AC360 Monday 8p

There are growing questions about the ferry crew's actions. The latest on the South Korean ferry disaster live on AC360.
March 21st, 2012
11:58 PM ET

Etch-A-Sketch shakes up GOP race

A gaffe made by one of Mitt Romney's advisers leads to new accusations, from all sides, that Romney changes his views to win votes.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney • Raw Politics
March 21st, 2012
11:49 PM ET

The RidicuList: Kid gets jury duty

Best excuse? You're nine-years-old. Then again, the little boy you'll meet isn't the only unlikely soul to get a summons. Another potential juror has nine lives. Only on the RidicuList.

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Filed under: The RidicuList
March 21st, 2012
11:13 PM ET

Father shot in front of young daughter

CNN's Randi Kaye reports on Florida's "Stand Your Ground" and why one widow says it's a free pass for murder.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Trayvon Martin
March 21st, 2012
09:24 PM ET

Letters to the President #1157: 'The Etch-a-Sketch moment'

Reporter's Note: I write to the president every day. I suppose I could use an etch-a-sketch, but I use a computer, although I’m not sure that makes my thoughts last any longer.

Dear Mr. President,

I think this is why people don’t trust politicians and don’t trust the media: We make a big deal out of something as silly as a campaign aide mentioning an etch-a-sketch. When Romney’s guy made that comment (what was it? Something like, in the fall we shake everything up like an etch-a-sketch and start over?) I could just hear the D.C. wolves baring their teeth. I knew that before the sun was down they would be howling about how this shows how tricky, and flip floppy Romney is, and yadda yadda yadda.

But frankly, I don’t get it.

I’m not trying to defend Team Romney or the Republicans or anyone else. I’m just saying that it seems patently goofy to pillory any candidate over what seems to have been a harmless comment about how campaigns must effectively remake themselves many times in the course of a race. Any experienced political operator in the land knows that is the nature of the process. And I think any fair person could listen to what that aide said and safely assume that is what he was talking about…that he was not suggesting or admitting that his candidate changes position every time the leaves shake in the trees.

Seriously, what kind of campaign operative would ever suggest such a thing?

I liked it when you referred to “silly season” back in the 2008 campaign. (I think that’s when it was.) You were right, sometimes the whole process gets absurd; ridiculous; so twisted amid all the attempts to win, that it appears devoid of any actual sense. For my money, that is what happened here.

Hope all is well.

Regards,
Tom

Tonight on AC360: Florida Shooter claims 'Stand Your Ground' defense
James family photo credit: family photo. Trevor Dooley photo credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
March 21st, 2012
06:10 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Florida Shooter claims 'Stand Your Ground' defense

Just minutes after we pulled up for our interview with Kanina James, the tears began to flow. We found her sitting on the front porch, alone, and still in pain.

It’s been a year and a half or so since her husband of 13 years was shot dead by a 71-year-old retired bus driver. The shooter, Trevor Dooley, says he shot 41-year-old David James because he thought James was going to kill him. He’s using a statute in Florida known as the Stand Your Ground law to try and get the charges against him dropped.

It all started on a neighborhood basketball court in a suburb of Tampa. The two men got into an altercation over a teenager skateboarding on the court. Dooley was shouting at the teenager to get off the court, and James intervened. After a struggle, Dooley shot James once in the heart. He died in front of his 8-year-old daughter. Kanina James told me she’s worried about her daughter because she doesn’t want to talk about that day and keeps it all bundled inside. She’s seeing a therapist but it’s not really working. Kanina James believes the Stand Your Ground law is like a free pass to murder.

I hope you’ll tune in tonight for AC360° at 8 and 10 p.m. ET for this emotional interview; you can decide who you think was the aggressor in this case and if Trevor Dooley should stand trial. Share your thoughts with me on Twitter @RandiKayeCNN

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Trayvon Martin
Tonight on AC360: Justice and the Trayvon Martin shooting
The man who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is claiming self-defense and citing the 'stand your ground' law.
March 21st, 2012
04:02 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Justice and the Trayvon Martin shooting

Editor's note: Jeffrey Toobin will join the co-sponsor of the "stand your ground" law, Dennis Baxley, to discuss the Trayvon Martin investigation. Tune in to AC360° tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

Trayvon Martin went out to buy some Skittles - and was shot dead before he made it home. The case is horrifying, maddening, grotesque. And - perhaps worst of all - there may be nothing Florida law enforcement can do about it.

As the world now knows, the 17-year-old Martin walked to a store in Orlando to buy some snacks on the night of February 26. George Zimmerman, a volunteer Neighborhood Watch captain, thought the boy looked suspicious and called 911. The 911 operator told Zimmerman to keep his distance - police would be sent - but there was a confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin. Martin was killed with a single shot to the chest. Florida authorities have not arrested Zimmerman, and federal authorities recently joined the investigation.

The legal question at the heart of the case involves Florida's so-called "stand your ground" law, which the legislature passed, at the behest of the National Rifle Association, in 2005. Before that time, Florida law resembled that of most other states; during confrontations, individuals had a duty to retreat rather than to respond to provocations. Under the new law, a person is allowed to use deadly force if he is in a place he has a right to be and feels reasonably threatened with serious harm.

Read more...

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Trayvon Martin
Raw Politics: Santorum's guarantee almost comes true - for Romney
March 21st, 2012
12:48 AM ET

Raw Politics: Santorum's guarantee almost comes true - for Romney

Rick Santorum said a few days ago an Illinois win could guarantee him a path to the nomination. Now a double-digit victory in President Barack Obama's home state may do the same for Mitt Romney.

First, the good news for Santorum: He held on to his edge with working-class and rural voters, winning both categories Tuesday in Illinois. He continued to claim Republicans looking for strong character and conservative bona fides in their presidential candidate. And he was the top pick among the most religious voters: regular churchgoers, evangelicals and those who think the religious beliefs of their party's nominee are important.

Now, the bad news: According to exit polls, Romney won virtually everyone else.

Romney's victory was fueled by massive majorities of voters with college degrees and six-figure incomes. But by narrower margins, he claimed nearly all other demographic blocs, too, including groups he's struggled to win throughout the primary season, such as the strongest tea party supporters.

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Follow Rebecca Sinderbrand on Twitter.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney • Raw Politics • Rick Santorum
March 21st, 2012
12:19 AM ET

Gupta: Predatory violence unusual for PTSD

Anderson Cooper talks to Dr. Gupta and Jeffrey Toobin about the soldier accused of murdering civilians in Afghanistan.