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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Self-Defense or Murder?: The George Zimmerman Trial
Aired July 12, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The arguments and the deliberations begin.
Good evening, everyone. Welcome once another A.C. 360 special report, "Murder or Self-Defense: The George Zimmerman trial."
This is it. Six women now hold his fate in their hands. After deliberating three hours, 33 minute with three choices of them, second-degree murder, manslaughter or not guilty, those six members of the Zimmerman jury reached a jury. They decided to sleep on it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, 18TH CIRCUIT COURT OF FLORIDA: The jury would like to adjourn tonight at 6:00 p.m. The jury would like to begin tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. if possible.
Anybody have any objections?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, Your Honor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Thank you, Your Honor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The jurors got the case about 2:30 Eastern time. Two hours later, they asked for and got a list of evidence in this case.
Tonight, we want to look at what they're will be weighing, who they are, who the jurors are and what goes on during these deliberations.
We will get reaction from a Martin family attorney to allegations that defense counsel Mark O'Mara made exclusive to CNN's Martin Savidge. O'Mara says this case never would have made it to court had it not been for what he called a racially loaded smear campaign by the Martin legal team.
First, though, Martin Savidge on the closing day of closing arguments.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Defense attorney Mark O'Mara began his closing argument by reminding jurors the prosecution had to prove its case against George Zimmerman and pointed out the prosecutors' own words lacked conviction.
MARK O'MARA, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: How many could-have- beens have you heard from the state in this case? How many what-ifs?
SAVIDGE: Then Mark O'Mara said he would do what he was not obligated to do, prove his client innocent. What followed was a three-hour summation used a soft-spoken matter-of-fact style, but not without some courtroom theatrics of his own.
O'MARA: If I were to walk in today, let's say, and I just, as an example, walked in like this, just walked in the courtroom as a lawyer, you would just have an impression.
What in God's name is he doing with his sunglasses on and who does he think he is?
You might have an impression of George Zimmerman. Stand up for a second. You may have an impression of him because he's sitting at the defense table, and that maybe, as we talked about, he's not just a citizen accused, but maybe he is a defendant. Maybe he has something he has to defend.
SAVIDGE: O'Mara asked the jury not to judge Zimmerman by their first impression, but to instead use common sense.
O'MARA: And if it hasn't been proven, as the instruction tells you, it's just not there. You can't connect the dots for the state attorney's office.
SAVIDGE: It may have taken three hours to deliver his argument to the jury, but part of those three hours was just pure silence.
O'MARA: We're going to sit tight and we're not going to talk.
SAVIDGE: Four minutes of silence ticking by to show the jury the length of time he said Martin had to escape after he spotted George Zimmerman watching him.
O'MARA: That's how long Trayvon Martin had to run, about four minutes.
SAVIDGE: Instead of running, O'Mara said Martin decided to confront Zimmerman that night and he used a 3-D animation that shows Martin punching Zimmerman in the nose.
O'MARA: There's the shot to the nose, we contend.
SAVIDGE: A repeated tactic by O'Mara in the courtroom, outright disbelief at the prosecution's case.
O'MARA: Seriously? Really? Really? Come on. Really? I almost wish that the verdict had guilty, not guilty, and completely innocent, because I would ask you to check that one.
SAVIDGE: The prosecution delivered a strongly worded rebuttal, saying Trayvon Martin's blood is on George Zimmerman's hands. JOHN GUY, FLORIDA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: That child had every right to be afraid of a strange man following him, first in his car, and then on foot. And did that child not have the right to defend himself from that strange man?
SAVIDGE: A child, according to the prosecution, but a dangerous teenager according to the defense.
O'MARA: But that's cement. That is a sidewalk. And that is not an unarmed teenager with nothing but Skittles trying to get home, and the suggestion by the state that that's not a weapon, that that can't hurt somebody, that that can't cause great bodily injury is disgusting.
SAVIDGE: Martin Savidge, CNN, Sanford, Florida.
COOPER: Let's bring in the panel, legal analysts and former federal prosecutors Sunny Hostin and Jeffrey Toobin, also criminal defense attorneys Danny Cevallos and Mark Geragos. Mark's latest book is "Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works, and Sometimes Doesn't."
So Mark, let's start with you. What's your assessment of O'Mara's closing today?
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I just lost you.
COOPER: Mark, can you hear me?
Well, Danny, what is your assessment?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Look, Sunny has her McDreamy. To me, O'Mara is McAwesome.
I think he's great. I'm not taking anything away from the prosecutors. I thought they did a good job. Their style was a little more fiery. But what I really admire is somebody who can as an attorney who tries cases, I see someone do that measured, sort of calm way of delivering a closing summation after he's lived this case for so long -- it's hard to keep emotion out of it.
I admire someone who methodically goes through the case and challenges every piece of the prosecution's evidence. I thought it was a terrific closing.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It was such an extraordinary contrast to the prosecutors, just on volume alone.
COOPER: Right, volume of voice.
TOOBIN: Volume of voice. Just yesterday, it was so much yelling in that courtroom. Today, I don't think O'Mara even raised his voice at any point, I think to a fault. I thought he was almost too sedate. But it was a conversational discussion of the evidence.
COOPER: Which works better? One makes the jury lean forward I guess and listen. The other can risk alienating a jury or kind of someone is yelling at you.
TOOBIN: What you learn in trial school or from more experienced lawyers is you have to be yourself, is that people's personalities are what they are, and you can't fake it.
And there are good people in both categories. I think all these lawyers are good. But I think the jury was -- had to be startled by how quiet O'Mara was today.
COOPER: Mark, I want to play something that O'Mara said about instructions to the jury.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'MARA: What happened that day is what happened that day. But what I don't think you should do is fill in any gaps, at all. Connect any dots for him either for any fact put on by any witness.
If the decision was made by the state not to present additional evidence to you, do not presume. Do not assume and do not give anybody the benefit of any doubt except for George Zimmerman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And, Mark, that is essential for the defense, because the prosecution, there are a lot of gaps in their version of events. There are a lot of sort of possibilities.
GERAGOS: And this fits in completely with the thing we have been talking about several nights in a row.
It's a reversal of the usual roles. Usually, that is kind of the prosecutor's argument. Here, you have got the defense saying, look, all they're doing is poking holes in this. And you can't just poke holes. They really, I think, today were effective -- and they meaning the defense -- in putting together a narrative and then backing it up with the recreation and then going through the law, because ultimately the theatrics are great, but when the jury gets back there -- and you saw that within a couple of minutes.
They asked for that list of exhibits. What happens when they get back is the jurors start to really take it seriously. No matter what their feeling was, when they start to deliberate, they want to look at the evidence, they want to examine the law, and they really focus like a laser on the law.
COOPER: Sunny, were you surprised O'Mara didn't address the lesser charge of manslaughter at all?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I was.
I thought that he would certainty do that. I actually thought that he would also, Anderson, address all of the inconsistencies that the prosecution brought up, because the prosecution's case is about who started this altercation, who was hunting, who was confronting, and also telling the jury, you cannot believe the version that George Zimmerman has given you, because it's full of holes, it's full of lies about important things, and he didn't address that.
And I thought that that was a mistake.
COOPER: Let's actually talk about this, because we talked about this a little bit in our 8:00 hour, which is -- because what Jeff's point is -- and his question really to you, Sunny, was, are the so- called lies that Zimmerman told to law enforcement, are they really significant?
And to you, they are, because the police testified, these are the kind of different stories you get the more you tell a story. To you, they're significant.
What do you think are the most significant inconsistencies?
Well, and John Guy in his terrific argument summed them up on the screen. And those jurors were writing them down. There were about 13, 14 inconsistencies. One, he said that the dispatcher told him to go get an address. Well, you can listen to it. That is not true.
He didn't tell him to get out of his car, to get an address. He also told police that he was going to meet them at his car. He didn't do that. And so that goes to the following. He also talked about Trayvon Martin covering his mouth and covering his nose. Well, the evidence is inconsistent with that.
There was a lot of embellishment that went on that was important. He also said that he had -- you know, that Trayvon Martin grabbed his gun and then it was reaching for his gun, and there was no evidence to support that.
COOPER: Jeff, to you, that's the most significant, the reaching for the gun?
TOOBIN: Well, I think it's the weakest part of the defense case, the claim that Trayvon Martin reached for the gun, because it just doesn't seem possible that he would see it, that he had access to it.
There was no evidence of fingerprint or any sort of -- there's no evidence that he actually got to the gun. That sounded to me like an embellishment on the part of Zimmerman.
HOSTIN: And, remember, Jeff, what he said was he had to shoot him. George Zimmerman told police and told his friend he had to shoot him, because he, because Trayvon Martin was reaching for his gun and was going to kill him.
Now, that would be -- you would feel like you were in imminent danger of death if that were true. And I have got to tell you, that appears not to be true.
COOPER: OK, Mark and then Danny.
GERAGOS: Well, look, I was going to say, the problem with this closing by the prosecution is, they focused so much on the supposed inconsistencies of Zimmerman, that there's only one problem.
It was a great closing argument if Zimmerman had actually taken the stand. And, as I said a week ago, Anderson, when you asked is he going to take the stand, I said no, and the reason is, because you don't want to put the defendant on the stand to be cross-examined, because when the jurors get back there, all they're going to talk about is what did the defendant say?
In this case, he didn't testify. He had his statement in there.
HOSTIN: He testified like five, six times.
GERAGOS: Hold on, hold on. Sunny, hold your horses.
The problem with this is, they didn't see him under cross- examination. They didn't see him waffle on the stand. They didn't see a cross-examination do any damage to him. So the prosecutor gave this closing argument as if he done some kind of damage to this guy on the stand and he didn't. In fact, they had the opposite. They had five or six people who were saying that he was credible. That's why this was not effective.
CEVALLOS: Watch the style points. Watch how O'Mara essentially does address some of these inconsistencies.
He says that Zimmerman actually goes and talks to the police, not once, not twice, not thrice, but way more than that. He goes and talks to them several times. And we heard many of those. And then he goes on to say, if this was some conspiracy, if this was some plan of his, some mastermind plan, and if he's a guy that learned about law enforcement and criminal justice, why didn't he know about one of the fundamental bedrocks, which is Miranda? Don't talk to the police. That made him credible. HOSTIN: Because he was too smart for them.
CEVALLOS: So, that's part of the master plan.
GERAGOS: One minute, he's not smart.
CEVALLOS: The master plan to go hunt down a kid in your neighborhood included being on the phone with 911 while you do it. That's part of the master plan? And then talking to the police five times with your substantial education of criminal justice.
TOOBIN: Boy, I don't know about that, Sunny.
CEVALLOS: That just doesn't work, Sunny.
HOSTIN: It does.
COOPER: We have got to it leave it there. We have got a lot more to talk about though at the end of a big day ahead of a potentially decisive weekend. We will big deeper on the only six individuals who really matter now, the women on the jury, who they are, how they have been reacting to the case, and how their backgrounds may factor into their decision.
And, later, Martin Savidge's exclusive interview with Mark O'Mara and O'Mara's claim that a racially loaded publicity campaign, what he called a smear campaign, is why George Zimmerman was arrested and tried in the first place. The Martin family attorney will respond to that.
Follow me on Twitter right now @AndersonCooper. Let me know what you think.
We will be right back.
BLITZER: The six Zimmerman jurors have a lot to think about tonight as they prepare for the weekend's deliberations, think about but apparently not talk about. Talking is a no-no outside the jury room. And it's not the only one.
Judge Nelson today reading them a long list. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NELSON: Do not discuss the case amongst yourselves or with anybody else overnight. Do not read or listen to any radio, television or newspaper reports about the case. Do not use any type of an electronic device to get on the Internet, to do any independent research about the case, people, place, things or terminology. And do not read or create any e-mails, text messages, tweets, blogs, social networking pages about the case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, in addition, while they spend the night at a local hotel, their notes remain locked up in the jury room.
Still, as Randi Kaye reports now, these six women are carrying plenty around in their heads.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): For weeks, the jury of six women has been a captive audience as prosecutors and defense lawyers try to sway them. From the moment it started, pure drama. Prosecutor John Guy's opening statement.
GUY: Good morning.
"(EXPLETIVE DELETED) punks. These (EXPLETIVE DELETED), they always get away." Those were the words in that grown man's mouth as he followed in the dark a 17-year-old boy who he didn't know.
KAYE: CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin has been in court every day.
HOSTIN: The inference is, yes, these are shocking, ugly, hateful words. And that wasn't lost upon the jury. I looked at them very, very closely, and some of them did seem shocked and offended almost by the words.
KAYE: At other times, the jury seemed to be captivated by the defense, especially when defense attorneys pulled out a dummy in court to help illustrate the confrontation.
MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I was very impressed when they all stood up to get a bird's-eye view of went actors, the lawyers were atop those dummies and they were trying to replicate or reproduce what was going on between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. I think that was very telling. It showed how into this they were, how they followed it, they were looking -- they were watching a tennis match.
KAYE: Jurors were especially engaged when the mothers of both Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman testified. Five out of six jurors are married and almost all of them have children. Prosecutor John Guy keyed into that here.
GUY: Was that child not in fear when he was running from that defendant? Isn't that every child's worst nightmare to be followed on the way home in the dark by a stranger? Isn't that every child's worst fear? That was Trayvon Martin's last emotion.
HOSTIN: I looked directly at the jury when he said those words and their eyes didn't leave his face. And so I think that it couldn't have been more powerful for the makeup of that jury.
KAYE: Juror E-6, a blonde with two children, put down her pen during that very moment and stared intently at the prosecutor. Her children are 11 and 13. She's a proud member of her church. Her husband is an engineer.
Other specifics on the women deciding Zimmerman's fate, juror B- 29 is originally from Chicago. She's been married 10 years. She's the only minority on the jury, either black or Hispanic. She has eight children, only one older than 18.
Juror B-76 has a son who is an attorney. She is unemployed now, but used to run a construction company with her husband. She loves animals. Juror B-37 is the daughter of an Air Force captain. One of her children is a pet groomer, another a student at the University of Central Florida.
Juror B-51 is the only juror who isn't married. She's a retired real estate agent and a transplant from Atlanta. And juror E-40 is married to a chemical engineer. She has one son. In her spare time, she watches football, reads and likes to travel.
(on camera): This jury took lots of notes, copious mounts while George Zimmerman's reenactment at the scene was being played in court, also when the medical examiner and DNA expert testified. It seemed as if they wanted to be sure they understood what was being said. They didn't want to miss a thing.
(voice-over): Ashley Merryman is an expert on jury behavior. She predicts this all-women jury will exhaust every alternative and look at every piece of evidence.
ASHLEY MERRYMAN, JURY EXPERT: Women social circles are based in pairs telling that best friend all of your secrets and having no hierarchy. Everyone has agreement and avoids conflict. And they really continue to apply that even in that group setting.
KAYE: Merryman says don't expect any yelling in this jury room, but don't expect a quick verdict either.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Well, as you saw in Randi's report, panelist Sunny Hostin has spent extensive time in the courtroom watching these six women react. She is back along with Jeffrey Toobin, Danny Cevallos and Mark Geragos.
Sunny, as I said, you have been observing these jurors every single day. We have already seen them ask for a list of all the evidence. What do you think is going on? How do you see their deliberations going, how methodical, based on their behavior during the trial that you have watched?
HOSTIN: Well, based on their behavior and their first question I think two minutes into the deliberations were asking for a list, an inventory list of all of the evidence, this is going to be a jury that is going to methodically look through all of the evidence.
I don't know that I have ever seen a jury take notes the way this jury took notes. And it's also clear to me that they have jelled. They have been sequestered together. Remember, there was no jury, no courtroom on July 4. They were able to go out together. They eat together. I have recently seen some of them offer mints to each other.
One of them put a shawl on the shoulders of another. This is a group of women who are getting together and getting along quite well. And so in that kind of situation, I think you do have that collaborative type of deliberation, as opposed to some of these deliberations, rather, that you see where everyone is butting heads. I do not get that sense from this jury.
COOPER: Mark, in terms of sequester, what exactly does that mean? OK, they're staying in a hotel room, there's 10 people, six jurors, four alternates? Are they able to stay in contact with their family, with their friends? They can't watch reports like this on the news. But they can watch regular TV?
GERAGOS: Yes. Normally what happened -- in the old days, when there were newspapers, they would cut out articles and give them the newspaper. They sometimes will tape-record or give them movies and things like that.
I think today the reason they wanted to be recessed at 6:00 is so they could get back to the hotel and have a nice -- break open a couple of nice bottles of wine after watching this trial and doing everything else. It would not surprise me if they get into a couple of cups tonight or a couple of glasses tonight.
I think the fact that they were sequestered is one of the reasons you don't see a Friday verdict. A lot of times, in my experience in doing hundreds of these cases, if you have your closing arguments on a Friday and you finish in the morning, you can expect the verdict by 3:30 or 4:00 on a Friday afternoon.
In a case like this, they're aware the country is looking at this case. Even if they had a verdict -- and I had this happen in Susan McDougal's first trial in Santa Monica -- the jury later told me that they had a verdict on Friday, but they didn't want to be seen as an O.J. jury, so they actually waited until Monday and came back and then delivered their verdict on the following Monday. So, they're aware -- they're always aware of that.
TOOBIN: This is a real thing Mark is talking about.
The legacy of the O.J. Simpson jury, which as many people probably remember, came back with a not guilty after just one day of deliberations. A lot of people criticized them, given the complexity and length of the case.
COOPER: Yes, four hours or something.
TOOBIN: How could you possibly decide a case that quickly?
And ever since then, I think I have probably covered most if not all of the high-profile cases since then, certainly all with sequestered juries, none of them have come back that quickly, even when there was a lot of agreement on the jury. Here, I think, given this first note, they are going to be much more meticulous. I expect tomorrow we will probably hear some of the exhibits that they want to see. They will check off the ones they want to see.
COOPER: You don't think there will be a verdict tomorrow?
TOOBIN: I would be very surprised.
COOPER: Really, for this reason or just because there's so much stuff to go through?
TOOBIN: I think if you get a list of all the evidence, that means you're going to want to see some of the evidence.
That becomes time-consuming. Once you get into read-backs of testimony, that's really time-consuming, because the lawyers have to agree what's responsive to the note. I just don't see a verdict tomorrow. Sunday, Monday, we will see. The notes will give us a hint of how they're doing.
COOPER: During his closing arguments, Mark O'Mara, the defense attorney, asked the jury to consider only the facts while deciding the case. I just want to play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'MARA: What I don't think you should do is fill in any gaps at all, connect any dots for any of -- any fact (INAUDIBLE) for any witness.
If the decision was made by the state not to present additional evidence to you, do not presume, do not assume, and do not give anybody the benefit of any doubt, except for George Zimmerman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Danny, for the defense, that's essential to make that point.
CEVALLOS: I love it, and it's very important.
Like I said, this case is inverted. The prosecution is asking the jury to fill in gaps. Well, they didn't literally say that, but they're asking them to use common sense and make assumptions and fill in where they really I believe failed to really create a narrative, a concrete narrative.
And I understand that the main person who would contribute to that narrative is no longer with us. However, unfortunately for the prosecution, that doesn't lessen their burden. And Mark O'Mara did a very good job, I thought, and very dispassionately, without the fire and brimstone, walking through where the state came up short and admonishing the jurors to not to fill in those gaps and not jump in, fill in any gaps that they forget to fill in.
COOPER: All right, everyone, stay where you are.
Up next, defense attorney Mark O'Mara believes that Zimmerman ultimately was charged due to what he calls a smear campaign to paint his client as a racist and a murderer. He blames that on Ben Crump, an attorney for Trayvon Martin's parents. We will hear from Mark O'Mara about what he has to say.
And we will get reaction from Daryl Parks, Ben Crump's law partner, who is also an attorney for the Martin family.
COOPER: Now that the Zimmerman the winding down, Mark O'Mara sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Martin Savidge, who joins us now.
Martin, you asked O'Mara about whether he has any regrets about cross-examining Trayvon Martin's parents. I want to play that.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You took, I think, what some might consider risks during the trial, one of them being that you cross-examined a grieving mother.
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes.
SAVIDGE: Any regrets on that?
O'MARA: No. I hope that people think, or I think that I handled it properly and respectfully. I have handled, I think, 30 or so murder cases. And in every one of those murder cases, you're going to have some interaction with the victim's family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'MARA: You certainly would hope that your son, Trayvon Martin, did nothing that could have led to his own death, correct?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: And you did Tracy Martin, as well.
O'MARA: Yes. SAVIDGE: And that one didn't seem to go quite so well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'MARA: So your words were I can't tell?
TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FATHER: Something to that effect, but I never said no, that wasn't my son's voice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'MARA: Well, I think that the state should have put Tracy Martin on. That's their witness. I think it was strange that they decided not to call the father of the victim. But they did so because of the very reason that I had to call him, which was that Tracy Martin told two cops who testified, former or present, that when he listened to that tape, that was not his son.
SAVIDGE: But that's not what he said on the stand.
O'MARA: That is not. But it is what two cops said and two other cops were available to say that he said, "No, that's not my son's voice."
Now, it's got to be extraordinarily difficult to be in Tracy Martin's shoes and Sybrina Fulton's shoes. They have to go through their life believing in their heart and in their soul that that is Trayvon Martin's voice.
O'MARA: Is that what you meant when you asked, and I believe you asked this of Trayvon's mother, that he hoped to hear his voice?
O'MARA: How could she not? Because we know, being able to analyze it in the cold light of day, we know that one of two things were evident on that tape. Trayvon Martin was screaming for help and George Zimmerman murdered him.
Two, George Zimmerman was screaming for help, because he was being battered by Trayvon Martin, and he reacted to that battering by shooting Trayvon Martin.
If you're the mother, the friend, the father, how could you not want that to be the first alternative rather than the second?
COOPER: It's interesting, Martin. O'Mara, clearly in those cross-examinations, particularly with Trayvon Martin's mother, he doesn't want to be perceived as being the bad guy during the trial.
SAVIDGE: Well, I mean, what he wanted to do was, he said that actually, he's interviewed juries -- cross-examined grieving mothers before. Many people were just stunned that he would do that. But normally you would let Sybrina make her statement and then be done.
I think that he wanted to push back. He had specific reasons why he asked what he did. Does he mind being perceived as the bad guy? No, that, he says, is the price you pay to defend somebody that needs to be defended.
COOPER: Fascinating interview.
We're going to have more of Martin's interview ahead. I want to get some reaction from our panel: Sunny Hostin, Jeff Toobin, Danny Cevallos, and Mark Geragos.
Danny, I saw you shaking your head during -- when Martin -- when I asked Martin about if he had -- if O'Mara had any regrets about calling Sybrina Fulton.
DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, I understand people seeing that as a risk. But, as somebody who cross- examines witnesses, to me the real risk is not cross-examining a witness. This witness had valuable information, and it's Mark O'Mara's obligation to force these facts into the record, to cross- examine. Look, cross-examination is...
TOOBIN: What did he get out of her that was so important?
CEVALLOS: I thought he got a lot. I thought he -- I thought he demonstrated to the jury that she was less than credible, and the second part is, even if you he did ultimately...
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, please.
CEVALLOS: Hold on, hold on. The test is not ultimately what he got out of her. The test is ultimately what were his objectives? When he made that decision to stand up and ask her questions, the critical thing here is not so much what did he get out of her, but what would he have foregone? What if he didn't ask her questions? There's no fear to me worse than if you sit down and think about the questions that are left unanswered for a witness. And look, cross- examination...
HOSTIN: He didn't gain anything.
CEVALLOS: Sunny, you're looking at the outcome. We can talk about whether the outcome -- we can talk about whether the outcome was beneficial and disagree.
HOSTIN: You said it's about what he gained.
CEVALLOS: But the decision -- hold on.
HOSTIN: He didn't gain anything.
CEVALLOS: The decision to cross-examine -- the decision to cross-examine was one that I think was the opposite. I think it would have been more risky to not cross-examine a witness who potentially had important information.
HOSTIN: Oh, come on.
CEVALLOS: You have an obligation. It's the adversarial process...
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Sunny...
CEVALLOS: It's not a tea party...
CEVALLOS: ... and it's not a popularity contest.
GERAGOS: Sunny, you keep saying he didn't gain anything. And I don't disagree, believe it or not, with you on that, but do you think he really hurt himself? Because a lot of times it's a calculation...
HOSTIN: It is.
GERAGOS: ... when you're doing cross-examination. You figure what's the, you know, risk or reward. What's the burden versus the benefit? And, you know, you have to make that decision on -- every day when you're in a trial, and sometimes -- sometimes it's a miscalculation. I get it.
HOSTIN: It was a miscalculation. There's no question it was a miscalculation, because his questioning was blame the victim. He wanted Sybrina Fulton to somehow admit that her son's death was his own fault. And you're arguing...
GERAGOS: I don't think so.
HOSTIN: ... that and asking that question in front of five mothers.
GERAGOS: I don't think...
HOSTIN: You can play the tape. That was his question, and it was ridiculous. It was terrible.
GERAGOS: Sunny, I don't think you...
HOSTIN: It was terrible. The way that's handled. Let me finish. The way it's handled...
HOSTIN: ... is the way that the state handled the cross- examination of George Zimmerman's mother, with respect. He didn't ask any of those kinds of questions. He barely asked any questions. And you know what?
CEVALLOS: It's cross-examination.
HOSTIN: It didn't hurt him and it didn't help him.
COOPER: All right. You know, we can go back and forth on this. Let's move on, because a bunch of other stuff I want to ask you about. O'Mara had some very choice words for the lead prosecutor, Bernie de la Rionda. I just want to play that for the viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'MARA: I have concerns about the discovery perspective. I think that my view of things like Brady and other information that we're supposed to get from prosecutors is, at the very least, a much different definition than he thinks.
SAVIDGE: So is that you just think he's a liar?
O'MARA: I think that he has a -- I think he's probably more used to running against public defenders in cases that he gets to cherry pick and that he has overwhelming evidence. And that some of the nuances of how he handles discovery don't come to light. I don't think that Don and I have presented ourselves as a couple of young public defenders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Mark, you've been pretty critical of the prosecution. You agree with what O'Mara's saying?
GERAGOS: I -- look, I agree with him. When he talks about Brady, what he's talking about is a U.S. Supreme Court case that says, if there's exculpatory evidence, you have to turn it over. The prosecutor has the duty to turn it over to the defense.
I think what Mark has just articulated there, which is a lot of prosecutors, when they're up against overworked, very young public defenders -- and after all, the public defenders are the unsung heroes of the criminal justice system, because they're overloaded, overworked and they get absolutely no respect -- and a lot of times prosecutors take advantage of that. And when they get put up against the test of experienced criminal defense lawyers, it exposes a lot of times some of the fast-and-loose hide-the-ball tactics that a lot of prosecutors engage in, which unfortunately, happen all too often.
And I think in this case, Mark did say for the first time in his 30-year career that he didn't do one, two, three, but six motions for sanctions for playing hide the ball with discovery. I think in a case like this, that's unforgivable.
TOOBIN: The problem is, we don't know the nature of these discovery disputes. They have not been public.
TOOBIN: So for us to make a judgment about who's right and who's wrong. You know, it is true that prosecutors get used to a certain level of -- it's not passivity but sort of overworked defense lawyers. When you run into guys like this, who will push everything to the max...
TOOBIN: ... you know, the prosecutors sometimes don't know how to react, and sometimes they don't react well.
CEVALLOS: When it comes to discovery disputes -- when it comes to discovery disputes, this debate as old -- it's the Montagues and the Capulets. It's the Sharks and the Jets. Defense attorneys and prosecutors are always arguing, and the basic gist is the defense feels like they're entitled to see everything, and the prosecution after a while says you're asking for the sun, the moon and the stars. It will never be resolved, but it comes up in most cases.
COOPER: With the Sharks and Jets, we're going to let you guys dance it out during the commercial break.
COOPER: We're going to have more from Martin Savidge interview with Mark O'Mara ahead. O'Mara believes Zimmerman was ultimately charged because of what he calls a smear campaign, a publicity campaign to paint his client as a racist and a murderer. We'll tell you who he blames for that. You'll hear it yourself. You'll also hear from an attorney for the Martin family.
COOPER: We saw at the top of the program that, in his closing argument today, defense attorney Mark O'Mara told jurors he wished they also had the option to find George Zimmerman, in O'Mara's word, completely innocent. He firmly believes, he says, that Zimmerman never should have been charged, that his client was basically railroaded. And for that O'Mara puts the blame squarely on Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Trayvon Martin's parents. He made his comments in a sit-down interview with Martin Savidge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Do you think that George Zimmerman would have even been charged had Ben Crump not been pulled into this?
O'MARA: No. Ben Crump or someone like him. Because, had Ben Crump not gotten involved in the case, maybe for some good reasons to begin with. If he believed that there was something here that was being swept under the rug, then get on into it. I'm very OK with that. I...
SAVIDGE: But you didn't quite say it that way. You made it sound like, if not for Ben Crump, George Zimmerman would be free at this time. You would not be in the trial.
O'MARA: That's correct. I think that it was a made-up story for purposes that had nothing to do with George Zimmerman. And that they victimized him.
They complain about Trayvon Martin being victimized. George Zimmerman was victimized by a publicity campaign to smear him, call him a racist when he wasn't and then call him a murderer when he wasn't. SAVIDGE: So Angela Cory and the governor and all of those that had a hand in bringing about this prosecution, they were all manipulated by Ben Crump?
O'MARA: I don't know that it was Ben Crump doing all that manipulations. I'm very surprised that the prosecution team decided not to take this case to a grand jury when one was sitting, empanelled and ready to take on the case, in the state of Florida versus George Zimmerman, to determine whether or not there was enough evidence and enough information to charge him with any crime.
Rather than do that, which was the default position that could have happened, they decided at a press conference, pray with the victim's family, and announce second-degree murder charges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's obviously a very strong position on Mark O'Mara's part. A short time ago, I spoke to Martin family attorney Daryl Parks, Ben Crump's law partner, who's also, as I said, an attorney for Trayvon Martin's family.
COOPER: Daryl, I want to start off with this interview Mark O'Mara gave with Martin Savidge. He basically accuses your co- counsel, Ben Crump, of manipulating facts, making up stories, victimizing George Zimmerman, to use his words, in a smear campaign, a publicity campaign, and he said that without his actions, Zimmerman would have never been charged. How do you respond?
DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN'S FAMILY: Well, Anderson, let's take our time and go through this, because I think it's very important.
Remember -- and I remember when Ben first came back to our firm -- this guy had killed Trayvon Martin, and the Sanford Police Department were getting ready to close the investigation. And they indicated that they were not going to arrest this guy. And we believe wholeheartedly that, if you killed an unarmed teenager, you at a minimum ought to be arrested.
Now, Mr. O'Mara may have philosophical problems with that, but in our business, we're civil rights lawyers. And when someone kills someone who's unarmed, that person should go into our justice system and go through that process.
That is not a decision that should be made by one or two people. It's a decision that should be made by the process. And that's what we argued for. And so we have not done anything to talk about anyone but to make sure that this process worked.
COOPER: Now, O'Mara also says that the smear campaign, the publicity campaign labeled George Zimmerman a racist, labeled him a murderer, but labeled him a racist and he used that word. Do you think that is true at all? Do you believe at the time... PARKS: No, not at all.
COOPER: ... that your client -- or you and Ben Crump were trying to introduce race as an element in this?
PARKS: Well, let me say this. We don't know George Zimmerman, and in fact, I heard Ben say today when asked that same question, we don't -- we could never call that man a racist. Now, we believed that this case in its totality has a racial undertone to it. And so that's a huge difference, Anderson.
COOPER: I want to play something that you said back in March of last year for our viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PARKS: Whether or not Trayvon was a perfect student is irrelevant to whether Zimmerman's conduct that night was justified. Trayvon was a kid. He was another unarmed black boy whose life was lost because of unfounded stereotypes, suspicions and fears.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: During the trial, the idea of racial profiling wasn't -- wasn't talked about. Profiling was talked about, but not racial profiling. Do you think that -- that there is an underpinning of race throughout this that wasn't brought into the trial?
PARKS: NO. What he was charged with, Anderson, very importantly, was criminal profiling. And I think we heard it time and time again in the beginning of this case, where George Zimmerman talked about all these people who had committed crimes, and we then saw where Mark O'Mara put on the last witness to talk about the crime in the black -- knew to have been involved in this case. The problem in this case, though, is that Trayvon was not one of those people.
COOPER: What happens next? I mean, if -- if George Zimmerman is not found guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter, do you pursue a civil case against George Zimmerman? Regardless of whether he is found guilty or not, do you pursue a civil case against him?
PARKS: Well, obviously, we have the right to do so, because he killed Trayvon Martin, and we know that that standard is a negligence standard, right? And we have every right to do that. We choose to do it.
We have not made that decision yet. Obviously, at some point my clients will make that decision. But that's not a decision that we'll make in the public light.
COOPER: And how are you feeling now? How are your clients feeling about -- about the case, about -- about the wait?
PARKS: Well, we're feeling very strong. We -- my clients had an opportunity to listen to the closing that the state did today. The state's closing was very powerful. They did an excellent job of bringing all the evidence together and putting it before the jury, and making that jury have a very, very deep thought about the whole concept of judging George Zimmerman for a situation that he created, causing the death of Trayvon.
And as much as they tried to portray Trayvon in a negative light, the truth of the matter is Trayvon was scared on that night. He did nothing to cause his own death.
COOPER: Daryl Parks, appreciate your time, as always. Thanks.
PARKS: Thank you, sir.
COOPER: Up next, some final thoughts from our panel. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Big day in court today. The end of closing arguments. George Zimmerman's fate now being decided by the six-women jury. They're going to pick up deliberations 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. We'll be back, of course, on verdict watch. I want to get some closing thoughts now from our panel: CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, criminal defense attorneys Danny Cevallos and Mark Geragos.
Jeff, what do you expect? You're not expecting a verdict tomorrow?
TOOBIN: I'm not, but I want to see the notes. You know, we've spent so much time asking Sunny and others who are in the courtroom, what are you saying? How are the juries -- are they leaning forward? Are they taking notes?
Now we really get to find out. What are they thinking about? What evidence do they want to see? Do they indicate which part of the law confuses them? Ultimately, do they indicate any sort of deadlock? We learn a lot from jury notes.
COOPER: Danny, they very quickly asked to look at all the evidence. But that's pretty standard stuff.
CEVALLOS: Yes. That doesn't surprise me. But as some commentators have observed, it means they're going to take it very seriously and go through all the evidence, instead of just closing the jury door, looking at each other and saying, "I think we'll make the case. And let's move on and let's get out of here."
I can expect that would add at least a day if they're going to go through all of that list. But we don't know what it means.
COOPER: Sunny, do you think it's going to be tomorrow or Sunday?
HOSTIN: I'm not sure. I mean, I think after observing this jury, this is a very methodical jury. This is a jury, I think, that's going to be very deliberate. I think they're going to be very cooperative, as well, though.
And so I think to expect a verdict very, very quickly, I'm not there, but I think it's anyone's guess.
TOOBIN: Me, too.
COOPER: Mark, are you the same thing?
GERAGOS: I'm in Vegas tomorrow, so I've already let the jury know that I don't want to interrupt my Vegas trip.
GERAGOS: So they're not coming back -- they're not coming back until at least Sunday at 2 when I land.
COOPER: OK. I'll keep that in mind.
Listen, everybody on the panel, thank you very much. I wanted to get caught up with some of the other stories we're following. Randi Kaye is here with a "360 Bulletin" -- Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a third victim from Asiana Airlines Flight 214 has died. The girl had been in critical condition at San Francisco General, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Three hundred four others survived Saturday's crash. And this evening, the runway at San Francisco's international airport reopened.
Cleveland kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro now faces 977 counts, including aggravated murder related to allegations he intentionally caused the termination of a pregnancy. The new grand jury indictment nearly triples the amount of charges against him and covers about a decade when Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus were allegedly raped in his Cleveland home.
Homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano is resigning and plans to leave her post in September. No word yet on a successor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I have no names to float, if you will. I would say that the president greatly appreciates Secretary Napolitano's four-plus years of service. And if you think about it, those 4 1/2 years account for almost half of the existence of the Department of Homeland Security, and she's done a remarkable job on her watch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Secretary Napolitano's next stop, academia. She's been nominated to become president of the University of California system.
And an anonymous bidder bought a rare vintage Mercedes racecar for $30 million. Five-time Formula One world champion Juan Manuel Fangio won two Grand Prix races in the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R, which now has the distinction of being the most expensive car ever sold at public auction -- Anderson.
COOPER: Randi, thanks.
That does it for this special edition of 360.