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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
: Economic and Tax Boom from Colorado Pot Sales; Bryan Stow's Dodger Stadium Assailants Sentenced; Dunn Juror Speaks; Pot Tax Revenue
Aired February 21, 2014 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: Yelling and shouting at each other, deliberations gone wild in the Michael Dunn trial, ending in a deadlock on the most important charge. The youngest juror in the room tells CNN, those men and women in that room did their job.
Also this hour, driving down the freeway and her five-month-old nephew suddenly stops breathing. When the unthinkable happens, her quick- thinking and a little help from strangers saves the day and a precious life.
And, cashing in big-time on legalized marijuana. High - I mean really, really high tax revenues burning a hole in Colorado's pocket. So, how soon will other states get in on the action?
Hello, everyone, I'm Deborah Feyerick, in for Ashleigh Banfield. It is Friday, February 21st. Welcome here to LEGAL VIEW.
We begin with CNN's exclusive interview with juror number eight in Michael Dunn's murder trial. Creshuna Miles paints a picture of an explosive deliberation room, women and men crying and shouting so loudly that you could actually hear them through the walls. The judge had to send everyone else out of the courtroom. After 30 hours of deliberations and even a prayer that everyone would have an open mind, they simply could not agree on a verdict for Jordan Davis' death. Alina Machado sat down with juror number eight to talk about the verdict and the hot button issue in this trial, race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRESHUNA MILES, JUROR #8, DUNN MURDER TRIAL: I never once thought about, oh, this was a black kid, this was a white guy, because that was - that wasn't the case.
ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So the people who say, you know, here's another white guy who got away with shooting and killing a black kid, what would you tell them?
MILES: I would tell them that they really should knowledge theirself on the law.
MACHADO (voice-over): Creshuna Miles is setting the record straight. MACHADO (on camera): If this case wasn't about race, then what was it about for you?
MILES: It was about justice. Um, I --
MILES: When I walked into it, I just wanted to bring justice to whoever it was. If it was Michael Dunn, I wanted to bring justice to him. If it was Leland, Tevin, Tommie, or Jordan, I wanted to bring justice to them.
MACHADO (voice-over): The 21-year-old was juror number eight in the Michael Dunn murder trial. She sat down exclusively with CNN to talk about the case and the heated deliberations.
MACHADO (on camera): What was it like inside that deliberation room?
MILES: It was wild.
MACHADO: Wild as --
MILES: Like there was shouting. There was a lot of yelling.
MACHADO (voice-over): Miles even shared her impressions about Michael Dunn and explained the partial verdict the jury returned.
MACHADO (on camera): What did you think of Michael Dunn?
MILES: I honestly think he was a good guy. I think he is a good guy. I don't think he hates everybody. I don't think he walks around wanting to shoot everybody. I think that he made bad decisions.
MACHADO: You still think he's guilty of murder though?
MILES: Yes. I really think he's guilty of murder, but not the guilty as charged.
MACHADO: First degree. You don't think he's guilty of first degree?
MILES: I think he's guilty of second degree.
MACHADO: How difficult was it for you to come back into that courtroom knowing that Jordan Davis' parents were there and that you couldn't agree on a charge related to his death?
MILES: It was hard. It was -- we were confident and cool with it. But when he sent us back, we was just like, OK, this is a decision we have to make. But when he sent us back, we got nervous. We got really nervous because we didn't know, oh, do (ph) this mean this throws out the whole case, or is she going to retry him, or is Corey satisfied with just what happened, is she going to do more, is Jordan ever going to get justice? We did not know. And walking back into there, I got so nervous because I'm just like, what do we -- what if we completely messed up?
MACHADO: Do you feel like you messed up?
MACHADO: Do you feel like the jury messed up?
MILES: No. I feel like we did what we were supposed to.
MACHADO: The mixed verdict, a lot of people were confused by it. There was a sense of injustice. Some people said it wasn't fair or just because how could you convict him on attempted second degree murder.
MILES: We could not agree. We just could not agree. It was one way or the other. We -- nobody was willing to move. We could not agree. So hopefully the next group agrees.
MACHADO: What would you tell Jordan's family?
MILES: I would tell them that, from my end, I tried. I really did try. I tried to fight for their son. We -- everyone that felt he was guilty, we fought and we fought and we fought. And I saw the look on his dad's face when we came to nothing. I saw the look on his dad's face when we were on the stand. And I know it hurts. And it's like, oh, thinking you got this wound healed, and then somebody slices it open again because now they've got to go through that whole process all over again.
FEYERICK: Well, for the legal view, I want to bring in CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin and HLN legal criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson.
First of all, let's talk about this young woman. Completely poised. Said those who thought he was guilty really fought to try to show that, or to get that conviction. What do you think of her? Is she -- what do you think of what she went through? This is very personal, clearly.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Very personal. And I had the opportunity to watch her day in and day out. I was in the courtroom.
JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Right.
HOSTIN: And she did seem to be very poised. And she also seemingly had a very good relationship with the other jurors. There was another African-American woman on the jury, and she seemed to be more solitary. This woman did appear to be younger and also much more collaborative. She would come in and out of the courtroom paired with different people. So that was very interesting to me.
What I found odd was that she mentioned that race wasn't a part of this case. And I think, in respect to the law, that is true because my friend, the defense attorney, will know, that -- and will acknowledge that defense attorneys usually move prior to trial to get any -- you know, get any mention of race out of the trial. And he did that in this case. FEYERICK: Right.
HOSTIN: But it certainly was the elephant in the room.
FEYERICK: Well, let's talk about that because, again, the judge had told the jurors, race is not a factor, it should not be considered at all in this.
FEYERICK: But when you go into that jury room, you know that there's a certain bias, a certain prejudice, a certain life experience that you bring into that room with you.
FEYERICK: How do you deny that? Can you really tamp it down and just say, oh, the law is the law?
JACKSON: You know -
HOSTIN: And how do you know it wasn't part of Michael Dunn's thought processes when he felt threatened?
JACKSON: See -- absolutely. And those are very fair points. And the first thing, Deb, is this. You know, look at our process and to think that you have to get consensus with 12 jurors -
JACKSON: It's a very difficult thing to do because, as you mention, everybody brings a different perspective. And although we may not mention race, right, Sunny Hostin mentions that it's the elephant in the room, my perspective, if I'm a juror, could be about race. And so although we don't discuss it, maybe it's reasonable and rational for me to say, you know what, he felt threatened because of this African- American teen, where someone else says, where's the threat?
JACKSON: He acted irrationally.
FEYERICK: One of your colleagues, Mark O'Mara, has made the point that, in fact, this is not really about stand your ground. This is not about -
HOSTIN: Oh, I disagree.
FEYERICK: Well, he says it's about self-defense. It's about the fear that kicks in when you are confronted by something that frightens you, that makes you feel a certain way, and that's when you pull the trigger. But -- so where does that come in, because part of it is about self-defense, not just stand your ground.
HOSTIN: Yes, but that's the common misconception, especially in a stand your ground state like Florida. And I disagree with Mark, you know, off camera and on camera.
HOSTIN: Respectfully. Always, of course, that's my way.
HOSTIN: Those of you who know me.
I think that when you have a stand your ground state, the jury is always instructed, and the jury in this case was as well, that you are allowed to meet force with force and stand your ground. So stand your ground has essentially been codified in the Florida self-defense law. So the suggestion that stand your ground had nothing to do with this case really is a bit disingenuous.
JACKSON: Right. And, Deb, it's irrelevant because, as Sunny mentioned, that's the law.
JACKSON: And what you're instructed as to, if I'm reasonably in a place that I can be and I'm lawful -
JACKSON: And I feel, right, that I'm threatened, then I could apply force with force. Whether it was appropriate or not, that's the question that this jury had to consider.
FEYERICK: And that's -- and that's where it gets really tricky. That's where premeditation comes in. Am I afraid, do I feel threatened? And clearly nobody could prove or disprove that he didn't know that there was not a gun. So --
JACKSON: And, Deb, I know we're wrapping up, but how can -- this juror says he's a good guy. I mean he -
HOSTIN: That was shocking to me, but he did come across like Mr. Rogers.
FEYERICK: Well, that's - well, she's collaborative. But she is collaborative. Look, she -
JACKSON: He was convicted of attempted murder.
HOSTIN: Yes. Yes.
FEYERICK: But she's also collaborative and can see the difference between who a person is and what a person does.
HOSTIN: He did have that little sweater on, though. FEYERICK: So we've got to move on. OK. You didn't like the sweater. OK.
JACKSON: We could talk about it all day.
FEYERICK: Well, Sunny Hostin, Joey Jackson, I want you guys to stay with me. Thank you so much for all your perspective on this.
We move now to a major development in the uprising that has killed dozens in Ukraine, the former Soviet Republic. A new deal has been signed between Ukraine's president and opposition leaders. Crowds in Kiev cheered after the agreement was announced. The crisis began three months ago. Protesters demanding closer ties to the European Union and not to Russia.
Well, incredible pictures from a "Miami Herald" photographer, in the right place at the right time. Al Diaz (ph) captured these images of this woman performing CPR on her five-month-old nephew on the side of a highway. Baby Sebastian De La Cruz had stopped breathing. He was limp and he was turned purple. Look how small he is. Pamela Rauseo screamed for help and that's when fellow drivers like Lucila Godoy stepped in. She spoke to Chris Cuomo on "New Day" this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUCILA GODOY, ADMINISTERED CPR TO 5-MONTH-OLD: She's screaming and, you know, she's holding the baby and she's putting it up and down like know what - you know she was desperate. I don't - I just stopped the car and jumped out of the car and I asked her what was going on and we tried to start working as a team, that's how I want to see it, and we - we started doing CPR to the baby and the police officer helped us with the chest compressions and the baby finally started breathing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FEYERICK: Wow. It takes your breath away, that one. Baby Sebastian is in the hospital. He is in critical but stable condition.
Well, there are hundreds of millions of reasons the state of Colorado is glad that it legalized marijuana. Details on a weed windfall that could lead other states to follow in Colorado's footsteps.
FEYERICK: Well, whoever said that money doesn't grow on trees obviously hasn't sold weed. OK, so maybe it's a plant. Nobody knows who said that first. But in Colorado, nobody is denying it. Certainly not the state tax commissioner. Now that it's legal to sell recreational marijuana, the state is expecting -- listen to this -- nearly a $200 million windfall in the first year-and-a-half. Here's Ana Cabrera. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): High hopes for a Colorado green rush are being realized.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just exceeded all my exceptions.
CABRERA: Business at Evergreen Apothecary, previously just a medical marijuana dispensary, has more than quadrupled.
CABRERA (on camera): More than a month after recreational pot sales became legal, people are still lining up at the door to get their hands on this stuff, thus place packed at 10:00 when the doors open.
In fact, this pot shop averages 500 customers a day.
And the state of Colorado is reaping the benefits, as well. Sales in excise taxes on recreational cannabis are over 25 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your total $147.77.
CABRERA: Marijuana dispensaries are required to turn in January tax reports on Thursday.
TIM CULLEN, CO-OWNER, EVERGREEN APOTHECARY: We paid about $190,000 in sales tax that we collected during the month of January.
CABRERA: While official numbers won't be made public until March, the governor's budget office just released its own tax projections. It estimates the state will collect about $184 million in tax revenues in the first 18 months of recreational pot sales.
Here's Colorado's plan for spending that money. $40 million automatically goes to public school construction, that was mandated by voters.
Then the governor wants to spend 3 $5 million on youth prevention and substance abuse treatment, $12.4 million on public health, $3 million on law enforcement and public safety, and nearly $2 million on industry oversight.
MASON TVERT, MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT: I don't think the people who are buying marijuana want the tax money to be used to discourage adults from buying marijuana.
CABRERA: While not everyone agrees on how that money should be spent, and although still early, there's no denying the apparent economic boost that's come from recreational pot sales.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: And Ana Cabrera joins us now from Denver.
And other states have to be looking at Colorado and reconsidering policies on recreational marijuana. What are you learning about that?
CABRERA: Well, Deb, as you know, Colorado and Washington state are the only two states right now where recreational pot is legal.
And Washington still working through some of the regulations on sales of recreational marijuana. But we have learned there are at least eight other states from Colorado to Maine that are considering this, and you have to think, when they see the type of money Colorado is making or could be making from taxes, that that would certainly have some kind of influence over whether or not they decide to follow suit.
FEYERICK: No question about that. All right, Ana Cabrera, thanks so much. Appreciate that work.
Let's expand the conversation about marijuana and all the tax money that Colorado now expects to reap from it.
Joining me from Denver is Ricardo Baca, marijuana editor for the "Denver Post" and the fact that the paper actually created a job with that title says a lot.
Now the executive director of the marijuana industry group says that pot is on its way to becoming a billion-dollar industry. Could it get that big?
RICARDO BACA, DENVER POST MARIJUANA EDITOR: Well, you know, it's not only the industry who is saying that, but Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper just announced some projections for the next fiscal year that starts in July, saying that he expects upwards of $1 billion in sales.
Along with that, more than $130 million in taxes and fees into the state of Colorado's coffers.
FEYERICK: One thing I was surprised about, just how little of the tax money is actually going to law enforcement. And the reason I say that is, look, you look at alcohol. That's legal. But you've got a high number of DUIs.
We don't really necessarily know what impact legalization could potentially have on law enforcement. So why so little?
BACA: I'm not sure why so little, but I do know that this is a major concern for all law enforcement throughout the state.
You have the Colorado state patrol watching the borders, because this pot is not supposed to be crossing into Wyoming or Utah and New Mexico. They're also concerned about high driving.
And it's too early, as you said, to really look at what that impact will be compared to drunk driving, but I do know that they're very serious about it, and the state of Colorado even took recently a sizable federal grant to start an education campaign about driving stoned.
FEYERICK: Which is fascinating.
One other thing and that is that right now we saw a number of people on the line there. They had their backs to the camera when they went down that line.
Is this just for recreational use? The point you make, are we going to see an uptick in resales to other states, or just even on the street?
BACA: You know, "smurfing" is a problem. That's what they call it when you buy legal weed and sell it for a profit on the street. And that's been a concern ever since we went medical, and especially since the dispensary boom here in Colorado in 2009. So that's a major concern.
And I know we did a great story a couple months ago where we talked to the state patrols of neighboring states, including Kansas and Nebraska, and just said, Are you concerned about this? Are you seeing an uptick in the amount you're finding in cars and are you seeing a demand for it?
And the answers were, yes, they are seeing a demand for Colorado pot in Kansas, Colorado pot in Utah.
FEYERICK: All right. Well, we don't have time to get into why it's called "smurfing," but Ricardo Baca, we thank you and look forward to having you on again in the future. Thanks.
It is bold, brilliant and a bit questionable to some. A 13-year-old Girl Scout set up a table selling cookies outside a marijuana dispensary in San Francisco. That's the spirit of entrepreneurship. Boy, did she clean up. Pot, it seems, stimulates the appetite.
Her mother got permission ahead of time. But would you let your daughter do it? The shop welcomed her, according to a staff member.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOLLI BERT, THE GREEN CROSS: After 45 minutes, she had to call for reinforcement cookies, backups.
And her mother was quoted saying that she sold about 117 boxes in two hours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FEYERICK: Now, my daughter actually sold Girl Scout cookies at the St. Patrick's Day parade, so I can't condemn this woman.
Girl Scouts say safety is the number-one concern, but where a Scout decides to sell is really up to her parents.
Well, two men show no remorse. These guys beat up a baseball fan just because he was wearing a jersey for the other team. That man, he's now permanently disabled, and in a wheelchair.
But they smirked their way through sentencing. Wait until you hear what the judge and the victim's family members had to say to him.
FEYERICK: Anger and anguish in a California courtroom as a judge sentenced two men for a brutal attack after a baseball game.
Bryan Stow was nearly beaten to death, simply because he was cheering the rival team.
The judge called these two attackers "complete cowards" while Stow's family tearfully described their ordeal.
Kyung Lah has more.
JUDGE GEORGE LOMELI, L.A. SUPERIOR COURT: You're smiling? No civility, no respect for individuals.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As defendant Louie Sanchez kept smirking, the L.A. superior court judge verbally blasted him and co- defendant Marvin Norwood.
LOMELI: You are the biggest nightmare for individuals that attend public events.
It's a game, at the end of the day, and you lost perspective.
LAH: Just a simple baseball game three years ago, Bryan Stow was cheering on his San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium, their rival.
The two defendants attacked Stow, and then beat him nearly to death because he was wearing a San Francisco Giants' shirt.
The judge pointed out, it was a sucker punch.
LOMELI: You're complete cowards when it comes to that. You didn't engage in a fair fight.
LAH: Stow suffered massive brain trauma. He had to relearn how to breathe, eat. And today still struggles to walk, talk or think clearly.
His elderly parents care for him, full-time.
Stow's sisters faced, for the first time, the two men who nearly killed their brother.
ERIN COLLINS, SISTER OF BEATING VICTIM: I had hoped to see one tiny bit of remorse in order to not think you both are that despicable. But I don't.
LAH: A sentiment echoed by the judge.
LOMELI: You show no remorse, whatsoever.
LAH: Sanchez stopped smirking when the judge sentenced him to eight years in prison.
Norwood was sentenced four years, but because of time served, he's technically free today. An outstanding federal warrant may keep him behind bars longer.
BONNIE STOW, SISTER OF BEATING VICTIM: No sentencing you receive will ever be long enough. Eventually, you will be released.
BRIAN STOW, BEATING VICTIM: Big step.
LAH: While Bryan Stow faces a life sentence, living with brain damage.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.
FEYERICK: People are cleaning up from some wild weather. Snowstorms, tornadoes and lightning strikes light up the Nashville skyline.
What else is on the horizon? We're going to check it.
And singer Nicki Minaj is known for her trademark outlandish wigs. Now those wigs may be leading to a hairy legal situation. Yes, I said it.
We're going to get to the root of the problem, this half hour.