msnbc   |  July 12, 2013

Inside the Zimmerman courtroom

MSNBC’s Craig Melvin discusses the testimonies and arguments with NBC producer Jamie Novogrod, who has been inside the courtroom for the majority of the George Zimmerman trial.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> and many of us have been watching this trial play out minute by minute over the past few weeks. but our next guest has been there virtually every day, he is an nbc news producer and an all-around good guy, good to see you, thank you for joining us.

>> thank you.

>> let's talk about where you have been seated. because anybody watching this trial has probably seen you right behind the zimmerman family. what was the mood like during that part, specifically during closing arguments?

>> it is fair to call it apprehensive, you have a family waiting for the results. you see them greeting them, it is tense, the sort of event that they would never want to have to go through. mr. zimmerman , george zimmerman 's father sat there. his wife -- george zimmerman 's wife sat there. george zimmerman 's mother sat there, later in the day after the recess after the deliberations began, there was a vending machine at the courthouse. mr. zimmerman , his father was there, paying for a diet coke , paying for a sprite, lining the bottles up for the family. all the everyday mechanics of a family in wait.

>> that is interesting, i want to get your take on the jury, as well. we know at this point, six women, five have children, we've seen them every day. what is your impression of the jury?

>> i think this has been an attentive jury, taking notes. then something interesting happened in the last couple of days. they seem to not take as many notes. they seemed to sit back a little more. they were engaged. there was no message of disengagement. but i picked up a message of becoming more comfortable with the case. and then, of course, they have gone into deliberation. today is a big day for them. this is the first time they have ever been able to speak about the facts of the case.

>> that is true.

>> they haven't even been able to speak about it themselves, they have been islands, as reams of information came through, not to mention, all the different versions of events, now they can talk about it.

>> before i let you get out of here you have become quite familiar with the cast of characters inside the courtroom, as well. and there are some characters. the closing arguments, the attorneys who made the closing arguments, just your general take on that?

>> i think in many ways it was a study in contrast. you had defense attorney mark o'mara, who is normally a cool customer. but this morning, he was particularly calm. he was rather gentle with the jury. he led them through the events of that night. then later, it was up to the prosecutor, john guy , to give his rebuttal, much more fiery. and here is an interesting thing, is that mark o'mara warned the jurors against first impression. he warned against the use of common sense , later, john guy stands up and says i want you to use your god-given common sense .