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As the latest "Rolling Stone" magazine hits newsstands this week, the publication's controversial cover is already sparking major debate. With accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev adorning the front, many suggest the magazine has effectively glamorized an event that was rooted in terror and tragedy.
Though some commended the magazine for its respectable journalistic endeavor, as it shares the back story to a young man who seemed an unlikely candidate for such a horrid act, others called it an inappropriate glorification of terrorism.
Joining Piers Morgan for a live interview, on Wednesday Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki made his case for the latter, arguing that “the poster boy for terrorism” doesn’t deserve the spotlight:
“It's a slap in the face to Boston for all the things that we've tried to do as a city and victims recovering and feeling - finally feeling good about themselves. And then to see his picture on the "Rolling Stone" cover is sort of like, you know, it's going back…I find it repulsive.”
The photojournalist clarified that it was the magazine itself that posed the biggest concern:
“I just think 'Rolling Stone' is a different type of publication. You know, teenagers might look at that photo in the cover and think e's a rock star. He looks like he's a rock star if you didn't know he was a terrorist.”
Last year, Marissa Alexander used his gun to fire a "warning shot" while under attack from her abusive husband. Despite the fear of her own safety, she was unsuccessful in her attempt to use Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground Law to avoid repercussions. When the case went to court, the jury convicted her of aggravated assault, and Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
On Wednesday, her attorney Kevin Coobin joined “Piers Morgan Live” to discuss the complexities of the law, while also offering insight into the recently concluded George Zimmerman trial:
“When [Alexander’s husband] said that he was going to kill her, used an expletive, the 'B word,' charged at her, he was two feet away from her in a small enclosed area," explained Coobin. "She fired one shot. She was two feet away. If she wanted to kill him, she could have shot him very much like George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin.”
And Coobin believed he had the evidence to prove it:
“She chose not to do that. She did the humane thing. She tried to fire one shot just to get him to leave her alone. That shot was high and wide from him. It went through the wall," he explained during his live interview Wednesday. "Did not hurt anyone in the house, and he left her alone. If she had not done that, she may not be here today serving her 20-year sentence.”
It seems hard to believe, but Coobin explained the nuances that prevented her from the law’s immunity:
"Stand Your Ground is actually a defense you bring before you would actually go to a jury. It's an immunity that individuals are granted in the state of Florida if they have a reasonable fear that they are in imminent danger.”
But the judge denied the motion, and as such, Alexander is in prison.
Half a decade since his private indiscretions halted his political career, Eliot Spitzer has been given a second chance, and is now running for comptroller of New York City. On Wednesday, he joined “Piers Morgan Live” to offer his perspective on a series of topics, including the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial:
“I'm not a fan at all of the Stand Your Ground Laws,” Spitzer told Piers Morgan. “I think that what they do is create almost an incentive to use force when it's not necessary. I think Eric Holder, although he's being attacked by the NRA and many forces of course, got it right in the speech the other day when he said look, we have a doctrine of self-defense, we don't need to create a statute that says Stand Your Ground even when you can rationally and reasonably retreat. There's been lot of study about whether these laws in fact reduce crime. I think the best studies indicate they do not. And in fact, what they do is encourage violence when we want to discourage it.”
Nonetheless, the law is in place, and Spitzer feels it may have had a serious influence over the Zimmerman verdict:
“Justice has not been served,” he continued. “An innocent young man was walking where he had every right to be and ended up being shot and killed, something is wrong when there is no judicial response to that. Having said, we need to come to grips with another reality. Unanimity, which is what we expect of juries in criminal cases, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt make it very difficult in a context like this where there's not overwhelming evidence to get a conviction.”
Having served on the Jodi Arias trial, Marilou Allen-Coogan has a particularly unique perspective on what it feels like to be a juror in the spotlight. Joining Piers Morgan on Wednesday, she spoke about the pressurized environment of a high-profile case:
"It's intense,” Allen-Coogan said about deliberating in the jury room. “There is a lot of give and take. There is a lot of not argument per se, but everyone firmly believes what they believe when they get in there and it's a collaborative process to try to figure out what the case actually ends up as.”
On the topic of unanimity in a room filled with conflicting beliefs, the juror admitted that “there was definitely an element of frustration.”