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Interview with Mark O'Mara; Tom Joyner Aims To Help Rachel Jeantel; Legal Panel Discusses Rachel Jeantel

Aired July 16, 2013 - 21:00   ET



PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: What is your view of him?

RACHEL JEANTEL, FRIEND OF TRAYVON MARTIN: I'm going to have to say he lucky I'm a Christian.



MORGAN: Well, in just a moment you'll hear what his partner has to say. I'll talk to George Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara. Plus a man who's watching last who's so moved by what Rachel Jeantel said he wants to pay for her to go to college, radio host Tom Joyner is here with me.

And the other interview that everyone is still talking about, Juror B37. We'll go to Anderson Cooper.


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN'S AC360: Because of the only -- the two options you had, second-degree murder or manslaughter, you felt neither applied?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. Well, because -- because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. I mean, he had a right to defend himself.


MORGAN: Tonight another controversial jury verdict, O.J. Simpson's acquittal 18 years ago. I'll ask the juries in that case what it's like to live with a verdict that shocked an entire nation.

But I want to begin tonight with the star witness on the Zimmerman trial, Rachel Jeantel. I sat down with her last night in what turned out to be extraordinary encounter. Her first interview since she took the stand and she had a lot to say about the case especially George Zimmerman's defense team.


MORGAN: They tried to paint a picture of somebody interested in guns, took a lot of drugs. Let's get to the truth about that. Did he ever talk to you about guns?


MORGAN: Did you ever see him with a gun?


MORGAN: What about drugs?

JEANTEL: Drugs? OK. Weed. You say marijuana.

MORGAN: Mm-hmm.

JEANTEL: In my area, we say weed. My area, weed for Trayvon, I can explain one thing. Weed don't do -- make him go crazy. It just make him go hungry. When the state closed, they trying to explain what kind of person I am. You can see the kind of person I am. I never -- the whole stand I never cussed out Don. Even during our little back -- since March I've been dealing with Don West. I've been --

MORGAN: Don West. You actually saw him here in the CNN --

JEANTEL: Yes, yes, yes.

MORGAN: He was here to do Anderson show. What did that make you feel to see him again?

JEANTEL: I'll hold it back. The only reason I haven't said nothing to Don West because my parent taught me better. That's an adult. You don't have the right to disrespect an adult. Don't curse. OK. I did give attitude.


MORGAN: Joining me now is George Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara.

Mark, welcome to you. First of all, congratulations on your victory because from a legal point of view I thought you -- particular you personally waged an extremely good defense of your client, and you got the result that obviously he wanted.


MORGAN: It would be childish to say otherwise. In terms of Rachel Jeantel I found it a fascinating interview last night on many levels. But one that struck me was if that personality had been in court on the stand testifying in the way she spoke to me, would it have been more worrying for you? Would she had been more engaging to the jury and would she have told us more about the other side of Trayvon martin that I don't think we really heard in that case?

O'MARA: I'm not sure how she would have presented herself but certainly last night she was more engaging, more straightforward, more amiable, and I'm not sure why she started out with the attitude that she obviously did in the trial but certainly some of what she could have said was lost on the jury through the attitude. MORGAN: She painted a very different picture of Trayvon Martin to the one that was repeatedly rammed home during the trial. She talked to somebody who was pretty quiet, a soft sort of charter. She said he took a bit of weed twice a week. But nothing that ever changed his personality from what she saw.

Somebody that loved his mom, loved his family, and somebody from her understanding of the conversation on that fateful last night, was on his way home. What do you make of that aspect of what she was saying.

O'MARA: I'm not sure that we'll fully know. Trayvon Martin was a 17- year-old teenager. Like most of us, we went through those teenage years and I think he had a whole range of personality traits, of emotions and whatever. I do know that for the four minutes that he had after he said he was running, that there was four minutes before the altercation took place and for whatever reason, misinterpreting George's signals, being worried or afraid or whatever, be angry, he decided to re-engage in a situation where George Zimmerman ended up with all the injuries and Trayvon martin ended up dead, an event that everybody would like to see changed but I have to suggest that there is arguments on both sides as to who is really responsible for it.

MORGAN: Let me throw some devils' advocate questions at you.

O'MARA: Sure.

MORGAN: About -- the stuff that a lot of people are asking and saying, and pondering post this acquittal. One is, where would Trayvon Martin's rights to self-defense in all this? If he did throw the first blow against George Zimmerman because he was scared, why should that be the criteria that George Zimmerman escaping any kind of punishment when he shoots him dead?

O'MARA: Sure. Self-defense wasn't pretty clear and actually gives us good reasons and signals. And in answer to your question, you're allowed to resist force with like force. So if I scream at you, if I curse at you, you can scream back and you can yell back. You can't punch me, you can't shoot me and you can't take a knife to me.

So even if we were to presume what people want us to believe as to George Zimmerman's aggressiveness or following him and say that George confronted him, even if that were absolutely true, Trayvon Martin still did not have a legal right to attack George Zimmerman physically and when he upped the ante by doing that, it caused a cascading round of events that ended up leading to his own death.

MORGAN: What I was struck by in the trial was that the cascading series of events from a legal perspective, really only start when the physical confrontation begins, whereas logic to me dictates that it should have started earlier when George Zimmerman is driving along and sees Trayvon Martin and gets out of his vehicle and calls the authorities, et cetera, et cetera, but none of that seemed to be relevant in terms of the law.

Is that an area where the law could possibly be reviewed and possibly changed? O'MARA: Couple of answers. The prosecutor certainly tried to make a great deal about that pre-altercation conversation and all that. So in one sense, it was talked about and discussed and we have to look at it again sort of in context as to what was going on.

And here's the other consideration I think that we need to have. There is this intersection between what George Zimmerman can do as an involved citizen, watching somebody who's concerned about. We all do that every day.

When does it get to the point where George Zimmerman's events or actions turn from a concerned citizen into something that was over the line? It seems as though it really only got over the line after that four-minute of silence of Trayvon Martin and there was a minute and a half of silence of George Zimmerman where we don't know exactly what happened but it ended up in a physical altercation.

MORGAN: Should he not when he was told we don't need you to do that, just turn around and go back in his car, and if he had done that or had he stayed in his car originally completely, do you accept that that would not have led to the catalyst of events that led to the shooting?

O'MARA: No question. We can look back now and I think that there were 1,000 decisions points, none of which of course back them were significant. The actors deciding them. But we can look back now and say there are 1,000 decision points but if we look at what did happen and the natural consequence of it but it's hard to say that any individual by George Zimmerman were so wrong that he should be responsible criminally for what happened afterwards.

MORGAN: I want to play more contentious things that Rachel said to me. This is about what she said Trayvon was telling her on the phone, why they feared perhaps what George Zimmerman may be doing.


MORGAN: There was no doubt in your mind from what Trayvon was telling you on the phone about the creepy ass cracker and so on that he absolutely believed that George Zimmerman, this man you didn't know who he was at the time, this man was pursuing him?


MORGAN: And he was freaked out by it?

JEANTEL: Yes. Definitely after I say it might be a rapist. For every boy or every man or every whose not that kind of way, you see a grown man following them, would they be creeped out? So you got to take it as a parent, when you -- when you tell your child when you see a grown person following you run away and all that, was you going to stand there? You going to tell your child stand there? If you tell your child stand there, we're going to see your child on the news for missing person.


MORGAN: Interesting reaction from the audience there. They clearly empathized with what she was saying. I suppose what I would say is clearly, George Zimmerman was not a rapist. But what it indicated to me was that Trayvon Martin was unnerved, scared possibly, he was a 17- year-old kid, he's got this older guy following him. Doesn't know what's going on and he may well, when they actually came together, we're not entirely sure how that happened, he may well have lashed out in fear.

Again, I suppose I come back to, isn't he perfectly entitled to do that under self-defense himself? Why should he lose his life because some guy is following him, and he's freaked out by it?

O'MARA: Couple of reasonable reactions. If in fact he was that concerned about it, I'm not sure why that never showed up in Rachel Jeantel's testimony before the trial, it didn't show up in initial conversation with Miss Bolton, didn't show up in an initial conversation with Mr. de la Rionda. It only really showed up in -- slightly the deposition, and then in trial testimony. So I'm concerned that didn't happen before.

And if in fact Trayvon Martin was that concerned about his safety, let's just say that that was better communicated to Miss Jeantel and was better communicated to the prosecutor. Then why in those four minutes when he had 80 yards why did he stay around seemingly in the darkness so that re-altercation could actually occur?

He could have gone home. And because he didn't -- he made the decision not to go home we had to then look at what might have been in his mind.

MORGAN: George Zimmerman could have gone home.

O'MARA: Absolutely. They both could have. There was a thousand points when this could have just not happened. And --

MORGAN: Anderson Cooper had a fascinating interview with the first juror to break silence. I want to play a clip from this about how confusing they found the law itself.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The law became very confusing.

COOPER: Yes. Tell me about that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It became very confusing. We had stuff thrown at us. We had the second-degree murder charge, the manslaughter charge, then we had self-defense, Stand Your Ground.

COOPER: Did you feel like you understood the instructions from the judge because they were very complex?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was our problem. I mean, it was just so confusing what went -- what was what and what we could apply to what.


MORGAN: I mean, it was confusing, it was complicated. You know, like -- and credit to the jury for taking a long period of time to work this out. And in terms of what we do now because the trial is done, the verdict has been concluded and we have to respect that verdict, even if people don't agree with it. People have to respect it, I think.

We move onto the future. Eric Holder, the attorney general, came out and said he's very against the Stand Your Ground law.

Tell me the difference in simple terms between stand your ground, which you didn't in the end use as a defense here.

O'MARA: Correct.

MORGAN: And the normal self-defense law which is applicable all over America.

O'MARA: Right. If you come at me right now with a knife from where you are, under a normal self-defense law, I have to try and get out of the way. I have to retreat. And if I can, great. If I can't because my back is up against the wall then I can react with deadly force.

In a stand your ground situation, they take away my need to retreat. As long as I'm not doing anything wrong, I don't have to retreat. You come at me with a knife from here, I can take out my gun and shoot you. That can be very problematic because it allows the person to not try the last chance out.

Now George didn't have that opportunity in his case, but the statute is troublesome in that regard.

MORGAN: And it's troublesome because, you know, gang leaders are using it against each other to say, hey, I came face-to-face with a rival gang member and I shot him. He was going to shoot me.

That's the problem with it. I mean, it seems to me lots of fuss.

O'MARA: Absolutely.

MORGAN: I'm totally with Eric Holder on this. In terms of self- defense as a law, in light of what happened in this case, and you defend many people and, you know, I'll make it clear, you defend many young black teenagers, you've done that before in the past, as well.

Are there changes to the self-defense law you think that we should now consider as a result of all this?

O'MARA: Traditional self-defense, no. I think it works perfectly. It's been around for literally almost 1,000 years and what it really says is when confronted with force you're allowed to react. You punch me, I can punch you. You yell at me, I can yell at you. You take a knife out, I can take a knife out, or maybe even a gun. So that doesn't need to change.

The Stand Your Ground issue which allows, you know, again a voluntary action that may not be necessary as again, as we talked about troubling, but self-defense itself, it has to be there for us to be able to protect ourselves.

MORGAN: Final question, briefly, if you don't mind. How is George Zimmerman? And do you think he'll ever be able to lead a normal life given all the mayhem that's erupted around this trial?

O'MARA: He'll never be able to just walk down the street and not worried who's going to hate him next. He's concerned about he really wanted this trial and he also wanted to testify because he wanted to give his side and say to America and to his jury, why he had to do what he had to do. But regardless of that, the outpouring of anger and hatred that has shown up after a verdict of not guilty just is more troublesome for him.

He'll never have a normal life. I think he'll always be hiding because we never know how that one person who has unreasonable anger may act out on it.

MORGAN: Mark O'Mara, you did an exceptional job in that -- in that trial.

O'MARA: Thanks.

MORGAN: And you've always been very good to the show and very considered to do with.


MORGAN: I appreciate it very much.

Coming up, a man who was watching my interview last night with Rachel Jeantel. Now he wants to give her a scholarship to the college of her choice. Radio host Tom Joyner is next.


MORGAN: Rachel Jeantel was funny and outspoken last night. She also talked movingly about her friendship with Trayvon Martin.


MORGAN: What would you talk about?

JEANTEL: Really, what we were going to be in life. How life's going to happen, what's going on currently around that time. And mind you around that time, it was both of our birthdays had passed. So we were talking about what happened, and that --

MORGAN: He was a good friend to you?


MORGAN: A kind friend?



MORGAN: My next guest was listening to that interview, and that was the moment he decided he wanted to help Rachel Jeantel. Radio host Tom Joyner is with me now. Tom, what was it about that interview and Rachel that made you think she deserves my help here?

TOM JOYNER, RADIO SHOW HOST: Well, it all started of course at the trial. And when she testified, the reaction to her testimony was very troubling to me. People were criticizing her and her education and communication skills. And the way the lawyer was just beating her up on the stand just really moved me. And then last night when I saw her on your show, you did a follow-up question that said what do you want to do in life?


JOYNER: You went from that to what was Trayvon like and described Trayvon as her best friend and they talked about any and everything. But you didn't say what do you want to do in life? That's when the light bulb went off. I said I want to help her. We have a foundation that helps students in historically black colleges and universities. The Tom Joyner Foundation has been around since '98 and since then, we've donated and raised more than $65 million to that end.

So we have done -- we have done full-ride scholarships before. I don't remember if you know the case of Jenala (ph) Wilson a few years ago in Georgia. Jenala was convicted of rape, and the law said that any under-aged girl who had sex with anyone of any age could be convicted of rape. They since changed that law, and Janala got caught up in it.

We gave him a second chance. We got him a full-ride scholarship to Morehouse, and he graduated this past May. And so I saw -- I saw -- I saw Rachel Jeantel on your show, and I said she deserves a chance. Especially after -- especially after you ask her what did you think -- what did she think about the juror and her impression of her.

MORGAN: Well, I wanted to play you that -- I want to play you that to remind people. I want to play what the juror said about Rachel's lack of education and then how Rachel responded and get your response to both.


MORGAN: You're uneducated. You have no communication skills. What do you feel about what that juror said about you?

JEANTEL: Angry. Upset. And then the closing -- when the state closed they're trying to explain what kind of person I am. You can see the kind of person I am.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: That was Rachel's response. I mean, I think we know what the juror said. I was going to play that, but we won't. We know what the juror said. It seemed to me quite patronizing.

JOYNER: I had -- I had the same reaction. I had the same reaction as Rachel. I was hurt, angered. And the same thing happened the day after she testified. I had a -- we have a big social media outlet, and people were just talking about her, talking about the way she looked and the way she presented herself, and I'm -- I'm looking at a 19-year-old girl who like a lot of -- like a lot of 19-year-old black youth, have a hard time getting people to listen. And people then judge, you know, because they don't listen. And I thought -- and I thought that in the courtroom that no one was really listening to her. She was saying what she felt and what was true --

MORGAN: Right, we also --

JOYNER: In her heart --

MORGAN: We also had her going through last night some of the language that young people in particular use, black and white these days, which can be misconstrued by older people as she put it. I want to play you a clip by Rush Limbaugh, that creaking old dinosaur who came out with a very predictable response. Listen to this.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO HOST: So nigga with an a on the end. Well, I think I can now. Isn't that the point? Because it's not racist. That's the point. I could be talking about a male. I could be -- a Chinese male. The guy at the Laundromat, I could be talking about a man. That's what she said it means.


MORGAN: I mean, what his response showed me, Tom, was pretty similar to the disconnect I detected between the juror that we heard from and Rachel Jeantel and Trayvon Martin's backgrounds and world. I mean, a completely different world of these people living in.

JOYNER: First of all, I don't think Rush Limbaugh has license to use the n word, so he should say the n word. He shouldn't say the actual word. I don't say it. And that's -- and that's number one. That's the way they talk. That the way they communicate, and that's the way it should be taken.

And all this criticism about, you know, how the system has failed her or she's failed the system. She's 19 years old and she's a senior in high school. Right, OK. So in the past year-and-a-half her life has been turned upside down. She's been back and forth with depositions and appointments and everything, plus sad about her best friend being killed. So her senior year is all a wreck.

When we talk to -- we talked to her people today -- and it's going to take some work, first of all, to get her high school diploma and get her ready for the SAT -- SAT test and then entered into college. But we are going to do that. We help students in historically black colleges. I told her she can go to any historically black college she wants to, preferably one in Florida. Like Florida Memorial or Bethune Cooke (INAUDIBLE) or Edward Waters --

MORGAN: It would be a great thing, Tom.

JOYNER: She wants to go into criminal justice.

MORGAN: Yes, I know. Which may be a fantastic thing for her to do. Tom Joyner, thank you very much for joining me. and I wish you all the very best with helping Rachel. Thank you.

JOYNER: Thank you.

MORGAN: When we come back, Rachel Jeantel and the n word. My legal eagle's reaction to what she said and what her testimony meant for the case.



JEANTEL: Well, the jury, they see their side. No offense to the jury, they old. That's old school people. We in the new school, our generation, my generation.


MORGAN: Rachel Jeantel's candid feelings about the jury that acquitted George Zimmerman. There's a lot to say about those six women (INAUDIBLE). Jury consultant Richard Gabriel and civil rights attorney Gloria Allred.

Gloria, let me start with you, if I may. What are the lessons that we can learn from this trial, if any, going forward?

GLORIA ALLRED, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, I think that as to Rachel Jeantel, obviously, she need to be prepared as a witness, and she didn't get the kind of preparation that she needed. She was a lot more relaxed with you last night on the interview, Piers, and that's because she wasn't subject to the kind of cross-examination that every witness can expect to get in a courtroom because that's a tough place to be and it takes precision questions and it takes precision answers and she can't just kind of engage in a narrative wandering around as she can quite frankly on a talk show.

Having said that, it was very-- we got a lot of insight into her last night in your interview because she was able to talk and say what she wanted to say in a more relaxed setting. I think the lesson of the trial is that it is a very heated contest(ph) of facts and law has to be applied. I think the jurors did their very best. The jury even cried -- all if the jury apparently cried when they finally had to render a verdict because they really did look at the evidence and they gave their best decision. And I think we all have to respect that and uh I'm sorry that the jury is being attacked in the way that they are. MORGAN: Yeah, I mean uh -- I certainly wouldn't attack the jury Richard Gabriel. You're a jury consultant, because the jury clearly wrestled with this for a long time -- over 16 hours. It clearly was a pretty emotional decision for them, and in the end most legal experts would say that they applied the letter of the law of self- defense that applies in Florida and indeed around America, and the prosecution failed in their case.

RICHARD GABRIEL, JURY CONSULTANT: Well and I think that true, I mean the truth here is that we spend our time looking at the psychology of human judgment, and jurors don't necessarily understand the niceties of the law or the facts of the case before they go in. So in this particular case you have jurors who had talked about the protests before the trial is riding. You talked about a woman who has talked about an altercation and then the gun suddenly went off. You have another juror who talked about that this was a lesson that she had taught her kids about not going out at night, so they bring their own experiences -- they bring their own particular biases. They may not be racial biases but they bring their own set of life experiences to it and they, as you can hear, especially with B37, you heard that she had a very difficult time relating to Rachel Jeantel and could relate to George Zimmerman. So all of these things play out as the facts unfold as the jurors try to understand and put together their version of what happened.

MORGAN: The problem I have endured is how this law both 'stand your ground' and self-defense gets applied in different ways around America, and there's this awful case of this woman, Marissa Alexander -- I'm not sure if you were aware of this -- but she is a young African-American mother, sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a gun in her home near her husband. She told the court her husband was abusive, she had a protective order against him, and the shot was just a warning shot; her husband wasn't injured. Now Angela Corey prosecuted that case as well and the judge ruled that they could not use 'stand your ground' and she was found guilty and is serving 20 years in prison. Now, when you compare that to what George Zimmerman did, he killed a young teenager who was unarmed -- where is the equal-ness, the fairness in this system?


MORGAN: Let me just ask Gloria first if you don't mind, um Richard.

GABRIEL (ph): Sure.

ALLRED: Yeah, I was just going to say -- it boggles the mind -- it doesn't make sense and here we have in the case you just described, an allegation by a victim of domestic violence that in fact she was being threatened -- that she had been threatened in the past -- and that she shot the gun. She couldn't retreat out of the garage because he was standing there in her way and uh allegedly threatening her according to her. The jury didn't obviously believe it and therefore she is in prison. It's very, very disturbing. Here in the Trayvon Martin case, we didn't have Trayvon Martin, unfortunately -- may he rest in peace -- because he was deceased. And the jury did believe that the final confrontation -- or the only confrontation depending on your point of view -- was such that George Zimmerman did use force, reasonable force under the circumstances, that he was in imminent fear of death or great bodily harm and that therefore he had a right to self-defense, that's why they acquitted him. Angela Corey I want to say one other thing: I'm very, very disturbed that she did, even after the verdict, call George Zimmerman a murderer. I do not think that's what a prosecutor should do. A prosecutor is there --


ALLRED: -- to seek justice, not to win a case, and I think it was out of bounds and disrespectful of the jury to call him a murderer after he was acquitted by the jury.

MORGAN: Yeah, I thought that all her behavior actually since this verdict has been pretty disgraceful. It kind of sums up the ineptitude of the prosecution case from the moment they overcharged as many people believe, to the way they conducted, to even the way that they briefed Rachel Jeantel who as I in a 20-minute interview last night got more out of her about Trayvon Martin's apparent real character than we heard in the . . .


MORGAN: This is breaking news -- a statement. This is from five of the remaining six jurors in the Zimmerman case who haven't so far spoken out and they've issued a statement jointly saying this: "We the undersigned jurors understand there is a great deal of interest in this case but we ask you to remember we are not public officials and we do not invite this type of attention into our lives. We also wish to point out that the opinions of the juror B37 expressed on the Anderson Cooper show were her own and not in any way representative of the jurors listed below. Serving on this jury has been a highly emotional and physically draining experience for each of us. The death of a teenager weighed heavily on our hearts, but in the end we did what the law required us to do. We appealed (ph) the highest standards of profession and ask the media to respect our privacy and give us time to process what we've been through."

The moment OJ Simpson was found guilty the case was highly profiled and racially charged just like the Zimmerman trial. The verdict was shocking driving (ph) out two of the Simpson jurors, Lionel Cryer and David O'Donnell. So, Lionel Cryer, we just got a statement there from the jury -- I think it might be four actually of the six. One has already spoken out and this was on behalf of four of the others.


MORGAN: Obviously they'd been through a hell of an ordeal. You went through that ordeal. Do you empathize with what they've had to endure?

CRYER: Oh yes, definitely I do empathize with them for sure.

MORGAN: Did they reach the right verdict, do you think.

CRYER: Oh, definitely not. Definitely not.

MORGAN: You would have found him guilty of --

CRYER: Oh, I --

MORGAN: -- second degree murder or manslaughter:

CRYER: Second degree murder of course. Um I'm one of those people that believe that George Zimmerman was predisposed to go out and kill someone that evening. Because of the fact of all of the frustration that he had built up in the previous calls that led up to this particular incident, and his desire to not let them get away with anything anymore. And so uh -- again this is my personal opinion.

MORGAN: You think he racially profiled Trayvon Martin?

CRYER: Definitely. I do believe that.

MORGAN: David O'Donnell, you as a jury obviously caused considerable controversy because you acquitted OJ Simpson and many people felt that he was as guilty as sin. Do you stand by that decision that you took?

DAVID O'DONNELL, OJ SIMPSON CASE JUROR: Oh, most definitely. We were given, we were given evidence and a lot of stuff was fishy on that. I do believe there were -- some of the detectives were crooked and I do believe some of the evidence was planted for the mere fact that the Department of Justice when they received that vial of blood it was three quarters full, whereas the nurse that took the blood -- I can't remember the gentleman's name -- but he said twice that he filled that vial to the very top. So what happened to that other quart -- that other quarter of the blood that (INAUDIBLE) vial.

MORGAN: You have no doubt to this day that you think that OJ Simpson was not guilty.

O'DONNELL: I don't have any doubt whatsoever.

MORGAN: And what would you have done with George Zimmerman based on the evidence that you have heard from that trial?

O'DONNELL: Well, sorry, Lon, but I got to disagree with you on that uh -- I would have found him innocent on what they had -- what they had -- what the prosecution had given and it just seemed like everything was pretty shaky. They were relying on -- it seemed like every time they would put on a witness, they were on the defensive side. And it just -- a lot of things were just not -- some of the witnesses they put on, and a lot of things just didn't make sense to me on that.

MORGAN: You see what is interesting to me about that response from David, Lionel, is that there is a theory that you know on the OJ Simpson case a mainly black jury acquitted a black man. In this case, a predominantly white jury acquitted a white Hispanic man. Do you think though that race is that important in a jury's decision-making from your experience? Is it almost human nature that it has to play a part.

CRYER: And you're referring to in a general sense, or in a --

MORGAN: In a general sense, but obviously leaning as well on your experience of being a juror.

CRYER: In a general sense --

MORGAN: In a highly emotive race case.

CRYER: In a general sense I wouldn't know for sure because again you don't know what goes into to people's mindset in juries. But in regard to my experience, um and uh the fact of the matter was that with me in the OJ Simpson case I actually voted my conviction that based on the evidence presented to me in that case at trial -- and I thought that the prosecution in that case did put on a very weak case, uh, I had no alternative but to rule for reasonable doubt which was all I gave him in that instance, really.

MORGAN: How many of the jurors for a while thought that OJ was guilty and changed their minds.

CRYER: And how would I know that?

MORGAN: You didn't discuss it?

CRYER: You mean like in jury deliberation?

MORGAN: I mean in your jury deliberations, yeah.

CRYER: In deliberations when it came up, um . . . -- and your question again was?

MORGAN: How many of your jury with OJ started off believing that he was guilty and changed their minds?

CRYER: Probably ten people.

MORGAN: Really?


MORGAN: And did they change their minds because there was simply doubt brought in --

CRYER: -- No . . .

MORGAN: Or because they felt overwhelming evidence.

CRYER: (Chuckle). And here -- here's the difference here: One thing that people lose sight of: My feeling about the verdict in that case, being sequestered as a juror played into that particular verdict I feel.

MORGAN: Just how long were you sequestered?

CRYER: Ten and a half months.

MORGAN: And you came back in four hours.

CRYER: Because people wanted to leave.

MORGAN: Right.

CRYER: They were tired of being there. I feel that some people in the jury -- the fight was out of them. They didn't want to stand for their own convictions and I think based on that is partly the reason why we came back with a verdict as soon as we did.

MORGAN: David O'Donnell, I mean that clearly plays a part -- including this jury too had been away from their families. Many of them were mothers being away for quite some time, and there must be a desire in the end to just get this done. We know that they asked or were going to ask a question about the definition of manslaughter and then didn't. Could it be that they just ran out of energy and said let's just deal with this now?

O'DONNELL: Yeah, I think something was wrong with um -- I know they had asked the judge for some type of -- they had a question. But then she sent them back saying you know, break down that question a little more and then they didn't come back with it, so maybe they were at that point where they said, you know what, we don't need to have it. They gave us what we needed to work with and then that's what we worked with and then that what we worked with.

MORGAN: Well it's a nice thing (INAUDIBLE) to talk to you guys because you are two of the few people who know exactly what they have been through and I do appreciate you joining me, Lionel Cryer, David O'Donnell, thank you very much indeed. Coming up next --

CRYER AND O'DONNELL: (CROSSTALK) Thank you. You're welcome, Piers

MORGAN: Nick Cannon is up about the Zimmerman verdict. He has a lot to say about the case, and he joins me live -- America's Got Talent buddy. Still wearing terrible suits.


MORGAN: We want to bring you some breaking news. Four Zimmerman jurors are responding to B37's (INAUDIBLE) Anderson Cooper's tonight a statement. Her opinions are her own and do not represent all their opinions. The Zimmerman verdict is touching a nerve across America -- a lot of people are talking about it including my next guest, Nick Cannon, the host of America's Got Talent -- weird show on NBC. Late night -- nothing is (INAUDIBLE) as it used to be.


MORGAN: How are you?

NICK CANNON, HOST OF AMERICA'S GOT TALENT: I'm good, man, how you be?

MORGAN: I'm taken aback about your suit. CANNON: Thank you.

MORGAN: Because it's a Tom Ford suit.

CANNON: Yes, it is.

MORGAN: And he is a quality designer.


MORGAN: I'm wearing one of his shirts.


MORGAN: The problem is the tie and the handkerchief because they are I believe which brand?

CANNON: Nick Cannon.

MORGAN: Exactly!

CANNON: That's because you know it's my brand, I'm sending you your own box!

MORGAN: No, you're not!


MORGAN: Let's get serious! Let's talk about this Zimmerman trial.


MORGAN: You've been Tweeting about it

CANNON: Uh huh.

MORGAN: What do you think about the verdict?

CANNON: Uh, honestly I was disappointed in the verdict. Uh I believe this entire trial has almost been viewed as a report card for our nation, or a progress report for over the years of injustice. Or even I would say, in my opinion as a black man having faith in the justice system. I mean, I believe that's where the attention originally came from when were all introduced to the Trayvon Martin case and where it ended. We still don't have faith in this justice system.

MORGAN: Do you think that Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin?

CANNON: I-I-I do, I do. I definitely do and I believe so because I believe we all have issues with prejudice, and I think as a nation we're afraid to own up to it. I mean when you think about what prejudice means, it just means to prejudge. We definitely know he pre-judged him -- he said it, you know.

MORGAN: He called him an effing punk. CANNON: Yeah, yeah, so he didn't know that young man from a can of paint, so to be able to just pre-judge him -- to be prejudiced against him -- that that was clearly wrong and --

MORGAN; What about the fact that he that he -- he in the end precipitated it -- George Zimmerman. It's my problem with the whole case. If he hadn't got out of his car --

CANNON: Right.

MORGAN: If he hadn't ignored the advice not to follow after Trayvon.

CANNON: Right.

MORGAN: Then there would have been no altercation. There would have been no shooting. To then shoot a young teenager who is unarmed as it turns out, and to get zero punishment. That's where I have an issue about this. That you can just walk free. I respect the jury decision. I respect the fact that they adhered to the law.

CANNON: Absolutely.

MORGAN: But the law in this case is an ass it seems to me.

CANNON: Absolutely, uh, I also made a statement uh -- my grandfather was actually the one that told me this being someone who grew up in the South. He said just because it's the law doesn't mean it's right.

MORGAN: Right.

CANNON: You know, history has proven that time and time again from you know from civil rights to women's rights -- we've all -- we're a growing nation and we've made some horrible decisions with the law and I believe right now that this law, whether it's 'stand your ground' or how this one was rolled out was definitely the wrong decision. So it's unfortunate uh but uh you know we have to live with it you know. We still live in the greatest country in the world, and yes, I said it, America, not the UK.

MORGAN: (Laughing). I wondered where you were going with it -- I assumed you were about to say Great Britain.

CANNON: (Laughing). But uh it's unfortunate how this case came to ---

MORGAN: When you see Rachel Jeantel talking as she did to me -- very candidly last night, it does seem to me that the jurors, this all-white jury predominantly with one Hispanic lady just had no sense of real connection with this young black woman or indeed Trayvon Martin.

CANNON: Right, I again, it was unfortunate. I think it's -- I go back to say it's uh a report card for how we deal with each other socially. How we communicate with each other. And to see that they are clearly two totally different generations but almost from two different worlds in a sense to where they would never be able to relate with each other.

MORGAN: Even this show Wild 'N Out --


MORGAN: I heard is the highest rated hour in the history of MTV2.

CANNON: Yes, so I was trying to be a nice guy and invite you on a show that people actually watch. (Laughter).

MORGAN: Well, last night we had our highest rated interview ever. I think --

CANNON: Yeah, and it wasn't because of you -- they actually should give Rachel a show!

MORGAN: It certainly won't be with you tonight, I can tell you.

CANNON: Awww (laughter)!

MORGAN: Let's take a look at Wild 'N Out. Here's a clip.


CANNON: See, Piers, you could do that. You come on, Man.

MORGAN: A little fun!


MORGAN: I watched it the other night, I actually thought 'my God I actually enjoyed part of this'.

CANNON: (Laughter).

MORGAN: Very unusual Nick Cannon experience for me.

CANNON: Well, thank you.

MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE) going well?

CANNON: Yes, it's on right now. I'm pretty sure at record ratings.

MORGAN: Actually I saw the uh finale ratings went down 33% without me.

CANNON: Here you go! Now, honestly --

MORGAN: Surely not -- not with the great Howard Stern?

CANNON: You are missed. I love Howard Stern, I love Howie Mandel; I love the two new judges, but you know we had a great rapport, and I mean maybe you could come back and do something. You got some kind of talent.

MORGAN: I may come and save your show. I'll be a contestant. CANNON: (Laughter).

MORGAN: (Laughter).

CANNON: Absolutely!

MORGAN: Nick Cannon, it's great to see you.

CANNON: Always a pleasure.

MORGAN: All the best. That's all for us tonight. Anderson Cooper starts in just a few moments.