PoliticsNation | July 12, 2013
>>> for two centuries, we have lived by the constitution and the law. no juror has the right to violate rules we all share. at this time, if all you have will please take your notes with you and follow deputy jarvis back into the jury room.
>> that was 2:28 p.m . when judge nelson sent the jury on their way to begin deliberations. they deliberated for three and a half hours and are done for the night. the jury consists of six women, five of them are white, one is black or hispanic. five are mothers, and they range in age from their 30s to 60s. so how did they react to today's closing argument and rebuttal? joining me now live outside the courthouse in sanford, florida, kyle hightower, reporter for the associated press, who has been inside that courtroom for every second of this trial. kyle , what did the jury look like when they got the case today?
>> reverend al, i would say anxious and maybe a little stoic as they left the courtroom this afternoon. this is a group that whenever judge debra nelson has asked them for breaks, for water, to stretch out a little bit, they always denied her. but today they took her up on an offer right before lunch to take a break before she gave them their official instructions. they seemed very stoic and anxious as they left the courtroom today.
>> now you reported one juror had a strong reaction at one point today when prosecutor john guy said this. let me play to it you.
>> don't misunderstand me. your verdict is not going to bring trayvon benjamin martin back to life. your verdict is not going to change the past, but it will forever define it.
>> kyle , what did you see at that point?
>> well, obviously, reverend al, it was a line. it was obviously designed to elicit emotion. and juror b-29, the juror from chicago, originally from chicago, with eight children, only one child over the age of 18, she wiped away a tear. i mean, it was very noticeable. she reached up and wiped the corner of her eye and the bottom of her eye twice to wipe away a tear. it definitely elicited emotion that i think john guy was trying to go for.
>> all right, carl hightower, thank you so much for your time.
>>> so what are the jurors discussing now, and when can we expect a verdict? lisa bloom joins the panel. and lisa, the jury is done deliberating for the night. and earlier they asked for an evidence list. what do you make of that, and what do you make of this juror with the tear?
>> well, she was obviously moved. and this is a very intense case there is no question about it. you know, we talk a lot about the fact these jurors are mothers, and that's true. they're also professionals, a number of them. and let's include their brains as well as theuteruses when we're talking about them. one ran a call center . one ran a construction company. two of them work in the medical industry. so i would like to talk about them as full human beings and not just mothers. this jury deliberated as you said for three and a half hours today. and they're not done. it's a little bit of a slam i think to mark o'mara, if i may say so, because he seemed to confident in his closing argument that there was going to be a quick verdict. i think he was even implying to them that they should write innocent at the bottom of the form. well, he didn't get that today. i don't think he is going to get that at all. he might get a not guilty, but he is not going get them to write innocent at the bottom of the jury form.
>> marcia, this jury has been sequestered for more than 18 days. you know about guesequestered juries. how does that impact what goes on?
>> i do think it makes them move more quickly. obviously ual they all want to get home. no question about that. they have been pushing really hard through this trial there is a bit of a stutterstep as you just heard from the live reporter, the ap reporter, now that they know the case is coming into their hands and they're going have to actually deal with it. i can imagine them kind of doing a little bit of a gulp. it's bound to happen. they're going to come in and hear different opinions. people who think they're friendly and get along very well are going to be surprised by what they hear from the people they thought they knew after living together for 18 days. nevertheless, with the pressure of knowing that they cannot leave this hotel, these confines until they finish, i think they will push through to finish. i'm not surprised they department come today, not at all there is enough here to think about. there it is a simple case and there are not hundreds of witnesses. but nevertheless there are very sharply defined opposing points of view that can be brought to bear in the jury room. i would expect to see a verdict by tomorrow night.
>> joy, let me go to you. one of those witnesses, marcia said it wasn't a lot. but one was sybrina fulton , the mother of trayvon martin. and mark o'mara brought her up in his closing argument . listen to this.
>> miss fulton , how dare you question the mom of a passed away 17-year-old. doctors cut people sometimes when they do their work, and that was something i had to present to you to something about the way it happened.
>> how important and effective was sybrina fulton 's testimony that o'mara even clarified why he did what he did?
>> well, you know, rev, i think any time the mother of the victim testifies, it's obviously impactful. it obviously effects the jury and it's effective. she said what you would expect her to say, that she heard her son crying out on that 911 call. i think she was a very good witness for the prosecution . but mark o'mara has a job here, which is to try to get the juries to step back from the natural sympathy and emotion you'll feel when talking about a dead teenager . he's got to get them to put that aside. i think anything that he can do to mitigate what jurors might feel was a tough questioning of her, i don't think it was tough questioning of her. listen, i understand you're sympathetic to this mom, but that's not your job. his presentation was professorial, not the emotional presentation, because it is his job to drain the emotion out of the case, to walk people back from their emotional instant response and to get them to just look at whether or not the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt .
>> now, let me go to you, faith. when you heard readbacks, when you review testimony, obviously emotions and personalities of witnesses and all are gone. in this particular case, as a lawyer, who do you think will be -- who would that help the most in terms of just reviewing solid evidence and testimony without emotional as we go through all the deliberations?
>> well, i think it depends on what readback the jurors asked for. i mean, if they are considering all of the prosecutors' witnesses and what they said, they may ask for more readback to get clarification on that. but these jurors, some of them have taken notes. some of them have not. it's their recollection that will rule. and so they may ask -- this trial has been three weeks. so they may just want to remember specifically there may be some internal debating going on about what a witness said. and about certain facts. so they may just want to recall what that witness said and ask for readback based on that. so you can't really read a lot into that. because like i said, i think some witnesses have taken a lot of notes. but the jurors may not want to rely on someone else's notes. they may want the information from the court reporter herself.
>> all right. panel, please stay with me. we have a lot more to discuss.