women there. So Michele was forced to give up five children and had to deliver Amanda's baby. MORGAN: Now, Ed, seeing it's not independently confirmed, all this, there is local reports, as you have obviously good police contacts, are all reporting similar information. How confident are you that that information about Michele Knight, that she was impregnated, maybe up to five times, that also she was made to basically deliver Amanda Berry's baby -- how confident are you that that is true?
GALLEK: The exact number of times may be a little off because that information came from Michele Knight as soon as police made the rescue at the house. But it comes from a police report. This is what Michele Knight told the investigators and the investigators have been following up with private one-on-one interviews since then. So the story hasn't changed.
MORGAN: Now, Ed, we also hear that there were chains found in the house. That the house itself was a real shambles. That the women were held in the basement originally and then began to be moved up the house to higher floors. There was also, we hear, a note left by Ariel Castro, presumably if he was ever caught. Tell me about the note.
GALLEK: Well, the note, I'm told by investigators, had been written several years ago. Several years ago, perhaps as early as 2004. Some investigators called it a suicide note. But, of course, this guy never took his own life. It's almost a confession, I'm told, as well. Because it's a hand-written note, a long note, that talks about why this guy did it and how he did it.
He tricked the girls into getting into his car. That's how he lured them and kidnapped them originally. He blames the girls, in part, for getting in the car with him. He also blames -- we've heard this before, a bad childhood as one of the reasons why he did this. Poor family relationships. And he is also talking about -- let's see what the other point was. Oh, he is a sex addiction and he needs help.
So here is this guy, admitting a sex addiction and he needs help. And all of those things are just stunning in their own right, especially in light of what we know now, with all those women spending all those years behind locked doors, chained up, roped up, windows boarded up, unable to get out of the house.
MORGAN: And Ed, finally and quickly, if you don't mind, the two brothers, no charges have been filed against them. Do the police now believe that essentially Ariel Castro operated on his own, that nobody else knew about this?
GALLEK: So far, that's the feeling. Although these brothers were picked up because when Castro got picked up a brother was with him, and that brother said, oh is this about the other brother? So right away police said alarm, alarm, and they wanted to check these guys out. But right now the prevailing feeling is Ariel Castro acted alone. Even his own family believes that.
MORGAN: Ed Gallek, thank you very much indeed.
In the midst of all the joy and excitement of the rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight, one man may well be the real unsung hero. Angel Cordero was first on the scene to rescue Amanda, and he joins me now. His niece, Ashley Garcia, is here with us to help translate.
Welcome to you both. And, Ashley, you're with Angel there. And you're going to translate for him. His English isn't great. Can you ask him to describe exactly what he did?
ASHLEY GARCIA, NEIGHBOR OF ARIEL CASTRO: OK. (Speaking in foreign language).
ANGEL CORDERO, HELPED SAVE AMANDA BERRY: (Speaking in foreign language)
GARCIA: I was sitting on the porch of my neighbor Altagracia Tejera (ph), with another woman named Aurora, and Altagracia had told me that there was something going on in the house in the front. And we went to go see and all we heard was screaming. And we saw a head outside the house that was moving up and down.
So we went to go check what was going on. And she had told me that she had been kidnapped for 10 years. So I kicked the door at the bottom because I was trying to get it open because it was too hard. So I got it at the bottom, and that's when Amanda ran out of the house.
CORDERO: (Speaking in foreign language)
GARCIA: When Amanda came out, she took her out of the hole of the bottom of the door and I told her quickly, let's go across the street to Altagracia's house just in case the man comes back so you won't get hurt or anything. So she went to Altagracia's house and she used her phone to call the police. And that's when she let the police know what was going on.
MORGAN: And obviously, we know that -- we know that Charles Ramsey -- if I could just stop you there. We know that Charles Ramsey also played a part here. But from what you're telling us, Angel, it was you that was actually the one that went to the door and actually spoke directly to Amanda Berry and enabled her to get out. Is that what you're saying?
CORDERO: (Speaking in foreign language)
GARCIA: The first one that talked directly to Amanda was me, and she was the one that told me what was going on and that there was two other women in the house.
MORGAN: But it seems like -- Angel and Ashley, thank you very much for that excellent translation -- that there were a few heroes that day that helped Amanda get out. But it certainly would appear that you, Angel, were the one who physically got her through that door, and for that we are all extremely grateful. Thank you both very much for joining me. And now I want to turn to the other big story of the day, Jodi Arias found guilty of first-degree murder. She told FOX News tonight that she'd rather get the death penalty than life in prison. Listen again to this extraordinary interview after the verdict.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIAS: I said years ago that I'd rather get death than life, and that still is true today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Let's get right to this with Jeffrey Toobin, he's live in Phoenix for us.
Jeffrey, an astonishing interview after the verdict in which Jodi Arias says effectively she would rather die than be spared by the jury. What do you make of that?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's very hard to know what to make of it. In part, it shouldn't matter at all, because the jury has been instructed not to listen to any sort of press coverage. So they presumably don't know about it. No one knows how much that's followed. And no one knows whether this could be some sort of manipulative reverse psychology that the jury hearing about this would say we don't want to give her what she wants, so we'll give her life in prison.
I can't get inside the head of Jodi Arias, fortunately. So I don't really know what's going on there. It's certainly bizarre, but the whole case is bizarre.
MORGAN: Right. It certainly has been. But it's gripped America. Rather like the Casey Anthony case last year.
In terms of where we are legally, is the understanding that effectively the prosecution has to prove that there was premeditated cruelty? That she set out to deliberately inflict physical and mental cruelty on her victim and if they can satisfy that with the jury, then the death penalty comes into play.
TOOBIN: Right. It appears Arizona has a very unusual death penalty statute. And the penalty phase has two parts. The first part, which will start tomorrow, deals only with one aggravating factor as it's called. Is this murder unusually cruel. And the first witness will be the medical examiner who will talk about the 27 stab wounds. The slit throat. The gunshot to the head. That's the first part.
If the jury finds unanimously, as frankly, I think most people expect they will, that it's unusually cruel, then they will go to a more traditional penalty phase, where both sides will get to make the case about whether Jodi Arias should live or die. And there, I think, it's much less predictable. The important thing to remember is that Jodi Arias only needs one juror to say no death penalty, and that's it.
They don't have to be unanimous for it not to be the death penalty. They do have to be unanimous for a sentence of execution.
MORGAN: Jeffrey Toobin, a fascinating development and a fascinating trial. Thank you very much indeed.
Coming next, much more on our two breaking stories tonight, the Arias verdict and the kidnapping and rape charges for Ariel Castro accused of keeping three young women prisoner for 10 years.
And later John Walsh who's thanked by one of the families today for all his part in what may have happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: State of Arizona versus Jodi Ann Arias, verdict, count one. We the jury duly impaneled and sworn in the above entitled action upon our oaths do find the defend as to count one first degree murder, guilty. Jurors find -
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Jodi Arias found guilty of first degree murder. She says she would prefer to die sooner than later. Should she get the death penalty or not? With me now is Elisha Schabel. She's Travis' friend and former roommate and Gus Searcy, who worked with both Jodi Arias and Travis. Welcome to you both.
Let me start with you, Gus Searcy. What is your reaction to the verdict today?
GUS SEARCY, WORKED WITH JODI ARIAS AND TRAVIS ALEXANDER: Well, I mean, there's no question that she had done it. So the fact that they found her guilty isn't such a surprise. What I would be disappointed on is if they did actually do the death penalty. Because there was culpability involved here. Even though he didn't deserve to die, he was partially responsible for her snapping the way she did.
MORGAN: But when you say partly responsible, I mean, no one surely is responsible for somebody shooting and stabbing them repeatedly and murdering them in that brutal fashion. Why do you say that?
SEARCY: I agree with that part. But, again, she was being abused by him. We know that. We know it from the e-mails back and forth between other parties that have shown up in court. We know it from my own personal experience, which I testified to. So, there was a culpability involved of driving her, go away, come here, all of that kind of thing.
Again, I'm not saying she deserved to die - or he deserved to die. But I can see why it happened. And once the murder start -- once the fight started, again, I think she snapped and lost it, like they say she did. So --
MORGAN: Let me bring in Alicia. Let me bring in Alicia. Because I can see you shaking your head, Alicia. You clearly don't agree with this. What is your reaction?
ELISHA SCHABEL, TRAVIS ALEXANDER'S FRIEND: Yes, yes, yes. I do not agree with what Gus has to say. I don't appreciate his comments at all. He did not abuse Jodi Arias. And I want that to be clear. He did not abuse anyone. He was the kindest man that you will ever meet. And it is a tragedy that he is gone.
MORGAN: And Elisha, do you think she should get the death penalty?
SCHABEL: You know, I have forgiven her a long time ago. And, you know, whether I -- think she deserves the death penalty or not, isn't up to me. I think solitary confinement actually would be worse for her because she likes the spotlight, you know.
Either way, she did it. She murdered my friend. We can't bring him back. And it is a true tragedy, because he did not deserve to die in the manner in which he did. Even if he did abuse Jodi, which he didn't, no man on this earth deserves to die the way that he did.
MORGAN: And I've got to say, as someone who watched the case -- sorry. Finish what you wanted to say.
SCHABEL: Go ahead. Go ahead. I'm done. Go ahead.
MORGAN: Gus, friends of Travis' do feel very strongly that he didn't abuse Jodi Arias. But even if he did, as I said earlier, nothing justifies what she did. And what people were put off by was her almost psychopathic lying and misleading and strange behavior generally throughout the trial, particularly when she gave evidence. You didn't get an impression of somebody even remotely normal. What do you think of her mental state?
SEARCY: Well, here's what you've got to look at. Obviously, she did something horrific, no question. I think at some point she realizes, oh, my God I've done something horrific, what do I do now? If you go back in her past history, she was a nice girl, she lived with a guy, took care of his son. There was no past criminal records, nothing.
All of a sudden, she meets Travis, and everything goes south for both parties. There's no winner in this. It's completely tragic. He did not deserve to die. I agree with that. But I also understand the things that he did. He wasn't this pure virginess guy they portrayed him to be. And the combination of the two together --
SCHABEL: That doesn't matter.
SEARCY: -- became a star-cross problem. Again, not a reason for him to die. I have said that, okay? But I don't think she deserves to die, either. I think she is -- should be found guilty. She was. But I don't believe she should be getting the death penalty. MORGAN: Well, the irony -- if I may jump in. The irony, of course, is she has now come out herself after the conviction and said she would prefer the death penalty. Which, as Elisha said, may just be her way of avoiding a lifetime in prison, which would be the last thing she would want. But Elisha and Gus, thank you both very much indeed. I want to bring in Vinny Politan. He's the host of "In Session," and HLN's "Making It In America." Vinny, we've reached the crashing denumoi (ph) point of this extraordinary case. What is your reaction to what happened in court today?
VINNY POLITAN, HOST, "IN SESSION": First I want to react to what Gus Searcy just said, completely mischaracterizing the evidence and the verdict that rendered by eight men and four women today in Maricopa County. They dismissed this allegation that she snapped. Premeditated murder: a plan that was hatched in California, days beforehand, weeks beforehand, in the way she got the gun, got the gas cans and made her way to Mesa in the middle of the night and then covered it up and forged an alibi.
So there was no snapping here, Piers. That's the first thing. I don't want any of your viewers to be misled by what Gus Searcy just said on your air because it was incorrect, wrong and the jury said so.
MORGAN: Okay. Let me go straight to Gus who has been listening on that. We kept him on to see what you said. Gus, what is your reaction to what Vinny just said?
SEARCY: Well, based on what the jury saw and heard, this is what they have done. But one of the things I have contended all along, there is a lot of truth here that never made it to the jury. There is a lot of people that never came forward with information that may have changed some of that opinion. But, you know, it is what it is. He still didn't deserve to die. I agree with that. But, again, there was --
POLITAN: She brought the gun, she brought the knife, she killed him!
SEARCY: Then why not shoot him more than once?
POLITAN: Why not? Well, because it's Jodi Arias! Because she is obsessed with him. She wanted to be his last sexual partner. That's what's going on in this mind of herself.
SEARCY: There is no evidence of that whatsoever. If you're going to say --
POLITAN: There's evidence! Did you see the photos, Gus? Gus, did you see the photos? Did you see the photographs?
SEARCY: Yes, I've seen the photos and I've listened to you.
POLITAN: Did you see what they did beforehand? Did you see the photos beforehand?
SEARCY: Yes, she could have shot him in his sleep. If she was trying to kill him, she would have shot him in his sleep. She wouldn't have gotten in a fight with him. No one's answered that.
POLITAN: She didn't - no. This isn't a fight. A fight is when two people are going after each other. This was an attack, Gus, a premeditated attack.
SEARCY: Why not shoot him in his sleep? If it's premeditated, shoot him, and shoot him several times. That didn't happen.
POLITAN: We could do a lot of why not do this, why not do that.
SEARCY: That's right.
POLITAN: She had a plan. It's not your plan, Gus. It was her plan. She was --
SEARCY: It's not my plan.
POLITAN: It's not your plan. Right. It was her plan. She is the one fatally attracted and obsessed with this man.
SEARCY: And he was fatally attracted to her, too.
POLITAN: Oh, come on.
SEARCY: He called her.
POLITAN: Come on.
SEARCY: Oh, come on.
MORGAN: Look, let me jump in.
SEARCY: There's only one person --
MORGAN: Let me jump in. Gentlemen. Let me jump in. Let me ask you, Vinny. Should she get, Jodi Arias, the death penalty that she now says she wants?
POLITAN: Well, she wants it. She said it before the trial, she now -- that's the first thing she utters after the trial. So why won't the eight men and four women of Maricopa County give her what she wants?
MORGAN: Vinny Politan --
SEARCY: The answer is they shouldn't be knowing about it.
MORGAN: Well, they find out tomorrow, obviously.
MORGAN: Gentlemen, it's an emotive subject. I understand why you both feel the way you do. I have to leave it there. Thank you very much for joining me.
Coming up, extraordinary video of Ariel Castro in an early brush with the law. I'll ask John Walsh from America's Most Wanted what he thinks of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDRA RUIZ, GINA DEJESUS' AUNT: We would like to thank everyone, especially the missing and exploited children, John Walsh from America's Most Wanted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's the aunt of Gina DeJesus, thanking John Walsh for helping families find missing children. The former host of America's Most Wanted joins me now.
John, I want you to take a look at this before we start, a video of Ariel Castro in an early brush with the law in June 2008. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OFFICER: Let me see your driver's license.
ARIEL CASTRO: Excuse me?
OFFICER: See your driver's license, please.
CASTRO: What's wrong?
OFFICER: First off, your plate is improperly displayed. It has to be displayed left to right, not upside down or sideways.
CASTRO: Oh, okay. I thought they told me the plate --
OFFICER: The law says they have to be able to read them from behind.
CASTRO: I just got it out, so --
OFFICER: Let me see your motorcycle endorsement.
CASTRO: That I don't have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I suppose what struck me watching that, John, was how remarkably calm he is, given that one false move there, and the whole pack of cards falls down. The police could get to his house, and everything would be uncovered. What was your take of it?
WALSH: Because he's a sociopath, piers. He has no -- he's not afraid of doing these things. But this begs a bigger question. In 2005, he beat his wife, who is now dead. He beat her so badly, he dislocated both her shoulders, broke her nose, knocked a tooth out of her mouth, and she had swelling of the brain and a blood clot. And because her lawyer didn't show up in court, the police didn't arrest him.
He had those women in the house. How the hell are you not arrested for beating your wife so badly like that? Piers --
MORGAN: It is --
WALSH: It's mind boggling.
MORGAN: It is mind-boggling. And what is also remarkable about your probing into all this is that back in 2005, you appeared on my predecessor Larry King's show, and you cited then your belief that there was a direct link between Amanda and Gina's disappearances. Let's watch this clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: Who are we looking for here?
WALSH: We don't know. She still hasn't been found, this little girl.
KING: This is a missing girl.
WALSH: Missing 14-year-old girl.
KING: Do you presume? What do you do with stuff like this?
WALSH: Well, there's another little girl, you know, missing in that six blocks from Gina DeJesus. So the cops say they're not related. I say they're related. I mean, come on. You've got one 14-year-old girl and then another girl down the street six blocks away. They haven't found either girl. And they have no suspects.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, you put all this together, John. What you were saying there very publicly on CNN, that the beatings that he had had administered to his wife, which was well documented, other incidents that we're aware of, other claims by neighbors that they had notified authorities of suspicious activity, which have been denied by the police. But they still insist that they're correct.
You put it all together, and you've got a bit of a mess by the Cleveland Police, to put it mildly, haven't you?
WALSH: You know, Piers, I am the biggest supporter of law enforcement. This morning at our National Center for Missing and Exploited Congressional Breakfast, we gave out awards to cops who had saved children, broke child pornography rings, that were torturing six-month-old babies, videoing and sending it around the world. Cops do a great job.
But I had my problems back then saying that these are absolutely related. And now my theory was that they got grabbed the same way, and now they're finding out that little Gina, her best friend, was Arlene Castro. And the day this creep allegedly got her, Arlene and Gina were together, and Arlene needed to borrow 50 cents from Gina to call her parents to see if she could stay over at their house.
And so Gina had 50 cents, gives it to her friend, Arlene Castro, calls her parents and asks if she can stay overnight with Gina. And her parents say no. Gina does not have the bus money to take the bus home and walks 30 blocks. And guess who grabs her. I believe Ariel knew that she was walking home, just like he grabbed Amanda, just like he grabbed Michelle Knight. And he grabbed little Gina DeJesus, because he knew her. His daughter was her best friend. He was obsessed --
MORGAN: I was going to say, just to clarify, that Arlene Castro is Ariel Castro's daughter.
MORGAN: And so the families were inextricably linked in this way.
MORGAN: Again, you have to say, where were the police? They would have been surely tracking any friends of the family and then tracking for any domestic violence incidents that may be on record. It doesn't seem to me a very complex trail, if the police were doing their job correctly. And I'm with you. I'm a huge supporter of the police.
But when you put together also all of the appalling errors in the Cleveland strangler investigation, none of this looks good for Cleveland Police generally, does it?
WALSH: Well, let me say this too, Piers. Why I went on Larry King, because I was so upset that they weren't linking the two girls, and Amanda Berry's mother reached out to me and said, she has been listed as a run-away. I know, Mr. Walsh, that "America's Most Wanted" will help me. I know that she wasn't a run-away. I can't convince police this.
And you know, I worked for three years to get the Amber Alert passed through Congress. Before they made it a national mandated policy that you issue a amber alert when a child goes missing. Gina DeJesus was never issued as an amber alert. She should have been. She was 14. She disappeared walking home.
So, you know, I am the father of a murdered child. And it took me 27 years to get the Hollywood police to open my son's case and let me bring in outside investigator named Joe Matthews and a D.A., Kelly Hancock, who solved 300 murder cases and had an impeccable track record. And in one month, they solved Adam's case, and said this -- Otis Tool (ph) killed Adam.
I love cops. But, boy, when they make mistakes, they need to man up and admit them and do a better job. Maybe that's the lesson we learn out of this horrible, horrible thing. And this guy, he's not just a predator. He's not just a child abuser or sexual abuser. He beat these women so badly that Michelle Knight was pregnant five times, and he didn't buy her birth control pills when he had her captive there. He didn't give her pregnancy devices. She got pregnant five times and he beat her and kicked her so badly she aborted. She miscarried.
This a horrible guy. This is a really, really bad guy.
MORGAN: And final question, and briefly, if you don't mind, Ashley Summers, I spoke to her family last night who were understandably extremely concerned about what may have happened to her still. She was snatched in a similar part of that town around 2007. What do you think may have happened to her? Do you believe, from everything you've seen, that she may be in some way linked to Ariel Castro too?
WALSH: I don't know, Piers. But I do know that there are thousands of parents out there, just like Ashley Summers, whose kids have disappeared and police have said, "we're not getting involved. We believe she is a run-away." She was listed as a run-away. They definitively said this girl probably ran. And look at the three women that were in that house. Look at those women.
For 10 years, they were in a house of hell. And nobody looked for them, really. And I know the Cleveland Police have done a great job since then. And it was probably cops that were involved way back 10 years ago. But I'll tell you what. I think there is a great lesson to be learned. It's a wonderful thing these women are back, Piers. But there's big questions about what went down in the beginning of these cases.
MORGAN: There certainly are. John Walsh, as always, thank you very much indeed.
WALSH: Thank you, Piers. Great day they're back alive.
MORGAN: It certainly is.
Coming next, the case against Ariel Castro and the Jodi Arias verdict. I'll talk to Alan Dershowitz, Gloria Allred and Linda Fairstein. That's coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDRA RUIZ, GINA DEJESUS' AUNT: There are not enough words to say or express the joy that we feel for the return of our family member, Gina. And now Amanda Berry, the daughter, and Michelle Knight, who is our family also.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Pastor Angel Arroyo is a close friend of the family of Gina DeJesus. He spent the day with her at her home today. Pastor, thank you for joining me. How is Gina today, would you say?
PASTOR ANGEL ARROYO, FRIEND OF DEJESUS FAMILY: I can just say that in the few seconds that I've seen her, that she is very quiet, but very happy and very grateful to be home with her friends and family.
MORGAN: Obviously, some very joyous scenes there for obvious reasons. But do you think the family are concerned about her mental state, her physical condition? How would you describe that?
ARROYO: I really have no comment personally for that question, I'm sorry.
MORGAN: OK. In terms of the family, maybe talk about their reaction. They must be absolutely overjoyed, aren't they, to have their girl back?
ARROYO: The family is totally, totally, totally overwhelmed and grateful and happy. It's so much emotions that they have been expressing, just happy, crying. Just nine years, from the beginning, it's always said yes, we know that Gina is alive, we're going to find her, every single rally, every single vigil. When we have gone to different places, when I've gone with Felix, her father, when we have gone to Detroit, to Toledo, to Akron, when we spoke in high schools, when we gave the presentations in the streets and the rallies, always been Gina is alive and we're going to find her one day. And until that day comes, I will not rest.
And that's always been the attitude with that family. And it's been committed since. And they're totally grateful and happy. And I can't express any other way besides they are just rejoiceful right now.
MORGAN: Pastor Arroyo, great to hear that. And pass on our best wishes to Gina and the whole family. Thank you for joining us.
ARROYO: Thank you.
MORGAN: Lots of questions tonight about why it took so long to find Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. Let's talk about all that with my legal eagles. With me tonight is attorney Alan Dershowitz, civil rights attorney Gloria Allred and former sex crimes prosecutor Linda Fairstein. Welcome to you all.
Alan Dershowitz, let me start with you. Should we be going hard on the Cleveland police here? Do you believe they dropped the ball?
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We won't know until more evidence is uncovered as to how effective he was in keeping what he was doing secret. I mean, we don't want to adopt the Boston plan as a kind of model, close down a city, search every single house. They could have found them, probably, if they had engaged in that kind of total investment.
Probably they could have done more. But we always have to balance the desire to solve crime with need to maintain some degree of privacy and some concern for civil liberty. So the question of whether the police struck the right balance will be become clearer over time. If there were leads they didn't follow, if there were opportunities they could have had to do this sooner, obviously should have done it. But to Monday morning quarterback police action is always a kind of dangerous thing.
MORGAN: Gloria Allred, would you agree with that? A lot of people are getting quite angry about the fact that all these young women were snatched, one age 14, one 16, one 20, all from a very similar part of town, all within a few miles, and all being held in a house a few miles from where they were caught. What do you make of that? Do you think the police really have made some errors here, to some degree?
GLORIA ALLRED, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, I agree with Alan, that we have to, Piers, wait for all of the facts to be known before we reach conclusions. But certainly review of what they could have done, what they did do, what they should do in same or similar circumstances. And unfortunately, there will be same or similar circumstances, I hope not as horrific as this -- is really in order. But we'll have to wait and see. MORGAN: Let's take a short break. I want to talk to you, Linda, when we come back about how these young women will be adapting to their new lives now out of captivity and also get to all of you about Jodi Arias. Should she get the death penalty?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state of Arizona versus Jodi Ann Arias, verdict, count one: we the jury, duly empanelled and sworn in above entitled action, upon our oaths, do find the defendant as to count one, first degree murder, guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Jodi Arias guilty of first degree murder. But should she be executed for murdering her ex-boyfriend? Back now with Alan Dershowitz, Gloria Allred and Linda Fairstein. Linda, I want to start with you about Cleveland first, which is to just get your reaction to the full scale of what this man, Ariel Castro, is accused of doing. It does seem particularly heinous. You've covered many sex crimes over the last few decades. What do you think of what we're learning?
LINDA FAIRSTEIN, FORMER SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR: It is incredibly heinous. We have seen very few of these cases that are abductions in which the kids, the young women survive for all of the years of their torture and capture. And what's amazing I think always to police, to prosecutors, to John Walsh is the resilience of the human spirit. The fact that you would expect these young women to come out completely unable to cope. And yet it's their coping skills that help them to survive what this torture was, chains, ropes, tied to walls, pregnancies, miscarriages.
And yet they come out, in this case, supported really lovingly, and that helps enormously, by their families, supported by the public. And there will be a resilience. You've seen it with Elizabeth Smart. You've seen it with Jaycee Dugard, to be able to cooperate and to help their attacker never walk the streets again.
MORGAN: All right, and we do wish them all the very best with their recovery, obviously. Let's turn to Jodi Arias. Alan Dershowitz, no real surprise, certainly not from me, that she was found guilty of first degree murder, given all the evidence. The big debate now about whether she should get the death penalty, because she's come out with this interview saying she would prefer that to life in prison. What do you think of that?
DERSHOWITZ: Well, that's sometimes a tactic. Sometimes juries want to impose the harshest penalty and they think maybe that if they impose life imprisonment, it will be a harsher penalty than the death penalty. It will certainly be a lot less expensive to the state. To execute somebody costs millions of dollars, with repeated appeals.
Whether she gets the death penalty will be largely a question of random luck and also some prejudicial factors. If she doesn't get the death penalty, it's because she's young, female and white. If she does get the death penalty, it's because the man she killed was white. These are the factors that play a greater role in whether or not a jury imposes the death penalty than any rational calculation of the heinousness of the offense.
Generally in domestic type situations, the death penalty is not unanimously found by the jury. But when you have a situation like this, where a woman lied repeatedly to the jury, and insulted the intelligence of the jury, she may well have walked herself into the death chamber as a result of the tactics she and her lawyers employed at the trial.
MORGAN: Gloria Allred, there are apparently three women on death row in Arizona, which has the death penalty obviously. Do you think she deserves it for the crime that she is now being convicted of?
ALLRED: I think that's for the jury to decide. And I don't want to invade the province of the jury. But having said that, I think the prosecutor has a very strong argument for extreme cruelty. After all, if the jury, in fact, believes, and I do believe it, that she took him and when he was in his most vulnerable state -- she planned it, for him to be in the shower, to take that photo of him, and then when his back is turned to strike him, to knife him, to stab him 27 times, to almost decapitate him. It's really torture. It's really making him suffer. And then ultimately dragging his body around and shooting him at some point in the head, as though the suffering was not enough.
If the jury believes all of that, they're going to find extreme cruelty. They're going to weigh aggravating versus mitigating circumstances. The mitigation may be that she has no prior criminal history. The aggravating circumstances may be such that they are going to find that they have to impose the death penalty. Her manipulation of the jury by saying I want to die, in other words give me what I want -- and maybe supposedly that's reverse psychology, so that they don't give her what she wants, they give her life -- I don't think that's going to have an impact on them.
DERSHOWITZ: I agree.
MORGAN: Linda, why are we so obsessed with this case? Because America certainly is, as it was with Casey Anthony. Is there something particularly fascinating about these two women that drives this kind of extraordinary interest, really? Because there are many cases that are not dissimilar to these.
FAIRSTEIN: I can't understand for a minute why we're so obsessed with this case. I think it's taken way too long to try. There are many, many cases, sadly, in this country where people who have had an intimate relationship, one has killed the other. I think the judge lost control of this somewhere along the way. And there's absolutely no reason why it should have had the kind after attention it's had.
DERSHOWITZ: Well, I think it's because --
MORGAN: Alan Dershowitz, is it television?
MORGAN: In Britain, for example, we don't have television in courtrooms. So these kinds of cases don't get the kind of attention, perhaps, they do in America, where you can watch them almost like a soap opera.
DERSHOWITZ: Right. But we've all gotten to know this woman. She's testified ad nauseam. You can't turn on the television and not see her testifying. She has talked to us. She has insulted our intelligence. We are rooting for outcomes in this case. But how attractive people are and how attractive their victims are plays an important role.
The other case, of course, is Amanda Knox. She said in her own book that if she hadn't been perceived as a beautiful young woman, people wouldn't have cared as much about her. Unfortunately, how a person looks and how they behave on the witness stand is often times more relevant in whether they get either sympathy or hatred than what the actual underlying facts of the case are.
MORGAN: Gloria, very quickly, are you a fan of television in courtrooms? Gloria, I'm sorry, we have lost you, apparently. So let's go to Linda. Linda, are you a fan of television in courtrooms? Do you think tat it aids the legal process or perhaps gets in the way and is a hindrance?
FAIRSTEIN: I don't think it aids at all. I think it -- when judges and participants begin to play to the television cameras, when judges change the schedules to comport with what's convenient for people -- I think we saw it in the Simpson case, when Ito actually was having birthday parties for reporters in his chambers, it's just -- it makes a circus out of the whole thing, or enables it to be a circus.
DERSHOWITZ: But on the other hand, the American public has the right to see their courts in action. So you have to strike a balance. I think we have too much television of sensational cases, too little of Supreme Court arguments.
MORGAN: Yes, I think that's a good point. Alan Dershowitz, Gloria Allred, who we lost earlier, and Linda Fairstein, thank you all very much indeed.
DERSHOWITZ: Thank you.
MORGAN: We'll be right back.
MORGAN: We'll be back live at midnight for the latest out of Cleveland, along with the Jodi Arias guilty verdict. And tomorrow, more details from Cleveland, an extraordinary story. And a woman on a mission to make sure it never happens again. Actress, activist and concerned mother Jada Pinkett Smith. That's tomorrow. Anderson Cooper starts right now. See you at midnight.