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PoliticsNation, Thursday, July 11th, 2013

July 11, 2013
Guests: Faith Jenkins; Ken Padowitz; Lisa Bloom; Marcia Clark; John Burris

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight`s lead, the state`s
closing arguments in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial.

This afternoon, the prosecution gave the jury its summary of the case
against Mr. Zimmerman. A dramatic, emotional presentation. A lot of state
believes he profiled, followed, and gunned down Trayvon Martin. It came
just hours after the judge ruled that the jury can also consider the lesser
charge of manslaughter. A decision that could have a huge impact on how
the jury decides this case.

Lots to talk about. But we start with the closing arguments. The
prosecution reminding the jury of what their case is all about.



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. Unfortunately, this is one of the last photos that will
ever be taken of Trayvon Martin. And that is true because of the actions
of one individual, the man before you, the defendant, George Zimmerman.


SHARPTON: Assistant state attorney Bernie De La Rionda, then walked
the jury through what the prosecution has called Zimmerman`s web of lies.
How did he not know the streets of his own neighborhood? Did he exaggerate
his injuries? If Trayvon Martin really grabbed Mr. Zimmerman`s gun, why
was none of Martin`s DNA on it?

All together, it was an effort by the prosecution to deliver on what
it has called Mr. Zimmerman`s web of lies. An effort to undermine his
truthfulness in the eyes of the jury. The defense will deliver its closing
arguments tomorrow. Then George Zimmerman`s fate will be in the hands of
the jury.

Back with me now is my all-star legal panel, MSNBC legal analyst Lisa
Bloom, former prosecutor Faith Jenkins, defense attorney Ken Padowitz,
defense attorney John Burris, and former prosecutor Marcia Clark. She is
also author of "killer ambition."

Thank you all for being here.

LISA BLOOM, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Thanks for having us.





SHARPTON: Marcia, let me start with you. Why was the prosecution so
focused on what they called Zimmerman`s web of lies in these closing

CLARK: Well, because this is a key aspect of the proof of guilt in
this case. If all you did was simply get out of your car to look at the
street sign, to repeat the name of the street to the police and you didn`t
follow Trayvon Martin, and you didn`t become the aggressor, and you didn`t
start the confrontation, and then escalate it to the point of hooting him.
If that, none of that happened, then why did you lie? Why do you need to
lie if what you did was innocent, if you did nothing wrong? And that`s
really kind of the whole theme of things.

And it all started with the mind-set that Trayvon Martin was somehow
up to no good, and that he was somebody that had to be watched and was
behaving suspiciously, when in fact, we know based on all of the evidence
put together, Trayvon Martin was doing nothing more than walking home with
skittles and iced tea.

SHARPTON: Let me go around my expert panel and give me your general
assessment of how did the prosecution do today in your judgment. Let me
start with you, Lisa Bloom.

BLOOM: Well, I`m sorry to say, I think it was a poor presentation. I
think he had a lot of the facts, but it was a meandering walk through the
evidence, rather than making declarative statements as to how the evidence
proves murder beyond the reasonable doubt. I don`t know why he was asking
so many questions. Questions are doubt. Questions are what the defense

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Faith.

JENKINS: I disagree with Lisa on this point. There are questions
because the only other eyewitness to this encounter is dead. So obviously
there are going to be questions. On rebuttal, I`m sure the state is going
to get up and say don`t reward this defendant for killing the only other
eyewitness. I thought the prosecutor did a great job of painting a
narrative today. Why are we here? Who started this? Who profiled? Who
pursued in who had a gun? Who had all the power? One person, and that was
George Zimmerman.


BURRIS: Well, I think it was true that he was powerful and he talked
about who Trayvon was and why he was being profiled and all that. I think
it was very powerful on that. But I have to tell you, I didn`t like the
questions that he was always leaving up to the juries. And at the end of
the day, I don`t think he was that strong on whether or not he himself
believed that they had proven the case for second-degree murder. Overall,
I thought he could have done a better job putting forth and punctuating
those issues that proved the case as opposed to raising questions for the
jurors to answer.

SHARPTON: Ken, you have done 35 murder cases in Florida. Tell what`s
you think.

PADOWITZ: Well, it was a good closing argument for the prosecution,
but it was not a great one. I mean, these rhetorical questions is
effective if used sparingly to show the jury that you`re a minister of
justice, you`re not just a salesman. But he used so many of these
question, leaving them unanswered, some of them, that I think it was too

So, I would say it was good. He had an effective use of demonstrative
aids using those visuals in the courtroom. He knows that the defense in
their closing is going to use computer animation, which by the way, I did
the first one in the state of Florida in 1993 in state versus Pierce. So I
know how effective that animation can be. And the prosecution`s answer to
that animation was using these visual aids, using the tapes and the
statements made by Zimmerman and showing the jury piece by piece by piece
throughout the closing.

So I think it was effective. I think it was good, but they have a
stronger manslaughter case, not second degree. And I would have liked to
see more arguments towards manslaughter. And he didn`t really touch upon
it as much as I`d like to see.

BURRIS: I don`t think he wanted to do that, honestly. He didn`t want
to make the argument around manslaughter because he knows that`s a fallback
position. He had to be as strong as he could be on second-degree murder.
Now his rebuttal argument may be stronger on manslaughter. But not at the
first instance. I think he had to walk a fine line there.

SHARPTON: Marcia? You`ve been a prosecutor. Give me your general

CLARK: I thought he did a good job. I actually thought it was a
powerful and more powerful to me in the beginning than in the end.

BURRIS: Right.

CLARK: In setting the stage, in setting the mind-set that Zimmerman
started with. That`s so important to set all the wheels in motion. You
have a man profiling a boy, a young boy who is walking home in the rain.
And thinking these things about him. And therefore acting upon them. And
then, getting out of the car to follow him. And all of that gets all the
wheels in motion, if you will. It all started because of Zimmerman`s mind-
set. I thought that was very effective.

I too thought there was a little bit too much of the rhetorical
questioning. A little bit goes a very long way. And it`s OK once in a
while. Say really? Could you really belief this? And if it`s truly
rhetorical, that`s fine. It`s also not bad to seem even handed and said,
OK, the defense will say this or accommodate what they`re going to say, and
answer it. You`re a prosecutor and that means you have a slightly
different role than a pure advocate that a defense attorney.

And I agree with John, very much, that they can`t talk about
manslaughter yet. Not yet. Right now is the big push for second degree.
In rebuttal, you can say look, if all else fails and you don`t see ill
will, and we don`t know why you wouldn`t, then you can get to manslaughter
and discuss it there, but not now.

SHARPTON: Let me come back to you, Lisa. Let me show you this. They
made this point about the street. The only three streets in the closed
community, and they raised Zimmerman`s use of looking for the street.
Watch this.


DE LA RIONDA: That`s why he kept talking about, I didn`t know the
name of the street. I was looking for an address. By the way, there is
only three streets. How difficult can it be? He is the neighborhood watch
guy. He has been living there four years and he takes his dog down to that
dog walk. But he doesn`t know the names of the street? He doesn`t know
the main street that you go in? Because see, when he admits something like
that, then it proves one thing, that he was following him. That he had
profiled him and he was following him.

made a right against 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 when they kind
of let him talk, he gives the name right there.


SHARPTON: How plausible is that excuse, Lisa?

BLOOM: This is one of the best lies the prosecution has to work with.
And he put it out there, and there is no question about it. The defense
has said since opening statement, George Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin.
I think the prosecutor spent a lot of time on this because this is easy
picks for him. This is the low-hanging fruit.

But I`m thinking the entire time, and I think the jury was too, get to
self-defense. Get to the fight. Prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this
was a murder case. He is not on trial simply for making improper
assumptions and profiling Trayvon Martin. That is a part of the case. He
needs to spend some time on that. But he needs to use his time more
effectively and get to the crux of the case, get to the killing. Show the
jury why this is beyond a reasonable doubt, a murder case.

And by the way, we never got a prosecution theory of the case. All we
have is the defense theory of the case. That Zimmerman is down, Trayvon is
on top. How did Zimmerman sustain the injuries to his face? Did he punch
himself in the nose? Did he walk into the tree? Did he fall face-down
into the concrete? We have never heard a prosecution theory how that
happened. I don`t think we ever will.

SHARPTON: Faith, wait, wait, wait, wait. Faith, let me show you
this. The prosecution made a point about Zimmerman saying and played that
he said that he touched a gun. Let me show you this.


DE LA RIONDA: He`s got this gun in his holster, and you will see in a
few minutes, maybe more than a few minutes, one of the things that he does,
he demonstrates to the police where he had the gun. And it wasn`t right
here in the front. It was towards the back and it was hidden. And he`ll
demonstrate to the police out there where it was.

Look at the gun. Look at the size of this gun. How did the victims
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?


SHARPTON: Now, Faith, that is a point that Lisa Bloom has been
making, the holster point, the fact where it was and all. But doesn`t that
also answer Lisa concern about addressing self-defense, because if he lied
about him touching the gun or knowing where the gun was, doesn`t that punch
a hole in his saying I feared for my life?

JENKINS: Yes. And here is the thing. The prosecutor, they`re not
going get up and say, this is exactly what happened. This is when the gun
was pulled out because they don`t know. It`s not clear. But what they are
saying is we may not know this, but we know this person, the defendant, is
lying about it. There are two people involved here. One is dead. The
other is a liar. Look at the lies he is telling. The small lies, not
knowing the name of the street, to the big guys, Trayvon Martin going for
the gun, putting his hand on the gun, being inconsistent about those two
things. He told two different stories about that.

So, that`s one of the inconsistencies, one of the lies. That`s huge,
because it`s based on what the defendant has said, the prosecutor is
arguing today it is physically impossible for Trayvon Martin to have done
what George Zimmerman said he did.

SHARPTON: Ken, what do you think?

PADOWITZ: Remember, the prosecution had two choices here at the
beginning of this trial. They could have put on no statements of Zimmerman
and forced the defendant to take the stand on the defense side of the case.
But they elected to go with this web of lies theme. And by putting on all
the video and all the statements of Zimmerman, their theme in this case is
web of lies. So they have to stick with that. And they`re showing in the
closing argument here, there are all these lies. One lie after the next
lie after the next lie. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you cannot
believe the snake Zimmerman would cut off his head. He is a liar. The
rest of the snake dice, meaning you can`t believe Zimmerman, therefore you
can`t believe self-defense. And therefore he is guilty of murder. That`s
their argument, and they`re sticking to this theme of this web of lies.

SHARPTON: All right. Our legal team is staying with us for the full
hour tonight. And there is so much to talk about.

Coming up, who started the altercation that night.


DE LA RIONDA: Why does this defendant get out of the car if he thinks
that Trayvon Martin is a threat to him? Why? Why? Because he`s got a
gun. He`s got the equalizer.


SHARPTON: How important is that argument for the prosecution? And
remember, friend or foe, I want to know. Send me your e-mails. "Reply Al"
is coming. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? Today thousands of you were in our phrasebook community.
You watched live as the prosecution gave their closing argument. But if
you couldn`t watch live during the day, we`ve got more highlights from
today`s arguments, coming up next.

But first, we want to hear your thoughts on the trial. Please head
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conversation that keeps going long after the show ends.



DE LA RIONDA: To quote the defendant, and pardon my language, he was
one of those (bleep) that get away. Pardon my language. He was one of
those (bleep).


SHARPTON: Quoting George Zimmerman`s own words, the prosecution today
said those words helped prove that he is guilty of second-degree murder.
But now the jury will also be allowed to consider the lesser charge of
manslaughter, and that could prove crucial to the verdict that they reach
in this case.

Back with me is our legal panel.

Lisa, let me start with you, because you have to leave in a minute,
and we`ll see you later in the show. How important is second lesser charge
for the jury to consider?

BLOOM: I think it`s extremely important. Many people have said this
is a manslaughter case, not a murder case. I`ve always disagreed -- well,
not always. But since the close of the prosecution case, I thought they
put on a good case actually for second-degree murder. I just don`t think
they put it away today in closing argument.

Bottom line, I think you have to present the evidence for both. You
present it in the alternative. You know, you certainly hit hardest at the
top charge. But they have the manslaughter charge. They`re going to be
instructed on it. You don`t ignore that. You talk about that charge as
well. I think either one, a conviction on either one would be a clear win
for the prosecution.

SHARPTON: Marcia, here are the charges that the jury will consider.
Second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison,
and manslaughter, which if done with a firearm, has a maximum sentence of
30 years in prison.

So, if they convict on either one, it is significant punishment.
Clearly, it doesn`t return any kind of life to the family because they`ve
lost their son and brother, but it clearly is punishment.

CLARK: That`s true. And it`s significant. And, you know, the
problem is that in every murder case, we cannot bring the victim back. I
mean, ultimate justice would be the victim comes back. But we can`t do
that. And so the only thing you can do is punish the defendant with a
significant punishment as the conviction warrants. In this case, either
conviction is going to wind up a very significant sentence for him and I
think that`s appropriate.

SHARPTON: Ken, you know the prosecutor talked today about
assumptions. He said that George Zimmerman made that he shot Trayvon
Martin a lot of assumptions. Listen to this.


DE LA RIONDA: This defendant made the wrong assumption. He profiled
him as a criminal. He assumed certain things that Trayvon Martin was up to
no good, and that is what led to his death. What started this?
Assumptions, incorrect assumptions, on the part of one individual.


SHARPTON: Isn`t that the theme of the prosecution? Isn`t that the
theory of their case, that this accused Mr. Zimmerman started with
assumptions, profiled Martin, killed him, and lied about it? Ken?

PADOWITZ: Reverend, the reason that he does not get an a plus and
gets a c-plus to a b-minus in my book, is that he used the word assumption.
Assumption is a wimpy word. Zimmerman didn`t make assumption on that
night. He made pre-judgments. He pre-judged with this young man with a
hoodie as being a criminal. He pre-judged a whole bunch of things. He
didn`t make assumption. That`s a very neutral word. So, I didn`t like the
use of that word.

But yes, his theme are overall I think was effective. It goes into
the web of lies. There is these three judging theme mate and that goes to
the amounts of second-degree murder. But I agree, you know, with some of
the commentators that this is not a very strong case for second-degree
murder. It`s a much stronger case for manslaughter. So I think when the
jury is going to be hearing from the prosecution first, while they have all
night to think about what the prosecutor says before the defense closing
tomorrow, it would have been good to touch upon manslaughter and insert
that in there in a certain way so the jury can start thinking about it
without giving up the argument that it is in fact second-degree murder. So
it`s not an assumption. There were pre-judgments by Zimmerman and they
were not neutral assumptions.

SHARPTON: John Burris?

BURRIS: Absolutely, that`s correct. I think the term here that no
one is talking about, this was a racial profiling time of assumption and


BURRIS: Because you think he did it with respect to all the other
cases that came in, they were all African-American, young men. Here is
another one he saw and he made certain assumption about it, made
prejudgments about him. And there, his whole attitude and conduct based
upon that. That goes to the prosecution`s theory about ill will and mental
state that goes to second-degree murder. I don`t know if it gets you all
the way there. But he certainly had the a predisposition at the time to
pre-judge this young man and because he was an African-American male
walking in the neighborhood, wearing a hoodie, believed he was acting in a
suspicious way, even though he wasn`t. So, that part is important. I
think that at the end of the day, though, the prosecution has to deal with
this whole question, though, of what happened during the course of that

Now, what they have done is tried to build this case around
circumstantial evidence that is the lies that were told, and therefore you
have a circumstance you can infer by lying that he must have had a mental
state that is consistent with the attitude he had at the very beginning.
That`s a tough way to make it. But that`s the road that they have gone

SHARPTON: But Faith, we`re dealing in Florida. Five members of the
jury are white. If he had brought up race without having specific evidence
of race, could that have backfired?

JENKINS: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Did he say by saying profiling and pre-assumptions, didn`t
he put where the jury may be able to see that without raising race and then
the defense saying no one came in here and said there was a race problem?

JENKINS: The prosecutor is using the word profiling. These jurors
know exactly what he is referring to. They know that the prosecutor is not
saying that Zimmerman profiled Trayvon because he didn`t like the kind of
candy he was carrying. They know that the prosecutors arguing they
profiled him because of the way he look and how he was dressed. They
understand that.

They also know that these prior calls are coming in, and that his
mind-set started developing not on the night that he saw Trayvon Martin,
but months prior to that, leading up to this incident and the night that he
saw Trayvon Martin when he said they`re not going to get away. He meant
it, because then he followed him and confronted him.

SHARPTON: Marcia, the prosecutor called George Zimmerman a want-to-be
cop. Listen to this.


DE LA RIONDA: Recall how he says that at one point at Trayvon Martin
is circling his car? And my point in saying that is number one, you have
to determine whether that is true. But let`s presume that part is true.
And he says he`s got something in his hands. Why does this defendant get
out of the car if he thinks that Trayvon Martin is a threat to him? Why?
Why? Because he`s got a gun. He`s got the equalizer. He`s going to take
care of it. He is a want-to-be cop.


SHARPTON: Is that effective, Marcia?

CLARK: I thought it was very effective. And I`ve been saying this
all along, Reverend. You know, he started this, knowing he had the lethal
power in his pocket. He got out of that truck, knowing that he had a gun.
And, you know, that makes a whole different mind-set.

Now, what that should do, and a responsible gun owner will tell you,
what that should do is make him feel even more restrained, even more
careful, because he knows he has lethal power in his pocket, and you don`t
use that un-judiciously.

But that`s the problem with someone like George Zimmerman, who gets
out of his truck with his big head of steam, which is what the prosecutor
is talking about, about all the other cases where the cops messed up and
didn`t do anything about it and the punks got away. And now, he gets out
and is all puffed up with his gun. And he is going to run Trayvon Martin

He is not scared. If he was scared and he was worried and he was
frightening, then why did he get out at all? He knew the name of the
street. I mean, I think the prosecutor showed that beautifully, by showing
how he popped the name of the street right out during his conversation with
the police.

And one other thing, Reverend, I just want to say one thing about
having to disprove -- the prosecution has to disprove self-defense. So,
when you get into, everybody was saying why are they talking so much about
the defense theory of the case, they are required to disprove, disprove
self-defense, not just prove their case, but disprove self-defense.

SHARPTON: I got to take a break. I will come back to you, faith.

Stay with me there is much more from the trial today ahead.

Coming up, we will bottom line it. Did the prosecution prove the
case? And how did the jury react today? We`re live in Sanford. And what
will the defense have to say in their closing argument?

Plus, after day 12 of testimony, what evidence and testimony had the
strongest impact in this case?


SHARPTON: Up next, we`ll go live outside the courtroom in Sanford,
Florida. How is the jury reacting to today`s dramatic prosecution closing
argument? Stay with us.


SHARPTON: George Zimmerman`s fate ultimately lies with the jury of
six women. By this time tomorrow, they will likely already be in

Joining me outside now at the courthouse in Sanford, Florida, is
MSNBC`s Craig Melvin. Craig, so much drama in that courtroom. How did the
jury react to the state`s closing argument today?

something that we`ve been keeping a close look out on over the past few
weeks as this trial has gone on. We can tell you that the jurors were
taking far fewer notes than they typically do this. This has been a jury
that has sort of prided itself on taking copious notes. Not so much today.
The juries seem to be quite engaged, listening instead of writing down.

Something else we should note here, Reverend. I don`t know if a lot
of folks have realized this. But tomorrow, before that jury starts
deliberations, three of them are going to get a big surprise, there are
nine of them right now in the box. Before they begin their deliberations,
Judge Nelson is going to say to three of them, thank you for your service.
She`ll identify them by numbers. She`ll thank them for their service. And
then she will excuse them. Those will be the three who are alternates who
do not know they are alternates right now.

SHARPTON: All right. MSNBC`s Craig Melvin, thanks.

And let`s go back with -- let`s go back through some of the key
testimony. Let`s go there first. Back with me for that, Faith Jenkins,
John Burris, Ken Padowitz and Marcia Clark. A big part of the state`s case
is disproving Zimmerman`s claim that Trayvon Martin covered his mouth.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This photograph, the defense keeps parading, recall
what I did. I said what do you expect? Blood. And I`m going to show you
the photographs. Not just that the medical examiner are going to say, no,
that Dr. Bao is incompetent, he didn`t know what he was doing. No. I`m
going to show you the photographs at the scene which show what? 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`s head just stuck there, right? But
on the victim they just kind of vanished?


SHARPTON: Ken, how crucial is this argument today?

KEN PADOWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER: I think it`s very good. He is
being very sarcastic, which I sometimes do in front of a jury but I think
it`s real. It comes across to the jury like this is so unbelievable. And
it is. It`s unbelievable that the blood stays on Zimmerman`s head, but it
gets washed off in the rain allegedly on the hands of Trayvon Martin. It
doesn`t make sense. Common sense in life experience for the people in that
jury are going to say yes, that doesn`t make sense. Zimmerman is not
telling us the truth here. And that`s the web of lies seen that the
prosecution is hammering away. You can`t believe this guy. And if you
can`t believe him, you can`t believe this self-defense. So, it`s very
crucial, very good point to the prosecution.

SHARPTON: Now, one thing that during the trial we`ll remember is the
pathologist testified that Zimmerman`s injuries were consistent with his
story. Faith, let me play that to you.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Is this injury consistent with Mr. Zimmerman`s head
having impacted a sidewalk?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You can see there is a swelling right here. It`s
very prominent. It`s just below the area where he`s got a mall abrasion.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Is the injury you see in this exhibit consistent,
this exhibit 79, consistent with having been punched in the nose?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes. The physical evidence is consistent with Mr.
Martin being over Mr. Zimmerman.


SHARPTON: So, Faith, how important is that?

FAITH JENKINS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, here is the deal. George
Zimmerman said he was hit in the face 25 to 30 times. His head was
repeatedly slammed against the concrete. And then look at his injuries.
His injuries speak for themselves. He refused medical attention the night
of this incident. He got two Band-Aids on the back of his head, no
stitches, no sutures.

Well still don`t know the exact damage to his nose because he did not
go to the doctor to find out if he had a diagnosis whether it was fractured
or broken because he didn`t feel that he needed the medical attention. The
bottom line is, he did not have significant injuries. He had minor
injuries, completely inconsistent with the story and the beating that he
said that he took from Trayvon Martin. That`s a problem for him here.

SHARPTON: John Burris?

part of this whole notion about for the prosecution`s case is that he
claims that he was severely injured and beaten so that therefore he was
within an inch of his life, and about to receive great bodily injuries, so
therefore he had to use deadly force. But what if that`s not true? What
if he overreacted? What if he thought he would more injure than in fact he
wasn`t or he decide he had enough?

And then intentionally within the middle of a fight, and he brings out
a gun. And so, therefore, you easily get to manslaughter, but you can also
in fact given the mental state that he had before, you might very well push
your way into the second-degree murder. The point is it`s a significant
lie in terms of exaggeration of his injuries. It is not consistent with
someone who is getting ready to receive great bodily injuries.

SHARPTON: Marcia, if you listen to another of the witnesses the lead
investigator in the case, he testified he thought Zimmerman was
exaggerating about those injuries. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You said in response to a question from Mr. De La
Rionda yesterday that you perceived Mr. Zimmerman`s injuries to be minor,


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You were asked specifically about exaggeration. Do
you feel he had exaggerated the manner in which he was hit?



SHARPTON: How important is that, Marcia?

MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Oh, that`s so critical. To me, I
have to say, even more than all the other lies, and there are some pretty
big ones there, this one about the injuries is the most critical. Because
it shows you an effort to -- it actually shows to me consciousness of
guilt. I`m going to have to say that I was really getting that tar beat
out of me because otherwise I can`t justify having shot this kid.

And to the extent -- and this is so verifiable. You can look at him.
Look at him. He had, like Faith said, two bandages on the back of his
head? You know, come on. He walked away refusing all medical attention,
and then claims he was beaten repeatedly with his head slammed into the
pavement. I mean, nobody buys that it`s so important. And by the way --

PADOWITZ: Marcia, if he`s Superman --

CLARK: Yes, he`s Superman.


PADOWITZ: If he`s Superman, then he has no injuries. So that is
where it makes sense, or George Zimmerman is lying.


He is not just exaggerating.

CLARK: Right, right. Therefore without kryptonite, Trayvon couldn`t
have won. But I think it`s really also significant, don`t forget the
pathologist who testified for the prosecution and said I find these
injuries to be insignificant, and more than that, also consistent with a
single blow, that he could have fallen and made all of these injuries at
the same time, which means that all of this scenario about pounding his
head into the ground, which by the way I never bought from day one, none of
the injuries fit that. Which is something else I wanted to say.

Yesterday when they were doing a demonstration with the dummy, if you
recall John Guy, the prosecutor, showed himself straddling the dummy and
used the dummy for purpose of showing position. Which is really good
graphic way of showing how could possibly it could have gone down the way
George Zimmerman said. And then Mark O`Mara gets on top of that dummy,
which weighs about maybe five pounds and starts pounding into the ground to
show how George Zimmerman`s head could have been pounded. I hope somebody
pointed out the fact that that dummy weighs five pounds and George
Zimmerman weighed 200. And you don`t pound a person that way.

SHARPTON: Just a second, John, go ahead, quickly.

BURRIS: I was just going to tell you that, you also got to look at
how he was moving around when the police arrived. He wasn`t stumbling,
falling. All of his gait was perfectly normal. This is not a person who
had been pounded into the cement because he would have been dizzy or

SHARPTON: And he did not ask for medical attention which says his
state of mind was that he didn`t even think he had what injuries one could
argue. Panel, please stay with us. Much more after the break. Stay with


SHARPTON: The judge and the defense. Tension in the courtroom.
Could it hurt the defense case? That`s next.


SHARPTON: We`ve learned a lot during this trial and seen some things
we have never really seen in a courtroom. Like an attorney objecting to
the judge. This seems to be no love lost between Defense Attorney Don West
and Judge Debra Nelson. Once again today, the fireworks went off after
attorney west asked for a special jury instruction.



DON WEST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We submit that`s an integral part of our
theory of the defense, and it`s error by not instructing the law -- this
jury properly on the law.

NELSON: I understand. I have already ruled. You have -- you
continually disagree with this court every time I make a ruling. I have
provided you on three separate occasions with the court`s professional
conduct in the courtroom. And included in that is do not continue to argue
with the court after we`ve ruled. If I have made a mistake in this case,
you will appeal.


SHARPTON: This comes a day after a testy exchange when Mr. West tried
to object to the judge when she asked Mr. Zimmerman if he planned on


NELSON: Have you made a decision, sir, as to whether or not you want
to testify in this case?

WEST: Your honor, I object to that question.

NELSON: OK. Overruled. Have you made a decision a as to whether or
not you want to testify in that case?

WEST: I object to that question. I think Mr. Zimmerman --

NELSON: Overruled. The court is entitled to inquire if Mr.
Zimmerman`s determination as to whether or not he wants to testify.

WEST: On Mr. Zimmerman`s behalf --

NELSON: I am asking your client a question, please, Mr. West.

WEST: I object to the court inquiring to Mr. Zimmerman as to his
decision about whether or not to testify --

NELSON: Your objection is overruled.


SHARPTON: And then something you don`t see every day. The judge
literally walking out on Attorney West while talking.


NELSON: Court is in recess. I will give my ruling in the morning.
I`ll see you at 8:00 in the morning. Court is in recess.

WEST: It`s 10:00 --

NELSON: It`s 9:56. No. Court is in recess. Thank you very much.
With all due respect, we`ll see you at 8:00 in the morning.

WEST: I`m not physically able to keep up this pace much longer. It`s
10:00 at night. We started this morning. We`ve had full days every day.
Weekends, depositions at night.


SHARPTON: The judge walked out. She was gone. All of this happened
without the jury in the room. But with the defense closing argument
tomorrow, could it have any impact on the outcome of the case? Marcia
Clark, wow, what do you have to say about these exchanges?


CLARK: Well, you know, things take place in a court of law. I can
say that I`ve actually been in more fiery exchanges than those myself, and
I`ve seen other defense attorneys who were more on the hot seat than Don
West was, though not often. Look, here is the thing. Number one thing is
the judge is right about the fact that once the court rules, you`ve already
made your objection, you`ve made your record. That`s what you have to do.
Once you have done it, the court has ruled against you, move on.

Unless you have a new point to assert that no one has considered,
different story. But that`s not what`s happening here. Don West just
keeps going after the same thing over and over again, and she keeps saying,
I ruled. But I ruled, stop repeating yourself. Now, remember, she has got
a sequestered jury that is waiting in the wings every time they do this
kind of stuff. And they don`t have time to waste. And she is very wisely
protective of this jury which is excellent.

Now, I know John doesn`t agree with me about the whole questioning the
client about whether or not he wants to testify. We disagreed about that.
I acknowledge it. But I disagree respectfully with John. She has a right.
She has a duty to inquiry as to whether or not this man wants to testify or
waives his right because it`s a personal right for the defendant to have or
not honor or not. And she has to make it clear on the record that he has
exercised his own independent choice.

SHARPTON: Well, let me --

CLARK: To argue with her about that is ridiculous because she is not
asking incriminating questions. She is asking for a record on appeal.
That`s all she is doing. So a lot of this argument back and forth it does
nothing for him.

SHARPTON: Let me ask someone who is never fiery and always subdued,

LISA BLOOM, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: How did I know that was going to be

SHARPTON: What do you think about all these exchanges?

BLOOM: I mean, yes, all this bickering, what are they, cable news
pundits? I mean, it`s something to really watch in the courtroom. And I`m
torn, because I really like a fiery advocate for his client. But I also
really like a woman in a power position. So I can`t possibly call this


BURRIS: I can call it. I can call it.

SHARPTON: Ken, I don`t think you`re -- go ahead, you`re there in
Florida. I mean, does this affect the defense closing at all?


PADOWITZ: Listen, George Zimmerman hires a lawyer to fight for him.
He doesn`t want his lawyer doing the waltz with the judge or playing nice
in the sandbox. So although I wasn`t very happy with Mr. West with his
knock-knock joke in the beginning of the trial, he scores tons more points
in my book. He is doing his job. He is making a record. He doesn`t
really care about the fight with the judge. He wants that court reporter
taking down what the defense situation is and how they`re being prejudiced.

So he is doing his job. He is fighting hard for his client. And you
know what? He is earning his money. And I think he is doing a good job.
I think he should continue to fight if he`s got the fight for his client.
We`re talking about liberty. So you got to fight for your client.

BURRIS: Absolutely. I agree with that totally.

SHARPTON: Now, John, the state has asked Don West to be investigated
for a photo his daughter posted after Rachel Jeantel testified. The
caption on the photo read, "We beat stupidity celebration cones and dad
killed it." Could that be a factor why the judge is so tough on him?

BURRIS: No, I don`t think so. I think the judge is dealing with Don
West as he presents himself in court. She is not going to hold him
responsible for his daughter unless she knows, has reason to believe that
he was involved in it.

SHARPTON: Well, he was in the photo with the daughter.

BURRIS: Well, yes. But I don`t think -- I would hope that she is
not. I mean, Don West is doing a very aggressive job as a lawyer. I
disagree on certain points because I don`t like the way he treated Rachel.
But at the same time, I do think he has properly stood up to the judge when
he needed to be. I didn`t say that the judge should not have inquired
about whether or not he wanted to waive Zimmerman, it was a question of
when you do it. And I don`t think the judge should have done it at that
time when the case had not resolved itself.

Don was perfectly right to protest that type of inquiry at that time.
Certainly there was going to be a time when that would be appropriate. But
look, I agree that lawyers are supposed to fight for their clients. And
sometimes the judge is a person who doesn`t necessarily have your client`s
best interests at heart. And there are different agendas are taking place.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to hold it right there a minute. I like
you all to stay with me. I`m coming back to get final thoughts from all of
you about what to expect tomorrow. That`s next.



SHARPTON: Fifty years ago, Dr. King said, I have a dream. Today we
have made progress, but the struggle to expand rights and opportunities
goes on, for blacks, for women, for Latinos, for the LGBT community. This
summer we`ll highlight stories of the individual efforts to move this
nation forward to advance the dream.

ANNOUNCER: Advancing the dream, a special series all summer long on
POLITICS NATION with Al Sharpton. Week nights at 6:00 on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Tomorrow morning at 8:30, the defense gives its closing
argument. Then the prosecution gets time for rebuttal. Then the judge
gives the jury instructions. And then they get the case. Back with me
once again is our panel of legal experts. Let me ask each of you what do
you think the defense has to do in their closing argument, and what do you
think the prosecution has to do in its rebuttal tomorrow? Let me start
with you, Faith.

JENKINS: The defense is going to say the state has not met their
burden of proving this case beyond a reasonable doubt, or proving that this
was not self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. On rebuttal the state is
going to get p and argue George Zimmerman is a liar, you can`t believe
anything he says. This 17-year-old is dead. He needs to be held


BLOOM: The defense needs to explain the inconsistencies and say any
time somebody tells a story over and over, there are going to be
inconsistencies. That`s true with the prosecution witnesses. It`s true
with George Zimmerman. He may be guilty of profiling, of making wrong
assumptions, but he is not guilty of murder. For the prosecution, they
need to put a theory out there that explains what happened. They could
simply say that there were words exchanged, perhaps shoving. Trayvon
Martin did punch Zimmerman. He is down. He pulls the gun, Trayvon is
screaming for help, Zimmerman is angry and he shoots the gun.


CLARK: Yes, I think that the defense has to first of all explain away
George Zimmerman`s aggressive conduct in following. He has to explain that
he wasn`t following, and that somehow Trayvon got the jump on him and frame
it in their narrative so that Trayvon looks like the aggressor and George
Zimmerman looks like the victim throughout in order to get to the point
where he is justifiably shooting at Trayvon.

And then in rebuttal, the prosecution is going to have to reframe the
argument, and I think at that point, put out some kind of a solid theory,
not blow-by-blow, but show how really it was George Zimmerman who was the
aggressor, who made all the moves that required ultimately Trayvon to
defend himself.

SHARPTON: All right.

CLARK: And then Zimmerman shot him.


BURRIS: Yes, I think that what the defense has to do is put aside as
much as they can what happened beforehand and deal strictly with the
shooting itself, and show that the defense is a plausible self-defense.
Then the prosecution has to refute that. In terms of the rebuttal part, I
do think they have to deal with the question that these injuries were not
so significant that it justifies pulling out a gun and shooting this young
man. And they can do that by showing the injuries and the medical
testimony that they have.

SHARPTON: Let me go quick to Ken.

PADOWITZ: The defense has to show micro, that they focused right on
seconds before that shooting to show that he was in fear for his life and
he had to defend himself and fire that gun. On the prosecution side, they
have to show macro. The entire stalking, following him, putting him in a
corner. Trayvon Martin stands his ground, has to defend himself, and then
how the shooting occurs and how that ends up being second-degree murder or

SHARPTON: All right. Well we are certainly going to follow this
tomorrow, both the defense and the rebuttal, and the judge`s instructions
to the jury. I want to say thank you to my legal panel, and I want to say
thanks to you for watching. And let us be here tomorrow to assess what we
see on the closing day of statements.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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