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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Scott Peterson's Defense Making its Case; Will Mark Geragos Put Peterson on the Stand? Interview with former president Jimmy Carter
Aired October 19, 2004 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Scott Peterson's defense finally making its case. Will Mark Geragos put Scott Peterson on the stand? With us CNN's Ted Rowlands inside the courtroom today. Court TV's Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor. High profile defense attorney Chris Pixley, defense attorney Michael Cardoza. He did a mock cross- exam of Scott Peterson over the weekend at the defense's request. Also with us, Chuck Smith, former prosecutor in the county where Scott Peterson is being tried and Richard Cole, the veteran court reporter for the Daily News Group also inside the courtroom today.
But first, two weeks before election day, former president Jimmy Carter, his take on the race for the White House, the situation in Iraq, the war on terror and more. America's 39th president is next on LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: We begin by wishing him a very happy 80th birthday. It happened a couple of weeks ago. So a belated happy birthday. Coming to us from Boston is Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States and the Nobel Prize laureate as well.
The election is two weeks from today, President Carter. We know that your book, "The Hornet's Nest," the novel is now out in paperback. Terrific read by the way, there you see its cover. It's set in the civil war. One of the characters in that book is gay. Gay has become some sort of an issue in this campaign. Kerry bringing it up, the vice president bringing it up, the vice-presidential nominee of the party. What do you make of this whole issue in this race?
JIMMY CARTER, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Larry, I hope it will be minimized as far as an altercation among candidates and that we'll move on to the real issues of the day, which is peace for our country, self-respect around the world, good treatment of all the people of America, balanced budget and attention to economic affairs. Those are the kinds of issues I think that are important to people and not arguing about their sexual preferences.
KING: Do you think it will have an effect?
CARTER: I think it's a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) question. As you know, the question of the vice president's family has been raised by them first and discussed quite openly and thoroughly when it was raised at a debate. It became a matter of altercation. I think that's a very brief flurry which will probably be dissipated in people's minds by the time the election comes around.
KING: Do you see this race as everyone else seems to be seeing it, very close?
CARTER: All I know is what I see in the polls. I noticed in the "New York Times" this morning -- I happened to be in New York -- that the two are almost identical as far as the number of expected votes are concerned so I think the results will be boiling down to those eight or ten or 12 key states where the issue is very close and where really the public opinion polls are not nearly so definitive as on a nationwide basis.
KING: Why is this race so bitter, Mr. President?
CARTER: Larry, this has been a trend a number of years. I think you would remember when I ran for president against Gerald Ford and later when I ran against Ronald Reagan who was governor then, we only referred to each other as my distinguished opponent and we would never have dreamed of running an negative television advertisement that would try to tear down the character or besmirch the integrity of our opponent. That would have been suicidal then but now it's become the thing to do. And it's very reflective. Negative advertising has dominated the political scene in this country for the last eight or 10 years and I think it's a very bad deterioration in the quality of politics and also carries over, even for the next two to 12 years after a new congressman is elected or whatever, that animosity or antagonism still carries out into the Congress and we see it now as a standard point of our life.
KING: You have been concerned with this in visits around the world, written an op-ed piece recently in the "Washington Post" about what happened in Florida. How concerned are you about trust in the election and the mechanisms of voting in two weeks?
CARTER: I am concerned. It grieves me that we don't have the same standards of integrity and uniformity and non-biased public officials who run the elections that we demand in other countries around the world. The Carter Center just finished our 52nd election. It happened to be in Indonesia recently. And we insist in those countries that every official or group of officials who monitor an election have to be completely non-biased or unbiased and trusted. Whereas in our country, quite often, in a state, the secretary of state or whoever is the official in charge of the election can be totally biased and privately a fervent supporter of one side or the other.
We don't have any uniformity in this country. We almost have 4,400 different election policies for each individual county in our nation. And another thing is that we insist in a foreign country that everybody have equal access to the news media, to television and radio to present their cases to the public, if they qualify to be a candidate. In this country, it depends on money and spending it on very costly television advertising. So there are quite a number of improper policies that we now still maintain in supposedly the greatest democracy on earth. As you know after 2000 when we had the debacle in Florida, when it was obviously not accurate, president Ford and I were asked to serve as co-chairman of a very distinguished bipartisan commission of about 50 people and we came out with a unanimous recommendation on how to improve our system. Very few of those have been implemented because a lot of incumbents don't want to change the present system. It heavily favors incumbents who can raise a lot of money from the special interests groups.
KING: Could we have a night that goes into the next day that goes into the next week? Could we have a repeat? Is that logical?
CARTER: It's possible. I've noticed in the news recently, at least ten lawsuits have been filed in Florida alone. One of those lawsuits have demanded that because of the touch-screen system that there be some means by which a close election can have a recount. I'm not sure that's going to be the case even with two weeks only to go. We just have done elections in third world countries where they have a touch-screen system but every time you vote, it spits out a paper ballot and you can look at the paper ballot to make sure that's the way you really did vote. And then if there's a close election you can go back and recount the paper ballots. That's not the case in Florida and many other states. So I really am afraid that if it is very close, and that seems to be the case, that we might have an altercation that is persistent. I don't think it will be as bad as 2000.
KING: If the president is reelected, will terrorism fear of a more -- the wartime aspect be the key?
CARTER: If the president is reelected my hope is that there'll be some dramatic changes in his own policy. I don't think we'll ever see much alleviation of terrorism and antagonism against the United States around the country unless we can make some progress first of all in Iraq. It's not just a matter of who sends the troops in, but it's whether or not the United States is willing, it hasn't been so far, to share the responsibility for the future of Iraq with other countries in the political realm and also the economic realm.
And I hate to even say this on television but including who controls Iraq's oil in the future. We have to share that opportunity with other countries. That's one major issue is what happens in Iraq.
The other one I think is equally important as far as the United States' reputation, and that is that we have dropped the ball completely in the last 3 1/2 years in trying to bring Israel and its neighbors into a peace agreement. All the previous presidents back to Dwight Eisenhower insisted upon trying their best to bring about some sort of accommodation between Israel and its nation neighbors. I did, President Clinton did, President Bush Sr. did, President Nixon did, everybody until this administration. Now there's no semblance of any effort being made to get a positive result in peace for Israel and peace and justice for the Palestinians. KING: We'll take a break and be back. We'll spend some more moments with former president Carter who has a wonderful novel about the civil war, a terrific read. It's now out in paperback. "The Hornet's Nest." He has also, "Christmas In Plains, Memories" is also available in paperback as well. President Jimmy Carter. We'll be right back.
KING: We're back with President Carter. I said Civil War, of course, I meant the Revolutionary War. And "The Hornet's Nest" is already a major best seller in paperback.
Mr. President -- and you also painted the cover, is that right?
CARTER: That's right, I'm an amateur artist, Larry. But I decided to paint the cover for this book. After I spent seven years and researched it to make sure it was politically accurate and historically accurate, I brought the character to life. I wanted to also illustrate the (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I painted the cover. It was a very good challenge for me as a new painter.
KING: What are your thoughts about Brent Scowcroft. He was national security advisor to President Bush's father, mentor to Condoleezza Rice, and quoted in "London's Financial Times," saying current President George W. bush acted contemptuously toward Europe and NATO after 9/11, and only seeking cooperation now in a desperate bid to rescue a failing venture in Iraq and Afghanistan. Strong language for a former Republican official.
CARTER: I was really surprised when I read this interview. Obviously, I don't disagree with what Brent Scowcroft has said. That's what a lot of even prominent Republicans in the House and Senate have also said. This was a misadventure. We are bogged down in a quagmire in Iraq. It was not necessary to go to war. It was an unjust war. And there's no way apparently we're going to get out of it. And he has scorned the unanimous, almost perfect support that we had after 9/11 from around the world, we're now a very lonely nation trying to carry out a misadventure in Iraq.
So, I think when Brent Scowcroft, a former national security advisor for Bush senior, when he says something like this, it really makes a profound difference in the opinion of many people.
KING: The flu vaccine shortage. Senator Kerry, said that if you can't get flu vaccine to Americans, how are you going to protect them against bioterrorism.
Is the president at all responsible for this or is that a stretch?
CARTER: The careful planning about generic or general health questions is a very important responsibility, at least for the federal government. I've been in the White House and I don't think that I planned specifically for individual things about social security details or Medicaid details or health details, but I was interested in it. And I think this does show a lack of careful planning by the administration itself, but I don't think it's fair to blame the president personally for it. I hope I'm going to get a flu vaccine, now that I passed my 80th birthday, I think I may qualify.
KING: You are eligible.
CARTER: So, I am eligible for it and hope there's enough for everybody that's in need.
KING: You're a former military man of distinguished graduate of the Naval Academy. Members of army reserve platoon balked at an order to deliver fuel to another base. They said the trucks weren't safe, the fuel was contaminated. Subsequently, there's a whole big review on this.
What's your read on that disobeying an order?
CARTER: All I know is, what's in the news media. And I read that the general in command has admitted that he had a lot complaints about that individual unit not being adequately equipped. And our claims that the trucks are not armored. And the fuel supposed to be delivered was supposed to be contaminated or might have been damaging to the helicopters or whatever was going to use it. to use it. I don't know the details. If when I was in the navy, if I was given an order on a submarine, I carried it out no matter whether I thought my life was in danger or not.
So, I think, until an investigation comes out, conducted by the army itself, is not going to be a clear indication of who is guilty or not. And I haven't seen any indication yet that the soldier whose did not agree to carry out their orders have been threatened with a serious court-martial. I think, if that does happen, obviously, the evidence will be more balanced than it seems to be now which tends to excuse the supply group that did disobey. It's not an easy thing for a former military person to condone. I just don't know the circumstances.
KING: What's your opinion of the embryonic stem cell research issue?
CARTER: I'm fully in favor of it. I was in California recently, they have a referendum on the ballot. I know your out there now. And I notice Governor Schwarzenegger came out yesterday and strongly endorsed the stem cell research for California even though it's going to cost, I think, $3 billion over a 10 year period. But I think this is sadly needed in scientific discoveries for the better health of Americans and others around the world. And hope it will be approved.
KING: Want to make a forecast on the election?
KING: Out on a limb. President Carter, thank you, it's always great seeing you.
CARTER: I'm always glad to talk to you, Larry. KING: His novel "The Hornet's Nest" is now out in paperback and as it was in hard cover, a major best seller.
Scott Peterson, the defense has taken the ball. How far will they run with it? Where will it end up? We'll get into that right after this. Don't go away.
KING: It's the defenses turn in the Scott Peterson case.
In Redwood City is Ted Rowlands, CNN correspondent, with it from the get go.
In New York is Nancy Grace, the Court TV anchor and former prosecutor.
In Atlanta is Chris Pixley, their noted defense attorney.
And in Redwood City, Michael Cardoza, the local attorney.
Chuck Smith the former county prosecutor.
And Richard Cole who's covered this case for "The Daily News."
We're going to start tonight with Michael Cardoza who's been involved with a bit a controversy today. Lets get right to it. What did you have to do with Scott Peterson and when did you do it? What happened.
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I'll tell you, about a little over a week ago, Larry, the defense team came to me and asked me if I would conduct a mock cross-examination of Scott Peterson. I thought about it. I discussed it with them. One of the provisions of my doing it was I could be honest about it and tell people about it after because I appear on television. They didn't want that at first but they agreed to it finally. I assume they asked me because I'm an ex- prosecutor and now a defense attorney. I did go in, I did cross- examine him. I won't talk about what happened during that cross- examination. Right after the cross-examination, the very next day, I told everybody what I had done.
So I made that public to everybody. I went in to the judge's chambers, Judge Delucchi's chambers with the prosecutors and with the defense team, at the behest of the prosecutors. They wanted me gagged because of what I had done. It was discussed. I told them, look, if you want me to cross any of your witnesses that you put on in rebuttal, I'd be happy to do it for you. Had you asked me in your case, I would have thought about doing it -- I would have done it for you, too. What then happened was Judge Delucchi did not gag me and we moved on from there. I did not get paid for this. There seems to be a lot of brouhaha about it because I in fact did it. I'm really a little bit bewildered because I know I'm an analyst. But after I did it, I told everybody so everybody could make their decisions.
KING: When you said you agreed to do it you would talk about it but you're not talking about it. Why not?
CARDOZA: I said I wouldn't talk about it. Let me be clear. I wouldn't talk about what went on during the mock cross-examination. I'll tell you, I didn't advise them. I didn't tell him what to answer, the answer was right or wrong. I simply went in as a prosecutor, sat down, did that mock cross-examination. In a sense, it was really fun. There was no judge there, so I got to ask a lot of questions. After -- and in our agreement, I said, I am going to tell people about this because they had agreed to that before. Because think about it. If I came on television and hadn't revealed that and somebody found out later, that wouldn't be right. And because of ethics it's like I did this, I tell everybody and they can deal with this as they wish. I know a lot of people are up in the air about it. And I really don't get it because I told people I was going to do it or I did it, rather. Excuse me.
KING: Are you under any kind of gag at all concerning what happened in the room?
CARDOZA: Yes. The judge told me not to talk about that. He strictly forbade me to talk about what happened in that room where the defense was and where Scott Peterson was. Yes, I am. I cannot talk about that.
KING: Were you paid?
CARDOZA: No, I was not. I was unpaid. I did this as a courtesy to the defense. This is done in all cases. In the O.J. case, they brought in two Oakland attorneys to cross-examine O.J. in that case. In a lot of high profile cases and non-high profile cases that is done.
KING: Were you given any indication if Mr. Peterson will testify?
CARDOZA: None at all. It's not my decision. I didn't want to know that. They have to make the decision about that. I know a lot of people say, they used you because you have to get on TV and because they thought maybe you would reveal it. They knew I was going to reveal it. They thought, well, they're going to do it so the D.A.s have to prepare. I'll tell you what, as a D.A., I think Chuck Smith and Nancy will agree, they're prepared already for cross-examination. They don't believe a thing the defense says about whether Scott Peterson will testify or not testify in the case. They're prepared to cross-examine him.
On the other side of that coin and I don't hear this from a lot of the press people. If he doesn't testify, there could be a bad spin to it. Like -- I'm not saying this happened. I am not saying this happened. But they could say, gee, the cross-examination must have been so tough that they don't want to put Peterson on the stand now.
So Geragos took that chance and Harris took that chance in asking me to do that. So when I hear pundits say, no, they used you because they want to frighten the defense, that makes no sense.
KING: Let's get what the panel thinks. Nancy Grace, what do you think of what Michael did?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, I think his comparison to O.J. Simpson is very interesting. A lot of comparisons have been made between Peterson and Simpson. What he did is not unusual. Very often when a defendant is considering taking the stand, not that I think Peterson will, would ever consider it, they get cross-examined over at the jailhouse.
Regarding an ethical decision, this is the deal, Larry. When you go to the doctor, he's your doctor whether you have sent your check in or not. So regardless of whether Cardoza has been paid, that does not change the fact that he did this for the defense team, making him an arm of the defense. But this is a side issue. This has no bearing on guilt or innocence regarding Scott Peterson. It's a sideshow.
KING: Is there client privilege for him?
GRACE: I would say that there is. He is obviously tonight speaking about the case, not necessarily what Peterson said or didn't say. In my mind, it should be under the gag order but Delucchi disagrees. But again this is a red herring, this is a side show. It doesn't matter what Cardoza had to say to Peterson behind bars.
KING: Chris Pixley, what do you think?
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don't think it's a bad at all. I quite honestly applaud Mark Geragos for asking Michael's help and I applaud Michael for offering it knowing that he was going to be under this kind of attack and I think he has been today. I would have to agree wholeheartedly with Michael that it is not unusual, leaving aside the fact this is a high-profile case, it's not unusual at all to ask outside counsel to come in, somebody that you trust, somebody you think will ask difficult questions.
When you spend the amount of time you have to spend with your client to prepare for a capital case, you build some rapport with them. And it gets to the point where you really cannot play devil's advocate. You can't stand opposite them and cross-examine them in the manner that they're going to be examined by another attorney. So it makes complete sense. The question that Nancy has raised thought is a good one. And that's what event or conduct creates an attorney/client relationship. And I think Judge Delucchi understood the position Michael's in and he walked the line on it. He said, you know, ultimately, I think there is something here and so I'm going to gag Michael with respect to the information that he has. But ultimately, as long as he doesn't reveal any of that potential attorney/client privilege, as long as he doesn't do anything that otherwise unduly prejudices the proceedings, he can go ahead and comment publicly. I also think that's appropriate.
KING: Nancy Grace, if the prosecution had asked you to, say, cross-examine one of their witnesses in advance of, say, Mr. Geragos, would you have aided them?
GRACE: I would have had to ask my boss first because then I would be gagged for commenting on the Scott Peterson case in my mind. That would be my ethical duty. You don't see the prosecution out tonight commenting on the case, do you, because they're under a gag order. It's the ethical duty. In my mind, Geragos had Cardoza to do this as Chris just said because you really got to pound that client. You've got to ask him, why did you say this, why did you say that, not so much to prepare him for cross, Larry, but to convince Peterson he can't survive cross.
KING: Chuck Smith, what's your thought?
CHUCK SMITH, FMR. SAN MATEO COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Larry, first of all, it's clearly covered by the attorney/client privilege here in California because certainly from Scott Peterson's standpoint, he believed that Michael was part of his defense team and therefore no question about it, it's covered by the attorney/client privilege. It's interesting to me because it does confirm that they're seriously considering putting Scott Peterson on the witness stand. And so what that means for the case is simply that -- which I think is an interesting thing which we all predicted a couple weeks ago when we talked about -- in terms of Michael's conduct, I see nothing wrong with it. I feel for Michael because this is a profession unfortunately of backstabbers, of second-guessers. There's been too much of that. And what Michael did was appropriate and right and a good thing to do to get a smart aggressive intelligent attorney like Michael to come in and cross-examine the client before you put him on.
KING: Richard Cole, what do you think?
RICHARD COLE, "REDWOOD CITY DAILY NEWS": Well, I think there's a lot of people who live in glass houses throwing stones at Michael. Anybody who believes that the media and even analysts sometimes have set themselves up as some kind of objective priesthood is frankly nuts. In this trial, this has been a political trial from the beginning. Major news organizations, and if I can mention them by name, I would mention Fox News, I would mention the "National Enquirer," the "Modesto Bee" which carried water for the prosecution and the police early on in this case, they have taken sides in this. They have been very clear which side they were on. I can read their stories and I can tell you and I think any of us listen to the commentary can do it. And to have people then turn around and say tsk, tsk, tsk, Michael, your objectivity is in question. I think it's foolish. This trial has from the beginning divided people up much like the election has actually.
KING: We'll take a break and when we come back, have Ted Rowlands get us up to date on other occurrences in the court. We'll round robin it and take your calls as well. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prosecutors are trying to prove that Peterson used cement anchors to weigh down his wife's body when he threw her into the San Francisco Bay. Prosecutors base the claim on five cement dust rings found at Peterson's warehouse and a missing bag of cement that he told his brother-in-law he used on his driveway which the defense experts supported.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Ted Rowlands, is this a -- going to be a battle of experts?
ROWLANDS: It seems so. We're a day and half into this -- the defense case. We lost a half day today because an alternate juror became sick, so everybody went home at the noon break. But a day and a half in, and that's what it looks like. They started the defense with a concrete expert who testified yesterday that he took samples from the Peterson home and analyzed them. He says there are similarities. In fact, he says it's a match between the concrete at the Peterson house and the concrete anchor found at Peterson's boat. And this flies in the face of the expert put on by the prosecution that say that there was no match.
This is a point of contention because the defense expert bolstered Peterson's statement to Brent Rocha that he used excess cement after making his anchor to fill in his driveway and do some work at home. The prosecution alleged that he took excess cement and made more anchors and weight down his wife's body. Then today, they brought in a financial expert to attack any notion that there was a financial motive for the murder of Laci and Conner Peterson, saying in essence that -- that after he did a complete analysis of the prosecution's testimony and their initial analysis, there really is nothing there, in terms of a reason, a financial reason for Scott Peterson to kill his wife and child. And we're expecting more expert witnesses as the defense continues their case.
KING: Nancy, when you're a jury member, what do you do, any kind of case, psychiatrist, whatever, when experts, both with credentials disagree?
GRACE: You know, Larry, I have seen jurors wrestling with that. And I'll tell you what one of the jurors did today, Larry. Juror number eight, he is a male Teamster member, sits on the front row, sent a question to the Judge Delucchi (ph). Delucchi, looked at it, passed it on, and the prosecutor apparently used it for his next question when he was questioning this financial analyst for the defense. Long story short, Larry, what the next question was this expert Laffer, Martin Laffer, had said Peterson had about 2,000 bucks disposable income every month. The Teamster sends in a question, what about after taxes. Guess what, taxes ate up about 1,300 bucks of disposable income. He's left with about 700 bucks of disposable income at the end of the month. That's a question from juror number eight.
KING: OK, that's a good way to handle it, and it can be done.
Michael, what do you do about battling experts?
CARDOZA: I'll tell you, you hope you have the better expert, because jurors do look, unfortunately, to the experts. I mean, their presentation, how do they explain it. It their the better teacher. I always like the ones that got on and they were like teaching a class. And they did it in the language that the jury understands. Jurors really go to one or the other, I like that one and I don't like that one. And they'll just matriculate to the one they like. I really think it comes down to that. If there's a draw because the burden of proof is on the prosecution, that battle goes to the defense.
KING: In this case, Chris, how important is this?
PIXLEY: I think it's tremendously important. That's why, I think, it was so key that Mark Geragos did his homework when it comes to these experts. I mean, we talked about credibility of witnesses being critical, none more so than experts because they come in with the jury questioning their credibility out of the gate because they're hired and paid for. But if the defense experts are a cut above the prosecution's, it certainly goes a long way towards acquittal. In this case, Mark Geragos hired a defense expert, a concrete expert who back, trained and taught the prosecution's own expert.
And if you want to win the battle of the experts, there isn't really a better way of doing it than getting a guy who taught your opponent's expert. It's really the way to go. I think it will be not only credible with the jury, but I think Mark Geragos has even gone to the extent of saying, I'm really going to sacrifice the order of witnesses here. He's had four witnesses dealing with four different aspects of the case. He seems unconcerned about that. He's sacrificing the cohesiveness of the defense in favor of putting people on who he thinks are so credible and persuasive, that they'll send a message, Larry, that the investigation by the defense was far more credible, for more reasonable than the state's.
KING: And what it comes down to, Chuck Smith, is who do you believe, right?
SMITH: It does, Larry. But Ore important than this, this is a circumstantial evidence case. The instruction that Judge Delucchi will give states that each fact, necessary to prove a set of circumstances tending to show guilt, each fact must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If the defense on this particular fact, which is one of the facts that the prosecution is relying upon can raise a reasonable doubt, it breaks the chain of circumstantial evidence. And by itself can cause the jury to find the defendant not guilty. So, it's critically important. And I think the defense won this, because the defense expert gave them common sense reason why the prosecution expert was wrong.
GRACE: That is not true.
SMITH: He testified, that the reason the prosecution did not believe it was the same concrete, was because the prosecution expert talked about bigger rocks in the concrete. The defense expert said, yes, bigger rocks because these concrete was laid in a bed of gravel. That explains the bigger rocks. The prosecution guy is gone. I'm talking about this from a stand point of a former prosecutor. I have nothing vested in that. My observation was the defense had the better of this.
GRACE: Larry. Larry.
KING: Before Richard Cole, Nancy.
GRACE: Larry. This is Geragos' theory. Now you all tell me how reasonable this is. This is Geragos' theory is regarding the cement. The reason the cement is so important, is because we're all wondering what happened to the rest of that 90 pounds of cement that Peterson said he used to mend the driveway. To believe the defense expert, you've got to believe Geragos' theory that Peterson made the one anchor and then went and poured dry cement mix on to the holes in his driveway, and prayed for rain, did a little rain dance and hoped it would mix with the cement mix and patch the holes. I'm reading it out of the transcript. Now, Larry, I'm not a mason or a masonette, as it might be, but I know that is not how you fix a hole in the driveway, OK. Didn't happen that way.
KING: Richard Cole, what do you think?
COLE: Well, I think we're over looking one thing, which is this is not just the testimony of one expert against another expert. What the defense did and they have done consistently throughout this trial, they didn't just talk about it, they put up picture after picture after picture of this concrete. It was quite clear, there was a level of concrete on top and then stones kind of attached to the bottom. You could see that. They passed around the sample. Mark Geragos, put them on a metal tray that he borrowed from his hotel. He put them -- he put them in the first jurors' hands, and they passed them around. They picked them up. They look at them.
It's quite clear that those stones were not mixed in. And that was the prosecution's whole thesis, that this isn't the same kind of concrete because it has these large stones in it. The samples, it appeared to me, looking at the pictures and looking at the samples that were held up, that there's a layer of concrete, the same kind of concrete apparently as was in the anchors and then it's on top of the stones. And nobody said, by the way, that he put this powdered concrete on this muddy section that he wanted to cover and I prayed for rain. Maybe he sprinkled it. It's the prosecution that was making the issue about the rain. And it was possible rain. Maybe he just sprinkled it with a hose knowing that it would basicly fill that hole.
GRACE: That's not how you make cement. Richard, please. Get real.
COLE: That's not what he was doing. He was filling up...
GRACE: That's not how you make cement.
COLE: He was filling up a muddy hole. That's all he was doing.
GRACE: With dry cement mix. OK, Richard. If that's how you mend your driveway, get after it.
COLE: No, I don't.
KING: Well, having never mended a driveway in my life, I have no opinion on this at all.
And we'll take a break and come back with your phone calls.
I never held cement. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with our outstanding panel. Let's go to your calls. Pleasanton, California. Hello.
CALLER: Good evening. I've been in the courtroom on many occasions myself, because I live nearby, and I think Michael is fantastic, and so is Nancy Grace, fantastic. My question is how many cases has Mark Geragos won and how many were death penalty cases? Thank you.
KING: Does anybody know? Michael, do you know how many death penalty cases Geragos has handled?
CARDOZA: You know, no, I don't.
KING: Does anyone on the panel know?
GRACE: I do not. I don't know if he's ever handled a DP before. I don't know.
KING: This may be his first DP case. Bend, Oregon, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Love your show.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: And I have a comment and question. First, Mr. Cardoza, I admire the fact that you stepped up to the plate to help out the defense...
CARDOZA: Thank you.
CALLER: ... probably knowing the flack that you would get from the Nancy Graces of the world. So kudos to you.
GRACE: Hey, hold on a moment! I don't have a problem with his questioning Peterson.
CARDOZA: Slow down, Nancy. Slow down.
GRACE: I don't have a problem with it. That's his business.
CALLER: Anyway, now I have a question for the panel. Anyway, now I have a question for the panel. If the talking heads feel that Mr. Cardoza should be gagged, why not Gloria Allred as well? She has been allowed to step into the spotlight and continue to vilify Scott Peterson prior to his defense even putting on a case. She's directly involved and tied to a witness in the case, and I think she's horrid.
KING: That's an opinion (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Nancy, what is Gloria Allred's role in this? She doesn't know guilt or innocence, she represented one person who had a relationship that went bad. But she doesn't know if he's murderer.
GRACE: Absolutely not. Nobody really knows, except whoever was there at that time. But we have got to make a deduction based on the evidence.
As far as someone having a personal opinion regarding her personality, I think that is totally irrelevant. The difference is, Allred represents a witness in another matter, possibly a civil matter. In this case, it is being argued that Cardoza is an arm of the defense. The prosecution and the defense have been gagged from commenting on the case. That's why everybody's ganging up on Cardoza.
As far as I see it, yes, he should probably be under the gag order, but the big issue is, it doesn't matter. His cross-examining Peterson doesn't have any bearing on guilt or innocence. So, you know, it's actually a compliment to him that they wanted him to cross- examine Peterson.
KING: Red herring might be a good word. Ted, is it being talked around a lot around the courthouse?
ROWLANDS: Yes, it is. Among the media, there have been debates outside the courthouse, especially today, when we only had a half day, everybody focused on Michael Cardoza again. But the bottom line is the judge made a decision with Gloria Allred back in Modesto and said she's not under the gag order, and the judge made a decision with Michael Cardoza. He's not under the gag order. It's over. The judge made his decision, and that's it.
KING: Chico, California. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. I'd like to ask Michael Cardoza if he -- or how he feels about being ambushed by Gloria on live TV? And if I could also ask Nancy how she thinks the defense case is going so far. Thank you.
KING: Two good questions. Did Gloria ambush you on live television? Where did this happen, Michael?
CARDOZA: Oh, when I came out, Larry, out of court to announce to the pool cameras that, you know, I had cross-examined him. When I was through, Gloria did run up right to the microphone and begin firing questions at me. She's done that before to me. I know, Nancy, you used part of that on my piece, and I think your comment was I'd never seen Cardoza walk away from a microphone that fast.
GRACE: Hey, but I plead guilty to that too.
CARDOZA: I know. I know. But you know, I answered a couple of Gloria's questions, and I didn't want to turn it into a Michael Cardoza/Gloria show. Because everybody should keep in mind, this is a murder trial. Let's focus back on that. This is not about me. This is not about what I did here. I fronted what I did. Like I said, so let's get back to the trial at hand and talk about the facts of the trial.
KING: Nancy, and the question to you was, in your opinion, how is the defense doing?
GRACE: Well, I expected them to start off with a bang. I think they started off with a boo-boo. But I think Geragos had a good plan. He wanted to bring on the cement expert. I think the cement expert went south because of the theory that Peterson sprinkled cement on a driveway, dry cement mix to repair it. So that's screwed up. Then you have got the financial expert. I think he did a pretty good job. You've had a defense investigator. A couple of other witnesses. I see where they're headed, but the same argument that was leveled against the state, none of it is a wham in the courtroom. None of it has really proven anything yet.
KING: Chandler, Arizona. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. Thank you for taking my call.
CALLER: My question is for Michael Cardoza. Do you think that Scott Peterson is guilty?
CARDOZA: You know what I think really...
KING: Can't get any more direct than that, Michael.
CARDOZA: No, you can't. You really can't. But truly, you know, I'd love to answer the question, but I know if I did everybody would scope that toward my mock cross-examination. So I'm really not going to answer it. I mean, it truly is up to the 12 jurors. And I'll tell you what -- go ahead. I'm sorry.
KING: No, go ahead. Tell me what.
CARDOZA: All right. You know, what this case is about, I know a lot of people will think if he is found not guilty, our justice system fell apart. You know, in this trial, it is not true. Justice will be done in this case, whether it's a guilty verdict or a not guilty verdict in the case. The prosecution had a difficult case right from the get-go. It's a circumstantial evidence case. We've sat in the courtroom almost every day of this trial and seen it go in. A not- guilty verdict could easily come back in this trial, as well as a guilty verdict.
GRACE: No way.
CARDOZA: That's -- Nancy, as well as a guilty. But that's the fascination of this case, because the jury can do whatever they want, and whatever they want is justice.
KING: It only counts with the jury. Chuck Smith, without telling us, have you formed an opinion?
SMITH: No, I haven't at all, Larry. And Larry... KING: You haven't?
SMITH: No, I haven't. But if I can also comment on the question about how the defense case has started. They've started decently. But I get the impression yesterday, sitting in there and watching the jury at the beginning, this jury wants to get on with this. I'm not sure they're paying that close of attention to what they're hearing. The only one I think they'd really be interested in is Scott Peterson. I just get the sense from them, they want to get this over with. One of them wrote Judge Delucchi a letter. He announced at the beginning of the session yesterday he'd received the letter, he'd sealed it. I'm not sure that what Mark Geragos is doing is making that much of a difference. They've either made up their minds that Scott Peterson is guilty and they want to get on with it, or they've made up their minds that the prosecution has failed.
KING: Richard Cole, have you formed and opinion?
COLE: Well, there's two issues here. One, is he legally guilty? And the second is, did he do it? I don't feel that the prosecution's proven its case. We'll find out whether the jury feels that way. And I will say that despite what a lot of people are saying here, there's not many people who are here that believe that this is going to be a guilty verdict. It's very likely to either be a hung jury or am innocent verdict and people should understand that it's exactly what I think Chuck was saying, is this is a difficult case, it's a hard case. I don't know if it's going to be -- the prosecution had a very difficult task in the beginning. And I'm not sure that they've been able to meet it. As to whether he did it, I don't know.
KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments and get in a few calls right after this.
KING: Rohnert Park, California, hello.
CALLER: I have a comment and a question for Nancy. Nancy, we love you, we think you're great. And I wish Larry would tone it down with you a little bit.
GRACE: Did you hear that, Larry?
KING: OK. I'll tone it down. All right. Watch this, watch this. Hold it. Yes, ma'am, what is your question?
GRACE: I don't think I can get used to that, Larry but thank you for trying.
KING: Go ahead, ma'am.
CALLER: My question is, do the jury members know how much the expert witnesses are paid?
GRACE: Whew! CALLER: Does that influence the expert testimony, depending who pays them?
GRACE: Let me tell you something, sometimes it doesn't come up. It did come up today. And guess what we found out, something everybody had been trying to find out for a long time. This defense witness, the cement expert that says Peterson repaired the driveway by sprinkling dry cement on it. He has the instructions on the back saying mix with water. Anyway, long story short, $15,000 bucks for him paid by you and me, the taxpayer. Yes, it probably makes a difference in the juror's mind.
CARDOZA: Oh, come on, Nancy. That was cheap. $15,000. Experts are much more expensive than that....
GRACE: It may be in your neck of the woods but not mine.
CARDOZA: The judge limited to what they could spend on the witness so to say taxpayers' money, come on, you're pushing emotional buttons. This guy is on trial for...
GRACE: Excuse me, Michael, but didn't the taxpayers pay 15,000 bucks for this guy? Am I wrong or right?
GRACE: You're darn right.
PIXLEY: ...spent millions of dollars on the state's investigation. We have people coming from out-of-state helping with this investigation. You don't get million dollar investigations in other cases, you get them in these famous cases. The state has spent tremendous money putting Scott Peterson away. It's just sad that they haven't come up with better evidence.
GRACE: That's not what the question was.
KING: Trenton, Georgia, hello.
CALLER: My question is for Nancy. I love you, Nancy. I watch you every day. My question is, if Scott Peterson is acquitted, do you think that Laci's parents will file for a wrongful death suit? Also, can Scott either convicted or not convicted, can he ever write a book or sell his story for money?
GRACE: That's a darn good question.
KING: We only have a minute, Nance.
GRACE: I'll answer it very quickly. Number one, yes, I think they will file a wrongful death suit whether he's convicted or not. And number two, another judge has already ruled he can sell his story. There basically is no real Son of Sam law protection left in the country because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. KING: Ted Rowlands, when does this trial end?
ROWLANDS: Well, according to the judge, if everything moves along, today we lost a half day, they should start closing arguments November 1 and 2, the jury should get the case on November 3, the day after election day.
KING: He won't let them get it on election day, will he, Chuck?
SMITH: No, that's not going to happen. Because it's going to be broadcast on live TV. And the way it's going so far it's not going to happen. It will be the third or the fourth.
KING: Do you realize what a dilemma that would be for the CNN selection night? We're waiting for Iowa, Iowa's the key state, the jury's coming back, split screen. Thank you all very much. Ted Rowlands, Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Michael Cardoza, Chuck Smith, and Richard Cole. All regular members of our panel. Always a delight to have you with us.
We have got a great guest coming tomorrow night, an important one too. And we'll tell you about it right after this. Don't go away.
KING: Tomorrow night, our special guest is Bob Woodward. Appropriate guest with less than two weeks to go to the election. His book, "Plan of Attack" is now a major bestseller in paperback. And it might have a major effect on this election. A man who will definitely have a major effect on this election is Aaron Brown because people -- when Aaron Brown speaks, people listen.
AARON BROWN, HOST, "NEWSNIGHT": I don't even have a major effect in my house.
KING: And Aaron Brown is in Atlanta tonight. He's what they call visiting the home office. They do that at State Farm.
Go get them, Aaron.
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