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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Remembering Johnnie Cochran; Analysis of Terri Schiavo Case
Aired March 30, 2005 - 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, intimate memories of Johnnie Cochran, the legendary lawyer who died shockingly yesterday at age 67. We'll hear from his daughter, Tiffany Cochran Edwards, plus many of the principals from the unforgettable O.J. Simpson trial: F. Lee Bailey, another world-famed attorney and a member of the Simpson dream team, Marcia Clark, who led the prosecution in the Simpson trial, Chris Darden, also part of that prosecution team, Dr. Henry Lee, the renowned forensic scientist, who worked with the Simpson dream team, Peter Neufeld, Cochran's close personal friend and dream team member. And also with us is Rikki Klieman of Court TV, who worked with Johnnie for a year on his TV show.
Then later, Terri Schiavo's 13th day without a feeding tube. And yet another court appeal denied.
We've got all the latest with reporters on the scene at the hospice. A priest who saw Terri today.
All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We continue with night 2 of our look at the life of Johnnie Cochran.
We begin first on the phone with Tiffany Cochran Edwards, recently married, Johnnie Cochran's daughter. And you told us, Tiffany, before we went on, Johnnie walked you down the aisle, right?
TIFFANY COCHRAN EDWARDS, JOHNNIE COCHRAN'S DAUGHTER (via telephone): He absolutely did, Larry. And he was -- he just did a fabulous job. It was so important for him to walk me down the aisle. And, you know, he just did it with class and elegance. And he worked on it so hard. It was a very pivotal moment in the ceremony.
KING: How long ago was this?
EDWARDS: I got married August 7th, last summer.
KING: So he was well into the brain tumor?
EDWARDS: Yes. Definitely so.
KING: Were you with him when he passed away?
EDWARDS: Yes. I had been out here for the last two weeks. And I was -- I arrived right around the time, yesterday afternoon.
KING: What was it like? Was the passing restful, peaceful? EDWARDS: You know Larry, he was warrior right up to the end. It was just the way he would have wanted it, surrounded by family, in the comfort of his home. No passing is easy, but he just -- he just looked like he was sleeping. It was very peaceful.
KING: Lee Bailey, you were brought into the Simpson matter by Bob Shapiro, if memory is correct. Did you know Johnnie Cochran well before that?
F. LEE BAILEY, ATTORNEY: I had not known him personally. I had heard of him, as most lawyers had.
KING: What was it like working with him?
BAILEY: It was a wonderful experience. I am enriched for having known and worked with Johnnie Cochran. He was not only a very important human being, an extraordinary person, an excellent lawyer, but he is someone I think has made a mark that will go down in history. He will not be forgotten.
KING: Marcia Clark, a former member of the L.A. D.A.'s office, who by the way is legal correspondent for "Entertainment Tonight." You look terrific, Marcia. I haven't seen you in a while. What was he like as an opponent?
MARCIA CLARK, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT: What I really enjoyed about Johnny -- and I think it's more and more rare nowadays in the courtroom -- is that we would -- we argued very vehemently and passionately, believed in the sides that we represented. But at the end of the day, personally, it never came into a hostile situation. Nothing that we didn't court, no matter how passionately we argued, how much we opposed each other or disagreed with each other, at the end of the day, it was always friendly, it was congenial, there was level, a degree of professionalism that was really a pleasure, and really the way law should be practiced. And I think increasingly hard to find people like that.
KING: And even at the times when you appeared the most upset, you still liked him?
CLARK: Yes. Yes. I understood what he was doing. I knew what he had to do as a defense attorney. That was never -- I never had a feeling of hostility, animosity towards Johnnie Cochran. That was not where my anger was ever focused. And we were able to get along amiably throughout the entire trial down to the last closing argument.
KING: Chris Darden, had you ever take it personally against him?
CHRIS DARDEN, MEMBER OF SIMPSON PROSECUTION TEAM: Well, I'd like to think not. Of course, you know, we clashed -- we clashed a lot. We didn't just clash in the Simpson case, we clashed in other cases. Not necessarily cases in court, but cases the D.A.'s office had investigated, in terms of civil rights and things of that nature. But I always had a tremendous respect for him, a tremendous respect for his skill.
KING: Tough adversary?
DARDEN: Tough adversary, very well prepared, smooth as silk -- silky smooth. And he really set the standard for a lot of us practicing criminal law in L.A. and in particular, for those of us who are black lawyers.
KING: Dr. Lee, had you ever worked with him before the Simpson case?
DR. HENRY LEE, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Yes. He did call me a couple of times on consulting a case. Of course, after O.J. Simpson case, we worked on a couple of cases together.
He's not only a good lawyer, he's an advocate and also he's a good teacher. We learned so much from him.
Let me share a little story with him. One day I receive a phone call, he say, I'm going to send my tailor to come to Harper to see you. You say Henry, you need some new suit. His tailor showed up start measuring me. I said what the cheapest suit cost, he said $4,000. I almost fall off the chair. I said, my suit is 100 bucks.
I called Johnnie, said you can keep your $4,000. I don't need a new suit, I will help you with the case. Beautiful man, beautiful man.
KING: That's a great story.
Peter Neufeld, of course you and Barry Schneck were part of the team that worked ardently on that trial. What was it like for you to work with him?
PETER NEUFELD, ATTORNEY: Well, Larry, it wasn't just working with him on that trial. He was, of course, was a teacher, he was a mentor and became a very good friend.
As you know, over the next ten years after the trial, Barry and I formed a partnership with Johnnie and we litigated more than a dozen major civil rights cases. And what Johnnie taught us then is something we'll never forgot. He had as a rule this notion you do well by doing good. And he lived it himself.
He did well, as you all know, you heard about the suits from Henry. But he made it a priority to be very, very philanthropic, very generous with his own money. And he educated every one of his clients to do exactly the same. He encouraged Admnil Laweemy (ph), the New Jersey Turnpike Kids, all the civil rights clients he had to do something good, give it back to the community. And that's what he taught Barry and me. And that's the legacy that we'll live with.
KING: Rikki, you're a prosecutor, right?
RIKKI KLIEMAN, COURT TV: I was a prosecutor...
KING: You're married to a police chief?
KLIEMAN: I am.
KING: And you did a show with Johnnie Cochran.
KLIEMAN: I did. It was probably one of the great television and life experiences.
We were together during the Clinton and Lewinski era. And of course, we were doing political and legal commentary. And I think for me, it was Johnnie's heart. Johnnie is a man of great spirit. And he wants everyone else to feel good. So, he made you feel better than you were. And in the end, he made you actually be better than you were.
KING: Even when you were arguing?
KLIEMAN: Well, we argued, but we argued in spirit. I look back upon my time with Johnnie Cochran with lots of smiles. He could bring out that inner laughter within me and hard not to take myself so seriously.
KING: Hard to be angry at him, right?
KING: Tiffany, what kind of dad was he?
EDWARDS: He was an amazing dad, Larry. I'm just so grateful I had him in my life for 35 years. But he always supported me. From the time I was a little girl, I told him I wanted to be a journalist. And he never tried to get me to become a lawyer. He let me chart my own course in life. Even when I made mistakes, many of which he predicted, he never once said, I told you so.
But he was -- I just -- most of all, I'll miss his sense of humor. We could talk about anything. We just had great conversations. And like Rikki said, if you were having a bad day, you could speak him and he could instantly add sunshine to your day. It's a tremendous loss for me, because he was my hero and my confidante.
KING: We'll be back with more of our tribute to Johnnie Cochran. We'll include your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNNIE COCHRAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He says the glove is still moist and sticky. Now, under their theory, at 10:40, 10:45, that glove is dropped, how many hours is that? It's now after 6:00. So what is that, 7 1/2 hour? What's the testimony about drying time around here? There's no dew point that night. Why would it be moist and sticky unless he brought it over there and planted it there to try to make this case. And there a Caucasian hair on that glove!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COCHRAN: We certainly aren't going to yell at Your Honor and become hysterical. We would...
CLARK: I resent that characterization. Your Honor, that kind of personal attack is very improper and inappropriate. The court knows that it's simply advocacy. I'm not yelling at anyone, and for Mr. Cochran to make that kind of sexist remark, "hysterical," I take great umbrage at it. And I think that the court should not countenance that kind of behavior.
ITO: I don't.
COCHRAN: She finished?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: How much umbrage, Marcia?
CLARK: Ito never seemed to take umbrage at what I wanted him to, so I really can't say. But, you know, it's interesting -- you selected, like, one of the very rare instances where there was any kind of a personal attack at all, and it's interesting to me, because, on -- outside the courtroom, in chambers, when we were not in front of the jury, nothing like that ever happened.
CLARK: No, really not. It was extremely civil, extremely genial, there were warm moments. I do not recall ever -- it's like you select that one thing that is the exception that makes the rule, because it wasn't like that between us.
KING: Lee, was it Johnnie's decision, Lee Bailey, that you cross-examine Mark Fuhrman?
BAILEY: Actually, Bob Shapiro had asked me to do that before Johnnie came into the case, but he adopted that ruling and for reasons he explained in his book that I think were pretty sound.
KING: What was he like -- because you've been a lead defense attorney so many times in your life, so successful, was it hard to work under someone?
BAILEY: It is the only time in my life I've ever sat second chair, one of several second chairs. It might have been difficult, but not with Johnnie Cochran. Johnnie Cochran could light up a room with his personality and his smile. He would greet me every morning with a little bit of rap, hello, my brother. You okay, I'm okay. You okay? And yet he was, quite apart from the courtroom, a mesmerizing speaker. I heard him give the 75th anniversary address to a very prominent church in West Palm Beach, sitting next to another great speaker, Bob Montgomery, a great lawyer in his own right, and we were spellbound by the way Johnnie handled the language, got the message across. He was a very deep and considerable human being. KING: Rikki, you worked for Lee Bailey, right?
KLIEMAN: I did. I met Lee when I was a baby lawyer, and he was sharing office space with a wonderful lawyer named Joe Valero (ph). Lee Bailey was one of my earliest, and forever, heroes and mentors, and I still love him dearly, and I'm glad to be able to see him over the airways.
KING: Chris, was it hard for you to be a second -- you were a second chair, too, right? Was that hard?
DARDEN: Well, it wasn't particularly hard given the fact that I got into the case later. It's certainly not something I will ever do again. Sitting second chair is not the best seat in the house.
KING: Dr. Lee, was that a tough case for you to testify? Was that -- were those hard days for you?
LEE: Yes, it's a tough case, a very tough case. You know, the prosecution was a double barrel shotgun, waiting for me. I think Marcia and Chris and -- they all did a good job. Apparently, they collect all my books, all my publications, they study every line. I'm the one finding the Caucasian hair on the glove, so Johnnie took a run. He really, really a smart attorney. Of course, I said, we do it again, I'm probably not going to participate any more.
KING: Peter, attorneys are such individualists -- was it hard for you to work under someone?
NEUFELD: I think, actually, "under" is the wrong word here. Johnny never made anyone feel like they were working under him. It was always a collaboration. You had Ben Brockman on last night, and he talked about how Johnnie was so comfortable with himself, that he could simply let Ben run with it. He let us run with it, he let us do what we did best, because he appreciated -- much more than most lawyers do -- that you don't know everything. It's only through a collective operation and deferring to other people's strong suits that the job gets done. He was always concerned with getting the job done and letting everyone participate in that. It's such an unusual talent.
KING: Would you say if you were in trouble, you'd hire him?
KLIEMAN: Absolutely. The word, I think, for everyone, if you were in Los Angeles and you were in trouble, who would you hire, Johnnie Cochran. But, then, the word became, if you were anywhere in the United States and you were in trouble, who would you hire? The answer was Johnnie Cochran. There was a reason for that. It's not only he was technically proficient and that he worked hard and he prepared, but he had an ability to connect with jurors that is almost God-given. It's not something that you can teach. It's an innate quality, to look into the hearts and mind of a juror and that you absolutely feel that person is with you 100 percent.
KING: Tiffany, did he bring cases home with him? COCHRAN-EDWARDS: Occasionally, Larry. We would ask him questions about, how was your day at work? I remember, as a child, I would go to court with him at an early age. During the Simpson trial, he really was more concerned about us, how the family was doing, how we're holding up, that sort of thing.
But, yes. We would ask him questions, you know, what made you do that? That sort of thing. There was a lot of interaction in that respect.
KING: We'll be right back with more; we'll include your phone calls as well. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COCHRAN: He's looking for blood, ladies and gentlemen. June 21st -- doesn't see any blood. Then he gets in the car. Asked him, did you look on the dash? Did you look on the door? Did you look on the console? Didn't see know blood. Says the patch on the bottom was cut out of the floor mat there. Doesn't see any blood.
Miss Clark, cross-examined this man, said, look, Rocco's kind of high up. When I was getting ready to get in there, I rested my hands on the thing and I looked right up there and there was no blood in that Bronco.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. The attorneys for Terri Schiavo's -- for Terri Schiavo that her parents -- filed on behalf of her parents, an emergency appeal with the United States Supreme Court, appealing the decision today by the federal 11-man court in Atlanta that went 9-2 against them. They have filed an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court -- I think this fourth or fifth time, back to the high court. We'll discuss that in the last two portions of the show.
We've got our assembled panel. Let's show you a scene now -- we showed you one between Marcia and Johnnie. Let's watch Marcia -- let's watch Chris and Johnnie. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COCHRAN: I didn't say...
DARDEN: Well, clearly, I mean -- but that's what you're suggesting, and that's what has created a lot of problems for my family and myself, statements you make about me and race, Mr. Cochran.
ITO: Wait, wait. I'm about to hold both of you in contempt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Were you ever held in contempt, Chris?
DARDEN: I was threatened with contempt, as a matter of fact. Probably should have let him hold me in contempt, now that I think about it. I no longer fear being held in contempt.
KING: No? Why not? What do they do to you, fine you?
DARDEN: Yes. Fine me or put me in jail, I could use the rest.
KING: You were mad at him there, though, right?
DARDEN: Oh, I was extremely mad.
KING: He touched a nerve.
DARDEN: Well, you know, that little nerve was a kind of -- it created situations way beyond the courtroom, and I didn't think it was necessary.
KING: Alabaster, Alabama, hello.
KING: Yes, go ahead.
Caller: My question is, will the public be able to pay their last respects to Mr. Cochran?
COCHRAN-EDWARDS: Absolutely. We've just finalized plans. I can tell you that there's going to be a public viewing on Tuesday, April 5th at Second Baptist Church here in Los Angeles from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
KING: Now, let's do that again. 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. next Tuesday at where?
COCHRAN-EDWARDS: At Second Baptist Church, and Larry, the address is 2412 Griffith Avenue here in Los Angeles. And I can also share with you the funeral arrangements. That's going to be next Wednesday, April 6th, at 11 a.m. at West Angeles Cathedral on 3600 Crenshaw Boulevard, also in Los Angeles.
KING: Thank you for that. We'll repeat that before we finish in these next two segments.
KING: That's the information: there's a public viewing of Johnnie Cochran, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. next Tuesday, and a week from today, next Wednesday, is the funeral, and that's at 11:00 a.m., right?
COCHRAN-EDWARDS: That's correct.
KING: OK. We'll have another call. Escondido, California, hello.
Caller: My question is for the entire panel. Do you believe in Johnnie's heart of hearts that he felt O.J. was guilty, or do you feel he just put on such a strong and brilliant defense to protect his Constitutional rights?
KING: Lee Bailey.
BAILEY: Johnnie always told me he was satisfied O.J. didn't do it. I never heard him retreat from that. Indeed, the morning the verdict was unsealed, I had announced what was in the envelope. I was confident. Johnnie said, are you sure? I said, I'm very sure, Johnnie. He said, then everything is all right. So, I think that was his view of the merits of the case.
KING: Marcia, what do you think in your gut?
CLARK: My gut tells me he knew that Simpson did it. I always thought that he did. He's a very smart man. He knows what a good lawsuit is and he knows what good evidence. He did an excellent job as a lawyer defending his client, poking holes in the prosecution's case, exactly what a defense attorney should do. But I don't think that has anything to do with what he himself knew in his heart of hearts. I believe, just my gut feeling, I don't have a crystal ball, but I do believe that he knew that Simpson was guilty.
DARDEN: Well, you know, I don't think it really matters. I think it's irrelevant. His job is to get his client off. That's the job of every defense attorney.
KING: What he thinks is irrelevant?
KING: Henry, what do you think he thinks or thought?
LEE: Well, as a scientist, we usually don't look at a person's innocence or guilt. We just deal with the scientific evidence. A couple of times, he talked to me, he think O.J. is not directly involved in the case.
NEUFELD: Well, you know, we never discussed that issue like that. Like Lee said, what we would do is discuss the evidence, because in our system, the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt someone's guilt. We were quite confident that the state lacked the ability to do that in this case. That was our concern.
One of the great things we have now -- if you had a video camera there, you could take pictures, you knew for sure whether something happened, that's one thing. But, lawyers are not necessarily the right people to make that assessment. That's why you have jurors. Lawyers are there working with what we have available.
KING: The public doesn't understand that. Rikki, what do you think he thought?
KLIEMAN: Well, I know that he has said, consistently, that he thought O.J. Simpson was innocent. As recently as a week ago, the managing partner of his law firm in Los Angeles, Sean Chapman Holly (ph), also said publicly she still believed O.J. Simpson was innocent. She was another lawyer in the case. What he had in his heart of hearts, beyond that, I haven't a clue.
KING: Tiffany, what do you think or did he ever say to you?
COCHRAN-EDWARDS: Oh, he absolutely felt he was innocent, Larry. Just last September, he was interviewed by the "L.A. Times" and a reporter asked him that very question, and he reiterated, once again, that he absolutely felt he was innocent.
KING: To Burlington, Massachusetts, hello.
Caller: Hi, Larry.
First, I'd like to say I'm a big fan of yours.
KING: Thank you.
Caller: Before I begin, I'd like to say that my prayers are with Terri Schiavo and her family.
My question is for Tiffany. What kind of -- first of all, my deepest condolences to her and her family. What kind of tumor was it? I didn't hear anyone speak of whether it was cancerous or not.
KING: What was it, tiff?
COCHRAN-EDWARDS: Basically what he had is an inoperable brain tumor. It was at a place where it continued to grow and we were just unable to contain that.
KING: Was its malignant or didn't matter?
COCHRAN-EDWARDS: It really didn't matter. It was more the position of the brain tumor, as far as that's concerned.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments with this panel and repeat for you the information concerning the location of the viewing and the funeral.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COCHRAN: If I put this knit cap on, who am I? I'm still Johnnie Cochran with a knit cap. If you look at O.J. Simpson over there, and he has a rather large head, O.J. Simpson in a knit cap, from two blocks away is still O.J. Simpson. It's no disguise, it's no disguise, it makes no sense, it doesn't fit. If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DARDEN: Mr. Cochran keeps picking on me. I know he loves me, I know he loves me like a son, but I'm getting tired of this step-daddy.
COCHRAN: Judge, I'm more than happy. I'll deal with him later on, your honor. I'm glad to -- I'm glad to...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: There's amusing moments in every trial, right.
DARDEN We played the dozens just about every day. And we had a lot of fun, actually, a lot of fun. And of course, you didn't always see it on television, you just saw two lawyers going at it. But, you know, he still owes me a pair of Ferragamo suede shoes Tiffany, because he scuffed mine, promised to buy me a new pair and never did it.
KING: Tiffany, you remember that.
EDWARDS: I'm sorry about that.
KING: Las Vegas, hello.
CALLER: Hi, I'd like to -- I'd like to start by just saying, that I think it's terrible that such a wonderful man who did good things for people who he referred to as, "No Jave (ph)" will be associated with such a hideous man for the rest of his time. But my question is, did Mr. Cochran have any contact with O.J. in the past 10 years and did he consider him a friend?
KING: Does anyone know? Tiffany, did he?
EDWARDS: Yes, he did have contact with Mr. Simpson over the years. You know, he did consider him a friend. They obviously did not live in the same state recently, but, yes. He did consider him a friend.
KING: Encino, California.
CALLER: Hello. Good evening Larry and panel. Tiffany, my deepest sorrows to you and your family.
EDWARDS: Thank you.
CALLER: First question, Tiffany, is there going to be a type of foundation for brain tumors and people suffering that are suffering from brain cancer. My sister also has brain cancer in her right frontal lobe, which is the second tumor they had found...
KING: Do you know if there's going to be a foundation, Tiffany?
EDWARDS: Yes. Actually, we're asking the public, in lou of flowers to send all donations to be sent in care of the Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Foundation. And I can give you that address as well, and that's going to include legal education and medical research, specifically for brain tumor research. And Larry, that address is 4929 Wilshire Boulevard, suite 1010, Los Angeles, California.
KING: 4929, Wilshire Boulevard, suite 1010. Do you know the zip?
KING: All right. And what are the funeral details, again?
The viewing is Tuesday.
EDWARDS: Sure. Once again, Larry, the public viewing is Tuesday, April 5, at Second Baptist Church from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. And Second Baptist Church is located here in Los Angeles at 2412 Griffith Avenue. The funeral will happen next Wednesday, April 6th, at 11:00 a.m., at West Angeles Cathedral, at 3600 Crenshaw Boulevard, also in Los Angeles.
KING: Marcia, are you going to go?
CLARK: I might. But then again, I think that I prefer to remember Johnnie alive. He seems too young to have passed, and I don't know. I think I'd just like to cherish the memories of him alive and leave it at that.
KING: I understand that. Lee, you traveling west?
BAILEY: I'm giving it some serious thought. I'll have to move heaven and earth to do it, because I'm on my way to Russia. But Johnnie was a very special person. I'll try.
KING: Tiffany, is there going to be any memorial service in New York, he spent so much time there.
EDWARDS: We are discussing that right now. I'm pretty sure there will be a memorial in New York. We're still working on that. And we'll probably be able to release that information very soon.
KING: Chris, you going to go?
DARDEN: I intend to go to either the public viewing or funeral or perhaps both. But I certainly intend to pay my respects.
KING: Dr. Lee, I know you got appointments in China. You going to try to make it?
LEE: I will try my best to make it. I want to see -- say goodbye to him.
KING: Peter, you going to go?
NEUFELD: Barry and our wives will be there. And Tiffany, we will do anything that you want to make sure there is a proper memorial service in New York City to honor Johnnie.
EDWARDS: Absolutely. Peter thank you so much. And I know Dale (ph) extends her thanks as well.
NEUFELD: Thank you.
KING: Rikki, you going to go? KLIEMAN: Of course, and I think a great statement to Johnnie. Because people always think of him on defense side, as my husband, who is the chief of police of Los Angeles, he will go. And my great memory of Johnnie is my 50th birthday, is it was celebrated by my husband, who I was dating and Johnnie Cochran on either side of me, the picture of the love of two so important men in my life, and two of the most charismatic I've ever known will be my treasure forever.
KING: Thank you all very much. Tiffany, thank you. Tiffany, our deepest sympathies from everyone here to you. And thanks for sharing this with us..
And thanks to Lee Bailey, Marcia Clark, Chris Darden, Dr. Henry Lee, who will remain with us for the Schiavo discussion, Peter Neufeld and Rikki Klieman.
We'll be back to talk about the Terri Schiavo. And again, the family has appealed today's ruling to the United States Supreme Court.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Chris Darden take a bad rap from the black community for prosecuting this case?
COCHRAN: To an extent, yes. I think Chris Darden is a very fine lawyer. And I have said that to him and will say publicly, it is important to have prosecutors who are black and in every walk of life. He is an effective advocate. And he was very, very sensitive. And I think he has a great future in law.
KING: The black community shouldn't be angry at him?
COCHRAN: Absolutely not. Absolutely not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Got a whole bunch of people to go to. We'll introduce them as we go to them.
David Gibbs, is the attorney for the Shindlers. The appeal to the Supreme Court is saying what, David?
DAVID GIBBS, SCHINDLER FAMILY ATTORNEY: What we're appealing to the Supreme Court, Larry, is we believe that if the federal courts is not going to do a de novo review, which means a brand-new look at Terri Schiavo's situation, that the very least they need to do is look at the entire state record.
All they have reviewed at this point is the cases and procedural history. And we believe if they're going to rule on that basis, they need to look at all the testimony, the complete record. We appealed that to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. They disagreed with that position. There were strong statements out of the justices, even that the law passed by Congress was unconstitutional. But we're now asking the Supreme Court, that if they're going to look at the state record, please look at the entire record.
KING: Gregory Murphy, the attorney for Michelle Finn who made the decision to have her severely brain damaged husband's feeding tube removed. She had to wage a lengthy legal battle. He finally died in October '98, 10 days after the removal.
Greg, do you give much shot to this appeal?
GREGORY MURPHY, ATTY. FOR MICHELE FINN: No, I give none, Larry. I think that there's been so many judicial decisions, the law's been clear since the Kruzan (ph) case in the early 1990s. This is collective amnesia going on right now, because what happened in the Finn's case was identical. And the courts were consist then, they're consist now. They're carrying out Terri Schiavo's wishes.
KING: Is this a law without a heart?
MURPHY: It's hard to say it's without a heart. You know, your heart has to go out to the families, they want to keep their child. I feel I would feel that way if that was my child. But I also recognize what is work here, is you have to carry out the wishes of the person who's in this state. And your heart has to go to that person.
But your heart goes out to those who will lose the loved one. So, it's a very difficult thing. The tragedy is the government interfering and making it more difficult for the families.
KING: Father Frank Pavone, who spent part of the day with Terri Schiavo today and had a tough news conference. He's national director of Priests for Life. And you said, override the courts. Were you saying, break the law?
FATHER FRANK PAVONE, DIRECTOR PRIESTS FOR LIFE: I was saying that the courts have a limited role. The courts have their role, it should be respected. But, can we think of anything that a court could say or do that would be wrong? Of course we can. And there comes a certain point when a court violates fundamental human rights, when a court says it's OK to let someone not dying, who did not have a terminal illness now starve to death. Somebody has got to stand up and say no. And we do have two other branches of government that can act on their own authority.
KING: How do you want them to say no? Do you want Governor Bush to walk in there with a feeding tube? I mean, how do you want -- what do you want them to do?
PAVONE: You know, I think, Larry, that the governor and also the legislature --they've taken an oath to uphold the constitution as they understand it, not as the courts understand it. And they have to figure the best means, whether it's coming in here and ordering her be taken to a facility where she will be cared for.
The point I'm making is that we're witnessing, here, the loss of our freedom. We elect people to be governors, to be legislators, to be presidents, we elect them because we believe in certain values that we also -- see that they believe in. And now we're being told they can't do anything. And we're being ruled by these judges. Something is wrong with that.
KING: Susan Candiotti, what is the mood where you are? You're right outside Terri's hospice?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amazingly, it is still very hopeful among most of the people here. Many of them continue to say things like God will intervene somehow. And if not, they acknowledge, that if Terri Schiavo should die, nevertheless they think that she has become a signal.
Now Terri's father, Bob Schindler says his daughter and his opinion is still fighting. He continues to say it's not too late. However, at this point, he told me it has become far too painful for his wife to go in and see Terri anymore, at least not through this day.
KING: Randall Terry, a friend of the Schindler family, president of the Society of Truth and Justice, a long time antiabortion activist, founder of Operation Rescue, would you say it's almost hopeless?
RANDALL TERRY, ANTIABORTION ACTIVIST: No. Absolutely not. She is fighting for her life by every testimony of the family and friends that have gone in to see her. And if she's going to fight this hard, we have to continue to fight this hard.
And Larry, the thing I want to echo Father Frank said in your question to him, we have got to stop thinking the word of a judge equals the rule of law. Because if the word of a judge equals the rule of law, then any decree from a Soviet Union judge or Communist China judge that oppressed religious freedom, the right to life, any number of freedoms that we take for granted in America, then we cannot condemn them because it was done by the rule of law.
KING: But do you agree, Randall, that the Supreme Court is the court of last resort?
TERRY: Well, in this case, since Governor Bush has not opted to fight for Terri and use his constitutional authority, then this is the last option except for is there -- there are people on the ground that are fighting in Tallahassee to try and get another bill in the last hour. But with the Supreme Court, the important thing about the pleadings being filed now is that Supreme Court is being asked to uphold its decisions in cases from the '80s and '90s that say that the federal judiciary must have a higher standard of evidence than the state courts have when a life is at stake. That was completely missed in the earlier proceedings and hopefully, the U.S. Supreme Court will actually back its own prior rulings and apply them to Terri.
KING: Dr. Ken Druck is in New York, the bereavement specialist, author of "Healing Your Life After the Loss of a Loved One." He's executive director of a the Jenna Druck Foundation established in 1996 following the death of his 21-year-old Jenna in a bus accident in India. For information about that foundation it's www.jennadruck.org.
Is it going to be tough when this finally does end, for this family to get through?
DR. KEN DRUCK, BEREAVEMENT SPECIALIST: Larry, it's been tough for 15 years, Larry. This family has suffered what we call living loss. So first of all, they're dealing with a loss already. They've been in rehearsal now for what's happening for many, many years and we shouldn't forgot that.
But now, they're also going to be dealing with, it appears, her death. And coming to terms with that emotionally. And many of us who have gone through that understand to lose a child, of course, is horrific. And to lose a child, to watch a child wither is unimaginable whether a person's lost a child suddenly and violently or is watching a child whither is a difficult thing beyond most of us what most of us can imagine.
So that is what they are facing right now. And I would hope that all of us, rather than sitting in judgment of one side or the other would have compassion for this entire family, what they're going through. Because that's what they'll be needing in the weeks and months to come.
KING: Well said. We'll be right back with more. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB SCHINDLER, TERRI SCHIAVO'S FATHER: Terri is still with us. She's -- under the circumstances she looks darned good, surprisingly good. She is weak from the lack of food and hydration. But her skin tone is not breaking -- fine. Nothing is breaking down.
We know that some of her organs are still functioning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN senior medical correspondent. What does it take to starve -- I mean, how long? What's the process? When does it end?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's hard to say. Obviously, people have said ten days to 14 days. The bigger concern than the lack of nutrition is the dehydration. That is probably what's going to cause her demise more quickly.
Larry, what happens is that the kidneys start to shut down first, just because of the dehydration. The kidneys typically filter out toxins, those toxins build up in the bloodstream, eventually they affect the heart and the heart doesn't work well. And that's sort of the sequence of events.
How long? That's hard to say, a couple of weeks, probably. She was in pretty good health, young woman, relatively young woman. So the rest of her organs actually functioning pretty well.
KING: Dr. Henry Lee, they've already said, it's hard to discuss things like this while someone is still alive. But there will be an autopsy. What will we learn?
LEE: Yes. The family, both sides apparently ask for autopsy. The county chief medical examiner, Dr. Saul Martin (ph) already said going to do an autopsy, a full autopsy.
A full autopsy, we can learn four things. The first thing, of course, to check any old injury, any fractured ribs or spine, because some accusations say it's spouse abuse. So any old injury can verify that.
Second thing, of course, we want to know the skull whether or not have been fractured, or any injury.
The third thing you want to do is a complete toxicology, to see whether mulpring (ph) concentration any other toxin build-up.
The fourth thing, of course the important thing, is the brain, the condition, is that shrinking, or have old injury, what the collar, everything, very important is microscopic cellular study.
KING: How long will that take?
LEE: A full autopsy usually talks -- just the autopsy alone, probably takes two days. Have a specialist, neurologist. By the way, Dr. Martin is an excellent pathologist.
Then you have to do toxicology. So probably takes a week to two weeks before you can get the answers.
KING: I want to ask Dr. Carlos Gomez a question. But first, I know that David Gibbs has to leave us.
David, is this the last hope, this Supreme Court appeal?
DAVID GIBBS, SCHINDLER FAMILY ATTORNEY: Larry, yes, it is. We reached the point everything has been filed that can be filed in federal and state courts. As we go before the Supreme Court, our prayer is this is really our last legal resort. As Terri's life continues to ebb away, we are in the final minutes -- but there are no legal appeal pending after this.
And I would just add that every possible legal option has been vigorously contested in the state courts and in the federal courts. And the Schindler family, Bob and Mary, as their facing the horrible loss of their daughter through this terrible tragedy of starvation, they can know that they've done everything possible under the law in letting government know that they wanted to fight for the life of their daughter.
KING: Thanks, David.
When we come back, we'll talk to Dr. Carlos Gomez, associate director of the Capital Hospice Institute for Education, a former medical director of University of Virginia Center for Hospice Care.
Don't go away. We'll be right back.
KING: Dr. Carlos Gomez, we've heard so much about it, everybody's heard the term, what is a hospice?
DR. CARLOS GOMEZ, CAPITAL HOSPICE INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATION: A hospice is a philosophy of care for people dying, and it's a way of supporting the patient and supporting their families.
KING: Is the only treatment medication for pain?
GOMEZ: No. I mean, we do everything from physical therapy, to chaplaincy (ph) care to social work. It's a complete package of care.
KING: Would you know how the other patients are being treated while all this attention is going on for Terri?
GOMEZ: I'm going to have to surmise, but she's in an excellent hospice run by an excellent organization. And my sense is they're putting more resources into that hospice, but I have no reason to believe that the other patients aren't being well cared for.
KING: Have you seen people recover in a hospice?
GOMEZ: Oh, yes. Absolutely. And in fact, there is an early entire series of patients in the early '90s who had AIDS who were in hospices. And when we started giving them the new antiretrovirals and protease inhibitors, they got better and we released them from hospice care and continued to care for them in other ways.
KING: Father Pavone, David Gibbs says this is the last legal hurdle, there are no more. Are you prepared to toss it in?
PAVONE: No. And neither are millions of people around the country, Larry. Because it's one thing, we realize it's the patient's ability to choose their own treatment, putting aside the fact that we don't have a clear indication of what Terri wanted. We have to ask this question, if someone like Terri who is disabled, has the right to say I want to be starved, why not the chronically ill, why not the depressed, why not the teenager who just lost his girlfriend, and got kicked off the football team. When they express desires of suicide we call a hotline and try to help them.
This is a question which has far reaching implications. And I think the people around the country who are paying attention to this case have only just begun a whole new movement to bring attention to this moral problem.
KING: Greg Murphy, does he have a point?
MURPHY: No. I think the good father is totally wrong on the law and what he said earlier. The law says that if you're in a persistent vegetative state you are in a terminal condition from which you will not recover. And it's based on medical testimony and medical evidence. And all you're doing is forestalling the natural processes of dying. And so the law is there to protect the wishes of the person in that state.
In this case, the people have been maligned the most are doctors and jurists. Because all the doctors have consistently said this is a persistent vegetative state. They said it in Hugh Finn's case. The governor's very own doctors came in and did their own and said that they would have withdrawn it a year and half earlier despite that the government intervened.
The government interference is what is disrespecting the personal rights of Terri Schiavo, disrespected the rights of Hugh Finn and is what fractures the family. That is what has to stop.
KING: Randall Terry, how would you respond to that?
TERRY: The doctor at the Mayo Clinic who was called upon by the Department of Children & Families said that he believed that she was misdiagnosed. There were 30 affidavits filed by doctors, neurologists who treat patients like Terri, people from prominent universities who said she was misdiagnosed, that she was not in PVS. So this doctor hasn't evidently hasn't followed all of the medical testimony that has come forward on Terri's behalf.
This woman is not PVS. If she is PVS, then every single family member who has gone in there and talked to her and seen her respond to direct questions, to direct reminiscences, then all of them are either lying to us or hallucinating. And I reject both of those.
KING: Dr. Gupta, what do we do when doctors disagree?
GUPTA: Well, you know, this is not an easy, sort of diagnosis to make. And there's no absolute thing here. I've talked to several of the neurologists who you have been talking about, Larry. They say, listen, most people understand that you're not going to have a clear cut diagnosis here. It's the legal system that sort of forces the absolutes when it comes to PVS.
The question is, is she able to care for herself and who is her next of kin. These are some of the legal arguments, and sort of a collision between those arguments and medicine. It's hard, Larry.
They're right, though. There's been disagreement among the five neurologists asked to whether or not she's in PVS. What's amazing to me how many people have rendered their opinion without ever seen her and just looking at the videotape tapes. That's just not right, Larry.
KING: The autopsy will be definitive, right.
GUPTA: It will tell you for sure that there has been -- what areas of the brain have experienced cell death and what likely function is. But even then, Larry, and careful here, because even then you can't say for sure that she was or was not in a persistent vegetative state. You can say her memory was affected, her strength, et cetera.
KING: Thank you all very much. We'll keep you updated. And earlier looking at the life and times of Johnnie Cochran. And a lot more, of course, tomorrow night. It's a tough week and continues to get tougher.
That's tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE. More on the Schiavo matter. And we'll sure it will be discussed at length tonight on NEWSNIGHT as well. Aaron Brown is about anchor NEWSNIGHT in New York.
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