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THE SITUATION ROOM
"Stand Your Ground" Under Attack; "He Was Justified in Shooting Trayvon Martin"; Liz Cheney Challenged GOP Senator; Florida Woman's Stand Your Ground Defense Denied; Royals Hint Baby's Due Very Soon
Aired July 17, 2013 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, Florida's controversial self- defense law now under national attack in the wake of the George Zimmerman murder trial.
Should "Stand Your Ground" be repealed?
Stand by for a debate between the Reverend Jesse Jackson and a leading Tea Party supporter.
Plus, Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump, responding to an exclusive new statement from the juror who's only been speaking to CNN.
What she's now saying about the laws that helped the jury find Zimmerman not guilty in Trayvon Martin's death.
And no relief for parts of the Northeast, baking in dangerous 100 degree temperatures.
I'm Wolf Blitzer.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
You're looking at live pictures right now outside the Florida governor's office, ground zero for what's now a national debate over "Stand Your Ground," the controversial self-defense law under serious attack in the wake of the George Zimmerman murder trial.
These demonstrators are demanding the law be repealed in Trayvon Martin's name and they are vowing not to leave until the Florida governor, Rick Scott, meets them face-to-face.
CNN's Victor Blackwell is on the scene for us.
He's joining us now live with the very latest.
What's going on, Victor?
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it's hour 31 of this sit- in in the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott. And the protesters tell me they were heartbroken when the not guilty verdict came in on Saturday night.
But they're using their pain, they say, to change the law in Florida. And they say that begins with a conversation with Rick Scott and they will not stop until they have one.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Led by 9-year-old Ayman Gabrielle (ph), political activists demand to see Florida Governor Rick Scott.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's actually out of the office today. I'm sorry.
BLACKWELL: So they wait, singing, in the hallway.
BLACKWELL: And in the reception area.
BLACKWELL: For a second day, several dozen members of Dream Defenders stage a sit-in in the state capital until Governor Rick Scott meets with them.
Ahmad Abuznaid is the group's policy director.
AHMAD ABUZNAID, POLICY DIRECTOR, DREAM DEFENDERS: We'd like the repeal of "Stand Your Ground" or some type of modification where we can hold people responsible to a level that, you know, humanity expects.
BLACKWELL: The "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows citizens who feel threatened to fight back without first retreating is on the books in more than 20 states.
BLACKWELL: The 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin sparked nationwide demonstrations and Saturday's acquittal of George Zimmerman has renewed the opposition to "Stand Your Ground."
ABUZNAID: If the State of Florida is fine with 17-year-olds being gunned down and nothing happening about it, I think the state of Florida needs a check.
BLACKWELL: However, Governor Scott paneled a group to review the law. It suggested no changes. And Governor Scott agreed. He spoke about it today in Pensacola.
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: I took advice from the president. We had great people on that committee. They went around the state and listened about the "Stand Your Ground" laws and they came back and said we shouldn't change it and I agree with them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No special session of the legislature in Florida at all?
ALAN WILLIAMS (D), FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: You know, pressure
BLACKWELL: State Representative Alan Williams introduced a bill to overturn "Stand Your Ground" last session.
WILLIAMS: I believe that these students are bringing the appropriate amount of passion and concern to a cause that hopefully will put pressure on the entire system to say we must do something.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
BLACKWELL: Wolf, the state senate president says there will be no special session to pass what the protesters you are hoping will be called the Trayvon Martin Act, which would also eliminate zero tolerance policies in schools and deal with racial profiling in the state.
Now, there have been exchanges between my producer and the governor's communications director all day, six to 10 e-mails, asking the specific question, will the governor speak with these protesters?
There has not been a direct answer. But our request for an interview was declined -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Victor Blackwell in Tallahassee for us.
Let us know if that changes.
The Zimmerman juror who sat down exclusively with our own Anderson Cooper this week is also weighing in on Florida's laws in a new statement issued exclusively to CNN. In it, she says this: "My prayers are with all those who have the influence and power to modify the laws that left me with no verdict option other than not guilty in order to remain within the instructions. No other family should be forced to endure what the Martin family has endured."
That statement comes after she told Anderson, in part two of her interview, she believes George Zimmerman was justified in shooting Trayvon Martin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In your heart and in your head, you are 100 percent convinced that George Zimmerman, in taking out his gun and pulling the trigger, did nothing wrong?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm 101 percent that he was -- that he should have done what he did, except for the things that he did before.
COOPER: You mean he shouldn't have gotten out of the car?
He shouldn't have pursued Trayvon Martin?
But in a final analysis, in the final struggle...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When the end came in the end...
COOPER: He was justified?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was justified in shooting Trayvon Martin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Juror B-37 also says in her statement she won't be doing any more interviews.
Joining us now w some reaction is the Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump.
Mr. Crump, thanks very much for coming in.
BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Thank you for having me, Wolf.
BLITZER: Give me, in a nutshell, your quick reaction to what he heard from this juror, who said that the six women on the jury, they really had no choice, given the instructions they were given by the judge.
CRUMP: Well I think that, certainly, we have to do something about the "Stand Your Ground" law because it encourages people to feel like they can initiate -- be the aggressor, confront somebody and then, if they are losing, can shoot somebody and say I was standing my ground or it was self-defense. It makes no sense. When you really think about it, you can't start the book in the middle of the book, you have to start at the beginning.
He profiled Trayvon Martin, followed him, got out of his car to follow him. And then minutes later, Trayvon is shot in the heart. It's hard for me to think about the jury, when she said has been -- they had no choice because at that time.
Well what happened to lead up to that?
And that's very important, Wolf. And we can never, ever let people forget, he made a conscious decision to get out of his car and chase a kid who was running away from him. And that's why people are so passionate, because we all see that this could be anybody's child, as Sybrina Fulton has said.
BLITZER: Listen to what else this juror -- this juror, B-37, as she's called, what she said about what Trayvon Martin did that night that she thought was a mistake.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: (INAUDIBLE). UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I believe he played a huge role in his death. He could have -- when George confronted him and he could have walked away and gone home. He didn't have to do whatever he did and come back and be in a fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: So you hear her effectively blaming Trayvon Martin, at least in part, for his own death.
CRUMP: Yes. And it's really troubling, because listen to what she says. And normally, we don't comment on jurors as officials of the court. But she came out rather quickly and started giving interviews about, you know, her service.
She says an adult confronted a child and because the child didn't get away fast enough or decided that they were going to defend themselves, we should blame the child. It just flies in the face of common sense, when you really think about it.
Trayvon ran from him. We have objective evidence from the 911 tapes. We have the friend he was with on the phone. And it's clear to everybody, Trayvon was running away from George Zimmerman and George Zimmerman ran after him.
And now we're going to blame the kid?
And it was beautiful to see the young people demonstrate, because this is really about children. And this is every parent's worst nightmare, to have a stranger where -- follow your kid. Your kid don't know who this person is. We teach our children not to -- (INAUDIBLE) with strangers to run from them. And that's what happened.
So what do we tell our children now, Wolf?
What do we tell little black and brown boys walking down the street after this verdict, when the next person confronts them?
There's a precedent set and that is something we have to address or we're going to see this play out again and again.
BLITZER: Did you think -- do you think the prosecution did a good job?
CRUMP: Well, the family we applaud Angela Corey's office for bringing this case. We know it was not something other prosecutors would have done. So we applaud them. And they have their strategies.
I think at the end, they bought it right to the heart of the middle when Prosecutor John Guy said if the roles were reversed and you had Trayvon Martin profile and follow and then kill an unarmed George Zimmerman, what would your verdict be then?
And I think that's the heart of the matter here, equal justice. Because we all know what would have happened. And when the defense lawyer for the killer of Trayvon Martin says if he would have been black, he doesn't think that he would have been arrested, that's asinine. You can go in any courtroom in America. You sit in that courtroom and watch the alarming rate at which black males are prosecuted and convicted, not without hardly any evidence.
BLITZER: A couple questions...
BLITZER: -- on where we go from here.
Will the family file a wrongful death civil lawsuit against George Zimmerman?
CRUMP: Well, the family is going to explore all of their legal options. Right now, they're still trying to make sense of this tragedy. As Sybrina Fulton said, Wolf, she will not let this verdict define Trayvon Martin, they will define Trayvon's legacy.
And I think a big part of that legacy is having the Department of Justice answer that question, because the defense strategists seem to suggest because there was a crime committed by an African-American male in that gated community, then the neighborhood watch volunteer had an open license, had a right, to profile and follow any black teen walking through his neighborhood.
Now, the United States Supreme Court said not even the police can profile based on race. So are we going to let private citizens do it?
And if that's not the case, then they need to protect Trayvon Martin's civil rights that were violated on February 26th, 2012, when his killer followed him and shot him in the heart.
BLITZER: And a final question.
Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, the parents of Trayvon Martin, how are they doing?
CRUMP: Well, obviously, they were heartbroken, Wolf. But as Ms. Fulton said, we have to roll up our sleeves now and we have to do even more work to make sure this doesn't happen to anybody else's child, especially with this verdict being handed down. And Mr. Martin thanks everybody for all the peaceful protests. And, as he says, Trayvon can't rest in peace if we're not peaceful.
BLITZER: Peaceful a key word, obviously.
Benjamin Crump, thanks so much for joining us.
CRUMP: Thank you for having me.
BLITZER: This important programming note to our viewers. Please be sure to tune in tonight for an Anderson Cooper special report, "Juror B-37: In Her Own Words." That will air at 10 p.m. Eastern tonight, only here on CNN. When we come back, a fiery debate just ahead over the controversial "Stand Your Ground" law. The Reverend Jesse Jackson is here, together with a prominent Tea Party activist. They have very different views on "Stand Your Ground." They will debate.
Also, dangerous 100 degree temperatures baking the Northeast right now. Relief may not be in sight for days. We'll have the latest forecast.
Stay with us.
BLITZER: Parts of the northeast are baking and dangerously hot temperatures with humidity driving the heat index above the 100-degree mark in some places. And the ozone level right here in Washington, D.C. now at a code orange. Our chief meteorologist, the severe weather expert, Chad Myers, is tracking the latest information. We've got the forecast. Chad, relief, we're still, what, days away?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. For New York City, Boston, D.C., Friday night. And then, Saturday and Sunday are great. Don't get me wrong, but Friday night. And you know, we're talking northeast where you focus on the cities, but even Detroit right now, the heat index is 105. Get up to Nova Scotia, their heat index and Fahrenheit's over 100 degrees.
So, New York City at 96, Philadelphia 99, and D.C. right now feels like 102. We're going to go, at least at this point in time, for one more hour or so, the 104 in Philadelphia. Much above normal here across the east, much colder than normal in the west, and you asked for the relief, here it is. Look at this, D.C. OK, so, 95, then 97 on Friday, and then back into the 80s by Sunday and Monday.
Even better for Boston. Boston is going to be in the 70s by Sunday afternoon. So, here's Philly up to 105 heat index, 104 today down to 86 for a high. Morning lows around 60, finally, some relief. Now, what happens in Atlanta when it gets so hot? I can show you. It starts to rain, but in the big cities up the north, there was no rain relief. So, it never really all cooled down. It's just been hot baking sunshine all day, Wolf.
BLITZER: It's hot and those 70-degree temperature sounding pretty good. I'll take 80 at least. That sounds a lot better than 90 or 100. All right. Thanks very much, Chad, for that.
MYERS: You're welcome.
BLITZER: Still ahead, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, he'll join us live here in the SITUATION ROOM. We'll talk about the Zimmerman verdict, his new call for repeal of the law that helped potentially make that verdict possible.
Also, a very unusual problem leads to a very close call outside the International Space Station.
BLITZER: Dozens of parents are coping with a heartbreaking tragedy. Mary Snow is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in the SITUATION ROOM right now. Mary, what's happening?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, in India, school lunches containing poisoned food killed 22 children and sent at least two dozen more to hospitals. Authorities don't know if the food was poisoned by accident or intentionally. It was tainted with an insecticide commonly used in agriculture.
North Korea is calling on Panama to release its ship, crew, and cargo of weapons discovered during a drug inspection as the ship passed through the Panama Canal. The North Koreans say the cargo was nothing but aging weapons they're supposed to overhaul for Cuba under the terms of, quote, "a legitimate contract." North Korea says the Panamanians acted rashly.
Officials of Asiana Airlines won't sue an Oakland TV station for misidentifying the pilots of the airline that crashed in San Francisco. The names were wrong and considered racially offensive. The airlines already decided not to sue the National Transportation Safety Board where a now ex-intern confirmed the list.
And a scary and potentially life-threatening situation cut short a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. Water started building up in the astronaut's helmet, and in weightlessness, it had no place to drain. After quickly and safely getting back inside, it turned out as much as a quart and a half of water had accumulated, possibly from a leak in his spacesuit's cooling system -- Wolf.
BLITZER: What a story that is. All right. Thanks very much for that, Mary.
When we come back, another Florida case now in the spotlight because of stand-your-ground. The woman claims self-defense and ends up serving 20 years behind bars.
Plus, outrage over a new report that reveals police are tracking you, tracking you when you get behind the wheel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Happening now, he always has plenty to say, certainly, has plenty to say about the Zimmerman verdict, the Florida stand-your- ground law, the Rev. Jesse Jackson is about to join us live here in the SITUATION ROOM.
A new report says police are tracking where you drive. Civil libertarians call it an outrage.
And even the queen is talking about waiting for the royal baby.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in the SITUATION ROOM. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Until now, nobody would have guessed one of the next year's most interesting U.S. Senate races would be the one in Wyoming. Today, many people are talking about Liz Cheney, the former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter, who's decided to challenge three- term senator, Mike Enzi in Wyoming's Republican primary.
Our chief Congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, caught up with Senator Enzi earlier today, and she's joining us right now. Dana, I guess he was about as surprised as anyone, right?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. But you know, sources who have spoken to are close to Liz Cheney say that anyone who knows her knows that she has always wanted to live and represent the state of Wyoming. She's clearly did not envision creating an internal battle inside the Republican Party in Wyoming. That was not her plan, but certainly, her reasons political and personal she decided now is her time.
BASH (voice-over): Day one on the campaign trail for Liz Cheney.
LIZ CHENEY, DICK CHENEY'S DAUGHTER: I am, indeed, going to be a candidate for the United States Senate from Wyoming in 2014.
BASH: Liz Cheney was often at her father's side in politics, but also made a name for herself as a neo-conservative working at the Bush- Cheney state department, and later, a TV commentator.
CHENEY: We're weaker than we were when Barack Obama took office.
BASH: Now, her political opponent is a fellow Republican in the Senate, but a rhetorical target is still the Democrat in the White House.
CHENEY: President Obama has launched a war on our Second Amendment rights. He's launched a war on our religious freedom. He's used the IRS to launch a war on our freedom of speech.
BASH: In this announcement video, Cheney doesn't even mention the man she's trying to unseat, three-term Republican senator, Mike Enzi. Enzi has been a Cheney family friend for decades. In an exclusive TV interview, he was careful not to criticize her directly, but made clear Liz Cheney's challenge stings.
SEN. MIKE ENZI, (R) WYOMING: I'm only surprised and that she said that if I ran, she wouldn't, and she announced 30 minutes after I more specifically stated my intention.
BASH: And there was this dig for announcing more than a year before the primary.
ENZI: Well, people in Wyoming don't believe in long campaigns. In fact, they'll complain about long campaigns. BASH: Liz Cheney moved with her family to Wyoming last year from suburban Washington. Sources close to her say she's travel to every Wyoming County and has family roots dating back to the 1800s, but this unexpected GOP battle is not sitting well with some veteran Wyoming Republicans.
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO, (R) WYOMING: I think it's the wrong race at the wrong time.
BASH: Other incumbents vulnerable to primary challenges separate from not being conservative enough or not going home enough. Many GOP sources say not Enzi.
ENZI: You know, I'm an old shoe salesman. So, I know there is a customer. I know who the customer is. I listen to the customer, and then, I see how that fits with the inventory that I've got, which is what we're doing here with legislation.
BASH: Enzi is 69 years old, Cheney, a 46-year-old mother of five is clearly arguing it's time for fresh blood.
CHENEY: That is necessary for a new generation of leaders to step up to the plate.
BASH: Are you too old to be senator?
ENZI: I'm absolutely not too old to be senator. I'd say that I'm kind of in the median age for this body.
BASH (on-camera): For the record, Wolf, the median age is not 69, it's a little bit under that. It's 62 in the Senate, but as for Liz Cheney, she certainly will have a formidable fundraising base if she is going to tap into her father's fundraising coffers, but that may not get her very far in the state of Wyoming, because as you know, Wolf, it's not a very expensive state.
So, really, what voters expect from their politicians is campaigning old-fashioned style, retail politics, and a source close to Liz Cheney says she understands that and she is going to work it as much as she can over the next year until the August primary.
BLITZER: Dana, we'll see what happens. Could be a tough, tough context. We'll watch it with you every step of the way. Thanks very much. Dana Bash reporting.
All right. You are being tracked. That's the blunt warning today from the American Civil Liberties Union, but their new report has nothing to do with your phone calls or Web surfing or leaks that have been in the news lately. Instead the ACLU says it's obtained records showing state and local governments are compiling enormous databases of everywhere you drive. It's because of fairly new technology you probably don't know even exists.
CNN's Dan Simon shows us what automatic license plate readers can do. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With cameras mounted on a police cruiser --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're looking at a license plate directly across the street, 1319161 --
SIMON: -- cops in San Leandro, California, can capture and record license plates as they drive down any street. An efficient method to catch car thieves or pull over vehicles that show up in a criminal database.
LT. JEFF TUDOR, SAN LEANDRO, CA POLICE: With technology and with good, smart policing, it allows us to keep our public safe.
SIMON: But when a local activist petitioned the police department and got ahold of the records on his car, he says he was stunned by what he saw.
Did you think it was a case of Big Brother's gone too far?
MIKE KATZ-LACABE, SAN LEANDRO, CA RESIDENT: Yes, I do think Big Brother's gone too far. Because there -- I have not been charged with, I am not suspected of committing any crime.
SIMON: Mike Katz-Lacabe found what he says is an egregious violation of privacy, 112 instances over two years where police just happen to get images of his car and more.
KATZ-LACABE: So this picture shows my car parked in the driveway of my house and very clearly shows my daughters and myself getting out of the car.
SIMON: The license plate scanner is always on. Anytime a police officers drives the car, it's recording, stories license plates on its servers. In just a few minutes, we watch the system record hundreds of plates. Police say the data can later be accessed to solve crimes, everything from following leads on Amber Alerts to collecting unpaid tickets. But Katz-Lacabe says a line has clearly been crossed.
KATZ-LACABE: Innocent people should not have their records being stored by law enforcement.
SIMON: Law enforcement, though, has wholeheartedly embraced this technology. More than a third of large police agencies are using automated plate readers, according to a 2010 study by George Mason University.
There are three cameras on the roof. One on the left, one on the right, and one on the side. They capture plates instantaneously. Those plates are then cross-checked against suspect vehicles. So if a car comes across as being stolen, the officer will be instantly alerted.
It's not that data collection is bad, critics say, but it's that departments keep the information on file, sometimes for months, sometimes for years. Every department has its own policy. San Leandro, for instance, keeps its data for a year.
JENNIFER LYNCH, ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION: Once they have the location of your plate and where you were on that date and time, that they scanned your plate, they can see where you work, who you associate with, where you pray, where you're going to the doctor, and they can learn quite a lot about you.
KATZ-LACABE: In order to have a discussion about something like this, people have to know what's happening.
SIMON: Police tell us the technology is only been official against crime suspects. But in this new era of digital rights and privacy, some say there needs to be more transparency and limits to what information can be gathered and stored on citizens doing nothing more than driving their cars.
Dan Simon, CNN, San Leandro, California.
BLITZER: And just ahead, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and the cofounder of the New York City Tea Party, David Webb. They're both here and will join us in a serious debate on Florida's Stand Your Ground laws. Stay with us.
BLITZER: We want to get back to our top story right now. Those demonstrations at the Florida capital in Tallahassee, demanding the repeal of the Stand Your Ground, the controversial self-defense law which allows the use of force, deadly force even, if necessary. George Zimmerman's legal team did not invoke the law as part of its defense, but it did impact the judge's instructions to the jury, and the juror B-37 told our Anderson Cooper exclusively that the Stand Your Ground law played an integral part in the decision to find him not guilty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUROR B-37: 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.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: So even though it was he who had gotten out of car, followed Trayvon Martin, that didn't matter in the deliberations. What mattered was those final seconds, minutes, when there was an altercation and whether or not in your mind, what the most important thing was whether or not George Zimmerman felt his life was in danger?
JUROR B-37: That's how we read the law. That's how we got to the point of everybody being not guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: That's the law in Florida right now. Let's discuss what he just heard and more. Joining us, the Reverend Jesse Jackson. He's the founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Also joining us, David Webb, the co-founder of the New York City group Tea Party 365. He's the host of "The David Webb Show" on Sirius/XM radio.
Gentlemen, thanks very much for joining us to discuss this important subject. Reverend Jackson, why do you believe the Stand Your Ground law in Florida should be repealed?
REV. JESSE JACKSON, PRESIDENT, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: It is provocative and lends itself to subjective interpretation. Since it has been law, deaths have tripled in their numbers. And lends itself to stereotype. And of course, in the case of Zimmerman, he was an armed man who saw a boy who he thought should not be in the neighborhood that actually lived there. Pursued him over the objections of the dispatcher. He stereotyped him.
Ultimately, that was a confrontation. He murdered him, and he walked away. Had he not been armed with that gun and pursued him, it never would have happened. And furthermore, the jury took into account that he had the right to be there and the right to kill him. I disagree with that strongly.
BLITZER: That's the law, though, in Florida. Go ahead, David, do you want to respond to that?
DAVID WEBB, CO-FOUNDER, TEA PARTY 365: Well, first, Wolf, I do believe we should have a review of the Stand Your Ground law. I'm concerned in Florida, where in Miami, for instance, gangs are using it as part of a defense if two gangs have an altercation and there's a shooting. And I've been talking with judges and attorneys down there about that. So I do believe in reviewing the law, and making sure that if it needs to be rewritten that's done so it's effective.
What the Reverend is talking about, however, he invokes the events leading up to the altercation. The law as it's written allowed for that. The defense, as you pointed out, did no use it as part of the defense, and was acquitted to all charges as a justifiable shooting. So, we should stay within the boundaries of the law as written. And we should have a review of the law, which the governor's office did begin, and we should continue with that.
BLITZER: Go ahead, Reverend Jackson. You got a problem with that?
JACKSON: Yes, it was obvious all the while that that was a law that's provocative. People have more access to guns with these tendencies to stereotype. It lends itself to an increase in killings in Florida (ph). They have tripled. What concerns me very much now is that one interpretation in Sanford where a man who killed a man, walks away, now has put his gun back in the holster because he's set free. And Marissa Alexander here in Jacksonvilleis facing 20 years --
BLITZER: We're going to get to that case.
JACKSON: -- already having served three. BLITZER: Reverend Jackson, we're going to get to that case shortly. But let me just point out this: the "Tampa Bay Times" did a study of the Stand Your Ground laws in Florida,, 200 cases over the past few years. The study came out last year. And among other things they concluded this. And David, pay attention. "Defendants claiming Stand Your Ground are more likely to prevail if the victim is black. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty, compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white person," if you will.
So that there seems to be a problem, if you believe the study conducted by the "Tampa Bay Times," which is a serious newspaper.
WEBB: Well, I would have to look at the full metrics of that before I take it just on face value. There are other factors in this, Wolf. It's not always just the law. And by the way, the Reverend mistakenly characterizes gun ownership as a as a result -- or growth in gun ownership as a result of Stand Your Ground. They cannot be inexorably tied together as a factor.
When it comes to Stand Your Ground, however, if the real issue here that the Reverend and NAACP wants to put on the table is Stand Your Ground, then I hope they review the case of Trevor Dooley, a 69-year- old black man who shot a white man and asserted Stand Your Ground as his defense. But what we have is when a white shoots a black, there is a public outcry, and then we get into the race issues. But when a black man shoots a white man, there's not the same outcry over the very same law that's being asserted.
BLITZER: Go ahead and respond, Reverend Jackson.
JACKSON: You see, the law itself lends itself to this -- the fact that more blacks are shot, it doesn't really matter. It's simply more killing. These Stand Your Ground laws make us less secure. They do not make us more secure. And you have the travesty in the Sanford, Florida, today, because Mr. Zimmerman felt he had the right to exercise that law. And the jury culturally identified with Mr. Zimmerman. Since the jury did not have a black man on it, there was no counterbalance in the entire debate about it. They used this law. WEBB: You know, this is so disingenuous of you, Reverend Jackson. One to tie facts -- or to tie assertions as facts, and then to go into if there wasn't a black or there wasn't some. The jury was a jury chosen by both the prosecution and the defense, people that were excluded and people that were kept as juries (sic). And it's such a ridiculous assertion by you to say those women could not have come to a decision just because of the color of their skin. That is part of the problem with what's happened and the travesty that followed the tragedy.
Trayvon Martin didn't deserve to die, and this was a tragedy where two elements that I hope wished had never met. And we don't know what happened in those two minutes, those key minutes. But to take that ridiculous assertion is, one, an insult to the system in the United States. And it's also an insult to those women and the people who fought this case on both sides of our justice system.
JACKSON: In the United States, a jury of your peers matter. There was no peer among the prosecutors nor among the jurors.
WEBB: It doesn't say the jury should be --
JACKSON: It's not so much the color as their culture. They culturally felt that not only did he have the right to pursue Trayvon, but he was doing a good thing by pursuing him. And then he went on to say Mr. Zimmerman, that these punks get away with this stuff too much and they rob people. That's a stereotype. Here was a boy going home (INAUDIBLE), but he in fact himself was in the wrong, and he did the wrong thing.
WEBB: So your assertion is if the jury had come down your way, they would be well, but because they didn't come down the way you would like it, now you want to blame the jury. Is that essentially what you're saying?
JACKSON: Well, what I know is that when an armed man kills an unarmed boy --
WEBB: But the question is about the jury -
JACKSON: -- walks away (INAUDIBLE). The police department takes not even a blood test or a drug test or an alcohol test, has all those freedoms, and comes out the winner in the end, where the victim becomes a source of provocation, that does seem to be logical.
BLITZER: All right, gentlemen, hold your thoughts for a moment. We're going to continue this conversation. But the point -- and we're going to come back to this, but the prosecution and the defense attorneys, they both accepted these six women as the jury. They went through a lot of folks who could have been on the jury, but both sides accepted these six women as the jury in Florida.
All right. Stand by, David Webb, Jesse Jackson. We're going to continue this conversation when we come back.
Also, another Florida case in the spotlight right now because of the Stand Your Ground law in that state. A woman claims self-defense. Ends up, though, serving 20 years behind bars. Stay with us.
BLITZER: We're going to continue our conversation with the Reverend Jesse Jackson and David Webb in just a moment. But first there's another Florida case that's in the spotlight right now because of the state's controversial self-defense laws.
CNN's John Zarrella has the story of one woman now serving 20 years behind bars after her Stand Your Ground defense was denied.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict social media is abuzz about yet another Florida case. Her name, Marissa Alexander, and now she's got some high-profile supporters, including Reverend Jesse Jackson, who visited her inside jail Tuesday and is ramping up efforts to renew her freedom.
She was prosecuted by Angela Corey's office, the same office that handled Zimmerman. But unlike Zimmerman, this one involved Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law. And unlike Zimmerman, Alexander is doing time, a lot of it. Twenty years mandatory. And she didn't kill anyone.
She says it was self-defense, but last year, Alexander was convicted of aggravated assault, with a deadly weapon.
MARISSA ALEXANDER, FACING TWENTY YEARS IN PRISON: He managed to get the door open and that's when he strangled me. He put his hands around my neck.
ZARRELLA: Alexander is talking about her husband, Rico Gray. She was in her bathroom, she says, when Gray came after her. Alexander managed to get away. Made it to the garage and grabbed her gun. She fired, striking the wall. During an interview with CNN --
ALEXANDER: He's right there threatening to kill me.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What if you went around him to go out the door, your life would have been easier today if you did that.
ALEXANDER: But the law says I don't have to.
ZARRELLA: Alexander's attorney invoked Florida's Stand Your Ground law. She feared for her life.
ALEXANDER: I believe when he threatened to kill me, that's what he was going to do.
ZARRELLA: But the court denied her immunity from prosecution. Her trial attorney Kevin Cobbin told CNN, quote, "She had a legitimate self-defense claim based on the history of abuse at the hands of her spouse."
Her husband had been arrested on abuse charges and received probation for an earlier incident. He ultimately testified, quote, "I begged and pleaded for my life when she had the gun."
Alexander's motion for bond pending appeal has been denied.
John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.
BLITZER: As we look at this hour's iReport, "Hot Shots," in Kenya, look at this, giraffes tower over the trees. In London clouds roll away and the skies clear. In New Jersey, a bicycle is parked along a rebuilt beach after Superstorm Sandy. And in Iceland, the sun reflects off glaciers.
"Hot Shots," pictures coming in from our CNN iReporters around the world.
British officials aren't saying anything about when Prince William and Duchess Catherine's royal baby will be born. But members of the royal family, they are talking. The duchess's mother-in-law, Camilla, tells reporters, and I'm quoting now, "hopefully by the end of the week." And even the queen herself had something to say today.
Here's CNN's royal correspondent, Max Foster.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: As the sun comes down on a blisteringly hot day here in London, the waiting game continues. Even the queen is wishing this royal baby along. She spoke to a young girl whilst out on an official visit on Wednesday.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want Kate's baby to be a boy or girl?
QUEEN ELIZABETH: I don't think I mind. I would very much like it to arrive. I'm going on holiday.
FOSTER: The Duchess of Cambridge herself seems to be spending a lot of time with her mother in Bucklebury in Berkshire. We assume Prince William is with her. For Kate, this is a long wait, just waiting for nature to take its course.
Max Foster, CNN, London.
BLITZER: Happening now, the personal toll on jurors in the George Zimmerman trial and the financial cost of their 22 days under sequester. New details emerging from the Sheriff's Office, stand by.
Plus, horrific heat. The burning question for people across much of the United States. When will it cool down?
And the Boston bombing suspect gets the rock star treatment. The backlash over the new cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine.