updated 7/3/2013 10:21:20 AM ET 2013-07-03T14:21:20

POLITICS NATION
July 2, 2013
Guests: Faith Jenkins; Ken Padowitz; Marcia Clark; John Burris, Zachary
Carter, Michael Cardoza, Nicole Lamoureux, Jim Conklin


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Were Zimmerman`s injuries really
life threatening? That was one of the key questions raised today in his
second-degree murder trial.

Today, a medical examiner testified that the injuries Mr. Zimmerman
allegedly received from Trayvon Martin that night were, quote,
"insignificant, a claim that could undermine his claim of self-defense."

Also today, the lead investigator testified Mr. Zimmerman may have
profiled Trayvon Martin the night he shot him, acting out of, quote, "ill
will and spite."

And jurors heard a TV news interview George Zimmerman gave nearly a
year ago in which he said he had no regrets about his decisions the night
of the shooting.

A dramatic day in court, but perhaps the key testimony came from that
medical examiner who did not perform the autopsy on Trayvon Martin, but who
was asked to review the evidence by the state. She offered her expert
opinion on Mr. Zimmerman`s injuries.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are any injuries in this photograph life-
threatening?

DOCTOR VALERIE RAO, CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not?

RAO: He has no loss of consciousness whatsoever. You know, we didn`t
have to go to the hospital. He went to a clinic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are any of those abrasions life-threatening?

RAO: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And how would you classify the abrasions depicted
in state 73?

RAO: Very insignificant. If somebody`s head is repeatedly slammed
against concrete with great force, I would expect lacerations. I would
expect a lot of injury that would bleed profusely that would necessitate
suturing. And so, I don`t see that in this picture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could all of the injuries that you observe in that
photograph have come from a single punch or a single blow?

RAO: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And why do you say that?

RAO: OK, so if you look at the distribution of where the injury is,
and let`s think that I`m the one inflicting the blow, if I was to punch
myself right above here, I would get the injury on the nose and on the few
contusions on the forehead. So one blow would be able to inflict these
injuries.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Insignificant, not life-threatening. And it`s possible
George Zimmerman was only hit once. That testimony contradicts what he
told police happened the night of the shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, KILLED TRAYVON MARTIN: I look in my pocket and he
said you got a problem now. And then he was here, and he punched me in the
face. I tried to sit up, and that`s when he grabbed me by the head and
tried to slam my head down. I felt like my body was on the grass and my
head was on the cement. And he just kept slamming and slamming. I tried
to squirm again because all I could think about is when he was hitting my
head against it, it felt like my head was going to explode and I thought I
was going to lose consciousness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The defense responded with an intense effort to argue, this
was a life or death situation for Mr. Zimmerman. Attorney Mark O`Mara
questioned the medical examiner on whether Mr. Zimmerman may have been hit
more than once.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK O`MARA, ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE LAWYER: I think he used a suggestion
that if you hit yourself in the nose that it could be all one shot,
correct?

RAO: One blow. Correct.

O`MARA: You`re not certainly suggesting that it was only one blow,
correct?

RAO: No, but with.

O`MARA: He gets hit in the nose like this, just like that, but it
does not go up here. So here is the first shot, and here is the second
shot. How many is that?

RAO: Two.

O`MARA: Consistent with that picture?

RAO: It could be.

O`MARA: Just to be clear, you don`t know how Mr. Zimmerman was hit by
Mr. Martin, correct?

RAO: Correct.

O`MARA: So you`re saying it`s consistent with one, potentially, yes?

RAO: Yes.

O`MARA: And it also is consistent with two, correct?

RAO: If the way it was portrayed, yes.

O`MARA: Which you don`t know.

RAO: Correct.

O`MARA: So could you just say is it consistent with two as well?

RAO: It could be, yes.

O`MARA: OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Mr. Zimmerman has plead not guilty and claims he shot
Trayvon Martin in self-defense. These questions about his injuries lie at
the heart of this case. Was George Zimmerman in fear for his life when he
pulled the trigger? Was his use of deadly force justified?

Joining me now is former prosecutor Faith Jenkins, defense attorney
John Burris, defense attorney Ken Padowitz, and former prosecutor Marcia
Clark. She is author of "killer ambition: the latest in the racial night
thriller series.

Thank you all for being here.

FAITH JENKINS, FORMER CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: Thank you.

MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Marcia, what do you think about all this testimony today on
Mr. Zimmerman`s injuries?

CLARK: You know, it`s interesting that maybe it depends on how you
see it. I thought that the medical examiner`s testimony was extremely
helpful to the prosecution. She made it very clear in her opinion that the
wounds to George Zimmerman were very inconsequential, minor, and that if he
had been slammed into the ground as he claimed his head was slammed into
the ground by Trayvon Martin, he would have required stitches.

We know that he got medical attention the day after the event and he
did not require stitches. He just had some butterfly bandages on. Her
testimony in large part said what he has described in terms of the beating
he suffered at Trayvon Martin`s hands is simply not true.

Now, Mark O`Mara on cross-examination got her to admit it`s possible
there were more blows than one or two, but the fact that there were more
blows if still inconsequential do not add up to a viable reason to believe
that your life is in imminent danger.

SHARPTON: Now, John, don`t you need what Marcia just said, don`t you
need to establish if your defense is self-defense, that you were in
imminent danger of death or bodily harm, or a reasonable fear that that was
going to occur?

JOHN BURRIS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER: Well, certainly as it relates
to murder. But I will say that it doesn`t -- if you have a reason to
believe good faith or not, it may be unreasonable, you still may be guilty
of a lesser included offense. So the fact that the inconsequential in and
of itself doesn`t go to the fact of the state of mind maybe that he
reasonably believed that. That probably would not get him second-degree
murder, but it certainly could get him voluntary manslaughter.

So, in many ways, this is not what Mark O`Mara wants because he is
trying to get not guilty all the way around. But given the evidence that
we have now, if he is unreasonable about that position, he still could be
convicted of a lesser included offense.

SHARPTON: But Ken, aside from the amount of blows there or not, and
she said one or two possible, clearly she is saying the injuries are
insignificant. The fact that we can argue the medical back and forth, as
she certainly seemed straight on that as well as the detectives said he
considered it not a significant blow. I think that what really also
strikes me is does this make it appear like Mr. Zimmerman told a lie, or
was misleading the police and the detectives in the taped statements?
Because if the jury thinks he is lying, it`s one thing to say he didn`t get
injured. It`s another to raise the question with the jury then why are you
telling us things that are not true.

KEN PADOWITZ, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Exactly. That`s the million dollar
question, Reverend. You hit the nail right on the head.

The prosecution looks at George Zimmerman figuratively as a snake.
And they are hacking away at the head of the snake by showing every
inconsistency, every exaggeration. And at some point, the prosecution`s
hope is that they will cut the head off this snake and the rest of the body
of this snake dies. And that means in this case that the jury would
disregard all the statements that George Zimmerman has and all his
explanations as to how they lay aye ply in this case.

SHARPTON: Faith, the lead investigator said he had doubts about Mr.
Zimmerman`s version of events, especially the severity of his injuries.
Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`MARA: Now you said in response to a question yesterday that you
perceived Mr. Zimmerman`s injuries to be minor, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, STATE PROSECUTOR: You were asked exactly about
exaggeration. Do you feel he had exaggerated the manner in which he was
hit?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That you have the lead detective saying he felt it was
exaggerated. You have a medical examiner saying that she felt it was
insignificant in describing what she would expect if he had those kinds of
injuries. Then we played part of the tape that the jury saw yesterday
where Zimmerman demonstrated to the detective he bang mid head up and down,
up and down, slamming me, slamming me, felt my head was going to explode.
There is a world of a difference in today`s testimonies and with what Mr.
Zimmerman said.

FAITH JENKINS, FORMER CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: Right.

And for the jury, the prosecutor wants them to understand it. It is
now crystallized that he clearly embellished the amount of physical contact
he had with Trayvon Martin. We know that there were some contact there.
We know that he has injuries. But before he said I was punched 25 or 30
times. My head was repeatedly slammed into the ground. Then you have a
woman who is a medical examiner who has all of this background and training
in examining these kinds of injuries, and she said he just need a Band-Aid.
He didn`t need stitches. He didn`t need sutures. He needed a Band-Aid.
One person is dead and the other person needed a Band-Aid. That`s the
difference here. Even if you get into a fistfight, the law does not
protect you if you escalate that fistfight into a gunfight. You do not get
to escalate just because he hit you.

SHARPTON: Marcia, the prosecution has to prove murder two and all of
those elements. But also, the judge has given a definition of self-
defense. O`Mara is going to also have to establish something about self-
defense. Is that not right?

CLARK: Well, but he can do it in the prosecution`s case, as he has
been doing through cross-examination. He doesn`t have to call any
witnesses.

SHARPTON: Right.

CLARK: Really, with the way the prosecution has been trying this
case, he`s got everything he needs to make the argument to the jury already
without calling even a single witness on his own behalf. And he can use if
that the defendant is always allowed to rest on the prosecution`s evidence,
because the defense is not required to prove anything. They have no burden
of proof.

What he has right now in his lands he could certainly argue the other
side of all the evidence that the prosecution has brought forth to say that
George Zimmerman reasonably believed in imminent danger.

John Burris, though, makes a very good point, that even if the jury
ultimately believes George Zimmerman was unreasonable in his belief that he
was about to suffer imminent death or great bodily injury, but if they
believe he honestly felt that way, even if he was unreasonable, he could
get a manslaughter out of that, just based on the prosecution`s evidence.

SHARPTON: Ken, we`ve heard so far the tapes of George Zimmerman.
We`ve heard from several of the prosecution witnesses. We`ve not heard
from the defense at all, and don`t know as much, they are not required to
testify. But have we heard anything in the statements of George Zimmerman
that said to police I was afraid I was going to die, I was going to lose my
life. That`s why I did what I did?

PADOWITZ: Well, clearly, in all the statements that I have heard from
George Zimmerman, he`s basically giving actions out there at the scene that
is contrary to being afraid. He is getting out of his car. He is
following this person that he is allegedly afraid of. He is doing all
these things that an individual common sense would indicate would not do if
you were actually fearful.

So, again, the prosecution`s trying to undermine the credibility of
George Zimmerman even though he hasn`t testified. He has testified through
these statements. And the prosecution wants to undermine that and have the
jury give very little weight or no weight at all to George Zimmerman`s
statements on TV and to the police.

SHARPTON: I want my legal panel to stay with me. Lots more to talk
about tonight. We`ll be back.

Coming up, the prosecution called it, quote, "a web of lies." Today,
several inconsistencies with Mr. Zimmerman`s story emerge. His best friend
takes the stand and reveals a different account over the gun.

Plus, did George Zimmerman with a depraved mind, did he have one? Was
there ill will and spite? We will have more of the gripping testimony from
a crucial witness, the lead investigator who questioned Mr. Zimmerman.

And remember, friend or foe, I want to know. Send me your e-mails.
"Reply Al" is coming. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Did George Zimmerman change his story about whether Trayvon
Martin grabbed his gun? Testimony today exposes a new potential
inconsistency in his account. That`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: You will learn that that`s when he began to
spend that tangled web of lies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: In opening statements, prosecutors vowed they would expose
what they called George Zimmerman`s tangled web of lies. And now we`re
seeing them trying to do just that.

Mr. Zimmerman has given his account of what happened that night at
least four separate times. Three times to police and once on a TV show.
Today, prosecutors played that TV interview to highlight a potential
inconsistency in the defense case. Whether Zimmerman continued to follow
Trayvon Martin, even after a police dispatcher told him not to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: What did you do from that minute
forward when the dispatch said we don`t need you to follow him? What did
you do next?

ZIMMERMAN: I walked across the sidewalk on to my street where I
thought I would meet a police officer that I had called.

HANNITY: So you did not continue to follow him?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So on TV last year, Zimmerman said that he stopped
following Trayvon Martin. But today in court, the lead investigator told
Zimmerman`s lawyer something different.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`MARA: My question a little while ago was whether or not you have
any evidence to support any contention that Mr. Zimmerman continued to
follow Trayvon Martin after being told not to. Do you have any evidence to
support that?

CHRIS SERINO, FORMER LEAD INVESTIGATOR: I would answer I information
yes, that there was just based on where we located Trayvon and the fact
that the altercation happened after his conversation. That`s my
interpretation. There was some following.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: There was some following. A discrepancy between George
Zimmerman and the lead investigator in the case. Who will the jury
believe?

Back with me now, Faith Jenkins, Marcia Clark, John Burris, and Ken
Padowitz.

Faith, what do you think when you hear the lead investigator
apparently contradict George Zimmerman?

JENKINS: I don`t think there is much doubt in the jurors` minds at
this point that George Zimmerman did follow Trayvon Martin. Just look at
the map of the direction that he went and his explanation of going to look
for a street sign when there are only three streets in that area and that
is a place where he walked his dog.

SHARPTON: And lived.

JENKINS: And lived. And he is the neighborhood watch, of course.
Now, is following Trayvon illegal? No. but, is it significant? Yes.
Because look at everything we know that occurred before he continues to
follow Trayvon Martin.

He calls him a punk. He refers to him as an a-hole. He says these
people always get away. So he has that state of mind. And he gets out of
his car, has a loaded gun in his waistband. He has the motive and the
incentive to be the person to stop and initiate a confrontation with
Trayvon Martin. That`s why the fact that he continued to follow him is
significant and that he changed his story, because he didn`t want the
police to know, yes, I continue to follow him.

SHARPTON: John Burris, it is not illegal, as Faith says, to follow
Trayvon Martin. But he is not a policeman. He is not an officer. He has
no real right to do so either. I mean, it`s not as though -- we talk about
him as if he is an officer of the state. He is a civilian that had
volunteered to watch duty.

BURRIS: Absolutely, he is that. There is nothing wrong for what he
was doing, but he was in fact doing, following him with a particular state
of mind. So, in fact, he wasn`t just an ordinary person. He was a person
who viewed him as a suspect and had called him a bunch of names. So he had
a mind-set to make contact with him. That`s why I think Rachel Jeantel`s
statements become very important because she clearly indicates that he is
the aggressor and Mr. Zimmerman is the aggressor. He is the one making
contact.

Once you make contact because you have a state of mind other -- that
is designed to find out who this person is and to be -- to get information
about him, I think you have stepped over the line of an ordinary person
who, in fact, is making contact with someone. This was a profile
situation. He was called a suspect. Along with all the other names that
everyone knows. So he was clearly beyond. He was in the want to be cop
frame of mind at the time. I think the jurors will see that.

SHARPTON: Now Marcia, the problem with calling him a suspect is there
wasn`t even a crime.

CLARK: Right.

SHARPTON: A suspect of what?

CLARK: Exactly. Exactly. And he refers to Trayvon Martin as a
suspect repeatedly in his statement to the police. So it still shows even
after the fact, this mind-set, even after the police are telling him in the
interrogation, which they do, you know, he wasn`t doing anything wrong.

You know, he wasn`t a suspect in any way. He continues to refer to
him as a suspect, which shows that fixed mind-set about seeing what he
expected to see and what he believe head was seeing, not what was there.

And on top of that, I want to point out also that the investigator,
Serino said, you know, if I had seen what George Zimmerman described seeing
Trayvon Martin do, I wouldn`t have stopped him. I wouldn`t have even
pulled my car over to look at him. I didn`t see anything suspicious about
it. And I think that was very important as well.

SHARPTON: Now, Ken, Zimmerman`s friend testified that Zimmerman told
him Trayvon Martin actually grabbed a-hold of his gun. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: And he told you that he, the defendant, managed to
break the grip on the gun where the guy grabbed it between the rear side
and the hammer, correct?

MARK OSTERMAN, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Whether it was the gun or
the leather casing or just reaching down there and grabbing something.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But here is what Associated Press reports today. Quote,
"that account is different from what Zimmerman told investigators in
multiple interviews when he only said it appeared Martin was reaching for
his gun prior to the shooting. He never told police the teen grabbed it.

And, Ken, this best friend who wrote a book saying this, there is no
DNA that was found of Trayvon on the gun. I mean, is this another
inconsistency that could come to haunt them at summation on the defense?

PADOWITZ: Yes, absolutely. This is not only an inconsistency, it`s a
very substantive inconsistency, because although it`s the state witness
being called to the stand, it actually is the best friend of the defendant.
So you would expect if you`re a juror that this person testifying is going
to testify in the best light of George Zimmerman. And here he is pointing
out this very important inconsistency.

So, again, the prosecution is hacking away at the head of this snake,
George Zimmerman, trying to kill the snake and trying to show the jury you
cannot give this person any credibility.

SHARPTON: All right. Let`s go around the horn on my legal experts.
Good day or bad day for who? Faith?

JENKINS: I t it was a really good day for the prosecution, especially
because of the medical examiner and her testimony that George Zimmerman`s
injuries were truly insignificant, despite us just having heard many
statements where he talked about essentially being pummeled by Trayvon
Martin.

SHARPTON: John Burris, good day or bad day for who?

BURRIS: Good day for the prosecution, although the defense made some
points. But a good day all in all for the prosecution.

SHARPTON: Marcia Clark, good day or bad day for two?

CLARK: On balance, better for the prosecution than the defense, but
it`s close. We had an investigator say last night that he thought that the
defendant, Zimmerman, was truthful, and today the judge had to strike that
of course, I don`t think the jury is going to be able to keep that
completely out of their minds. Now that they have heard it, you can`t un-
ring the bell. But the prosecutor got out from the medical examiner as
well as from the lead investigator that the injuries Zimmerman had were
minor. Therefore not consistent with his story.

SHARPTON: Ken Padowitz, good day or bad day for who?

PADOWITZ: I think it was better day for the prosecution. Marcia
Clark is correct. It started off bad because he told the jury, hey, you
have to ignore the lead detective in the case who testified that he
believes George Zimmerman and his self-defense explanation.

You can`t un-ring the bell. The jury heard it. But the prosecution
came back strong with the medical evidence from the medical examiner that
testified, hey, these injuries are minor, a very big inconsistency for
George Zimmerman and also undermining George Zimmerman`s credibility.

SHARPTON: Faith Jenkins, Marcia Clark, John Burris and Ken Padowitz,
thank you for your time tonight.

JENKINS: Thank you.

BURRIS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the prosecution`s attempt to prove a depraved
mind. What the lead investigator said about George Zimmerman`s behavior
that night.

Also, how the president is fighting to expand health care across
America, despite GOP roadblocks. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today at the George Zimmerman trial, the jury heard a TV
interview that he gave near lay year ago in which he said he had no regrets
about his decision that night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Is there anything you regret? Do you regret getting out of
the car to follow Trayvon that night?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

HANNITY: Do you regret that you had a gun that night?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

HANNITY: Do you feel you wouldn`t be here for this interview if you
didn`t have that gun?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

HANNITY: You feel you would not be here?

ZIMMERMAN: I feel that it was all God`s plan and need a second guess
(INAUDIBLE).

HANNITY: Is there anything you regret? Do you regret getting out of
the car to follow Trayvon that night?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

HANNITY: Do you regret that you -- you had a gun that night?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

HANNITY: Do you feel you wouldn`t be here for this interview if you
didn`t have that gun?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

HANNITY: You feel you would not be here?

ZIMMERMAN: I feel that it was all God`s plan, and for me to second
guess it or judge it --

HANNITY: Is there anything you might do differently in retrospect now
that time has passed a little bit?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Trayvon Martin is dead. But George Zimmerman has no
regrets. How will the jury react to that? Lots of questions raised by
today`s testimony, including a big surprise from the lead investigator.
We`ll talk about that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Did George Zimmerman act with a depraved mind when he shot
and killed Trayvon Martin? Today a crucial witness was back on the stand.
Lead investigator Chris Serino, who questioned Zimmerman multiple times.
He took the stand with gripping testimony, shedding light on Zimmerman`s
state of mind the night he killed Trayvon Martin. The prosecution focused
in on Zimmerman`s own words, asking Serino whether Zimmerman acted with ill
will and spite, two conditions for proving second-degree murder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: From the non-emergency call the
defendant made.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZIMMERMAN: OK. These (bleep) they always get away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: Is that something that you would use in reference to
somebody that you`re going to invite over for dinner? Would you call them
these (bleep)?

CHRIS SERINO, LEAD DETECTIVE: No, sir, I would not.

DE LA RIONDA: Does that seem like to you like a friendly comment
about somebody else?

SERINO: No, sir, it`s not.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZIMMERMAN: Go straight, don`t turn and make a left. He is running.

DISPATCHER: He is running? Which way is he running?

ZIMMERMAN: Down towards the other entrance of the neighborhood.

DISPATCHER: OK. Which entrance is that, that he is heading towards?

ZIMMERMAN: The back entrance. (bleep).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: Does that not indicate ill will, hatred and spite
against somebody else, sir?

SERINO: No, it does not.

DE LA RIONDA: In your opinion, calling somebody, reference them as
pardon my language, but (bleep) punks?

SERINO: That is ill will and spite.

DE LA RIONDA: It is?

SERINO: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Yes, that is ill will and spite. Serino was then asked
very specifically about whether Mr. Zimmerman might have profiled Trayvon
Martin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: If I had were to believe that somebody was committing a
crime, could that not be profiling that person --

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Overruled as related.

DE LA RIONDA: Do you understand my question, sir?

SERINO: Yes, I did. It could be construed as such, yes.

DE LA RIONDA: Was there any indication that Trayvon Martin, Trayvon
Benjamin Martin, a young man I think 20 days past -- just turned 17, was
committing a crime that evening, sir?

SERINO: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Was there any evidence that that young man was armed?

SERINO: No, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No evidence he was committing a crime. No evidence he was
armed. How will the jury react to this gripping testimony?

Joining me now is Zachary Carter, a former U.S. attorney for the
eastern district of New York, and Michael Cardoza, a former prosecutor, now
a criminal defense attorney. Thank you both for being here tonight.

ZACHARY CARTER, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Good to be here.

SHARPTON: Zachary, the defense says bleeping punks was just slang.
Your thoughts on this key witness testimony about ill and spite.

CARTER: Well, ill, will and spite, sure. I mean, I think that the
jury is going to have an opportunity to view the totality of the
circumstances, not just one phrase, but his whole course of conduct. The
fact that he referred to them as a-holes, the fact that he talked about
them being f-ing punks or worse, depending on how you hear it on the tape.
The fact that his course of conduct in following this young man, who didn`t
behave in any way based on any objective evidence we`ve seen so far that
would signal that he was involved in any suspicious or criminal activity.

I mean, one of the things that I think it will be useful, and I think
I`m sure that the jury will see it at some point is the surveillance tape
in the 7-11, because then you see that Trayvon Martin that any rational
person would have seen. And there you see a tall, skinny black kid dressed
the way our kids do in a hoodie. After all, it was raining, who is coming
in to run an errand, to buy skittles and an iced tea. And it doesn`t seem
that the clerk feels like he is in any danger from this kid.

SHARPTON: Right.

CARTER: He doesn`t see a thug. He doesn`t see a criminal. He sees a
customer, who comes in and pays him. Now, if you believe George
Zimmerman`s description of Trayvon Martin and how he was allegedly behaved
that evening, he would have punched the cashier in the nose and taken those
skittles. He wouldn`t have paid for them and walked out the door.

SHARPTON: Michael, what do you think on that point? Because when
O`Mara, the defense attorney, pushed the investigator Serino about whether
he would have stopped Trayvon, listen to what Serino said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK O`MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN ATTORNEY: If you were driving an
unmarked car past that at that precise moment and saw Trayvon Martin there,
standing between two buildings at night in the rain, not moving, maybe even
looking in through a window, would you have stopped and talked to him?

SERINO: Not just based on his presence, no, I would not.

O`MARA: And why not?

SERINO: He might live there.

O`MARA: But the question is who you stop and ask him?

SERINO: Not just based on what you observed, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So he had the defense attorney couldn`t get the lead
investigator to even say he would have even stopped to ask a question,
Michael.

MICHAEL CARDOZA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, for a second, do
any of us believe that? I come from the bay area, Oakland. Police stop
people all the time. They`re standing on corners, police walk up, they
start to ask questions. Remember, when an officer testifies in a case like
this, this is an adversary proceeding, and they feel very obligated to give
answers that are going to help the prosecution. So obviously the answer is
going to be oh, no, I wouldn`t stop him in that situation. When he might
well have stopped him simply because he was a black man in that area. We
all know that happens all the time.

SHARPTON: But Mr. Zimmerman is not a policeman.

CARDOZA: I agree.

SHARPTON: And Mr. Zimmerman did not have the authority to stop or
question anyone, so why would Mr. Zimmerman have an assumption, as Zachary
said, that the store owner didn`t and the police testified to? Zimmerman
had no authority or obligation to do anything.

CARDOZA: Oh, absolutely. And he had said that right from the
beginning that it wasn`t his obligation to stop people that will be a jury
question. Did in fact he stop him? Did in fact he stalk him? Now, the
big issue in this case and the big thing will be, has the evidence and will
the evidence when we get through with this trial prove beyond a reasonable
doubt, in other words, will the jury have an abiding conviction of guilt in
this case. Now, we can all say what we think what happened, here is what
probably happened, here is what might have happened. But will the jury
believe it beyond a reasonable doubt enough to convict him of second-degree
murder?

The one witness that I think that really helped Trayvon, the
prosecution in this case is, excuse me, when they testified that Trayvon
was on top of Zimmerman fighting, and they were rolling around. So what
happened in that situation? Then we have that MMA fighting, the punching.
You know, a jury has to decide, do they believe that beyond a reasonable
doubt? Unless they do, what does all that mean?

SHARPTON: When you have the guy that says, Trayvon may have been on
top, they were rolling, the punching.

CARDOZA: Right.

SHARPTON: And then you now have, Zachary, the medical examiner say
but there were no significant injuries. You also have the same guy that
say he was on top say but the guy at the bottom could have fought. We`ve
heard testimony now that there was MMA training of Zimmerman. So if
Zimmerman had martial arts training, why didn`t he defend himself? Why did
he have to shoot and kill this guy? Have we heard any reason at all,
Zachary, as to why it necessitated taking this young man`s life?

CARTER: Well, again, the jury is going to view this as they always
do, looking at the totality of the circumstances not just one thing.
They`re going to at some point have a picture, each of them individually
and ultimately collectively will have a picture in their minds of what
occurred that evening. And they`ll use their common sense. They all know
that there came a point during this confrontation when Trayvon Martin was
entitled to defend himself. Because the stand your ground laws don`t just
protect the Zimmermans of the world. They protect the Trayvon Martins with
iced tea and skittles as their only armament.

So, to the extent there is testimony that there may have been rolling
around at some point, I don`t believe that that`s necessarily fatal to the
prosecution`s case. The jury is going to sort out whether or not this
confrontation was initiated improperly by Zimmerman, and if at some point
he used deadly force when it wasn`t necessary to protect himself from
mortal injury.

SHARPTON: Zachary Carter, Michael Cardoza, thanks for your time
tonight.

CARDOZA: You`re welcome.

SHARPTON: Coming up. Republican leaders all over the country are
literally turning down billions in health care money for the poor. But we
are taking action. We`ll talk about health care crisis in America, next.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Right now in America, millions are living without
insurance. But the President`s health care law is poised to make a big
difference. And the administration is doing everything it can to make it
work. Today we learned that the administration is giving employers more
time to provide coverage for their employees. But despite that extra
effort, the GOP is showing absolute disregard for this crisis. Today we
learned a Tea Party lawsuit challenging Kentucky`s Medicaid expansion is
moving forward.

In Pennsylvania, state Republicans are making moves to kill that
state`s program too. Both states could end up joining the 21 others that
have blocked Medicaid expansion. And why is that so head-scratching?
Well, they`re literally throwing away federal money. All told, these 21
states are rejecting $346 billion. They`re saying no to a program that
won`t cost them a dime for the next few years. And as a result, they`re
leaving nearly 10 million people without any insurance.

How is this happening in America? That`s why tomorrow we`re proud to
partner on a free health clinic, a free health care clinic in New Orleans.
And we`re going there with the National Association of Free Clinics.

Joining me now is Nicole Lamoureux, the executive director of the
National Association of Free Clinics and Jim Conklin, a volunteer at
Tomorrow`s Clinic. Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

JIM CONKLIN, FREE CLINIC VOLUNTEER: Our pleasure.

SHARPTON: Nicole, let me know how things are looking for Tomorrow`s
Clinic. I`m excited about it. I`m on my way down there to join you.

NICOLE LAMOUREUX, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FREE CLINICS: Well, I tell
you, everybody down here is really excited to see you, Rev. And we have
hundreds of people already signed up to be with us tomorrow at the
convention center. People are unbelievably in need here in New Orleans.
They need diabetic testing, and they need that exam, and they need that
connection to the prescription medications. But more than that, we also
have all of these volunteers who want to make a difference.

I`ll tell you, the battle for health care is not over. We need to
continue to stand by, side by side, to provide access to health care to so
many people who need it. You`re going to see it tomorrow. Lines and lines
of hundreds of people who need access to health care, who have to swallow
their pride to come to a convention center to see a doctor. It should not
be that way in this country.

SHARPTON: Joe, why did you want to get involved as a volunteer?

CONKLIN: I became a volunteer with the National Association of Free
Clinics because I truly believe that every American deserves a right to
health care. I do not understand how our nation can continue to thrive and
prosper with so many people struggling to be healthy, to stay alive in this
country. Today I was out walking the streets of New Orleans, passing out
pamphlets.

SHARPTON: Wow!

CONKLIN: But my pamphlets were simply telling the people of New
Orleans, telling folks who I came across on the street about the health
clinic tomorrow. I was astounded, astounded. Walking through a city,
being mindful of the people in need rather than just looking at a city as a
new way to look at it for me. The people of New Orleans are struggling. I
find it difficult to understand why we are having a debate about whether we
should have health care or not and not how can we improve health care.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Nicole, Louisiana is a clear example of a
state that would have benefited from Medicaid expansion.

LAMOUREUX: Exactly, exactly.

SHARPTON: But it refused it. I mean, as a result, the state has
blocked coverage for up to 400,000 people and is rejecting close to $16
billion in federal funds. This is where you are, this is where I`m joining
you tomorrow. This is unbelievable.

LAMOUREUX: It`s ridiculous. I think I`ve said it before. I find it
irresponsible. People need help. We need to look at every American and
say you deserve access to health care. We`ve talked about this before,
Rev. You know, your health is something that you take for granted until
someone in your family or yourself is no longer healthy. We`ve invited the
governor to come. You`ve invited the governor. We`ve invited the mayor.
We`ve invited city council people to join us. No one is joining us.

But we`re still going to be there because the people need the help.
You want to expand Medicaid? We`re going to continue to give people access
to health care because they need it, because it`s the right thing to do.
That`s why we`re here.

SHARPTON: And I want people around the country to understand a point
that you have made before, and I have made before. The people who come to
these free clinics are working people.

LAMOUREUX: Exactly.

SHARPTON: They`re not people that are the takers as some people try
to degrade them in a derogatory term. Eighty three percent of the patients
at the country`s free and charitable clinics come from working households,
Nicole.

LAMOUREUX: They do. They come from working households. You know,
the easiest way to look at this, is they`re our brothers, our sisters, the
people would go to church with, the people we go to the grocery store with.
I`m getting tired of hearing that these are people living on the dole or
they`re lazy. That`s absolutely completely false.

And I`m so happy that we`re doing this clinic, and across the country
that we`re telling the story, that the un-insured not just a number, they
are a person, someone you can reach out and touch. And when you hear the
stories of single moms working hard every day trying to decide whether or
not they put food on the table or get access to health care, it make
yourself stomach sick. It shouldn`t be that way in this country.

SHARPTON: Nicole and Jim, great, great work. Thanks for being with
us, and we really look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

LAMOUREUX: Thank you.

CONKLIN: Thank you for the opportunity.

SHARPTON: Again, a special edition of POLITICS NATION from New
Orleans at the free health clinic tomorrow. I want to take a moment right
now to talk directly to the POLITICS NATION family. It takes a huge team
effort to provide these free clinics, and we need your help. You may not
be able to go with me to New Orleans, but you can donate. You can help.

If everyone hearing my voice right now donated just $1, just $1, it
would make a difference to so many families. Please, go right now. Go to
urgentcare.msnbc.com. With your help, we can make a difference and get
health care to so many Americans who really need it. We`ll be right back.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time for "Reply Al." Keep sending me all your
questions. Friend or foe, I want to know.

Mary writes, "Dear Reverend Al, I would love to attend the march on
Washington, but I am a teacher and the event takes place after the new
school year starts. How can I make my voice heard?"

Well, event`s on a Saturday, August 24th, and Martin Luther King III
and I have bus, caravans leaving from all over the country. Go to the
website, www.nationalactionnetwork.net. Put your name in and find out
where someone is going and coming back the same day on that Saturday. If
that`s too far for you, though, Mary, you can make your voice heard by
writing your Congress person, saying that I`m concerned about jobs,
justice, and voting. I couldn`t march, but I`m with those that are
marching August 24th.

Richard writes, "How can we count on Congress to restore voting rights
protection when all the House of Representatives is interested in doing is
voting for abortion bans and repeal Obamacare?"

Richard, the fight for voting rights is alive, especially today. This
is the 49th anniversary of the historic 1964 civil rights act, today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. PRES. LYNDON JOHNSON, UNITED STATES: This civil rights act is a
challenge to all of us to go to work in our communities and in our states,
in our homes and in our hearts. To eliminate the last vestiges of
injustice. In our beloved country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: With President Lyndon Johnson`s signature, the civil rights
act became law. It ended the Jim Crowe era, outlawing segregation by race,
religion, and gender. This landmark law also paved the way to the voting
rights act of 1965. How did we get that act? We got it because people
galvanized. They marched. They rallied. They lobbied Congress. They put
on the pressure. And that`s how we must keep the voting rights act today.

That`s how we must keep moving forward. It doesn`t come from the top
down. It always comes from the bottom up. And we must be those at the
bottom that stand up across all racial and gender lines and say we`re going
to make the dream a reality. We want to answer your questions. So e-mail
me. Askrev@msnbc.com. Remember, friend or foe, I want to know.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. We`ll see you tomorrow night
from New Orleans. "HARDBALL" starts right now.

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