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Reaction to Zimmerman Verdict

Aired July 16, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, outrage mounting over the George Zimmerman verdict. As a juror speaks out and says she`s convinced it was George Zimmerman`s voice screaming for help on that 911 call. Speaking in darkness to disguise her identity, juror B-37 reveals she has no doubt, no doubt the neighborhood watch volunteer feared for his life in the moments he struggled with Trayvon Martin, before shooting the teenager dead. Will these new controversial juror comments fuel the anger over this controversial verdict? Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No justice, no peace!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think all of us thought race did not play a role.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Imagine they`re white.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We thought about it for hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury find George Zimmerman not guilty.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We put everything into everything to get this verdict.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was racial, let`s be honest. Racial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just went terribly wrong.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So why did this jury of six women decide to acquit George Zimmerman of second degree murder and manslaughter? This mystery juror told Anderson Cooper that when they first went into the jury room to deliberate, the six women were split. Three for not guilty. Two for manslaughter. And only one for second degree murder. Then as the 16 hours wore on, all were ultimately swayed to vote not guilty on all counts.

Some are upset tonight, saying if you listen to this juror`s opinion of this guy, former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, the defendant, it sounds like she has a real soft spot for the man who has now been acquitted.


COOPER: What did you think of George Zimmerman?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place, but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods, and wanting to catch these people so badly that he went above and beyond what he really should have done. But I think his heart was in the right place. It just went terribly wrong.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who is this mystery juror? She`s been married to an attorney for 20 years, has two adult children. She also at one time had a concealed weapons permit. That juror isn`t the only one talking. The prosecution star witness Rachel Jeantel is opening up about her experience on the witness stand. You won`t believe what she has to say about defense attorney Don West and the social media backlash against her.


PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: West gave you a very hard time, the defense attorney.


MORGAN: What is your view of him?

JEANTEL: I`m going to have to say he lucky I`m a Christian.

MORGAN: I want to clear up one thing before we come on to Don West. A lot of people have mocked you and they have called you all sorts of things, you know that, on Twitter. I came to your defense at one stage, because I found it so disgusting. They called you stupid. They were very racist to you. The people I saw on Twitter, they were very racist to you, but they also mocked you for the way that you spoke.

JEANTEL: I have an underbite.

MORGAN: Have you been bullied for that before?

JEANTEL: Look at me. No.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She had a great sense of humor during that interview with Piers Morgan. I want to know what you think. Call me 1-877-586-7297. We are taking your calls tonight, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to the lion`s den. Was this case lost for the prosecution when they chose this particular jury, and I`ll start with Areva Martin?

AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY: Yes, Jane, I think the case went downhill from the time the jury selection was completed. You had these homogeneous jurors. Six women, five of whom were white women, and we heard B-37 say she basically could not identify with the witnesses that were put on by the prosecution, particularly Rachel Jeantel. She described Rachel in almost pathetic terms. She said she did not understand her, she couldn`t relate to her, and she talked about George Zimmerman as if he were the victim. So George who`s living, she had more empathy for than Trayvon Martin, this dead teenager. And that`s very disturbing, and I think it tells us a lot about how this jury saw this entire case, through the prism of their own eyes and eyes that could not identify with this African-American dead teen. But yet --


ANAHITA SEDAGHATFAR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, no, Jane, I don`t think the prosecution screwed up here with respect to jury selection. I think they essentially screwed up with the entire case, because the facts simply weren`t there for them to prove that this was second degree murder or manslaughter. And jury selection is certainly important, it is one of the most important parts of a trial. But at the end of the day, it`s more than just the jury, Jane. The prosecution needs to present facts, evidence, witnesses, a theory of the case to the jurors, and they failed with respect to each and every one of those components.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But listen to this --

SEDAGHATFAR: Clearly the jury didn`t buy it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen to how she almost gushes over the defendant. Prosecutors tried to paint Zimmerman as this overeager wannabe cop who profiled Trayvon Martin. This juror, this mystery juror, B-37 told Anderson Cooper -- well, listen for yourself and then we`ll debate it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he`s overeager to help people. Like the lady who got broken in and robbed while her baby and her were upstairs. You have to have a heart to do that and care to help people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was sitting there with a pair of rusty scissors with my son in one arm. He was just saying that he wanted to make sure we were OK. I was just appreciative that he was offering his hand.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That young woman, who you saw testifying there, was George Zimmerman`s neighbor, who testified she had experienced this terrifying home invasion and that George Zimmerman came over and comforted her and offered her help and got her a lock for her sliding door and said come over and have dinner with my wife.

So to go out to our panel, Jon Leiberman, this juror, this mystery juror, B-37, really seemed to buy into George Zimmerman as a good guy with a good heart.

JON LEIBERMAN: It sounded to me like she actually came to adore George Zimmerman. And Jane, I said on your program a couple of weeks, when that witness, Olivia (ph), took the stand, I said she was one of the best witnesses for the defense, and all the other panelists said no, no. But she was, and it proves it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agreed with that, Jon.

LEIBERMAN: Because Olivia did two things. Olivia demonstrated the crime problem in the neighborhood, and Olivia humanized George Zimmerman, and it worked with this juror, and obviously we can deduce that it worked with the other jurors. This jury had too many holes to fill in. This juror even said that she believes Trayvon instigated the fight, even though there was no direct evidence of that. That`s because these jurors were forced to almost make up a narrative in their mind, because prosecutors didn`t have the evidence for second degree.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Where are the jury consultants? I have a good friend in Los Angeles who is a jury consultant. Her entire job is to sit there and look at jurors and say, don`t pick that one, don`t pick that one. Don`t pick that one. Pick that one. Why didn`t the prosecution do that?

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: I think, Jane, that the jury -- if you think about it, the prosecution obviously knew that they had no facts. They didn`t even posit another theory of what happened that night when they started to fight. And so they thought, OK, we need to get sympathetic mothers, and all but one of these women were mothers. And so I think the all-women jury for the prosecution should have been a victory or at least it should have trended towards a victory. They went wrong because they peaked at the very beginning. And I mean the first sentence of their case, which was the only time they showed George Zimmerman as a bad guy. And that was by taking his absolutely inflammatory language and screaming it at the jury, to the chagrin of all of the bleepers on the TV that didn`t catch his foul language --


MARTIN: But that was the fundamental problem.


ROSE: That was it. That was the only thing. That was it.


ROSE: In fact--


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This could have been what the women in the jury room sounded like.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, Areva. Sorry about that, but it was the only word I could come up with to get you ladies to quiet down. Areva Martin, did the prosecution do everything they could to win the case in the jury selection and get a more diverse jury, get a jury that might see their side of the story?

MARTIN: You know, I don`t think so, Jane. There were seven African- Americans that made it to what would be considered the final cut. But then when the ten jurors were selected, the six actual jurors and the four alternates, there weren`t any African-Americans by the time we got down to those ten. And I don`t think we can gloss over the fact that in -- we`re in Florida, we are in the South, you have six women, five were white, you have an African-American victim in this case, and we know that the criminal justice system is replete with inequities, disparities as it relates to African-Americans as defendants and African-Americans as victims. And if we gloss over that, we`re missing a very important moment in this case and a very important moment in history.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second. Let`s go to the phone lines. Don, Pennsylvania, your question or thought, Don, Pennsylvania?

CALLER: Yes. My question or comment is, I waited through the whole trial to hear if Trayvon Martin was almost at his daddy`s house like Rachel said, how could he end up all the way down the other end of the townhouses and confront George and sucker punch him?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does anybody want to take that?


SEDAGHATFAR: I think that the juror that spoke out actually explained very concisely that the jurors didn`t really care if George Zimmerman was the initial aggressor. That they didn`t really care if he got out of his car when the 911 operator told him not to. She stated that the issue that those jurors focused on was whether or not George Zimmerman was the aggressor, and they didn`t believe the prosecution was able to prove that. They believed that all of the evidence corroborated Zimmerman`s story, that he was getting the crap beat out of him. I mean--


LEIBERMAN: Let me say one thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead. And by the way, Nancy Grace is going to have defense attorney, Mark O`Mara, on tonight. So that`s top of the hour. So stick around for that, as well. Jon, quickly.

LEIBERMAN: What I found interesting was this juror indicated that they did believe that George Zimmerman did something wrong, they just didn`t think it was second degree murder or manslaughter. So this was a definite discussion in there. You can see that the jurors struggled with this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, Rachel Jeantel spoke to Piers Morgan, she had a fascinating story to tell. This mystery juror who spoke to Anderson Cooper talks about Rachel Jeantel, the star witness for the prosecution, who was on the cell phone with Trayvon Martin seconds before the shot rang out as the confrontation began. Listen to Rachel, and then on the other side of the break, we`re going to listen to Rachel and the mystery juror as she talks about Rachel. We`re just getting started. Stay right there.


JEANTEL: First of all, Trayvon is not a thug. They need to know a definition of a thug. To be judging a person while a teenager, mind you, a teenager, to post anything -- even I post anything to just brag. It`s just a brag.

MORGAN: You mean the stuff on social media and Facebook and so on?

JEANTEL: Yes, that`s just brag. It`s not true.




COOPER: Do you think Trayvon Martin threw the first punch?


COOPER: What makes you think that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because of the evidence of -- on the T, on the sidewalk, where George says he was punched, there was evidence of his flashlight and keys there, and then a little bit further down, there was a flashlight that he was carrying. And I think that`s where Trayvon hit him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rachel Jeantel was the star witness for the prosecution. She was the one on the cell phone with Trayvon, and she got into famously trading barbs with Zimmerman attorney, Don West. Last night Piers Morgan played Rachel Jeantel a clip of juror B-37, that mystery juror who talked to Anderson Cooper, talking about Rachel. Listen to this. It`s incredible. Then we`ll debate it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of times she was using phrases I`ve never heard before, and what they meant.

COOPER: When she used the phrase, "creepy-ass cracker," what did you think of that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was probably the truth. I think Trayvon probably said that.

COOPER: And did you see that as a negative statement or a racial statement as the defense suggested?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think it`s really racial. I think it`s just everyday life, the type of life that they live and how they`re living, and the environment that they`re living in.

MORGAN: What is your reaction to that?

JEANTEL: Well, the jury, they see their side. My sense to the jury, they old. That`s old school people. We in the new school, our generation. My generation.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, lion`s den. Nice comeback by Rachel, but wow, for this juror, B-37, and listen, we respect her service on this jury. She did a long, hard job, and she worked hard, and we are going to respect the jury`s decision. That`s what everybody has said. But yet in a sense, you wonder the way she speaks about Rachel Jeantel, is there a condescension built in there? What does she mean by they?


MARTIN: Let me go first, Jane. Absolutely. She referred to how they are living. That`s how they are. We all know that`s code for negative, condescending remarks about African-American teens. And it`s very interesting that this juror believed Rachel when she said that Trayvon said creepy cracker. But apparently she didn`t believe Rachel when Rachel said that Trayvon said George Zimmerman approached him and said "what are you doing around here," and she heard Trayvon say "get off me," and she then heard Trayvon in some kind of an altercation. So she`s very selective about her belief of Rachel`s statements. And those statements that were--


SEDAGHATFAR: No, no. Let me -- Jane, let me start off by saying we should be appalled at the way this woman was treated. The attacks on the way she talked, the way she looked, unacceptable. But at the end of the day, the jurors did not look at her demeanor, the way she talked, how she looked. They looked at the content of her testimony, and they found her to be totally not credible, because she lied over and over and over again.

LEIBERMAN: Anahita, they did look at how she talked. That was what the juror just said.

SEDAGHATFAR: You can use that when deciding how much weight to give her testimony.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Say your thing, and then I want to ask Jordan, go ahead.

LEIBERMAN: We all praise the jurors for their service, obviously. But in this case, it was clear that they found Rachel to be not credible, and yet they found Zimmerman`s statements, though inconsistent at times --


LEIBERMAN: It has to do with the way she came off to the jury, and it`s a shame.


LEIBERMAN: She lied about things -- she didn`t want to be a witness in this case, OK? She did not want to be in the middle of the largest murder trial in Florida right now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excuse me --

LEIBERMAN: She came off as incredibly believable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to ask Jordan Rose. You heard -- Areva made a great point. She believed her on things that -- like the cracker word, that were not flattering to her or to her friend, Trayvon. She did not believe her on things that would bolster Trayvon`s story.

That`s interesting.

ROSE: It`s so interesting, and I think this is, again, the fault of the prosecutor. Because the prosecutor did not prepare his witness. I don`t know what was going on there, but he could have prepared her so she didn`t get caught in herself and say these things that contradicted. And he could have prepared her better for the discussion.

Now, when she took the stand and she talked like she did, I frankly thought oh, my gosh, these jurors are going to absolutely be sympathetic, this is going to be the best witness, because I thought it just shows how different the America that Rachel lives in from the one that the jurors live in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you. They basically threw her under the bus by not preparing her for being in the world spotlight, a young woman who has never had experience, I believe, as a witness, and it was only after the first day, because she was sassy with Don West the first day. Somebody must have talked to her and said, cool it, be respectful, because the next day she was, yes, sir, no, sir, much more respectful. So they could have done that the first time around and said to her from the get-go, this is a very serious thing, you`ve got to be very respectful, you`ve got to say yes, sir, no, sir, you can`t sass anybody.

I don`t know if they gave her that kind of instruction. Short break. Boy, do we have a lot coming up on the other side. We`ll take your calls. Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve had a little bit of time to reflect. Was that your A-game? Was that your best? Did you -- how did you feel about your own performance?

DE LA RIONDA: I thought I did a good job. I`m not quite frankly used to losing. So I`m going to, over in my mind, I am going to critique this over and over. I`m still doing that, probably. But I thought we did the best we can.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does he look hurt to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t see him. I don`t want to go out there. I don`t know what`s going on.

They`re sending.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he`s yelling help?




VELEZ-MITCHELL: A huge battle in court, as we all remember, over the infamous 911 call from the night Trayvon Martin died. Some claimed it was Trayvon screaming on the tape. Others said it was George Zimmerman screaming. That became a key issue. Well, according to this mystery jury, this mystery juror, the jurors, the six women, most of them anyway, had their mind made up about their crucial issue. Listen.


COOPER: Whose voice do you think it was on that 911 call?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it was George Zimmerman.

COOPER: Did everybody on the jury agree with that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All but probably one.

COOPER: And what made you think it was George Zimmerman`s voice?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because of the evidence that he was the one that had gotten beaten.

COOPER: The juror who didn`t think it was George Zimmerman`s voice, who thought it was Trayvon Martin`s voice on that call, do you know why they felt that way?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She didn`t think it was Trayvon, she just said she -- it could have been Trayvon.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Out to the lion`s den. Why was this jury so sure it was George Zimmerman screaming on the 911 call, when even the FBI expert said we can`t tell? You can`t have experts say because it`s impossible to tell, only people who may have heard this same person screaming that same way could probably tell for sure. And I don`t know, I`ll throw it to Jon Lieberman.

LEIBERMAN: This actually surprised me more than anything else that the juror said, that they were so sure this was George`s voice. Clearly they saw George Zimmerman`s injuries, and they put it together, and they truly believed that he was the one getting pummeled. Of course, you only heard one side of that story, because Trayvon was shot dead and wasn`t here to describe the melee like George Zimmerman was. But clearly, they bought George Zimmerman`s story, hook, line and sinker.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, wait, go ahead, Areva, because I was a little surprised at how lopsided this was. Look, she`s being honest and I think it`s great that she`s really saying what went on and how people felt, but I was quite surprised at how lopsided it seemed to be.

MARTIN: You know, Jane, I think this is consistent with this entire interview that this woman gave. Her admiration for George Zimmerman and her almost disdain -- not disdain, but clearly not the same feelings about Trayvon Martin as she had for George Zimmerman. Now, you can say Rachel was inarticulate, and she could not understand what Rachel said, but Trayvon`s mom, educated, articulate, graceful, sophisticated lady gets up and takes the stand, but yet she discounts that testimony, but every witness that apparently took the stand for George Zimmerman was believed by this juror, and I go back to my comment about race.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But that`s not true. Jane --


SEDAGHATFAR: Jane, exactly, that`s a misrepresentation of what this juror said. Quite frankly, she didn`t just buy Zimmerman`s story, hook, line and sinker. I am sorry, Jon. Her statement was that they believed that the evidence corroborated George Zimmerman`s version of events.

LEIBERMAN: They believed Dr. DiMaio, and they believed George Zimmerman`s statements.


SEDAGHATFAR: Let me finish my point, please. She clearly said that the evidence corroborated George Zimmerman`s version of events. They believed the evidence showed that Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman, beating him up. They believed, based on the forensics, based on the injuries, George Zimmerman was getting beat up. There were no injuries on Trayvon Martin. That`s why --


LIEBERMAN: There were no injuries? There was a gunshot through the heart.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what, let`s take a break. Calm down. We`ll be back on the other side. I promise you, these guys talked all the way through your question time, but we`re going to get you on the other side, stay right there.


JEANTEL: Trayvon was too quiet, and why is Trayvon going to run if he wanted to confront him, beat him, why would he run? And people need to understand, he didn`t want that creepy-ass cracker going to his father`s girlfriend house to go get -- mind you, his little brother was there.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s just hard, thinking that somebody lost their life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shock and awe, frankly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No justice, no peace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s what happens. It`s sad. It`s a tragedy this happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do you want it?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This has been a polarizing case -- as clear as black and white.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think any of us could ever do anything like that ever again.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Outrage continuing to grow and be verbalized coast to coast with demonstrations in the wake of George Zimmerman`s not guilty verdict. Not guilty on murder two and not guilty on manslaughter and growing controversy tonight as two key characters in this saga weigh in and say controversial things.

One, a mystery juror, Juror Number B37 -- not identified, speaking in darkness -- spoke essentially about how she thought that they made the right decision, and that George Zimmerman, not guilty and explained that she thought his heart was in the right place. And then Rachel Jeantel, the prosecution`s key star witness, who was on the telephone with Trayvon Martin shortly before she was shot dead, also speaking to Piers Morgan and saying some fascinating things. Now, Rachel Jeantel`s testimony was one of the most talked about in this trial. She testified that Trayvon told her that he was being followed by a creepy bleep cracker, a term some people say is often used to refer to people, and is it a racial term, isn`t it a racial term?

Well, listen to this and we`ll hash that out.


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: How do you spell it first of all?


MORGAN: There`s no "er", right?

JEANTEL: No, it`s an "a" at the end.


JEANTEL: Yes. And that`s a person who act like they are police, who like (inaudible) nigga.


JEANTEL: People, the whole world say it`s a racist word, N-I-G-G-A. Nigga --

MORGAN: What does that mean to you, that way of spelling it, what does that word mean to you?

JEANTEL: That means a male.

MORGAN: A black male.

JEANTEL: No, any kind of a male.

MORGAN: Black or white?

JEANTEL: Any kind, Chinese can say nigga. That`s my Chino, nigga. They can say that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to "The Lion`s Den", and obviously the racial divide is at the heart of this issue in many ways. I personally feel that this dialogue should bring us together and not cause further division. As far as I`m concerned, all of us, every living being on this planet, we`re all earthlings, ok. That`s how I feel about it, and we have to stick together because our environment is being destroyed.

But I`m hoping that this dialogue doesn`t -- with all the protests, and we`ll show you some video of the protests, most of which were peaceful, but there were some incidents, sporadic, of violence and of arrests. I hope it doesn`t drive us further apart. And that`s my fear.

And I`ll go to Eric Schwartzreich, criminal defense attorney out of Miami. This dialogue is getting a little bit concerning to me.

ERIC SCHWARTZREICH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It`s concerning and it`s unfortunate, Jane. Black, yellow, white, fat, skinny, tall, small -- you`re absolutely right, we`re all the same. The problem is that perception is everything. There`s a black America, there`s a white America, there`s minorities. I pick a lot of juries.

And you will talk to minorities and they have a different experience than Caucasians, whether it`s with law enforcement, whether it`s being stopped while driving while black or whatever their issues that they have and they encounter.

The problem is that this case should not be about race. This is not the greatest civil rights case. George Zimmerman was not shown to be a racist. I know that certain people feel a certain way. Trayvon Martin never deserved to die.

But legally and lawfully, he was not guilty. And while I hope that this case can open up discussions, it`s 2013. We have an African-American president. We`ve come a long way. It`s just hard to get past the history. And it`s a new kind of a whole (inaudible) perception.


AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY: You know, Jane, it`s not just hard to get past the history, it`s hard to get past the reality of today. And yes, we have a black president, but racial issues abound in this country. African- Americans are still disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. They face serious biases when they`re stopped, when they`re convicted, when they`re charged and when they`re sentenced. So this case for me is the perfect case to have a very serious discussion about race, to talk about laws like stand your own ground, which basically says shoot first, ask questions later.

And even the legislators in Florida knew that this law would lead to racial profiling of African-Americans and give whites in Florida a license to shoot blacks. And we`ve seen it. We saw it with the Marisa Alexander case. We see it with Trayvon Martin.

We have another case coming up of a young man who was shot by a white man because he wouldn`t turn down his music. And this man is claiming that he should be exonerated because he stood his own ground. Perfect case to discuss race that is still very much the issue in our country.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very quickly --


SCHWARTZREICH: It is never, never about race, this case. Everyone wants to make it about race. But even the jurors didn`t believe that George Zimmerman profiled him and that he was dead because he was African- American.

ANAHITA SEDAGHATFAR, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the FBI -- the FBI conducted an investigation --

SCHWARTZREICH: And found nothing.

ANAHITA: -- look Jane, I think we can all agree --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second. Anahita --

SEDAGHATFAR: -- I think we can all agree, Jane, that we as a society need to have a serious discussion of the role race plays in our criminal justice system. But I don`t think this is the case to have that discussion.

SCHARTZREICH: I would agree.

SEDAGHATFAR: I mean the FBI conducted an independent investigation, they`re totally independent here. They interviewed over 30 witnesses. They conclusively concluded that race did not play a factor here. The jurors agreed with that contention. So I think we should use this case, not to incite. Not to incite people to go out and riot and demonstrate in violent ways --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s not even use that word. I don`t want to hear the "r" word.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me go to the phone line. Stanley, Connecticut has been waiting. Stanley, Connecticut -- your question or thought -- Stanley?

STANLEY, CONNECTICUT (via telephone): Yes?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, your question or thought, Stanley?

STANLEY: Yes, thank you for taking my call. I`ve got a question, I don`t know why it wasn`t brought up earlier. If Trayvon was so scared and worried, why didn`t he take and called the police instead of staying on the phone with Rachel? If he called the police maybe they could have then diffused. You know, George was on the other with police at the same time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that is a good question. We don`t have the answer to that. Why? Because he`s dead and he can`t tell his side of the story.

We`re going to take a short break and back with more on these extraordinary interviews -- the mystery juror, the star witness -- the protests, the demonstrations. We`re sorting it all out hopefully argument and counter argument to reach a higher understanding.

Stay right there.


JEANTEL: When somebody bash somebody like blood people, trust me, in the area I live that`s not bashing. That is called whoop ass. You just got your ass whooped. That`s what it is.

MORTAN: Would Trayvon, if he had been attacked or been confronted and he scared, would he have whooped ass as you put it?

JEANTEL: Whoop ass.

MORTAN: Would he have done that? Could he have done that. Would he have defended himself if he had been in that position?





STEVIE WONDER, MUSICIAN: Until the stand your ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again. As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s superstar Stevie Wonder saying at a concert he`s not ever going to perform in Florida until they revoke the Stand Your Ground law.

Now, you`re looking at pictures of the O.J. Simpson verdict. We`re delighted to have with us on the phone tonight Fred Goldman. And Fred is the father of murder victim Ron Goldman; Ron Goldman slain along with Nicole Simpson, O.J. Simpson`s ex-wife. That was the trial of the century that was -- dominated the headlines for so many months back in the `90s.

Fred, thank you for joining us; a lot of people are comparing --

FRED GOLDMAN, FATHER OF RON GOLDMAN (via telephone): Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- this verdict to that verdict, different in many, many ways. But in terms of the intensity of the reaction to the verdict, what are your thoughts on that?

GOLDMAN: Well, first, of course, you know, my condolences to the young man`s parents and family. But, you know, this case has gone, for lack of any other description, I think has gone awry from day one. It`s very sad what takes place in these things when they become public spectacles.

One, everybody seems to lose track of what`s going on. In my mind, I think the prosecutor rushed to bring charges and then chose to charge Mr. Zimmerman with second degree murder. Had a choice to go and hold a -- have a grand jury and they didn`t do that.

I think the whole case from beginning to end is just very sad; and of course, most of all, sad that someone had to die. I`m very troubled by this whole thing, and then now it seems to have turned into a racial issue and equally sad. The whole thing is very, very disturbing to me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, in terms of commonalities of the O.J. Simpson murder trial was just a crime story in a sense. But it also had the undercurrent there, some of the same undercurrents that this case has. Do you see a parallel there whatsoever?

GOLDMAN: No. You know, what`s sad about it is that there was -- there wasn`t any racism in the trial of the monster that murdered my son. And there didn`t appear to be any actual racism in the actual murder of Trayvon. But it becomes that and that is terribly unfortunate.

You know, there wasn`t any indication, I don`t think certainly in the evidence, that race played a factor. And nor was there in the murder of my son and Nicole that race was an issue. But it became that, and it`s very troubling that, in this day and age, race still has to be a part of everything -- so much of what goes on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Fred Goldman, I want to thank you for joining us. I know that somebody who is handsome and wonderful son was brutally, brutally murdered, that you have an insight into this that no one else has, and I thank you for joining us.

Say hi to your daughter, Kim --

GOLDMAN: I will.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and hope you`ll join us again soon, because I really think your voice on issues of the day is really important and needs to be heard.

GOLDMAN: Thank you. Have a good day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. You, too.

We`ll have more on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for "Pet of the Day". Send your pet pics to

Molly, Pearl and Macy -- they`re having a party and we`re invited. And so is Henry. Henry -- look at him and his blanket. How sweet. And then there`s Fat Boy. Oh my gosh -- I think I know Fat Boy. Gina, you are a superstar. Superstar.




JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: You`re the person who actually slit Mr. Alexander`s throat from ear to ear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were three armed guards all in their bullet proof vest. One of them had a loaded shotgun.

ARIAS: You should have at least done your makeup, Jodi -- gosh.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to count one, first degree murder, guilty.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news -- another stunner. Jodi Arias back in court today in stripes and shackles surrounded by armed guards. The woman convicted of brutally murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, stabbing him 29 times, slitting his throat ear to ear, shooting him in the head.

There she is with a bun. We froze it -- there it is, wearing this new bun. She steps in front of the judge today but justice delayed again.


JUDGE SHERRY STEPHENS, MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT: It appears there are a number of issues that are unresolved. So I am reluctant to set a firm trial date for the penalty phase retrial at this time. My intention was to set that trial to begin in late September. That is still my preference.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to CNN correspondent, Ted Rowlands. You were in court today. What the heck went down?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, it started very dramatically because Jodi Arias was back in chambers with the judge and her defense team. Normally as you know in this courtroom she comes in from the side so it`s kind of a quick entrance, she sits down. This time she came in through that front entrance with these three armed guard in their full regalia. One of them had the loaded shotgun.

Burst in and she`s got her chains -- it was very dramatic, her entrance. She didn`t say anything during this trial. Bottom line was we were hoping -- the judge was hoping to set a trial date for the second -- for the retrial of the penalty phase but she said she couldn`t because there are some outstanding issues.

But she warned both sides "Be ready, we`re moving forward." She wants to do it in late September. She set another court date in August and is hoping to go late September.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So still we do not have an end to this case. Will we ever have an end to this case? It`s unbelievable. Ted, just a guess quickly, do you think it`s going to start in September or are we going to see her in 2014?

ROWLANDS: Well, I think the defense wants 2014 but I think it will be this fall. Judge Stephens, as you know, Jane is a very thorough judge. This is a death penalty case. She`s not going to move this along any quicker than she has to but she made it pretty clear today that she doesn`t want this to start next year. She wants it to start in the fall so I do think you`re going to see a fall start date. Whether it`s September or October or November, who knows? But it`s coming sooner than later.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Dave Hall, Travis Alexander, the victim`s good friend on the other side. What`s his reaction to this delay?



ARIAS: This is a really trivial question and it`s going to reveal how shallow I am. But before they book me can I clean myself up a little bit?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Victim Travis Alexander`s dear friend, Dave Hall, your reaction to justice delayed again.

DAVE HALL, FRIEND OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: Well, Jane, of course we`re disappointed in this -- another delay. Trayvon Martin was murdered almost four years after Travis Alexander was and they`ve had a trial, they`ve had a verdict and agree with it or not agree with it, at least both sides have some closure and they can start moving forward. We`ve been denied.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is the family feel about -- Travis`s family feel about this dragging on?

HALL: Well, as you can imagine, they feel like it`s almost a cat and mouse game with Jodi Arias that every time that she gets another postponement it`s almost like messing with them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to say, you and I Dave stood outside that courthouse many, many times.

Nancy next.