PoliticsNation, Friday, June 28
Read the transcript from the Friday show
June 28, 2013
Guests: Faith Jenkins; Lisa Bloom; Ken Padowitz; Rod Vereen, Kyle
Hightower, Lisa Bloom, Faith Jenkins, Ken Padowitz, Nicole Lamoureux
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: It was the testimony of neighbor,
John Good that began this 15th day of the trial. The jury heard the 911
call he made the night of Trayvon Martin`s death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you hear somebody yelling for help?
JOHN GOOD, WITNESS: I`m pretty sure the guy is out here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, we have several people calling in also.
Anything else that you heard?
GOOD: No. The guy yelling help. Oh my God. No, there is a guy with
a flashlight in the backyard now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
GOOD: I think there is flashlights and there is a guy. I don`t know
if that`s a cop. Oh my God.
SHARPTON: John Good testified about the altercation that took place
right outside his home, saying he could see who was on top in those
critical moments before George Zimmerman fired his gun.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, STATE PROSECUTOR: Could you tell at that time in
terms of describing who was on top and who was on the bottom?
GOOD: I could only see colors of clothing.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. The color of clothing on the top what could you
GOOD: It was dark.
DE LA RIONDA: OK. How about at the bottom?
GOOD: I believe it was a light white or red color. It looked like
there were strikes being thrown or punches being thrown. But as I
clarified, due to the light, it could have also been holding down. The
person on top`s legs were over the person on the bottom that was laying
flat on the ground.
MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: OK. So now the person on top is in
fact like this over the person on the bottom?
GOOD: I would say that`s accurate.
O`MARA: The person who you now know to be Trayvon Martin is on top?
O`MARA: And he was the one who was raining blows down on the person
on the bottom, George Zimmerman, right?
GOOD: That`s what it looked like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: That`s what it looked like. But John Good was also very
straight forward about what he definitely could and could not see.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DE LA RIONDA: Your testimony in terms of whether the person on the
top was holding down the person at the bottom, could you tell?
GOOD: I said that could have been possible as there was arm motion
going downward not just once, but multiple times.
DE LA RIONDA: So, you can`t say one way or the other, or can you say?
GOOD: I can`t 100 percent say, no.
DE LA RIONDA: The person on top, could you tell whether that person
on top was actually striking? And here`s what I`m going to do, were they
going like this?
GOOD: I could not hear that. No.
DE LA RIONDA: Can you say unequivocally that it was the person on the
bottom versus the person on the top that was saying no?
GOOD: Not 100 percent. No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: All this testimony is aimed at one thing, finding out what
happened exactly the rainy night last year that Trayvon Martin died.
Joining me now, former prosecutor Faith Jenkins, MSNBC legal analyst
Lisa Bloom, and defense attorney Ken Padowitz.
Faith, John Good`s testimony, what does it mean for George Zimmerman`s
claim of self-defense and therefore justifiable homicide?
FAITH JENKINS, FORMER CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: Well, this was a
prosecution witness, first of all, remember. They called him first. They
already knew what he was going to say. He has already been deposed. So
they knew he was going to come in and be the only witness to say that he
saw what he believed now to be Trayvon Martin on top of George Zimmerman
and making downward motions towards him.
Now, for the defense, this is huge because they are alleging self-
defense. That Zimmerman had to shoot Trayvon. He had no other choice but
to shoot him to save his life. So, this supports their theory of the case.
This was a very good witness for them today.
SHARPTON: Let me go to you, Ken.
When you heard good`s testimony, do you feel as faith said that he
established that George Zimmerman had no choice but to kill Trayvon Martin?
KEN PADOWITZ, FORMER PROSECUTOR: This was a tremendous day for the
defense. I mean, remember, they don`t have to prove their client innocent.
He is already presumed innocent. They have to show a reasonable doubt.
And Mr. Good man is the first witness that the defense hopes to make a very
strong argument to the jury that there is a reasonable doubt that he should
be found not guilty.
You have to remember, under Florida law, self-defense can be used and
deadly force can be used when the person feels that there is imminent
threat of death to themselves or great bodily injury. And Mr. Goodman, the
witness, provides a defense, that element, that potential argument that in
fact Mr. Zimmerman was facing imminent death or great bodily injury.
So it`s a big day for the defense today and they have to be very happy
with the testimony that was elicited during the cross-examination. But
clearly the decision was made by the state to put this witness on, because
the ministers of justice, the witness should come on because they`re about
t convictions, but about justice. And also, it`s a tactical move to put
the witness on before the defense can put them on in the defense side of
SHARPTON: Now, Lisa, let me go to judge Nelson`s comments to the jury
about the definition of self-defense.
The judge says a person is justified in using deadly force if he
reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent one imminent
death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or two, the imminent
commission of aggravated battery against himself or another.
LISA BLOOM, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Right.
SHARPTON: Now, Mr. Good testified. He said he did not see the
banging of the head on the ground. He did not see what Mr. Zimmerman said.
So, the whole question of whether or not he was in physical danger of
dying, he did not get from Good.
BLOOM: Well, that`s right. He doesn`t prove the entirety of the
defense position o self-defense. But he does give them some very helpful
testimony on the core of it, and this Zimmerman is down, which was
corroborated later in the day by police witness who said the back of
Zimmerman`s jacket and pants was wet, much wetter than the front,
indicating that he was lying down in the wet grass.
SHARPTON: Yes. But that was not my question. Whether he was down or
up, according to the judge, where do we have that he was in fear, bodily
that either physically facing death or that he perceived he was.
BLOOM: You`re absolutely right.
SHARPTON: So I mean, I think we keep arguing on the media everything
but what the law is. Where is there testimony that he was facing death or
felt he did?
BLOOM: I`ll tell you. We don`t have George Zimmerman`s mental state.
That`s true. This witness cannot say what was in George Zimmerman`s mind.
Only George Zimmerman could do that. But the jury can draw inferences from
the evidence. And they can draw an inference that he is down. Trayvon
Martin is on top. He is making motions toward him that are MMA style,
which is another part of this witness`s testimony, and that ties in later
with another witness that we can talk about. But the jury can draw the
inference that at that point he was in fear. And it was just moments for
the gunshot, and he says Zimmerman was calling for help.
SHARPTON: Let me go to Faith.
Watch this about the ground and pound testimony of Mr. Good.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O`MARA: What you saw was the person on top in an MMA position
O`MARA: Now, as further described, was it not, as being ground and
O`MARA: You knew it enough to start giving terminology like ground
and pound to what you saw?
GOOD: It was the first thing that came to my mind, yes. It`s usually
when the person is in top in a mounted position, I believe. In the
dominant position, like I said, the person on the bottom is able to get out
of that position or, you know, throw punches back, but I did not see any of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Faith, I hear Mr. Good say that what he saw felt was ground
and pound, MMA. But the person on the bottom could get out. That does not
to me, now help me out, you`re the lawyer and the one who went to law
school sound like somebody who was in imminent danger of death. He could
have got out according to this witness.
JENKINS: Right. Well, because the fear of imminent danger of death
or major physical injury has to be reasonable. And that is what the
prosecution is going to argue, that George Zimmerman was not reasonably in
fear. We can`t get inside of his head. But the jury has to believe that
was he reasonable? Was he acting as a reasonable person would do in this
situation, or did he just pull out his gun and say I`m going to shoot this
kid, he`s hitting me.
So, that`s going to be a key question here. Did he act reasonably.
The state is arguing no, that`s why they`re showing his injuries. That`s
why they`re putting all of the medical history and the examiners up there,
because they want to say look at his injuries. They are not that
significant. He did not have to shoot Trayvon.
SHARPTON: And this witness did not even say he saw him being pounded
with his head, which is which what Zimmerman told police.
JENKINS: No. But he is using these words that are very descriptive
and have a connotation of a certain level of violence, MMA, ground and
pound, not just regular punching. That`s why the defense attorney focused
on those words today.
SHARPTON: But he is going to have to, Ken, go to the injuries. And
the other thing you have here is whether he believe head was in danger.
Which means the only way you can put that in as evidence is Zimmerman has
to get on the stand. There is no other witness that can deal with his
state of mind, Ken?
PADOWITZ: The key word here is reasonable. Reasonable, did he
reasonably believe that he was facing imminent death or bodily injury.
SHARPTON: I`m asking a different question. Not did he reasonably
believe it, did he believe it at all.
SHARPTON: How do you put that in front of the jury without him
testifying? Who is the witness that puts his fear in front of the jury?
PADOWITZ: And that is something that is out there. And the defense
has to determine is there enough information that they brought out on the
state`s case during cross-examination that they don`t have to put their
client on the stand. That`s the key issue. Do they put enough evidence in
to ask for a self-defense instruction under Florida law, and strategically,
can they keep their client off the stand and still get the jury to find a
reasonable doubt under the instructions that the jury is going to be giving
under the law. That`s a very, very good issue that`s going to be before
SHARPTON: Lisa, we have gone back and forth on this all week. Have
you heard anything that has established to the jury this state of fear in
the mind of George Zimmerman?
BLOOM: No. I was saying no. But keep in mind the prosecution has
the burden of proof to show that this was not self-defense. He does not
have to prove to the jury that he was in reasonable fear. The prosecution
has to prove depraved mind. That`s second-degree murder that he is charged
SHARPTON: Right. But you would also argue, and the judge may have to
charge, that the jury, Faith, cannot go at evidence that was not presented.
The jury cannot bring forth a fear in Zimmerman`s mind that was not
presented to them as evidence.
JENKINS: No. But they can make an inference. And if they have
witnesses like John Good who comes up and says --.
SHARPTON: John Good didn`t say anything about George Zimmerman`s
JENKINS: But he talked about the physical nature of the violence that
he witnessed, MMA-style, ground and pound. A reasonable inference can be
drawn from that that a person might be in fear if they are being inflicted
with those kinds of hits.
SHARPTON: But he also said that the guy could get out of it and could
fight back. If I`m the prosecution, my argument would be, let`s say
everything that he may have seen is true, he also said the guy could fight
back, could strike back. How is it that he is in danger? Losing a fight -
- if that is what happened, doesn`t justify you shooting somebody.
JENKINS: Well, that`s exactly what the prosecution is going to argue.
Trayvon Martin did not start this. George Zimmerman started this. And
even if Trayvon Martin was getting the best of him, he`s not justified in
then, shooting him based on a confrontation that he started.
SHARPTON: Faith Jenkins, Lisa Bloom and Ken Padowitz, stand by. We
have a lot to talk about.
And a programming note. Don`t forget to catch the George Zimmerman
trial and MSNBC special hosted by Craig Melvin with Lisa Bloom. That`s at
10:00 p.m. tonight eastern time.
Ahead, the witness everybody is talking about, Rachel Jeantel. What
does she think about her testimony, and how she was treated in the court?
We will have an exclusive live interview with her lawyer.
Plus, after we have won, who is winning with the jury? How is the
jury responding to Zimmerman himself and Trayvon Martin`s parents?
And one year ago today, the Supreme Court ruled that Obama care is the
law of the land, and Republicans still haven`t gotten over it. How to stop
the GOP from blocking millions of Americans from getting health care they
And I love hearing from you. Send me your e-mails. "Reply Al" is
Stay with us.
SHARPTON: A day after she left the stand, a lot of conversations
centered around Rachel Jeantel. Coming up next, we`ll hear from her
lawyer, who is joining us for an exclusive interview to share how she feels
about her testimony.
SHARPTON: The most talked about witness so far in the Zimmerman
murder trial is the young woman who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin
moments before he died. 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel spent two days on the
stand and endured five and a half hours of grueling cross-examination.
By the end, this high schooler was trending on twitter, analyzed on
national television, and attacked in the right wing media. Pundits focused
on her appearance, her education, even the way she talked. But through it
all, her central claim didn`t change. That Trayvon Martin told her he was
watched, followed, and told George Zimmerman "get off, get off".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was he complaining about?
RACHEL JEANTEL, WITNESS: That a man just kept watching him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And did you say anything to him?
JEANTEL: No. We were just talking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
JEANTEL: And then he told me the man following him out. He was --
quiet off, get off".
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounded like his voice or kind of sounded like
JEANTEL: It sounded like his voice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now is Rod Vereen, Rachel Jeantel`s attorney.
We he joins us live from Miami.
ROD VEREEN, RACHEL JEANTEL`S LAWYER: Thank you for your talk, for
your talking with us tonight.
My pleasure, Reverend Sharpton.
SHARPTON: How does Rachel feel about her testimony? How does she
feel it went?
VEREEN: Well, unfortunately she is still under subpoena. That means
she is not allowed to even talk to her attorney about the testimony she
gave in court. If you did not notice, on Thursday before we left out of
there, the defense attorney asked the court to keep her under subpoena,
even though the state wanted to release her. And when a person is under
subpoena, they have already taken the stand testified, once they have taken
the oath, they have to remain under oath until they have either been
released by the state, released by the defense, or released by the court.
So, at this time, she is still under subpoena, and she cannot even
speak with me about her testimony. But her body language tells me that she
is happy that it`s over with, that she can return home and try to become
the teenager that she is.
SHARPTON: Now, the defense tried to discredit Rachel because she said
she didn`t attend Trayvon Martin`s funeral, and then changed her story and
was accused of lying about why she didn`t go. But she explained why.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why didn`t you go to the wake and to the funeral?
JEANTEL: I didn`t (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry, what?
JEANTEL: I didn`t want to see the body.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn`t want to see the body?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And why did you lie about not going to the funeral
or to the wake?
JEANTEL: I felt guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You felt guilty about what?
JEANTEL: About them finding out I was the last person, that I was the
last person who talked to his son.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I mean, she didn`t want to see the body. She felt guilty
she was the last person that Trayvon Martin talked to before he died. I
mean, that seems pretty reasonable to me.
VEREEN: Reverend Sharpton you have to understand that this is. She
was cast into the lime light by the media and by the state and by the
defense. When she wrote the letter to Sybrina, she used her nickname,
Diamond Eugene, because she did not want her real name getting out. She
lied about her age because she didn`t want her name being released to the
media, you know.
So, you know, yes, the social media is making a big deal about t a
saying that, well, you know, she has lied about this and she is lying about
this, so therefore is a liar.
She did not want to speak to Ben Crump, attorney Ben Crump who
represented the Martin family. She told her mother to tell Mr. Crump that
she did not want to speak to him because she didn`t want any parts of this.
Nevertheless, you know, she spoke to Mr. Crump and she gave a statement.
The statement was not under oath, and as she stated on the stand, she
hurried through the statement.
She then once her name became known, she made a statement to the state
attorney`s office. Again, not under oath, she made a statement which was a
little more specific. But this was Mr. De La Rionda asking her questions
from the state`s point of view.
She then had to sit down with Mr. West and go through two days of
grueling depositions, asking, you know, him asking the same questions over
and over and over and over. Taking a witness that shouldn`t have been on
the stand no more than an hour and kept her on the stand for five and a
half hours over the span of two days, OK.
So, she didn`t ask for this. And you know, this is one of the reasons
why witnesses do not want to come out and tell what they saw, because in
the court of public opinion, they`re castigated, they`re ridiculed. They
talk about the way she appeared on the stand, her demeanor, the way she
SHARPTON: Well, let me ask about that. Is she aware of these
attacks? I mean, to your knowledge, is she aware of all of what is going
on in social media and other places that are taking a lot of shots at her?
VEREEN: Well, I`m sure, because she is allowed to, you know, look at
the social media. She is allowed to go on facebook. But I`ve asked her
not to tweet anything. I`ve asked her to stay off of social media. I
asked her to try to, you know, to keep her away from what she has been
seeing, what she has been hearing, what she has been reading, because she
might be called back to testify, and I don`t want any of that to influence
the way or what she says if she is called back to the stand.
SHARPTON: So she was interviewed twice by the family`s attorney, and
then initially by the prosecutor before a longer under oath kind of
statement. So therefore, it`s not like a lot of us were led to believe,
including me, that she was sitting down under oath, giving her testimony,
and it just kept evolving as she just kept giving it.
VEREEN: You`re absolutely right.
You know, when she sat down with Mr. Crump, when she was speaking from
her home, she was talking to him over the phone. He asked her questions
concerning what she knew, because he was representing the family in the
civil matter, not the criminal matter.
When you sit down with the state attorney, they have a theory of their
case and they`re going question you with regard to the theory that they
want to espouse and put before the jury. The defense is going to do the
same thing. But they`re going to ask questions from a defensive side in
order to try to get before the jury in affirmative to the defense, i.e.,
that he acted in self-defense. So, the questions are going to be
completely different. And you know, that is why, you know, and you got to
She sat down with Mr. West over a period of two days being deposed.
She sat down with Mr. West over a period of two days in trial being
questioned. This is a young girl who has not even lived as long as Mr.
West has been practicing law. So when the media says, well, you know, that
she was stumbling over things, that she didn`t know this, she didn`t know
that, there are always going to be inconsistencies in statements.
Now, I`ve been doing this for 23 years. And I`m pretty sure I can sit
down with a witness and question them and then on another day question them
again, and they`re either going to add something or leave something out.
It doesn`t mean they were lying. It just simply means at the time they
answered the question, these are the thoughts that came through their mind.
And so, the court is going instruct the jury that when you consider
the testimony of a witness and the credibility of a witness, you have to
ask yourself was there inconsistency, if they did have inconsistencies,
something material or something immaterial. And I beg to differ with folks
that is the statements she made were material in the statements. I think
they were immaterial. Her age, immaterial.
SHARPTON: Rod Vereen, attorney for Rachel Jeantel, thank you so much
for your time tonight.
And let me say I think that the attacks that I`ve heard on Rachel
Jeantel have been nothing short of offensive to any American that wants to
see young people, teenagers, people that are minors do the right thing and
come forward, no matter what happens in this trial. If people come
forward, they out not be ridiculed. They ought not in any way be given the
treatment this young lady was given.
She has given a statement, and the central part of the statement has
not changed that really deals with what happened in this case. Whether the
jury believes or not, we`ll see. But to castigate her, to characterize
her, to stereotype her and use all kinds of attacks, I think is something
that does an injustice to the criminal justice system, and only leads to
what attorney Vereen said, making people say I`m not going to come forward.
I`m not going to help the system try to find justice because I will become
a target rather than a help.
Still ahead, inside the jury, how they`ve been reacting to the
testimony. We`ll talk live to a reporter who has been watching the jury`s
reaction all week.
And affordable health care is the law of the land, but Republicans in
21 states are blocking access to care Americans need. What can you do in
We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: After week one in the George Zimmerman murder trial, the
great unknown remains. What does the jury think of all this testimony?
We`ll read clues they`ve given from the jury box. That`s next.
SHARPTON: At the end of this trial, six jurors will decide the fate
of George Zimmerman. All are women. The prosecution says, five out of the
six jurors are white. Five are mothers. Their every move and gesture is
being watched, and it`s fascinating. Takes, for example, juror B-76. She
is a white married mother who during jury selection wondered why Trayvon
Martin was out late at night. The state tried to strike her from the jury,
but she had a strong reaction to this 911 call played in court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANE SURDYKA, FORMER NEIGHBOR OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: I can`t believe
someone is killed him. He was saying help. Why didn`t somebody come up
and help him?
DISPATCHER: Listen, we don`t know if they`ve been killed. OK? We
don`t know they`re probably --
SURDYKA: He just said he shot him dead. The person is dead lying on
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: After hearing that, a reporter in the court says that juror
B-76, quote, "Seemed emotional. She took off her glasses toward the end
and sniffed, wiped her face."
Meanwhile, Rachel Jeantel was the key witness for the prosecution.
Observers say most jurors were engaged, listening, and taking notes during
her testimony, but not B-29, a married mother of eight, who prosecutors
described as black or Hispanic. A reporter in court says she, quote,
"Stared off in space" during Jeantel`s testimony and was the least visually
engaged. So what does it all mean? And how is this six-person panel
responding to the first week of testimony?
Joining me now is someone who has been in that courtroom daily, Kyle
Hightower, reporter for the Associated Press. Kyle, thanks for coming on
the show tonight.
KYLE HIGHTOWER, ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTER: Thanks for having me, Al.
SHARPTON: Now take us inside the courtroom. What are these jurors
reacting to the most?
HIGHTOWER: Without a doubt, from my observations, Al, the jurors
reacted most to the 911 calls with the screams and the gunshot in the
background. A very close second would be the crime scene photos that
depict Mr. Martin`s body. Those elicited the most strongest reactions, the
most defined body language of all the jurors for sure.
SHARPTON: When you say the reaction and the body language, is it a
body language and a reaction of shock, of concern, or could you tell?
HIGHTOWER: That jury you`re talking about, B-76, she is seated in
seat one, you know, closest to the attorneys and to the gallery.
HIGHTOWER: Whenever these 911 calls are played, you know, she has a
very defined reaction. As far as the crime scene photos go, today when
they were shown in court, I mean, she wouldn`t even look at them. I mean,
her head was down. You know, she was taking a few notes. But she wanted
no part of those crime scene photos again, seeing what, you know, what they
depicted and seeing Mr. Martin`s body.
SHARPTON: And she was one that the prosecution did not want on the
HIGHTOWER: That`s correct. I mean, they tried to get her off the
panel. But, you know, she is sitting right there in seat one. And like I
said, her reactions have been very pronounced, and very defined.
SHARPTON: Now, juror E-6 has consistently been noted as the most
engaged juror. She is white, married mother. Her husband owns guns, and
the state tried to strike her from the jury too. Tell us what you can
HIGHTOWER: Well, definitely you mentioned Ms. Jeantel`s testimony.
She was the most engaged throughout the trial, and particularly during Ms.
Jeantel`s testimony, I mean, she was leaning forward, she was taking a lot
of notes. And their actually that one time when she asked the judge, you
know, if Ms. Jeantel could repeat a couple of her answers because she
wanted to get them down. So, you know, whatever the process -- you know,
we`ll find out later, I`m sure. But she is definitely the most engaged,
and she is seated, you know, right behind that juror -- right behind that
juror, B-29, who everybody is talking about as well.
SHARPTON: Kyle Hightower, great reporting. Thank you for your time
HIGHTOWER: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Back with me now, Faith Jenkins, Lisa Bloom, and Ken
Padowitz. Lisa, let me go to you. You just heard Kyle`s reporting. What
does the jury reaction tell you, if anything?
LISA BLOOM, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I think jurors should be
innocent until proven guilty. I think we should give them a chance, all
right. This woman said what was he doing out so late. Maybe she thought
he was younger. Maybe she thought the hour was later. You know, I`m going
to give these jurors the chance to hear all of the facts.
This is obviously a woman, the one who doesn`t want to look at the
crime scene photos and they`re horrible. They`re awful to look at. She`s
got a heart. I also wouldn`t read too much into people looking away. You
know, some people really like to look eye to eye. Other people are
uncomfortable with that. They might be looking away, but really listening
SHARPTON: Yes. And for the record, I think it was like 7:15 at
night. It wasn`t late at night.
SHARPTON: But Faith, the reaction you`re hearing to the 911 tapes,
what -- does that say anything at all to you?
FAITH JENKINS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, I`ve always said the emotion
in this case is all on one side. Because you can`t get away from it. We
talked about the defense scoring points today with John Good (ph) and other
points made with other witnesses. But you cannot get away from the facts
of how this all started. The defense can`t get away from that, that this
young man, a 17-year-old high school student, was walking back to where he
was staying and was not committing any crime, was not doing anything wrong,
had no weapon and just some snacks and ends up dead because this guy
thought he looked suspicious.
The defense cannot get away from those facts. And that is where the
emotional part of this case comes in, when those jurors are looking at
those pictures, and they`re hearing those phone calls. George Zimmerman
put into motion. That`s what the prosecution wants to argue. He put into
motion this entire circumstance of events that led to Trayvon Martin`s
SHARPTON: You know, Ken, that`s a good point. Another point that
drives that home is the jury seems very conscious of the Martin family.
One court reporter says juror B-29 looked at Martin`s parents after hearing
a 911 call say "Black man down, he is dead." Also when shown photos of
Martin`s body, jurors B-29 and B-76 looked at Tracy Martin. So you get a
sense that the emotion is there. And with the parent there`s, people
remember, we are talking about a minor and an adult. I mean, how is this
coming out to you in terms of jury reaction?
KEN PADOWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER: Well, after having done 35
first-degree murder trials as a prosecutor here in Florida, I can tell you,
this is not a movie. This is real life. They`re sitting here in this
courtroom. They`re feet away from the parents who have lost their
teenager. He is dead. He is never coming home. And that -- that feeling,
that emotion in that courtroom has to be something that they can reach out
and touch. It is there. And it` going to be charged throughout the course
of this trial, because a murder trial, unlike any other trial, carries with
it the spirit of the individual who is no longer on this planet, who is
And that is a very, very powerful thing when you`re talking about a
trial. And, you know, this is a jury that is now sitting there, listening
to this evidence. And they`re hearing from Rachel, and they`re being swung
in another direction and hearing from John Good. And they`re being pulled
back and forth.
PADOWITZ: And we`re just in the first week of this trial. They got a
lot more evidence coming.
SHARPTON: Now, Lisa, how important is it that the parents is there?
And this affect of the some of the jury seeming to look at them? And is
this why the defense do you think didn`t want the parents in the courtroom?
BLOOM: I think it brings a real solemnity to the proceedings to have
the parent there as much as possible. If I were the prosecutor I would ask
them, please, I know this is difficult, except for perhaps the most
excruciating days, I want you to be here, because the jury has to take this
seriously every moment. They understand that that`s what it`s about. It`s
about justice for the victim`s family.
SHARPTON: Now, Faith, there is a lot of key witnesses still left to
testify. We have the lead Sanford police investigator, Christopher Serino.
We have the medical examiner who autopsied Trayvon Martin. We have
possibly Tracy Martin, the father, and Sybrina Fulton, the mother. So we
still have a lot of peaks to go in the prosecution`s case.
JENKINS: That`s right. In every trial, it is a marathon. It is not
a sprint. You`re going to have your good moments. You`re going to have
your bad moments. But you stick to your theory of the case. You continue
to present your witnesses, and then you use your closing arguments to sum
up and argue your case and everything in totality and paint a clear picture
for that jury.
SHARPTON: Now, Ken, you`re a prosecutor. What does the prosecutor
need to do next week with these witnesses, especially the Mr. Serino, the
police investigator? What does the prosecutor need to bring out of these
PADOWITZ: Well, they`re going to methodically lay their case out for
the jury so they meet the elements of the crime and prove their case beyond
a reasonable doubt. It`s not an accident that John Good was called today
as a witness. It was strategically decided by the prosecution when to
place this witness in the lineup of witnesses. And now next week, they
have their plan is to how and what order they`re going to present this
evidence to the jury to slowly build their case, pieces of a puzzle, to
paint that picture and prove those elements beyond a reasonable doubt to
SHARPTON: Lisa, we all are watching you nodding. What does that
BLOOM: Well, you know, one of the problems that is coming up I think
for the prosecution is the law enforcement witnesses. Some of them are
certainly going to be very helpful to the prosecution. But we know that
initially, the police made the determination that this was self-defense.
BLOOM: And so either the defense is going to put those law
enforcement people on the stand. Why did you make that determination?
Didn`t it seem that his injuries were consistent with self-defense? Didn`t
he seem to be telling you a plausible story? Or the prosecution is going
to have to put them on too and suffer more of these cross-examinations from
the defense scoring some points. So I`m going to be watching for that.
SHARPTON: But Faith, there was one in the Sanford police that said he
felt that Zimmerman should have been arrested and they overruled it.
JENKINS: Exactly. And that testimony is going to come forward too,
that this officer thought he should have been charged with murder. He
interviewed him, did not believe him. Was there at the crime scene, looked
at the evidence. And based on his experience and training, thought that
George Zimmerman should have been charged with murder from the very
SHARPTON: If a law enforcement officer, Ken, in Sanford says that I
did not believe him on the stand, and that I think he should have been
charged, and they wouldn`t do it, how important would that be for the
prosecution in this case?
PADOWITZ: Well, that would be extremely important, Reverend. And
you`re hitting the nail on the head. If that comes out in the testimony
and the jury hears that, that is going to put a lot of things in
perspective and make the witnesses that do testify for the other officer
that did not make the arrest or said they should not be charged, it`s going
to make their testimony suspect, and it`s going to put it in the placement
that the prosecution wants. This is going to be a case not by individual
pieces of evidence, but everything together. Not one thing in a vacuum.
So it`s going to be very important.
SHARPTON: Faith Jenkins, Lisa Bloom, and Ken Padowitz, thank you both
-- all three of you rather for your time this evening. And needless to
say, we will be covering this trial closely next week. See you then.
BLOOM: See you.
SHARPTON: One year ago today, the Supreme Court upheld President
Obama`s health care law. But Republicans are still trying to roll back the
clock. We`ll talk about how to fight that, next.
SHARPTON: Will George Zimmerman take the stand in this murder trial?
It`s one of the biggest unanswered questions in the trial. Stay tuned for
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is an NBC News special report.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The U.S. Supreme Court has just handed down one of
the most anticipated decisions in decades.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The bottom line here is the Supreme Court has
upheld the health care case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Today marks the one-year anniversary of a historic victory
for President Obama. The Supreme Court`s decision to uphold the affordable
health care act. A year later, we`re very close to another milestone, the
date Obamacare takes effect in less than 100 days. Millions will gain
access to the newly created affordable health care. This new law is
becoming a reality. It`s already saving money.
We`ve learned recently that Obamacare saved consumers nearly $4
billion in premiums last year. And yet some on the right are still
standing in the way. Republicans in 21 states are blocking the expansion
of Medicaid. That includes Mississippi, where this week Democrats called
on Republicans to do the right thing and not turn their backs on the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE REP. ADRIENNE WOOTEN (D), MISSISSIPPI: I remember when I was
young, all single parents at some point struggle. I watched my mom
struggle with two children. And I remember her always saying that no
matter what, she was not going to let her health insurance go. You are
representative. The word speaks for itself. Represent your constituents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Instead, Republicans are digging in their heels. They`re
rejecting the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid that would cost 300,000 more
people, even though it wouldn`t cost the state a dime. This is not
acceptable. We`ve got to take action. And that`s why we`re proud to
sponsor a free health care clinic in New Orleans on July 3rd with the
National Association of Free Clinics.
Joining me now is Nicole Lamoureux, the executive director of the
National Association of Free Clinics. Thanks for coming on the show.
NICOLE LAMOUREUX, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FREE CLINICS: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: Nicole, how can Republicans in Mississippi reject something
that could help so many people?
LAMOUREUX: It makes no sense. It`s absolutely making sure that
Mississippi will be absolute dead last when it comes to health outcomes.
We`ve had this conversation before, Rev. You know, health care for people
who are healthy, it`s just something we take for granted. For those of us
who are sick and need that help, it`s something that is our lifeline. In
fact, in Mississippi, if they don`t expand that Medicaid program, it`s
going to impact people on an absolute daily basis. It`s going to impact my
It`s going to impact my mother-in-law, who needs that help, who works
every single day in a bank, whose husband was a veteran, who thought this
care would be there for her. That`s ridiculous. Hardworking Americans
should not be ignored just because it`s time to play politics.
SHARPTON: Now, let me get to the free clinics that we`re going to be
doing, and that you do all the time. We`re going to do it in New Orleans,
July 3rd with you. You`re already in New Orleans. And I recently talked
with a colleague of yours at the National Association of Free Clinics, Dr.
Rani Whitfield. Known as Tha Hip Hop doctor. And he talked about a major
misconception that people who are uninsured are just lazy and are not
working. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. RANI WHITFIELD, FOUNDER, THE HIP HOP HEALTH COALITION: That is
not the case at all, Reverend Al. Many of the patients that I see are
employed, but either they`re not able to afford insurances, or the small
businesses that they work for cannot afford to provide insurance to them.
So the individuals are still working. But do you pay for food and pay your
bills or do you try to pay for health insurance? So, that`s the choice
many Americans have to make today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I think that`s a very important point, Nicole, that these
are not lazy or irresponsible people.
LAMOUREUX: Exactly. Eighty three percent of the people who come to
these clinics come from a working household. I`m here on the ground. I`m
personally handing out flyers to people across this city who are saying
thank you for being here. Thank you for helping me. I`m going to take off
work so I can get the health care I need at your clinic. You know, Rev,
these clinics don`t give a hand out. They give a hand up. Hard-working
people, 58 percent of the people coming to this clinic are going to be
They are mothers who are making that choice between putting food on
their table or helping their children. Sixty percent of the people are
going to come to this clinic are African-Americans. These are people who
want the help, who work every single day. They`re not living on the dole.
They`re not sticking their hand out for something for nothing. They just
want a chance at a healthy life so they can help us build America where it
needs to be.
SHARPTON: Nicole, thank you for your time. We look forward to seeing
you on July 3rd in New Orleans.
I want to take a moment to talk directly to the POLITICS NATION
family. It really does take all of us working together to provide these
free clinics. And we need your help. I`m asking everyone to find it in
your heart to please donate. If everyone hearing my voice right now
donated one dollar, just one dollar, it would make a huge difference in the
lives of so many people. Please contribute.
To donate, just go to urgentcare.msnbc.com, or the National
Association of Free Clinics site, nafcclins.org. With your help, you can
make a difference and get health care to so many Americans in need. We`ll
be right back with reply Al. Remember, friend or foe, I want to know.
SHARPTON: It`s time for Reply Al. Friend or foe, I want to know.
Mike writes about the Supreme Court`s ruling on the voting rights act.
Quote, "What can we do to fight this assault on voter rights?"
We`ve got to get the Congress to move on a new formula on how to
protect voting rights. The Supreme Court I think ruled wrongly, but they
sent it back to Congress. We`ve got to go to Congress, and we`ve got to go
en masse. The march in Washington is one way on August 24th. We`ve got to
write. We`ve got put the pressure on Congress.
Carlita writes, "What will you be looking forward to do or seeing this
year at the essence festival? If you`re going, that is?
Oh, yes, I`ll be going. I speak on Saturday there. I`ve spoken at
every essence festival that they`ve had for the last 15 years, since it
started. I love the workshops. I love the activity in terms of the
seminars. I love the entertainment. I love the booths, just the whole
culture. I get swept up. And don`t forget, I`ll be doing POLITICS NATION
live from the Essence Festival. So I really will be there, and you can
watch me from there.
I`ve also been getting a lot of e-mail questions about the Zimmerman
trial. But I have a question on this one. Will he testify? Will George
Zimmerman take the stand in his own defense? So far I`ve not heard any
physical evidence of his life under threat. So therefore it leaves whether
he felt that? Well, the only one that could put that evidence in is him.
Will he take the stand? That`s what I want to know. And that`s what I`ll
be watching for.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. Have a good weekend.
"HARDBALL" starts right now.
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