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Jodi Arias Case to be Re-Tried

Aired July 19, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JEAN CASAREZ, HLN HOST: Jodi Arias has a lot to say about her upcoming retrial, and you will not believe who she is vilifying now.

Good evening. I`m Jean Casarez in for Jane Velez-Mitchell.

The convicted murderer was in court Tuesday for a status hearing. The judge wants the (INAUDIBLE) face retrial to start in September. But the judge also refuse to set a date.

Now, you remember, the jury convicted Jodi of murdering her ex- boyfriend, Travis Alexander, but they could not agree whether to give her life or give her death. Jodi may be just weeks away from putting her fate in another jury`s hands.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you crying when you were stabbing him?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were the person that slit Mr. Alexander`s throat from ear to ear.

ARIAS: They were my actions, my responsibility.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The original jury found her guilty but couldn`t agree on whether she could get the death penalty. This time she game through the front entrance with these three armed guards in their full regal lion. One of them has a loaded shotgun there standing. She has got her chains and it was very dramatic.


CASAREZ: Though, Arias is behind bars, the convicted killer has been tweeting through friends. After appearing in court on Tuesday, Arias tweeted about 6:00 at night, the following, quote "the state rejected my third request for a plea to settle quietly and less expensively. Off to retrial we go. Sorry, taxpayers."

So this woman, who was convicted of brutally murdering Travis Alexander, shooting him and stabbing him 29 times, slicing his throat, and she`s trying to make the prosecution look like the bad guy? She already dragged Travis` name through the mud. Remember this?


ARIAS: Travis was masturbating. As he was grabbing the paper, one went sailing off the bed and it fell off. It was a picture of a little boy. He started chasing me and said I`m (bleep) of you and body slammed me on towards the foot of his bed. He said, don`t act like that hurt, called me a bitch and kicked me in the ribs.


CASAREZ: So far, taxpayers, listen to this, they have footed a bill of nearly $1.7 million to try Jodi Arias. Now, if this retrial goes forward as planned, who knows how much the final tally will be? Is it worth the price financially and emotionally to put Jodi Arias to death?

Straight out to the lion`s den.

You know, it appears this retrial is going to happen. But is this for justice for Travis or is it appealing to the public`s hatred of Jodi Arias?

I want to go straight out to Jordan Rose, attorney in Arizona.

What do you think, Jordan?

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: Jean, I think this is justice is not about money. Justice has always been about the law and the rule of law. And here in this case, this family, Jean, this family is asking the county attorney to continue the case, to get her a conviction and to get her put to death. And so that`s what`s important. And that`s what`s going to happen.

Jodi, as the taxpayer watch dog, is just ridiculous. And her tweets are so out of control saying that, you know, taxpayers, please think, you know, this is a bad thing. I mean, come on. Is that what she is left with?

CASAREZ: Brian Silber, let me ask you, defense attorney, joining us out of Miami, $1.7 million so far. She`s been convicted of first degree murder, life in prison will be her fate. Does the prosecution really need to go farther?

BRIAN SILBER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, in this case, I actually agree with Jordan. She`s 100 percent correct, you know. You can`t put a price on justice. Part of the reason why we have this system that we have is not only rule of law, but so that the public and victims of crime have an outlet for the things that have upset them in a way that is lawful and based on ethics and rules. And in this case, if you have found her guilty of a heinous murder, the prosecution is completely within its rights in the death penalty state to go forward with the death penalty, especially if that`s where the victims want to see happen, you know.

So, I can`t fault them for anything that they`re doing. And I think Jodi is out of her mind to continue with these ridiculous tweets. All it does is prove what a psychopath she probably really is. And I completely disagree with it. And if anybody, I feel bad for her lawyers. They clearly have a client who is out of control and they can`t manage.

CASAREZ: All right, John Leiberman, HLN contributor, let`s talk about these tweets because they are continuing, and we get some information out of them, right? Jodi is saying the third request they have had for a plea deal, so they don`t go into the penalty phase, has been rejected. Does Jodi Arias have any type of leverage at all in this?

JOHN LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: She has zero leverage. She`s a convicted gruesome killer and liar. And not for nothing, but you really not supposed to discuss any sort of, you know, plea discussion in the public domain. So as Brian said, I`m sure her lawyers are furious about that.

This is just another chance for Jodi Arias to say look at me, look at me, I`m still relevant, I`m still here, and every time she tweets, it`s another kind of dagger in the heart of the Alexander family. It`s ridiculous. It should be shut down.

And frankly, it`s not up to her or her side to introduce what she wants to plead to. It`s up to the state of Arizona if they are willing to even keep a plea deal on the table and I suggest to you, that`s the farthest thing on their mind right now. And every time she does this, it just makes those prosecutors want to push forward even more.

CASAREZ: Which brings me back to my original question.

Joseph Dibenedetto, who is a criminal defense attorney out of New York, is this for justice sake or is this out of hatred for Jodi Arias?

JOSEPH DIBENEDETTO, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I really think that this is raw emotion, this is raw hatred. The one thing that everybody steams to omit here is we have to factor in what is the likelihood of success here? Will they be able to convince a jury to put Jodi Arias to death? And I can tell you that the odds are in her favor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s ridiculous.


DIBENEDETTO: Five months after trial and the jury was hung on the ultimate issue of death. She gave them five months worth of reasons to hate her, to put her to death. And what did this jury do? They came back --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re right, it was five months.

DIBENEDETTO: So now, what are we doing? We`re empanelling a new jury. And what is this new jury going to do?


ROSE: This is America. We don`t just stop a prosecution because someone thinks, we may lose. This woman was a heinous killer.

DIBENEDETTO: For those of us in court every single day, no one will disagree with what I`m saying. There needs to be a likelihood of success - -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m in court every single day and I try these cases all the time, and you are living in another world.

DIBENEDETTO: I live in New York City.

ROSE: And they were hung.


CASAREZ: They were hung 8-4 in favor of the death penalty.

But listen to this. Jodi Arias is still tweeting, all right, as the show is going on, tweeting again through a proxy. This time she is calling out the haters. One of the Jodi recent tweets reads, quote "a few of my dedicated haters, they came all the way to court today just to glare at me. I`m flattered. I thought it was I who had nothing better to do."

Back to the lion`s den.

All right, is Jodi poisoning her own jury pool that may decide her fate to live or die?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s out of her mind.

CASAREZ: What do you think, go ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are we forgetting here? She`s fighting for her life. So can you blame her for trying everything and anything? I mean, if that is that`s the strategy?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not the first time she`s done it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a hung jury, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the woman has been, you know, thinks that she can play mind games with the jury --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Regardless of whether she`s an ego maniac, that`s not the issue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, that`s not the issue. This is just ridiculous. I mean, she thinks she can manipulate --


CASAREZ: You know, I`m hearing Kelly Saindon`s voice.

And Kelly, I want to go to you because when I think about Jodi Arias and leverage, we don`t know what these plea offers that she`s making, and by the way, it`s the prosecution that supposed to request it, but she`s taking the upper hand on this. But if she is saying I will forego any appeal I have, because there may be appellate issues. But I forego any appeal that I have in the future and I will live any life in prison. I won`t ask to have release after 25 years or possibly to have that happen. Why wouldn`t the prosecution go for that at this point?

KELLY SAINDON, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, I actually think that`s where it`s going to end up because capital punishment doesn`t really come down too often, the jurors look at the particular facts as their own personal take on it, lots of people don`t believe in the death penalty.

So, taking that into consideration, looking at whether or not it is heinous, lots of women identify with another woman who feel that she has been jerked around by a boyfriend. Whether or not, they would go the next and murder, no. But in this case, it`s do you believe in the death penalty or not.

So, for the prosecution, if they can get her to agree to never try to get out, what are they proving? Nothing. She`s going to spend her life in jail. And then, I was believed that it`s personal if she actually says I will live my life and not appeal. Because everybody knows that she is a cold hearted killer. I mean, that`s the reality this is in.

DIBENEDETTO: If they don`t go for the death penalty in this case, they shouldn`t go for the death penalty in any case.

SAINDON: But that`s the trend now. The trend is --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they should.

SAINDON: But the trend is to let go of capital punishment everywhere.


CASAREZ: All I want to go -- Brian Silber joining us from Miami, criminal defense attorney. \

All right, let`s look at this realistically, all right? This retrial of the penalty phase is not going to take a couple of weeks, OK? This brand new jury first of all has to be selected.


CASAREZ: And that`s going to be -- that`s going to be monumental potentially in and of itself because of the pretrial publicity in all of that. If we disregard the money, what the family members will have to go through again, will it really be worth it?

SILBER: I think the family has already spoken on this issue. And of course, I`m a stranger. I can`t speak on their behalf. I don`t think anybody can. But I think they made it very clear specially through the prosecution that they want to see Jodi Arias get the death penalty.

And you know what, in a death penalty state where that`s the law, they have the right to make that request. And it is not my place or anybody else`s place to judge them. I`m not the one who lost a family member, they are.

Now, I might have my own philosophy about the law and as it relates to the death penalty, but that`s something totally different than what you are asking, you know. I think the prosecution is completely within its rights to go forward on this case with the death penalty. And quite frankly, if you`re in a death penalty state and you have a conviction on this exact type of murder, I can`t imagine why you wouldn`t. What other case would be worse? You would have to say the death penalty should apply to only mass murders or only murder of children. But that`s not the law. And I think they are totally doing what they ought to be doing.

CASAREZ: You make such a great point, because we cannot forget the injuries to Travis Alexander. That is part of the conviction of first degree murder.

And the family of Travis Alexander, they have the strength, because I watch them every day in court, strength that had to come from a higher power when that case continues.

We`ll be back right after this.


ARIAS: If I`m found guilty, I don`t have a life. I`m not guilty. I didn`t hurt Travis. If I hurt Travis, if I killed Travis, I would beg for the death penalty.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is reddish brown stain in rug (INAUDIBLE) and on top of the sink in maid`s bathroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are we looking at there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those are some hair and fiber-like materials that were found around the shower stall that were designate to be collected and items of evidence. She was actually just indicating the hairs that you see here on the floor, but you can see with the red staining in these photographs.


CASAREZ: I`m Jean Casarez in for Jane Velez-Mitchell.

The retrial of the penalty phase of Jodi Arias is going forward. Now, after Jodi was convicted of murder, she said she wanted the jury to spare her life, but before her trial, she was singing a different tune. Listen to this.


ARIAS: I said years ago that I would rather get death than life and that`s still true today. If a conviction happens, I know that I won`t be the first person to be wrongly convicted and possibly wrongly sentenced for either life in prison or the death penalty. And personally, if I have my choice, I would take the death penalty because I don`t want to spend the rest of my life in prison.


CASAREZ: Jodi claims that after she was convicted, she decided she wanted to live for her family. And during the first penalty phase, she asked the jury to sentence her to life in prison. But, if there is a penalty phase retrial, she could still get the death penalty.

To the lion`s den tonight. You know, the death penalty, it is losing support around the country. I mean, states are abolishing it almost like a domino effect in the last few years. But is the death penalty really gaining support in regard to Jodi Arias?

I want go out to John Leiberman, HLN contributor. What do you think?

LEIBERMAN: Well, look. I think in Arizona, if there is one case that you could point to where the death penalty make sense, it`s the Jodi Arias case. And you look at everything that happened during the crime, you even look at after her sentencing, I mean after her conviction, and the lack of any sort of remorse and just the -- almost the antagonization (ph) of the victim`s family and of the attorneys. I mean, if there is any case where the death penalty fit, it is this case. And keep in mind, Juan Martinez, the prosecutor in this case, has another female on death row in Arizona. So, he has put a woman there before.

CASAREZ: He sure has.

Jordan Rose, you`re out there in Phoenix, Arizona. You know, people around the country say, the death penalty, we shouldn`t have it in the United States. Only third world countries have it. The United States stands alone. What do people say about it right there where you are?

ROSE: Well, Arizona is a very conservative state. We are very pro law and order. But in any case, if you look at this, this is a textbook definition of what the death penalty is meant to be for. And in this particular instance, I think people around the country are saying, you know, they may say I`m against the death penalty, but when they look at what this woman did, and then they look at the family and the aftermath, like John said, of all of her crazy statements after she did this, no remorse, I think people are saying in this instance, we like the death penalty. And in their cocktail conversation, they may also say, I`m against the death penalty. So it sort of contrasts, but it`s clear that if you`re going to have the death penalty in America, the Jodi Arias case is a textbook example of why.

CASAREZ: All right. We`ll be right back. We`ve got more on the Jodi Arias retrial.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her stands (INAUDIBLE) of what did happen led her to tell different story?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She told me she worked at Margarita Ville and she cut her finger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did not shoot Travis?

ARIAS: No, I`ve never shot a real gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did not stab him 27 times?

ARIAS: No. I can`t imagine slitting his throat. I did not Hurt Travis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jodi arias killed Travis Alexander. There is no doubt about it.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is absolutely some of the best evidence I`ve ever had in a case, and I`ve convicted a few people on less than that.

ARIAS: Well so, I`m as good as done?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not for me to say. But eventually those photo also come out.


CASAREZ: I`m Jean Casarez in for Jane Velez-Mitchell.

You know, Jodi claims that Travis Alexander physically and emotionally abused her during their relationship. Now, you remember when Jodi introduced in how infamous survivor t-shirt during the (INAUDIBLE), you know, I was sitting in that courtroom and suddenly, I see this t-shirt being held up as she is crying to plea for her life with the jury. Watch this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which 100 percent of the proceeds go to support nonprofit organizations to support victims of domestic violence.


CASAREZ: Now, those t-shirts, they are sold online, I guess. I have never looked. But it seems they`re running into a snafu, which was addressed on Jodi Arias` twitter account, once again, last night. The tweet send out by Jodi`s friend on her behalf, read quote "survivor T`s, we are phasing out the white. Redesigning lettering, and raising prices because we are losing money on shipping and handling." And she wants everybody to know that 100 percent of the proceeds still go to domestic violence victims.

All right, I want to go out to John Leiberman. Why is she tweeting about this now? Why is she focused on these t-shirts and profits when she`s facing the death penalty?

LEIBERMAN: You know, I got to tell, Jean. I spoke to several victims of domestic violence today. I sit on the board of the national domestic violence registry, and they are outraged that she continues to, number one, play herself off as a victim, and number two, continues to assert that Travis Alexander in some way abused her. It`s absolutely ridiculous.

Look. This is just her way to, again, say look at me. I`m relevant. I`m still working on things like I said I would. And it`s absolutely ludicrous that she continues to not only bring up this issue, this fake issue that she was a victim of abuse, but also keeps talking about how other victims, you know, what she`s doing for other victims and how she`s being so altruistic.

CASAREZ: But you know, Joseph Dibenedetto, defense attorney joining us out in New York. I want you to look at some video there this hearing because all of these tweets and everything she`s doing, is this creating a security issue for her? They have to protect her in court on Tuesday. She had sheriff deputies that appeared in SWAT regalia, including one with a long gun on him.

Now, I`ve seen a lot of hearings, post trial, before penalty trial and I`ve never seen this much security around somebody. What does that tell you?

DIBENEDETTO: Well, obviously it`s a high profile case. But, here is the other thing to consider. A jury will be put together and, you know, jurors watch TV and maybe they watch this segment and they see these people with bullet proof vests on. Do you think that`s a tiny bit prejudicial to her? I think so. And so look, I mean, nobody -- I`m not here to tell you that Jodi Arias is of sound mind. No, I`m not here to tell you that. Far from it. Everything she`s done has been anything but that. But the reality is, she`s fighting for her life, OK? And so, you cannot blame her for doing the crazy things that she`s doing. And yes, my heart bleeds for the defense attorneys 100 percent. But when you take a case like this, what`s left to do?

CASAREZ: And they may be thinking to themselves what are we going to do about jury selection, with all of this out there?

All right, more on Jodi Arias and the family of Travis Alexander. That`s who we can`t forget, right after this.


ARIAS: He wouldn`t allow me to not answer his text message. If I didn`t respond, he would keep calling and calling until I did. And so to me, that was just bad behavior on his part, he wanted to talk to me, OK, that`s great.


ARIAS: No, no, not at all.





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

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

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

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


JEAN CASAREZ, HLN HOST: Many people still want to see Jodi Arias put to death and no one more than Travis Alexander`s siblings. Listen to this.


STEPHEN ALEXANDER: I don`t want to have to see my brother`s murderer anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope they see right through her and she gets the death penalty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If she gets the death penalty, unfortunately it will be 17 to 20 years before that actually happens. But ultimately our family is in a consistence (ph) that we all believe that she deserves the death penalty.


CASAREZ: Will this nightmare ever end for the Travis Alexander family? Even if Jodi is put to death, will they ever truly get justice?

This trial went on for months and months and months, and now the penalty phase may do the same thing.

Jordan Rose joining us from Arizona -- if this jury in this retrial of this penalty phase finds her and convicts her to death, so she`s sentenced to death, there will be appeals for 17 years. What will the family go through for the rest of their lives almost?

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: It`s terrible. It`s something that none of us can even possibly imagine, Jean. But at least the justice system will have done what the family wants. The thing that really needs to happen for these family members to stop suffering is someone needs to put a stop to this woman`s Twitter. And I know that that can`t be done but my goodness. I mean Jodi is a fashion designer, redesigning her t-shirts. What do we care? Why do we need to hear this? And then Jodi insulting her lawyers on Twitter; she says something to the effect of "lawyers are here to profit off of our experiences." I mean, it goes on and on and she quotes, Dr. Seuss oh so profoundly.

CASAREZ: You know, Jordan, you bring up a really good question right there.

Kelly Saindon, former prosecutor, joining us out of Chicago. Why can`t the jail stop her from Twittering? I mean she`s a convicted murderer, number one. Number two, people in jail aren`t allowed all the rights that we on the outside have. Why can`t they stop her from doing this?

KELLY SAINDON, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, I think that she should be stopped from doing it. I think it`s offensive. I think it`s insulting. I think the fact that her friends are helping her, that it`s potentially tainting the next jury pool for the penalty phase.

And so it`s interesting that you bring that up because I`m wondering why a motion hasn`t been filed to have her stop, and to bring her friend before court and say hey why are you not interfering in the legal process. Don`t tweet what she has to say, stop aggravating the situation.

I believe that they can`t find a jury who doesn`t know about this. It`s going to be problematic, and I`m really surprised the prosecution hasn`t moved to shush her.

CASAREZ: Right. Brian Silber, defense attorney joining us out of Miami. You know, there are a lot of motions that have been filed and they are sealed. So we don`t know what they are in this post-verdict phase, verdict of guilt. So maybe something like that has been filed. But if you were her defense attorney now, what would you do besides withdraw from the case?

BRIAN SILBER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, there`s no motion that can be filed to stop her from exercising her constitutional right. The jail`s job is not to guard what she has to say, so as long as it`s not a discussion about escape or something like that.

But as her lawyer, I would do is sit down with her eye to eye and tell her listen, you don`t want the death penalty, then you need to shut up immediately, because what you`re doing is hurting your chances of survival. And if you have any sense of self-preservation, you`re going to put an end to this.

And you know what? A lawyer can only go as far as they can do. We`re people also, ok. I`m not a magician. I can`t force her to do something, ok. But you have to sit down, give that advice and make it clear. And you know what else? I`d even put it in writing. I would send her a letter that says that. And then it`s on her. She wants the death penalty, keep on tweeting. Keep on making people hate you.

CASAREZ: And by the way, Jodi isn`t tweeting. It is her friend on the side who is tweeting for her based on phone conversations or in-person visits. Ok.

You know what; the judge mentioned a number of unresolved issues because the judge is saying in September, we hopefully will have that new penalty phase, but she`s not setting a firm date. Now there have been several motions, they`ve been filed. And one is the defense motion to throw out the jury`s decision that Travis` death was especially cruel. That`s an aggravating factor that qualifies Jodi for the death penalty.

But it sounds like there`s also one mystery motion that the judge handled back in chambers this week, not revealed. We don`t know what it is. Could they be motions about what can be brought in during the next penalty phase?

I want to go out to Jon Leiberman, "The Lion`s Den", HLN contributor. Jon Leiberman, when we look at this penalty phase, how are they going to do it? Because this trial went on and on and on and on 00 I was there for it every day. They can`t just read the trial transcript and you can`t get the full impact of the testimony of witnesses without them coming into court really.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: No, I mean that`s the million dollar question, how exactly is this going to play out, because this hasn`t really played out very much in the history of Arizona courtrooms. So I can guarantee you there will be a number of motions on each side. What should we let in? Who comes in, in person? How do we do this?

Because in effect, as you well know, Jean, this is going to be a mini trial. Say what you will about the fact that it`s only this sentencing phase, but this is going to come off like a mini trial, and both sides are going to have different things that they want in.

And frankly the defense attorneys just want out. I mean the judge has once again told them they cannot get off of this case. But it`s pretty clear that these defense attorneys, Jodi`s attorneys want out, as well.

CASAREZ: And we will see --

SILBER: You know Jean --

CASAREZ: -- yes, go ahead.

SILBER: I was going to tell you, if I was her defense attorneys, I would take a completely different strategy. You know, the purpose of a public trial is to guarantee due process for the defendant. But I think in this case, the publicity that has surrounded this trial has hurt her. I mean everybody in America hates her and everybody in America knows about this case.

I think the only procedural defense they might have is to make an objection and make a motion to put an end to the penalty phase, because of the irreversible contamination of any potential jury out there.

And that`s something that will come out when they start questioning these jurors. Did you watch it on TV? How much did you watch? What shows did you see? What evidence did you learn? Did you hear about what was not admitted in court? Things of that nature.

ROSE: It`s going to take forever. It`s going to take forever.

SILBER: Absolutely. But they have to get creative.

ROSE: But justice can take forever.

CASAREZ: All right. We`ll be right back after this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful family, living the American dream, until this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody has been shot and killed out in front of Dunwoody Prep.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rusty Sneiderman, a devoted husband and father is shot dead just moments after he drops his toddler son at daycare.

RUSTY SNEIDERMAN, MURDER VICTIM: I know, but I didn`t get your water bottle. I`m sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now his wife is on trial.

ANDREA SNEIDERMAN, WIFE OF RUSTY SNEIDERMAN: There was no affair. Who kills someone else`s husband?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Andrea Sneiderman put a hit on her husband? Prosecutors say she conspired with her boss and lover.

HEMY NEUMAN, ANDREA SNEIDERMAN`S BOSS: I did not pull the trigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A seemingly perfect family, shattered.

SNEIDERMAN: We were holding each other`s hands, and that`s it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What secret will be revealed in court?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Andrea Sneiderman is playing each one of us for a damn fool.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Andrea, is there anything you want to say? Anything at all?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s Georgia versus Andrea Sneiderman.

SNEIDERMAN: Whose boss would kill someone else`s husband.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coverage begins July 29.




JUROR B37: I feel bad that we can`t give them the verdict that they wanted. We thought about it for hours.

CROWD: No justice, no peace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just went terribly wrong.


JUROR B37: He could have walked away and gone home.

JEANTEL: Trayvon Martin is not a thug.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can`t charge him with anything.

JEANTEL: I didn`t put Trayvon at that funeral. I didn`t put Trayvon in that casket.

JUROR B37: He was justified in shooting Trayvon Martin.


CASAREZ: Tonight, there is more fallout over the controversial George Zimmerman not guilty verdict. I`m Jean Casarez in for Jane Velez-Mitchell. As the Department of Justice declares that they want to hold all the evidence in the Zimmerman trial, the parents of the slain teen, Trayvon Martin, say the verdict came as a complete shock.

Good evening. I`m Jean Casarez, filling in for my friend, Jane Velez- Mitchell.

Martin`s devastated parents say that they went to court every single day leading up to the verdict to be the face for Trayvon, but they were still stunned by the outcome.


SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: The most important purpose was to give Trayvon a voice, because he`s not here to say anything for himself. So we thought in our minds that we needed to be to represent him, to show a face with Trayvon Martin`s name.


CASAREZ: And straight into "The Lion`s Den", the family has said that they were so shocked that there wasn`t that guilty verdict. But knowing the laws, the self-defense laws as they are in Florida, and hearing the evidence the prosecution presented in court, should they have been surprised that there was a not guilty verdict?

I want to go to Sheryl Lee Ralph who is joining from Los Angeles. She`s an actress and author of "Redefining Diva". What do you say, should they have been shocked by that acquittal?

SHERYL LEE RALPH, AUTHOR, "REDEFINING DIVA": Absolutely, they should have been shocked. Their child is dead. Their child, who was armed only with Skittles and a can of iced tea, is dead. And it seems as if there was no way to find justice for an unarmed teenager in America.

Of course, they should have been shocked. How can the one who is dead, the victim, become the guilty one in all of this? We are all shocked, not just the family. I would say so much of America and not just black and brown people, all of us are shocked.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joining us also tonight, very special guest, we have Senator Vincent Hughes. He`s a senator out of Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia is where he joins us. Senator, thank you for joining us, the President of the United States spoke today on all of this, and started off his words by talking about potential federal charges that could come in this case, but also saying that traditionally, as he speaks with his attorney general, that they come from the state and local level.

Was he trying to give the American public a message right there, that there may not be federal charges to come in this case?

SEN. VINCENT HUGHES, PENNSYLVANIA: Well, I think what the President is doing, and rightfully so -- and before I go any further, and let me say hello to Mrs. Hughes. Sheryl, how are you?

RALPH: Good, thank you.

HUGHES: But let me just say real clear, unequivocally, the President and the U.S. Department of Justice should gather all the information in Florida, in this case, and everything surrounding this case, to make sure that there was nothing inappropriate that happened throughout the entire process. To make sure that raise did not play a role.

You know, Florida has a long history of not being able to do the best things when it comes to issues of justice and a fair determination on cases. The President, Attorney General Holder have the appropriate responsibility. And I think many of us are encouraging them to take on Florida and find out exactly what`s going on, explore every ramification of this case.

And it is especially important to make sure that this can be at some level, some peace, some healing, nationally that we get to the bottom of what exactly happened in every aspect of this case. That`s extremely important for the healing of this nation.

And more important for anyone else -- the parents of Trayvon Martin, Trayvon Martin is dead. Trayvon Martin is dead, a 17-year-old teenager is dead and that`s -- we`ve got to come to grips with that. There needs to be a process of healing, dealing from the U.S. Department of Justice, helping us find all this information will help this nation heal.

CASAREZ: All right. Panel, I know you want in on this. We`re going to take a short break and more when we return on how that family can get justice. We`ll be right back.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. There are very few African-American men in this country who haven`t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store -- that includes me. There are few African- American men who haven`t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of car. That happened to me, at least before I was a senator.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know like, whatever a black mom would tell her teenage son. When you come in contact with a police officer, make sure you say "yes, sir" and make sure you don`t do anything to cause any rift. When you`re in the store, don`t walk with your hands in your pocket because, you know, that always brings on suspicions as well.


CASAREZ: Trayvon`s parents are speaking out now about that verdict. They are saying they are stunned and they are upset by the not guilty verdict and they have some questions for the jury. Listen to this from NBC.


TRACY MARTIN, FATHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: How can you let the killer of an unarmed child go free? What would your verdict would have been had it been your child? And there`s no winners in this case at all. But, you know, it`s just, I want them to put their selves in our shoe.


CASAREZ: So what do you think about this? You know the jury was sequestered right? That didn`t mean the jury didn`t have fun in this extremely serious trial. In fact the jury, they had manicures and pedicures, restaurant meals, they went shopping, they went bowling, they went to Ripley`s Believe It or Not Museum. They even saw firework on the 4th of July.

Let us go into "The Lion`s Den". How did this, if at all, impact their state of mind for this very serious trial about the death of Trayvon Martin? Did it impact them at all?

I want to go to Brian Silber, criminal defense attorney joining us out of Miami. Could this have given the jury not a serious of a tone to all of this? Because -- I`ve seen many a sequestered jury, I`ve never seen all of this.

SILBER: I think it`s a very valid question. My objection really is based on money that may have been spent on them. Obviously if our government is paying for people to get pedicures I take a tremendous issue with that. Putting that aside however, we have to understand they are there to do a very serious job and I think we all agree on that and for that reason a little R&R is absolutely necessary.

These are human beings. They`re not machines. They`re not robots and quite frankly I think if the verdict was the other way, if there was a conviction, we wouldn`t be having this discussion. We would be saying "Hey, it was great that they got to, you know, relax. They got to breathe so that later on when they were in that courtroom and they were watching evidence and they were deliberating, their brains were focused.

CASAREZ: But you know Brian, we might be having appellate issues if it was the other way.

Sheryl Lee Ralph, what do you think about the jurors and the 22-night vacation they seemed to have?

RALPH: You know something, sometimes you see it, you hear it and you want to think oh my God, I wish I was seeing, going out to dinner having mani and pedi but yes, there is something to them having a calm mind. But this is a serious, serious case and it just makes me feel uncomfortable.

My mani/pedi is for me to relax and get away from it all. This was not the case to get away from it all because it was not the time to say you should have just gone home. Please. Is that what you came to after your mani/pedi?

CASAREZ: All right. More on this because I think this was a really strong issue. We`re going to take a break and we`ll be back with Senator Vincent Hughes right after this.


CASAREZ: You know, I have seen many jury sequestered before and the most recent one was Casey Anthony. And to Senator Vincent Hughes joining us tonight out of Philadelphia, I`ve got to tell you about the Casey Anthony jury, all right. They didn`t have television. They didn`t have Internet. They didn`t have anything. Once a week they got to phone their families; once a week visitation occurred with their families -- far different than this. What are your thoughts on all of the luxuries that this jury got?

HUGHES: There is a science in handling juries. Different cases require different ways for you to create an environment for that particular jury to make the appropriate decision. However, like Sheryl, I was a little bit uncomfortable with the conversation of providing manicures and pedicures and things of that they nature. It seemed to kind of go a little bit past what the appropriate science is. Again it goes to the environment of what`s happening.

CASAREZ: All right. Thank you so much to all of our guests.

Nancy is next.