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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Interview with Larry Elder; Arguing Stand Your Ground Law; Did Rolling Stone Go Too Far?; Interview with Eliot Spitzer
Aired July 17, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Tonight jurors versus juror. Four of the women who decided George Zimmerman's fate say that Juror B37 doesn't speak for them. Meanwhile, B37 herself tells CNN today that she's in anguish.
We'll also talk to a man who calls the trial a sideshow and blasts me for my interview with Rachel Jeantel. I'll go head-to-head with conservative radio host, Larry Elder.
And in the wake of the Zimmerman trial, justice in America. Who gets it and who doesn't? Exhibit A, Marissa Alexander. She said she was trying to stand her ground when she fired a shot to scare off her abusive husband.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARISSA ALEXANDER, SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON: I believe when he threatened to kill me, that's what he was going to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now she's behind bars for 20 years as George Zimmerman walks free. I'll talk to her attorney.
Plus the outrage over this "Rolling Stone" cover. The man who took this picture of the Boston marathon says it's a slap in the face.
I want to begin, though, with a conservative radio host who calls the Zimmerman trial a side show. Larry Elder is the host of "The Larry Elder Show" in KABC and also the author of "Dear Father, Dear Son," and he joins me now.
Larry Elder, welcome to you.
LARRY ELDER, KABC RADIO HOST, "THE LARRY ELDER SHOW": Welcome. Thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it.
MORGAN: You've been pretty scathing about my interview with Rachel Jeantel. Why?
ELDER: I was because you weren't doing her any favors by condescendingly trying to convince her that she's a victim. This is a young lady who didn't apply herself, a 19-year-old who is still in high school. Instead of saying young lady, take this as an opportunity to take stock of your life. You're treating her like she was a victim.
And that's how you're doing this whole thing about race and racism. Seven thousand murders last year, Piers, of black people, almost all of those were committed by black people. Since Trayvon Martin had his unfortunate death there have been 480 blacks killed in Chicago alone, 75 percent of those crimes have been unsolved. Where are the cameras? Where are the shows? It's outrageous to act as if --
MORGAN: Well, hang on.
ELDER: -- Black America --
MORGAN: OK. Larry --
ELDER: Black America should fear some non-black guy stalking some black kid at night. The likelihood of a black person being killed by a non-black person is extremely remote which is why this is became a big national issue in the first place, Piers.
MORGAN: Right. It's perfectly possible, as we have shown on this show many times, to be justice exercised by what is happening in Chicago which is an absolute national disgrace to America, frankly in terms of the outlandish gun --
ELDER: But you're not -- but you're not, Piers.
MORGAN: But I am, actually.
ELDER: There are 7,000 murders last year.
MORGAN: I don't think you've watched my show, Larry.
ELDER: Wait a minute. Half of --
MORGAN: I don't think you watch my show.
ELDER: Half of the murders in this country are commented by black people, even though black people are 12 percent of the population which means 6 percent of the population committing almost half the murders. And you throw out the old people and the young people, Piers, you're talking about 3 percent of the population committing almost 50 percent of the murders --
MORGAN: Fine. The point I was going to make.
ELDER: This is why commonsense people profile --
MORGAN: Larry, if you just calm down for a moment.
ELDER: This is why people profile.
MORGAN: Here's the point I was going to make. I am --
ELDER: I'm quite calm. I'm just bothered by how you're handling all of this.
MORGAN: Larry. Let me speak, Larry.
ELDER: Making black people as if they're (INAUDIBLE). It's nonsense. It's nonsense.
MORGAN: Larry, I --
ELDER: You're a liberal guy, bleeding heart liberal person. You think you're doing something for black people. You're not. You're making black people feel as if they're under siege. It is not true. It's an outrage.
MORGAN: Thank you, Larry. If I could just get a word in, it would be great.
MORGAN: Here's my point. I completely agree with everything you're saying about Chicago. All right. Let's just get that on the table. I've been saying this repeatedly on the show. It's a disgrace what is happening in Chicago, particularly with all these young black teenagers killing other young black teenagers. And the president --
ELDER: OK. Fine, let's --
MORGAN: -- and people down have to deal with it. But let's get back to the Zimmerman trial.
ELDER: Let's do that.
MORGAN: Let's get back to my interview with Rachel Jeantel because you tweeted some ridiculous things. You tweeted at one stage, would I like Rachel Jeantel to fly my plane? Why would you say that?
ELDER: I'll tell you why I said that, Piers. I'll tell you why I said that because after you interviewed her you condescendingly went on television the next morning and called her one smart cookie. Bull. Why don't you hire her as a nanny? Let's see how smart she is. It's a condescending kind of thing that a lot of white people say --
MORGAN: Do you think she's stupid, Larry?
ELDER: -- to black people. I think you're stupid for saying that kind of thing to try to get black people against --
MORGAN: That wasn't my question.
ELDER: Race and racism is the --
MORGAN: Do you think Rachel Jeantel --
ELDER: When it doesn't.
MORGAN: Do you think she's stupid, Larry?
ELDER: Racism is not a major problem in America anymore, Piers. Racism is not a major problem in America anymore. The number one problem facing black people are the large number of black people born outside of wedlock, 75 percent. In 1960, 5 percent of all people in this country were born outside of wedlock. Fast forward, Piers, the number now is 43 percent.
You look at that for crime, dropouts, all that kind of stuff, it's connected. The other big problem facing black America, Piers, is the economy. One in two black men does not have a job and one of the heads of the commercial black caucus once said if a white person were in the White House we would be marching on the place because of the high unemployment, but we're talking about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman as if it's the number one problem facing black America? It is a remotely on the top 10 list, Piers.
MORGAN: OK, Larry. Larry, this isn't a sort of competition to see who can be the greatest filibuster in my show's history.
ELDER: I'm not trying to filibuster.
MORGAN: Let's -- if you could just get back --
ELDER: Make a commonsense about I'm not hearing on your show.
MORGAN: Let me just get back to the question I asked you and see if you can actually answer the question.
MORGAN: Do you think that Rachel Jeantel is stupid?
ELDER: I think that I would rather have a George Zimmerman living in my neighborhood and maybe if George Zimmerman was living my neighborhood we'd have a few fewer Ariel Castros. I thought we wanted people to be proactive.
MORGAN: That wasn't the question, Larry.
ELDER: I thought we wanted people to be something, say something. I know, I'm answering something different that ought to be answered.
MORGAN: Could you just answer my question?
ELDER: You treated George Zimmerman like he's some sort of criminal. He's not a criminal. He's a guy who cares about his neighborhood.
MORGAN: George Zimmerman shot dead an unarmed teenager.
ELDER: He's a guy who cares about his neighborhood. He's a neighborhood watch guy. Don't you want people to be proactive and there was crime in that neighborhood, Piers. I live in South Central --
MORGAN: There wasn't crime from -- there wasn't crime from Trayvon Martin in that neighborhood.
ELDER: The burglar bars are not on there -- the burglar bars are not on there because of George Zimmerman. They're on there because of the enormity of thugs in the community that's messing up everybody's image and reputation. This is why people profile. Instead of being angry at George Zimmerman, be angry at the minority.
ELDER: And the thugs who's committing these crimes a crime.
MORGAN: OK. If I could jump in again. So just to clarify.
MORGAN: Trayvon Martin wasn't committing crimes in that neighborhood, was he?
ELDER: It was an unfortunate incident. Two people have preconceived notions about each other. It never should have happened. It doesn't make George Zimmerman a criminal. I used to work in the D.A.'s office, Piers. I'm telling you it was a dog case, a reasonable doubt case. Nobody I know would have filed the case.
MORGAN: Yes. We disagree obviously about that.
MORGAN: I think it's completely wrong that George Zimmerman should get no punish at all for killing an unarmed teenager.
ELDER: He's got serious punishment -- he can't go anywhere.
MORGAN: If I can, though --
ELDER: Are you kidding me? He's a marked man. He's going to be sued civilly. He will never have a moment of peace. He killed somebody. Morally he's got to deal with that, Piers. He recognizes that. He's not --
MORGAN: Well --
ELDER: He's not a thief. He recognizes what he did.
MORGAN: Larry, if I may respond. If I may respond.
MORGAN: You know, some people would say that he's got it easy compared to Trayvon Martin who he killed. So as much people feel sorry for George Zimmerman not being able to live the life perhaps he wish he could, at least he can lead --
ELDER: Piers, wouldn't it --
MORGAN: At least he can lead a life.
ELDER: -- be nice to have had a George Zimmerman in your neighborhood.
MORGAN: At least he can lead a life.
ELDER: Wouldn't it be nice to have a George Zimmerman in Cleveland and maybe Ariel Castro --
MORGAN: I don't want George Zimmerman doing my neighborhood watch patrol, no, I don't. I don't. I've got three teenage sons, Larry. I don't feel comfortable having somebody like George Zimmerman marching around as some wannabe vigilante armed with a gun --
ELDER: No, you live in a -- you live in a wealthy area, a gated community.
MORGAN: Potentially killing my kids as they come home from a store with a bag of Skittles and a can of soda, no. I don't. I don't feel comfortable.
ELDER: You live in a wealthy neighborhood, a gated community, plenty of security, you don't have to worry about that. Live in South Central. Come down to South Central sometime. See what's going on down there. They're not worried about George Zimmerman, they're not worried about Mark Thurman (ph), they're worrying about the thug down the street coming from a single parent household and that situation had been created by the left-wing people like you who feel sorry for people and therefore you want government to take care of them.
You think government is the way to help in prosperity. Go to an Indian reservation sometimes and see how they live.
MORGAN: OK, Larry. Larry. I do feel sorry for some people. That is true. I wasn't aware that was a terrible offense. But let me get back to Rachel Jeantel again because you were scathing -- you were scathing --
ELDER: It's a very offensive thing if you recommend the wrong things to do, Piers.
MORGAN: Larry, let me speak. Larry.
ELDER: If you tell people, I feel sorry for you.
ELDER: This person is a bigot. This person shouldn't have cross- examined you the way he did. Then all you're doing is creating a victim. You're telling Rachel Jeantel that she shouldn't have to work hard, she shouldn't have to work on her diction, she shouldn't have to improve her grammar, just have her wave the flag of victimhood and she'll be perfectly OK. It is an outrage that the left has done to black people and you are part of this parade.
MORGAN: Thank you, Larry. Just out of interest, how many languages do you speak?
ELDER: I don't speak Ebonics as well as Rachel, if that's what you mean.
MORGAN: No, how many languages do you speak, was the question.
ELDER: And the relevance of that is what?
MORGAN: You don't think she's a smart cookie. She speaks three languages fluently, how many do you speak?
ELDER: Oh, really? You think she's a smart cookie.
ELDER: So you want to bring it back to Rachel. That's not what we're talking about here.
MORGAN: I think you're being -- I want to bring it back to Rachel because she was why I booked you, Larry.
ELDER: How you treated black people like children to whom the truth cannot be told. Rachel Jeantel needs to get her act together. If my mother were alive she would say, how dare she speak like that?
MORGAN: Do you know her educational background, Larry?
ELDER: I know how she presented herself on the jury.
MORGAN: Larry, do you know her educational background or not?
ELDER: People evaluate you the way -- based on the way you express yourself.
MORGAN: Larry, do you know her educational background.
ELDER: No, I don't.
MORGAN: This woman -- this young 19-year-old black woman that you are eviscerating for her lack of intelligence, do you have any idea about her background?
ELDER: Why don't you hire her if she's so sharp as a co-host, Piers?
MORGAN: No, no. That wasn't the question, Larry.
ELDER: If she's one smart cookie, why don't you hire her as a co- host?
MORGAN: Do you know her educational background? Yes or no?
ELDER: I know she came across on the jury. That's all I need to know.
MORGAN: That wasn't my question, Larry. Do you know anything --
ELDER: Why are we even talking about this?
MORGAN: Because actually I think it's relevant.
ELDER: Let's talk about something --
MORGAN: Let me --
ELDER: Let's talk about something --
MORGAN: Let me enlighten you, Larry. I want you to talk about Rachel Jeantel.
ELDER: Let's talk about what's facing black America. Let's talk about --
MORGAN: Larry, Larry, Larry.
ELDER: It is not. You are implying that it is. It is not. As we speak there is a guy in prison right now in Phoenix, a black guy in an SUV with his fiancee killed a Hispanic who cut in front of him.
ELDER: He wasn't arrested right away. Had the Hispanic family not agitated, the guy may never have been arrested. Where are the cameras?
ELDER: If you have some white guy do something or some non-white guy do something to a black person, we want to march on Washington.
MORGAN: Larry, let me just --
ELDER: It is outrageous, Piers. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
MORGAN: Larry, thank you. If I could just bring you up to speed on Rachel Jeantel, this woman that you think is so stupid.
ELDER: I didn't say stupid, you did.
MORGAN: She actually suffered -- we checked this with her lawyer today before I interview you. Because this is why I booked you, of course, even though you're trying to pretend now this is the last thing you want to talk about, but that is why I booked you. Rachel Jeantel when she was young in school, had a lot of time off of school and fell behind because of illness. That was why she wasn't able to go to school. She's actually doing very well. She was a B grade at high school until her great friend Trayvon Martin was shot dead by George Zimmerman. ELDER: Did she sound to you --
MORGAN: Your idea -- wait a minute, wait a minute. I haven't finished. I haven't finished.
ELDER: Did she sound to you like somebody you want to hire in any kid of (INAUDIBLE)?
MORGAN: Her grades -- her grades has since slipped to two something because of the stress that she suffered understandably from the death of her friend Trayvon. She's now been offered a chance by Tom Joyner and these people from his foundation to go to college. She wants to get those grades back up and make something of herself. Why would you --
ELDER: I think that's wonderful, Piers.
MORGAN: Why would you -- why would you be so scathing about Rachel Jeantel and so patronizing to a young woman who's clearly been through an appalling ordeal and who when I interviewed I found to be a smart cookie like I said. I found her to be fun, warm, engaging, street smart, and clearly from her educational background nowhere near as stupid as you'd like to think she is.
ELDER: Once again, I never used the word stupid. You did. She was the most important witness in a murder trial. It was -- she was standing between George Zimmerman and 30 years in jail and for you to act as if she was somehow abused by Don West whose job was to make sure his client didn't go to jail is outrageous.
And as far as education is concerned, I applaud Mr. Joyner. He's done a lot of work in the black community for education. And I would recommend, Piers, that we do something about the 50 percent dropout rate in the inner city and about the fact that President Obama opposes allowing parents to use vouchers to get their kids out of bad government schools and into a better school so they can have a possibility to get to the middle class.
That's what we've got to be talking about here instead of some abhorrent situation like George Zimmerman going to somebody that he thinks is suspicious and they have an exchange and there's an unfortunate death as if somehow that some sort of indictment of America and black people should look over their shoulders every night and act as if some white guy is going to jump out of a bush and get them.
It is outrageous. Hard work wins. Get an education. Don't pay attention to the negative people and stay focused and you'll be OK in America. That's why most of the people in the world want to come here. That's why you want to come here, Piers.
MORGAN: Thank you, Larry Elder.
MORGAN: When we come back, Stand Your Ground in the wake of the Zimmerman trial. The woman who's serving 20 years behind bars for firing a shot that didn't hurt anybody. I'll talk to her attorney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDER: This is my life I'm fighting for, this is my life and it's my life and it's not entertainment. It is my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I want to turn to Stand Your Ground, two Florida towns, two people firing weapons at unarmed subjects, and claiming self-defense. Two very different results. George Zimmerman not guilty, Marissa Alexander, 20 years behind bars. She says she fired a shot to scare off her husband who she claims threatened to kill her. She's convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon even though no one was injured. The jury came back in just 12 minutes.
Well, joining me now is Marissa Alexander's attorney, Kevin Cobbin.
Kevin Cobbin, on the face of it, the disparity between what happened to your client and what happened to George Zimmerman is enormous.
KEVIN COBBIN, ATTORNEY FOR MARISSA ALEXANDER: It's extremely frustrating when you see a case that gets the media attention that George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case did and then to watch the outcome, to watch the trial basically in front of us, and at the end of the day the jury comes back and finds him not guilty. He serves no time in jail and then you think back just a few months prior to that you have a lady who's defending herself against an abusive husband who has a history of abuse against her, has beaten her several times, put her in the hospital, kicked her when she was pregnant, caused a premature birth.
Attacks her once again nine days after she's pregnant in a bathroom. Goes around the bathroom, she's able to get out of the bathroom. And yet she fires one shot when he said he's going to kill her again, when they're two feet away from each other in the kitchen, and then she gets 20 years? It's absolutely frustrating and it's a problem that we have in the system.
MORGAN: Did she fired the shot to try and kill him?
COBBIN: No, I think the facts in the case are clear. When he said that he was going to kill her, used an expletive, the B word, charged at her, he was two feet away from her in a small enclosed area. She fired one shot. She was two feet away. If she wanted to kill him, she could have shot him very much like George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin.
She chose not to do that. She did the humane thing. She tried to fire one shot just to get him to leave her alone. That shot was high and wide from him. It went through the wall. Did not hurt anyone in the house, and he left her alone. If she had not done that, she may not be here today serving her 20-year sentence.
MORGAN: Now Marissa --
COBBIN: She would be under ground so.
MORGAN: Marissa, she rejected a plea bargain deal three years in prison opting instead to take her case to the jurors. Did she actually claim Stand Your Ground as a defense or self-defense?
COBBIN: Well, that's kind of a difficult question. Stand Your Ground is actually a defense you bring before you would actually go to a jury. It's an immunity that individuals are granted in the state of Florida if they have a reasonable fear that they are in imminent danger.
We brought that motion in front of a judge here in Duval County. We believe it was a legitimate claim, that she was in fear for her life, at the time of the incident, the same thing that George Zimmerman argued. The standard is actually lower in that kind of case but yet the judge said -- denied the motion basically imputing a duty of her to run out of another door that is not in the statute. She's in her home, she's in her own castle, she has no duty to retreat. Then we took the case to trial after that.
MORGAN: And in the trial it was self-defense because you'd already failed in the attempt to have Stand Your Ground as a defense?
COBBIN: Correct. In the trial you bring the same self-defense claim, it's just a different wording because it's in front of the jury.
COBBIN: But you bring basically the same claim.
MORGAN: Kevin Cobbin, it's a disturbing case. Thank you very much indeed for joining me.
I want to go now to one of the country's top lawyers, Alan Dershowitz.
Alan Dershowitz, I mean, on the face of it, this is a total fast, isn't it?
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, LAWYER: Well, we know that there is tremendous disparity based on race in the entire criminal justice system, rates of arrests, rates of indictment, rates of conviction, rates of appellate reversal, rates of commutation, rates of release on parole. They're all determined largely by race.
Race of the victim often determines the extent of sentence. You know, for years we did not have the death penalty in America for killing a black person, only for killing a white person. So race permeates the system. Now it's getting better because we're conscious of this. It's far better than it was 20 or 30 years ago, but it's not anywhere near where it should be.
MORGAN: I want to play you a clip. This is from Juror B37 who talked of course at length to Anderson Cooper. This is particularly about the struggle that the jury had over what they were facing in terms of the law.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUROR B37: There was a couple of them in there that wanted to find him guilty of something, and after hours and hours and hours of deliberating over the law and reading it over and over and over again, we decided there's -- there's just no way -- other place to go because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground.
He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: What I was confused by there and if you can actually clear this up, but why would she refer to Stand Your Ground, given that that was not the defense that was actually put up?
DERSHOWITZ: Because that's -- that's been on television and that's in the mind of many people in Florida. Stand Your Ground was not part of the George Zimmerman case but she was absolutely right that no matter how much you might feel morally that George Zimmerman should pay some consequence, there was no basis in law for convicting him.
If the jury had a reasonable doubt about who started the encounter and we don't know who started the encounter, who shouted help me, help me, who was on top and who was on bottom, the evidence seemed to support the fact that Zimmerman was on the bottom, that his head was banged against the pavement.
As Oliver Wendell Holmes once said you can't expect rationality in the presence of an uplifted knife and you can't expect exquisite calculations when somebody is having his head banged on the pavement. And so doubts always have to be resolved in favor of the person claiming self-defense.
MORGAN: But why -- but why in that case --
DERSHOWITZ: That's the law. She is right about that.
MORGAN: Why in that case does Marissa Alexander who has already been abused by her husband, he's threatening to kill her and he's coming towards her and she fires a warning shot, why is she not able to use Stand Your Ground? It would seem an absolutely perfect example of what that law is intended for?
DERSHOWITZ: Well, not only that. She should have been able to use it, but even without Stand Your Ground, she should have been able to claim self-defense. That case sounds like a terrible miscarriage of justice and I would expect that in light of the Zimmerman verdict, I think their chances of getting that conviction reversed have actually increased.
MORGAN: Right. DERSHOWITZ: So maybe there is some benefit that she will accrue from the publicity afforded to this case. She should not be in jail based on the account at least that I've heard of the facts in that case.
MORGAN: Alan, stay with me. We're going to take a short break. When we come back I want to get into what goes through jurors' heads when they're all deliberating in one of these big contentious cases. I'll ask a jury from the last very high-profile case, the Jodi Arias murder trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state of Arizona versus Jodi Ann Arias count, verdict, count one, we the jury duly empanelled and sworn in above entitled action upon our oaths do find the defendant as to count one first-degree murder, guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The most explosive and watched murder trial before the George Zimmerman case was the Jodi Arias trial. She was convicted of murdering her ex-boyfriend. She could face the death penalty when the sentencing phase begins in September.
Marilou Allen-Coogan was one of the jurors who found her guilty and she joins me now. And also back with us is attorney Alan Dershowitz.
Marilou Allen-Coogan, you've been right where these jurors have been in the Zimmerman trial. You've been in that pressurized environment of a high-profile case. What is it like in that room when you're deliberating when perhaps you don't all agree to start with about what the verdict should be?
MARILOU ALLEN-COOGAN, JODI ARIAS JUROR: It's intense. There is a lot of give and take. There is a lot of not argument per see but everyone firmly believes what they believe when they get in there and it's a collaborative process to try and figure out what the case actually ends up as.
MORGAN: Eventually you all agreed she was guilty of murder but you couldn't reach a unanimous verdict about whether she should have the death penalty. How did you vote in that?
ALLEN-COOGAN: I voted for the death penalty.
MORGAN: And were you frustrated that more of your colleagues didn't?
ALLEN-COOGAN: Yes, there was definitely an element of frustration.
MORGAN: What did you think of the Zimmerman trial? I know you weren't a juror there. You weren't following it as closely, obviously, as they were, but from what you've seen and heard about it, what was your view of it? ALLEN-COOGAN: In my opinion, the verdict ended up -- this is really difficult because I wasn't there. What I did see, I don't think the state of Florida proved their case.
MORGAN: Well, Alan Dershowitz, this is what it comes down to. The other thing that it comes down to, I think was fascinating, from the interview that Anderson Cooper did with -- the juror, that's been airing the last two days, was the fact that she said they didn't know enough about Trayvon Martin. They heard lots of testimony about what a great guy George Zimmerman was that they hardly heard anything about Trayvon Martin.
You could argue we heard more about him in a positive way from my interview with Rachel Jeantel than we ever heard in court. That is a failure of the prosecution, isn't it?
DERSHOWITZ: Well, there are rules that limit testimony to relevance and after all, Trayvon Martin was not on trial. And many people have difficulty understanding that. Trayvon Martin tragically has been killed, he never should have been killed, but he's not on trial. And the only relevance is Zimmerman's actions and Zimmerman's conduct and what Zimmerman believed that Trayvon Martin was doing to him and the threat that he posed.
Look, the jury system is the great protection against political correctness, against government oppression, against political pressures being placed on people, but it often makes mistakes, but we say better 10 guilty go free than one innocent be wrongly confined. So we acknowledge that there will be mistakes but what we say is if there is going to be a mistake it darn well better be in favor of acquitting George Zimmerman, whether he's guilty or not guilty, than convicting the woman in the segment before if she's in fact not guilty.
So we err always on the side of benefiting the defendant. People don't like that when the result is inconsistent with their own desires and they love it when the results is consistent with their own wishes.
MORGAN: But do you feel, Alan, that the real issue going forward, because we've got the verdict, and I respect the jury's decision, and it's a very difficult job and it's hard to argue against their conclusion, but the prosecution didn't meet the criteria for the charges that were put forward.
But do you think the real issue as Eric Holder has suggested is Stand Your Ground, which is now -- I've got a map here, which is how many states in America, there's 22, I think. It's almost like a vast spread across the country --
DERSHOWITZ: It's --
MORGAN: There you are. Look at all the green there. All the green there is where Stand Your Ground applies. That is a huge percentage of the American population who --
DERSHOWITZ: And -- MORGAN: -- can use Stand Your Ground. And what is happening is these gangsters in particular, these gang members are using Stand Your Ground to justify just killing each other. They are saying, I was in imminent fear of my life. I killed him. And they are walking free. This is a sort of Wild West nonsense.
DERSHOWITZ: Well, I agree with you. And I say it's a terrible law and it's a law that really does encourage gang killing because it's a macho law. It's a law that says, given a choice between macho, protecting your territory or your ground and retreating and thereby saving a human life, you don't have to retreat. You can preserve your macho.
To give you the most extreme case, and I've argued this in Florida against the law. If you're driving your Ferrari car which gets from zero to 60 in a second and somebody comes up to you with a knife and waves it at you, and you can easily put your foot on the gas and escape, you don't have to do that. You can take out your Uzi and shoot him dead.
DERSHOWITZ: That makes no sense at all. And at the very least, Stand Your Ground laws have to be modified to limit themselves to a person's home, to situations where if you do try to run away you're risking your life, running into traffic or something like that, but if you have the option of leaving without risking your own life clearly that option ought to be taken instead of taking the life of somebody. Even if that person is guilty.
DERSHOWITZ: Even if that person could be killed if you have the option of not killing him, that's the option the law ought to encourage.
MORGAN: Yes, Marilou, let me come back to you finally. Two issues that were different, I think, in your situation to the Zimmerman jurors, one is there were 12 of you. There were just six of them. And secondly, you were not sequestered. You were allowed to go home each night.
Do you think that either of those things were beneficial to what you went through compared to Zimmerman jurors or perhaps not so beneficial?
ALLEN-COOGAN: Well, definitely the lack of sequestration we would have lost some of our jurors if we had had to have been sequestered. I know I would have been able to not sit on the jury.
MORGAN: And in terms of the -- I mean Jodi Arias, for example, said that that lack of sequestration was unfair on her because potentially you could all read and hear stuff about it that could put a negative thought in your mind.
ALLEN-COOGAN: We were, however, we were given instruction by the court to stay away from news, to stay away from articles, not to discuss the case with anyone, not even each other and --
DERSHOWITZ: But there were --
MORGAN: Marilou Allen-Coogan, fascinating talking to you --
DERSHOWITZ: There were 12 people on the jury --
MORGAN: Alan, sorry.
DERSHOWITZ: Thank you. There ought to be 12 people on juries because that increases the possibility of having inter-racial diverse jury as well.
MORGAN: Right. I mean, I do think and one of the things here, you got six female jurors and five are white. It just seemed an imbalance to put it mildly.
Marilou Allen-Coogan and Alan Dershowitz, thank you both very much.
When we come back, like a rolling stone, the storm of outrage over this magazine cover. Is it really offensive? I'll talk to one man who said it is a slap in the face to Boston.
MORGAN: Now to the outcry over the "Rolling Stone" cover photo of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Many are calling it a slap in the face to Boston and the victims of the terror attack. Walgreens, CVS, at least two other chains are refusing to sell the issue, but does the photo glamorize an accused terrorist or tell a true story?
Well, joining me now is a man who is outraged. John Tlumacki is the "Boston Globe" photographer who took an iconic picture of the attack and many other memorable images of that awful day.
John Tlumacki, you're not happy about this. Tell me why.
JOHN TLUMACKI, BOSTON GLOBE PHOTOGRAPHER: I just think it's a -- like you said earlier, it's a slap in the face to Boston for all the things that we've tried to do as a city and victims recovering and feeling -- finally feeling good about themselves, and then to see his picture on the "Rolling Stone" cover is sort of like, you know, it's going back. It's, you know, he's the poster boy for terrorism. He's on the cover.
All -- everything that the victims have been through, you know, the families are still trying to recover and help each other. You know, people are still trying to walk on their new legs and to have to see that picture on the cover, I just -- I find it repulsive.
MORGAN: What is the difference really between, say, "The New York Times" or the "New York Post," putting that same picture on their cover as they did at the time, and "Rolling Stone" choosing to do it now with a much longer lead in with these kind of issues? TLUMACKI: I just think "Rolling Stone" is a different type of publication. You know, teenagers might look at that photo in the cover and think he's -- he's a rock star. He looks like he's a rock star if you didn't know he was a terrorist. You would look at him and say, you know, there he is, long-haired kid, might be in a band, but I think the difference is, you know, the "Boston Globe," the "New York Times," you know, we did a story on him and we talked about, you know, his court appearance and all the -- you know, the harm he's done to people and we've covered it as a news event. We're not taking it lightly. We're covering it as a serious news event.
MORGAN: Right. But John -- but John --
TLUMACKI: You know, we've done stories --
MORGAN: I don't think -- I don't think anyone at "Rolling Stone" is taking it lightly. They call him the bomber. And their argument -- I want to play you a clip here. This is from managing editor, Will Dana. It's a clip about why they chose that image.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILL DANA, ROLLING STONE MANAGING EDITOR: We thought it was the apt image because part of what the story is about is what an incredibly normal kid he seemed like to those who knew him best, back in Cambridge, as his fellow students and the teachers there. And we were trying to sort of draw this contrast between the person everyone thought they knew and the person he became.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: See, you're a photographer, you're a photo journalist, some of your images were pretty graphic, pretty gruesome in many ways but adorned the covers of magazines because they told the story better than almost any number of words could possibly do.
I read the "Rolling Stone" article from start to finish. I thought it was a very powerful piece of journalism and the picture, if you read the article, I thought was appropriate. It told the story of how this sort of ordinary Americanized kid at college had gone through this extraordinary radicalization in quite a short period of time and become this appalling bomber, and that image was the appropriate image, if you read the piece.
TLUMACKI: I -- you know, I didn't read the piece to be honest with you. I saw the photo and there is something about that photo that is upsetting to me. And I see that in the light of me being at the finish of the Boston marathon and seeing all the victims that had suffered. I don't -- I don't know if there was a necessity to put his picture on the cover. I mean, there could have been some other use for his photo or some other graphic they could have used, but to make him look like he's an appealing teenage boy or, you know, a rock star, I just think that sends the wrong message.
I think -- I think of, you know, Celeste Corcoran, who lost both of her legs in the explosion and who I've met two weeks ago to photograph her walking for the first time. And, you know, to me that's a cover photo. That's what we'll put on the cover of the globe. I mean, you're certainly right. We do cover, you know, Tsarnaev, and you know, the bombings and he appeared in court last week. But I just really think that that cover photo of him was inappropriate.
MORGAN: John Tlumacki, I have great respect for you and your work and indeed your opinion on this. It is a very divisive issue of "Rolling Stone" and opinion is strong on both sides. Thank you very much for joining me.
TLUMACKI: Thank you.
MORGAN: Did "Rolling Stone" cross a line now? I want to bring in now David Folkenflik. He's the media correspondent for NPR News.
David, it's a difficult one, isn't it? Because most journalist I've talked to are pretty on side with "Rolling Stone" but everyone in Boston is furious. A lot of other people who are not in the media are furious. They see it as glamorization of a terrorist.
DAVID FOLKENFLIK, AUTHOR, "MURDOCH'S WORLD": Well, that's right. I mean, if you look at the picture on "Rolling Stone" you have here at the back of your studio, he looks like he could be fronting a band. The idea of being on the cover of "Rolling Stone" kind of confers the notion of being a rock star. And "Rolling Stone," you know, part of this is the question of what's your expectation of this title. You know, "TIME" magazine had on Hitler numerous times, had on Stalin, had on Osama bin Laden. Essentially a hard news publication. You expect that of them.
MORGAN: But they also have celebrities, "TIME" magazine.
MORGAN: And "Rolling Stone" historically has also done a lot of investigative journalism. They've had Charles Manson on their cover and others. It's not always rock stars. What is the difference between "TIME" magazine doing it when they do celebrities and serious issues and "Rolling Stones" do?
FOLKENFLIK: Well, and I actually don't think that "Rolling Stone" is entirely on the other side of the spectrum. I mean, it's not glamour magazine where people would have pitch forks out in front of the officers of Hearst.
FOLKENFLIK: If they were putting somebody like this on their cover. "Rolling Stone" does do serious stories. You think about "Rolling Stone" being the publication that actually published the piece about General McChrystal that cost him his job over seeing what was happening in the Afghanistan.
FOLKENFLIK: So this is a publication that once tries to capture the popular culture and at the same time does some very serious journalism about serious things.
MORGAN: You read the piece, right?
FOLKENFLIK: I've read most of it.
MORGAN: Right. To me as I say, when you read it the image is less offensive. You get why they've chosen that image, is the fact that he was this normal, quite good-looking guy, integrated into American modern society, college, friendly, lots of people liked him, and then boom, suddenly he goes from that in a matter of a year and a half to two years to radicalized fundamentalist terrorist wreaking mayhem.
FOLKENFLIK: I think what's most upsetting for people in some ways and that this picture, although it has the word monster as the final word on the cover signaling what the story is about, his evolution of that point, to be the bomber that authorities have accused him of being, nonetheless, he doesn't look like a monster at all. And the notion that we can somehow perceive someone to be something that is so divergent from what they appear to have -- to be ultimately, that's what's most disturbing for people. If there was a picture of him as a wretched tortured soul on the cover, people would say, that's who he was.
MORGAN: That wouldn't necessarily be as inspirational in terms of the way you try and get people to read this piece. That's what I would say as a former editor myself, is you want people to read the article and it's an important piece of journalism. It explains how he got radicalized. It may help people to stop others go through that process or get people to spot that warning sign, and I get why they did it, and I think it was powerful, but I also understand why people in Boston feel offended.
FOLKENFLIK: Well, there is no question they did this knowingly. They wanted to have a provocative cover. They wanted to get people to read the piece but they also wanted people to, you know, buy the magazine. These are tough times in the publishing business. Nonetheless, they can't be entirely surprised. And I personally have no problem with this cover but they can't entirely be surprised --
FOLKENFLIK: -- that people are provoked when that's the case, particularly at the home of this place, in Boston where people feel this so immediately and so personally as a trauma.
MORGAN: Yes. No, I think we would all share that view.
David Folkenflik, thank you very much indeed.
FOLKENFLIK: You bet.
MORGAN: Coming next, forgive or forget? Should my next guest get a second chance from New York voters? Eliot Spitzer steps into the arena next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: Eliot Spitzer's sex scandal cost him his job as New York's governor. Many thought it would destroy his political career but now he's back, running for office again. This time as New York City's comptroller. The polls show he's leading the race but can he really pull off a victory?
Eliot Spitzer is in the chair tonight or maybe we should call it in the arena because that was the tile of his own show here at CNN. His new book is "Protecting Capitalism Case by Case."
Eliot, great to see you again.
ELIOT SPITZER (D), FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR: Well, thank you. It's great to be back.
MORGAN: We joined CNN --
SPITZER: On this side of the table.
MORGAN: Roughly at the same time. And --
SPITZER: You're still here.
MORGAN: I'm still here.
MORGAN: But you're back here. So win-win all around. Let me talk to you, before we get to your comeback, I want to talk to you about the Zimmerman case, because you've been right in the thick of big legal issues like this. What do you think of the whole Stand Your Ground debate that's raging now?
SPITZER: Well, it's a good debate to have and I'm not a fan at all of the Stand Your Ground laws. I think that what they do is create almost an incentive to use force when it's not necessary. I think Eric Holder, although he's being attacked by the NRA and many forces of course, got it right in the speech the other day when he said look, we have a doctrine of self-defense, we don't need to create a statute that says Stand Your Ground even when you can rationally and reasonably retreat.
There's been lot of study about whether these laws in fact reduce crime. I think the best studies indicate they do not. And in fact, what they do is encourage violence when we want to discourage it.
MORGAN: Would you have prosecuted Zimmerman under second-degree murder or manslaughter or not at all?
SPITZER: Look, I think -- I've heard your segments with Alan Dershowitz, who -- old friend and colleague. I was one of his students. And I have great respect for him. I think -- I begin with a premise here, justice has not been served. An innocent young man was walking where he had every right to be and ended up being shot and killed, something is wrong when there is no judicial response to that.
Having said, we need to come to grips with another reality. Unanimity, which is what we expect of juries in criminal cases, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt make it very difficult in a context like this where there's not overwhelming evidence to get a conviction.
Now murder two I think was the wrong charge. I just -- as I understood the evidence and not -- studied as much as some of your other guests, yes, I think that was the wrong charge. Manslaughter, if they had started with manslaughter, maybe they would -- I always worry as a prosecutor, if you overcharge, you lose credibility.
MORGAN: Or if a jury ruled out what you've gone for, it's harder for them to come down in expectation.
SPITZER: Correct. Correct. It's very hard because you're asking them to say, OK, I've argued A and B, reject A but then embrace B. But they say wait a minute, your credibility is already shot, because A, which was your first and supposedly more powerful argument, didn't work. So I think the -- and remember, initially there was no charge at all. I mean, this was a murky, as powerful as the emotions are and every right to be because of an innocent young man shot dead, as a legal matter it was always a tough case. I think they overreached a bit and that probably hurt them.
The other issue is the jury selection. And again this is not even a science. I'm not even sure it's an art, but the jury selection in retrospect you begin to wonder whether the -- in voir dire they shouldn't have been able to tease out something about these jurors as prosecutors that indicated almost a sympathy for the defendant and certainly --
MORGAN: When you heard the juror who has spoken out, talking about George this, and George that.
SPITZER: Yes. Right.
MORGAN: We didn't know much about Trayvon Martin, but George.
MORGAN: George. George. I found that very uncomfortable.
SPITZER: And seemed emotionally to be relating more to the defendant.
MORGAN: Connected to him because he was much more from her world.
MORGAN: You know, ideologically perhaps, intelligent and everything else, than she perceived Rachel Jeantel and Trayvon Martin.
SPITZER: Yes. Right. And so -- this case is troubling, it frames a debate. You know, I would hope, I mean, this is coming in from a different angle, I would hope that the president would actually give us a good speech on these things.
MORGAN: I agree. I'd like him to speak out.
SPITZER: He's done great things. Those moments when we need to crystallize --
MORGAN: Completely agree with you. Let's move to your book, "Protecting Capitalism Case by Case."
MORGAN: Eliot Spitzer. This is all part of a comeback. Do you like being the comeback kid?
SPITZER: Well, I would have preferred not to have needed to be a comeback kid, but that's --
If it's the only alternative, by gosh, sure. Look, the book, the genesis of the book was certainly the eight year as attorney general where he made cases, and I wanted to put it into a theoretical construct. Then I taught for several years at CCNY, thoroughly loved it. And so I said, let me try to write this stuff down. And it's an argument in defense of capitalism. People -- you know, there are folks who disagree with me who said no, no, no, you're messing with the rules of capitalism.
The argument in this book is that if you understand markets properly as I think these cases demonstrate I do, you understand where you need enforcement, where you need the notion of self-regulation doesn't work, you need to ensure competition, you need to ensure there are no conflicts of interest.
The things that had infected Wall Street that I was saying back in, you know, years before the cataclysm, I said guys, if we do not tame these problems, we do not temper these impulses, there's going to be an issue.
MORGAN: Well, we have record earnings again down at the banks and Wall Street is buzzing again. You were known as the sheriff of Wall Street. Have they been policed properly in your view since the huge crash?
SPITZER: No. I -- look -- no, there's not been sufficient accountability and I write a little bit about that. I'm glad the profits are back. You know, profits are good. You know, as I say, you want capital formation, you want the banks to be healthy. You want them to be better capitalized. We did not either succeed in insuring accountability for those. There were malefactors who should have been sanctioned. OK. Put that aside.
More fundamentally did we reform the sector properly, and I think the problem is we did not. We still have too big to fail, we have too big to manage, and we also have almost -- you know, with the government has said they're too big to prosecute. And so you put those three together, it leads to a situation where bad things can happen once again. And I think -- you know, John Kenneth Galbraith, who wrote a great book that I talk about in my book, you know, a short history of financial euphoria, makes the observation that we have a very short memory when it comes to financial crises.
We like to forget because it's an ugly moment. And yet we forget at our own peril because the lessons have to be internalized or also will be in trouble.
MORGAN: Talking of forgetting your peril and lessons learned, you and Anthony Weiner both ahead in the polls in your relative races.
MORGAN: What does that tell you about the American public's power of forgiveness?
SPITZER: Well, look, I don't read too much into polls. I would say this about the American public. It is a forgiving public. And that is, I think, an affirmative quality, you know, as a people. As I've said, and I believe very deeply, it doesn't mean that forgiveness will extend to me, that is an open question and this is a tough race, and this has been, as you may have seen, you know, the media, you think you're in the media, you were once in the tabloid media, it can be a little edgy, and I knew that.
I mean, this is not something that I -- that escaped to my attention before --
MORGAN: But a lot of speculation about whether your wife is behind this, whether you're still together. Do you want to clarify that?
SPITZER: Look, I'll say only this. Yes, the family is behind it. And I would not have done this without the family being behind it. It's also been a rather, you know, frenzied, shall I say, media moment. When I was down in Union Square the other day, literally I was stuck in a doughnut it's called with about 100 folks surrounding me.
SPITZER: So I would not have invited any member of my family into that context at this moment. But the family is behind it. And you know, beyond that I've said a lot about our personal lives. I think -- you know, personal lives are personal lives. I'm running for an office where I think the skills I've got in terms of capital markets, finance, budget and I hope the public will give me a second chance and say those skills relate to the job you're seeking.
MORGAN: Well, they seem to be. And that's what the polls are suggesting. "Protecting Capital Case by Case."
Eliot Spitzer, it's great to have you back.
SPITZER: Thank you, sir.
MORGAN: I've always been a fan.
SPITZER: Thank you.
MORGAN: A mega fan. Good to see you again.
That's all for us tonight. Anderson Cooper starts in just a few moments.