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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Thursday, July 11th, 2013

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THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
July 11, 2013
Guests: Faith Jenkins, Marcia Clark, Jasmine Rand


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: This time tomorrow night, George Zimmerman
could be a convicted murderer or a free man, or still waiting for a
verdict.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: Why does this defendant get out of
the car if he thinks that Trayvon Martin is a threat to him?

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: Day 23 of the George Zimmerman trial.

DE LA RIONDA: Why? Because he`s got a gun. He`s a wannabe cop.

CHUCK TODD, MSBNC ANCHOR: Both sides have rested their case.

DON WEST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: This is outrageous.

TODD: They`re now debating the instructions that will go to the jury.

WEST: It`s certainly consistent with the way the case has proceeded.

WAGNER: Don West is clearly using some strong language there.

DE LA RIONDA: Is it really self-defense when you follow somebody?

CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC ANCHOR: Closing arguments today in the George
Zimmerman trial.

TODD: Closing arguments later this afternoon.

JANSING: It is coming up on decision time.

THOMAS ROBERTS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Once we get to the closing and final
chapter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s talk about the trial of George Zimmerman.

JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL: Case Number 12-CF-1083,
State versus George Zimmerman.

LISA BLOOM, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Who was the aggressor?

MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Are those consistent with striking
from (INAUDIBLE)

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

O`MARA: Let`s get more specific.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where would the gun be right now?

O`MARA: How about something resisting?

DR. VINCENT J.M. DI MAIO: My name is Dr. Vincent J.M. Di Maio.

GERI RUSSO: Geri Russo.

MARK OSTERMAN: Mark Osterman.

RACHEL JEANTEL: Rachel Jeantel.

WEST: We should plan at least a couple of hours.

JEANTEL: What?

BLOOM: He needs to tell her whether he is going to testify or not.

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Mr. Zimmerman not taking the stand.

WAGNER: George Zimmerman has pled not guilty and claims he fatally
shot Trayvon Martin in self defense.

JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL: Case Number 12-CF-1083,
State versus George Zimmerman.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Twenty-three days after the second degree murder trial of
George Zimmerman began -- today, the prosecution gave its closing argument.

Here is how state attorney, Bernie de la Rionda, began his case today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: A teenager is dead. He is dead through no fault of his
own. He is dead because another man made assumptions. That man assumed
certain things.

He is dead, not just because the man made those assumptions, because
he acted upon those assumptions. And unfortunately, unfortunately, because
his assumptions were wrong, Trayvon Benjamin Martin no longer walks on this
earth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Even though George Zimmerman chose not to testify in his
own defense, the prosecution tried to use George Zimmerman`s words against
him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: This innocent, 17-year-old kid was profiled as a
criminal. To quote the defendant and pardon my language, he was one of
those (EXPLETIVE DELETED) holes that get away. Pardon my language -- he
was one of those (EXPLETIVE DELETED) punks.

Now, the defendant, George Zimmerman, didn`t scream that out. And so,
the defense will argue well, that shows he didn`t have ill will or hatred.
No, I will submit to you that he uttered it under his breath, and that in
itself indicates ill will or hatred, because he was speaking to the 911, or
non-emergency person.

But what he was doing is verbalizing what he was thinking -- and
that`s why that`s important, because in his mind, he already assumes
certain things. That Trayvon Martin was a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) punk, and he
was a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hole, and he wasn`t going to get away this time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The prosecution then described Trayvon Martin as an
innocent teenager who was just trying to get home after going to a 7-
Eleven.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: He bought what? What did he buy? What was his crime?

He bought Skittles, and some kind of watermelon or iced tea, or
whatever it`s called. That was his crime.

He had $40 and 15 cents in his pockets. He was wearing a photo
button. And he was speaking to a girl in Miami.

He was minding his own business.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Do you think George Zimmerman`s reenactment of what
happened that night, the prosecution zeroed in on the position of the gun
before the shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: So the gun was not exposed earlier, he is getting beat
up. But he has not taken the gun out. It`s only when the victim starts to
reach for the gun. He tells Osterman he actually grabbed for the gun, or
touched it. But says he is reaching for the gun and then not realized as
he was holding one hand over my mouth, one hand over my nostril, I can`t
breath, but I see it, he`s got that third hand that he is going for the
gun.

Does that make sense? One of the things he does, he demonstrates to
the police where he had the gun. And it was not right here in the front.
It was towards the back and it was hidden. And he will demonstrate to the
police out there where it was.

Look at the gun. Look at the size of this gun. How did the victim
see that in the darkness?

Where was it? It wasn`t outside. It was tucked in behind. And he`ll
demonstrate to the police where it was. How did the victim see this gun?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: George Zimmerman`s friend, Mark Osterman testified that
George Zimmerman told him that Trayvon Martin straddled Zimmerman by his
arm pits, his arm pits. De la Rionda used a mannequin, once again, using
the mannequin again, to show the jury once again what it would look like.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: He is saying that arm pits, how did he get the gun out?
Armpits -- how does he get the gun out?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: A few months after the incident, George Zimmerman told
Sean Hannity that he had no regrets about what happened that night. But
today, he must have had regrets about talking to Sean Hannity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

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

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Is there anything you might do differently in
retrospect, after time has passed a little bit?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: I don`t know whether I need to comment about that. It
speaks for itself.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, MSNBC legal analyst, Lisa Bloom, former
criminal prosecutor, Faith Jenkins, and former prosecutor, Marcia Clark,
who is also the author of the new novel, "Killer Ambition."

Marcia Clark, the prosecution wants to lodge one central question, at
least, in the jury`s mind that leads to the answer of guilty. What do you
think the prosecution succeeded in -- in placing in front of the jury that
they can`t answer with anything other than a guilty verdict?

MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, so far, so far what the
prosecution has placed in front of the jury is the irrefutable fact that
George Zimmerman had ill will. He certainly did profile Trayvon Martin.
And he certainly did target him as somebody who was up to no good, for
reasons that seemed to be completely unfounded. If nothing else was
established that was established very clearly and it can`t be controverted.

After that, it becomes a matter of whether the jury believes that
George Zimmerman lied about getting out of the car because he couldn`t
remember the street name. I think they will believe that, especially
because the prosecutor was able to show that when he was talking to the
police very shortly thereafter, he popped the name right out. That was a
very good and impressive lie they put out there to show that he actually
was following Trayvon Martin and was trying to come up with an excuse for
it.

The final thing is the injuries. I think they made really a case for
the jury to understand that he exaggerated enormously what his injuries
were. And there was testimony both from the police, as well as from a
pathologist, to say that they were inconsequential, in spite of the fact
that he said his head was repeatedly beaten into the ground. And once
again, that goes consistently to his effort to minimize his own conduct, to
maximize his own view as a victim, and to make Trayvon Martin look like the
aggressor, when in fact, the physical facts don`t bear it out.

O`DONNELL: Lisa Bloom, there are lies that exposed in testimony, and
there are little are fudgings, and then there are things that -- ah, well,
he was trying to take a little lead off the base.

The street name is a very crucial element, I think, here in this
package that they`re trying to put together of Zimmerman lies, because what
it says to you is, immediately that night, immediately after the fact, he
knew the truth of his story wasn`t good enough. And he had to have a
reason for getting out of that car.

And the reason he came up with, for getting out of the car, is
completely unbelievable. I didn`t know what street I was on. In the three
street little thing that I patrol and know every inch of.

BLOOM: And where he is neighborhood watch commander and where he --

O`DONNELL: But why did he think he need a better reason to get out of
the car than whatever reason he had?

BLOOM: Because he knew that it was on tape that he was told not to
follow. And so, he needed a story as to why he did follow.

And so in the story that he tells that night and the next day, he
needs to say well I -- I know I was told not to follow and he says that. I
know I was told not to follow, but I wasn`t following, I was looking for a
street sign, because, yes, I can`t remember in the street, even though I
live there, right. And also I could not see an address, even though on the
videotaped reenactment, you could clearly see an address and a number.

O`DONNELL: Let`s go to the part where the prosecutor is talking
specifically about this thing and the directions and the following.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

ZIMMERMAN: The dispatcher said -- where did he go? What direction is
he going, I said I don`t know, I lost -- because he cut down here and made
a right. This is Twin Trees Lane.

DE LA RIONDA: Did you catch that? Did you catch him in one lie right
there? He originally told the police over and over, before and even after
this interview he didn`t know the name of the street. And then when they
just kind of let him talk, he gives them the name right there. I mean,
it`s common sense. There`s only three streets and he`s lived there four
years.

Again, why did he have to lie about that? Because he does not want to
admit that he was following this innocent young boy.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

O`DONNELL: And Faith Jenkins, there is also the question of well, was
Trayvon Martin running? Was he walking? What was he doing?

Look at what -- how the prosecution used the Hannity tape once again
on this issue. Let`s watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

HANNITY: Why do you think he was running then?

ZIMMERMAN: Maybe I said running, but he was more --

HANNITY: You said he was running.

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, he was like skipping, going away quickly. But he
wasn`t running out of fear.

HANNITY: You could tell the difference?

ZIMMERMAN: He wasn`t running.

HANNITY: So, he wasn`t actually running?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Hannity just asking a very simple question -- well,
perhaps Trayvon Martin was scared of you, since you`re following him. And
he is running away from you.

And so he realizes at that time, the defendant realizes oh, that
doesn`t look good. Because that means I`m chasing him. That means Trayvon
Martin is the one that is scared. That doesn`t look good for me.

So what does he say? Oh, he is skipping away. La, la, la. That`s
what he is claiming.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

O`DONNELL: Faith, the way you get a jury to resent a defendant not
testifying is you pile up these questions that are unsatisfactory. The way
Zimmerman has left this record so far is unsatisfactory to a jury. They do
really want to know, are you saying he was running or not running? Why did
you really get out of the car? How did you get that gun from basically
behind your back when you`re on your back in the dark?

They want answers to that question if they`re going to let you walk
out of this courtroom having killed that 17-year-old.

FAITH JENKINS, FORMER CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: That`s exactly right,
because think about what that means. This 17-year-old is running away from
him with nothing but candy, snacks, a drink, his phone and minutes later,
he ends up shot and killed, dead.

And so, the prosecutor here, their strategy, the reason they put it in
all of their statements, because in the beginning, remember they said we
want to build on his web of lies, this web of deceit. So one after
another, they`ve been tallying up those web of lies. Why is he lying about
these things? Because it`s consciousness of guilt.

He is lying because he killed this young man. It was murder, it
wasn`t self defense and that`s what they want this jury to come to the
conclusion of.

O`DONNELL: But, Marcia, we`ve got to take a break, quickly, but each
of these things, in isolation, seems like something that a witness,
Zimmerman, could deal with on the witness stand if there was a reasonable
explanation for it.

CLARK: Maybe, and maybe not. To tell you the truth, I don`t think
that Zimmerman could ever do any better on the witness stand and probably
would do a great, great deal worse on the witness stand than he did with
those cops in the statements or with even Sean Hannity.

So, I have to say -- he`s already gotten his best whack at explaining
his conduct and his actions through those statements, without being
subjected to real cross examination.

O`DONNELL: All right. We`re going to have to take a break here.
We`re going to be back with all of you.

Also coming up, an attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family will join us.
We`ll also talk to a juror who has been in a situation like this.

More from our panel also on the judge`s instructions to the jury.
That`s going to be tomorrow, and what else we can expect tomorrow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WEST: Oh, my God, just when I thought this case couldn`t get anymore
bizarre, the state is seeking third degree murder based on child abuse?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That happened today during the lawyers` arguments over the
instructions the judge will give the jury tomorrow. We will have more
about those instructions, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: Again, going back to that assumption that he made
originally, when he profiled a 17-year-old boy that had Skittles. That`s
the crime he committed that evening. Skittles that he didn`t even steal
from 7-Eleven. He legitimately bought.

You saw the videotape. He was not instilling fear into that clerk
over there, because he was wearing a hoodie. But somehow, this man right
here became suspicious of a 17-year-old kid who is wearing a hoodie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Back with us, Lisa Bloom, Faith Jenkins and Marcia Clark.

Marcia, he seems to be trying to drill home the point that Trayvon
Martin did nothing that night to deserve his death. Beginning with the 7-
Eleven and everything he was doing before he encountered George Zimmerman.

CLARK: Right, and it`s a really important point that he is making
here.

In other words, Trayvon Martin is the victim. Trayvon Martin was
going about his business. He went to the liquor store to get iced tea and
Skittles for his nephew, and he was zoned in to watch the all-star game.
He is talking to Rachel Jeantel, hey, make sure the game is on.

He`s going about his business very innocently, and doing nothing
wrong, and certainly not engaged in any kind of behavior that would justify
suspicion. You can see he is focused on getting home. It`s a rainy night.

He is not trying to scope out the neighborhood, that he was trying to
burglarize. And that`s the point of what the prosecutor was saying and
it`s a good one, because somebody is zoning in on getting home, watching
the all-star game, getting Skittles to his nephew is not someone who is
casing the joint, or looking to get into a fight. And so, if that`s the
case, then who started this fight? George Zimmerman.

O`DONNELL: And to the point of what happened in that fight -- and we
don`t have George Zimmerman taking the witness stand to testify or get
cross examined and we obviously cannot have Trayvon Martin. The
prosecution went to the l evidence and blood stains, where is the blood?
Why is there no blood in Trayvon Martin`s hands?

Let`s listen to this particular piece about Dr. Di Maio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: You recall one of the things we talked about. I think
one of the witnesses, I think Dr. Di Maio, very impressive, distinguished
doctor, this photograph that the defense keeps berating. You recall what I
did?

What do you expect? Blood. And I`m going to show you the
photographs, not just what the medical examiner is saying, oh, that Dr.
Bao, he is incompetent, he didn`t know what he was doing.

No, I`m going to showing you the photographs at the scene. We`ll
show, no blood on his hands. They`re going to say, oh, it was raining that
night.

Wow, and I guess the blood on the defendant had just stuck there,
right? But on the victim they just kind of vanished?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Lisa Bloom, if there was blood on Trayvon Martin`s hands,
this would be such a different case.

BLOOM: That`s true. Actually, I think it is a weak point for the
prosecution because George Zimmerman was immediately taken into custody and
photographed and Trayvon Martin`s remains were left there for several
hours. And I think it`s been pretty clearly established in this case that
the evidence collection procedures were poor.

Trayvon Martin`s hands were not bagged. His fingernails were not
necessarily all scraped. If they were, they were scraped with the same
implement. Some of the evidence was kept in a plastic bag, even though it
was wet, so that the biological material degraded. I mean, there is really
no question about that.

And the absence of evidence is not evidence. So I didn`t think the
prosecution did particularly well on that score.

JENKINS: But no trace of blood? No trace of DNA? And the rain
washing it away? That is the weakest excuse and argument. It is just not
believable.

George Zimmerman did not sustain the beating he claims he sustained at
the hands of Trayvon Martin.

BLOOM: Well, how did he get the injuries? He didn`t get punched in
the face --

JENKINS: He may have.

(CROSSTALK)

JENKINS: Twenty-five to 30 times, Lisa.

BLOOM: But if we`re going to concede that he got punched in the face,
then why are we taking so much time talking about Trayvon Martin`s hands?
Admit that he got punched in the face, and deal with that and the
prosecution didn`t do that.

JENKINS: I don`t think they`re shying away from that. There is
contact there. He has blood on him. The fact is George Zimmerman
embellished the severity of the beating, because he wanted to justify
shooting Trayvon Martin. He did not get beat in the face 25 to 30 times,
his head did not get repeatedly slammed into the concrete, he doesn`t have
the injuries to sustain that. No one believes he was beaten that way.

O`DONNELL: Let`s --

CLARK: And here`s the thing --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Marcia.

CLARK: OK. Here`s the thing and I agree with you, Faith, because
here`s the thing, you would expect to find some trace. When you break a
nose, or you bloody a nose, nose bleeds like crazy. By the way, so does
head wounds. So, there is enough blood to have gotten on Trayvon Martin if
indeed he had the kind of contact George Zimmerman was describing, with the
repeated pounding into the pavement and holding his head and shoulders the
way he had to. Some blood would be on him and some of it -- at least trace
amounts would have been found somewhere, rain or no rain, collection or no
collection, it`s not that hard to detect blood.

And the fact that they found no is significant.

BLOOM: But they didn`t do blood detecting. They didn`t luminol at
the scene. I mean, the prosecution experts have to acknowledge that.
That`s the problem for the state.

O`DONNELL: OK. Let`s hold it there. Lisa, Faith, Marcia, we`re
going to be back with more.

Up next, a lawyer for Trayvon Martin`s family reacts to the
prosecution`s closing argument.

And later, a look at the jury that will decide George Zimmerman`s
guilt or his not guilt. We don`t say innocence. We do not have a finding
of innocence in America. Teleprompter incorrectly said innocence, so I
have to adjust that.

We`ll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)]

DE LA RIONDA: Some of the people you heard from were the parents of
both the victim and the defendant. Unfortunately, the only photographs
left of Trayvon Martin are these M.E. photographs. I mean, they still have
other photographs, you saw some of them in his football days when he was
younger. But they can`t take anymore photos.

And that`s true because of the actions of one person, the man before
you, the defendant, George Zimmerman -- the man who is guilty of second
degree murder.

Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And that is how the prosecution ended their presentation
today.

Joining me now, an attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family, Jasmine Rand.

Jasmine Rand, the prosecution in effect is representing the Martin
family -- Martin family interests in the courtroom during this trial. How
does the family feel about how they were represented in the case so far?

JASMINE RAND, TRAYVON MARTIN FAMILY`S ATTORNEY: The family is very
pleased with the representation of the prosecution throughout this process.
Today, what we saw was Bernie de la Rionda bring home George Zimmerman`s
tangled web of lies. And I`ve heard the evidence discussed throughout this
show tonight.

But I really want to bring it back to the basics to drive home the
point. This is not a complicated case. We knew a few simple facts, that
George Zimmerman got out of the car that night with a loaded gun and a live
round in the chamber, and Trayvon Martin`s name on the bullet.

He said, quote-unquote, "These F-ing A-holes always get away." And he
wasn`t letting another one get away. We know that he followed Trayvon
Martin throughout the neighborhood and we know that a bullet was lodged in
the heart of a child.

And something else is really important to know in terms of George
Zimmerman`s mindset is that he felt no remorse. As we heard the video on
Hannity tonight, he said killing Trayvon Martin was all in God`s plan -- I
don`t know who he was praying to.

O`DONNELL: Jasmine, what the jury has not heard in this case is the
decision moment by the defendant to kill Trayvon Martin and exactly what
was it based on.

George Zimmerman did not tell this jury, I chose to shoot and kill him
at this moment because I believe -- fill in the blank. That testimony
never came.

RAND: That is true, but I don`t think we would ever hear George
Zimmerman say exactly why he killed Trayvon Martin. He would be sure to
get a conviction. But what we do know is that he had called on numerous
occasions to report young, black male is committing suspicious criminal
activities on the property from his perception. And we know that he
followed Trayvon Martin with a loaded gun and that Trayvon Martin is dead.

O`DONNELL: You have been close to the family. And I just have to
wonder how tense they must be tonight. And how do you advise them to
prepare themselves for a verdict in this case?

RAND: Sabrina and Tracy pray constantly. And that is what I have
advised them to do, as Bernie De La Rionda said today. The moral arc of
justice is long with justice is long, but event towards justice. So, we
are praying for justice and we believe that George Zimmerman will be
convicted of murder.

O`DONNELL: Jasmine Rand, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

RAND: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: We invited members of George Zimmerman`s defense team to
join us, but understandably, they declined. They have a very big work day
to prepare for tomorrow.

Coming up next, the possible verdicts, second degree murder,
manslaughter or not guilty.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The first order of business in the courtroom this morning
was to settle disputes about what will be included in the judge`s
instructions to the jury. The defense objected to including an option for
the jury to find George Zimmerman guilty of the lesser charge of
manslaughter. But the judge agreed with the prosecution that Florida law
requires that manslaughter be included as the lesser charge in a second
degree murder case.

Back with me, MSNBC legal analyst, Lisa Bloom, also with me former
homicide prosecutor Ken Padowitz.

Ken, I want to go to the importance of this fight this morning that
got very tense over the exactly what will included in the judge`s
instructions to the jury. After the attorneys deliver their closing
arguments, masterful or not, emotional or not, compelling or not, how
important is the judge`s instructions which tends to come over as a very
dry recitation by the judges.

KEN PADOWITZ, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, the instructions are
everything in this case. And there really are no questions in Florida as
to whether or not manslaughter was going to come in as one of the
instructions of the jury. If one side asks for in Florida, and there is
any type of evidence that supports it which there is in this case,
manslaughter has to be read to the jury. So, it really was not a good
debate.

But, what`s really important is to think about what a lesser included
in crime is. It is kind of like if you think about an upside down pyramid.
The top of the pyramid being second degree murder, the charge that is filed
against Mr. Zimmerman and then under that is manslaughter. It is subsumed
within the higher crime. So, the judge will tell them you have to start
with the highest crime and if the elements have not been proven to you
beyond a reasonable doubt, the next job is for you to the next lesser
included crime of manslaughter.

And here, we know that second degree murder, they are basically
looking at depraved mind, ill will, spite, evil intent on George Zimmerman.
But for manslaughter, the lesser included crime is one of two ways, you see
if there are intentional act that caused the death of Trayvon Martin or is
culpable negligence. Negligence we usually think of in civil cases. But
in criminal court, negligence has to rise to the level of being culpable.
That mean gross, want, and reckless disregard for human life. And that is
the key words, disregard for human life.

O`DONNELL: And Lisa Bloom is that negligent standard met if you`re in
a fist fight and you pull in a gun?

LISA BLOOM, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Right. In other words imperfect
self-defense from time it was called or George Zimmerman panicked. He was
not really in reasonable fear of great bodily injury or death. He was just
panicked. He freaked out. He grabbed the gun and shot, maybe he didn`t
have a depraved mind at that moment. Maybe he really was thinking about
saving his life, but in retrospect, that was not reasonable. That would be
manslaughter.

O`DONNELL: And Ken Padowitz, I think a lot of Americans are looking
at this and kind of realizing just anecdotally based on our own experience
that if George Zimmerman, during the pursuit when he was in the car, if
Trayvon Martin had kind of tripped off the curve or something and the car
had hit Trayvon Martin and killed him, that Zimmerman`s conviction on some
kind of vehicle homicide would be virtually assured. And yet getting out
of the car, and getting into an some kind of encounter with him and then
pulling out the gun could be a way of walking away as a free man, not
guilty after killing him.

PADOWITZ: Right, and that is the defense theory, self defense, that
at the last few seconds, Zimmerman felt, reasonably felt, that he was in
fear for his life or great bodily harm to himself and had to pull the
trigger. But it is the prosecution`s job to take the much wider view and
to start from the point where Zimmerman is following, pursuing, stalking,
has a gun, it is loaded, it is chambered with a round, he disregarding a
911 operator. All of these things can go to depraved mind for second
degree murder. But they also can go, and I think even stronger for
manslaughter to show a culpable negligence. It is really a disregard for
human life.

And when he places, you know, the kid in the corner, who has to defend
himself, who has to stand his ground and fight back for his life that is
when Zimmerman decides to pull the trigger. And that is why really it is a
very strong argument for culpable negligence for a manslaughter, lesser
included crime, which is a very serious conviction.

BLOOM: It was actually the easiest part of the case to prove. You
have him on tape minutes before, calling him an f-ing punk and a-hole, do
we think that during the fight, he grew fonder of Trayvon Martin?
Immediately afterwards at the station, he is calling saying him a suspect
and self-implying he is a criminal, and five months later he is saying he
has no regret and it is God`s plan. What part of that is not ill will?

O`DONNELL: Well, Ken, if manslaughter ca is an easier one to prove,
how do you defend the manslaughter case tomorrow because you`re going to
have to defend both of these?

PADOWITZ: Right. And the judge is going to read the instructions of
self defense both times. She is going to read it right after she tells the
jury the law for second degree murder and she is going to read self defense
again when she reads the manslaughter instruction.

So, the jury is going to hear that self defense argument or the law
from the judge twice and that is the defense`s job tomorrow in closing
argument to really show the jury hey, there is reasonable doubt all over
the place here. And there is reasonable doubt as to whether or not George
Zimmerman had to fire that gun to defend his life. And therefore, you
know, you must find my client not guilty. That is to be the argument that
the defense is going to have to make here for both second degree murder and
for manslaughter.

O`DONNELL: But is the jury going to have a different standard in
their heads for just the call on using self defense when it comes to the
manslaughter charge?

BLOOM: I know exactly what you`re getting to. And the problem I have
is that the jury has gotten this visual from both sides over and over again
of George Zimmerman down. Trayvon Martin on top, pounding his head,
punching him in the face. I think most people in that situation would say
if you had a gun on you, you could take it out and shoot it?

O`DONNELL: Not in my neighborhood, it used to happen all the time and
nobody pulled a gun.

BLOOM: The prosecution needed to give the jury today an alternative
theory, they didn`t so that. The defense has been very good with this one
theory, driving it over and over again, questioning with so many witnesses,
putting that scenario front of the jury. That is in their mind.

The jury does not have an alternative. The prosecution should have
stood up the dummy during the closing argument, shown how they could have
been standing, put George Zimmerman on top as a number of witnesses said he
was. The prosecution failed to do that. And so, the jury only has that
one image. That has got to be a concern for the prosecution.

O`DONNELL: Ken Padowitz and Lisa Bloom, thank you very much.

Of course, Lisa, you are going to be back.

PADOWITZ: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Up next, a look at the six women on that jury who will
decide to convict or acquit George Zimmerman.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: What is it like to be a sequestered juror in a high
pressure case like this with stakes like this? I`ll ask a juror who was
sequestered, and it is not too terribly different from this. That`s coming
up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: After the defense gives its closing argument tomorrow, the
fate of George Zimmerman will then rest with the jury, a jury that is
comprised of six women, five of whom are mothers, the alternate jurors are
two women and one man. There are only six juror because Florida law
requires a 12 person-jury for potential death penalty cases only. And six
person juries for all other cases. The jury has been sequestered for the
duration of the trial and the judge has given them these instructions every
day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEBRA NELSON, ZIMMERMAN MURDER TRIAL JUDGE: You`re not to discuss the
case among yourself or with anybody else. You are not to read or listen to
any e-mails, text messages, or social networking pages about the case.
You`re not to create or read any of those. You`re not to get on the
internet to do any independent research about the case, people, places,
things or events, nor listen to any newspapers or television reports. Do I
have your word that you will abide by these instructions?

JURORS: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Dr. Jara Best. She was part of a
sequestered jury in a murder trial last year in Memphis. And that jury
convicted a man of involuntary manslaughter, a lesser charge than the first
degree murder charge of the prosecution in that case was seeking.

Thanks very much for joining us tonight.

And I think a lot of people out there, specifically tonight are
wondering, after you got your jury instruction on that murder charge, how
did you work it down to a manslaughter conviction?

DOCTOR JARA BEST, SEQUESTERED JURY IN MEMPHIS: Well, it was a lot of
deliberation among our jurors. We read over the instructions from the
judge. We read it word for word to make sure we understood each and every
charge that was presented to us. And it took us a while to finally come an
agreement. But what we did is make sure we understood every word that was
written as far as those instructions that were given to us. And that was
probably the hardest part, making sure we followed the law and abided by
the instructions. And that was probably the toughest part.

O`DONNELL: I think, you know, a lot of analysis has said by so many
who were impressed so much by the second degree charge case here that the
prosecution should have been charging with manslaughter all along. And I
think in that analysis, there is a presumption that the jury will resent
the prosecutors coming in at second degree murder, if what they really have
is a manslaughter case here.

What is your experience with that? The prosecution coming in at one
level on a murder charge, and you, the jury, finding something less?

BEST: Well, actually, you know, we knew what the initial charge was.
And throughout the trial, you know, listening to all the evidence that was
presented to us, we were you know, among ourselves, of course, trying to
determine what the final charge should be. And you know, when you`re
sitting with your fellow jurors going over the case, listening and going
over all the evidence that has been presented to you throughout the trial,
you`re still trying to remember all the evidence you heard and you know,
looking at your notes. Trying to remember, if this actually fits the
charge that is presented to you, was there enough evidence to go with the
charge or do you have to figure out there was another charge that was
actually going to be the final decision. And it was a hard decision
amongst the fellow jurors tonight.

O`DONNELL: And talk about the sequester, what that does to the
jurors. And do you think it improves their attention to the case and their
fidelity to the process?

BEST: It absolutely does. My -- the instructions that were read to
the jurors about the sequester, you are not expose to any media, any news
media, you are not able to discuss the case at all until it is handed over
to you by the judge.

And so, you`re living with these people pretty much. You know, no TV,
no cell phones, nothing. So you know, you`re getting to know these people
throughout being sequestered, knowing you can`t talk about the case until
you are finally handed over to it. But, if you are getting to know this
people. I mean, you are eating with them every day, you are spending every
hour with them almost. So you`re getting to know your fellow jurors. And
just that part in itself helped when you actually tried to decide on the
verdict and actually you got to know the people you have living with for
such a while there.

O`DONNELL: And quickly before you go, when you finally get to
deliberate and you`re in that room, and the case has gone to you. You are,
for the first time, liberated. You are allowed to talk to each other about
what you have been thinking about the whole time. How surprise where you
at some of the thoughts of you other jurors?

BEST: Yes. That was probably, like you said, the most surprising
part because you don`t know what your fellow jurors are thinking throughout
all the trial, on the evidence that you are presenting. You are all seeing
the same thing but it is how people are perceiving that evidence. It is
amazing how different it is. And so that is the whole journey of
deliberation when you are presented with all the evidence, all the
forensics, everything the prosecution and the defense is giving you, it is
amazing to see how each person interprets those pieces of evidence and
that`s part of the deliberation. That was maybe, the hardest trying to
interpret from all these different personalities and coming with the
decision that we really all finally agreed on.

O`DONNELL: Dr. Jara Best, thank you very much for joining us.

BEST: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Up next, what George Zimmerman`s defense team will want to
try to prove in their closing argument tomorrow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The jury returns to the courtroom at 8:30 tomorrow
morning, at which time Mark O`Mara will begin the defense`s closing
argument. The state will then have the opportunity to rebut the defense`s
closing and then the judge will charge the jury and the case will be
theirs.

Back with me, Lisa Bloom, Faith Jenkins and Marcia Clark.

I want to listen to something that Mark O`Mara said, this is going to
be up there tomorrow. What he said when he was arguing for basically a
directed verdict at the end of the prosecution`s case saying that they
failed to make their case. It came down to this one line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Trayvon Martin did in fact cause his
own death.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Marcia Clark, that is what they have to argue to this
jury. That George Zimmerman did not cause that death. The death was
caused and Trayvon Martin`s death was caused by Trayvon Martin.

MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: That is right. That they`re going
to have to point to whatever they can to try and establish that George
Zimmerman was not the aggressor, that Trayvon Martin was, and that George
Zimmerman had no choice, ultimately but to shoot at Trayvon Martin. And
so, what they`re going to point to, I`m sure, is number one thing is the
way that the ballistic evidence showed, there was no stippling in tattooing
on the skin of Trayvon Martin`s body, and that the entry into the hoodie
seemed to be closer in range which indicates the hoodie was kind of hanging
closer to his body. Their argument would be that is that means he was
leaning over George Zimmerman, which is consistent with the story that he
was on top of George Zimmerman and beating him. That will be a key piece
of evidence for them.

As well, they will point to George Zimmerman`s injuries and rely very
heavily on Dr. Di Maio`s testimony to show that he was reasonably in fear
of imminent danger. I think those are going to be the key points for them.
Of course, the 911 tape as well, but I think that particular football has
been back and forth across the field so many times. I`m not sure the jury
is even going to be able to sort out what they think about who was the
screaming one.

O`DONNELL: And Lisa Bloom, the defense will presumably want to stay
on the fight as much as they possibly can because it is only within the
moments, whatever that is, minutes of that fight that the justification for
homicide can exist.

BLOOM: Yes, here is the best defense argument, you know what? George
Zimmerman probably did make terrible assumptions of Trayvon Martin, he
probably did profile him. That was a big mistake, he shouldn`t have done
that. But it was not illegal. He is not on trial for profiling and making
assumptions because that is not a crime. He got out of the car, he
followed, but then he was assaulted then he was attacked. And then they
will get into the physical fight and all their medical and legal evidence
to support of that. I hope that the prosecution on rebuttal points out
that he was -- that Trayvon Martin was wearing a baggy sweat t-shirt that
bagged at the bottom, that would have been from his body even in the
standing position, that the outer sweatshirt would be even further from his
body so the tooth of (INAUDIBLE) is really not all that insignificant.

O`DONNELL: Faith, I many times have heard jurors mention things after
the deliberations and after the verdict is in, that no lawyer mentioned in
the closing, that they -- here was the fact, here was the thing that made
me vote this way. Is there anything that you can think a juror might be
picking up that the prosecution has under-emphasized or didn`t lean on
today. Or something on the defense side that they may grab onto that Mark
O`Mara has not used?

FAITH JENKINS, FORMER CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: The prosecution cannot
state with specificity what happened in the altercation between Trayvon and
George Zimmerman. So, they`re going after the defense`s statement, saying
he is a liar. You can`t believe his story and this child is dead. But, if
there is anything that I think the jurors will look at in the prosecution`s
arguments, it is that they don`t know. That they`re saying we don`t have
to know. We know that Trayvon Martin is dead, and he is a liar. Why is he
lying, because his consciousness of guilt because he murdered him, but that
may be a sticking point.

O`DONNELL: And let listen to this part about Dr. Di Maio`s testimony,
let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOCTOR VINCENT DI MAIO, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Based upon the
concentration of the marks and the size of the pattern, it is my opinion
that the muzzle of the gun in this case was two to four inches away from
the skin. So the barrel of the gun was against the clothing, the muzzle of
the gun was against the clothing. But the clothing itself had to be two to
four inches away from the body at the time Mr. Martin was shot. So the
wound itself, by the gap, by the powder tattooing, in the face of contact
of the clothing indicate -- indicates that this is consistent with Mr.
Zimmerman`s account, that he -- that Mr. Martin was over him leaning
forward at the time he was shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Marcia Clark, is that possibly the single most important
piece of testimony that the prosecution has to overcome?

CLARK: You know, I don`t think so, Lawrence. I`m not that impressed
with that testimony. I know it has been cited as a big deal for them. But
I agree with Lisa, there are so many positions that Trayvon could have been
in to have the t-shirt -- the sweatshirt fall away. Don`t forget, too, you
know, it is a rainy night, I don`t know quite how that t-shirt fit him. He
could be standing straight up. And it could still be a little bit hanging
away from him. He was very thin. And two to four inches was not a lot of
room. It is not huge, it is not billowing out a foot in front of him. So,
I don`t think it is that big of deal.

O`DONNELL: The "Last Word" tonight has to go to Marcia Clark. We are
out if time.

Marcia, thank you. Faith Jenkins, Lisa Bloom, thank you all for
joining me tonight in this week. Really appreciated.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.

END

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