Thomas Roberts   |  July 05, 2013

Medical examiner: Trayvon Martin did not die instantly

MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts talks to legal analyst Lisa Bloom about the medical examiner’s testimony in the George Zimmerman trial.

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

>> is thomas robertson in new york watching this compelling testimony from dr. shiping bao who performed the autopsy on trayvon martin . his testimony was interrupted after saying trayvon he believes was still alive and in pain and suffering and the defense objecting to that testimony. msnbc analyst lisa bloom is with me and mr. cobb from "the new yorker." lisa, let me start with you. it seems as if the doctor was reading from a script when he first got on the stand. how likely is it the prosecution would have given him questions ahead of time to be able to answer them. once the prosecution asked what was the height and weight of trayvon martin , he did not follow script and give height and weight information. he went into how the body arrived at his office.

>> highly unusual. the way this is supposed to go is question answer question answer. witness s are not allowed to testify in a narrative, meaning just give a lengthy statement or dissertation on a particular issue. i was very surprised when he was asked the height he didn't simply say 5'11", he went off on what he wanted to talk about. we know there was a stipulation advanced to some of his testimony. perhaps it was on this point. you really zeroed in on an interesting point they're now at sidebar about. his ability to testify that trayvon martin , after he was shot, remained alive for some period of time, that he was in pain, he was suffering. the defense objected and said this is really not relevant, just for an emotional appeal and the judge said she would allow it. i would expect that's because it is relevant to consider whether trayvon martin remained alive for a period of time, to see if it's consistent with george zimmerman 's story. george zimmerman said after he shot him, trayvon martin said, you got me, or words to that effect. he then slumped down. there's a question about whether his hands moved. zimmerman said he left trayvon martin with his hands out. the body was found with the hands underneath. i think whether or not he was still alive afterwards is relevant to the case and perhaps that's why the judge ruled as she did. i think now at sidebar the attorneys are arguing about the extent of this testimony. how long will this witness be able to go on and talk about the suffering trayvon martin endured during the shooting.

>> doesn't it matter the doctor said, in my opinion. he led into the statement what he was talking about after the shooting and said in my opinion, i believe tropical stoayvon martin was alive and went into 3 descriptive terms of suffering. doesn't the jury, they heard the part, in my opinion, they know it's his professional opinion what he believes.

>> that's right. he's an expert witness . he's allowed to testify as to medical opinion. he is the medical examiner. lay witnesses like you or i, if we went in, we couldn't testify as to our opinion, only as to facts. expert witnesses can testify as to opinions.

>> is it odd it seemed he had prepared answers to certain questions and was reading from a script?

>> he's allowed to bring in his report and he's allowed to look at his report. he's supposed to just answer the questions and only allowed to refresh his recollection looking at the report. since that wasn't objected to, i'm assuming to that's been agreed to in advance as part of an advance stipulation.

>> they're back too work in