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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Landmark Rulings on Same-Sex Marriage; Zimmerman Trial Day Three; Aaron Hernandez Charged With First Degree Murder; Source: Nelson Mandela On Life Support; President Obama Starts Africa Trip In Senegal; Ecuador To U.S.: Argue Against Asylum In Writing; 20 Tourists Rescued From Ice Floe; Texas Lawmaker's Last Stand; Paula Deen Speaks Out About Using The N-Word; Ariel Castro In Court; Michael Jackson's Son Testifies; Liz Taylor's Wedding Gown Auctioned

Aired June 26, 2013 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks.

Good evening, everyone. It is hard to imagine a bigger night for news with history being made at the Supreme Court today. Also an NFL player charged with murder. A blockbuster day in the George Zimmerman trial. The young woman who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin during his last moments alive taking the stand, compelling testimony with her and the cross examination by the defense.

And later the Texas lawmaker who's now a hero to some in the fight over abortions who spoke for hours blocking a bill that critics said would make abortion nearly unavailable in most of the state. But sponsors of the bill vowed the fight is not over. Wendy Davis joins me live tonight.

We begin, though, tonight with the Supreme Court's two historic decisions on same-sex marriage. One striking down a key provision of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. The other effectively allowing same-sex marriage in the state of California.

Here is how it looked and sounded outside the high court moments after the ruling came down.

Jubilation there and among equality supporters across the country as words spread of the two decisions. In one, the court by a 5-4 majority striking down DOMA, which among other things barred federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Writing for the majority as he did 10 years ago in "Lawrence v. Texas," Justice Anthony Kennedy declared DOMA in violation of the Fifth Amendment's Equal Protection clause. In so many words, he also called it an act of cruelty.

Quote, "The federal statute is invalid for no," excuse me. "Is invalid for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the state by its marriage laws sought to protect in personhood and dignity."

The four most conservative justices dissented including Chief Justice John Roberts on grounds that DOMA, which passed bipartisan support, should not be second guessed by the court. Chief Justice Roberts went the other way on California's Proposition 8 marriage ban, a 5-4 majority kicking it back to the state, effectively paving the way for same-sex marriages there to resume.

It's a thumbnail sketch of how the justices weighed the case. At the end of the day, though, for people on both sides of the issue, this is not just a constitutional question or a legislative matter. It is very personal.

For Edie Windsor who brought the DOMA case after facing what she called unequal treatment because her late spouse was a woman, this was bittersweet vindication.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EDIE WINDSOR, PLAINTIFF IN SCOTUS DOMA CASE: I cried. I cried. OK. Really, obviously, but yes, the immediate reaction was of tears.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: The same could be said for so many others including two of our guests tonight, blogger Andrew Sullivan and Evan Wolfson, both of whom have fought for marriage equality for years and millions more, some married, some waiting to get married, and some for whom marriage is not yet an option.

On the other side, there are millions of other Americans whom -- for whom marriage believe is one man and one woman and see today's ruling as a betrayal of their beliefs in the Constitution.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: This is far from over. In fact, the time is not on the side of those who want to redefine marriage. If it were, I don't think they would gone to the court trying to impose same-sex marriage on the entire nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Polls show otherwise. A lot to talk about with senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, blogger Andrew Sullivan and Evan Wolfson, founder and president of FreedomtoMarry.og.

Jeff, let me start with you down in D.C., short of nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, which most people didn't expect the court to actually implement, these results represent probably the best possible outcome for equality supporters, right?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. There are lots of ways this court could have struck down DOMA without the ringing expansive rhetoric of Justice Kennedy's opinion because this has two principal effects. First of all, the DOMA personalities themselves are gone. Gay married couples can now file joint federal tax returns. They can get Social Security Survivors Benefits, they can get all the federal benefits that straight couples can get.

But the rhetoric, the language of Justice Kennedy's opinion really does open the door to challenge the laws in the 38 states that don't have same-sex marriage. David Boise, who was one of the lead lawyers in the -- in the Proposition 8 case said we are now moving to those -- 38 states and he says within five years he thinks marriage equality will cover the whole country. That's an ambitious goal but it's not out of the question listening to his opinion.

COOPER: I want to bring in Andrew Sullivan and Evan Wolfson.

I wanted you both on the program tonight because you two have been fighting for this longer than anybody I've ever heard of at a time when nobody else even saw this as a -- all the big sort of gay rights organizations thought no one was even talking about this stuff. You guys -- Andrew, you were writing about it, and Evan, and you were actually fighting for it.

Just -- we'll get to what all this means but just personally for a moment, what does this -- Andrew, what was this day like for you?

ANDREW SULLIVAN, EDITOR, THE DISH: I cried, too. You know, the word that Kennedy used a lot was dignity. In fact, he used it I think nine times, and when you're a kid and you figure out you're gay when you're 7 years old, the first thing you kind of -- you don't know about sex or anything like that, but you do know that you'll never be able to have a life like your mom and dad. Be married. And that's a huge wound to some kids' self-esteem, identity, psychological pride.

And that wound has been healed a little today. And I think of all the future people who will be less damaged and less wounded will feel less pain and I think of all the people who never lived to see this day, and I feel both joy -- and joy, actually, but obviously, it's been an incredibly long struggle.

Evan and I, when he started, it was -- they treated us like we were a joke. This is a lunatic idea, strangest thing to come down the pipe but I guess we both were inspired in many ways by John Boswell's book, by the whole revelation of being gay is not a problem. And we deserve the same things everybody else has and the right to marry is about as fundamental a right in the Constitution as there exists. So either we're subhuman or we are equal citizens. And the language of Kennedy today made us equal, made us part of this country for the first time.

COOPER: Evan?

EVAN WOLFSON, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, FREEDOM TO MARRY: Well, now you see why Andrew has been such an important voice and champion in talking about this. I want to talk about what the court then did building on exactly what Andrew talked about. Today the court said that the federal government has to go now from being the number one discriminator against gay couples to putting its moral and legal weight on the side of families, on the side of fairness, on the side of the Freedom to Marry.

We haven't won all the states yet. We haven't finished the job, but the momentum this adds will continue to build forward and bring us forward and bring our country closer, and Freedom to Marry's goal is very much to win more states and continue winning hearts and minds, and go back before the court, and get the job done. COOPER: For somebody, a same-sex couple who has married in a state where they can get married, and then live in a state where it's not legal, they can still get federal benefits, correct?

WOLFSON: Well, the court's command was very clear and it's the command of the Constitution. President Obama came right out today and said that the administration, the attorney general is going to look through the federal agencies and programs and direct them to implement swiftly and smoothly the Constitution's command. And what that means is striking down DOMA doesn't tell states what they must do. We still have to finish that work.

But the federal government must honor and respect the lawful marriages that states celebrate, even if other states are discriminating. Couples should not see their marriages sputter in and out like cell phone service depending on what state they're in. Federal programs, federal purposes, must be provided equally to all married couples, gay couples and non-gay couples.

COOPER: What does this mean for immigration -- for couples that one person is from another country? Does this mean --

SULLIVAN: It's over.

COOPER: So --

SULLIVAN: The whole nightmare --

COOPER: So they can get a green card.

SULLIVAN: Yes, they can -- well, they can apply as first spousal green cards.

COOPER: Just like a --

SULLIVAN: Just like a regular human being. And that means that there's such growing diaster of people abroad like Glenn Greenwald, who become very famous, like, lives in Rio, in Brazil, because his partner can't get a visa to come and live in the United States. So one of our leading journalists is exiled.

So there's going to be a coming home of Americans and their bi- national spouses, just as -- I mean, the country always acknowledged, if you love someone and want to spend your life with them, the government has no right getting in the way, and even if you're a foreigner you automatically get citizenship because they respect that relationship.

And we were never treated that way. We were told, I was told go in different lines, pretend you're strangers, don't let them ever think that you have a relationship because they won't --

COOPER: When you're coming --

SULLIVAN: When you're coming back into the United States if you're not a citizen. And now we can -- we can walk through those immigration lines and it's a huge victory --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Does that mean on your immigration form when you come in customs you can say that you're with a family member, that you're with your --

SULLIVAN: You can come in -- I can come in now with my husband without any fear for the first time ever.

WOLFSON: It ends the gay exception that has existed in federal law. The federal government has treated all married couples the same for immigration, for health coverage, for taxation, the ability to pull resources together unless you're gay, and if you're gay and legally married, until today, the federal government said you're -- you're roommates, you're strangers. That has now ended.

COOPER: Because I always found that so insulting on customs decorations. There's something about -- and it's a small minor thing. I mean, it doesn't really amount to anything but having to write on your customs declaration, you know, family members traveling with you, zero. It's offensive.

SULLIVAN: Yes, it's basically saying, you're not a human being.

WOLFSON: It's the assault on dignity that Justice Kennedy talked about.

SULLIVAN: Which I have to say is a real Catholic thing. I have -- I think I always wanted to say that. You know, the Catholic hierarchy has been awful but the Catholic people and the families and friends and people who care as Jesus did about the marginalized, of treating them with dignity, they are happy today, and Kennedy used that Catholic language to support moving argument.

COOPER: Mike Huckabee tweeted that today Jesus wept.

SULLIVAN: So did I.

(LAUGHTER)

SULLIVAN: And I think Jesus was weeping for joy. I don't think Jesus is on the other side of this, although I don't want to claim to know anything about that but I do know that Jesus was always on the side of love.

COOPER: Jeff, the reality now, you have 13 states including California that allows same-sex marriages. How quickly in California will this -- can people start to get married?

TOOBIN: Well, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has put a stay on -- had said that there can't be any marriages, so Kamala Harris, the attorney general of California, said she is going to the Ninth Circuit and it looks like a -- at most it will be about a month but the Ninth Circuit could lift the state tomorrow in which case marriages could start right away, but I think you're looking at a month at the outside.

COOPER: I'm so glad both you guys are here today. Thank you so much.

SULLIVAN: We're so glad to be here.

WOLFSON: Thank you.

COOPER: Thank you for all your work. Evan Wolfson, Andrew Sullivan, Jeff Toobin, as well, I know it's been a long day for Jeff.

Two more people from today's decision are very personal on more than one level, Grace Fasano and Jean Podrasky are partners. Jean is Chief Justice John Roberts' cousin.

So, Jean, your cousin, the chief justice's majority opinion in the Prop 8 dismissing on a procedural grounds means that you and Grace and millions of other gay and lesbian California residents will be able to get married.

It's not like he went to bat for gay rights certainly in that opinion but the practical impact is huge for people in California. How do you feel?

JEAN PODRASKY, COUSIN OF CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS: Huge, I -- I'm so overwhelmed. I'm so excited. I honestly -- I have told everybody that I was expecting this, but it's still a shock. I'm so excited.

COOPER: And, Grace, for you, I mean, to have this intimate connection with somebody who is making history like this, how is it for you?

GRACE FASANO, SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SUPPORTER: It's the most amazing feeling, Anderson. I'm so proud of Jane. I'm so proud of our gay community. We have fought so hard to come this far and there is more work to do but it's a good day.

COOPER: It's a good day.

Jean, you said a few months ago that you know that your cousin, the chief justice, is a good man, that he's -- that he's wise enough to see where the tide of equality is going. On -- on the DOMA case, are you disappointed by his vote?

PODRASKY: I have to say I am disappointed. I was completely stunned by the split -- the split rulings, but I'm sure this is just in keeping with his conservative belief. So I want to take this still as a win. We did win on both. He did rule in our favor on Prop 8. I'm still very, very excited.

COOPER: It was interesting, Jean, because the chief justice didn't lodge a fiery dissent as Justice Scalia did, you know, talking about polygamy but he did dissent all the same. What have your conversations been like with him over the years, in terms of who you are, your relationship? Have you had those conversations?

PODRASKY: To be honest and I -- this might be -- to me it's interesting but we only see each other at family functions, at celebrations, at weddings, at funerals and when somebody is single like I have been off and on over the years, it's hard to say oh, hi, John, nice little wedding cake you've got there. I'm gay. It's not always easy to have that conversation, so I have come out to him. I have come out to a good deal of my family, but I don't want -- I can't say that we have had these conversations back and forth about how does he feel about me being gay?

COOPER: Well, Jean, you're on TV right now, so you haven't come out to your entire family. I think there might be a little surprise right now.

PODRASKY: No, I'm pretty sure I came out to my entire family just before the hearing.

COOPER: OK. All right. All right. Good. I just want to clear that. But you did go to hear oral arguments, correct?

PODRASKY: Correct.

COOPER: What was that like?

PODRASKY: And I -- it was -- first of all, it was an honor to be invited. I'm not -- I want to correct myself, I wasn't invited. I asked for tickets and he did give them to me, and I am still honored that he did that. He certainly -- he certainly could have vetoed that.

To hear specifically Chief Justice Roberts, my cousin John, to hear him was a little worrisome. You didn't know whether he was going in a good direction or a bad direction on purpose. So I left the hearing feeling a little worried.

COOPER: The majority opinion in the DOMA case based on equal protection ground sets the stage for another case to eventually come before the court, one specifically asking for a national right to marriage equality in all 50 states. It's obviously impossible to predict how the chief justice would vote on a hypothetical case if and when it comes.

PODRASKY: Right.

COOPER: But are you worried that he's on the wrong side of history or do you believe that he could come around by the time the court might revisit the issue?

PODRASKY: That's a really good question. The -- even John has used the word seachange several times and I do believe that the next time this comes before the court, it will be two years, four years, I hope he grows to accept the seachange that he's so -- that he has talked about himself.

COOPER: Well, congratulations to you both. Thanks so much for talking to us.

PODRASKY: Thank you so much.

FASANO: Thank you so much.

COOPER: Well, let us know what you think about the day's developments. Follow me on Twitter @Andersoncooper.

Coming up next, another gripping day of testimony in the George Zimmerman trial. A key witness for the state taking the stand. The question is, will her performance actually help the defense instead? I'll ask our legal panel.

And later a surprise. A real shocker from New England Patriot to murder suspect. The case against Aaron Hernandez when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We said at the top of the hour there is almost more news tonight than we have time for in this hour, including this dramatic day of rulings, testimony, cross examination in the George Zimmerman murder trial. Today the young woman, who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin right up until his death and encounter with Zimmerman, took the stand. It was powerful, emotional, strange at times, and potentially vital to both sides.

You should be warned as well that some of the language today was pretty hash so if you'd rather not hear it, now is the time to turn down the volume.

Details tonight from Martin Savidge.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She is the most highly anticipated witness of the entire George Zimmerman trial. Her name is Rachel Jeantel and she's the girl Trayvon Martin was talking to on the phone the night he and George Zimmerman crossed paths.

On the witness stand she said Trayvon told her he was being followed.

RACHEL JEANTEL, FRIEND OF TRAYVON MARTIN: I asked him what the man looked like. He looked like a creepy (EXPLETIVE DELETED) cracker.

SAVIDGE: Jeantel says over the phone she heard Zimmerman approach and confront Martin.

JEANTEL: And I said, Trayvon, and then he said, why are you following me for, and I heard a hard breathe man come and say, what you doing around here?

SAVIDGE: Moments later Jeantel said she heard a struggle and describes Zimmerman as the attacker.

JEANTEL: I kind of heard Trayvon saying, get off, get off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then what did you hear?

JEANTEL: Then suddenly the phone hung up.

SAVIDGE: Her testimony flies in the face of Zimmerman's claim of self-defense which is why her cross examination was crucial.

DON WEST, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good afternoon, Miss Jeantel.

JEANTEL: Good afternoon.

SAVIDGE: Defense attorney Don West went after her credibility, specifically a claim she made to authorities about why she didn't go to Trayvon's funeral. She originally said it was because she was in the hospital but that was a lie.

JEANTEL: You've got to understand what I'm trying to tell you, I'm the last person. You don't know how it felt. You think I really want to go see the body?

SAVIDGE: The defense also focused on inconsistencies between what she said in her earlier deposition and what she said on the stand.

WEST: Do you admit you were asked who was screaming for help and your answer was, it could be Trayvon.

JEANTEL: Yes, I told you it sounded like Trayvon because Trayvon has a kind of baby voice.

WEST: So the question is, well, who is screaming for help? It's not Trayvon, is it? And your answer, it could be Trayvon. And the question you know his voice so well, was that Trayvon -- was that Trayvon screaming for help or wasn't it? Your answer, "It could be. Like I said, I don't know. But it could be. The dude sound kind of like Trayvon. Trayvon do got that soft voice and that baby voice sometimes. So it could be. I don't know, you know, it's not."

SAVIDGE: The longer she was questioned the more agitated the teen witness appeared, at times even defiant like when she was told she'd have return the next day.

JEANTEL: What?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me, be quiet.

SAVIDGE: Until then, it's hard to say how much the state's star witness actually helped or hurt their case.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Martin joins me now. So her testimony was obviously the focus this afternoon. Zimmerman's neighbors also testified today. What happen there had?

SAVIDGE: They did and they brought up a couple of key points. These were witnesses, of course, for the state. One of them said that she could identify the voice crying for help, and she believed, at least, that it was Trayvon Martin that was screaming for help. And then there was another neighbor that came forward and said that she had looked down and saw two men struggling and she believes it was actually George Zimmerman that was atop Trayvon Martin, of course both of those would go against what the defense has had to say.

COOPER: Also yesterday, as we talked about on the program last night, the judge was going to review whether or not previous Zimmerman 911 calls would be allowed. How did she rule?

SAVIDGE: She ruled that all of those calls -- there are five of them -- will now be allowed if they were actually played in court, and of course this goes to state of mind, at least, according to the prosecutors, they say, that George Zimmerman was increasingly growing frustrated, that he would call about these suspicious individuals but that authorities, by the time they got there, they would be gone. Trayvon Martin, they argued the state would, that he was out to make sure Trayvon did not get away.

COOPER: All right. Martin, thanks.

Lots to talk about. Criminal defense attorney Danny Cevallos joins us and CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin, as well.

Sunny, I want to get to Rachel's testimony first. What did you make of her on the stand? There were certainly some inconsistencies. Overall, do you think she was believable, that she helped the prosecution?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I do think she helped the prosecution because in large part everything that she said is corroborated by other evidence, so why not believe her? I mean, the phone records corroborate that she was on the phone. What motive would she have to make this up when she --

COOPER: She said she heard the sound of wet grass, though. Did you buy that?

HOSTIN: You know, I think when you're talking to an ear witness, a lot of times, Anderson, people do say things like that, like I heard the wind. I heard rattling. I mean, that is not unusual. I heard a lot of people today actually saying how does somebody hear wet grass. Well, when you hear that described, I can hear something, and so I actually think that she came across believable because she's not a professional witness.

She is an everyday person who's on the witness stand. She clearly doesn't want to be there, and again, all of her testimony is corroborated by other people. She said Trayvon was screaming for help. Well, another witness says Trayvon was screaming for help.

COOPER: Danny, what do you make of it? I mean, the defense was obviously trying to show inconsistencies on her testimony?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: She's an everyday witness all right. And an everyday not so great witness for the prosecution. Here's why. Number one, we have a number of inconsistent statements. It's true that not everybody can give the same story if they give it in a deposition and then again at trial. But she has some major inconsistencies that she misremembers. She also gives us an insight into Trayvon -- some of the words Trayvon used and it's interesting. This is such a racially charged case and now for the first time we actually hear a racial term used to refer to white people, a very derogatory term that came from Trayvon's mouth.

On cross examination West made a lot of headway with her and she broke the cardinal -- she broke one of the biggest rules, which is don't argue with the attorney. The rules of evidence are designed, they are slanted against the witness and in favor of the attorney. So no matter what, if you decide to mix it up with the cross examining attorney you will not come out on top and that's what I think happened today. That plus her inconsistencies I think did not bode well for the prosecution.

COOPER: Sunny, she certainly did get annoyed on cross examination and sort of, you know, pushed back on the lawyer.

HOSTIN: Sure, and, you know, witnesses do that all the time, especially non-professional witnesses, and I think that a lot of times jurors relate to that. I mean, again, she doesn't want to be there. That was obvious. She has nothing to necessarily gain from being there, and so when she's, you know, combative with an attorney whose being hard on her, that cuts both ways.

Yes, the jury may think, well, this is -- this person is disrespectful, or the jury may think well, why is that attorney cross examining her so harshly? And so, you know, I'm not sure that she comes across as unsympathetic.

Co I want to turn to these 911 calls. Obviously the defense did not want them in there, they're now going to be admissible.

David, did that ruling surprise you? Jeff Toobin was on the show last night and saying he didn't think these things were admissible at all. And how do you think they play?

CEVALLOS: I thought they shouldn't have been admitted at all, Anderson, and here's why. Character evidence of this kind, what you did three weeks ago, even if it's similar, is not admissible to prove conformity with whatever you did three weeks or three year ago.

What the prosecution is trying to do is paint him as somebody who just calls the police and has a vendetta and he's a vigilante and it's improper.

COOPER: That his frustration was building over time.

CEVALLOS: Exactly. What's relevant is exactly what Mark O'Mara said, the 10, 15 minutes before this incident happened is relevant if we want to get to a state of mind because a person's state of mind three weeks ago, a month ago is not relevant to what they did in the moment. And that's what this case is about.

COOPER: You know, what's interesting, Sunny, and we talked about this last night on the program with Mark Geragos, is that you could also listen to those tapes and say, you know what, this is a neighborhood watch guy who's concerned and called 911 a number of times, that was basically his job, a volunteer job it was, but he was doing what he was supported to do. How do you think --

(CROSSTALK)

HOSTIN: Well, sure. And perhaps -- perhaps that's what the jury will think, but I would like to know, Anderson, that last night I did say that these tapes were coming and so Danny's argument is the losing argument. Jeff's argument was the losing argument. The judge agrees, this does come in to show state of mind.

He didn't call once, he didn't call twice, he called several times using the same exact language over and over and over again. African- American males, young, black males.

CEVALLOS: But, Sunny, what does this --

(CROSSTALK)

HOSTIN: Suspicious male.

CEVALLOS: What -- I mean, the prior calls --

HOSTIN: It goes --

CEVALLOS: What probative fact does that go to? And if there is a probative fact, isn't it outweighed by the substantial prejudice in this case? Of admitting phone calls that he made weeks before?

HOSTIN: Well, the judge didn't think so.

(CROSSTALK)

CEVALLOS: The judge didn't think so. You're right there. You're right there.

HOSTIN: The judge didn't think so. The rules of evidence --

CEVALLOS: But we argue motions --

HOSTIN: The rules of evidence allow for it.

CEVALLOS: We argue motions all the time and obviously we have good faith basis on both sides.

COOPER: But, Sunny, let me just point out, he was asked by the 911 operator, are they white Hispanic or black, and when he was describing their race he was responding usually, if memory serves me correct, from listening to most of the tapes, he was responding directly to questions from the 911 dispatcher.

HOSTIN: Sure, but it goes to show you, at least the prosecution will argue, that this is the pattern. He was seeing young black males, you know, robbing, perhaps in his neighborhood, committing burglaries in his neighborhood, and when he saw Trayvon Martin, he profiled him. He thought he was yet another young black male about to commit a crime or perhaps something was going on, something was wrong, and he didn't want him to get away.

COOPER: So they are using it to bolster up --

HOSTIN: That judge very, very well.

COOPER: Using it to bolster up that sentence "these punks, they always get away with," this sort of -- in the prosecution's mind provides the backstory for his belief in that?

HOSTIN: Well, absolutely.

COOPER: Right.

HOSTIN: They're his own words repeated over and over and over again.

COOPER: Sunny, we --

HOSTIN: And that's why the judge let it in.

COOPER: Got to leave it there. Sunny, thanks. Danny as well. Great to have you on the program.

For more on the story, you can go to CNN.com. Also at -- in the 10:00 hour, we're devoting a full hour to the George Zimmerman trial. All the day's developments.

The story that's rocking the NFL is next. Aaron Hernandez charged with first-degree murder today. The New England Patriots have cut him loose and he's being held without bail.

Also the Texas state senator a lot of folks are talking about after she talked for more than 10 hours in a filibuster against a restrictive abortion bill. Wendy Davis joins me live ahead for a 360 interview.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Another crime and punishment story we're following tonight, Aaron Hernandez is being held without bail charged with first-degree murder. He's no longer a New England Patriot. The team released him after his arrest this morning in his home in Massachusetts. The former star tight end is accused of murdering this man, 27-year-old Odin Lloyd whose body was found near Hernandez's home. The two men were friends.

At today's arraignment, prosecutors laid out their allegations describing a callus killing. Susan Candiotti reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Aaron Hernandez had a five-year Patriots contract extension worth nearly $40 million, but that came to an end when he was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and five weapons charges. Prosecutors say he orchestrated the killing of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd whose body was found last week less than a mile from the former NFL player's home. Odin Lloyd was Boston area semi-pro-football player. Both men's girlfriends were sisters. The prosecutors said Hernandez drove Lloyd to a remote spot on June 17th, planned and carried out a cold-blooded execution shooting Lloyd five times with bullets fired from a semi- automatic .45-caliber handgun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are the charges that we sought this morning against Mr. Hernandez and the charges on which he was arraigned, murder.

CANDIOTTI: For the past week a steady stream of investigators have been at Hernandez's home and searching the area. As Hernandez stood listening in court, the case against him was laid out in more detail. More than a week ago in the wee hours of the morning, investigators say Lloyd was last seen leaving his Boston home with Hernandez in a silver Nissan Altima.

Less than an hour later, surveillance cameras at the North Attleboro Industrial Park showed the same vehicle heading toward a remote area where Lloyd body was later found. Minutes later, surveillance video from Hernandez' home security system shows the former NFL player arriving back at his house with two other people.

Lloyd's younger sister told CNN last week that Lloyd and Hernandez were friends and didn't know of any problems between the two who she said were at a Boston nightclub together a few days before Lloyd's death.

OLIVIA THIBOU, ODIN LLOYD'S SISTER: My brother and I were kind of like, I wouldn't say best friends, but as close as siblings can get. He was always there for me. That term my brother is my keeper definitely describes him.

CANDIOTTI: Hernandez' attorney argued the evidence is circumstantial. In a statement, the Patriots said words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation. The team dropped him and ended his contract right after his arrest. The NFL released its own statement calling the alleged involvement of Hernandez deeply troubling. Hernandez is being held without bail.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Susan joins us. I don't quite understand. What was the alleged motive here?

CANDIOTTI: You know, it's pretty hard to understand and by the way, we saw him smiling outside his house the other day. He was not smiling in court today, Anderson. Here is how the prosecutor describes it. He said that Aaron Hernandez was upset, angry about something that the victim in this case had said when he was at a nightclub just a few nights ago where they were in Boston. And this angered Aaron Hernandez so much that he told people he couldn't trust the victim anymore. That apparently is the motive according to prosecutors.

COOPER: All right, Susan Candiotti, thanks. A lot more happening tonight, Randi Kaye joins us with the 360 Bulletin -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, vigils continue tonight for Nelson Mandela with word that he is now on life support in a Pretoria hospital. That's according to an official who was briefed on his condition. The anti apartheid icon will be 95 next month.

The first family arrived in Senegal, the first stop on a week-long trip to Africa that will include stops in Tanzania and South Africa. The White House has not announced any plans for President Obama to visit Nelson Mandela, but said it's monitoring that situation.

Ecuador has asked the United States to argue in writing why Edward Snowden should not get asylum. The country's foreign minister also said Ecuador had not provided refugee papers to the NSA leaker as reported by Wikileaks. Senior U.S. officials told CNN today the U.S. is biting it's time in the matter.

A close call for 20 tourists including two Americans trapped in the Canadian Arctic on a drifting ice flow much like this one here. By a stroke of luck, their sheet of ice bigger than 3 square miles bumped into another one which was touching land. They were able to walk to safely though, luckily, helicopters, Anderson, were standing by to air lift them out.

COOPER: Imagine a large pizza --

KAYE: Work with me.

COOPER: Thank you. Randi, thanks very much.

Coming up, cheers at the Texas state capital after a state senator filibusters for ten hours against the restrictive abortion bill. I'm going to speak with the State Senator Wendy Davis next.

And later, Paula Deen's tearful "Today Show" appearance as more companies drop her. Matt Lauer asked her point blank if she was a racist, we'll tell you what she said coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Raw politics tonight, the Texas state senator that everyone is talking about. Wendy Davis, a Democrat took a stand against a bill restricting abortions in the state and took the stand and remained standing talking for nearly 11 hours straight in a filibuster. She planned to go for 13 hours trying to run out the clock in a special session, but the chair of the Republican-controlled chamber ruled she went off top pick and the filibuster was cut short.

The bill still failed though. The State Senate needed to vote on the bill by midnight. After the filibuster was cut short, people in the gallery booed and chanted for 15 minutes and the vote wasn't completed by the deadline. Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund made the announcement to supporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The lieutenant governor has agreed that FB5 is dead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That fight is not over however. Late today Texas Governor Rick Perry called a session to convene on July 1st to take up that same abortion bill. Texas State Senator Wendy Davis joins me now live and she is sitting. A -- that was, I mean, a marathon filibuster yesterday, no food, no water, no breaks, nothing for all those hours. How are you even awake today?

WENDY DAVIS, TEXAS STATE SENATE: I'm running on adrenaline today. It was an amazing moment for democracy in Texas yesterday, it truly was.

COOPER: What was it like? Standing for that long, speaking for that long, not going to the bathroom, just -- I mean, what is it like to filibuster for 11 hours?

DAVIS: I under estimated how difficult it would be both physically and mentally. About two hours in I realized I was in for a long day. My back started hurting pretty on and began to really hurt as the hours ticked by, but there were so many people in the capital yesterday, Anderson, a record number of people. They literally had to lock the doors because they had filled our enormous Texas capital to capacity, and their energy kept me going throughout the day. They were amazing.

COOPER: It was a remarkable scene, as you said thousands flocking to the state capital and tens of thousands more joined online including the president who tweeted about it, the protesters in the senate chamber. Did you have any idea that it would grow like this? About the kind of reaction that might happen?

DAVIS: I had absolutely no idea and I was amazed by it. When I started the filibuster that morning, yesterday morning, the gallery was already full, and we understood that people in Texas were watching, but we had no idea the extent to which people throughout the state would be watching and honestly throughout the country.

COOPER: Governor Perry is intent on passing this bill. The measure seems likely to pass. I think some might ask what you accomplished by doing this. What would you say to them?

DAVIS: Yes, I think the most important thing that we accomplished is we empowered the voice of people in Texas, and people who wanted to stand against this intrusion, this government, big government intrusion into their personal lives and liberty was given a voice through the filibuster. I had an opportunity to read from so many people who had sent letters and e-mails to our office telling their personal story, asking that government stay out of their private decision making.

And what I think this has done is empowered people to understand when they involve themselves in a democracy, they truly can make a difference and they made the difference in the Texas capital yesterday, and I think this will linger, Anderson. I think this will linger, Anderson. I think that even if this bill passes and this next call special session, the reaction to it won't be a partisan one.

It's a reaction coming from Republicans, independents and Democrats alike, which is saying Governor Perry, Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst, stay out of my private decision making.

COOPER: I want to ask you about something that's been raising some eyebrows today the Senate did manage to vote, but after the midnight deadline but when the official Texas legislative time sheet for votes, the voting date was changed from the 26th to the 25th. Do you believe this was done intentionally in order for the measure to pass?

DAVIS: I know it was done intentionally based on a conversation one of my Senate colleagues had with the office that actually puts that online or makes that information available, and he was told by them when he asked why the date was changed, that they were instructed to do it. So we know it was purposeful, and I think there is going to be further investigation as to exactly what happened there. By changing the date, it would have changed the outcome and assured that the vote would have reflected a timely vote, and that the bill would have been defeated.

COOPER: You filibustered before yesterday. Will you filibuster again? Do you still have those sneakers ready to go?

DAVIS: I still have my sneakers with me. I don't know what will happen in the next session. We were fortunate this time that this item didn't come to the call for our final consideration until the last day of the session, and that's what gave us the opportunity to successfully filibuster it. If they are smarter about their time management going into the next called session, it's likely we won't have an opportunity to do this again.

COOPER: Well, Wendy Davis, appreciate you being on the program. Thank you.

DAVIS: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Up next, an emotional interview. Paula Deen said she's not a racist and the only time she ever used the "n" word was 30 years ago during a robbery when she had a gun to her head? Is she telling the truth? Does that compare to what she said in the deposition? Listen and decide for yourself next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Celebrity Chef Paula Deen lost two more business partners today including retail giant Wal-Mart over her admission that she used the n-word in the past. Tonight her critics and her fans have a lot more to digest. Deen began the day in the hot seat grilled by Matt Lauer on the "Today Show" on NBC.

It was a do over on the interview. She cancelled days ago. She had to have known the questions wouldn't be easy and they weren't. The question tonight is how will what she said be heard? (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA DEEN, CELEBRITY CHEF: I want people to know who I am --

COOPER (voice-over): Paula Deen on the "Today Show" this morning finally addressing the question many have been asking.

MATT LAUER, NBC: Are you a racist?

DEEN: No, no, I'm not.

LAUER: By birth, by choice, by osmosis, you don't feel you have racist tendencies?

DEEN: No.

COOPER: Deen has been facing allegations of racism ever since a lawsuit filed by a former employee accused Deen and her brother, Bubba of committing numerous acts of discrimination including using the "n" word. Deen called the allegations against her, quote, "horrible, horrible lies."

DEEN: I believe that everyone should be treated equal and that's the way I was raised and that's the way I lived my life.

COOPER: In her deposition for the lawsuit Deen admitted using the "n" word in the past and she explained it further to Matt Lauer.

DEEN: It was 30 years ago, I had put a gun to my head, a shaking gun because the man that had the gun to my head unbeknown to me was my customer at the main office --

LAUER: Didn't you also recall using the word on other occasions --

DEEN: No.

LAUER: So other than that one time the bank robbery attempt --

DEEN: Yes.

LAUER: You told me you never used the n-word.

DEEN: Never.

COOPER: But in court documents Deen admitted using the "n" word even after that incident. The transcript reads, quote, "have you used it since then?" Deen answers, quote, "I'm sure I have, but it's been a very long time."

LAUER: So you never used it other than that one occasion --

DEEN: No, it's just not -- it's just not a part of -- it's just not a part of who we are.

COOPER: Reaction to Deen's emotional interview was mixed. Deen's Facebook page quickly filled with supportive messages from her fans while others condemned her interview saying she didn't go far enough in apologizing.

DEEN: I want to share with y'all a quick, easy recipe.

COOPER: The future of Deen's empire is at stake. The Food Network and Smithfield Foods both ended their relationship with her last week and just today after the interview aired, Wal-Mart and Cesars Entertainment also dropped Deen. So far her other sponsors are standing by her and advance orders for her new cookbook have surged in the past few days. Deen told the "Today Show" she's speaking out now not to save her business, but to let people know who she really is.

DEEN: I've had to hold them in my arms while they sobbed because they know what is being said about me. It's not true, and I tell you what, if there is anyone out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back, if you're out there, please, pick up that stone and throw it so hard in my head that it kills me, please. I want to meet you. I want to meet you. I is what I is and I'm not changing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Paula Deen on the today show. Let's get some latest on some of the other stories we're following. Randi is back with the 360 Bulletin -- Randi.

KAYE: Anderson, Ariel Castro was back in court on Wednesday where a judge ordered a competency evaluation with a court psychiatrist for him. Castro is facing hundreds of charges for allegedly holding three women captive in his Cleveland home for years. He's in jail on $8 million bond.

Michael Jackson's son Prince testified today in the wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live. Prince Jackson said his father would cry after he got off the phone with AEG Live executives and say they were going to kill him.

And the gown 18-year-old Elizabeth Taylor wore at her first wedding was sold in London auction today for more than $188,000. The gown was a gift from MGM Studios. She looks beautiful there.

COOPER: She does. Randi, thanks very much. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: That's it for us. We'll see you again one hour from now at 10:00 p.m. Eastern for "Self-defense or Murder, The George Zimmermann Trial" and then another edition of 360 at 11:00 for all the day's latest stories. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.