CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Mixed Reactions For "Loud Music" Verdict; Pandora ID's Dems And Repubs By Music; Bode Miller Breaks Down After Medal Win; U.S. Olympian Adopts Stray Sochi Puppies; George Zimmerman: I Will Never Be "Free"; Fallon's "Tonight Show" Debuts Tonight

Aired February 17, 2014 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: If you read the jury instructions for all the murders and all the manslaughters in Florida and in really every jurisdiction, they can be very complicated and they don't get any easier just because a judge reads them slowly and out loud to a bunch of jurors. These definitions are highly abstract.

So when you read them and you understand, even to us lawyers they can be confusing. There is a lot of potential overlap. So when the jurors were going over this coupled with their having to deal with self defense, you can understand how they may have gotten hung up.

But the fact that they convicted on second degree attempted murder means that for all of the crimes, they probably had second-degree murder on their mind ultimately for Jordan Davis. That's where they got hung up.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: So then given the esoteric wonkiness, you know, my word, of having to go through all of this, the fact that we now know that the state attorney here, Angela Corey, said she wants a re-trial on this same charge, murder in the first degree. Joey and then, Danny, to you, do you think, A, that that will happen and B, is that a good idea?

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: You know what, here's the way it boils down, Brooke. The first thing I would do if I'm the state attorney and she will make her own decisions, as you consult with the family, we all have opinions, we have views about this case, but the families' views are paramount, and certainly our prayers, our thoughts, our respect are with them.

BALDWIN: Of course.

JACKSON: And it's not so much that the family dictates what a prosecutor does, but you take it into consideration in terms of what their perceived notions are of justice and whether this is enough and whether or not, they want to move with their lives so that's the first thing I will do.

Now moving on from that, Brooke, however, ultimately they tried to get first degree premeditation. They argued and getting the gun from the glove compartment and taking the lock off the gun, the pointing, and the aiming at the gun. That's the premeditation was the argument apparently was one that was rejected by the jury as to whether a new jury will buy that argument, that remains to be seen.

BALDWIN: Danny, what do you think? Will it happen? Is this just a big old waste of time?

CEVALLOS: Well, I won't go that far, but by any account this is a victory for the prosecution. To those people who thought that this or any other trial is a slam dunk. Let me disabuse you of that idea. Every trial is a flip of the coin. Anything can happen, after all, if it was a slam dunk, no one would take that to trial. They would plea that out.

So every trial involves risk. Every trial has an element of unpredictability. I think the prosecution can take a look at this case, plant their flag and declare a win because of mandatory minimum sentencing in Florida. He will spend a minimum of 60 years on those convictions.

So we have to ask ourselves the broader question. Is it worth expending the prosecution and the state's resources to retry this case when most of the effect, most of the desired outcome has been achieved?

BALDWIN: I'm glad you brought that up because so much focus obviously has been on this teenager who is no longer with us and the family dealing with that, but then you have this man, we just saw the daughter of Michael Dunn in tears on "Good Morning America" for, you know, for all accounts. She will lose her father going away for 60 years in prison.

You mentioned the "j" word, Joey Jackson, justice. I want to play some sound. This is what CNN political commentator, Marc Lamont Hill had to say about that today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, it's not enough. I mean, as a practical matter, he's got a life sentence. Whether we retry him on that first charge or not the outcome will be the same. He likely will spend the rest of his life in prison and so there some modicum of justice there given what happened to Jordan Davis.

But as a symbolic matter, as a representational matter and may be long-term even again as a practical matter, it shows that we are unable to convict a man of killing an unarmed black child. That for me is very disturbing and is very problematic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Joey Jackson, you'll get the final word. Where do we, where does the law, where do society go from here?

JACKSON: You know, Marc raises a very good point. I think where we go is examining the issue of stand your ground. Is that the type of law that we want? Is it appropriate to have the ability to say that I could stand here and if I perceive you to be a threat and I say that I'm scared and I say that you could have killed me, can I take your life?

So if anything and if Jordan Davis is to live on at least in terms of what happened here and the legacy that he has, we have to debate the appropriateness of this law in addition to having discussions about race, color and sensitivity, relations and why, you know, it's certainly not appropriate just because of someone's skin to have any irrational fear that they might represent to you.

BALDWIN: Perception as you said earlier. Joey Jackson and Danny Cevallos, thank you both very, very much.

CEVALLOS: A pleasure, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Coming up, can the type of music you listen to really nail down your personal politics? Internet radio company Pandora says you bet you and they are going to take that information, your information and use it. How, you ask? We will tell you.

And you heard about this amazing story, U.S. Olympic skier, Gus Kenworthy, in Sochi. Right now not just winning medals, but saving puppies, a family of them. Coming up, he shows off his lucky litter to CNN. You don't want to miss this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: So did you know? Pandora has you pegged and the online listening service plans to make a little money by steering politicians your way based upon your favorite musicians. Here's the deal. Pandora has determined that if you listen to, let's say, Dolly Parton and other country musicians, you probably vote Republican.

Miles Davis fans and jazz listeners, they tend to vote Democratic as do fans of Mary J. Brij and the late Bob Marley. Yanni, the great pianist, Republican. Jay-z and Bruce Springsteen, bipartisan love Dems and Republicans both.

Laurie Segall is with us now from New York, and so this is interesting. I was reading this through so I was thinking what do I listen to and which way does that go? How is this supposed to work though?

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY TECH CORRESPONDENT: You know, I was thinking, I was like Brooke loves all sorts of music. I would love to see Pandora attempts to target her. But listen, it's all about the zip code. What we have to talk about here is when you sign up for Pandora, you're entering your zip code and with that comes a lot of important geographical data.

So in the past what they've done, Brooke, essentially, they said, let's look at their zip code and see how their district has voted before. Do they lean left or do they lean right? But now what's new is they are adding this listening layer. So they are saying if a lot of people in a certain district lean left and they also listen to reggae music, let's put that together and there can be a correlation.

We can better target than ads. You know, they are partnering up with different advertising firms. One is called bully pulpit interactive. I spoke with the partner from there and he talked to me and he said, you know, Laurie, this is why the technology is going to be interesting. Listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK SKIDMORE, PARTNER AND CHIEF STRATEGIST, BULLY PULPIT INTERACTIVE: The most interesting thing about Pandora's new technology is the ability to not only reach the right voter at the right time, but get to know them, get to understand a little bit more about their lifestyle and get to know more about what their tastes are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEGALL: And you know, Brooke, you think about it, we all carry these mobile devices. We are all increasingly listening to, you know, to streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. So it's how they can better target us. The data they've come with is they said look, country music listeners are more associated with Republican zip codes. Reggae, listeners and jazz listeners are more associated with Democratic zip codes. It will be interesting to see in the future how they are going to be served up certain types of political ads to us based on this information.

BALDWIN: I think I would break the thing. I think it would be schizophrenic. I'd be so all over the place. Laurie Segall, thank you very much.

SEGALL: Thank you.

BALDWIN: With the music, you know what that means, we are talking Olympics. I didn't do this before and I'm so sorry but spoiler alert, Olympic spoiler alert for you. In Sochi, history has just been made. To Americans, Charlie White and Merrill Davis have just become the first Americans to win the Olympic title in ice dancing.

This is the 15th gold in Olympic figure skating for the Americans, more than any country by the way. But this is the first in dance. Sochi hopeful Bode Miller moving on didn't make the medal stand in his first two alpine events, but did come through in the Super G slalom event tied for bronze medal.

But it was actually what he said, what happened after this race that is making news. Really this emotional post when interviewed that is causing now a bit of controversy. We will talk about that controversy and what he is now saying next hour.

But let's take a look here at exactly how that new gold helped the U.S. in the medals standing. So here you go, Team USA is tied for first with Russia. Both countries with 18 medals each.

The Gochi games, listen, you know this. They had their fair share of problems, suspected bombers on the loose for one, warm weather melting the snow, controversy over gay rights and half built hotels. But perhaps the most unexpected story surfacing there is stray dogs. Packs and packs of them roaming through the Olympic village and there were even reports of calls prior to the games. It is a site that is really actually affecting some of the athletes there. So while some are leaving Sochi with medals, others are leaving them with dogs. CNN's host of "UNGUARDED," Rachel Nichols has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: So how much did your life changed since you stepped off that medal stand?

GUS KENWORTHY, SLOPESTYLE SILVER MEDALIST: I don't even know. I know how much has changed, but it has been like a world wind of excitement and just so much going on.

NICHOLS: You tweeted a picture of yourself on a corn flakes box.

KENWORTHY: We won and 12 hours later, we were on a cereal box. It was crazy, but I mean, it's a huge dream come true. I feel like a lot of the biggest sports icons in the world, I've been featured on cereal boxes and so to get to be one of the hosts, it's insane.

NICHOLS: We want to see the dogs? Let's go see the dogs?

KENWORTHY: Let's do it, for sure.

NICHOLS: You heard that there were stray dogs around here and what they were doing. What was that like when you started to hear the stories?

KENWORHTY: I mean, it just kind of sucked for sure. I felt for the animals and heard they were rounding them up and exterminating them and trying to keep them out of public view. So I felt really bad, but I mean, I definitely wasn't like planning on trying to come here and be and some animal activist or like spokesperson for humanity for the dogs or anything. But this particular family just really touched me and I think they are so cute and they need some help. I'm going to try to bring this family home. Hi, you are OK. Look.

NICHOLS: You are going to have to give this one a Russian name.

KENWORTHY: I don't know. I was thinking like Sochi or Rosa or Silver. I don't know something.

NICHOLS: Silver would be good, right? Are you going to show her your medal? Does she like it?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: I know a collective awe and it seemed this is actually becoming a trend. A former Olympian, Amanda Byrd, is planning to take a stray dog home with her as well.

It is the start of a new era, "The Tonight Show," because tonight is the night Jimmy Fallon makes his debuts as the new host. The stakes are high. Listen, he's got some big shoes to fill. We'll see here how he does.

Also ahead, it is George Zimmerman like you have never heard him before. Last year, he was acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin and now Zimmerman goes one on one with our own Chris Cuomo about his regrets, his public image and his thoughts about Trayvon Martin.

Plus here is the one question after which he can't give a straight answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: And lot of people agree he became a household name in one of the worst ways possible, killing an unarmed black teenager. Now George Zimmerman speaks for himself about the death of Trayvon Martin. He sat down with CNN's Chris Cuomo and talks about, while, yes, the jury gave him his freedom, he says he understands he will never truly be free. Here is Chris' conversation with George Zimmerman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS CUOMO, ANCHOR, CNN'S "NEW DAY": Do you regret that you killed Trayvon Martin?

(voice-over): It's a simple question, but one, George Zimmerman, can't seem to answer.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, ACQUITTED OF MURDERING TRAYVON MARTIN: Unfortunately, the Department of Justice is conducting a civil rights investigation. Those are the types of questions that because of the investigation I have to tread lightly and I can't answer them.

CUOMO: We checked and the Department of Justice is investigating any civil rights violations, but says charges aren't expected. Still, Zimmerman's reluctance seems to be about more than legalities.

(on camera): Do you regrets that night? Do you have regrets about it?

ZIMMERMAN: Certainly and I think about that night. I think my life would be tremendously easier if I had stayed home.

CUOMO: If you could go back, you would have stayed home that night?

ZIMMERMAN: Certainly, yes, in hindsight, absolutely.

CUOMO: Now as a point of clarification, you said, my life would be so much easier. When you say I wish I had stayed home that night, are you thinking about you and also Trayvon Martin?

ZIMMERMAN: Certainly I think about him. I think about my family. All the families that have been put in any type of dangerous situation so yes, I think about everybody involved.

CUOMO: But safe to say if you could change how that night came out, you would both be alive today?

ZIMMERMAN: I think that's just a different way of rephrasing it.

CUOMO: If you could go back and do it again, you would said, you would have stayed home?

ZIMMERMAN: I would have stayed home.

CUOMO: So that both of you would still be alive today.

ZIMMERMAN: That's a presumption I can't make. I don't know what would have happened. I could have gotten in a car accident when I left, you know --

CUOMO: But you wouldn't have wound up killing Trayvon Martin if you had your way?

ZIMMERMAN: He probably wouldn't have ended up attacking me either if I would have stayed home.

CUOMO: His family, do you think about his family? Is that true?

ZIMMERMAN: Certainly, yes.

CUOMO: People want to know that, right? Coming out of this situation, they haven't heard you say I feel for his family.

ZIMMERMAN: I appreciate the opportunity. I would hope that they had seen that and I did address that.

CUOMO: It's different in court.

ZIMMERMAN: Sure, but I was just simply saying that I did address it. Another misconception is that I've never apologized. I've never reached out to the family. What I like to certainly.

CUOMO: What would you say?

ZIMMERMAN: You know, I would say exactly what I said on the stand that I'm sorry for their loss -- I -- just exactly what I said on the stand most likely.

CUOMO: Thoughts about the victim, Trayvon Martin. The victim was Trayvon Martin. You know that.

ZIMMERMAN: No, I certainly was a victim when I was having my head bashed into the concrete and my nose is broken and beaten. So I wouldn't say I was not a victim.

CUOMO (voice-over): Of this, Zimmerman assured despite the public outrage painting him as a racist in the strong case by a prosecution calling him a murderer.

(on camera): What do you want to say to people who believe that you went out that night as a vigilante, looking for trouble and found it and bailed yourself out.

ZIMMERMAN: I don't focus on them. I deal with their hatred by loving my supporters more.

CUOMO: When people would reach out to you for the wrong reasons, who were supportive of you for the wrong reasons. You know, because they like that a young black man had been killed, how did that make you feel? That they saw you somehow symbolically as representing them.

ZIMMERMAN: Equally as disgusted with them as I was with people who were threatening my family and saying negative things about me.

CUOMO: Sitting through all of it and listening to the evidence and everybody's different take on you and your actions and your reactions, and why, did it make you doubt yourself?

ZIMMERMAN: No.

CUOMO: Why not?

ZIMMERMAN: Faith.

CUOMO: In yourself or in God?

ZIMMERMAN: I know that ultimately he's the only judge that I have to answer to. He knows what happened and I know what happened. So I leave it up to him.

CUOMO (voice-over): A faith that keeps him in Florida despite a number of threats on his life.

(on camera): Did people around you say George, you have to go.

ZIMMERMAN: I will never leave this country and I will leave my home when I want to leave my home. I know it sounds stubborn and ideological, but I will move when I want to.

CUOMO: The word haunted often comes up in these situations. Do you find yourself haunted by memories of that night?

ZIMMERMAN: No.

CUOMO: Because?

ZIMMERMAN: I don't know.

CUOMO: George Zimmerman is not haunted by taking a man's life. Perhaps more surprising, Zimmerman thought his life would stay the same.

(on camera): The feeling was that people will accept this. I'm going to go through the trial and it is what it is, the outcome will be accepted and then I will move on. That's what you thought what happened?

ZIMMERMAN: I was hoping for that, yes.

CUOMO: And when did you realize you weren't going to get what you hoped for? ZIMMERMAN: I think it was the first speeding ticket when it made international news. It was shocking to me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: Chris Cuomo sitting down with George Zimmerman there. For more of the interview, go to new newdayCNN.com. You'll hear much more about Zimmerman's paintings, his other brushes with the law and that now canceled boxing match.

Coming up at the top of the hour here, a very emotional, Bode Miller breaks down in tears after his most recent Olympic win.

Plus an alleged killer says she is really a serial killer. You see the headline there for yourself, but why is she coming clean now? We have some answers for you next here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Tonight is the night comic and late night gabber, Jimmy Fallon, takes over as the host of the venerable "The Tonight Show" and he is putting on his game face.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are all tied up, potato sack race for the marbles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good luck. You are going to need it

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Remember the video? By the way, the first lady is booked at one of the premier week guests. She will be visiting the studio on Thursday. Tonight's debut lineup includes Will Smith and the musical guest, U2. CNN's entertainment correspondent, Nischelle Turner has more on what's at stake for the late night star. Hi, Nischelle.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brooke. You know, Jimmy Fallon does have some big shoes to fill when he debuts tonight. "The Tonight Show" is a 60-year tradition that launched so many careers. But you know, while this is probably the most prestigious of the jobs in late night, it's also the most scrutinized.

Now Jimmy, of course, is taking over for Jay Leno, who is the host for 22 years and the convincing number one for most of those. Now he has to follow the 2009 debacle where NBC took Jay off the air in favor of Conan O'Brien. We all remember how that turned out. This time though Jay's departure and Jimmy's arrival seemed a bit more harmonious, I guess, I could call it.

You know, they did that whole passing of the torch duet together. They've done interviews together in the past month. Jay Leno also said that if anyone on the air in late night right now, Jimmy Fallon is the closest to Johnny Carson. That, you know, is high praise since he Jay says that Johnny Carson is the best to have ever done it. By the way, for the past 22 years, the show has been called "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. Jimmy is going back to the Carson days and calling it "The Tonight Show" starring Jimmy Fallon. Will Smith is his first guest. U2 is the musical guest. Of course, the show also is relocating back to New York.

But Jimmy Fallon said that he does plan to bring the snow to Los Angeles at least once a year. Brooke, back to you.

BALDWIN: Got to get a ticket to that. Nischelle Turner, thank you very much.