Why Are People Angry That Race Was Not Mentioned During Deliberations in Dunn’s Trial?

Recently, two of the jurors in the case of Michael Dunn have interviewed with CNN. Both were asked if race was mentioned during deliberations.  Both answered “no.”  Then, panels discussing the interviews voiced their disagreement with the jury not discussing race during deliberations.  Some online sources have also criticized those jurors. Even Jordan Davis’ father said he could not see how it didn’t come up since Dunn’s girlfriend gave credible testimony that he used the words “thug music.”

Dunn jurorI am very grateful to the jury for not mentioning race during deliberations, which had they done so, would give Dunn the right to a new trial. The following is why.

In the case of Michael Dunn, like in all other cases, the presiding judge instructs the jury to only consider testimony and evidence presented at trial.  The judge also tells the jury the charges. The issue in Dunn’s case is whether he killed Jordan Davis in self-defense. Michael Dunn was not charged with a hate-crime. 

juror-8When a juror or juries go beyond the evidence presented at trial, it is juror misconduct.  Defendants have the right to a jury that considers only the evidence presented at trial, or it is a constitutional error.  Defendants then have right to appeal conviction and the higher court then decides whether the constitutional error substantially affected or influenced the jury’s verdict.

In Turner v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 466, 472-73, 85 S.Ct. 546, 13 L.Ed.2d 424 (1965), the Court held,

“In the constitutional sense, trial by jury in a criminal case necessarily implies at the very least that the evidence developed against a defendant shall come from the witness stand in a public courtroom where there is full judicial protection of the defendant’s right of confrontation, of cross-examination, and of counsel.”

Had the prosecution questioned Dunn about his racial opinions or beliefs, the subject of race could have been discussed by the jury during deliberations.  However, that subject was not raised at trial and therefore, could not be raised during deliberations.  Our courts have held that prejudicial comments during jury deliberations violate defendant’s constitutional rights because the defendant is not present to confront and cross-examine.

In United States ex rel. Owen v. McMann, 435 F.2d 813 (2d Cir.1970), cert. denied, 402 U.S. 906, 91 S.Ct. 1373, 28 L.Ed.2d 646 (1971), the Second Circuit, Judge Friendly explained that while jurors can take into account their own wisdom, experience, and common sense, “in doing so [they] must not bring extra facts into the jury room…. To the greatest extent possible all factual [material] must pass through the judicial sieve, where the fundamental guarantees of procedural law protect the rights of those accused of crime.”

JordanDavis-MichaelDunn-jpg

Do I believe that Michael Dunn’s actions were motivated by his racial bigotry?  Yes.  However, the State did not charge him with a hate crime.  At trial, he was not questioned about his racial beliefs.  The jury was not instructed to consider race when determining whether Dunn was guilty for killing Jordan Davis. Had the jury discussed race during deliberations, it would have been issues not testified to during trial.  Dunn would not be able to question his accusers.

It is unfair to jurors to criticize them for following the court’s instructions and frankly, I am tired of television reporters placing jurors in that position and the public feeding off it.

21-year old Juror #8 articulated something profound that agrees with the spirit of equal justice for all.  She said to her, it was not about race but about justice.   

Juror #8 is not ignorant — she voted guilty of 2nd degree murder, and guilty of 2nd degree attempted murder 3 times.  Why are people degrading her?

When members of juries understand the facts and evidence while putting their own biases aside, and reach verdicts by applying facts and evidence to the law as it is given to them in jury instructions, then the race of defendants and victims should never be an issue.

Posted on 02/21/2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 72 Comments.

  1. Thank you, Xena, for making this clear to me:

    I am very grateful to the jury for not mentioning race during deliberations, which had they done so, would give Dunn the right to a new trial. The following is why.

    In the case of Michael Dunn, like in all other cases, the presiding judge instructs the jury to only consider testimony and evidence presented at trial. The judge also tells the jury the charges.

    The issue in Dunn’s case is whether he killed Jordan Davis in self-defense. Michael Dunn was not charged with a hate-crime.

    I now understand that by exactly following the judge’s instructions, the jurors’ verdict will stick.

    • Yahtzee,
      It upsets me that reporters interviewing jurors ask if race was brought up during deliberations. They should be briefed by attorneys before interviewing. That question has caused people to demean the Dunn jurors who have come forth. Those jurors voted guilty of murder. They should be honored for applying the facts and evidence to the law rather than being criticized.

      As you know, I do not like hypocrisy. People who advocate that people should not be judged by appearance, are doing just that in their demeaning of Juror #8. It hurts me to see that stuff.

      • You know, Xena, I was upset when I first heard Juror 8′s TV interview.

        I am no longer UPSET about Juror 8′s TV interview. I now understand that if she had said it was about race, Dunn could have had a chance for a NEW trial and could have tried to undo his conviction on the 4 counts.

  2. Then it worked out for the better. I felt the same, I felt that in the “main” charge, to me …. he was found not guilty .. but now, it’s better …. not having another trial. Now this is done!!

    Justice always surprises me.

    Hugs ladies!! ❤️

    • Hugs back at ya, my friend.

      Basically what we presently have is no NEW trial with Dunn trying to undo his 4 convictions because, fortunately, the jurors only considered the evidence presented them which did NOT ask them to consider any racial motivations that Dunn might have had.

      What IS going to be happening is that, because the Jury was “hung” on Count 1 (murder of Jordan), there IS going to be a RETRIAL centering on Count 1.

      • Dunn will be retried in May.

      • Ugh!! But he’s going to jail for a long time, right?? He’s not getting away with this?? 😟

        • Yes, being guilty of those 4 counts, he is definitely going away for a long time (basically life).

          Horty, it is good that the State is going to retry him on Count 1. They can do this because the jury was “hung” on Count 1 with 9 jurors voting “guilty” and 3 jurors voting “not guilty.” Hopefully, he will also be convicted on Count 1 as either 1st or 2nd degree murder of Jordan.

          • Please understand, his convictions on Counts 2, 3, 4, and 5 will stand. The State is retrying him ONLY on Count 1

  3. I pray that that the State’s retrial of Michael Dunn in May on Count 1 WILL finally bring justice for Jordan Davis!

    Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons
    Is as IMPORTANT as
    The killing of White men, White mothers’ sons

    We who believe in freedom cannot rest
    We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

    Lyric from Ella’s Song


    .

    I wrote this on Jordan Davis’ birthday:

    Happy Birthday, Jordan.

    Sadly, you were born into a society that

    Still required your parents to give you “the Talk.”
    Still had too many people consider Black skin a crime.
    Still had LE and private citizens stereotyping and profiling Blacks.
    Still found store security following and keeping an eye on Blacks.
    Still stopped and frisked Blacks.
    Still handed down unequal justice for Blacks.
    Still tried to suppress the vote of Blacks.
    Still was full of hateful racists and White Supremacists.
    Still discriminated against Blacks in the workplace.
    Still had institutional racism present.
    Still had some LE who treated Blacks brutally.
    Still had Whites showing their fear of Blacks from clutching purses to complete avoidance.
    Still had racist hatred directed at Blacks.

    It is heartbreaking to know that in this atmosphere, you became one of the Black victims who have lost their lives.

    May you rest in peace and be in His loving arms.

  4. She is very brave. I’m so glad another juror spoke out. I don’t see Dunn appealing the verdict of the other 4 counts and do believe he will be found guilty of the M1 charge at the retrial.

  5. Sharon Burney

    Honestly, as a black woman it is sad that we have to play games, manipulate, and pretend racism does not exist, that we are not experiencing racism, that people have not been conditioned to oppress or act as oppressed people. The psychological and physical ramifciations and damage that manifests in our people as a result of this denial is what keeps us oppressed. The inability to have exposure, understanding and a sense of pride about your inherent culture, TRUE history, and recognized contributions, and rightful place in society, is a mitigating factor in the inability to recognize oppression when it is happening around you, the inability to love, respect and know one’s self, and to identify the systematic racism and oppression in which you are victimized, typically it is not realized until it is too late. So yes on a strategic front it may be great, but on a black life experience front, it is the same ole status quo.

    • I hear you, Sharon.

      Thank you for writing this.

    • Two sides to a story

      I think you’re so right, Sharon.

      On one hand, if justice is served in this case, the racial undertones then don’t really matter.

      However, though the Dunn jury claimed it didn’t consider race, the jurors who felt that Dunn is guilty really don’t know what’s running through the mind of the ones who voted not guilty, because those will just talk about the feelings of fear or the possibility that Jordan exited the vehicle, etc. They’re not going to reveal their own racism (if they had it and I’d bet the first two who always voted guilty did). And the didn’t have access to Dunn’s letters and jail calls, so they really didn’t have the full picture – if they had those, race would have had to be considered.

      Bottom line, Dunn’s perceptions of race are definitely connected to his actions in labelling “thug music”, the boys as menacing, and so forth. Everyone got a taste of that with Rhonda’s testimony. That the courts won’t touch this is a travesty.

      And I’ll reiterate – if justice is served without any mention of race, fine, but that’s a dice roll , but state courts need to jump on these cases and ride them hard rather than just go limp and pass them on to DOJ.

      • Two sides to a story

        PS – I think race can be considered in court trials in ways that make appeals impossible or at least in ways in which appeals can’t be won. You can appeal any verdict . . . hopefully Corey will be more aggressive in the retrial and Dunn will be even more done.

  6. Repeal SYG!

    Because of SYG, killers believe they can kill someone and not face consequences by simply saying afterward that they were scared.

  7. Sharon Burney

    exactly yahtzee

  8. Thank you for posting this. I didn’t know another juror had come forward. Xena thanks so much for explaining law and and other cases. I hope any other jurors who come forward don’t ruin anything. Do you think this case will be retried?
    I look forward to your keeping me and others posted who don’t understand all the ins and outs of the system. Take care. . .

  9. I do think bias played a part in Michael Dunn’s actions. I suppose race was not mentioned by the prosecution because a hate crime would require more specific hate speech.

    This is the hate speech I heard him use:
    “rap crap”
    “son of a bitch”
    “animals” – when referring to others in the prison.

    I suppose the prosecution didn’t want to go down the hate crime road with only those three phrases.

    • Jordan Davis’ Killer Pens ‘Shockingly Racist’ Letters From Jail

      http://newsone.com/2742724/jordan-davis-michael-dunn/

      This article address his racist letters from prison:

      In one of the letters addressed to his “baby,” Dunn wrote:

      The fear is that we may get a predominately black jury and therefore, unlikely to get a favorable verdict. Sad, but that’s where this country is still at. The good news is that the surrounding counties are predominately white and Republican and supporters of gun rights.”

      “In a letter addressed to his grandmother, Dunn claimed that all Blacks in jail acted like thugs:”

      “The jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs. This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these (expletive) idiots, when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.”

    • Glenn,have you listened to this interview by Dunn’s former neighbor?

        • For instance…timestamp 18:42

          • I just wish the prosecution had called this neighbor as a witness.

            None of this was presented to the jury.

          • Yahtzee,
            Most of the neighbor’s statements would be hearsay at trial. Dunn’s ex-wives would have needed to testify about their experience with Dunn. The neighbor could have only testified of his direct communications with Dunn. Then, that customer would have also needed to testify to give credibility to the neighbor’s story or Dunn could simply say it never happened.

          • Yes, I know that and agree with you, Xena.

            Thank you for emphasizing that.

            I was focusing on timestamp 18:42 where the former neighbor was talking about Dunn in a way that showed that Dunn was a racist.

          • I wonder what caused their ‘fall out’? I believe everything he says, but am wondering what the defense would have ‘dug up’ on this man had character witnesses (lack of character) been allowed. For this man to know so much they must have been friends at some point..

    • Glenn,
      Exactly. And, since they are Dunn’s words, he would have had opportunity at trial to explain and interpret them. Cases like that require the experience of U.S. Attorneys who are trained and have manuals with instructions of what they have to prove and how to go about it.

  10. Justice should be blind. I believed it when I was a kid but I don’t think that is true anymore.

  11. I believe I understand jurur #8. At 21 you don’t see racist. Thay’s why I believe the younger generation will be a lot smarter and blinder and more tolerate than the older ones that saw the worst of the worst.
    Always hoping and praying it will get better, I believe we’re going to have to count on him.
    At 21 she knew a lot more about what she was talking about than the jurors on the GZ trial.
    In my eyes and mind, IF we’re going to have hate crime then we have to use it when needed.
    This to me was a hate crime. His motive????
    That’s what it comes down to. IF he says he feared for his life. WHY?
    When he shot, no one else shot back to save their lives.
    He was the only one protected with his gun and he knew it. NOT one person in the other car
    had anything. They didn’t even try and run over him.
    Dunn is a spoiled brat, in my eyes it was a hate crime.
    In that case they could bring in people like his neighbor for one.
    I think the majority of people just don’t believe there is such a thing.
    So just get rid of the hate crime laws. If there were ever times to use it would have been
    the GZ and MD trial.
    Dunn absolutely murdered Jordon, so how is 1st degree overcharge. They still had 2nd and manslaughter and didn’t even use manslaughter.
    I’m sure that the majority of the jury did want 2nd degree.
    I don’t believe he minds being in prison at all. Didn’t sound like it while talking to his girlfriend.

  12. WHY are people angry? Maybe they have reached a point like me.Right now,I don’t know WHAT I am suppose to be fighting for,against,to change,to add,etc.Just exactly what do you have to have to charge someone for a hate crime? I do know that I have been & will continue to fight the SYG law here in Texas b/c of all of the tons of redneck racist running around.But there has to be something else! I am just sickened that this keeps happening over & over again.I do understand about the jurors are following the LAWS in these cases & not looking at race,but Dear God…….enough! Lets change the way we charge people,change the laws,something!

    • Marilyn,
      I relate to what you have shared. I’m angry that there is a law that allows fear as a defense for murder of unarmed individuals. I’m angry when jurors ignore evidence and give personal favoritism to defendants by taking their word. And now I’m becoming angry with the media for feeding emotions, misdirecting or failing to inform viewers and readers from important facts regarding the judicial system.

      Had I been selected for Dunn’s jury, and knew very little to nothing about the case until hearing testimony and seeing evidence at trial, would I see that Dunn held racist bigotry views? Yes, and that is something that Judge Friendly in the case cited above would probably call applying “common sense.” But then, I would need to ask if that would persuade my decision? My answer would be “no.” My decision of Dunn’s guilt would be based on evidence and testimony of those present at the time he shot Jordan. It would be based on his actions after firing 10 bullets into a vehicle.

      Dunn took time to make up a story about seeing a gun that he didn’t stick around to tell the cops about, then accused the cops of failing to look for a gun. That’s a con.

    • Marilyn,
      I guess I understand they have to follow the laws, but they make it sound like the jurors are the only ones in the court who have to follow the law.
      It’s almost like they feel they’re the ones on trial, not Gz and Md.
      They sure didn’t follow the law we ALL understand.
      MURDER!
      Get by with MURDER??
      I think that the motive behind these two trials was hate.

      I think too that the juror when she said she thought that Dunn was a good man, that probaby hurt the Jordon Davis family and friends.
      I’m sure that Jordon Davis was a lot better son than Dunn was a man.
      I saw very little of his testimony and he didn’t sound like a good man to me and killing someone just because of the race??
      I do believe race was the motive in both of these trials and it should have been brought up.

  13. Hi Loly!!! I have missed seeing you!! YES I am still getting frustrated!!

    • Hi Marilyn,
      I’m so sorry I’m just reading your comments.
      We’ve been to Louisanna for the las week and I’ve missed almost everything.
      YES, I know just what you mean, frustration and it just get’s worse.
      I’m confused also. Is there such a thing as a “hate crime” and if so WHY didn’t they
      use it in the GZ and MD case.
      MD, even said to his girlfriend before she went in the store “I hate that THUG music”
      then before she can even get back to the car he’s shooting at the 4 kids in the car
      and murdering one. So the hate started the minute he drove up so close to the car, he knew they were black and tries to intimidate them. I think he already had the gun in the front seat after the girlfriend got out.
      He knew what he was going to do!!!
      He could have murdered all 4. What a damn hateful being.
      Can’t stand something then just kill them.

      I’m so sick of it. Everything is totally screwed up. Stand Your Ground???
      That is such total BS. It’s just a license to murder someone.
      Dunn feared for his life??? Are you kidding me.
      I fear a huge lion, am I going to walk up to it and scream at it? I don’t think so.
      But this ass pulls right up to the kids car and starts trouble and they have no way of knowing what was about to happen so they had to leave to protect themselves and the ass kept shooting?????
      Give me a break.

      So good to see you!! : )

  14. MSNBC, Politics Nation with Rev. Sharpton, now on, saying that the police and prosecutor now say that SYG law needs to go.

    • I hope the pressure continues to build and that SYG will be repealed in ALL states in our country that presently have this law.

    • 4 Reasons Why Stand Your Ground Made a Difference in the Michael Dunn Trial

      Posted: 02/21/2014

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-bloom/four-reasons-why-stand-yo_b_4821223.html

    • Hi Xena,
      I agree!!!!
      Where do they start?
      The Supreme court? I’m ready!!!!

      • Lolypop,

        Where do they start?
        The Supreme court? I’m ready!!!!

        I would like to see all of the attorneys and all the politicians who want SYG repealed form a coalition; identify a case; and argue the unconstitutionality of SYG before the Supreme Court of the United States. I would volunteer legal research and all the typing and formatting of briefs. Heck — I’ll even make all the copies and do the binding myself.

        • Xena,
          I know that you would!! : )
          I guess a good start then would be to mail or get a petition for that reason.
          Maybe Al Sharpton would have ideas.
          I’m sure he does and we will see it overturned way before 50 years.
          That’s pathetic!

  15. good article, xena. while, like you, i see dunn as a racist bigot, i do not see how that would have helped the prosecution or the jury achieve a guilty verdict on the charge of M1.

    for those here who are saying this is a hate crime, i have to disagree. this is not a case such as matthew shepard or any of the many times hicks came down to the castro district in san francisco just to pick a queer or two to beat, maim and kill.

    there is a difference. JD was not chosen specifically to be a victim. the justice department would have a much greater chance in proving that TM was chosen to be a victim. the reality of the dunn case, is that he happened to be parked next to a car load of black kids when he lost touch with reality and anything that may have been decent about him (although i suspect this was not much). dunn did not leave his son’s wedding actively trying to find a black boy to shoot. do i think he’s a racist? yes and this is still not a hate crime because he is.

    • fauxmccoy,

      do i think he’s a racist? yes and this is still not a hate crime because he is.

      Exactly. That’s the point. If those of the opinion that the 2 jurors believing that Dunn killed in self-defense are racist, they should realize that those jurors were not about to change their position had the prosecution introduced race. That in fact, that issue could have been argued to appeal to biases of other jurors.

      • Xena, Because tempers have been so quick to surface and anger is so rampant due to the verdict in this trial, I have not commented much. I would like to suggest that people who have been so busily striking out at the prosecutors (A.C.) and say they failed to enter into evidence of racism on the part of Done Dunn, step back and think for just a moment. Had AC approached this case initially as some of you suggest, you would have had a jury stacked with stealth racists and he would have received a not guilty verdict on all charges. To those of you that say she over charged, think for just a moment, did you really want a jury consisting of simply six jurors? Now since she has gotten a conviction and Done Dunn is assured of many years of prison time, I suspect you will see a much more aggressive approach in the new trial… Can she overcome the stealth juror problem? Perhaps, but it will be hard if not impossible to do, especially if there is a change of venue… Ok, I’ve said my simple opinion and will not return to the safety of under my rock.

        Xena, off topic, the problem will be resolved hopefully next Thursday the 27th, please keep fingers crossed, because it is not looking good….

        • Crazy1946,
          You are right. There are positives to see in how Dunn’s case was prosecuted. It amazed me that we got on Maddy’s case for not hanging Zimmerman’s trial, but criticize those who stood on their belief of Dunn’s guilt of murder as if they hung the jury.

          IMHO, Corey doesn’t overcharge because Florida law allows for lesser offenses. Always go for gold.

          I’ll be praying for you about that situation.

          • but criticize those who stood on their belief of Dunn’s guilt of murder as if they hung the jury.

            I disagree with you on this point, Xena.

            I feel everyone was glad that Jurors 4 and 8 were among the group that wanted to convict on Count 1.

            I feel everyone feels that there were only 3 who hung the jury on Count 1.

          • Yahtzee,

            I disagree with you on this point, Xena.

            I feel everyone was glad that Jurors 4 and 8 were among the group that wanted to convict on Count 1.

            I can’t tell by their comments on Twitter and some blogs.

          • I defer to your interpretation and withdraw my disagreement with your initial comment, Xena :)

  16. O/T, but this is funny.

  17. The one hour interview of Juror 8 is being released very slowly. The first video we saw was under 2 minutes of actual interview. Now, below is 5 uninterrupted minutes:

    • According to this article below from which I will quote a paragraph (but please see full article), Alina Machado’s interview with Juror 8 was ONE hour long.

      http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2014-02-20/story/second-dunn-trial-juror-goes-public-no-8-does-exclusive-interview-cnn

      The interview with CNN correspondent Alina Machado lasted about an hour but only an excerpt from the interview was released during “CNN Newsroom” at 3 p.m.

      The video that we originally viewed was the first released excerpt that this quotation is referring to. It is the video with Alina Machado (CNN corespondent) and Brook Baldwin (CNN Anchor) talking about the short Clip of Juror 8′s interview with Alina Machado.

      Here is what the public first saw:

    • WHY is CNN releasing Juror 8′s one hour interview in pieces?

      I want to see the whole interview.

      • I feel that by only having this short, short clip from Juror 8′s interview (51 seconds) that CNN did Juror 8 a disservice.

    • This is the one that Xena has posted in her article.

      • I meant to put this right under the 5:12 video I first posted.

        I am unable to do that because I have already used that reply button for the other things I have posted.

  18. I think that what is hard on me and other equal justice advocates is that the public was exposed to far more information about the character of both GZ and Dunn than the jurors in both cases were.

    I understand the legal reason for not admitting evidence of racism held by both GZ and Dunn and also evidence of their earlier run-ins with the law plus their rage issues and abuse of former wives or girlfriends.

    However, I have to say that it was hard on me to watch both of these trials with juries not receiving evidentiary information that I knew about.

  19. Bye, bye Frank Taaffe. Courtesy of Sanford Watch.

    Frank Taaffe talks about education and manners, and is yet the most rudeness person that one would think he didn’t attend kindergarten to learn basic courtesy.

  20. Mother Jones got him off the air, as far as Dr. Drew, HLN, and CNN. wonder if faux news will pick him up.

  21. A couple notes on the discussions above:
    ………….

    Former prosecutor Wendy Murphy has been making the rounds of the news shows criticizing Angela Corey for not charging Dunn with a Hate Crime so evidence of his racism could have brought up at trial, and expressing her hope that Corey will make that charge, or get race on the table in some other way during the retrial, so the jury will be allowed to consider (or perhaps required to do so). I can’t remember what show I saw her on, where she was talking in relatively reserved and thoughtful-sounding terms to a sensible host (either Vinnie Politan or someone on MSNBC), but looking on YT I can only find her appearance with JVM, which is, of course, a lot of over the top shouting. But, I guess the point is the same:

    …………………….

    Yahtzee wrote: “WHY is CNN releasing Juror 8′s one hour interview in pieces? I want to see the whole interview.” Three points:

    1) They’re releasing it in pieces because they’re in the news BUSINESS, and they want to maximize their ratings by distributing compelling material over a series of programs to keep interested viewers coming back.

    2) The working assumption on any commercial news program is that viewers have short-attention spans, and thus material should be delivered in bite-sized chunks lest viewers lose interest and tune out.

    3) In contrast to a live interview (e.g. GZ’s appearance on Hannity), interviews recorded for news features or documentaries are conducted with the knowledge that they will be edited later.
    a. The interview crews always shoot LOTS more footage than they will ever use. A minimum shooting-ratio would be 5-1, meaning you’d hope to get 12 minutes of usable material from an hour-long interview session. But a more typical ration would be between 10-1 and 20-1, meaning you’s expect do do an hour of recording to get from 3-6 minutes of “good stuff”.
    b. The interviewer may jump from subject to subject and back again, knowing that the responses can be cut into a logical flow in editing. Interview subjects tend to repeat themselves a lot, and, of course, the editor will cut out those repetitions. Subjects will also ramble, burying the meat of their remarks amidst a bunch of non-relevant minutiae or digressions. A good interviewer will do a bit of “directing”, asking the subject to respond to the question again in a more succinct way.
    c. Ordinary people are not always articulate on-camera, and will make awkward verbal stumbles — watching the unedited footage you might get an inaccurate negative impression of the subject as a result. So the editor will “protect” the presentation of the subject by cutting out all those rough spots.

    In short, CNN is just following standard practices here. We’ll never know whether anything we really wanted to hear got ‘left on the cutting room floor.’, but so it goes with all journalism. The folks editing the video will from time-to-time cut out something some viewers would find highly relevant because it might fall into a subject area where the producers just don’t want to go, either for ideological reasons or more-likely commercial rationales (i.e. it would be bad for our business if we stirred that particular pot). But by far most editing is just done to separate the wheat from the chaff, and render versions of the conversations that are readily comprehensible, accessible to viewers, stay on point, etc. — (things, as TV viewers, we wouldn’t want them NOT to do…) An attorney interviewing a witness is going to want everything preserved for the record in real-time. But CNN is producing news stories, not making video depositions.

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