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July 10th, 2013
12:12 AM ET

J. Cheney Mason: "There at least is a significant reasonable doubt as to whether or not Mr. Zimmerman was justified in what he did"

As week three in the George Zimmerman trial is well underway, on Tuesday evening Piers Morgan asked J. Cheney Mason to join the program with his incomparable personal insight and specific legal perspective.

Two years since serving as co-counsel in the Casey Anthony trial, the "Piers Morgan Live" guest shared his reaction to the proceedings thus far, in the process offering analysis based on his own professional experiences:

"I've been involved in handling homicide cases for 40 years among others. Juries usually like somebody to be responsible for and pay for where there's a death. Where there's a death and there's no question of who did it, when they did it, and how they did it, and where they did it, now they have to just deal with why," he explained. "I can tell you that my feelings right now from what I have seen...I think there at least is a significant reasonable doubt as to whether or not Mr. Zimmerman was justified in what he did based on the fear of great bodily harm."

All too familiar with the glare of the spotlight that comes with trying a case ripe with national scrutiny and obsessive pressure, Mason reminded the host that not all testimony is relevant, pointing out the specific facts that he feels will ultimately contribute to the case's outcome:

"I have listened to days of hearing all this stuff back and forth about who hollered, who was screaming? I don't know that that really matters because there's as many people saying that it was Mr. Martin as there are Mr. Zimmerman. I don't know whether that's going to carry the day with the jury or not," he said. "I think they're more inclined to look at the injuries and determine whether or not they justified, with a reasonable belief, of fear of great bodily harm and then go from there...all we know for a fact is that this young man was killed, and that's tragic."

Watch the clip for more of Morgan's interview with J. Cheney Mason, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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Filed under: The Big Story
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. max

    So Mr. Morgan let me ask your question back to you, in the way it is. Should some one that was in fear of being killed and saved his life be free? Or should some one that has killed a black teenager that was trying to kill him be let walk? Again should some one that killed a guy that was trying to kill him just walk free.

    July 10, 2013 at 12:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Grandma

      Let me put it this way .... if this young man was wearing pink polo & khakis would he been killed?

      July 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Foogol

        If someone would've been wearing pink polo & khakis they would've not been in the rain and in that district.

        July 10, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. max

    May be we should kick him for having the right to save his life. put him in jail for trying to save his life. Or may be just set him free and after all of this he now will always live in fear, of some one trying to kill him for saving his own life? But if they were the same color none of this would have been in court.

    July 10, 2013 at 12:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. max

    For this is why you do not attack some one you do not know if that person has a gun. So it is said well arm makes people more respectful of attacking each other. Only a fool would have come up and swing on some one, hitting him and than to get on top and keep hitting him and thinking you have the right to do this. To hear that 30 years for saving your life is not that wrong to go to jail for, is next to hate that I have ever hear in my life.

    July 10, 2013 at 12:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • MsJustice4all

      1. When did it become a crime to be minding your own business, while walking home, while Black?
      2. When did it become illegal to wear a dark color hoodie and have the hood on because it was raining?
      3. When and where in The USA is it legal to follow, stalk and hunt another human being down and kill them, all because of ones already biased and prejudices, while clearly racially profiling Trayvon Martin?

      July 10, 2013 at 4:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Olivia Pearson

    Hello CNN: I would just like to f/u on a concern I have. Considering the fact that NONE of G. Zimmerman's DNA has been found on Trayvon Martin, has it been considered at all that some of Zimmerman's injuries could have been self inflicted? It just does not sit right with me about Zimmerman's bruises especially to his head which appear to be very high up on his head. If his head was being pounded into the concrete I believe the lacerations would have been lower to the base of the skull and more severe! Any thoughts???????

    July 10, 2013 at 12:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • rogerjun2

      Because he laid in the rain for THREE HOURS!! How much DNA would there be after that?
      As for "self inflicted", EXACTLY WHEN was that going to happen, since the cops showed up almost IMMEDIATELY after Martin was shot and the cops SAW THE INJURIES?
      Do people like you even pay attention to the FACTS or do youj ust sit there listening to idiots like Nancy Grace with her guilty until proven guilty and the jury is stupid if the defendant isn't found guilty mindless drivel?

      July 10, 2013 at 3:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • msjustis4all

      There is the possibility that George Zimmerman did and could have inflicted those injuries to himself. There is also the possibility that George Zimmerman did receive these injuries while both him and Trayvon were in a scuffle, but ask yourself when did it become illegal in The USA to defend yourself after being chased by a total stranger, and not have any clue why your being followed and is the person following you out to mean you harm or danger??

      July 10, 2013 at 4:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Pamela Hendley

        I have said from day one he inflicted some of the wounds. The lacerations in the back of his head are very high up on his head and Trayvon pounded his head over and over the wounds would have been more severe! Zimmerman is lying and has been lying over and over and this jury needs to convict him. There is NO justification for what has happened. NONE!!!!

        July 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. max

    I had hope that with Obama in office, the black hate would be less for the whites. But I only see there is more now than even before. this is sad very sad. we can not look at this as two men and at 17 he is a man. For I was on my own supporting my self and going to school driving a car and paying my own bills at that age.

    July 10, 2013 at 12:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. max

    yes he beat him self up that really what happen sure that the answers!

    July 10, 2013 at 12:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Kumar Subramanian

    Dear Mr. Morgan,

    I am surprised that neither the prosecution nor the media has argued about Trayvon Martin's right to use the "Stand your Ground" law in defense of himself and with his own arms. Is it the State of Florida's position that the "Stand your Ground" law ONLY applies to people with GUNS? Just for argument, if I am visiting Florida and trying to locate my friends apartment in the same complex as George Zimmerman and if I see this strange person following me in his vehicle and then he approaches me, is it the State of Florida's position that I do not have the right to panic, expect the worst, and to prepare myself to defend and protect my own life, with my arms if necessary, and only because I did not have a GUN myself?

    If I am Travon Martin's Defence, I will hold the State of Florida responsible for denying Trayvon Martin's right to the same "Stand my Ground" law and for using his arms against George Zimmerman, who was proven to have followed Trayvon, by his own admission, both in his vehicle. and later confronted him on foot.

    July 10, 2013 at 1:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Dave

    Kumar brought up something that I haven't thought of before. Trayvon in his mind must have thought he had a stalker after him. I think if a man were following me and then confronted me without the proper attire of authority (law enforcement) I might become very aggressive if the stalker became physically confrontational. I would have too for self protection. If the man shoots me, how would I know intent. For all I know, he is there to rob me.

    Seems like the police during the 911 call had good reason to tell him to stand down. Frankly, in appearance, I would think of him as a stalker in the night. I may do anything to save myself from him. If he shot and killed me, I would hope that he would be held accountable for his crime. If you are not an officer, call the police and stand clear. You have the look of a stalker and criminal otherwise. Shooting a person would appear to confirm that premise. Don't you think?

    July 10, 2013 at 4:26 am | Report abuse | Reply

    Keep in mind that george zimmerman was involved in a bitter domestic violence incident with his ex-fiancee, Veronica Zuazo. Zimmerman attacked her while the two were driving to a counseling session Zimmerman became enraged that she had come home late. They wrestled and he threw her on the bed, smacking her.

    Zimmerman followed a man in his car until the police arrived. Daniel Osmun, the other driver, told police that Zimmerman was tailgating and that he spit his gum out the window "out of frustration.

    zimmerman work as security He was fired for being too aggressive with patrons. He picked up and threw a women. It was pure rage. She twisted her ankle.

    He was later ordered to take an anger management class.

    Zimmerman was on various prescription drugs with known, violent side effects while acting as the neighborhood watch captain and on the night Martin died.It does further explain why he refused medical care that night though.””The prosecution was not allowed to bring in any of this, but the defense can bring in BS studies on pot and try to make a big deal out of a trace amount of THC in Trayvon's bloodstream. Zimmerman took 6 psychotropic drugs, which he frequently (according to his buddies) augmented with alcohol. He told the cops he was on Adderall and Temazepam that night. I assume the main reason he refused treatment was that he didn't want a tox screen done

    July 10, 2013 at 10:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mr. Canuck

    Mr. Morgan, when Zimmerman is found not quilty (which it is looking more and more like that will be the result) and we end up with a riot, will line up to take blame for fanning the flames?

    July 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. One with All

    Yes Trayvon is a human being who was placed in a bad predicament with Zimmerman one who wanted to be a hero and take down a black man in America. He followed harassed and attempted to down Trayvon without cause and Trayvon was an equipped protector of himself and overcame Zimmermans attempt whom Zimmerman saw as a easy take down because of his stature so who can blame how the end of a scuffle went or fight went? It should be about who started the problem and engaged it with wrongdoing. Zimmerman was told to stop following Trayvon yet disobeyed the order of authorities and some puts him in the right and stands to see him free. He killed Trayvon out of pride, anger and hate... I can't say it was racism but it was his opportunity to lynch a Blackman!

    July 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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