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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD

Violence in Ukraine; Dunn Trial Juror Speaks; Woman Says She's Raped by Cruise Ship Worker

Aired February 19, 2014 - 12:00   ET

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


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Three months of angry anti-government protests suddenly exploding into a deadly battle on the streets in Kiev. Neither side backing down. The U.S. and other world leaders ready to take action.

Also this hour, how close did the jury come to convicting Michael Dunn of murder? One juror breaks her silence. An inside look at the deliberations that ended in deadlock in the shooting death of 17-year- old Jordan Davis.

And she nearly became just another mystery at sea. She says she was assaulted on a cruise ship by a member of the crew who nearly succeed in tossing her overboard. Well, he's now under arrest, but the story is far from over.

Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us. I'm Don Lemon, in today for Ashleigh. It is Wednesday, February 19th. Welcome to LEGAL VIEW.

It is 7:00 p.m. in Kiev and look at these live pictures. Unbelievable. A city at the crossroads of east and west, but also of war and peace. Three months of fiery demonstrations have blown up into deadly violence. And now both the U.S. and Europeans are working on a warning, are warning Ukrainian leaders to call off their crackdown or risk sanctions. And I don't mean in weeks or months, but in days, even hours. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has been at the center of this fighting and sent us this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been nearly a decade-long struggle here between Ukraine turning east to Russia or west to Europe. This is where it stood after its most violent day -- stalemate. The police closing in, but looking tired. Even with fewer protesters here, the morning after still are moving in.

WALSH (on camera): After all those hours of violence and casualties, they have been pushed back to a small area on the square, but still this violence standoff persists. The question being, is there any kind of negotiation that can bring an end to these scenes?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: That was CNN's Nick Paton Walsh.

My colleague, Phil Black, picks up our live coverage from Kiev's Independence Square. He joins me now by phone.

Phil, what are you seeing now?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Don, it is strangely subdued (INAUDIBLE) Independence Square. Again, thousands of people praying, listening (ph), because there have been some speeches on the stage. But it's not arousing. It is a more quiet, thoughtful mood in the square.

But it is still tense also. They are still maintaining the barricades around the smaller area that they now occupy. They're still lighting fires just beyond those barricades to try and keep the security forces at a distance. And it is only a short distance away that you do find rows of Ukrainian security forces in full riot gear. But for the moment, they are standing off, and there is no engagement so far tonight.

Don.

LEMON: Phil, we're hearing the protesters have taken over the national TV and radio building. Do you have any details about that?

BLACK: Yes, we believe that's the case. This is from Ukrainian police who are telling us this. The theory is that they're doing this to occupy - they're occupying this building to set up new headquarters. The building that they had previously worked out of is right on Independence Square, but it caught fire tonight. Serious damage. Really, the interior pretty much gutted from the flames. And so now, just a little bit further up the road, they have occupied this government-owned building, presumably with the intention of directing their operations out of there in the future, Don.

LEMON: Phil Black and also our Nick Paton Walsh, thanks - thanks to both of them.

I want to go now to CNN's Fareed Zakaria, of "Fareed Zakaria GPS." You can watch him here every Sunday.

You know, the White House is calling this -- here's what they're saying, "completely outrageous." The French call it "unspeakable." What can the west do -- or what is the west willing to do?

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, CNN'S "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": Well, you know, it's -- it has to proceed somewhat carefully because Ukraine really is a divided country. Half of it is catholic, half of it is orthodox, half of it is west-facing, half of it is east-facing. So the president of Ukraine is reflecting and representing some part of the country in trying to maintain ties to Russia.

Ukraine was part of not just the Soviet Union, from which it got independent in 1991, but it was part of the Russian empire for 300 years. So clearly we have to support the forces of freedom, these young people on the streets, but we have to reach out to Moscow and work out some way in which Ukraine is allowed to move west without risking this becoming -- because they're not going to -- Putin is not going to give this up and just walk away.

LEMON: You keep mentioning Russia here. Is it fair to say that - well, I guess many believe that the U.N. will do nothing because Russia is involved and they have veto power.

ZAKARIA: Absolutely. There's no chance of this being -- being done through the U.N. What we have to try to work out is, is there a way to help Ukraine without so annoying the Russians and so enraging the Russians that they feel that they have to react, they have to support Ukraine? In a sense this is going to have to be a somewhat slower drawing away rather than some kind of massive revolution.

LEMON: All right. CNN's Fareed Zakaria. Fareed, thank you very much. Something we will be watching closely.

And, of course, you can watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS" Sunday mornings at 10:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

Want to turn now to other news.

Jordan Davis' parents speaking out now and they want to make it very clear the gun violence against children has to stop. Michael Dunn fired round after round at their 17-year-old son at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida. The first bullet went through his liver, his lung and his aorta, and yet Dunn didn't stop there, firing nine more shots. A jury couldn't decide if it was murder or self-defense. And now his parents have to endure another trial. They spoke to Robin Roberts on ABC's "Good Morning America" about what justice means for their child.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBIN ROBERTS, ABC'S "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": And we've heard you again and again, you want justice for your son. What is justice for Jordan Davis?

LUCIA MCBATH, JORDAN DAVIS' MOTHER: Justice for Jordan will be ultimately really when we change the laws because that will be not just justice for Jordan and justice for Trayvon and justice for all the children at Sandy Hook and justice for Aurora and justice for Virginia Tech and the Navy Yard, it will be justice for everyone that has suffered because of these laws and will continue to suffer. So once the laws are changed, that's the ultimate justice for all.

RON DAVIS, JORDAN DAVIS' FATHER: I think -- and for me the -- I'm in constant contact with Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, and I text Sabrina all the time and I just want to let them know that every time I get justice for Jordan, it's going to be justice for Trayvon, for us.

And that the ultimate justice for me -- I want Michael Dunn to be tried and found guilty of killing my son, of letting him know that it was wrong to kill my unarmed 17-year-old, you know? And all the other 17-year-olds out there. They shouldn't have to fear the adults with the guns that are running around here shooting them at will. If you throw popcorn in someone's face, they want to shoot you because you threw popcorn in their face. That's what we've come to. But we have to stop.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, one of the jurors in the Dunn trial reveals what happened when they deliberated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: At one point we were all trying to get our point across.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Screaming?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Oh, yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Profanity?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Oh, yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People were passionate about their position?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Oh, yes, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Just ahead, more on the jury's opinion of Michael Dunn and the legal view on what this could mean for retrial on the murder charge.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So you have heard from Jordan Davis' family. Now listen to one of the jurors. Juror number four was one of the twelve who convicted Michael Dunn of attempted second degree murder. But when it came to a murder conviction for the death of Jordan Davis, they just could not agree. And the debate was heated. ABC's "Nightline" had the exclusive interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think Michael Dunn got away with murder?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: At this point, I do. Myself, personally, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you went to the deliberating room, you thought Michael Dunn was guilty?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of killing a 17-year-old boy.

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What convinced you of that? JUROR NUMBER FOUR: To me, it was unnecessary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't think Michael Dunn had to kill Jordan Davis.

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: I don't believe so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all first took your first poll on guilt or innocence on the murder of Jordan Davis. What was the vote?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Ten to two.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten people thinking he was guilty?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And two said?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Self-defense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are reports there was yelling heard coming from the deliberation room.

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: There was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was that about? You did some of the yelling?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Yes. Yes. At one point we were all trying to get our point across.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Screaming?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Oh, yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How could you all convict Michael Dunn of attempting to kill the other teenagers in the car, but not convict him of killing the 17-year-old?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: That is pretty much my sole purpose for being here because reading the social media and people looking at us like we didn't do a justice or a service. We had a lot of discussion on him getting out of the car. The threat has now gone. And your intent is yet to still go ahead and pursue this vehicle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So for you all, a dividing line was when he initially fired into the car thinking that there was a weapon, that's one thing.

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Uh-huh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But when the car pulled away and he kept shooting -

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all thought -- everyone thought he crossed a line there? JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Yes. And that's the exact words we used.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a lot of folk in America, they would say, white man shoots and kills a 17-year-old black boy. How could it not be about race on some level?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Sitting in that room, it was never presented that way. We looked at it as a bad situation where teenagers were together and words were spoken and lines were crossed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think Michael Dunn had options?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Oh, yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were his options, do you think?

JUROR NUMBER FOUR: Roll your window up. Ignore the taunting. Put your car in reverse. Back up to the front of the store. Move a parking spot over. That's my feeling.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Thirty hours of deliberations, perhaps a little bit more. The vote became 9-3. For the legal view I want to bring in now Alan Dershowitz, professor at Harvard Law School. He's also the author of "Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law."

Thank you so much for joining us.

You heard what that juror says. I've been reading what you have been saying about this. You basically think that this case was overcharged.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: It was overcharged. The prosecutor has a reputation for overcharging. And the interesting thing is, by overcharging first degree murder, she got a jury of 12. Had she charged second degree murder, which is what would be the appropriate charge here, the jury would have been six. And a jury of six is much less likely to come up with a hung jury than a jury with 12.

So it was a self-inflicted wound. I also think, when you overcharge, when you charge somebody with premeditated murder, when there is no evidence that he premeditated it, obviously, this was impulsive, you lose your credibility in front of the jury and jurors are more likely to believe the defense argument.

So it's all Angela Corey's fault. She did it in the Zimmerman case, she overcharged. She did it in this case. She has a reputation for that. The people of Florida ought to get smart and get rid of her, get a decent prosecutor in there, then they can get convictions, appropriate charges in these case.

She's also, I think, going to -- I think she may also lose her appeal on the attempted-murder case. It's interesting that the intent required for attempted murder is actually higher than the intent required for actual murder. In my book, "Taking the Stand," I describe a case where one of my clients once shot somebody, thinking he was alive, but it turned out he was dead, and they convicted him of attempted murder. And I got the conviction reversed because the intention has to be much greater. And in this case, probably the appropriate charge was assault with a deadly weapon.

LEMON: OK. I want to make sure I understand what you're saying.

She may lose on the appeal, you said, of attempted murder. You mean the three counts that he was convicted on? Is that what you're saying?

DERSHOWITZ: It's very possible, because you have to show beyond reasonable doubt that he actually intended to kill the three, young men.

Not that he intended to fire into their car, not that he had intended to wound them, not that he had intended to frighten them, but he actually intended to kill each of the three people, that's going to be hard to sustain on appeal. It's possible --

LEMON: So what does that mean then? What does that mean? Does that mean he gets less jail time?

Does that mean that the burden for -- because she says she is going to retry the murder charge, that it's going to be a tougher job for her, she is going to have to get a decision on the -- guilty on the first- degree murder charge because the others may go away?

DERSHOWITZ: No, no. It means that she could lose everything.

And if she overcharges again and gets a 12-person jury, she may lose again. The smart thing for her to do would be to charge second-degree murder, have a six-person jury, reduce the chances of a hung jury.

First of all, the best thing would be for the state of Florida to appoint a special prosecutor, get rid of her and get somebody who's a responsible prosecutor in there.

But the charge should be second-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Those are the appropriate charges. Attempted murder was probably not an appropriate charge, first-degree murder was not an appropriate charge, and prosecutors like her make it harder to seek justice for innocent victims of crime.

LEMON: Mr. Dershowitz, I am really up against a break. Is there a chance that he could not go to jail or could walk again? Is that what you're saying?

DERSHOWITZ: There is a chance.

LEMON: There is a chance.

DERSHOWITZ: There is a chance that he could walk as a result of prosecutorial ineptitude. It's possible.

LEMON: Alan Dershowitz, thank you for that. Appreciate that.

A relaxing cruise turned into a nightmare for one woman who claimed she was attacked by a cabin boy and nearly tossed overboard. Plus, why one attorney says a ship is a perfect place for a crime.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: A brutal assault at sea, a cruise ship passenger says she was attacked by a member of the crew. The suspect is now in custody. He is accused of breaking into the American woman's cabin, sexually assaulting her and trying to throw her overboard.

Victor Blackwell reports now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know you'll find our version of unwinding in the tropics truly different.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Holland America Line vacations are a dream for some, but one woman claims her Caribbean cruise turned into a nightmare.

A 31-year-old American woman says she was brutally attacked by this man, Ketut Pujayasa, on a seven-day round round-trip Caribbean cruise out of Florida.

Pujayasa worked as a cabin attendant. According to a criminal complaint, he told authorities on February 14th he delivered breakfast to the alleged victim's room, and when he knocked, he said he heard a voice shout, "Wait a minute a minute son of a expletive."

Later that day, Pujayasa searched the ship in order to punch her in the face for insulting him that morning, but he was unable to find her.

Pujayasa told authorities that evening he used his master keycard to enter her state room and then hid on the balcony as the victim entered. He's then accused of violently beating and then sexually assaulting the unsuspecting woman, at one point attempting to throw her off the balcony as the ship neared the coast of Roatan, Honduras.

JIM WALKER, MARITIME LAWYER: There are no cameras in most cases on most cruise ships that record what happens on the balcony.

If he was successful in getting her off the ship, it could just end up as another mystery on the high seas.

BLACKWELL: The victim managed to escape and was flown to a hospital.

Pujayasa faces federal charges of attempted murder and aggravated sexual abuse since the alleged attack happened over international waters.

WALKER: It's happened before. People have disappeared from these ships. The prosecution rates are exceedingly low. And this is the place, it's a perfect place, to commit a crime, to assault someone, and to throw them overboard. Most people get away with it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: Interesting. That was Victor Blackwell reporting.

CNN was unable to reach the crew member's attorney for comment. Holland America fired him and sent a letter to those on board shortly after the incident, and it says, quote, "We are treating this situation with the utmost seriousness. We are doing everything possible to assist the guest involved, as well as the relevant authorities.

"The crew member has been confined to ensure he will have no guest contact for the remainder of the cruise."

And the cruise line says it was a Bare Necessities charter cruise where clothing is optional. It also says it can't provide surveillance footage, since that's part of the investigation.

So let's turn to our panel, CNN legal analysts Danny Cevallos and Paul Callan. Do that make it -- there would be some video evidence had possibly, right?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: There would be. Not that we could show it on television.

LEMON: Yes, but because of those circumstances that weren't able -- I have seen video of people actually committing suicide, jumping overboard or falling overboard after drinking.

So is this -- do you think the cruise line is liable for its employees in this manner?

CALLAN: They are liable if they were negligent in hiring the employee.

Although from what I have seen, they supposedly did a criminal record check on him and checked his references and everything checked out. So if that's the case, it's going to be tough to make a case against them for negligence in hiring.

LEMON: What about the -- Danny, when you go on a cruise ship -- I've gone on a cruise, you sign this waiver and thing saying not liable, blah, blah, blah.

Does that make a difference here?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Cruise ships, Don, are a fascinating study in avoiding liability.

LEMON: Really?

CEVALLOS: They have these comprehensive waivers where you sign your life away.

They also sail -- most of them -- almost all of them sail under the flag of another country, and they will always try to assert that that country's laws apply, and not the more restrictive United States laws.

But the answer to your question is, with cruise ships, they do have an obligation as a carrier to protect their passengers from the intentional acts of their employees. That's a big difference from general negligence. You're going to have a harder case against a cruise ship if there is a slippery floor and you fall.

If, however, one of the crew members attacks another member, cruise ships have generally an obligation to protect their passengers from their own employees.

LEMON: But this -- prosecution rates on cruise ships are very low. Is it the perfect place for a crime? Because you're always seeing these crime things -- and he was on board the ship --

CALLAN: And he mysteriously disappears and no one knows who threw him over board. And this woman, supposedly the guy was trying to throw her overboard.

All I know is, Congress did hearings on this in 2006, and cruise ships are really pretty safe.

One thing jumped out. I saw that in the United States, you have a one- in-1,000 chance of being raped if you're just an average citizen. On a cruise ship, it's only one-in-100,000, so it's a safer place to be, that is, of course, if they're reporting the crimes.

LEMON: It does seem like it's a perfect place for a crime, especially if there is no surveillance video, Danny. Don't you think?

CEVALLOS: Look, we'll see if they have some. But then again, having surveillance video for these common carriers, like hotels, can be a double-edged sword. Maybe they don't want to demonstrate to the outside public what's going on on these cruises, especially -- what did you call it the Bare Essentials, Bare Necessities, whatever these are. I don't know.

LEMON: Especially if it might implicate a member of the team, a member of the staff, as well.

Thank you very much. Appreciate both of you gentlemen.

Next up, a story that gives a whole new meaning to bathroom break, this man is on the loose after using a toilet as his ticket out of jail, details coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)