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July 10th, 2013
04:19 PM ET

"Piers Morgan Live, Rewind": Legal Experts on the politics of the Zimmerman trial, Ashleigh Banfield on the forensic evidence of self defense

Whether you fell asleep early, stayed out too late, or simply want to watch it again, we realize it's not always possible to get your entire "Piers Morgan Live" fix from television. As an answer to this, we offer the below labor of love – "Piers Morgan Live, Rewind" – dedicated and designed to getting you caught up and connected to the conversation.

  • Playing Politics: Have there been other factors at play within the
    George Zimmerman trial?
  • With recent proceedings in the George Zimmerman trial yielding quite a bit of controversy regarding evidence credibility, on Tuesday “Piers Morgan Live” invited Shawn Holley and Marc Lamont Hill to offer their insights on the topics of race and potential political motivation.

    The host of Huffpost Live, Hill suggested that there had been "serious problems with the investigation,” which ultimately sparked initial civil unrest that dictated the state's response.

    Holley meanwhile, herself a defense attorney, countered in saying that the response from the community came as a result of the original playing of politics by police:

    “There was almost civil unrest because it was outrageous in my opinion that Mr. Zimmerman wasn't arrested immediately, and all of this stuff that were fairing out now isn't fairing out later," she told Piers Morgan. "So if anything it was simply a response to the political decision that I believe had been made initially which was not to arrest Mr. Zimmerman.”

    But beyond the politics, which have now obscured the original charge of second-degree murder, Hill held fast to the notion that the crime committed against Trayvon Martin deserves severe punishment:

    “We're not talking about something that was unavoidable, something that was a momentary slip of judgment. We're talking about someone who essentially was a self-deputized neighborhood vigilante who pursued a young man when being told to stand down by police," he insisted. "This is a fundamental problem. This is someone who has a record of just - of basically harassing anyone who came in the neighborhood who he thought didn't belong which is dangerous and loaded.”

  • Ashleigh Banfield details the definition of second-degree murder

As court remained in session late Tuesday night, Ashleigh Banfield joined “Piers Morgan Live” to detail what exactly will be required for the jurors to believe that George Zimmerman was fearing for his life at the moment he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin:

“If it's second-degree murder, they have to determine if these injuries were bad enough, that this defendant can say I was fearing for my life," shared the CNN personality. "I thought I was going to die. I had no other option, Piers. I had to shoot him. Well, the prosecutors have said those injuries were kind of minor. Really. Not even much to show. Yes, it was a bit of blood but the scalp bleeds a lot. These weren't intense injuries.”

However, as Banfield explained, during critical testimony by forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio the jury was treated to information stating that a blow to the head may have led Zimmerman to believe he was in more danger than he actually was. As the defense prepared to wrap up its case, Banfield and Morgan agreed that Di Maio's stance on the stand had been powerful, and compelling.

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soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. wildove3200

    Timeline of the shooting of Trayvon Martin
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    February 26
    • 6:54 – 7:12 — Martin has an 18-minute cell phone call with a girl (reported to be his girlfriend) that gets disconnected.[12][14]

    March 20
    • Attorney Benjamin Crump reveals that Trayvon Martin was talking on the phone with a teenage girl during the altercation with George Zimmerman.[40]

    • Piers, has anyone noted (or have I missed it) presented this telephone call in court? And if not, this would have to be the most crucial evidence of what was happening. It's the the worst miscarriage of justice ever if that call was not introduced! (IMHO). Thanks for responding in advance, Will Magnus.

    July 10, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Griff

    "So, Pierse you and I are having a one on one chat, and then you pull out a Tape-Recorder?? Suddenly the interview is loaded!!"

    July 10, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Griff

    On top or not,IF I have aids your're at risk!!"

    July 10, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Griff

    :Even IF you die from my Aids, You may have had some enjoyment from my/our conflict!!! Sorry to be so blunt Pierse, but only one of those kids carried a kiiling weapon,|

    July 10, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Marina Antic

    Here's why it does not matter who is screaming on that tape and why it doesn't matter who was on top: If you start the confrontation you cannot claim self-defense on stand your ground basis. Unless your life is in danger (not clear that it was reasonable for Zimmerman to think that) AND you have exhausted all other options (which ones did he exhaust? Yelling? How about shooting a warning shot? Or shooting Martin in the hand? Or yelling he has a gun?).
    And you cannot tell me with a straight face that someone who follows a completely innocent young man despite the cops telling him he does not need to do so, and someone who does this knowing he has a loaded gun on him can be believed when HE SAYS that Trayvon Martin attacked him first. Why should we believe that Martin attacked him? Nothing has been presented to the jury that would in any way make that believable.

    July 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Melissa

      Really a completely innocent young man! Isnt that AN OFFLY BIG ASSUMPTION!!! How does anyone know if he was innocent or not! thats the issue here! NO ONE KNOWS!!!!!!!!!!

      July 12, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Griff

    |When Zimmerman is found dead! Whoorrrah for Justice|

    July 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Melissa

      Nice!!! 2 people dead real mature!!!!!!!! IDIOT

      July 12, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. B Griffin

    I agree, it is enough that Zimmerman followed Trayvon, so there is no stand your ground and self defense defense. I'm stunned nobody has mentioned Zimmerman was running up on Trayvon. You can hear him panting on the call to the Police. In a corridor of apartments, in the cool air of night, voices and sound travels. If Trayvon heard any of the language Zimmerman was using as he was running up on him, he would never had thought he was talking to the Police, and of course would defend himself.
    If you were told not to go down a road because there was an attack dog on a leash, you went anyways and got torn apart by the dog, is it the dogs fault? Would shooting the dog be justifiable? No and no.

    July 10, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • B Griffin

      Don't get me wrong, I am completely for legally carrying guns and legitimate self defense. If we allow people like Zimmerman to go looking for danger and then "defending" themselves it is a mockery of the law, and opening up legal loop holes for murder.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • B Griffin

        If/when he if found guilty, if I buy the one way ticket, can we send him to prison in Peru?

        July 10, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Griff

    `Zimmerman put himself between a young lady and the law! He interviewd this youg lady as though he was Mike Ferman, when really was just an Idiot playing `Dirty Harry`!!

    July 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. timothy hudson


    July 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Ann

    Attention Piers Morgan:
    (Regarding Trayvon Martin case)

    Just for a point of interest, I stumbled across this very similar case:

    I do not know what the charges were in this case, but I thought it could be used as a comparison for discussion of self defense/ stand-your-ground law in Florida.


    July 10, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Griff

    |Windows were made to be shattered!! In other words Idiot Zimmerman is looking through a mirror of his only way out!

    July 10, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Bob in Salem

    So we are to believe this is racist How come we are not allowed to hear if the Saint known as Trayvon had a little problem as far as a social deviant?

    July 10, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Bill Taylor

    You have a long white haired laweyer that defended Michael Jackson and got him off Diddeling Young Boys and he gives an opinion of this trial??? Give Your head a shake

    July 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Griff

    Òn the two or three cases (small time) i was on a jury, we already knew the outcome!! You cannot beat the Law!!`
    You don`t just fill seats. You are taught the Law everyday you`re in court.

    July 10, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Oliver Smith
    This article talks about the Florida guidance for Neighborhood watch groups which George Zimmerman clearly ignored and thus is the cause of the unnecessary loss of life of a young man who was not interfering with anyone or anything.

    July 10, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Jo Merit

    The burning question in my mind is why Trayvon Martin is not afforded the same, "Stand Your Ground" rights as George Zimmerman. Zimmerman stalked Martin which provoked a response in Martin, and so Zimmerman is now claiming that it was self defense. What about Martin's right to defend himself from a stalker. Please! This was a child, who according to the laws in our country is not required to handle this situation like an adult.

    July 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • B Griffin

      I completely agree. Plus it was an unfair situation, in that at 17 you can not carry a gun in Florida.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Moe

    Here's what I think happen folks 🙂
    GZ see TM walking in his gated community.  He feel that TM doesn't belong here. GZ calls NEN and complains about TM.  TM finds it weird that GZ is following him.  TM takes off running hoping he can lose GZ.  GZ begins to follow TM to see what he is up to.  GZ gets to the intersection of the gate entrance and makes a right turn.  TM gets to the intersection at the gate entrance and keeps straight.  GZ gets to the path and gets out of his truck thinking that TM is on the path but doesn't see him.  TM went the long way running which would explain why RJ said TM sounds like you are out of breath.  Now of course GZ gets to the path first because he's driving.  GZ walks back to the front of the building because in his mind he wants to catch TM so that he won't get away.  TM finally makes it to the path from the opposite direction from which GZ had came from.  TM doesn't see GZ so he continues to his fathers fiancee houses.  RJ ask TM where are you.  TM stated I'm behind my fathers fiancee house.  Remember the path is behind the house. GZ walks back to his truck and decides to check the path again.  This time he sees TM and and grabs TM from behind with his gun out hoping he can hold him until the police arrive there.  TM swings his arm back and catches GZ in the face with an elbow.  Remember TM is taller then GZ.  That could explain the words get off that RJ heard.  GZ falls to the ground from the elbow to the face and hits the back of his head on the ground.  GZ begins to panicked and TM see the gun.  TM jumps on GZ hoping he can hold his arms down and starts scream hoping someone would come to help.  With TM straddled over GZ it is impossible for GZ or TM to reach for a gun.  Thats why i believe GZ gun was already out.  I just don't believe GZ would being screaming like that from the minimal injuries that he had.  But with a gun in GZ hand would give reason for TM to scream. GZ overpower TM and shoots him.  The timeline indicates that the confrontation had to be about 45 to 68 sec.  The way that GZ states the events it would take longer.  The talking between GZ and TM, the struggling, the slamming of his head, the punching in the face, the covering of his nose and mouth, GZ shooting TM and TM sits up and said you got me, GZ getting up and spreading TM arms away from his body.  Wow all that in 45 to 68 sec unbelievable!
    Yes!  I realize the state has not prove this but I am not going by what either of these lawyers are saying.  My life will still go on whatever the outcome is.  This is just my theory of what I think happen.  Only because I don't believe GZ story.
    Thinking outside the box

    July 10, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • right2defend

      What the heck are you smoking ??????

      July 10, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  18. regina

    the zimmerman trial
    listen to the tape what zimmerman said he said help me but the tape the person was screaming help

    July 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  19. larry

    Well there are a lot of us from ( Houma,La.) Want to know where are is the jeans Trayvon had on that night. If he was on top of him the knee print from his jeans should tell if he was on top.

    July 10, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Melissa

      UHM larry.......are you watching the case? he was wearing khakis and had grass stains on the knees and that is one of the 200 pc of evidence!!!

      July 12, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. joyce victoria

    Why don't everyone just be quiet and let the lawyers do there job ,it's bad that one kid got killed If people don't slow down there may be a lot more killed I pray that people stop before it's to late. I'm a white person and I don't hate any one and I don't care what color they are and this comes from my heart

    July 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  21. DLP

    I'm not an atty, and have no dog in this fight; but believe I have a lot of common sense... GZ should have identified himself better, first and foremost.. But, If it's such a small neighborhood, why didn't TM run home? That's what Im telling my boys, if someone is following you and your close to home...RUN, do not stop and find out why? We can ask questions later... .

    The prosecutor asking how many arms does TM have was ludicrous... Has he ever been in a fight? You arm's are flinging to get out of or create any hold, TM could have tried to hold his mouth and nose, plus punch and push his head against the concrete within a few seconds with 2 hands... My take, Sunny H is very biased...

    That's all I have...

    Cheers all

    July 11, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Melissa

    i am watching piers morgan group discussion right now and have to say i am OUTRAGED~
    #1 The african american judge on here just made a statement about a black male who shot 3 WHITE MALES and killed them was not arrested due to "self defense". then a audience member said if the role was reversed in the zimmerman trial that trayvon would have been arrested and been guilty already! then black lady judge clapped.......HYPOCRITE!! Come on people look at the news in FL there was another case you probable all havent heard about the black male at taco bell shooting and killing the white male holding a dog leash and a dog was NOT arrested due to self defense! there are 2 examples of the opposite of what people are saying!!! and #2 why is everyone WHO WAS NOT THERE assuming trayvon was just simply walking home.........where is the PROOF TO THAT!!!! The reason racism still exists is because of black people always assuming the only reason anything happens to them is cause they are black!!!! GRRRRRR GET REAL

    July 12, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  23. VAL


    July 20, 2013 at 4:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Val

    I did correct my spelling mistakes I made while watching t.v. but the indept one's I don't seem to see on here. but again this is journalism.

    July 20, 2013 at 5:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
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