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tv   Wolf  CNN  April 8, 2015 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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or any nerve or muscle-related signs or symptoms. do not take xarelto® if you have an artificial heart valve, or abnormal bleeding. tell your doctor before all planned medical or dental procedures. before starting xarelto® tell your doctor about any conditions such as kidney, liver, or bleeding problems. xarelto® has been prescribed more than 11 million times in the u.s. and that number's growing. like your guys' scores. with xarelto® there is no regular blood monitoring, and no known dietary restrictions. treatment with xarelto® was the right move for us. ask your doctor about xarelto®. you may be able to get up to 12 months at no cost. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. 6:00 p.m. in london. 8:00 p.m. in moscow. 9:30 p.m. in kabul. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. let's get to the breaking news. we're waiting to hear from the
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mayor and the police chief in north charleston south carolina, about a deadly police shooting caught on camera. news conference set to get under way any moment now. we'll bring you live coverage once it begins. earlier the chief, the mayor and a chaplain visited the family of the shooting victim, walter scott. relatives described scott as an outgoing person well-known in the community who got along with everyone. >> no justice. >> no peace. >> no justice. >> no peace. >> no justice. >> no peace. >> about 40 protesters gathered outside city hall this morning. the shocking video of the shooting led authorities to file murder charges against the police officer. a word of caution, the video is graphic and disturbing. it shows walter scott being shot in the back as he runs away from the officer. let's go to the news conference right now. the mayor and the police chief about to start.
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>> good afternoon. thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for joining us for this press conference. i will tell you that the chief and i, along with my wife visited the family this morning, a wonderful down-to-earth family, a wonderful group of people. and we let them know how we felt
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about their loss and how bad it was. and we do not condone wrong, doesn't matter who it is. and we're there to support them as we can for the future. i will also let you know that the officer that was terminated his wife is eight months pregnant. and while he's been terminated the city is going to continue to cover the insurance on her for the baby until after the baby is born. we think that is the humane thing for us to do and we're going to do that. i also will tell you that thanks to senator marlon kempson and also one of the members of the state legislature, we received a
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grant to purchase 101 body cameras. [ applause ] those body cameras are on order. today i made an executive decision and have notified my council, we have already ordered this morning an additional 150 body cameras so that every officer that's on the street in uniform will have a body camera. now, i want you to know that it takes a while once the cameras come in. we have to train them on operation of the camera but we also have to establish a policy. we have already been drafting a policy through the police department for our legal department to look at and make sure it meets muster. this has been a horrible tragedy within our community. there have been two families that have been harmed greatly by
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what occurred. both the victims' and the officer's family. our hearts go out to both of them. i was taken back by the warm and kind reception that we received today from the family. they are an outstanding family within our community. and the mother and father are wonderful people and the other family was there. they're suffering. those of you, however you choose to offer up prayers, please pray for this family and the time that they're going through. we will be there to support them for the funeral with a police
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escort, to make sure that we get them moved properly and give them the utmost respect and the respect that the gentleman that is deceased deserves. we're going to allow you to ask questions after the chief speaks for about ten minutes. i want to let the national media know we will respect you. we are not going to do any national interviews until after the burial. i'm not going to make this a political forum for me and the city. what we're trying to do is make sure that the family has an adequate time to put their son to rest. and after that we will start talking. we will be working within the community to have open dialogue
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on policies that we have, looking for ways to develop a closer working relationship with the individual communities. our chief has been doing that for the last two years. you've got to remember we are the only city in the state that has a police officer in every school. and it's not just to create security in the schools. it's to create relationships between those officers and the young people within our community. and we will continue to look at ways to enhance the quality of service that we provide to our citizens. and by that i mean all of our citizens. so we will be having some good open dialogue within the next 30 days. and those of you that are interested in taking part in that dialogue, if you would contact our office and let us know and we'll be glad to consider you for that role. with that i'm going to turn it over to chief driggers and let him have some remarks.
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>> my heart goes out to the family today. had a good visit with them. i got to meet a daddy who is in mourning, a momma who is in mourning. and we talked father to father. so it was a good visit with them. and i just -- i would ask you to however you give respect to individuals, give them the respect that they deserve during this time. and just know that we are doing our best here not only as a city but as a police department. not only to serve during this
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time but to protect you, all of you. and to serve this community as best we can, even though we've got a whole bunch going on. we're going to continue to strive to do what's right. we're going to strive to do what's right. i would just ask you to keep -- i have been praying for peace, peace for the family and peace for this community. and i will continue to stand on that as i strive to protect and serve the people i took an oath to do so. so with that said -- >> any questions -- >> chief -- >> no justice! >> no peace! >> no justice! >> no peace!
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>> may i make one statement. we only have ten minutes that we're going to allow these people to ask their questions. we understand how you feel and what you're saying. we don't have any issues with that. but if we can have an opportunity to answer their questions because mr. pryor said he's going to cut it off -- >> chief, there were other officers in that video. did any of them ever come forth and say that slager was not telling the truth? >> to my knowledge, nobody was witness to anything but slager. >> chief, two of your sergeants have said in statements that cpr was performed by an officer. [ inaudible ]. was cpr ever performed on this man, as far as you know? >> i'm going to be totally honest with you.
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>> do that. >> i am. and give me just a second. the honesty comes from my heart. i have watched the video. and i was sickened by what i saw. and i have not watched it since. but in that end -- because i've been receiving a lot of phone calls and a lot of e-mails. in the end of it what i saw was a -- i believe to be a police officer removing the shirt of the individual and performing some type of life-saving. but i'm not sure what took place there. >> you don't know if cpr was performed? >> i do not know -- i was told that life-saving -- that they tried to save his life when we got -- >> should cpr be performed right away in a situation like
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[ inaudible ] -- and who was the first officer on the scene -- is that [ inaudible ] -- >> yes. >> should that have been performed -- >> [ inaudible ]. we saw the officer dropping something near the body. it's not clear what that is. a lot of people suggested what the officer is dropping was a taser. do you have any information on that? >> we're under no obligation to turn an investigation over. we could have investigated this ourself. >> yeah, right. >> but we chose to turn it over because that's the right thing to do. >> you all work together. >> to have an independent agency do the investigation. there are questions that i have in my mind that i can't answer
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right now. and those questions are going to have to be answered by scarlet wilson the solicitor, and by s.l.e.d. and i can't answer those questions. so i would just refer those specific questions to the people who have investigated this to the fullest extent. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> do you have police procedures in place? what are your procedures and were they followed? >> obviously not. >> do you have procedures in place for dealing with a wounded suspect or victim or are there procedures in place? >> in the normal procedure, they handcuff him after they're shot? >> hold on. wait a minute. let me answer the questions for you that we can answer. first of all, we don't have all
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the information both -- >> the chief of police or the mayor -- >> i'm asking you to respect me as i'm going to respect you. and i'm talking to the media. >> [ inaudible ]. >> the people can hear -- we'll have to close this press conference. we're about to close the press conference. i am -- skyler you had a question? >> why did the city not turn [ inaudible ] -- given you have a shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer? what do you think prevented [ inaudible ] in that immediate 24-hour period [ inaudible ] -- >> i think it's because we did what was right. we turned the investigation over to an independent agency that does not work for the mayor and does not work for the chief.
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we also then tried to get all the information that we could and turn over to them. and that's why some of the questions that are being asked today -- we don't have that evidence. that evidence was presented to s.l.e.d. we gave them everything that we have. they're the ones that really need to answer any questions about investigation. hold on. i'm still answering. >> when did you start to believe that there was something wrong with the officer's story and there might have been a video explaining or showing that it didn't match? >> i saw the videotape yesterday for the first time. >> did you believe your officer until you saw the videotape? >> i had no reason to rely on anything but the evidence that
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we have and i was not engaged in the investigation. so i did not have the evidence. >> you're the mayor. we want to talk to the chief of police. >> young lady, yes, ma'am? >> officer slager was exonerated in 2013 [ inaudible ] -- who was there said this is not the man [ inaudible ] -- how's he exonerated [ inaudible ] -- >> he went through a process that goes through the department and that's part of the personnel file. we'll be glad to release it to you. >> chief, did the taser have a camera? >> the taser does not have a camera. >> a lot of this community, about half this community is african-american. 80% of the police department, as i understand it, is white.
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is it time for that to change? >> let me say that we recruit african-american members to the police department. anyone that can become certified as a police officer, we're more than willing to hire. the problem is we have a very limited number even to the point that we've started going out and recruiting from other departments where we can get certified minority police officers to work for us. >> was there ever a fight over the taser? and was there any truth to what the officer originally said? >> i think if you -- >> the video shows it! >> let him answer. thank you. >> the answer to your question sir, is that if you are made
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privy to all of the video, i have not seen all the video. so therefore i cannot answer your questions. >> you have not seen the video? >> there's the car video. s.l.e.d. has that. and what i understand, the video that i saw was not all of the video that exists. we only were able to look at what was given to us. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> yes, sir? >> we want driggers! we want driggers! we want driggers! >> yes, sir? >> a little bit louder?
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>> what is the make and model of the handgun? >> we can get that information to you. i'm not that familiar with guns. >> chief, with all due respect, would you please explain to the people why it is you won't allow chief driggers to answer -- >> we want driggers! >> i can speak for myself, please. respect. the people would like to know why it is you won't allow the police chief to answer police-related matters? we know that you are the man in charge. we understand that. but the people are asking for the chief to answer these questions. >> because the chief is not allowed to answer any questions about the investigation because there's another agency doing the investigation. they are not giving us permission to release that information. we don't have it. >> who is the contact person where we can verify that? >> tom berry with s.l.e.d. yes, sir. >> the last time we talked to them, they said officer driggers
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had not provided an initial narrative of the investigation. has officer driggers provided the official account of what happened? >> s.l.e.d. is who he gives that to. >> as far as you know he's not given his official narrative -- >> that's something s.l.e.d. would have to answer. >> is he still involved in the investigation or is he fired and gone? >> he is terminated. he is no longer here. >> is he involved in the investigation at this point? >> i think what we're trying to tell you, we're not doing the investigation. >> i understand that. >> s.l.e.d. is. so therefore, they're the agency that has to give you any information from the investigation. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> that is standard policy. across the country. yes, sir, last question right here. >> given what's happened are
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you now taking a look at this officer's other arrests and other cases [ inaudible ]? >> that is something that we'll have to move to in the future. we're still waiting on all the information to come back to us from s.l.e.d. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> that's right. >> it's something you're considering you are considering looking at the different cases and other arrests he's made other incidents he's had with other residents -- >> we will look at that. any questions anybody has, we're more than willing to look at it. >> what about disciplinary actions as far as other officers -- >> that has to come with the investigation. so i can't tell you until we know exactly if there were any other officers engaged or involved before i can tell you that there would be any type of punishment that would go out.
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>> what was their role the other officers? >> the only role that i know from what i saw from the video was the first officers that responded. and he came up to the gentleman laying on the ground and was checking him out. i did see one of the officers at one time check. my understanding that there's more video than i saw. and another officer -- not every officer is cpr-certified. >> why not? >> with that, it's over. thank you. >> so there he is the mayor of north charleston south carolina, keith summey and the south carolina police chief, eddie driggers. volatile news conference not necessarily because of the reporters' questions but protesters were inside clearly angry about what has gone on in north charleston, south carolina. this is an awful, awful situation.
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all caught on video camera, on videotape. as a result of that tape we are in the midst of another huge problem here in the united states right now. a white police officer shooting a black man, 50-year-old black man, walter scott, as he was running away from the police officer, shot him in the back eight times. the north charleston police officer michael slager 33 years old, now formally charged with murder. there you see some of the demonstrators who got inside this press conference. let's get reaction to what we just saw. joining us is sedrick alexander, president of the national organization of black law officers and also joining us hln legal analyst, joey jackson. give us your reaction to what we just saw and i want to let our viewers know when the mayor and the police chief say the investigation has been handed over to s.l.e.d. that's the south carolina law enforcement division, which is a separate body of the police.
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the community, they're not investigating. they've handed it over to the south carolina law enforcement division. tell us what you think we just saw. give us your analysis. >> i believe we're all very saddened by the tragic shooting that we saw and certainly none of us support that whatsoever. here's a man who was running away from the police and who was shot in the back. it is unfortunate. it's sad. it's disgusting and it's very disturbing to all of us as well, too. in terms of the press conference itself, i think the mayor attempted to be very genuine in terms of being as transparent as he could be. one thing that is very unique about this investigation, from the time of the shooting four or five days ago up until now, there has been a physical arrest. there was an investigation that took place. it was pretty rapid and probably that has a lot to do with the fact that there was an independent witness who had video who helped make that case and bring that case to resolve with an arrest of that police
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officer very quickly. but we cannot negate the fact that in each one of these shootings that we see across this country is that they have to be judged independently. those that are able to be expedited through an investigation are because of evident that may be presented. others may take a longer period of time in order for that evidence to be presented and making sure that the officer and those involved are investigated fairly. now, the other piece i have to be very clear about on this as well too, that for the last number of months across this country we've seen a number of police-involved shootings. and in those shootings, it's created a great deal of pause. we've seen a number of african-american men who have become victims of those shootings. we all have grave concern about it but we can never forget the fact -- and we should not forget the fact this does not taint every police department in this country.
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here in dekalb county we have had a couple of shootings within the last couple of months ourselves. what i have done as public safety director, we have gone outside of ourselves and brought in the georgia bureau of investigation to do an independent, transparent, open and fair investigation into our shootings. this is where we're going in this country in the future. if you go to the 21st century task force report you will see that has being one of the leading recommendations being made along with something else that the mayor referred to was the fact as they develop policy around technology such as cameras which you're also going to see as well that community will be part of that policy-making. this is sad, unfortunate, a disgusting shoot on behalf of that police officer. but we still have to find a way to move forward. and the majority of police officers in this country do a great job. and those that we find that are going beyond the law, taking the
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law into their own hands, they're going to reap whatever that investigation revealed in such case. >> i know you have to run, but a quick question compare what has happened here in north charleston, south carolina, cedric with what happened in ferguson, missouri, last year. similarly a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black man in ferguson. we know what happened. there was grand jury investigations. it went on and on and on. this time the police there in north charleston south carolina, quickly not only arrested the police officer but charged him with murder. very fast investigation, very fast charge of murder. give us your analysis. >> well here again as i just stated, wolf i think that has a lot to do with the fact you had video footage that was clear to everyone that is watching it in this country and around the globe clear evidence that this was just an outright shootdown
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of this person, regardless of what had occurred there was no way i think any of us in our logical minds can assume that somehow this officer was at threat. clearly not the case here. >> cedric alexander, thanks so much for joining us. we'll continue this conversation. but there's other breaking news unfolding right now. i want to bring in joey jackson who's joining us from new york. we've just been told there has been a verdict in the dzhokhar tsarnaev trial up in boston. we're told it's going to read out in about 20 minutes or so. shouldn't be a whole lot of suspense what that verdict is. but set the scene for us. you've been covering this -- you've been assessing what's going on now for several weeks of this trial, it's been going on. go ahead and tell us what we should anticipate. >> sure. well i don't think there's any mystery in terms of what the verdict will be. as we know and understand
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there's 30 counts that the defendant is facing in this case. and 17 of those carry the death penalty. and so the defense even in moving forward in this case has not contested the issue of real guilt. they have said he was there, he was a participant. the real issue is whether or not his brother manipulated him. we need to understand that the judge limited in large measure the defense's ability to go in very much in terms of the brother because that's not a defense. it may be what we call a mitigating or lessening factor to place in context why he did what he did. but it certainly does not justify it. now, in terms of the verdict, once that verdict is read and we certainly expect and anticipate it will be guilty as to all of those 30 counts -- and we should point out that that jury of seven women and five men did their job inasmuch as we know there were two jury questions,
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questions concerning what conspiracy means, questions concerning what aiding and abetting means. this didn't appear to be a jury that went back and had a cup of coffee and said he's guilty. it appears to be a jury that had evaluated what does the law mean and how do we apply the facts to the particular law. the next stage will be the penalty phase. at that stage, we could expect that the jury will hear what we call mitigating factors. what does that mean? the prosecution will attempt in establishing death penalty here all the heinousness and atrociousness of the conduct. we heard that throughout the course of the trial. the carnage that was committed, the lives that were lost four precious lives, the m.i.t. police officer, mr. collier, ms. gamble also. lindsey lu who lost her child in addition the child, martin richard. therefore all the carnage that was created, the radicalization. we've heard that. now the defense certainly will have an opportunity to explain
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why. who is tsarnaev? what was his background? where does he come from? what if anything did his brother really have to do with him? i suspect as we move forward, we'll learn a lot about who he is and placing into context what he did. will it matter? that's the opening question. it was a heinous act committed against this country and boston in particular. that's what the defense will do to attempt to spare his life. >> as far as these 30 counts, you don't expect acquittal on any of the 30? you think he'll be found guilty on all 30? his own defense attorneys acknowledge he was there, he was the younger brother of tamerlan tsarnaev. but he was manipulated, they argued, by his older brother. >> i do not expect a not guilty on any particular count. jurors do what they do. but if you look at the counts -- and there were multiple counts conspiracy, the fact that there was an agreement that was committed to engage in an act. what kind of act? an act of mass destruction which relates to other counts.
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did he use a weapon of mass destruction? did he use that weapon maliciously? did he use it in a public place, in using it were people killed were people injured? those are the questions that relate to the particular counts the jury had to decide. but with regard to all of those counts, if you listen to the testimony from the beginning to the end, the reality is, in those 92 witnesses that the prosecution put forward, i think they established a very compelling case to meet their burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he's guilty. >> another 30 counts 17 carry the death penalty, is that right? >> yes, that's correct. and therefore if there's a guilty count as to any one of them it would make him death penalty eligible, of course. but, again, i think that will certainly be a moot point. the verdict will be rendered soon and i think thereafter we'll see he's guilty as to those counts. were there mitigating factors that can spare his life which the defense has been attempting
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to argue throughout the brother was the controller the ringleader, the mastermind. >> only minutes away from hearing the results of the jury -- the verdict's about to be read out in that courtroom. stand by, joey. want to bring in deborah feyerick joining us from new york. you've spent a lot of time covering this case. give us your analysis of what we should be bracing for. >> reporter: whether or not they do find conspiracy on the first charge and also how they divide the counts that follow that specifically where he intentionally meant to kill both crystal camable, martin richard, lindsey lu as well as sean collier. i just read over the language of the verdict form. you have to believe that the jury was in there comparing the wording in the indictment against that verdict form to see exactly what that language indicated. they were very specific this morning in their questions asking about a conspiracy and whether it was over a certain
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period of time asking about aiding and abetting because there are some charges that say that did dzhokhar tsarnaev use and carry a weapon of mass destruction to commit this crime or did he aid and abet? and so they really had to look at both parts of how that was written to come to their conclusion. there's no question that in terms of martin richard and lindsey lu they were standing right in front of the bomb that he left by that tree just at the end of the finish line. so all of this is what they're looking at. you've got the weapons of mass destruction bombing a public place interference with interstate commerce carjacking. there was also an interesting charge about brandishing this gun. in many cases, the defense made it clear that it wasn't tsarnaev who was holding that pistol it was tamerlan, his prints were on that although one of the bullets did have tsarnaev's fingerprints. so they really had to look at
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all the details to see what he was guilty of. so there may be one or two surprises. i differ a little bit in this account. but there may be one or two surprises. but on the whole, likely he will be found guilty on the majority of these charges against him. >> if not all of them. joey the fact that the jury deliberated for 11 1/2 hours over yesterday and today, should we read much into that? >> i don't know that we should, wolf. why? because remember there's a verdict form. on that verdict form consistent with what deb was talking about, there are a number of charges that they neededed to get through. and in getting to those charges, it appears to be that they took their time in evaluating it. we could see that through the length of time they took in addition to the fact that they asked questions of the judge. they asked -- wanting to know about conspiracy wanting to know what aiding and abetting means. in particular whether they were two separate things to aid and then to abet or is it aiding and abetting in conjunction? that shows the system of justice that we have at work. jurors who are selected on a
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case taking their time to painstakingly go through the facts and apply those facts to the law as they're laid out in that 30-count indictment. >> ashleigh banfield is joining us from new york as well. ashleigh, you've spent a lot of time covering this case. give us your sense of what we should be anticipating. >> well i'll tell you something, wolf i have to be honest, i did not expect a deliberation on this guilt/innocence phase to go beyond just a few hours. i'll say that only for this reason. normally i say give a jury as long as they want especially when it's death penalty. but his own attorney conceded at the beginning of the case in opening statements and at the end of her case in chief in the closing arguments that there's no question my client did this. sure she may argue later in the next phase that there was a leader in his brother. but there's conspiracy and aiding and abetting in every single one of those charges. so to actually go through this -- this is the verdict form right here. yes, it's big.
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it's thick. it's 32 pages including a cover sheet and signature page. but 32 pages of yes or no questions. i was surprised it took this long. i'm expecting we'll get meat and potatoes. that's common parlance for a death phase of why this man does not deserve the ultimate punishment as afforded in the united states justice system. >> were you surprised that the defense in this particular case really didn't put much of a defense up? they acknowledged he was there. they acknowledged that he was part of this two-brother team that was involved in the killing of these three people the injuring of so many others and then later a police officer who died? there wasn't really much of a defense. they basically said yeah, he was there, he did it but the next phase, the sentencing phase they don't think he necessarily deserves the death sentence, maybe life in prison. >> no. i'm not surprised in the least because defense attorneys work with what they're given. they don't get to create the script. they get stinkers of cases and they have to cope.
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and judy clark is probably one of the finest litigators and attorneys in this country. she has worked magic, alchemy, with cases no one thought was winnable. cases where it's all too obvious that the perpetrator is guilty. so she sets all her eggs into the basket of saving his life. she is an ardent defender of getting rid of the death penalty and she's very good at saving lives. what's amazing is in this case it's probably pretty clear her own client may not want to save his own life because his own etchings on the boat in blood said he wants to be a martyr and wishes he could have been martyred sooner like his brother. so i can't imagine what it's like to be judy clark having a client like that and then having to do the work that she stands by and is so good at. >> do you know ashleigh if there was ever any serious consideration to a guilty plea, a plea bargain, if you will life in prison and avoid a whole
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trial? just plead guilty, not necessarily get the death sentence? was there ever even seriously considered by the defense and the prosecution? >>. >> i'd have to go back over my notes as to whether there was even a whisper of an overture. but my spidey senses say absolutely not. the people of massachusetts while pretty much against the death penalty if you take the polls seriously, are horrifyingly offended by what was perpetrated against their neighbors and their own. and i don't know that any prosecutor would look at a fact pattern that they had gifted to them -- and i say that because it's almost open and shut. and then would make the overture of a deal. and let's not forget this is federal these are federal prosecutors, not state prosecutors. there's no state death penalty in that state. no i think this is so open and shut and so easy and quite frankly, if you look at how long this case has taken, it's not been one of the more expensive
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cases to actually prosecute. there's not a litany of experts traipsing through that courtroom to try to get inside the head of this alleged killer. there's not a litany of forensic evidence to have to assess and analyze. there are videos and photographs beyond imagination available at this very public event. no i would have to say just from straight memory, i doubt it. >> let me ask deborah feyerick and joey jackson if they remember. was there ever any serious consideration to a possible guilty plea avoiding a trial, getting life without the possibility of parole as opposed to the possibility of execution? >> reporter: yeah, it's a good question. once the attorney general put life or death on the table saying this was a death eligible case then absent any mitigating circumstance, for example, that tsarnaev had some sort of a brain tumor or personality disorder or there was evidence that showed maybe he had a twin brother or something like that then it would be very difficult to negotiate. you cannot take a crime that is
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so horrible and heinous and cruel one day and then say the next day, okay, we've negotiated to life in prison. so you really needed those mitigating circumstances. there were some rumors that in fact judy clark did want to negotiate and say, let's put him in prison for life. but, again, you cannot take the death penalty off the table once it is there absent something so significant that you say, a-ha okay. and that didn't happen in this case. >> i ask the question joey as you well know in the next phase, these same 12 jurors will have to decide, assuming he's guilty they have to decide unanimously whether he gets the death sentence or whether he gets life without the possibility of parole or just life for that matter. it's got to be unanimous. if one member of that jury thinks, he was manipulated by his older brother, there are other issues he may not
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necessarily get the death sentence, right? >> that's absolutely right, wolf. what happens is in our system of justice, in order to get the death penalty, of course the jury has to apply it. it doesn't come from a judge. and that jury has to be unanimous in its decision. we should also note that that jury that sits there is death penalty qualified. what does that mean? it means that every member of that jury has looked the judge in the eye and those attorneys and has said under the right set of circumstances, i could apply. not, i will apply, or with certainty i believe i should apply. but if you convince me beyond a reasonable doubt of the heinous nature of this act, i will consider the death penalty. and the reason i raise that is because we often talk about the fact that in this particular state what happens is -- in massachusetts, what happens is there is no death penalty. but based upon the federal government, you can do that. so the standard is, it's a jurisdiction that doesn't like it too much. that may be true because the
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legislature does not apply it and the governor hasn't signed it. but those jurors have said they could do it. the defense in a very calculated way has conceded guilt and is really moving to spare his life. that's what it's all about. again with the defense of, my brother made me do it. and final point is this wolf you could see that in their defense. yes, they only had four witnesses. but what those witnesses did was they said look at the fingerprints. fingerprints on all the components of the bomb that were found in the home whose fingerprints were on them? tamerlan, that's the older brother, isn't it? look at the searches of the gun and things of mass destruction and all these things who did those searches? it was the older brother. so they're setting that up and reminding that jury that he was 19 years old, a college kid. and he was more interested in girls and running around than he ever would be in doing this. it's the older brother. that needs to resonate to the jury. and if one of those members, as you point out, just one says you know what perhaps he
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doesn't deserve the death penalty, he will not get it. >> so it's by no means based on your experience -- and you have a lot more experience in these matters than i do. based on your experience, it's by no means a slam dunk that all 12 members of this jury will decide he deserves the death penalty. that's the mystery right now, right? >> that's absolutely the mystery. you can look at this and you can say, those members who were impanelled, it's a very tough decision. it's one thing to say to a judge and to lawyers, i could apply it. it's a very different matter to apply it. but if ever there's a case where perhaps this jury will dig deep and do so this could very well be the case based upon the compelling set of circumstances. and we should remind viewers, in terms of what the prosecution did in this case, they did really three things. the first thing they did was talk about the compelling circumstances here talk about the death here the
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dismemberment based upon that bomb going off and his role in allowing that bomb to go off by having those victims testify. some of which did not have limbs when they did testify. the deaths that occurred. the second thing the prosecution did was talk about the issue of radicalization radicalization. why did he do it? he did it because theyhe hated america. they brought in tweets and "inspire" magazine to showed you how to make a bomb. and the third thing they did was look at the aftermath, he's buying milk and returning it after the fact. and then you shoot a police officer right in the head because you want his weapon. so all these facts may point and may scream to the aggravating circumstances that the prosecution wants that jury to consider. and that's the callous nature of these actions that warrant murder. and that's why the mitigating or lessening factors that the defense will try to point out in the next phase are going to be so important. yes, he did it the defense will
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argue. but look at why and who made him do it his older brother. >> let's reset what's going on. only a few minutes away from getting the verdict in this trial that's been under way for weeks. often very very painful testimony over what happened at the boston marathon. seven women and five men have now been considering the deliberations for about 11 1/2 hours. momentarily they will tell us whether dzhokhar tsarnaev is innocent or guilty. we anticipate he will be found guilty. 17 of those counts do include the death sentence, potentially the death sentence three people were killed. many many others were injured. later one police officer died as well. there you see some of the background. ashleigh banfield is with us as well as we await what's going on. i want to remind our viewers, this has been a federal trial. so there are no tv cameras inside. we do have reporters and producers inside who will come outside and let us know
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precisely what happens as soon as they know, we'll know. we'll also get some of the atmosphere, what was going on inside. it will be a dramatic moment ashleigh banfield, as we get ready to hear the verdict. >> yes and no because this is such a massive case. i remember during 9/11 the whole country felt affected even though the crime was committed in new york city. and i think that's a bit the same here. the whole country is affected by this because this is a crime against americans and it happened at one of our venerated events, the boston marathon. so in that way, yes, the drama. but in the other respect, no. his own defense attorney has conceded the guilt. but, like you've been talking about it's the aggravating and mitigating factors that are about to come out more than likely if the verdict is as we expect in the next phase. it's called the death phase. and it's the aggravators and mitigators that are going to force this jury to do some extreme soul searching and spend
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many many hours if they're doing their job right in that jury room assessing the life the value of that man's life in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. and here's the hard part. for anybody who needs the primer on the death penalty and what aggravators and mitigateors are like they list all the good things about this guy and they list out all the bad things about this guy and the crime. and then the jury is left with no scientific formula to do this sort of strange balancing act. but they're pretty much allowed to do what they want. it's not what's heavier, what's lighter, what's worse, what's not. they're given a lot of latitude. that's where i believe the true drama in this crime and its justice will probably be found. >> ashleigh stand by. i want to bring in deborah feyerick once again who's been covering this trial from the very, very beginning. momentarily we'll get word from the jury our reporters and producers are inside. they'll come outside and we'll
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get word on the innocence or conviction of dzhokhar tsarnaev for the boston bombing massacre 21-year-old tsarnaev. he was 19 years old at the time of the boston marathon bombing. it was an awful, awful situation as all of us, of course, remember. give us a sense of what's happening right now, deb. >> reporter: i can tell you a couple of respected colleagues inside the courtroom saying that there are survivors who are inside waiting to hear the verdict. they include the mom and dad of 8-year-old martin richard. the father had testified during the course of the trial. and it was so fascinating because he almost seemed -- describing the death of his son and how he looked at him for the last time and made a split-second decision knowing that if he didn't grab his daughter whose leg was blown off, 6 years old, her leg was blown off, that he believed that not only would he lose his son but he would lose his daughter as well. they've been in that courtroom for the majority of the 17 days
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of testimony. we looked at the jury when they were listening to this testimony and they became very very emotional at times listening to the autopsies being detailed in keen description. and also the experiences because we saw a lot of pictures of the boston marathon we've all seen the loop of the video. it wasn't really until i sat there in that court listening to people who's faces i saw in the pictures listening to what they personally experienced, did the reality, depth and dimension of that tragedy begin to really manifest itself. the fact that so many of those people this the immediate vicinity of the bomb believed they were going to die. how the heroic response of people there at the finish line saved numerous numerous people and how in a matter of moments that area was cleared out. you have to think about the persona and demeanor in that
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court. i was sitting a couple rows behind where he was at the defense table. you look for anything. a bend or something you can read into. it's difficult to know what is actually going on in someone's mind. you can't know. for a majority of this trial, he sat slouched in his chair. he fidgeted a lot. he played with his beard going side to side. the only time i saw him engaged was when he was shown surveillance video of himself and his brother the night their pictures were released and the night they fled. that was the night they killed sean collier and carjacked a powerful witness, who frankly had he not been able to escape -- perhaps by escaping he may have prevented another
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attack. look at the demeanor and and say maybe is he remorseful? the jury had a much more direct view of tsarnaev from the front. not sure they saw the remorse. there was no respect you assume one would have when confronting r or facing off victims you have accused of gravely injuring. we didn't feel the connection. his defense tried to humanize him. marion put her arm around tried to laugh and engage. not in a light hearted way but to show this was someone who was 19 years old, who's family life was falling apart, who was flunking out of school and fell ultimately under the spell of his older brother tamerlan that tried to meet radicals up in the woods. for some unknown reason he fled
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and came back to the united states. it's a lone would have theory. if you can't get over there to fight, fight where you are. it's interesting to see if that plays a factor in whether they decide for the death penalty, whether in fact there is some mitigating some factor that nobody knows about that may in a sense lessen the extent of his involvement which is what his defense lawyers are trying to prove. >> april 15 2013 that these tsarnaev brothers planted that bomb there at the finishing line at the boston marathon killing those people injuring so many others, almost exactly two years to the day he's about to be sentenced. moments way. jeffrey is joining us on the tone our cnn legal analyst. jeffrey, guilt or innocence is though the a mystery.
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we assume he'll be found guilty on if not all 30 most of them and the 17 that involve potentially the death sentence. the next phase determines whether or not he gets life in prison or executed the death sentence. one of the key questions we are all a waiting to hear is whether he will take the stand in his own defense. will his attorneys recommend he make personal appeal in the next sentencing phase, jeffrey, or do you think he'll stay silent? >> i think he will stay silent. i cannot imagine anything he will say that will help his cause. everyone knows what the defense is that he was manipulated by his brother. if he takes the witness stand, the prosecution can a walk him through each action he took particularly on the day of the bombing. you put the bomb down saw it go
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off. as the 8-year-old boy was lying there bleeding to death, what were you doing? well i was going to get a sandwich which is what he was doing. can you imagine how a jury would respond to someone saying that as he would have to? the defense here can be put in through relatives, psychiatrists. i cannot imagine savvy defense attorneys, and these are savvy defense attorneys, taking the risk of cross-examination of tsarnaev given the fact of this case. >> let me get joey jackson to respond to that. do you think we'll hear from tsarnaev or will he remain silent in the next phase, sentencing face? >> i agree with jeffrey toobin on this. the reality is it's a difficult situation to put a witness your client the defendant on the stand for the following reason. when ever you put the defendant on the stand, you risk
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everything you created, and there's a measure in lack of control you have over him. the whole theory of judy clark and defense team has been to spare his life. what if he gets on the stand and goes rogue, i want to die, want to be a martyr jealous of my brother, put me to death. that may be the fear. does he really want to die, does he not? we don't know. when you put him on the stand, it becomes risky. there's a mitigation specialist. there's a person who has looked into the family his, who is he where's he from what has he done to his life? that will give compelling testimonies or investigated facts and circumstances to allow others to give testimony which he could otherwise give. why allow him to get on the stand to do something so many other people can do on his
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behalf? >> let's not forget three people were killed at the finish line of the boston marathon almost exactly two years ago. 264 people were injured and later a police officer was killed in the process of their attempted escape that went on as we know for a few days. let's bring this julia, our kn national security analyst, joining us from boston. this whole trial has had enormous imfact on the boston area hasn't it? >> it has. i was sort of against the trial. i thought let's get this over with. over the last couple of weeks as you heard, the process and the fact this took place in federal court. it was important to the city let alone the nation. we can't say enough how important it was that he wasn't treated as a military tribunal. this happened in a normal court
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our justice system can handle. overall, the city has been watching it and i think is grateful for the trial. we assume what the verdict is. i think the next phase will be more difficult given the population here is mostly against the death penalty. two weeks from monday we're running again. the marathon is less than 14 days. >> amazing almost exactly two years to the day this verdict is about to be announced from what happened at the finish line at the boston marathon april 15 2013. ashley as i say you've been covering this from the very beginning. we're waiting for this verdict to be announced. there are no cameras inside the courtroom. this has been a federal trial. no cameras in federal trials. our reporters will come out and brief us on those verdicts on all 30 counts, 17 of which carry
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the death sentence. >> yeah and 17 of which are simple yes or no questions as well to which i cannot stress enough his lawyer has conceded. the issue becomes, did his big brother make him do it? i'm going back to what someone just said. there are ample photographs that show dzhokhar tsarnaev standing cooley behind a family of four in which one 8-year-old boy was blown to bits literally. his father had to make the choice between treating his almost dead son and nearly dead daughter. dzhokhar was nowhere near that backpack when it blue or his brother tamerlan. there are mitigateors and there are many. >> we're moments from hearing the verdict. we're going to hear guilty or
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not guilty. everybody is bracing for guilty on all counts. we'll see what happens. that's it from me. our coverage of the boston marathon trial continues. right now briannea keilar is standing by. brianna? we have breaking news to bring you out of boston to our viewers here in the u.s. and around the world. i'm brianna keilar. after 11.5 hours of deliberation the jury has reached a verdict in the boston marathon trial. 21-year-old dzhokhar tsarnaev faces 30 federal count, 17 that could carry the death penalty. we have live team coverage of this breaking news. we're going to begin with cnn national correspondent who has been following this trial. deb, catch us up. this is a key moment. >> it really is a key moment. there are a lot of survivors in the courtroom waiting to hear