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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
The George Zimmerman Murder Trial
Aired July 12, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world.
Right now, the six women deciding the fate of George Zimmerman are back in the hotel. We can only imagine what is going through their minds. That he deliberated for three hours and 33 minutes. Before retiring, the jury will return at the courthouse tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., to begin deliberating again for the trial that is gripping America.
Will they find George Zimmerman guilty or not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin? Could they return with a manslaughter conviction? Or will they simply acquit him of all charges? They've asked for 200 exhibits and some reams of testimony to pore over before being handed the case, and heard a fiery closing argument on the defense and an equally forceful rebuttal from the prosecution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
MARK O'MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Do we think he might have acted in self-defense? Not convinced, that's a doubt, that's a concern, that he just may have acted in self-defense? And if you reach that conclusion, you get to stop. You really do. Why? Because self- defense is a defense to everything.
JOHN GUY, STATE ATTORNEY: This isn't a complicated case. It's a common sense case and it's not a case about self-defense but denial. It's a case about self-denial -- George Zimmerman.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MORGAN: Incredible lineup of guests for me tonight. Judges, top legal experts and a studio audience with opinions you will want to hear. We'll get to those in a moment. Let's begin with Martin Savidge. He's outside the courthouse again for us in Sanford, Florida.
Martin, this is it now. The jury is out. They spent just over three and a bit hours deliberating today and they asked for some documents.
Tell me about significance of that.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they did. I mean, the jury is allowed to ask questions and in this particular case after their deliberation, by about an hour or so, they said they had one and that of course is our window into what may be going on in their deliberation room. Well, they asked for was specifically a list of all the exhibits they wanted them broken down by number and by description. That caught a lot of people's attention because it was like aha, maybe this could be awhile. They seem to have a lot they wish to review.
MORGAN: They were also be aware there were lots of people watching all over America, all around the world and they will want to take their time. Everyone is aware of the O.J. Simpson jury factor, where it was felt they raced to come out with a verdict. It was very controversial. This jury seemed to be -- wanted to do things properly.
SAVIDGE: They do. I mean, keep in mind they have been shielded from the way this trial has grown. They knew, of course, somewhat about the story, but they have not known about how significantly. Americans have been glued to the television sets and watching this. They are unaware of that. But they do know that what they have to do is important. It matters.
There is one life lost and one life that remains on the line. John Guy summed it up actually. He took for the prosecution that self-defense argument that the defense has used and turned it on its ear.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUY: Started at the 711 where that child had every right to be where he was. That child had every right to do what he was doing, walking home. That child had every right to be afraid of a strange man following him first in his car and then on foot. And did that child not have the right to defend himself from that strange man?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Powerful point. In other words, didn't Trayvon have the right of self-defense? It just wasn't one way for George Zimmerman.
MORGAN: Right. And also very powerful testimony, of course, back from the defense, Mark O'Mara, in particular. Being pretty calm most of the time but then quite animated, too. Tell me about his performance today.
SAVIDGE: Well, you know, one of the things he's worried about is not just second-degree murder but now, we know that there could be another charge of manslaughter, and it's possible the jury could say, well, that's the compromise and it's not going to be murder, but we know someone has died, maybe this is a compromised verdict and he is very much opposed to that. He worries of sympathy.
Here is how he explained it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'MARA: It is a tragedy truly, but you can't allow sympathy to feed in to it. When I say that to you, you should sit back and raise your hand and go, are you nuts? How dare you tell me to leave sympathy out of my life? How dare you tell me to leave all of my emotions beside? How dare you? I don't do that ever in my life.
Welcome to a criminal courtroom because, unfortunately, you have to be better than your presumptions. You have to be better than what you do in every day life, better, at least different, at least unique.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: And it is a very unique challenge that those jurors now face. Their first day is over. They will begin tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m., Piers.
MORGAN: Martin Savidge, thank you very much indeed.
With me now exclusively from outside the courthouse in Sanford is Benjamin Crump. He's the attorney for the Martin family.
Ben Crump, thanks for joining me again.
What do you make out jury so far out three and a bit hours asking for a lot of documentation, clearly prepared to go through a lot of evidence, it would seem?
BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, Piers, what I think is going on is they are looking the evidence and we've always believed if they looked at the evidence, that they will hold George Zimmerman accountable for killing an unarmed teenager. We've always said there is overwhelming evidence to hold him accountable for killing Trayvon because he got out of his car, and he profiled and pursued and chased an unarmed teenage kid.
MORGAN: Now, one of the more dramatic moments today is when Mark O'Mara showed a picture of Trayvon Martin alive and then held up his autopsy photograph.
Let's listen to what happened there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'MARA: Two months, three months before Trayvon Martin passed away, that's what he looked like. He lost half his blood. We know that, so on that picture that we have of him on the medical examiner's table, yes, he does look emaciated. But here's him three months before that night.
So, it's in evidence. Take a look at it because this is the person and this is the person who George Zimmerman encountered that night.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: What did you make of that Ben Crump? Because it was clearly trying to create an impression to the jury that Trayvon Martin wasn't just a kid, he was a quite strapping teenager?
CRUMP: Well, what is interesting about that, Piers, it was extremely emotional, especially for Trayvon's mother. It was that point she became very emotional and actually had to excuse herself from the courtroom. You know, Mark O'Mara said in his closing summation that you should not use presumptions to convict the innocent when referring to his client George Zimmerman.
But isn't that exactly what George Zimmerman did that night when he profiled and made assumptions about Trayvon Martin and was wrong and, unfortunately, Trayvon had to pay with his life?
MORGAN: There was a moment Mark O'Mara turned his attention to you personally. This was an interview with Martin Savidge I spoke to earlier. This is a clip in that interview where he talks about you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Do you think George Zimmerman would have even been charged had Ben Crump not been pulled into this?
O'MARA: No, Ben Crump or someone like him, because had Ben Crump not gotten involved in the case, maybe for some good reasons to begin with. If he believed that there was something here that was being swept under the rug, then get on into it. I'm very OK with that. I --
SAVIDGE: But you didn't quite say it that way. You made it sound like if it wasn't for Ben Crump, George Zimmerman would be free at this time and we would not be in a trial.
O'MARA: That's correct. I think it was a made-up story for purposes that had nothing to do with George Zimmerman, and that they victimized him and they complained about Trayvon Martin being victimized, George Zimmerman was victimized by a publicity campaign to smear him. They call him a racist when he wasn't, and they call him a murderer when he wasn't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Ben Crump, your reaction to that?
CRUMP: Well, Piers, you know, they seem to forget that Trayvon Martin was a dead, unarmed kid on the ground who his client profiled, followed, pursued, and shot in the heart. The only thing that brought us into the matter is when they told Trayvon's father that they were not going to arrest the killer of his unarmed son, who only had a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea walking home from the 7-Eleven doing everything he legally had the right to do.
So, what do you tell parents like Tracy and Sybrina whose child only was trying to walk home and was profiled for whatever reason? We don't know if George Zimmerman was a racist or not, but we do know he profiled Trayvon Martin for some reason and got out of that car with a 9 millimeter gun and pursued him. And so, if we would not have gotten involved as Tracy Martin told me when I first talked to him, they said they are not going to do anything about it.
And I didn't believe that, Piers. I did not believe that as a lawyer. I said, hold on. Let me make sure I get the facts right, because I know that they would arrest certain people on hypothesis. They had evidence of a kid dead, confessed killer and they weren't going to arrest him. There's something wrong with that. That's why so many people signed those petitions, over 2 million people that said you can't kill an unarmed kid and not even be arrested.
MORGAN: Ben Crump, I mean, obviously, the jury out now so you can speak relatively freely in that sense. What do you think is the most likely verdict? Many people think that the case, the second- degree murder hasn't quite been met by the state but there's a pretty compelling argument for manslaughter conviction. Do you agree with that?
CRUMP: I will say it like this. I'll quote prosecutor John Guy today, who, I think he said -- I have said this previously. If Trayvon Martin was in the car and profiled and followed and pursued George Zimmerman and killed him, what would the verdict be?
MORGAN: Ben Crump, always good to talk to you. Thank you very much indeed for joining me.
And I want to bring in my special guest tonight. CNN senior legal Jeffrey Toobin, Judge Glenda Hatchett, host of the "Judge Hatchett Show"; and Judge Alex Ferrer, he's a former Florida judge and host of Judge Alex; defense attorney Jayne Weintraub; and Marc Lamont Hill, Columbia University professor and host of "Huff Post Life."
Welcome to you all. What a stellar panel I must say.
Jeffrey Toobin, let me start with you.
When you hear Ben Crump talked like that, it's very hard to see how this jury can basically say to George Zimmerman, I think, off you go?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, I don't know. I mean, I think this jump will do exactly what they think is right.
You know, one of the things you don't realize about a sequestered jury is that they really are sequestered and I am sure one of the things they will say when this trial is over, wow, we had no idea the whole country was following this.
So, I think that the initial sign we get is that they are going to be very meticulous, asking for a list of evidence, suggest they're going to look at the evidence with a considerably amount of care. They're going to let the chips fall where they may, and I don't think they are going to be focused on the public reaction. I think they're going to be focused, as they should be, on the evidence.
MORGAN: Marc Lamont Hill, do you agree with that?
MARC LAMONT HILL, COLUMBIA UNIVERISTY: Yes, I think they're going to be focused on facts, obviously, their own biases, their own interpretations and their emotions are going to weigh into that.
But at the end of the day, they're going to make the best decision that they can based on the evidence they've seen on the --
MORGAN: Six women, five of them mothers, some of the stuff today from rebuttal directly aimed at that fact that they are all female, they're all -- many of them are mothers. This is a 17-year-old boy, you know, walking home to his family who was unarmed and got shot dead.
Just on -- forget evidence for a moment. Just any human level, isn't that going to be incredibly powerful with an all-female, mother- related jury?
HILL: It's going to be powerful. It's going to be compelling. But ultimately, it may not be persuasive. If they look at the evidence and decide that despite their emotion, they don't, they're not sure beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman was committing manslaughter or second degree murder, they have to make a decision.
And their sympathies could go the other way as well. I mean, the defense has done an amazing job for the last two weeks of showing, you know, how would you feel at night if you saw Trayvon? They've constructed Trayvon as a kind of villain, as a purveyor of violence. And as such, those same emotions for those six jurors could play out the other way.
MORGAN: Judge Alex, no one knows Florida law better than you. We've established that the last few weeks. What do you think?
JUDGE ALEX FERRER, HOST, "JUDGE ALEX": Well, I take issues with one of the points that Mr. Crump made. Around the time Trayvon's incident happened, shortly before that, there was an exact opposite case in Miami, Florida. There was a black male who shot three white males, who happened to be his friend and killed them. But police did not arrest him because he claimed "Stand Your Ground". He said he was attacked and he defended himself. Over the period of time, the next few months, they investigated and they realized his defense didn't hold water. They turned around and they arrested him.
And the reason the police have to follow that tact is because they can only arrest you if they have probable cause. And if they show up and there are no witnesses and you claim self-defense and have nothing to defeat it, if they arrest you, they are facing potential civil liability. They can be sued because they arrested without probable cause.
MORGAN: Right. Judge Hatchet, this to me is a total fuss. The idea that people in America, the great super power of the world, can wonder around, gunning people down and not even face arrest because they were acting in self-defense or standing their ground, this ludicrous phrase. Is this a fuss?
GLENDA HATCHETT, HOST, "JUDGE HATCHETT": Well, I will tell you -- one of the things I think come from this very tragic situation and I think regardless of where people sort out of what will happen, I think that we all agree that there is a tragedy this 17-year-old lost his life.
HATCHETT: I don't think there is any, any dispute on that.
But I will tell you, Piers, I think that one of the best things that will happen out of this is that there will be a discussion now about "Stand Your Ground", because we haven't heard the last of this. I mean, we got another case coming up in Florida later where a teenager was killed, and I think that we have to really get very serious about where we are because this can go far further than any of us could ever anticipate in this country.
MORGAN: Jayne Weintraub, do you agree with that? I mean, I'm not as confident. I look at what's happened with gun control in America, where absolutely zero happened after Sandy Hook and Aurora, why should I have confidence anything will change?
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Personally, I think stand your ground is a terrible, terrible law. I think it's almost giving extra permission for those who carry guns.
MORGAN: It's a license to kill people, isn't it?
WEINTRAUB: I think it's an awful law.
WEINTRAUB: I think at the same time when we look at this case, that the jury is out on, we have to focus on the evidence. And as hard as it is, Mark O'Mara, as I told you the other night, the judge is going to read the jury instruction that sympathy does not belong in the courtroom. Your verdict must be based on the evidence alone because not to do so would be a travesty of justice.
MORGAN: OK. Let's take a short break. I want to come back and talk about this jury on -- have a look at the Zimmerman jurors. Ask how an all-female jury could change the dynamic in that jury room. It must have an effect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUY: What is that, when a grown man frustrated, angry with hate in his heart gets out of his car with a loaded gun and follows a child, a stranger in the dark, and shoots him through his heart?
O'MARA: He's not guilty of anything but protecting his own life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Two very different cases for the jurors to consider but whose side will they take?
Back with me, my studio audience and my guests. Also joining me now is jury consultant, Jo-Ellan Dimitrius.
Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, you're an expert in juries. It's almost an unusual make up of this jury. Six women, five mothers, five white mothers, women, what difference will that make do you think to the dynamic in that jury room, if anything?
JO-ELLAN DIMITRIUS, JURY CONSULTANT: Well, I think it will make a difference -- if you look at your show over the past couple weeks, when you've had multiple women on, that have disagreement about particular topic, you can see how animated they get.
MORGAN: I'm glad you said that.
DIMITRIUS: And I was actually involved on one of those panels.
MORGAN: I know you were, yes. No man can get away with saying.
I'm sure that's true. I'm also sure -- although they won't be aware of the huge attention the trial is getting on television -- they will be aware, I'm sure, before that this was potentially going to be a big story, wouldn't they?
DIMITRIUS: Of course, they are. Let me give you an example. What a sequestered jury gets as a newspaper in the morning looks something like this.
MORGAN: Right. So, you know it's on the front page, you just don't know what it says.
DIMITRIUS: That's right. And the whole paper looks like that. So, definitely they know it's a big story. Many of them knew a lot about the case before they were even selected as jurors.
MORGAN: Jeffrey Toobin, we were discussing in the break there about this issue if anything would change. You made an interesting point about that.
TOOBIN: Well, the politics control (ph) have been changed so much. In 1968, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King are assassinated. The immediate reaction is the Gun Control Act of 1968. That's how we responded.
Now, for a big part of the country, when there are terrible acts of gun violence, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, the answer is more guns. MORGAN: Right.
TOOBIN: Guns in schools, guns on the street and that's -- you know, we here on West 58th Street, which is not the whole country --
TOOBIN: -- have to recognize that a lot of people out there see --
MORGAN: A lot of people said to me, what would have stopped this is Trayvon Martin had a gun, too.
Judge Hatchett, when I hear that, I despair for America. Because I think, how can that possibly be the way that you resolve this kind of situation going forward? You don't just go and arm everybody else, do you? Do you?
HATCHETT: I know. No, you don't. And I just -- my heart, as I've told you before, just bleeds over this situation. But I did have an interesting question today.
Someone said to me, well, judge, why didn't George just pull his gun and say, "I'm the neighborhood watch, stay where you are until the police gets here." I mean, he's the one who has the gun. Why didn't he do that?
FERRER: He doesn't have a right to do that because that would be an aggravated assault. And I suspect and this is just pure suspicion -- I suspect he did pull his gun. I think that gun was out.
HATCHETT: I do, too.
FERRER: Because I think it's hard to get out when he's on top of you, but he never would admit that. And he has no right -- he would have in legal right to pull a gun on somebody who's not committing a crime.
HATCHETT: You're right.
TOOBIN: In his defense --
HATCHETT: I thought it was interesting with the use of force expert who -- the prosecution was cross examining him, said if Zimmerman is being straddled by Trayvon Martin, how easy would it be for him to get the gun out of his waist belt?
MORGAN: Let me come to Jeff --
HATCHETT: Forcing a question to make the point that they thought that he did that anyway.
HATCHETT: That he approached him with the gun and that Trayvon was defending himself in response.
MORGAN: Right. Jeff, the point you were going to make?
TOOBIN: Well, the defense is that he got out of the car and then he was just assaulted. It's not that -- I mean, I don't know, obviously, I don't know what happened but we should be clear that his defense is not that he chased him down, is that he got out of the car and Trayvon was on him.
MORGAN: Judge Alex, you've presided over these kind of cases before.
MORGAN: Did you find George Zimmerman -- not through testimony he gave but through all the statements that we heard, did you find him a convincing character to listen to? Did you believe his story?
FERRER: I actually did. You know, my suspicion about him possibly pulling out the gun and that's all it is, is because it explains a lot of things like why Trayvon might jump him if he thinks this crazy cracker is pulling a gun and he might be in danger and explains the difficulty of getting a gun out when somebody is on top of you.
But when he told him, for him to have made it up, he made it up immediately after the shooting, within seconds of a witness coming out from the apartment. He would have to be brilliant to know he doesn't know who watched. He doesn't know if anybody videotaped. He doesn't know what forensic evidence are going to find on the floor, and yet, the story he told with minor inconsistencies does coincide with the physical evidence in almost every material way.
HILL: I've seen enough of George Zimmerman to know he's not brilliant. I think -- honestly.
HILL: I think George Zimmerman believes the story that he's telling and that's why this is complex. And I think, initially, we wanted a very flat, simple, easy story which is this crazy racist saw a black kid and decided to go on a killing spree.
MORGAN: I think it's more complicated.
HILL: I don't think that's true. I don't disagree at all.
MORGAN: I agree. I agree. HILL: I think he made some bad assumptions. I think he saw a young, black male and saw violence and danger in Trayvon's body, which itself is a racist assumption. But I don't think in his own mind, he said, oh, there is a black kid. I'm going to go kill him.
That's what I think it's messy. And I also agree with you, Judge Alex, that there's no way, you see this big, scary black guy and don't approach him, you don't pull your gun first? It's --
DIMITRIUS: He's taught as neighborhood watch --
FERRER: He's watching him run from him. He's watching him pull the hood up. Everything is kind of building towards this guy is up to no good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he had the gun out.
WEINTRAUB: But don't forget, George Zimmerman's nose is broken. The only injuries are on George Zimmerman.
MORGAN: But his injuries are not that bad.
WEINTRAUB: They are not that good.
MORGAN: We don't actually even know for a fact his nose was broken. He never had an X-ray --
WEINTRAUB: Piers, Piers, we know --
MORGAN: We were portrayed a picture of a guy who had to shoot Trayvon Martin because he genuinely feared that he was about to be killed himself.
WEINTRAUB: Or -- no, no, that's not the law. The law is that you have to be in fear of imminent danger of great bodily harm or death.
WEINTRAUB: You don't have to be --
WEINTRAUB: But a bang on the nose and a few scratches on your head, does that qualify --
DIMITRIUS: Going back and looking at the perspective of the fact that as a neighborhood watch commander, he is taught to observe, report and be a good witness.
FERRER: The only thing that applies to, though, is if you go ahead and have him kicked off the neighborhood watch. You know, they spent a lot of time talking about the guidelines for neighborhood watch. Those aren't the elements of a crime. The elements of the crime had nothing to do with that.
Let's take a short break --
DIMITRIUS: If they're not an element of a crime but shows intent. I mean, if he's been -- if he's been taught this, then to leave the car is beyond his training and you got to wonder, if those jurors are thinking what happened that he actually left that car to go after Trayvon?
MORGAN: OK. Let's take a short break.
When we come back, the defense's used of force expert, as Jo- Ellan, has mentioned, he's in the audience here tonight. We'll talk to him after the break about his testimony and what he thinks the verdict will be.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUY: Dennis Root said there is no other option for the defendant. For everybody else, there is. He had to admit that. He could have done other things. But he said for the defendant, there wasn't another option.
But consider this -- this is so important when you consider his opinion -- the only evidence he had, the only evidence he had about what was happening at the time the shot was fired was from who.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The same question (INAUDIBLE) the defense witness Dennis Root. He's here in the audience tonight.
Also joining us, CNN contributor and "The New York Times" op-ed columnist, Charles Blow, and former prosecutor John Q. Kelly.
And if you want to join in, you can just tweet me @PiersMorgan. Lots of tweets coming in with lots of opinions, it's dividing America.
Dennis Root, you gave this testimony which you basically imply the only course of action that was left open to George Zimmerman was to take out his gun and shoot Trayvon Martin. Why did you believe that so strongly?
DENNIS ROOT, DEFENSE WITNESS: You take into consideration everything you learn about an individual. To say there are additional options that are available to a person is taking into consideration whether they have fighting skills, whether they have any other things. Screaming for help was an option which he utilized, if you believe that he was the one screaming on the recording.
To be asked what other options there are and the gentleman says, I have other options, everybody else does, I have 22 years of training behind me. Mr. Zimmerman did not, you know?
So, to say what options he had, he had physical --
MORGAN: But he's the older guy, he's a bigger guy. It's a fight. There are no weapons other than his gun. He's up against a 17-year-old kid who is a bit -- doesn't know what's going on. He's walking home.
Surely, there is another option than pulling out a gun and shooting him dead, isn't it?
ROOT: The main concern that you have is everybody makes the presumption that it's just a 17-year-old kid walking home. None of us, including myself --
MORGAN: That's what he was.
ROOT: None of us, including myself, know exactly how the altercation began and ended up where it was. The perception that's important is, what took place in George Zimmerman's mind at the time he discharged the weapon. And as long as he perceived that he was in imminent peril for great bodily harm or death, he's justified under Florida law in discharging a firearm.
MORGAN: Charles Blow, I mean, this cuts to the quick of the whole trial that so many people feel, there must have been another option than just shooting this boy dead.
CHARLES BLOW, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Right, and to your point, I mean, no one knows but Trayvon and George Zimmerman whether or not George Zimmerman exposed a weapon prior to the encounter and whether or not the struggle may, in fact, all have been over a weapon because what the prosecution was trying to do all day today and part of yesterday was to say it is virtually impossible to retrieve the weapon while you're on the ground. So how is it that the weapon gets drawn? I think that become as crucial point.
I thought the prosecution would raise that much earlier. I thought that was a crucial idea, which is how do you get the gun out behind your back, move it over his legs, up to his chest and fire that weapon?
If, in fact, the gun is out prior to the engagement of the physical altercation, then the person who is defending themselves against great bodily harm or death switches from Trayvon Martin to -- from George Zimmerman to Trayvon Martin, and the only person who has testified in this entire case as to whether or not that gun stayed holstered the entire time has been the man who is charged with the murder --
MORGAN: Right --
BLOW: -- of Trayvon Martin.
John Q. Kelly, what do you think of that?
JOHN Q. KELLY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: First of all, going to what Zimmerman's options were. One, he could have stayed in the car. Two, he could left the gun in the car. Three, he could follow 30 feet behind him.
And we also don't know how the confrontation started. I mean, a lot of people assume that Trayvon threw a bunch that George's nose. That could have been a head butt when they collided. It could have been a nose when someone's tackling him. It could be when they went to the ground together.
But I think I agree with the people that are talking aright now, that that gun had to be drawn. There's no way it came out, got brought up, put in his chest, fired cleanly one shot during that struggle if he was yelling for help.
MORGAN: Judge Alex --
FERRER: Piers, there were a lot of things in George Zimmerman's version that I disagree with. Like I said, I think the gun was out. In my mind, there's no way he was going to look at a street sign. He was following to see and tell the cops where he was, things like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
FERRER: The problem --
MORGAN: But he didn't intend to shoot Trayvon Martin. I don't think anybody believes that.
FERRER: I don't think, too, at all. Somebody who intends to shoot doesn't call 911 to report the progress along the way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. I agree with that.
FERRER: But here's the thing -- what's really relevant is when he gets on the ground. Unless the prosecution can show that he was the aggressor and that he punched Trayvon first and there were no injuries on Trayvon to document that, what's relevant is, when he's on the ground, does he have another option to get out? The prosecution's hands are tied because they don't have the evidence to show otherwise.
BLOW: Do you believe the gun is out, then that makes you the aggressor because you have the most -- you have the most force --
HATCHETT: But the judge's --
FERRER: What I believe is my speculation --
FERRER: What you have to show a jury is proof --
MORGAN: Judge Hatchett?
HATCHETT: That's the problem. That's the problem. The state has the burden of proving --
BLOW: I agree with that.
HATCHETT: -- beyond a reasonable doubt.
Now, I believe he would have never gotten out of the car if he didn't have the gun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's true.
HATCHETT: I mean, he would have never gotten out of the car. Let's be real about this.
MORGAN: Let me go to an audience member, Damon Jackson, who has a question here, because Damon, you've got a question quite (INAUDIBLE) which is if it was another away around. Ask your question.
DAMON JACKSON, AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, well the fact is that the only reason that there was an arrest and the only reason there was a trial is due to a response from the public outcry, national outcry.
HATCHETT: That's true.
JACKSON: OK. I wonder if the roles were reversed, whether or not we would be sitting here having this type of discussion totally --
MORGAN: What do you think?
JACKSON: I believe Zimmerman is guilty.
MORGAN: But if the roles were reversed, if Trayvon had shot dead George Zimmerman --
JACKSON: I don't think there would have been the need for a public outcry, number one. I think Trayvon would have been arrested right off the bat and I believe he would have been found guilty right off the bat.
MORGAN: Charles Blow?
BLOW: I think that to me is the most crucial point about what the public outcry was here. This case is not now nor has it ever been about an extraordinary death. People are shocked to death, unfortunately, in America every day. This was about an extraordinary inequity in the application of the law and the misapplication of the presumption of innocence, that who was -- was worthy to be given the presumption of innocence in this case? The man standing over the dead kid with the candy, or the kid on the ground.
What we saw was that the man standing over the dead body, was allowed to walk into a police station, give a statement.
HATCHETT: And go home.
BLOW: Not even take toxicology tests, nothing, and walk out of there and go home and sleep in his bed.
BLOW: That's what outraged people.
HATCHETT: Yes, that is true.
MORGAN: OK. Let's take another break. Let's come back and we'll hear more audience questions on this explosive case.
MORGAN: They deliberated today for three hours and 33 minutes. And the jury will be back deciding George Zimmerman's fate tomorrow morning. I'm back now with my guests and studio audience.
We're going to go one member of the audience, Carol Frazer.
Carol, you have a question to the panel.
CAROL FRAZER, AUDIENCE MEMBER: I would like to preface my question by a statement made by the judge that race cannot be used, you know, the term in the case, right?
Today, O'Mara had the audacity to say that it's possible that Zimmerman was intimidated by Trayvon because of all the burglaries that have been taken place in his neighborhood by African American males, which is clearly racial profiling. And it already shows his inability to be objective.
So, my question is, can the jury be truly objective?
MORGAN: OK. Marc Lamont Hill, I mean, it's an interesting point, because they also, of course, produced that young white woman who came out and testified, wow, I had these scary African-Americans intruding my home, the whole picture is it was building up was Zimmerman was quite right to look at a young black teenager and thinking trouble. That is racial profiling.
HILL: This entire -- from the moment this incident happened, until this very moment, race has been shot through this entire ordeal. What they want us to do is pretend race doesn't matter and at the same time smuggle in race through other means.
HILL: They are smuggling race saying look at Trayvon, look at these people that always get away --
MORGAN: That takes me to the second question. This one is from Daniel Sorge.
DANIEL SORGE, AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thanks.
I'm around the same age as Trayvon, and would this case be different if it was me that night instead of him?
MORGAN: See, this is a great question --
HATCHETT: Great question.
HILL: Can I answer it?
MORGAN: No, you had your chance. John Q. Kelly, you can answer. If Trayvon had been that young man, Daniel, would we be even debating this here?
KELLY: We might be debating parts of it. I think there would have been an arrest much more quickly at that point.
But, Piers, the bottom line is this whole thing boils down to the "Stand Your Ground" rule, where you have a man who can take a concealed gun, initiate a confrontation and then if he starts to lose, can shoot his opponent dead.
MORGAN: And it wasn't -- in the end, they didn't actually use "Stand Your Ground" as their defense, although they could have. But the self-defense is almost the same thing and it seems to me -- Judge Alex, I keep coming back to this. It does seem quite extraordinary that you can shoot an unarmed teenager dead and you don't even get arrested that night.
FERRER: As you pointed out, this is not a stand your case, and I'm against "Stand Your Ground" law in Florida, I wish they never passed it. But this is not a "Stand Your Ground" case.
HATCHETT: Good for you, good. Good.
FERRER: But the Castle Doctrine, which is what most of America uses, this would be the same analysis that's done across the country. They would do the exact same thing. It's not Florida. Basically, they would look at the perception of the individual.
If you got up in the middle of the night and shot somebody coming through the window of your home and it turned out to be a 17 neighbor who your daughter invited over, you would not be prosecuted. He'd be unarmed, a 17-year-old, you weren't injured because you're perception at that time is what matters. Was it reasonable? Were you afraid?
That's what the jury is deciding. Was George afraid and was his fear reasonable?
BLOW: But you were not in Zimmerman's castle, right?
FERRER: It doesn't matter.
BLOW: But both people had the right to be where they were that night. If I would concede that what this young man just asked is, yes, someone who shot you would have been arrested and I take it even one step further and say that if you were female, you would have been arrested before they even asked a question, right? That some people are granted the right to feel fear from other sources of people in our society and that is not equitable in our society.
MORGAN: OK, I want to do an experiment now just with this audience. It's not scientific. I have no idea because any of you came in what your view is of this of this trial and it doesn't really matter, the importance of this.
I just want to know of the three verdicts that could come in right now from everything you've seen and heard from this case, how would you as a juror vote here?
So, who would go for second-degree murder? So, a few hands, maybe five or six hands.
Who would go for an acquittal? Again, maybe five or six hands.
Who would go for a manslaughter conviction?
So, the significant majority of this audience and I suspect, Marc Lamont Hill, that also is reflective of a wide cross-section of Americans right now. Many people saying to me, it seems like that the fairest way out of this would be a manslaughter conviction, even though it carries for George Zimmerman a very heavy sentence, mandatory at least 10 to 12 years.
HILL: And if you add the gun piece of this, it could be much longer than 10 or 12 years. I think you're right. I think that when there is dead kid on the ground and they know who shot him, it's very difficult for jurors to walk away and watch George Zimmerman go home at the end of the week. It's just hard mentally to come to that conclusion so they feel like something has to be done.
In fact, the prosecution didn't make a case for second-degree murder. Regardless of what they think, they didn't make that case. I did make a case for manslaughter. That is at least compelling.
MORGAN: OK. Let's got to a break. When we come back, Martin Savidge rejoins us with a live update from the courthouse in Sanford.
MORGAN: Tomorrow morning, the jury returns to deliberate George Zimmerman's fate.
Martin Savidge is back outside the courthouse live with some update.
Martin, very lively debate tonight. And what is crystal clear to me is that many, many people just wish they had more hard facts to answer so many of these unanswered questions. It would make it all so much easier, wouldn't it?
SAVIDGE: Yes, it would. Especially for I guess those six jurors. I mean, I'm glad to see this debate, because many journalists feared that this was not a trial that would gain the kind of attention that others have. But of course, there are serious issues here to be debated as a nation.
So, it is rewarding, albeit, of course, a tragic story that so many people have followed it in this country. Tomorrow morning, it begins again 9:00 a.m. That's when the jurors will show, they will go into the courtroom, and that is where Judge Debra Nelson will go through their questions to make sure they have not had any contact with the outside world essentially and then they go off to deliberate some more.
We have been told now that once it gets into Saturday, if there's a verdict, there will be a one hour heads up at least so everyone can get into the position, including the media, and get ready to report it if we get to that point tomorrow.
MORGAN: Martin, how likely to continue the same pattern of deliberating, say, until 6:00 p.m. each night. Is that normally how these things work?
SAVIDGE: It can fluctuate. I mean, you know, it's possible. We knew that during a trial, there were times that the judge will go until 10:00 at time. So, if the jurors feel like maybe they're close, maybe they're really make progress, they could stay late. It is up to them. The judge respects that and will get them plenty of legroom.
MORGAN: Martin Savidge, thank you very much indeed for your reporting since the start of this trial.
Let me go now to Casey Krehbiel.
You got a very interesting point about George Zimmerman. CASEY KREHBIEL, AUDIENCE MEMBER: George Zimmerman gained 120 pounds in only 16 months. With this huge devastating weight gain, do you think it had any affect on the trial or the jury's perception of George Zimmerman?
MORGAN: Judge Hatchett, let me go to you on this. I mean, he is a completely different looking man. Do you think it was a deliberate strategy?
HATCHETT: I don't think so.
MORGAN: A cynical one. To say, how could this guy so out of shape, he could never win a fight?
HATCHETT: I don't think -- a lot of people have said that to me. I really don't think so, Piers. I think that this is a man who is stressed.
I think his life has changed radically. He's a prisoner in his own home. And I think --
MORGAN: Whatever happens to him, let's be straightforward about George Zimmerman. I've spoken a lot to his brother Robert, who has done a great job defending his brother.
And he is clearly deeply stressed George Zimmerman. I think that's what's behind to this. But more importantly, this guy's life is ruined, whatever happens. If he comes out tomorrow, for the rest of his life he'll be fearing --
HILL: He's another Casey Anthony.
HATCHETT: He is. But I don't think he did it for the tactical reason so he looks out of shape and can't fight. I really think he is just suffering in ways that maybe we can't even imagine.
BLOW: And on the stress and suffering point, I think that Trayvon Martin would love if he could feel stress.
HATCHETT: No question. No question.
HATCHETT: I'm not trying to minimize how tragic the situation is. But I don't think it was part of the strategy.
MORGAN: Let me go around the panel now, because I want to get your verdicts. What do you think is going to come back?
BLOW: I have no idea. I mean, I'm always dubious about --
MORGAN: What do you think is the fair result?
BLOW: From what I've seen, it depends on how they take Zimmerman's test -- he didn't testify, but his statements that are in part of the evidence.
MORGAN: What do you personally think?
BLOW: I believe that it is hard to buy his account of what happened, particularly and most importantly --
MORGAN: Give me a verdict.
BLOW: I think you may end up with manslaughter. I'm not sure. I'm very hesitant to predict. But I think maybe manslaughter.
MORGAN: Let's take a short break and come back and get the other four verdicts after this short break.
MORGAN: Back now with my guests and studio audience.
Judge Hatchett, very quickly, your verdict?
HATCHETT: I think it's going to be manslaughter, and I think it will come early next week.
MORGAN: Judge Alex?
FERRER: I think legally, it's an acquittal. But emotionally the jury may give manslaughter as a compromised verdict.
KELLY: Manslaughter -- the intentional conduct of Zimmerman is (INAUDIBLE).
HILL: If I were a juror, I would say not guilty based on what I seen. But compromise verdict, probably manslaughter.
MORGAN: OK. Well, it's going to be a fascinating week. Whatever happens, it could be tomorrow. It could be Sunday. We have no idea.
Let's just lay our cards on the table. We don't know what is in that jury's mind.
It's been a very fascinating debate tonight with this audience, very animated. All of America is debating this, because it's about race. It's about guns. It's about culture. It's about American life, the right to self-defend, all of those things have collided into this.
And the verdict, whatever it is, will be extremely contentious.
Thank you all on my panel, to my audience for joining me tonight.
And we'll have the Zimmerman verdict live on CNN, of course, the moment that we get it. You'll see it on CNN all through the weekend. There will be live update and deliberation and debate.
Anderson Cooper CNN special "Self-Defense or Murder: The George Zimmerman Trial" starts right now.