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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Not Guilty: The George Zimmerman Trial
Aired July 15, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Breaking news tonight.
For the first time anywhere, a Zimmerman jury speaks out.
Welcome to this A.C. 360 special report, "Not Guilty: The George Zimmerman Trial."
Million saw the verdict. Right now and only on this program, you will hear what went into that verdict, how Zimmerman juror B-37 and five other women weighed the evidence and applied the law. What moved them? Who persuaded them? What role, if any, race played in their deliberations, what happened inside the jury room, we haven't known any of that until tonight. What she thinks really happened the night that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, she will talk about her as well.
And at her request, we're concealing her identity, but juror B-37 is not holding back.
Here's part one of our 360 exclusive conversation, starting with day one of the trial and opening statements.
COOPER: When you first sat down on the jury, when you first gathered together, what was it like? Did you know how big...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was unreal. It was unreal. It was like something that -- why would they want to pick me? You know? Why would I be picked over all these hundreds of people that they interviewed?
COOPER: And when the trial started, what was the first day like? There were the opening statements. Don West told a joke. What did you think of that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The joke was horrible. I just -- nobody got it. I didn't get it until later and then I thought about it and I'm like I guess that could have been funny, but not in the context he told it.
COOPER: Going into the trial, did you have an idea in your mind about what happened? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, because I hadn't followed the trial at all. I mean, I had heard bits and pieces of what had happened and the names that were involved, but not any details.
COOPER: So take me back, if you can, to that first day, the opening statements. What do you remember about them? What stood out to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not a whole lot because it seems like it's been years ago that it happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It does. It seems like it's been a very long time that we were there.
COOPER: Was there a particular witness that stands out to you? Who did you find to be the most credible?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The doctor and -- I don't know his name.
COOPER: The doctor the defense called?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes.
COOPER: What about him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought he was awe-inspiring, the experiences that he had had over in the war, and I just never thought of anybody that could recognize somebody's voice yelling in like a terrible terror voice when he was just previously a half-hour ago playing cards with him.
COOPER: This was the witness that -- the friend of George Zimmerman's who had had military experience?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, this was the defense...
COOPER: The defense medical examiner?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
COOPER: What was it like day by day, just being on that jury?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Day by day was interesting. There were more interesting things than others. When they got into the evidence, it was a lot more interesting than just testimony. Some of the witnesses -- some of the witnesses were good, some of them not so good.
COOPER: Did you feel -- a lot of analysts who were watching the trial felt that the defense attorneys, Mark O'Mara, Don West, were able to turn prosecution witnesses to their advantage, Chris Serino, for instance, the lead investigators. Did he make an impression on you? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chris Serino did. He -- but to me he just was doing his job. He was doing his job the way he was doing his job and he was going to tell the truth regardless of who asked him the questions.
COOPER: So you found him to be credible?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did. Very credible.
COOPER: So when he testified that he found George Zimmerman to be more or less overall truthful, did that make an impression on you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It did. It did. It made a big impression on me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because he deals with this all the time. He deals with, you know, murder, robberies. He's in it all the time. And I think he has a knack to pick out who's lying and who's not lying.
COOPER: The prosecution started off by saying that George Zimmerman was on top in the struggle. And then later on, they seemed to concede, well, perhaps Trayvon Martin was on top, but maybe was pulling away. Do you feel the prosecution really had a firm idea of what actually happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they wanted to happen what they wanted to happen, to go to their side, for the prosecution, the state.
There was a lot -- the witnesses that the defense had on, plus some of the prosecution witnesses, there was no doubt that they had seen what had happened. Some of it was taped so they couldn't refute any of that.
COOPER: What was on the 911 tapes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mm-hmm, the 911 tapes and John Good calling and all of that.
COOPER: How significant were those 911 tapes to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Lauer tape was the most significant because it went through before the struggle, during the struggle, the gunshot and then after.
COOPER: You had the parents of Trayvon Martin testifying. You had the family of George Zimmerman, friends of George Zimmerman testifying about whose voice it was in the 911 call. Whose voice do you think it was in the 911 call?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it was George Zimmerman's.
COOPER: Did everybody on the jury agree with that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All but probably one.
COOPER: And what made you think it was George Zimmerman's voice?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because of the evidence that he was the one that had gotten beaten.
COOPER: So, you think because he was the one who had had cuts, had abrasions, he was the one getting hit, he was the one calling for help?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, because the witnesses of -- John Good saw Trayvon on top of George, not necessarily hitting him because it was so dark, he couldn't see, but he saw blows down toward George. And he could tell that it was George Zimmerman on the bottom. He didn't know who it was, but he knew what they were wearing.
COOPER: The juror who didn't think it was George Zimmerman's voice, who thought it was Trayvon Martin voice on that call, do you know why they felt that way?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She didn't think it was Trayvon's. She just said it could have been Trayvon's.
COOPER: So she wasn't even sure?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. She wanted to give everybody an absolute out of being guilty.
COOPER: But you were sure it was George Zimmerman's voice?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was sure it was George Zimmerman.
COOPER: And everybody else on the jury was, except for that one person?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think so. I think they were.
I don't think there was a doubt that everybody else thought it was George's voice.
COOPER: I want to ask you a bunch -- I want to ask you about some of the different witnesses. Rachel Jeantel, the woman who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin at the start of the incident, what did you make of her testimony?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't think it was very credible, but I felt very sorry for her. She didn't ask to be in this place. She didn't ask -- she wanted to go. She wasn't to leave. She didn't want to be any part of this jury. I think she felt inadequate toward everyone because of her education and her communication skills. I just felt sadness for her.
COOPER: You felt like, what, she was in over her head? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, not over her head. She just didn't want to be there and she was embarrassed by being there because of her education and her communication skills, that she just wasn't a good witness.
COOPER: Did you find it hard at times to understand what she was saving?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of the times, because a lot of the times, she was using phrases I had never heard before and what they meant.
COOPER: So that term "creepy-ass cracker" that Rachel Jeantel said Trayvon had used, that you're saying that's simply how Trayvon and Rachel talked to each other?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sure. That's the way they talk.
COOPER: And did you see that as a negative statement or a racial statement, as the defense suggested?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think it's really racial. I think it's just everyday life, the type of life that they live and how they're living and the environment that they're living in.
COOPER: So you didn't find her credible as a witness?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
COOPER: So did you find her testimony important in terms of what she actually said?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I think the most important thing is the time that she was on the phone with Trayvon. So you basically, hopefully, if she heard anything, she would say she did, but the time coincides with George's statements and testimony of time limits and what had happened during that time.
COOPER: Explain that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, because there was -- George was on the 911 call while she was on the call with Trayvon and the times coincide, and I think there was two minutes between when George hung up from his 911 call to the time Trayvon and Rachel had hung up.
So really nothing could have happened because the 911 call would have heard the nonemergency call that George had called, heard something happening before that.
COOPER: She said at one point that she heard the sound the wet grass. Did that seem believable to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, everything was wet at that point. It was pouring down rain.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: It's really fascinating for the first time to hear from an actual juror in this case, no matter what side of this case you are on, what you believe of their decision. It is fascinating to hear. We're going to take you inside the jury room and tell you how they reached that verdict.
There's much more of the exclusive interview to come.
Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter. A lot of people talking about it right now on Twitter. @AndersonCooper is my Twitter address.
Just ahead, I will ask juror B-37 about the witnesses she thought were the most credible, what she thinks of George Zimmerman and also the issue of race in this trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Was that a common belief on the jury that race was not -- that race did not play a role in this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Hey. Welcome back. We're here with the breaking news, our 360 exclusive with juror B-37 in the George Zimmerman trial. She is the first juror to speak out publicly.
You have already heard her take on prosecution witness Rachel Jeantel. We pick up the conversation talking about her impression of the defendant.
COOPER: What did you think about George Zimmerman?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place, but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods and wanting to catch these people so badly that he went above and beyond what he really should have done. But I think his heart was in the right place. It just went terribly wrong.
COOPER: Do you think he's guilty of something?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he's guilty of not using good judgment. When he was in the car and he called 911, he shouldn't have gotten out of that car.
But the 911 operator also, when he was talking to him, kind of egged him on. I don't know if it's their policy to tell them what to do, not to get out of their car, to stay in their car. But I think he should have said, stay in your car, not, can you see where he's gone?
COOPER: Do you feel George Zimmerman should have been carrying a gun? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he has every right to carry a gun. I think it's everybody's right to carry a gun, as long as they use it the way it's supposed to be used and be responsible in using it.
COOPER: Do you think Trayvon Martin threw the first punch?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he did.
COOPER: What makes you think that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because of the evidence on the T. or on the sidewalk, where George says he was punched -- there was evidence of his flashlight and keys there, and a little bit farther down, there was a flashlight that he was carrying. And I think that's where Trayvon hit him.
COOPER: So, you think based on the testimony you heard, you believe that Trayvon Martin was the aggressor?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the roles changed.
I think George got in a little bit too deep, which he shouldn't have been there. But Trayvon decided that he wasn't going to let him scare him and get the one-over up on him or something. And I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him.
COOPER: Do you feel like you know for sure what happened in the altercation? And did the other jurors feel for sure that they knew what happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody knew exactly what happened. I mean, it started at one point. It ended on another point. Witnesses said they heard left-to-right movement. Other witnesses said they heard right-to-left movement. But the credible witnesses said they heard left-to-right movement.
So, whatever happened, I think the punch came, and then they ended up in front of the -- in back of the house. I don't think anybody knows.
COOPER: When the defense in their closing argument played that animation of what they believe happened, did you find that credible?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I found it credible. I did.
COOPER: What did you think of the testimony of Trayvon Martin's mother and father? Do you find them credible?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they said anything a mother and father would say, just like George Zimmerman's mom and father. I think they're your kids. You want to believe that they're innocent and that was their voice, because hearing that voice would make it credible that they were the victim, not the aggressor.
COOPER: So in a way, both sets of parents kind of canceled each other out in your mind? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They did, definitely, because, if I was a mother, I would want to believe so hard that it was not my son that did that or was responsible for any of that that I would convince myself probably that it was his voice.
COOPER: How critical, though, was it for you in your mind to have an idea of whose voice it was yelling for help? How important was that yell for help?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it was pretty important, because it was a long cry and scream for help that whoever was calling for help was in fear of their life.
COOPER: Do you feel that George Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin? Do you think race played a role in his decision, his view of Trayvon Martin as suspicious?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think he did. I think just circumstances caused George to think that he might be a robber or trying to do something bad in the neighborhood because of all that had gone on previously. There was an unbelievable number of robberies in the neighborhood.
COOPER: So you don't believe race played a role in this case?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think it did. I think if there was another person, Spanish, white, Asian, if they came in the same situation where Trayvon was, I think George would have reacted the exact same way.
COOPER: Why do you think George Zimmerman found Trayvon Martin suspicious then?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because he was cutting through the back. It was raining. He said he was looking in houses as he was walking down the road, kind of just not having a purpose to where he was going.
And anybody would think anybody walking down the road stopping and turning and looking, if that's exactly what happened, is suspicious. And George said that he didn't recognize who he was.
COOPER: Well, was that a common belief on the jury that race was not -- that race did not play a role in this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think all of us thought race did not play a role.
COOPER: So, nobody felt race played a role, none of the jurors?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think so. I can't speak for them. I'm not their voice.
COOPER: But that wasn't part of the discussion in the jury room?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no. We never had that discussion. COOPER: It didn't come up, the question of, did George Zimmerman profile Trayvon Martin because he was African-American?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I think he just profiled him because he was the neighborhood watch and he profiled anybody that came in acting strange. I think it was just circumstances happened that he saw Trayvon at the exact time that he thought he was suspicious.
COOPER: The prosecution tried to paint George Zimmerman as a wannabe cop, overeager. Did you buy that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he's overeager to help people, like the lady who got broken in and robbed while her baby and her were upstairs.
He came over and offered her a lock for her back sliding glass door. I mean, have you to have a heart to do that and care to help people.
COOPER: Is George Zimmerman someone you would like to have on a neighborhood watch in your community?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he didn't go too far. I mean, you can always go too far. He just didn't stop at the limitations that he should have stopped at.
I would feel comfortable having George, but I think he's learned a good lesson.
COOPER: So you would feel comfortable having him now, because you think he's learned a lesson from all of this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly.
I think he just didn't know when to stop. He was frustrated, and things just got out of hand.
COOPER: People have now remarked subsequently that he gets his gun back. And there are some people who have said that he gets -- can have a gun worries them. Does that worry you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn't worry me. I think he would be more responsible than anybody else on this planet right now.
COOPER: Well, obviously a lot of reaction to this right now. @AndersonCooper, my Twitter address.
Coming up next, our legal panel weighs in, plus more of my exclusive interview with juror B-37.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Do you have any doubt George Zimmerman feared for his life? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no doubt George feared for his life in the situation he was in at the time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Back with our breaking news.
If there's one thing lawyers can agree on, it's that they'd like to hear what jurors were thinking in their deliberations.
Our panel has been listening to everything that juror B-37 has said so far.
Joining me now, legal analysts and former federal prosecutors Sunny Hostin and Jeffrey Toobin, also criminal defense attorneys Danny Cevallos and Mark Geragos.
Jeff, let me start with you. What are your thoughts on the juror, what you heard?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I have contradictory thoughts. She is obviously very sympathetic to George Zimmerman. You know, the idea that she thinks she could be a, you know, neighborhood guard...
TOOBIN: ... watch officer again is just mind-boggling to me.
But she does display a considerable mastery of the evidence. I thought one thing she said that was quite interesting, the famous 911 tape that we have all talked about so much where they say don't -- we don't need to you go out in the car, she points out correctly that the 911 operator also asked for him to keep an eye on Trayvon -- on who turned out to be Trayvon Martin.
That shows a considerable knowledge of the evidence. But, boy, the defense had to have been very, very happy with hearing this juror.
COOPER: Sunny, you were in the courtroom. You know who this juror is. You watched her. What do you think of what she said?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I'm almost -- I'm so stunned, I'm almost speechless. I'm rarely speechless, as all of you know.
COOPER: What stunned you?
HOSTIN: My good friend Mark Geragos is giggling.
HOSTIN: The racial overtones that she is using in describing the way "they" talk...
COOPER: She did want to stress that when she said "they," she wasn't talking -- she didn't mean all African-Americans. She was talking about Trayvon Martin and Rachel Jeantel.
HOSTIN: But the fact that she talked about Rachel Jeantel's communication skills, not finding her credible, she's on a first-name basis with George Zimmerman, the fact that she admitted...
COOPER: She also calls Trayvon Martin by Trayvon.
HOSTIN: Yes, but the fact that she said that George had his heart in the right place, yet he went too far, she admitted that he went too far. That for me is negligence. It's manslaughter.
But she seemed to just really sympathize, almost empathize with George Zimmerman. And I'm flabbergasted by that.
COOPER: Clearly -- and you will hear more from the interview in this hour -- she is clearly -- there are a number of people on the jury who wanted to convict him of something, but felt that the law as described to them, the rules of manslaughter, forced them to focus solely on the struggle and the moments before the shot and did George Zimmerman fear for her life, and that's all ultimately that it boiled down to, whether it was manslaughter or not guilty.
Danny, what did you think?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Look, I refuse to accept anything other than you can conclude that Rachel Jeantel or any other witness is credible or not credible based on your observation of that person.
Sunny brought up the word race, but then the next words she said were, oh, she didn't speak well, she wasn't educated. Those to me don't sound anything like have anything to do with race. She injected race into Rachel Jeantel. That juror and all the other five jurors were absolutely privileged to make a subjective determination of credibility.
And they did that, and we're hearing that tonight for the first time, which is what I think a lot of us at least on the defense bar predicted, that they would find Rachel Jeantel less than credible. It doesn't have to do with race. It has to do with, as I said before, relatability. And I believe these jurors, this juror included, found her...
TOOBIN: Relatability sounds...
CEVALLOS: Jeffrey, it may not even be a word.
TOOBIN: It sure sounds racially relevant to me. HOSTIN: A little code.
CEVALLOS: Well, look, listen, we can't -- either it's code or it's not. We can't read into everything race.
HOSTIN: Well, you said she's not relatable because she didn't read cursive.
CEVALLOS: Absolutely. I did.
CEVALLOS: No, I said people can conclude that somebody who doesn't read cursive is somebody they may not identify with.
And then you injected race into it, because, after all, if you're saying -- because you're making the statement then that there's a certain race that can't read cursive. I never said that. I said anyone who doesn't read cursive.
HOSTIN: I'm not injecting race.
CEVALLOS: No, you did.
COOPER: Mark Geragos, clearly, the jury didn't believe race was an element in this trial. She said she didn't believe it and to her memory none of the other jurors believed it. They didn't discuss race at any time during deliberations. Does that surprise you?
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Course not.
Nobody is -- when was the last time you heard somebody say I'm a racist? By the way, I was just in the biggest trial in the country. I'm a racist. That's why I voted him not guilty. Seriously? I don't even believe this discussion, although I want to give Sunny props.
GERAGOS: For the first time, I believe that Sunny is stunned. I believe Sunny is stunned, because that juror said exactly what I have been saying for two-and-a-half weeks.
When they picked this jury, this case was over. They looked at it -- do you remember our discussion about jurors look at it through the prism through which they're going to see it? These jurors were not going to -- you can call it relate, you can call it anything else. It's the demographic who is going to -- who they're going to appeal to.
They were not going to understand, they were not going to look at and sympathize with. And when you said -- when Jeff says I can't believe how much sympathy she had, precisely. That's why this case was over in jury selection. These were not people who were going to sympathize with Trayvon Martin.
TOOBIN: How did you know that right from the start? Obviously, you turned out to be right, but how could you tell right from the start? No, answer the question, really. How could you know?
GERAGOS: OK. I'm going to give everybody a news bulletin.
GERAGOS: Race. Race is still the biggest issue in the criminal justice system in America.
I see it every single day. You see it in every single trial. It explains 95 percent of what goes on in every courtroom in America. And jury selection is the sine qua non of racial -- of the racial institution.
Why do you think that they reserve cases? The Supreme Court instituted Batson. Why do you think that they reseat jurors? Why do you think they say that it's unfair when an all-white juror judges a black defendant? Why do you think that if you -- a prosecutor eliminate blacks so that you get an all-white jury, people say that is a pretextual thing?
That is reality.
HOSTIN: You know what, though, Mark? I have got to tell you, I have disagreed with you every day. However, and I tend to look at things very race neutral. I come from a multi-racial background and when I was viewing this case and analyzing this case I had my legal degree, you know prism, I had my former prosecutor prism. I had said repeatedly I didn't think this case was about race. However, listening to this juror and listening to all of the hate mail that I've gotten and everyone talking about race, I now believe --
GERAGOS: I said, Sunny.
HOSTIN: That race was a significant part of this. I thought it was the elephant in the room but clearly it wasn't.
GERAGOS: I've seen some of the tweets directed at Sunny, which are disgusting. I mean, I've gotten some of them as well. Saying that the Turks didn't do a good enough job with the a Armenians. I mean, you wonder, do people really believe that stuff.
But, I can tell you, this is not a news flash to anybody who is in the trenches in the criminal courtroom,. This is the dark underbelly of the American criminal justice system and it's unfortunate but, you know, maybe this discussion that we are having is going to bring it out so that people understand this is what goes on. There's no way that you understand or you can understand this verdict if you don't take it through the prism of how people look at race. And all you have to do is look at the tweets toward Sunny. I mean, that's, to my mind, that's the greatest kind of focus group you could ever get.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I do think this is a key issue and an important issue. It is obviously a big issue in the criminal justice system as Mark talked about. Tomorrow might we are actually going to be talking about race and justice in America in AC360, a special town hall at 10:00 p.m. eastern. Sunny, Jeff, Danny marks the ground.
One of the most fascinating parts of the interview coming up with juror B-37 when she talks about what happens when the jurors first went in to deliberate and how they were split down the middle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, where was everybody, how was that first vote?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We has three not guilty, one second degree murder and two manslaughters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Hey, welcome back.
Following breaking news tonight. More of my exclusive conversation Zimmerman trial juror B-37. She is taking us inside the deliberation room as deliberations began and ultimately jurors changed their mind.
COOPER: Let's talk about how you reached the verdict. When the closing arguments were done and rebuttal was done, you go into that jury room, what happened?
JUROR B-37 IN THE ZIMMERMAN MURDER TRIAL: Well, the first day we went in, we were trying to get ourselves organized because there's no instructions on what you do, how you do it and when you do it. So we all decided -- we nominated the foreman so she could have the voice and kind of run the show. If anybody gets, you know, so everybody's not talking over everybody. If somebody starts talking and somebody else starts talking. And then she would say, you know, stop, one person at a time, we got to do this.
And so, the first day we got all the evidence on the tables and on the walls and we asked for an inventory because it was too time consuming looking for evidence when it was in no order whatsoever. COOPER: Did you take an initial vote to see where everybody was?
JUROR B-37: We did.
COOPER: So where was everybody? How was that first vote?
JUROR B-37: We had three not guiltys, one second degree murders and two manslaughters.
COOPER: So half the jury felt he was not guilty, two man lawyers and one second degree?
JUROR B-37: Exactly.
COOPER: Do you want to say where you were on that?
JUROR B-37: I was not guilty.
COOPER: So going into it, once the evidence -- all the evidence had been presented, you felt he was not guilty?
JUROR B-37: I did. I think the medical examiner could have done a better job at preserving Trayvon's evidence --
COOPER: The state medical?
JUROR B-37: I mean the state. They should have bagged his evidence, they should have bagged his clothes, they have done a lot of things they didn't do.
COOPER: Do you feel you know truly what happened?
JUROR B-37: I have a rendition of what I believe happened. And I think it is probably as close as anybody could come to what happened. But nobody is going to know exactly what happened except for George.
COOPER: So you took that first vote. You saw basically the jury split, half the jurors, including yourself thought not guilty, two people thought manslaughter, one person thought second degree murder had been proven.
JUROR B-37: Yes.
COOPER: How do you then go about deciding things?
JUROR B-37: We started looking at the evidence. We listened to all the tapes, two, three, four, five times.
COOPER: The 911 recordings?
JUROR B-37: The 911 recordings and then there's the reenactment tape. There were some tapes from previous 911 calls that George had made.
COOPER: The reenactment tape, that's the tape of George Zimmerman walking police of what he said happened?
JUROR B-37: Exactly. We looked through pretty much everything. That's why it took us so long. We were looking through the evidence and then at the end we just we got done and then we just started looking at the law. What exactly we could find and how we should vote for this case. And the law became very confusing.
COOPER: Yes, tell me about that.
JUROR B-37: It became very confusing. We had stuff thrown at us, we had the second degree murder charge, the manslaughter charge, then we had self-defense, stand your ground and I think there was one other one. But the manslaughter case we actually had gotten it down to manslaughter because the second degree -- it wasn't at second degree anymore.
COOPER: So the person who felt it was second degree going into it, you convinced them, OK, it was manslaughter?
JUROR B-37: Through going through the law. And then we sent a question to the judge. And it was not a question they could answer yes or no. So, they sent it back saying that if we could narrow it down to a question, asking us if what exactly not what about the law and how to handle it but if they could just have -- I guess -- I don't know.
COOPER: You sent a question out to the judge about manslaughter.
JUROR B-37: Yes. And what could be applied to the manslaughter. We were looking at the self-defense. One of the girls said -- asked if you can put all the leading things into that one moment where he feels it a matter of life or death, to shoot this boy or if it was just at the heat of passion at that moment.
COOPER: So that juror wanted to know whether the things that had brought George Zimmerman to that place, not just in the minute or two before the shot actually went off.
JUROR B-37: Exactly.
COOPER: Earlier that day, even prior crime?
JUROR B-37: Not prior crimes. Just the situation leading to it. All the steps. As the ball got rolling, if all that --
COOPER: From hit spotting Trayvon Martin, to getting out of his vehicle, to following, whether all of that could play a role in --
JUROR B-37: Determining the self-defense or not.
COOPER: Did you feel like you understood the instructions from the judge? Because they were very complex. I mean, reading them, they were tough to follow.
JUROR B-37: Right. And that was our problem. I mean, it was just so confusing what went with what and what we could apply to what. Because, I mean, there was a couple of them in there that wanted to find him guilty of something. And after hours and hours and hours of deliberating over the law and reading it over and over and over again, we decided there's just no way -- other place to go.
COOPER: Because of the two options you had, second degree murder or manslaughter, you felt neither applied?
JUROR B-37: Right. Because of the heat of the moment and the stand your ground. He had a right to defend himself if he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.
COOPER: So, even though it was he who had gotten out of the car and followed Trayvon, that didn't matter in the deliberation. What mattered was the final second, minutes there was an altercation and whether or not in your mind the most important thing was whether or not George Zimmerman felt his life was in danger?
JUROR B-37: Well, that's how we read the law. That's how we got to the point of everybody being not guilty.
COOPER: So that was the belief of the jury, that you had to zero in on those final minutes/seconds about the threat that George Zimmerman believed he faced.
JUROR B-37: That's exactly what happened.
COOPER: So whether it was George Zimmerman getting out of the vehicle, whether he was right to get out of the vehicle, whether he was a want-to-be cop, whether he was overeager, none of that in the final analysis mattered. What mattered was those seconds before the shot went off, did George Zimmerman fear for his life?
JUROR B-37: Exactly. That's exactly what happened.
COOPER: And you have no -- do you have any doubt that George Zimmerman feared for his life?
JUROR B-37: I had no doubt George feared for his life in the situation he was in at the time.
COOPER: Coming up, more of our exclusive interview with juror B- 37. She talks about whether she feels sorry for Trayvon Martin and the emotional toll that the trial took on themselves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUROR B-37: I want people to know that we put everything into everything to get this verdict. We didn't just go in there and say we're going to come in here and just do guilty/not guilty. We thought about it for hours and cried over it afterwards.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Back with breaking news.
More of my exclusive interview with juror B-37 in the George Zimmerman trial. The first time a juror is speaking out on how the trial has affected her and the other jurors.
COOPER: How has this been for you? I mean, how was making that decision when you realized, OK, the last holdout juror has decided OK, manslaughter. That's enough. We can't hold George Zimmerman to manslaughter. There's nothing we can really hold him to, not guilty. In that jury room, what was that like?
JUROR B-37: It was emotional to point but after we put our vote in and the bailiff took our vote, that's when we started to cry.
COOPER: Tell me about it.
JUROR B-37: It just hard, thinking that someone lost their life and there's nothing else could be done about it. I mean, it is what happened. It was sad. It was a tragedy that's happened. But it happened. I think both were responsible for the situation they had gotten themselves into. I think both of them could have walked away, it just didn't happen.
COOPER: It's still emotional for you.
JUROR B-37: It is, it's very emotional.
COOPER: Can you explain the emotion?
JUROR B-37: It's just sad that we all had to come together and figure out what is going to happen to this man's life afterwards. You find him not guilty, but you're responsible for that not guilty and all the people that want him guilty aren't going to have any closure.
COOPER: Do you feel sorry for Trayvon Martin?
JUROR B-37: I feel sorry for both of them. I feel sorry for Trayvon and the situation he was in and I feel sorry for George because of the situation he got himself in.
COOPER: Did you realize how big this trial had become?
JUROR B-37: I had no clue. No clue whatsoever.
COOPER: Did it make sense to you that there was this much attention on it?
JUROR B-37: It didn't to me because I didn't see it as a racially -- racial thing. I saw it as a murder case, as a second degree murder case. It just -- it was just unbelievable that it had gotten so big and so political -- not really political, I don't want to say that but so emotional for everybody involved. And I never would have thought when we went over to the hotel to get all our stuff from the hotel, we got to the hotel and the parking lot was just a regular parking lot. By the time we came out, it looked like Disney world. There was media, there were police and it really kind of started to sink in when we went to get our stuff and then the state police showed up because they were going to be our escorts home.
COOPER: Are you scared now?
JUROR B-37: I'm not scared. I don't know how to say it.
COOPER: You clearly don't want people to see your face.
JUROR B-37: No. But I don't want anybody else around me to be affected by anyone else. I mean, I'm not really scared, but I want to be cautious, if that makes any sense.
COOPER: It's understandable.
JUROR B-37: Yes.
COOPER: But you want people to know -- why did you want to speak?
JUROR B-37: I want people to know that we put everything into everything to get this verdict. We didn't just go in there and say we are going to come in here and just do guilty/not guilty. We thought about it for hours and cried over it afterwards. I don't think any of us could ever do anything like that ever again.
COOPER: And if fact she says she hopes she never serves on a jury again.
Back to our panel. Sunny Hostin, Jeff Toobin, Danny Cevallos and Mark Geragos.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I'm still in shock. I have heard it a couple times now. That line when you ask her do you feel sorry for Trayvon Martin, the first thing she says is I feel sorry for both of them. Trayvon Martin is dead. George Zimmerman is I inconvenienced. I mean, I just -- to put them -- the degree of sympathy for George Zimmerman reflected in that comment is staggering to me.
COOPER: Mark, go on.
TOOBIN: Mark, I apologize for interrupting you interrupting me.
GERAGOS: I apologize for interrupting you.
COOPER: Go ahead.
GERAGOS: Look, what you do as a lawyer when you try a case is you want the jurors to want to help your client. That's the basic fundamental rule of a trial. And that's why they put on the witnesses that they did. That's why they -- you saw her talk about the woman who had the home invasion. That's why you heard her when she said that the detective was important. Those -- she felt for him. That's why jurors find people either not guilty or why jurors give large verdicts to people who are injured, because they want to help them. If they don't like them, and that's precisely why prosecutors demonize defendants because if you make them subhuman or inhuman or not likable, then jurors do not want to help them and will not go out of their way.
So, all of this, to me at least, is exactly what you expect afterward. And I really feel for this woman. I mean, in her heart of hearts she did exactly what they were supposed to do. They went through the evidence, they read the law, they did exactly what a conscientious juror was supposed to do in this case and she should be applauded for doing her jury duty. I mean, the last thing I think that should ever be done is that she should be second guessed.
And you know, completely off topic, Corey and that guy Bernie today who were talking about Zimmerman should have had the courage to testify -- waived his fifth amendment, those two should be disbarred frankly.
HOSTIN: Oh, come on.
GERAGOS: For the nonsense that they're spouting. Those two prosecutors are an abomination.
HOSTIN: Come on.
GERAGOS: You're going to tell me that a prosecutor should be out there saying a defendant should have the courage to testify? Have they looked at the Fifth Amendment recently?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I'll take it a step further. The prosecutor tonight, one of them at least when they were asked describe -- use one word to describe George Zimmerman, one of them and I believe it was Corey said "murderer."
TOOBIN: Yes, she did.
CEVALLOS: I mean that, is just not legally appropriate.
GERAGOS: Shame on her!
CEVALLOS: I mean, legally, a jury has decided that George Zimmerman is not guilty. It not really a politically wise thing to make a judicial determination of something that a jury completely disagreed with.
HOSTIN: She's not making a judicial determination. But listen, you know, these prosecutors clearly believed in their case, that is why they charged second degree murder.
GERAGOS: No, they didn't. HOSTIN: And they -- they did. And clearly, it difficult for them, it's difficult for them to have lost a case of this magnitude on a national stage like this. So can I understand why Bernie is saying that George -- let me finish, Mark. That George Zimmerman was lucky. I understand why Angela Corey would say what comes to her mind, murderer. I can understand that.
GERAGOS: I don't understand that. She's a prosecutor. She's got a certain -- supposed to have some ethics, which obviously she doesn't. Supposed to be competent. You heard the juror say they played over and over the reenactment by George Zimmerman.
Jeff will, I hope back me up because I think he said it, that reenactment was not coming in, but for these competent prosecutors putting it in because otherwise, it was self-serving hearsay.
TOOBIN: Big strategic mistake by the prosecutors to put all those tapes in. They thought, oh, they'll show all these inconsistencies.
TOOBIN: Your interview with the juror. (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: And they re-watched those interviews.
TOOBIN: And I agreed with her on that.
COOPER: We got to say, we got to stop here.
Sunny, thank you. Jeff Toobin, Danny Cevallos, Mark Geragos.
That does it for this special edition of "360." Join us tomorrow night at 8:00 eastern. We are going to have more of my exclusive interview with juror B-37. There is a whole parts of it which have not been played yet. You are going to hear more about what happened inside that jury room.
Also 10:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow, a special edition AC360 "race and justice in America," It is an "AC360" town hall. We lined up a lot of interesting guests and discussions about race and justice in this country. You don't want to miss it, tomorrow night 10:00 eastern right here on CNN.