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Zimmerman Jury Wants Inventory of Evidence; Interview with Mark O'Mara; Interview with Tracy Martin
Aired July 12, 2013 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Happening now, George Zimmerman is being judged by jurors. A verdict could happen at any time.
Will it come down to the fine print of the law or will it come down to raw emotion?
We're going over every key moment of this climactic day.
Lawyers on both sides argued their cases one last time. Our analysts are standing by. They'll take a closer look at the critical points that the lawyers made and their clashing styles.
And first on CNN, the defense attorney, Mark O'Mara, talks at length about the toughest and most controversial choices he had to make during the trial and how race has figured into this trial.
I'm Wolf Blitzer.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
In Florida right now, there's breaking news in the George Zimmerman trial. The court is compiling a list of evidence for the jurors. They just asked for it only moments ago, nearly two-and-a- half hours into their deliberations. The six women are trying to sort out what really happened on the night of Zimmerman's deadly confrontation with 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Jurors will decide whether Zimmerman is guilty of second degree murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter, or whether he acted in self-defense and can walk away from this trial a free man.
The defense attorney, Mark O'Mara, spent more than three hours delivering his closing arguments today. He told the jurors that Zimmerman, is in his words, "completely innocent." But he stressed that they only need to have reasonable doubt about his guilt to acquit him. And he hit at the heart of the self-defense claim, suggesting that Trayvon Martin didn't have a gun, but he did have a weapon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O'MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That's cement. That is a sidewalk. And that is not an unarmed teenager with nothing but Skittles trying to get home. That was somebody who used the availability of dangerous items, from his fist to the concrete, to cause great bodily injury. Not that it was necessary for self- defense, but great bodily injury against George Zimmerman. And the suggestion by the state that that's not a weapon, that that can't hurt somebody, that that can't cause great bodily injury, is disgusting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The prosecutor, John Guy, had the last word, delivering the state's rebuttal. He argued that Zimmerman acted, in his words, "with ill will or hatred," the requirement for a second degree murder conviction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: 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, what is that?
Is that nothing?
That's not anything?
Is that where we are?
Well, that's not his call and that's not my call, that's your call.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And right now, let go into the courtroom, because the judge has reconvened the attorneys. You see them over there. They're going over a list of the inventory of all the evidence that was presented during the course of the three weeks of this trial. The jury wants that inventory. They want a list. They want a number of each item, each piece of evidence so they can review it methodically, very, very carefully.
Jeffrey Toobin is with us.
Martin Savidge has been covering this trial for us. He's with us, as well -- Jeffrey, what do you make of this first request, this first question from the six women of the jury?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's actually a pretty typical first question for deliberations in a pretty complicated case. I would guess that there are probably close to 100 exhibits in this case and the jury wants to be able to take a look at what's what.
These are fairly common questions, as I say. Sometimes jurors ask for pens and papers, they ask for a a black board, a white board. This is how jurors get organized. And it would not be a surprise, at a later point, to have the jurors ask to see some of the exhibits on the list that they are going to get shortly.
BLITZER: What's surprising to me -- and let me begin Sunny Hostin and Mark NeJame into this conversation, as well -- Sunny, let me go to you.
It's surprising a bit to me to see they don't have this already ready, a list, an inventory of the evidence.
Wouldn't that be something that they would have ready to go?
Why do they have to do it in the middle of deliberations?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean I certainly always had an inventory list of my evidence.
I'm sure Jeff did, as well, perhaps Mark. Sometimes you don't think you need it. Sometimes it's just not done. But I was surprised, as well.
I will say this. A lot of people around the courthouse are saying, you know, verdict tonight, verdict tonight. That has never been my impression. But the fact that they wanted the inventory list so that they could see what evidence was in there and they could sort of pick and choose by number tells me what I thought. This is a methodical jury. They're going to look at everything.
BLITZER: And what does it say to you -- Mark?
MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I agree with that. I think they can look at whatever they want to look at and don't have to (INAUDIBLE)...
BLITZER: Hold on a second, Mark.
NEJAME: (INAUDIBLE) anything (INAUDIBLE)...
BLITZER: Hold on a second.
The judge, Debra Nelson, is speaking.
JUDGE DEBRA NELSON: -- a copy is being provided to them from Deputy Jarvis or do you want them to bring them in the courtroom and give it to them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're fine with it being delivered, Your Honor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We agree, your Honor.
NELSON: OK. Thank you.
We'll go ahead and have those six copies delivered and we'll be in recess.
MARK O'MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: (INAUDIBLE)...
O'MEARA: -- for our purposes, so we can get a couple of copies?
And we'll probably want one of what was sent to them.
NELSON: OK, thank you.
Court will be in recess.
BLITZER: There she is, Debra Nelson, the judge in this case. She's been doing a very, very significant job as the judge in this case.
But let me go back to Mark NeJame.
So the jurors, the six members of the jury, they're going to get a list of the inventory. The attorneys for both sides, the prosecution and the defense, they'll get the same list.
You were saying to us what, if anything, this request from the jury for an inventory, does it give us a tip, a signal, a hint of what's going on behind closed doors?
NEJAME: I really agree with Sunny on this. I think it's just an efficient way for them to hunt and peck for those items that they, in fact, want to go through. I do think it's a very steady jury. I think most of them were taking -- in fact, I don't think -- most of them were taking notes throughout. One, in particular, took -- probably is as accurate as any court reporter in there. She was writing nonstop throughout this whole thing.
I think what the jurors are going to do is try to align themselves and see if they all can, at some point, agree with the evidence. If there's areas of dispute, they'll go through their individual notes. They'll go ahead and figure out where the disagreements are and then they'll reach a consensus.
That way, they're at least dealing with common facts and common evidence -- or common agreement on the evidence -- so that then they can start working toward, you know, through their deliberations, toward a resolution.
I think if there's a general consensus, we will have a quicker verdict. I think if there's a disagreement, somebody wants an acquittal, somebody wants manslaughter, that's where the back and forth will go, as they work through everything.
If there's a general consensus, I think we could get an earlier one. But if we don't see a general consensus, I think we're -- we could be here for a bit longer, because there is a lot issues, a lot of passion and a lot of disagreements over how these facts unfolded for them to consider and then to have to agree to, because remember, it's got to be a unanimous jury.
BLITZER: It's got to be 6-0, either guilty or not guilty -- Martin Savidge, you've been watching this from the beginning. There's a game plan, assuming, an hour from now or three hours from now or tomorrow or Sunday, they've got a verdict, they've got a game plan how they announce it, what they go through. It's pretty specific.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is. I mean we are told that we'll get at least, you know, a one hour heads-up. Now, that is a little bit different when it comes to today. The heads-up could be a little bit shorter because, you know, we've just started and the fact that everybody is right here and present.
But the idea is that there would be a notification and that at least a one hour heads-up would be granted. And then, of course, everyone, including the media, would be back in the courtroom there waiting to hear the jury's verdict.
I'd be interested to know from those that are, you know, the expert analysis here, is I would have assumed that once that jury went back there, they would have taken some sort of initial, so what do you think, how about a quick vote, are we all in agreement?
And that if that has happened and we find out they're not all in agreement -- and there's only six of them, so it appears now they're going to have to go over everything. But I'll leave it to the analysts on that.
BLITZER: Yes. A lot of times the jurors, if there's eight or 12 jurors or whatever, it takes them a little bit longer than six jurors. It may or may not. You never know. There could be a 6-0 decision one way or another. There could be 3-3, 5-1. They've got to be unanimous either way, guilty or not guilty.
Everyone, stand by.
A big gesture, strong emotions today -- how the prosecution played on jurors' sympathies and the defense tried to play them down.
Also, first on CNN, the defense attorney, Mark O'Mara, answers a driving question during this trial, is George Zimmerman a racist?
Martin Savidge's interview with Mark O'Mara -- that's coming up, as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'MEARA: (INAUDIBLE) Miss. Fulton having just lost her son.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The six jurors in the George Zimmerman trial have very specific legal guidelines to follow during their deliberations that are going on right now. But this is an emotionally charged case. It has been from the beginning. A young man is dead. He had just turned 17.
In closing arguments, the defense urged the six women in the jury to set their emotions aside.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'MEARA: It is a tragedy, truly. But you can't allow sympathy to feed into it. When I say that to you, you should sit back and you should raise your hand and go, hmmm, that's -- how dare you tell me to leave sympathy out of my life?
How dare you to tell me to leave all of my emotions besides?
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The prosecution clearly tried to tug at heart strings, referring repeatedly to Trayvon Martin as a child.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUY: Was that child not in fear when he was running from that defendant?
Isn't that every child's worst nightmare, to be followed on the way home in the dark by a stranger?
Isn't that every child's worst fear?
That was Trayvon Martin's last emotion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Mark NeJame, how effective was that closing argument by the prosecution?
NEJAME: I think it was great. I just think he just is a great orator. He works his words in just beautifully, with the right amount of inflexion and passion. And he's just great. He's a great speaker.
With that said, I think that he's had a tremendous burden to overcome.
And that is, you know, did the state prove it?
Did they prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt?
And I think they did as good as they could have with the facts that were presented to them. And so I can't -- I can't do anything but, you know, give kudos for that closing.
But I don't think that they adequately addressed some of the big issues. The gaping hole, in my opinion, that exists in their case, where they first tried to convince everybody that it was Trayvon Martin who was on the bottom. And then -- and now, you know, we know that the day before the closing argument, they basically changed up their strategy.
I'm not sure -- if the jury doesn't grab that, then it's a better case for the state. But if the jury understands the initial promises and then how it ended, I think that's problematic. Any time you change up what you promise or suggest is going to happen and then it changes midway, that's typically challenging.
BLITZER: Because the defense, as you heard, Sunny, repeatedly, they claimed George Zimmerman was simply acting in self-defense. He was walking around, he saw somebody, he approached somebody. But then there was a fight. They claim Trayvon Martin threw the first punch. They got into a fight and he was acting in self-defense.
HOSTIN: Yes, that certainly has been their theme all along. Their theme has been to focus on self-defense. And I think Mark O'Mara, you could see that was what he was putting in front of this jury.
I was in the courtroom for all of the closing arguments. I think Mark O'Mara is a brilliant attorney. I think he's terrific. I think the jury wasn't necessarily with him when he was going over -- when he brought out the big piece of concrete and put it on the ground. None of them got up to look at it. And you couldn't really see it from the back row.
I think that the video, the video animation fell a little flat quite frankly. I didn't see that kind of reaction when the state was closing. I saw them not move. I mean, they could not look away from him. And I saw in particular reaction -- a particular reaction, rather, from two of the jurors when he said what we just played, which is, isn't that every child's nightmare? I mean, the juror that actually takes all the notes actually put her pen down when he said that and stopped taking notes.
And that was very telling to me, Wolf. I mean, I don't think that anyone can overestimate how great it was. It was brilliant. People in the courthouse have been calling him McDreamy. I'm sure they're calling him McBrilliant now because it was that good. I've seen a lot of closing arguments and he's what prosecutors call a closer, Wolf.
You usually have someone that starts, someone that ends because you get two chances at a closing argument and the closer is the one that really has to bring it home. He did his job brilliantly. I don't think I've ever seen one quite that good.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You know, I'll play another clip and, Jeffrey, listen to this because I want you to explain what was going on here. This is near the end of the prosecutor John Guy's rebuttal, if you will, to what we heard from Mark O'Mara, the defense attorney, earlier in the day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN GUY, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: This case is not about race. It's about right and wrong. It's that simple. And let me suggest to you how you know that for sure. Ask yourselves, all things being equal, if the roles were reversed, and it was 28-year-old George Zimmerman walking home in the rain with a hoodie on to protect himself from the rain, walking through that neighborhood, and a 17-year-old driving around in a car who called the police, who had hate in their heart, hate in their mouth, hate in their actions.
And if it was Trayvon Martin who had shot and killed George Zimmerman. What would your verdict be? That's how you know it not about race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: What did you make of that, Jeffrey?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I think it's almost the opposite to what he was saying. In fact, when a -- the reason why this case drew national attention was because Trayvon Martin was a 17- year-old black kid minding his own business who got -- who got killed with a package of Skittles, and we know that young black men are viewed by many white people as predators and they go to prison in greater numbers than white kids go to prison proportionally.
So I think actually he was making the opposite point. It may actually have been favorable to him because he's saying don't treat African-Americans as if their lives are different but to say it's not about race I think is not really accurate.
BLITZER: Jeffrey, stand by, everyone stand by.
Coming up, dueling styles and substance. We're comparing the defense and the prosecution on this the final day of the trial before jury deliberations. The powerful closing arguments. More on that.
And later Trayvon Martin's father tells CNN what it was like to be inside that courtroom so close to the man who shot and killed his son.
BLITZER: Jurors heard defense attorney Mark O'Mara deliver his closing argument for more than three hours today. He was conversational, relatively low key, his style clearly is different from the prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda who gave his close the day before. He was very, very different. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: He's got two flashlights, he's got a gun. This kid is the one that's scared because this guy's following him.
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: When I first got this case, I thought it was going to come and go in 20 minutes because when I found out that there was a 911 call with somebody screaming on it, it was game over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right. We're back with our legal analysts, Sunny Hostin, Mark Nejame and Jeffrey Toobin.
All right. Let's talk a little bit about that different style. It was a very different style from John Guy who did the rebuttal, the closing argument for the prosecution as well.
Jeffrey, I'll start with you. What was more effective?
TOOBIN: Wolf, you tell me the verdict and I'll tell you which one was more effective.
BLITZER: I can't tell you.
TOOBIN: You know --
BLITZER: I don't know the verdict.
TOOBIN: You know, they're just different. And both are obviously accomplished and there is no right or wrong way to give a summation. I think both of them worked for them. You know, Mark O'Mara could not give a fire eating summation. That's not his personality, that's not how he conducts himself in the courtroom.
I thought it worked very well for him. And -- but, you know, you never know how a jury is going to react until you hear the verdict.
BLITZER: What did you think, Mark?
MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: They're all successful, they're all top of their game. And you can't be somebody else. You know, when you talk to our fellow trial lawyers, first thing you tell everybody, be yourself. You take your best points and you adjust accordingly. And Jeffrey is exactly right. If one of them tried to be the other, they would just fall flat on their face. They all had to just give their style.
Do I think that it would have been a little bit more effective if O'Mara had been a little bit more passionate on some of the points that he wanted to drive home? Yes. Because I think that nobody in the normal circumstances just listens to somebody talk at them for three hours.
Yes, there was a bit of a break but I mean, it's just not natural to have a three-hour just words and monologue and you're just staring at somebody talking to you. So I do think that needed to be mixed up a little.
I think that Bernie de la Rionda was a little too fiery, too rhetorical for a prosecutor. I think he needed to be a little bit even keeled. But all that said, those are their styles and who am I to tell somebody else how to do things or how to change them up? We would all be a bit different if were up there. So I think they are all at the top of their game for a reason. They all did a good job. Now it's up to the jury.
BLITZER: He was professorial to a certain degree during much of those three hours, giving a lot of history, a lot of background.
Sunny, Mark O'Mara we're talking about. And some of the stuff he was really getting in shall we say during the course of the three weeks trial in the weeds but maybe his mission was to give those who wanted a not guilty verdict some ammunition.
HOSTIN: Yes, you know, I think that that conversational style works quite well, especially for someone like Mark O'Mara, who generally appears to be that kind of person. We've seen him be interviewed, Wolf, and he doesn't have that fiery type of personality. That's a different personality that I have. I mean, I was one of those prosecutors that was probably a little more like Bernie, but I think Mark and Jeff are right, you have to be who you are.
I do think that it came across a little professorial, perhaps a little slow, not that exciting. But when you're defending someone that's accused of violence and accused of killing someone, perhaps that is tactical, perhaps you don't want to be this fiery, aggressive person.
And I think Bernie could have put off some of the women because there were times when he was really very aggressive. John Guy I think struck the right balance. He was right between the two. His cadence was on, his delivery was on, he was appropriately feisty when he needed to be. He was quiet when he needed to be. I think he struck the perfect balance between the two personalities.
BLITZER: And John Guy was the last lawyer that spoke to the jury before they went into their deliberations.
Let's continue this conversation. We've already spoken a little bit about the attorneys. But what about the judge?
Up next, how specific instructions to the jury could sway the outcome. We're going to have some analysis of that.
Also, first on CNN, what will George Zimmerman's life be like if, if he's acquitted? His attorney, Mark O'Mara, shares his thoughts in an interview with CNN.
BLITZER: Happening now the George Zimmerman jury gets to work and makes a request. We'll go back over a key instruction the judge gave the members of the jury.
Also, an interview you're seeing first right here on CNN. Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara tells us what he thinks of Trayvon Martin's parents.
Plus you're going to hear what Trayvon Martin's father is hoping for most from the jury.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
There are very specific guidelines under Florida law for jurors to follow as they decide whether George Zimmerman is guilty of second degree murder or guilty of manslaughter or if he's not guilty at all.
Judge Debra Nelson spelled all of that out in her instructions to the jurors before they began their deliberations about three hours ago.
Listen to her discuss the parameters for self-defense under the state's Stand Your Ground Law.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, SEMINOLE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in anyplace where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right. We're back with our panel right now. Jeffrey is joining us, Mark and Sunny as well.
All right. Those are specific instructions. And it's a pretty high hurdle -- Sunny, let me start with you -- for the jurors to overcome. If they are going to convict, if they are going to find Zimmerman guilty, here's a couple of questions that she -- that cries out to be answered.
If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity. Was George Zimmerman at the time of the encounter engaged in an unlawful activity?
HOSTIN: Yes, I mean, that's definitely the question before the jury. You heard the defense argue while it's not unlawful to follow someone, it's not unlawful to call the police on someone, it's not unlawful to think someone is a criminal. And I think that was a strong argument for the defense. They were of course arguing that in light of the jury instruction. But I thought that the prosecution countered that extremely well by saying, yes, well, he did cross the line because he was told not to follow, he followed, he pursued, he confronted.
Now of course the jury has to believe that. They have to believe that taking everything together made his actions unlawful. He went just a step too far.
BLITZER: But let me interrupt, Sunny.
HOSTIN: I think -- I think that's why -- BLITZER: Even if -- even if the 911 operator said, don't follow, would it be illegal if he then still followed? In other words, would it be an unlawful activity to disobey what the 911 operator said?
HOSTIN: I think it would depend on what his state of mind is, what the jury believes his state of mind is. If the jury believes, Wolf, that he got out of his car with the intent that Trayvon Martin, one of these f'ing punks would not get away, yes, that's very different from just following and observing and not confronting. That's a different set of circumstances.
BLITZER: The other -- the other stipulation that Judge Nelson, and I'll bring Mark into this, was did he -- was he in a place when all this happened where he had a right to be? And the answer?
NEJAME: You know, the first one the answer was no, he was not breaking the law. And the second answer is, yes, he was legally allowed to be there.
Sunny's argument goes into the depraved mind, the evil intent and all that which gets weaved into the state's theory of prosecution but standing alone neither of those is illegal. And that's a huge hurdle for the state to overcome.
The jurors -- I've got with me the jury instructions, 27 pages. Whether they're going to read them or not, we don't know. But under Florida law they have these in the -- in the deliberation room with them. So if they're going to stick to what the judge has instructed, that's one reason I've been saying that I think is a hard hurdle for them to overcome to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt.
If emotions take over and they are -- they are not dealing with this specifically, then that's where maybe a manslaughter conviction comes. But to answer your questions, he was legally doing what he was allowed to do.
BLITZER: He was not -- according to you, he was not engaged in an unlawful activity, he was attacked in a place where he had a right to be. That's the argument the defense made.
And Jeffrey, let me bring you into this. If he believed all of that, did he have the right to self-defense if he felt that he was endangered with -- great bodily harm?
TOOBIN: Well, he had a right to self-defense but can I just talk about the emperor's new clothes here for a second? Those instructions are nearly incomprehensible. Jury instructions in general are nearly incomprehensible. It's not the judge's fault. She's required to give them. But I just am filled with sympathy for these jurors who have to -- I mean that one sentence that she read, that must have had three or four negatives in it. I mean it's just very hard to understand --
HOSTIN: Yes. Terrible.
TOOBIN: -- the legal gobbly-gook --
BLITZER: All right, hold on for one second --
TOOBIN: -- that we expect jurors to understand.
BLITZER: A minute later -- actually less than a minute later she followed up with this instruction to the jury. I'll play the clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NELSON: In your consideration of the issue of self-defense, you have a reasonable doubt on the question of whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you should find George Zimmerman not guilty. If, however, from the evidence you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman was not justified in the use of deadly force, you should find him guilty if all the elements of the charge have been proved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Jeffrey, that's another one that's if there's a little bit of doubt, if they're a little wishy washy, they have to find him not guilty.
TOOBIN: Yes, that seems to be the gist of it. I mean, it's not a little bit of doubt, it's a reasonable doubt. Prosecutors are always emphasizing the word reasonable. You know, it's not that the jury has -- the prosecution has to prove beyond any doubt in the world, is it beyond a reasonable doubt?
The defense is always talking about the word doubt, the prosecution talks about the word reasonable. But again, you notice that when the judge was reading that, she left out the word "if" the first time. It's very hard to understand these -- these instructions and it's a good thing that they have a copy in the jury room because this is tough stuff.
BLITZER: Yes. Well, I'm sure they'll be reading and re-reading and re-reading again those jury instructions. They all have a copy of those 27 or so pages.
All right. Stand by. There's much more to discuss, including George Zimmerman's attorney in an interview you will hear and see first right here on CNN first.
He tells us when he thinks race was injected into the case.
Plus hundreds of new charges, coming up today in a separate case in Cleveland, the Cleveland kidnappings. We have new information on that as well later.
BLITZER: The six women in the jury of the George Zimmerman trial, they have been deliberating now for about three hours, as we await the verdict. We're getting important analysis from Zimmerman's lead attorney Mark O'Mara, insights you'll be seeing right here first on CNN. CNN's Martin Savidge sat down with O'Mara before today's dramatic closing arguments and they went over some of the most controversial moments of this trial.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You took what I think some might consider risks during the trial. One of them being that you cross-examined a grieving mother.
SAVIDGE: Any regrets on that?
O'MARA: No. I hope that people think or I think that I handled it properly and respectfully. I have handled I think 40 or so murder cases and in every one of those murder cases you're going to have some interaction with a victim's family.
You certainly would hope that your son Trayvon Martin did nothing that could have led to his own death, correct?
SAVIDGE: Had you done that before?
SAVIDGE: Had you talked to a grieving mother in another case?
O'MARA: Many times. Many times. Both in trial where I've cross-examined them and certainly outside of trial in a courtroom when trying to work out something that I could. It is just one of the -- one of the elements of being a criminal defense attorney, dealing with the victim's family, whether it's the victim of a burglary, or a robbery or in this case a death. You try and do it with the sensitivities but you still have to do it.
SAVIDGE: And you did it with Tracy Martin as well.
SAVIDGE: And that one didn't seem to go quite so well.
O'MARA: So your words were, I can't tell?
TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FATHER: Something to that effect. Well, I never said no, that wasn't my son's voice.
O'MARA: Well, I think that the state should have Tracy Martin on. That's their witness. I think it was strange that they decided not to call the father of the victim but they did so because of the very reason that I had to call him which was that Tracy Martin told two cops who testified for -- who are present that when he listened to that tape, it was not his son.
SAVIDGE: But that's not what he said on the stand.
O'MARA: That is not. But it is what two cops said and two other cops who were available to say that he said, no, that's not my son's voice. Now it's got to be extraordinarily difficult to be in Tracy Martin's shoes and Sybrina Fulton's shoes. They have to be able to go through life believing in their heart and in their soul that that is Trayvon Martin's voice.
SAVIDGE: Is that what you meant when you asked -- and I believe you asked this of Trayvon's mother -- that she hoped to hear his voice?
O'MARA: How could you not? Because we know being able to analyze it in the cold light of day, we know that one of two things were evident on that tape. Trayvon Martin was screaming and George Zimmerman was murdered him. Two, George Zimmerman was screaming for help because he was being battered by Trayvon Martin and he reacted to that battering by shooting Trayvon Martin.
If you're the mother, the friend, the father, how could you not want that to be first alternative rather than the second?
SAVIDGE: But then you turned it on her by saying that, and if it isn't your son, then you must come to the recognition that your son was doing what George Zimmerman says he was doing.
O'MARA: That's the other side of the same coin. Was that a question too much? Maybe I should look at the tape, I don't know. But I felt as though the jury had to hear and understand the sensitivities of what was going on in a grieving mother's mind when she's listening to a tape that meant one of two things.
SAVIDGE: Much has been made about race in this case. Where do you see race in this case?
O'MARA: I see race being injected into this case in the first week that it existed, and I see that it's never left this case, even though time and time and time again race has been proven not to have been an element in George's consideration that night. I see attorneys who say four weeks ago that this is the most significant civil rights trial of the century and then I see it partner his, a week ago, saying race has nothing to do with this case.
So I only wish that they would have said race has nothing to do with this case in let's say March 15th or March 16th, which was the day that they heard the tape. Any time before they allowed the pressures and the animosities to foment to the point where there was at least concerns over civil unrest, disobedience, riots, whatever you want to call it.
SAVIDGE: This case to many is a cause. It's not just a case. These would be people who are very much in support of Trayvon Martin who believe that there was great wrong here. And in essence that this is a civil rights case, and I mean that in the full sense of advancing civil rights, you are perceived as the man standing in the way of this civil rights case.
SAVIDGE: How do you handle that? O'MARA: Very simply. I will walk over to that side, put my arm around those people and walk with them on a civil rights issue. I've represented young black males for 30 years. I know better than most people, better than most of the people who are complaining how young black males are treated in the criminal justice system, and we need to fix it, we need to address those problems.
It's not just in the systems, it's in the schools, it's in the churches, it's in the families, it's in the homes. We need to address it. Get your crosshairs off George Zimmerman and I will join you. Keep your crosshairs on George Zimmerman and don't tell me that I'm getting in the way because you are, because you're the one who's sitting back telling me that this is a civil rights case when George had nothing to do with civil rights.
This was an unfortunate event between two people. I want to walk down that path, I want to have a conversation. I've been asking for that conversation for over a year. Let's talk about it. This is a great opportunity for that conversation, even if we didn't do it right, even if George Zimmerman was not the poster child for racial improprieties towards black males.
Now that the conversation is raised to the forefront, let's have it. But don't let that conversation override Mr. Zimmerman's right to a fair trial. He's just not the racist you thought he was. And my fear is that now that they've connected that conversation to his conviction, that his acquittal is going to be seen as a negative for civil rights. Absolutely untrue.
SAVIDGE: Do you think that George Zimmerman, your client, if he's acquitted, what kind of life will he have?
O'MARA: Not a good one. I think he has to live mostly in hiding. He's got to be able to protect himself from that periphery that still believe that he's some racist murderer or acted in a bad way and that you don't know who they are. You don't know if they're down the street or you don't know if they're across the country.
I think that he's probably concerned about living still in central Florida and never having a normal life.
SAVIDGE: His life will never be the same?
O'MARA: Never, ever, ever be the same.
SAVIDGE: Never like be able to go to work or have a regular job?
O'MARA: I don't know how he gets a job where he is out in public without having the fear of somebody finding out where he works.
SAVIDGE: You think someone will continue to want to hunt him, even if the jury says, you are not guilty.
O'MARA: Well, we know there are crazies out there. We all know that there are people out there who don't listen to common sense, who don't act rationally. I can share you a couple of dozen e-mails from people who are vicious in their hatred for George Zimmerman and for me. It's absurd. But they're there. So I don't know which is the one who's going to walk down the street the same time George does. They know what he looks like. He doesn't know what they look like.
BLITZER: We also asked the prosecutors if they would like to speak with us this week. They declined CNN's request for now. They will speak with our sister network HLN after the verdict.
By the way, during the next hour of THE SITUATION ROOM, you're going to hear what else Mark O'Mara has to say, this time about the judge who has tried to keep a firm hand on all the lawyers.
Once again, this is an interview first airing right here on CNN.
Up next, Trayvon Martin's father. He also speaks to CNN and tells us what it's like to be in court sitting so close to the man who killed his son.
BLITZER: Since he lost his son Trayvon Martin's father has pushed for this case to go to trial. And he's been in the courtroom every day. Tracy Martin sat down with HLN's Vinnie Politan.
VINNIE POLITAN, HLN HOST: One question a lot of people have, and everyone wants to know your answer to this question. Is George Zimmerman a racist?
MARTIN: I can't say what's in his mind. I can't answer that. I don't know the individual. I know he profiled my son.
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT: This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something.
POLITAN: Why do you think he shot and killed Trayvon?
MARTIN: I don't know. I don't know. I really can't answer why he shot Trayvon, you know? I don't know.
POLITAN: Is it difficult to be in the room with George Zimmerman?
MARTIN: Very. Very. It's difficult sitting there and seeing the killer of our child sit there with this fixed stare as if he did nothing.
POLITAN: He's said some things, I want to get your reaction. And you were there when this was said in court.
ZIMMERMAN: I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am, and I did not know if he was armed or not. MARTIN: For him to say he was sorry and that he didn't know how young he was and he didn't know if he had a weapon, I just honestly I think that's a cop out.
POLITAN: The 911 calls that were made by the neighbors, and those are difficult for you to listen to, the screams for help --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he's yelling help?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your --
MARTIN: Those were the last words that were uttered. That's real troublesome, just to listen to those. And I know that we're going to have to listen to the screams over and over again in the court.
POLITAN: Are you going to stay in the courtroom for all this?
MARTIN: I'll be there as much as I can. There's only so much you can take. Of what I would call bashing, victim bashing.
POLITAN: What is the biggest lie that's been told about Trayvon?
MARTIN: The biggest lie told about Trayvon, that -- to me is that he was a thug.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN JR., GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S BROTHER: George was viciously blindsided by a nose-breaking attack and then pinned to the ground by an experienced fighter who continuously and relentlessly attacked him.
MARTIN: Nobody knew or could fathom that the social media, the things he said on social media or the pictures of him, I'm sure at that time that he took those pictures he wasn't thinking, well, I'm going to get killed and these are going to be the pictures on -- in every magazine. So just -- just public opinion of him being a thug, that's one of the biggest hypocritical lies.
POLITAN: You say I don't want Trayvon to have died in vain.
MARTIN: Trayvon was a people's person. He didn't deserve to die. And I pledge I will not let my son die in vain.
POLITAN: What has to happen for him to have not died in vain?
MARTIN: When I said that, after the evidence is weighed, that a conviction comes out of this. Justice needs to be served.
BLITZER: Powerful interview. Please be sure to tune in later tonight, by the way, right here on CNN, 10:00 p.m. Eastern for an Anderson Cooper "360" special report," SELF-DEFENSE OR MURDER, THE GEORGE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL." Once again, 10:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN. The jury's certainly been hard at work in asking questions. We're keeping an eye on developments inside the courthouse right now in Sanford, Florida. We'll take you there live as soon as anything happens.
Also, we're following another important story here in THE SITUATION ROOM today. The NSA leaker, Edward Snowden. He is now speaking out today for the first time in weeks.
BLITZER: We'll get back to the Zimmerman trial shortly. Meanwhile, a huge indictment today in the Cleveland kidnapping case.
Mary Snow is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now.
What's the latest, Mary?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the grand jury considering the case against Ariel Castro issued an updated indictment today. He now faces a total of 977 counts connected to allegations he kidnapped three women and held them captive in his home for a decade.
The indictments includes two counts of aggravated murder, accusing Castro of intentionally causing the termination of a pregnancy. He will be arraigned next Wednesday.
Wall Street ended the week on a high note but it wasn't easy. After being down for much of the day, the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 managed to turn things around and close at an all time high. The Nasdaq closed at its highest level since 2000.
And finally take a look at this. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager and activist who survived a Taliban assassination attempt, spoke today to a United Nations Youth Assembly. She said she came to speak up for every child's right to get an education.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALALA YOUSAFZAI, SURVIVED TALIBAN ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT: The thought that the bullet would silence us but they failed. And out of the silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this. Weakness, fair and hopelessness died. Strength, power, and courage was born.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: Malala wore a shawl that once belonged to the lake Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Powerful address, indeed.
Mary Snow, thanks very much.