This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 15, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: We are less than 48 hours removed from the moment when the not guilty verdict was handed down in the George Zimmerman murder trial. Tonight, over the course of the next 60 minutes, we'll be coming to you live with complete coverage of this controversial conclusion to one of the most talked about legal cases in recent history.
Here to kick things off, I'm joined right here in our New York studios, by two members of the Zimmerman defense team. Attorneys Mark O'Mara and Don West.
Welcome to the program, thank you very much. Congratulations to both of you.
DON WEST, ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you very much.
HANNITY: All right. Any knock knock jokes?
WEST: Not tonight.
HANNITY: All right. I'm just kidding. I know you've probably got a lot.
Are you surprised how big this all got?
MARK O'MARA, ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I am. Actually, I thought it was big to begin with.
O'MARA: I thought it was going to slow down, particularly when the evidence started coming out. Because you first and then me second said, look, guys, let's just wait. Sit back. You don't know the evidence yet because I don't know it yet. Let's wait until we have all the evidence. And I thought that would sort to tend to throw a tithe to bring it back. But it never did. And part of that was of course the way the prosecutors were hiding some of the evidence and the discovery and they just kept it at this fever pitch way too long.
HANNITY: Yes. I agree. We'll get into that in a minute. Don, what do you think won this case for you?
WEST: The evidence.
HANNITY: What are the big factors in other words? Like for example, I think three things really came into play for me, the justification -- the law, the eyewitness and I would say even though they weren't necessary, the injuries.
WEST: You mean what was the most important evidence in the case?
WEST: The eyewitness of course whose testimony completely corroborated what George Zimmerman said and also matched the ballistics, matched the medical examiner's testimony, not Dr. Bao's, but rather Dr. Vincent DiMaio.
WEST: It all matched up.
HANNITY: All right. One of the things -- you in closing argument, I thought you did a really good job of pointing out to the jury, this is not the same as everyday life. For those that maybe didn't hear it, explain that.
O'MARA: The frustration that I have with juries is they default to what we all do. We all default to this, make a decision every moment of every day because you have to. And that's sort of a very quick decision-making process. The criminal standard is so much higher than that. But beyond a reasonable doubt standard, we never use in our daily life. Even getting married, or moving or getting a new job is always compromising back and forth. The decision to convict somebody has got to one which is beyond whatever you're used to. And my fear as I said to the jury is that they would start defaulting back to their normal decision-making processes. That hurts a criminal defendant.
HANNITY: Let me go to the justification of the use of force. These were the jury instructions, because I think this was very key in making their decision. And it says, "At issue in this case is whether or not George Zimmerman in fact acted in self-defense. It is a defense to a crime of second degree murder or the lesser included offensive manslaughter if the death of Trayvon Martin resulted from the justifiable use of deadly force. Deadly force means, force likely to cause death or great bodily harm. A person is justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm. If George Zimmerman was not engaged in unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."
Explain that to our audience because that's the law.
O'MARA: Here are the most critical words, if you reasonably believe that you're about to suffer great bodily injury, you can react with deadly force. We all have that right. Stand your ground law doesn't matter. Every self-defense case allows you to react to great bodily injury with deadly force. To explain what George did, it was George suffered 45 seconds of being attacked, because we know it was him screaming. Everyone knows it was him screaming now. And he was getting battered because we see the injuries. And he reacted at those injuries at a point he had too, just like Dennis Root said, he had no other alternatives. He had already tried to scream to stop him, and he already asked for help from the witness and it didn't help, he had no other choice.
HANNITY: Let's go over the irregularities in the case. Don, for example, the withholding of evidence which your partner mentioned. Explain that.
WEST: A moment ago, I said what's the most important thing, evidence as opposed to an appeal to emotion. Let's look at the real evidence and it was like pulling teeth to get the real evidence. The exculpatory evidence, the information that is the foundation of the way the criminal justice system is supposed to work says that the defense is entitled to all exculpatory evidence. And we fought month after month after month just to get what should have been given without the hundreds of hours that it took. So, that's the way this started and unfortunately it continued until the very day the trial started.
HANNITY: What do you think of Angela Corey firing the IT person that exposed this?
O'MARA: I think that certainly the way she handles her business, I think that's shown in the way she handled the trial and the ways I guess she trains prosecutors to fail to give over discovery like Don talked about. So, I think, you know, that's just in her stripes, but I think it's despicable when somebody comes to the forefront and exposes in an unethical behavior, that they then get fired even though they have a four-month old child.
HANNITY: Special prosecutor, no grand jury, irregular?
O'MARA: Well, they don't have to empanel a grand jury. But in a case like this with the type of focus he's had, and realizing that you already had a grand jury in place, why not use 18 people from the community to make a decision that they're supposed to be empowered with? Why should you come in from an out of the area county and come down here and make a decision after praying with the family and not let 18 citizens of Seminole County make the decision they were ready to make?
HANNITY: What about evidence that you wanted to use but were not allowed to use? What is that evidence?
O'MARA: Well, we looked at this case and how aggressive we would get with our defense based upon how the prosecution was handling their case and what we wanted to do would be the ones who were making a decision. That's why we fought so hard to get in the toxicology results. Because we should have had that. Then we make a decision, tactical decision whether or not it comes in. We decided not to because it wasn't that significant. We definitely should have had that same right to look at Trayvon Martin's cell phone and say, this is the guy who knows how to fight because he talked about getting it mounted and how that was a position that we couldn't do anything. And if you punch somebody in the nose, you want to fight. The judge should definitely have let us use that information.
HANNITY: That seemed crucial to me.
O'MARA: Well, it was. It turns out we didn't need it but I think that should been our decision.
HANNITY: Yes, I would agree with you. Any other evidence, Don, that you would have liked to have brought in?
WEST: I think that's the most powerful evidence that was kept out. And that in and of itself I think would have helped equalize this notion, the jury instructions, the physical abilities and capabilities of the individuals involved. The state made great pains, took great pains to offer evidence of George Zimmerman's supposed MMA training. We offered the gym teacher, if you will. I think we had the same right to show Trayvon Martin's knowledge and experience in physical context.
HANNITY: What about when they go for second degree, they start losing the case. Every commentator is even recognizing they're losing the case. Now we'll lower it to manslaughter or maybe third degree murder or child abuse as the foundation. Is that good for our system of justice?
O'MARA: Well, manslaughter is an alternative that should have been given. Because that's just what we call the necessary lesser included. I did not like their behavior to wait until literally the 11th hour and 59th minute to try and sneak in a third degree murder by child abuse which they planned for months, because you don't walk into court with 15 cases sided and ready to go 7:20 the day that you're giving jury instructions unless you planned it.
HANNITY: How hard was it waiting for the jury to come back? They were gone almost 16 hours. How hard is that?
O'MARA: It's the worst time of my life. I liken it to this for those people who don't do trial work. It's like waiting outside a surgery room while you have a family member in surgery. You can't do anything, you're helpless, you just have to wait. Every time a door knocks or something happens, you jump but you just have to sit, wait patiently.
WEST: -- sixteen hours?
HANNITY: Yes. That's all.
WEST: Oh, my goodness. I thought it was 16 days.
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