Ep. 38 Marcia Clark

August 5, 2013

(Complete shows are now available in a single mono file for faster downloading and easier storage.) Hosts Christopher Rice and Eric Shaw Quinn welcome famed prosecutor and critically acclaimed mystery novelist Marcia Clark. The result is a rousing discussion of Marcia’s new novel, KILLER AMBITION, and the latest headlines from the world of criminal justice (or lack thereof.) Relationship expert JoNell Samms has a direct response for a particularly irritating advice seeker, critic-at-large Jordan Ampersand is sick of waiting for his chance to interview novelist Anne Rice, and fairly imbalanced newsman Breck Artery interviews a “doctor” who wants us to know even more about our politician’s sex lives. The premiere of a brand new series entitled WORLD’S WORST WEDDING TOASTS!

[The wealthy] don’t get it. They don’t get that these laws actually apply to everybody equally. And you’re not special, and you’re not a sacred cow, and you actually have to show up in my office, and you have to obey your subpoena and all that. It’s kind of a weird… They can’t deal with it.


The Dinner Party Show Podcast — Ep. 38
Marcia Clark Interview Transcript

{This transcript is the Marcia Clark interview portion of Episode 38.}
{This transcript is provided as a courtesy and was transcribed as best as possible. Any errors or omissions in the transcript are unintentional. The recorded audio file of the podcast episode is considered the master of what was said.}

Christopher Rice: Welcome back to The Dinner Party Show. I’m Christopher Rice.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And I’m Eric Shaw Quinn.

Christopher Rice: And no sooner had one of our party people, John Matson, asked us what Marcia Clark thought of the previous story we covered, then Marcia Clark arrived at our studio.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Welcome back, Marcia.

Marcia Clark: So happy to be here.

Eric Shaw Quinn: The princess of MSNBC. I’m so been enjoying your recent inclusion on every show I watch on NBC all the time.

Marcia Clark: You poor thing, can’t get away from me.

Eric Shaw Quinn: No, I quite enjoyed it. I have to say, your commentary on Thursday, I think it was with…

Marcia Clark: With Lawrence O’Donnell?

Christopher Rice: Lawrence O’Donnell.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Who’s the woman, who was the other author?

Marcia Clark: Linda Fairstein.

Christopher Rice: Linda Fairstein, another critically acclaimed mystery novelist.

Eric Shaw Quinn: They did a thing where they did, if you missed it, go back onto the MSNBC…After the show, of course, listen to the show first, but go to the MSNBC site and see if you can’t find on the Lawrence O’Donnell show for Thursday. They did this thing where they played little excerpts from that insane final statement from Ariel Castro, and then you and Linda did commentary. It was electrifying. You were so insightful. Marcia was so insightful that Lawrence actually paused and said, “Wow, I hadn’t actually thought of it that way, Marcia. That was really brilliant.” It really was. It was brilliant. Your contribution on all of this, we’ve got a million questions we want to ask you about all of that.

Christopher Rice: So we want to talk to you about this case out of Baton Rouge.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yes. But first, this seedy case from Baton Rouge. What do you think? You’ve had a minute to read the article.

Marcia Clark: Yeah. I mean, I just never read the first couple of pages. Like, what the hell are they doing? What are they doing? You can’t agree to have sex in a public place? We’re all like felons or something.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Like everybody in America is now in jail.

Marcia Clark: I know.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Everybody in Baton Rouge.

Christopher Rice: Yeah. I said if I agreed to have sex in a mall when children were present, and even though I was agreeing to have sex later at home with my partner, I would be guilty of a crime, and it’s outrageous.

Marcia Clark: No, it’s crazy. It’s crazy. They can’t keep these guys locked up. They can’t do this.

Christopher Rice: Well, they didn’t keep them locked up. I’ll say that. They let them go right away because they had to.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Well, duh, Because they weren’t guilty of anything.

Christopher Rice: But they used this basically intimidation act to “clean up”, which I’m putting in air quotes for those who can’t see us, the park, which there’s got to be something epically illegal about that.

Marcia Clark: Oh, it is.

Christopher Rice: Yeah.

Marcia Clark: I mean, it is, the law is unenforceable. They’re trying to enforce a law that’s been stricken down by the United States Supreme Court.

Christopher Rice: Right.

Marcia Clark: The anti-sodomy law. You can’t. It’s unconstitutional.

Christopher Rice: Right.

Marcia Clark: So they don’t have a valid law. So now they’re saying, they’re trying to say, “Well, we’re not enforcing that law. We’re enforcing a law that’s on the books that says you can’t agree to have sex in a public place.” And that’s not constitutional either.

Eric Shaw Quinn: That doesn’t even make any sense.

Marcia Clark: No, it makes no sense.

Christopher Rice: Casey Rayborne Hicks, the Sheriff’s office spokeswoman and idiot, says quote, “This is the law that is currently on the Louisiana books, and the Sheriff is charged with enforcing the laws passed by our Louisiana legislature.” So it’s sort of like Constitution be damned. I live in Louisiana.

Marcia Clark: Yes. It’s on our books. It’s on our books. You can’t be barefoot in front of a mirror either.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Right.

Marcia Clark: So it’s on our books and we will…

Eric Shaw Quinn: And you can graze your sheep on the Governor’s mansion lawn every third Thursday, whatever.

Marcia Clark: It’s just ridiculous.

Christopher Rice: Crazy.

Marcia Clark: The thing is, these people who get arrested though, they really need to be, have it expunged. They need to have it wiped out because you know, you go to apply for a job or something, and it shows that you’ve been arrested and you’ve done nothing wrong. So they really have a lot to make up for.

Christopher Rice: What would you recommend these men do? What course of action should they take?

Marcia Clark: Oh, my God. First of all, really, you have to have them erase this from your record.

Christopher Rice: Right.

Marcia Clark: Absolutely has to be wiped clean and consider suing.

Christopher Rice: Right.

Marcia Clark: Consider suing. I mean, to the extent you can prove any damages.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah, huge class action suit.

Marcia Clark: You absolutely…I would think…

Eric Shaw Quinn: The potential is just gigantic.

Marcia Clark: Oh, yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And there’s still oil money in Louisiana. Maybe not as much as there used to be, but you could get a nice little chunk of… Yeah.

Christopher Rice: There is actually more oil money, I believe, than there used to be, because they finally got rid of that rule that said, if the rig was a certain number of miles offshore, Louisiana didn’t get a cut of the proceeds. I think Mary Landrieu finally got rid of that crazy law.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And since that, the rigs are now pouring the oil directly on the shore.

Marcia Clark: On the shore, yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: There’s less separation between those whole things.

Marcia Clark: Yeah. It’s accessible, isn’t it?

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah. What do you think about the former attorney general in Virginia trying to reinstate the anti-sodomy laws there by making it also illegal for heterosexuals to have oral sex? Like everybody. There’s going to be a policeman in every bedroom in Virginia.

Marcia Clark: I think it’s people who don’t have enough to do. They are not busy enough. I swear to God. I mean that you can sit around—

Eric Shaw Quinn: Get a bad habit.

Marcia Clark: …thinking of bullshit like this when we have real crime, we have real serious issues to deal with.

Christopher Rice: Right.

Marcia Clark: And you’re talking about worrying about who’s diddling who and how.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Right?

Marcia Clark: Really? This is your big issue?

Eric Shaw Quinn: Is Baton Rouge really this crime free that you have time to be annoying people at the park?

Marcia Clark: Exactly.

Eric Shaw Quinn: “Run along young man.”

Marcia Clark: Yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: “I don’t think so. No, I will not be coming with you, officer.”

Marcia Clark: No, exactly. Oh, anyway.

Christopher Rice: Well, it sounds like these guys in Louisiana are hooked up with a civil rights attorney, Andrea Jay Richey. I don’t know if that’s a name any of us have ever heard.

Eric Shaw Quinn: But maybe increasingly.

Christopher Rice: Yeah. She may become famous off of this case. Absolutely. So they have-

Eric Shaw Quinn: As this group of men come to own the state of Louisiana.

Marcia Clark: I was going to say, you have a class action suit, and suddenly the state of Louisiana goes bankrupt because the class action is going to be so big.

Christopher Rice: Right, exactly. Exactly.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Everybody in the state is liable for saying, “Wow, honey, let’s go home and do it in the office.” “Oh, I’m sorry. Come with us.”

Marcia Clark: To jail with you!

Christopher Rice: To jail with you!

Eric Shaw Quinn: Blue lights everywhere.

Marcia Clark: When you said that, I got this metal image of a parabolic mic hanging over every park just sweeping around.

Christopher Rice: “That sounded a little hot. We should go get him.”

Eric Shaw Quinn: “Move in, move in!”

Christopher Rice: Now, we’re going to take a break for a word from one of our sponsors. This is a brand new product that we’re very excited here on the Dinner Party Show.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Very, very excited.

Christopher Rice: And then we will be back with famed prosecutor and Dinner Party show favorite, Marcia Clark.

[comedy sketch]

Christopher Rice: And we’re back on the Dinner Party show, already in progress with my co-host Eric Shaw Quinn. Say hello, Eric.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Hello, Eric.

Christopher Rice: And Dinner Party Show favorite, Marcia Clark.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Hi, Marcia.

Marcia Clark: Hey, guys. Hello.

Christopher Rice: How are you doing? It’s so good to have you back. You wanted to ask Marcia about something you saw on TV last night.

Eric Shaw Quinn: The Emmys happened and the Phil Spector movie got a bunch of nominations for different people and members of the cast. And so I thought, oh, I haven’t seen that. And so I recorded it, and honestly, at the time, Phil Spector has such bad press. I just thought, “Oh yeah, that asshole. Whatever.” And I didn’t really pay much attention at the time, but then I watched this film and I don’t know how true it is because I really didn’t pay that much attention, but David Mamet kind of posits that he really kind of got convicted of being an asshole, that the proof wasn’t really there for the charges against him. And you may not have any insight into it, I don’t know, but were you more aware of that particular trial or…?

Marcia Clark: No, I wasn’t in the DA’s office at the time.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah.

Marcia Clark: I mean, that’s happened long since, but…

Eric Shaw Quinn: Obviously.

Marcia Clark: But I did follow it and I did read a lot about it and no, the evidence was there. It was a very solid case. Very solid case. And he was an extremely talented, but very unbalanced individual.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Apparently. Yeah.

Marcia Clark: And he was known for pulling guns out all the time. It was just something he did, and fired a gun off in a studio once when somebody pissed him off. So he was very…

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah. And they covered all of that. But their premise in the film was that because if he had actually fired the shot in into her mouth in that way, that he would have been covered with blood.

Marcia Clark: Not true. Not true.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Okay. So tell us about that.

Marcia Clark: That’s not even true. This is one of these things where it’s really tough to get good testimony on this kind of thing. Blood spatter evidence is really more art than science, but there are certain things that are true that can be quantified. And they did in the trial. And I don’t know what David Mamet was looking at or what he thought, but…

Eric Shaw Quinn: That’s why I say, I just was watching it—

Christopher Rice: Or what he didn’t look at, because he’s an artist, yeah…

Marcia Clark: Or what he didn’t look at. We don’t know…

Eric Shaw Quinn: The performances are wonderful but it was just a film.

Marcia Clark: I’m not slamming David Mamet. [inaudible 00:08:03]

Eric Shaw Quinn: That’s why I was asking you. I wanted to know about the actual court case.

Marcia Clark: And everybody’s going to have their point of view about this. But what I saw, I mean, when you fire a gun into somebody’s head, the blowback doesn’t happen. You don’t have this big huge spray coming out from her. It goes the other way. It goes back. So there’s going to be—

Eric Shaw Quinn: Even if the bullet doesn’t exit the back of the head?

Marcia Clark: Even if it doesn’t, even if it doesn’t, because you have cavities. You have nasal cavities, you have all kinds of things. But no, you wouldn’t have a whole lot of blood on him. So I don’t know why he came up with that particular thing. That must have been what the defense argued.

Eric Shaw Quinn: That was what the defense was positing. I think it was probably based on somebody’s writing or something, whatever.

Marcia Clark: But the prosecution did counter it.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Performances were remarkable, but it was one of those things where at the end I was left with that sort of feeling of like, “Well, he does seem to be a horrible person, but that’s not actually a crime.”

Marcia Clark: Well, no, that’s not.

Eric Shaw Quinn: But shooting somebody in the head actually is.

Marcia Clark: But yes, shooting somebody actually…

Eric Shaw Quinn: We hate that. Yeah. Okay, okay. I knew you would know more about it. And it’s actually… If you haven’t seen the film, I love Helen Mirren and I love him. Yeah. They did a great job-

Marcia Clark: I saw the film. Really good job.

Eric Shaw Quinn: … creating those people. So, you know what I mean?

Marcia Clark: Yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It does create a sort of compelling kind of moment of…

Marcia Clark: Yeah. It’s really interesting. And I know, so that was the defense position, but people frequently get hung up on this kind of thing about where would the blood spatter be and why wasn’t he covered in blood? That kind of thing.

Eric Shaw Quinn: TV has trained us to go for those kinds of details.

Christopher Rice: We talk about this all the time. I think we talked about it the last time you were on the show, that TV has instilled a false expectation in juries, that forensic evidence is going to look the way it does on CSI.

Marcia Clark: Right.

Christopher Rice: They’ll start asking you why you don’t have a certain test that doesn’t exist, because it’s only been on CSI.

Marcia Clark: Yeah.

Christopher Rice: So it’s the CSI effect.

Marcia Clark: It is.

Christopher Rice: That’s what they start calling it.

Marcia Clark: It is. And it does. It can skew juries. It gives them unrealistic expectations of what you can prove with the science and what can actually be done with evidence at a crime scene. Stuff happens at a crime scene, especially if it’s outside. It degrades. Blood degrades, hairs disappear, fibers disappear. Things don’t stay pristine like on CSI.

Eric Shaw Quinn: These get contaminated with other stuff, yeah.

Marcia Clark: Yeah, all kinds of stuff.

Christopher Rice: Shifting gears to a rather big elephant in the room, any sense that that may have been a factor in the Trayvon Martin case?

Marcia Clark: No, I don’t think so. It was a very simple case, forensically speaking. I mean, there really wasn’t much to talk about. George Zimmerman had a broken–not a broken… He had a bloody nose. He had a couple of gashes on the back of his head, and those injuries were clear. He didn’t get medical attention. That was clear too. And Trayvon didn’t have a whole lot of anything on him in terms of defensive wounds or even the kind of offensive wounds you’d expect to see if you’re really beating somebody.

Christopher Rice: Right.

Marcia Clark: Knuckles get bruised and you know, you get a little banged up in the process too, even if you’re the aggressor. He didn’t really have much.

Christopher Rice: So the forensic evidence was not there to support the right wing talking point that there was a brutal fight between these two men that Trayvon started.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Or even the defense’s talking point.

Marcia Clark: Not in my opinion. Not in my opinion. I mean, you saw his injuries. He got up and he walked away. How bad is this?

Christopher Rice: And Trayvon didn’t get up and walk away.

Marcia Clark: No. He sure did not.

Christopher Rice: Yeah.

Marcia Clark: Yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Well, the thing that I have to say is, and really this is the question I’ve wanted to ask you, is if I was the prosecutor and nobody is asking me to be, but I would’ve ended every interview with the question, for instance, we’re talking about these injuries, “So doctor, would Mr. Zimmerman have sustained these injuries if he had stayed in his car?”

Christopher Rice: Like the dispatcher asked him to.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Like the dispatcher asked him to.

Marcia Clark: Told him to.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Told him to do.

Marcia Clark: We don’t need you to do that. I know.

Eric Shaw Quinn: We’ll get into this in just a minute.

Christopher Rice: We have plenty of more time to talk about Trayvon Martin and Marcia Clark’s new book, Killer Ambition.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Also can’t wait.

Marcia Clark: That’s right. Killer Ambition. You got it.

Christopher Rice: In the meantime, we’ve got a report from our relationship expert, Miss JoNell Samms.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Breaking News.

[comedy sketch]

Christopher Rice: Welcome back to The Dinner Party Show. I’m Christopher Rice.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And I’m Eric Shaw Quinn.

Christopher Rice: We were talking… That was one bad wedding toast, wasn’t it?

Eric Shaw Quinn: I am telling you, that was brutal.

Christopher Rice: I think those are going to get worse and worse and worse as we go along.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I’ve had to sit through those at the actual weddings. So yeah, I went to a wedding… Another time.

Christopher Rice: We’ll talk about it another time.

Eric Shaw Quinn: For another time.

Christopher Rice: It’s an ongoing series.

Eric Shaw Quinn: What I want to get back to is I want to ask our guest, Marcia Clark, thank you so much for being here with us.

Marcia Clark: My pleasure, always.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I want to get back to the question I was asking just before… If I chose as the prosecutor to ask every single solitary witness who got on the stand, “Do you think that whatever it is you’re talking about would’ve happened if George Zimmerman had stayed in his fucking car?” Maybe not using the word fucking, as the police asked him to do, “Do you think this would’ve happened?” What do you think the judge would’ve done? Would they have made me stop?

Marcia Clark: Yeah, they would’ve. You would’ve gotten an “Objection, irrelevant,” because it’s not relevant to every witness. It has to be relevant to what they’re talking about, and it isn’t for all of them. And it would be calling for speculation. “Do you think this would’ve happened?” It’s always an objectionable question, and you might get it out once or twice, but after that, the judge is going to start talking about sanctions and all kinds of nasty stuff that…

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah, I have the feeling that I would spend a lot of time in jail for contempt of court, if I was a lawyer.

Christopher Rice: I have the same feeling. I have that feeling for you just going in court. I get nervous when you have jury duty. Are we ever going to see Eric again?

Eric Shaw Quinn: I once went with my sister for a court appearance and the judge actually said to me, because I kept interjecting, even though I was just sitting in the audience, and the judge actually said to me, “Do you have something you’d like to say?” And I got up from my chair and took over the proceedings.

Marcia Clark: No.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I did.

Marcia Clark: Oh, my God.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I got up and said, “Well, what we’re trying to determine, your Honor, is if she’s already paid the fine, if we just leave, if that’s done, if that covers”whatever it is that she was there, traffic court, whatever it is that she was… And he was like, “Yeah, that really does.” It’s like, “Well, then we’re good. We can go. If you’re good, we are good.” And he was like, “Oh, okay, then.”

Christopher Rice: Traffic court means he had 30 other cases lined up outside, so whatever got you out quicker, he was in favor of.

Marcia Clark: That’s true.

Eric Shaw Quinn: He was delighted.

Marcia Clark: Pretty much.

Eric Shaw Quinn: But it really was one of those moments when after, it was like “You were this close…” As a child, I got hit in the mouth a lot because that’s where all of the smart shit was coming from.

Christopher Rice: Yeah, I know. You don’t have to tell me. I work with you. I started a radio show with this guy for a reason. Because he’s got smart mouth.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Well, that was my big question about Trayvon Martin. I’m going home now.

Marcia Clark: That’s all there was?

Eric Shaw Quinn: That’s it. That’s all.

Marcia Clark: Alright.

Eric Shaw Quinn: No.

Christopher Rice: No, we got plenty else to talk about. We want talk about your new book. It’s the third book in the Rachel Knight series, Killer Ambition.

Marcia Clark: Killer Ambition.

Christopher Rice: It’s currently available for sale in our store at TheDinnerPartyShow.com.

Marcia Clark: Yay!

Christopher Rice: Did you go on the road? What have you been doing to promote it?

Marcia Clark: Yeah, I’ve been out on the road. I was in New York and Connecticut and where have I been? I’ve been all over the place. And I was just in Texas, in Houston and in Austin, and now I’m going back out to, I’m going to be up in San Francisco, my favorite place, and then I’m going to be… I’m just kind of…

Eric Shaw Quinn: And she’s going to be on MSNBC…

Marcia Clark: MSNBC.

Eric Shaw Quinn: All the time.

Christopher Rice: All the time.

Marcia Clark: We’ll see.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Are you getting your own show? How much longer can it take?

Christopher Rice: You had your own show on MSNBC, didn’t you?

Marcia Clark: I did. I was actually a substitute host for Geraldo. How funny is that?

Eric Shaw Qunn: Geraldo used to be on MSNBC?

Marcia Clark: Especially given… Yeah. He used to have a show on CNBC that was before CNBC was a financial channel. And it was talk. And it was Rivera Live. He was the one who brought me in and had me substitute host for him. And then I wound up doing hosting for all kinds of different shows on MSNBC and CNBC.

Christopher Rice: Right, right.

Marcia Clark: But, you know, I have to tell you, it’s not a gig that really interests me at all, to be honest.

Christopher Rice: Really? Really? Interesting.

Marcia Clark: It’s fun to step in and be a guest and talk about the cases, but if you have to be there every day and talk about this stuff every day, five days a week…

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s the deceptive part of television. It’s like factory work. While the stories change for the audience it is the same gig, it’s a grind every day, every day, every day.

Marcia Clark: Yeah, yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I get that. I’ve done that kind of TV before and it’s still fun. It’s great. And it’s exciting and it’s a great career, but it is very repetitive. Despite the fact that the stories change, you’re really doing exactly the same thing.

Marcia Clark: Yeah. Like the Jodi Arias case. All of the cables were going crazy about this case, and I couldn’t have been more… What is there to talk about here?

Eric Shaw Quinn: She killed him, she did.

Marcia Clark: She did it, it was a horrific crime.

Eric Shaw Quinn: She did. She admits it, shoot her in the head.

Marcia Clark: We’re done.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Shoot her in the head and throw her in a ditch. I’m through with her.

Marcia Clark: Off with her head.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Off with her head.

Marcia Clark: That’s a different kind of court. It’s an interesting court.

Christopher Rice: Marie Antoinette over here. We have a question that relates to what we were talking about. Not the off-with-her-head part, but Alan Fogg.

Eric Shaw Quinn: But we could probably work that back in.

Christopher Rice: One of our party people, Alan Fogg, has said, “Marcia, you’ve had so much success in several areas,” and he’d like to know whether you always plan to try different fields or whether you took the opportunities as they came up. Obviously, we know you don’t really like the hosting gig.

Marcia Clark: Yeah, we’ve nixed one of them.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah, covered that.

Marcia Clark: But I did do that. I kind of take things as they come along. I didn’t expect to do different stuff, and I certainly didn’t plan to be an author. When I was a kid, it was a childhood dream to write fiction. I loved murder mysteries, loved Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, to be fair.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Nancy Drew. Loved Nancy Drew.

Marcia Clark: Loved that stuff. I was always addicted to crime, but I never thought I could earn a living at it. And then I just did.

Christopher Rice: Right. Absolutely.

Marcia Clark: I mean, I finally took the leap because it was one of those things now or never. Live the dream.

Christopher Rice: And we’ll talk about that more when we come back. We’re going to take a short break for one of our lovely sponsors, and then we’ll be back with Marcia Clark.

[comedy sketch]

Christopher Rice: Welcome back to The Dinner Party Show. I’m Christopher Rice.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And I’m Eric Shaw Quinn.

Christopher Rice: And we are still here with the lovely Marcia Clark, a Dinner Party Show favorite.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Princess of NBC.

Christopher Rice: Princess of NBC.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I called her Queen of NBC and I got corrected.

Christopher Rice: Really?

Eric Shaw Quinn: I got called down by the DA, had words for me.

Christopher Rice: We have a lot we want to talk about. We were talking about your process of becoming an author. We had somebody ask if you had always planned to do this.

Eric Shaw Quinn: The beloved Nancy Drew. My way into writing.

Marcia Clark: She’s 85 years old.

Eric Shaw Quinn: God, I loved the Nancy Drew books.

Christopher Rice: Oh, she’s a mean drunk I hear. Did you know there’s a Nancy Drew Appreciation Society? I met them at Bouchercon in San Francisco, which is the World Mystery Conference. They had a table set up. I bought you, I think, a pencil pouch, Eric Shaw Quinn, with Nancy Drew on it.

Marcia Clark: A pencil pouch? Everyone needs a pencil pouch. Absolutely.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I have all kinds. have notepads and pencil pouches. And I have a purse. I have a Nancy Drew purse. Is that the pencil pouch that we’re talking about, with the illustration on it?

Christopher Rice: I don’t know. I didn’t realize you had that…

Marcia Clark: Probably. Did you get the Nancy Drew watch? I got that.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I don’t have that.

Marcia Clark: I shopped. I shopped.

Christopher Rice: I’m not actually as big a fan of Nancy Drew as you two, so you guys could run with this if you’d like.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s a wonderful childhood memory. I used to love it. I would wake up on a summer morning and I could literally read an entire Nancy Drew book before I got up. And it would not be that late in the day. It would be before noon. I could literally lie there for a couple of hours and read the whole mystery. And there were maps, Loved when there were maps. Or floor plans.

Marcia Clark: Floor plans. So cool.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And there were all of these solvable clues and she was cool and…

Christopher Rice: Was there math, too?

Marcia Clark: No, no math. No math. No math.

Eric Shaw Quinn: No math.

Marcia Clark:

No train A, train B. No, no.

Eric Shaw Quinn: No math.

Christopher Rice: No math.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I would’ve put the book right down if there was any math.

Marcia Clark: It was good.

Christopher Rice: You’re a writer because of Nancy Drew.

Marcia Clark: Yeah, I guess that’s it. She’s my muse. There came a point after I had been writing with a partner, writing scripts for television, one hour dramas. And then I thought, “You know what? I really want to write a novel and I really want to go do my thing.” And I did. And I didn’t just get published, it wasn’t just like, “I think I’ll write a book. Oh, look, I’m published.” I wish. There were a couple of…

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s hard.

Marcia Clark: The efforts that preceded…

Christopher Rice: That was more my story, for obvious reasons. But anyway, go on. Anyway, I had to say it.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s hard for most of us.

Marcia Clark:

Did you write… I wrote a few books that got into the fireplace because I did not want any chance that anybody would ever see them.

Eric Shaw Quinn:

That sounds like a Nancy Drew title, “Into the Fireplace” with Nancy Drew.

Christopher Rice: No, I didn’t. I wrote a bunch of screenplays that went nowhere, and a lot of them morphed into my first book. But anyway, we’re talking about you. But yeah, there’s a process there.

Marcia Clark: But that’s cool, see, they found a way.

Christopher Rice: And I think if I kept my name off of it, who knows how long it would’ve taken to get published. We look what we just saw with JK Rowling. The mystery that she wrote under a pen name and nobody knew that sold 3000 copies.

Eric Shaw Quinn: That’s such a riot.

Marcia Clark: Yeah.

Christopher Rice: Joe Hill, Stephen King’s son, kept his identity private, and I think he had four manuscripts that didn’t sell.

Marcia Clark: It’s a very tough market, crime fiction.

Christopher Rice: It’s important, I think, to tell people that you were not some ghostwritten celebrity.

Marcia Clark: No, no.

Christopher Rice: You actually wrote this book, you wrote many drafts of it, you worked on it for a long time with your agent, and you’ve had a lot of people kind of say, “I thought it was going to be some ghostwritten thing.” Not that there’s anything against ghostwriters, Eric Shaw Quinn, who was a very successful ghostwriter.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I haven’t had a ghostwriter.

Christopher Rice: You were the ghost writer is all I was saying.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I was the most visible ghostwriter in the history of writing. The only ghostwriter whose hiring was announced on the Jay Leno Tonight program.

Christopher Rice: That’s very true.

Marcia Clark: Oh my God, seriously?

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah. The drunken whore that I was working with, who’s on the show being interviewed, he said, “Do you write a little bit every day?” Or whatever. And she said, “Oh, no, we hired Eric Shaw Quinn to ghostwrite it for me.” And he said, “You’re not supposed to know who it is, if you hire a ghostwriter.” And she said, “Oh, no, I’ve totally met him.”

Marcia Clark: I kind of love that she did that.

Eric Shaw Quinn: To her credit, she went out of her way. She said, “If I make a secret of it, it’s just one more thing for people to find out.”

Marcia Clark: Yes.

Christopher Rice: Right.

Eric Shaw Quinn: To hark back to an earlier conversation, get over the secrets. She just wasn’t having it.

Christopher Rice: Yeah.

Marcia Clark: Pretty cool.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I signed documents saying that I would take it to the grave. And she…

Marcia Clark: And there she was.

Eric Shaw Quinn: She outed me on Jay Leno and then took the cover picture with the two of us herself. That wound up on the cover of the book.

Marcia Clark: I love that, gave you credit.

Eric Shaw Quinn: There was so much of that experience that was wonderful. It would’ve been nice if she’d paid me. I really would’ve liked to have been paid.

Marcia Clark: What? You didn’t get paid?

Eric Shaw Quinn: No.

Christopher Rice: We could do a whole show about this story.

Marcia Clark: Oh, no, here we go.

Christopher Rice: I poked that box.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Okay, Miss Thing, my lawyer is here now and she’s coming for you.

Christopher Rice: Yeah exactly. Check out Marcia Clark.

Eric Shaw Quinn: She doesn’t have money. She can’t pay taxes, for God’s sake.

Christopher Rice: Yeah, yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: The government is ahead of me in line, and I don’t expect to be able to cut in front of them.

Marcia Clark: No, you lose when the government is ahead of you in line.

Christopher Rice: Yeah, absolutely.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I’m not going to be able to cut in front of them. So one day, maybe she’ll, I don’t know, win Powerball or something, and I can get paid.

Marcia Clark: Keep your eyes open.

Christopher Rice: Anyway, but you did not have a ghostwriter. That was my very long way of saying that.

Marcia Clark: No, I did it myself. I did it myself. That’s the whole point of doing it, is to do it myself. But I did run into a number of booksellers who were very skeptical and say, “Did you really write this?” And actually, one of them actually wrote to my publisher, the head of the company of Little Brown, and said, “I will not carry this book unless you promise me, personally, in writing, that she actually wrote this book.” And she liked the book. The good news is…

Christopher Rice: Who the fuck was that? I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Let’s not actually say on the show. We’ll ask later, but wow, that’s a lot.

Christopher Rice: Oh my God.

Marcia Clark: And he wrote back, he said, “She did. She really did.” But that just speaks to what you said, people did have… The third one is the Hollywood book, Killer Ambition.

Christopher Rice: Oh cool.

Marcia Clark: The Hollywood book. And in this one, Rachel Knight, who is our series character, she’s the DA and her buddy, the intrepid Detective Bailey Keller of the Robbery Homicide division, and Toni LaCollette, the fashionista other special trials prosecutor. And they go to trial.

Christopher Rice: Excellent. Over a Hollywood murder case.

Marcia Clark: Over a Hollywood murder case. They prosecute a big Hollywood power player.

Christopher Rice: Excellent.

Eric Shaw Quinn: What a stretch for you, Marcia. Really had to reach on that one.

Marcia Clark: I did so much research, I’m just saying.

Christopher Rice: We’re going to take a very short break for one of our new and much fore-shortened tech promos, and then we’ll be back here for the dessert portion of the evening.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Maybe you won’t enjoy it, but we’ll enjoy it more quickly.

Christopher Rice: Oh, look, Jordan Ampersand is here. I was jumping the gun.

Eric Shaw Quinn: That’s so great.

Christopher Rice: Excellent. And then we’ll be back with Marcia Clark.

[comedy sketch]

Christopher Rice: Welcome back to The Dinner Party Show already in progress.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I was just rapping.

Christopher Rice: Eric Shaw Quinn was rapping during the break. Let’s do some of your rap, Eric.

[Eric beatboxes]

Christoher Rice: Rapping, courtesy of 1984.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I’m told that they don’t do that anymore. I’m really relieved. I have to say, not a big…

Christopher Rice: Our guest is Marsha Clark. She has the patience of a saint. What happened with Jordan? How did Jordan get into the studio without us? We usually let him in.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I think somebody left the place open. I have no idea. I’m just relieved they didn’t burn things down while they were here. Really, you have to do something about him.

Christopher Rice: Okay. But, well, I try, but what… Was there something about a truck?

Eric Shaw Quinn: I think maybe… Oh, man.

Christopher Rice: We’ll let our party people once again guess what happened to Jordan Ampersand at the end of that unfortunate report. And we’ll move on from him, back to Marcia Clark. Before we went away for Jordan’s report, we were talking about your book, Killer Ambition, the third in the Rachel Knight series, which you have written. And it’s a Hollywood murder case that they tackle. A little close to home.

Marcia Clark: Yeah, I just thought that it would be fun.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Speaking of wedge, what do you think of, what’s-his-name getting a parole here recently?

Marcia Clark: What can I say about that? Is there anything to say about that?

Eric Shaw Quinn: I was more worried about the other prisoners. Good for the other prisoners that they don’t have to put up with him anymore.

Marcia Clark: Oh, I’ve heard he’s very popular. Seriously. Seriously, yeah. Very popular.

Christopher Rice: He runs the best card game on the block, is that?

Marcia Clark: Or something.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Whatever. I don’t want to know.

Marcia Clark: They can watch football with him, and he can tell them stories and stuff. Yeah, he’s doing very well.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Whatever.

Marcia Clark: But the setup is that it’s the daughter of a megastar director, like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, like that, gets abducted. She’s abducted. And as they pursue that case, the director himself pays the ransom, thinks that’s going to get his daughter back. It doesn’t. And that’s when they call in Bailey and Rachel, and they start pursuing the case. And it leads to murder, of course murder’s involved, and a long buried secret that it inspired all of it that got the ball rolling.

Christopher Rice: Very cool. It is a bigger book than the last two, right? It’s a little bit heftier.

Marcia Clark: I think it is, and so it doubles as a deadly weapon. And so if you’re in a park and somebody wants to have sex…

Eric Shaw Quinn: You want to defend yourself…

Marcia Clark: You can use the book.

Christopher Rice: “Are you from the Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Department?” “Yes.” [KONK]

Marcia Clark: “Yes, I am.” Exactly.

Christopher Rice: Well, that’s good.

Eric Shaw Quinn: What’s your process? Do you figure out the ending first or… I’m actually working with an editor on my first murder mystery now. How do you go about it? How do you go about putting together your murder mysteries?

Marcia Clark: I always start with a kernel of what is interesting to me. In this particular case, it was a location right up in the Santa Monica Mountains called God’s Seat. You have to climb way to the top, which I actually did, and then you can see it’s a vista that gives you all of the valley and all of the ocean. It’s an amazing spot. And thinking about that and thinking about what could happen, a murder up there, that kind of thing.

Christopher Rice: Right, right.

Marcia Clark: From there, I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the craziness of Hollywood life among the very, very rich, because it’s a world that…

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s so weird.

Marcia Clark: You guys know, it’s crazy. No one lives like this. The assistants have assistants. And having to deal with them as a DA, you’re a civil servant, and all you want to do is sit down and interview a witness. But for them, no. You have five minutes between 12:35 and 12:40 if the rest of the world…

Eric Shaw Quinn: On Skype.

Marcia Clark: You don’t understand. You’re a witness in a murder case. You have to meet with me.

Eric Shaw Quinn: There’s no sense of…

Marcia Clark: That’d be fun.

Christopher Rice: We went through it in this neighborhood when Paris Hilton would not go back to jail when they were like, “Yeah, we’re not negotiating this with you. You have to go back to jail.” And she wouldn’t leave her house. We had about five helicopters parked over this very neighborhood where we do the show…

Eric Shaw Quinn: Directly overhead.

Christopher Rice: At seven in the morning.

Marcia Clark: Oh my God.

Christopher Rice: And let me just tell you, the gay sympathy for Paris Hilton went out the window.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Out the window.

Marcia Clark: Out the window. As it should. Wake me up.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Get in the car and take the helicopters with you.

Christopher Rice: It’s that sense of entitlement among the celebrities. “I get treated differently by law enforcement.” It’s like, no, you get treated differently by juries, apparently.

Marcia Clark: Apparently, yeah. That’s a different story. Law enforcement won’t do it.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s a lack of connection to reality. We live in a very unreal place where people live in unreal expectations of the world.

Marcia Clark: Yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And then when reality intrudes, they continue to respond in this very unreal way.

Marcia Clark: They don’t get it. They don’t get it. They don’t get that these laws actually apply to everybody equally. And you’re not special, and you’re not a sacred cow, and you actually have to show up in my office, and you have to obey your subpoena and all that. It’s kind of a weird… They can’t deal with it.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Or, so you’ve heard. You haven’t had any actual personal experience.

Marcia Clark: No, I don’t know anyone like that. But they tell me.

Christopher Rice: Of course not. That’s how it is on Major Crimes.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Or Modern Crime, as I call it.

Christopher Rice: You always call it Modern Crime. You make it sound like a musical from the Twenties. Anyway, so that informs the book.

Marcia Clark: That informs the book. And then she gets involved because it’s a major Hollywood power player, big wealthy and famous guy that she’s prosecuting, it becomes a big media circus. And so what the trial is like, and then the rollercoaster ride of the trial itself. And I tried to show the fact that the rollercoaster starts with jury selection. Jury selection is in itself a nail-biter.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Circus.

Marcia Clark: And I tried to show that, what it’s like, the strategies that’s involved. It’s not just who’s sitting in front of you, but who’s sitting out there in the pool. If I kick one guy who’s sitting right in front of me, am I going to wind up with something worse in the pool and that kind of thing.

Christopher Rice: Right.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Sure.

Marcia Clark: Most people don’t know about that, so I really showed the trial from start to finish.

Eric Shaw Quinn: What did you think of the jury selection joke, that the Trayvon Martin defense attorney started with?

Marcia Clark: Knock knock. Who’s there?

Eric Shaw Quinn: I get the joke, but it’s like really? Really? Just now, really?

Christopher Rice: Let’s tell the joke for our listeners who may not have heard it. Knock, knock. Who’s there?

Marcia Clark: George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman.

Christopher Rice: George Zimmerman who?

Marcia Clark: You’re on the jury.

Eric Shaw Quinn: You’re on the jury. If you’re the one who doesn’t know who George Zimmerman is, you’re on the jury.

Marcia Clark: Then we want you.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Because nobody doesn’t know. Ha ha.

Marcia Clark: I have to say, I kept hearing all these commentators talking about the genius defense attorneys, and I did not think they were geniuses. I saw…

Eric Shaw Quinn: I think they were lucky.

Marcia Clark: I thought they were… Well, however you feel about the verdict, I think it cannot be denied that the prosecution had a tough case. This was not a slam dunk. And anytime you have a self-defense case with no other witnesses, the other witness is dead, you’re going to have a difficult case. It’s uphill.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It helps when you killed the other witness.

Marcia Clark: Yeah. Then yours is the only voice.

Eric Shaw Quinn: One of the things, and we talked about this briefly before we came back with… I honestly feel like part of the problem is that we are reacting to the… It’s putting court on television. I’m reacting at my house like I’m watching a television show, but a courtroom is nothing like a television show. There are no camera pans, there are no closeups, it’s this endless, boring recitative of facts and…

Marcia Clark: I think they feel a burden. It’s serious to them. They’re deciding someone’s fate…

Eric Shaw Quinn: Right.

Marcia Clark: …and their decision’s going to affect someone’s life very seriously. And so hopefully that affects them. The puzzle, to me, the interesting… And I have not resolved the question in my own mind, is how much do the cameras in the courtroom affect them? They know they’re there. They don’t see them, they bury the camera in the wall. You’d say “eye in the wall.” Usually don’t see. They’re not sitting there on tripods. But how are they affected by their awareness that the whole world is watching? Does this make them more or less likely to take the law into their own hands? Or more afraid of imposing, more afraid of convicting? I’m not sure. I do know that it affects witnesses, lawyers, and judges, as we’ve seen.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Oh, God knows. You’ve seen, personally. I honestly felt like that judge was auditioning for a film in that particular trial from way back when.

Marcia Clark: Oh, in Zimmerman…

Eric Shaw Quinn: No.

Christopher Rice: No, that other one we were talking about.

Marcia Clark: That other one, oh yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: The other one. The one where you became, officially, That Marcia Clark.

Marcia Clark: That Marcia Clark. He sat down for a five part interview that aired on, what was it, Channel 4 or something?

Eric Shaw Quinn: It was the most shameless.

Marcia Clark: It was crazy. That was crazy.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It was the most ridiculous. Yeah, he was ridiculous.

Marcia Clark: But you know the good news, ever since then, the judges have not been that way.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Good because it made him look really bad.

Marcia Clark: Have you noticed? Judge Nelson in Casey Anthony, he was awesome. He was amazing, I loved him. This judge, too. Although, here’s the thing. I loved her demeanor. She shut things down…

Eric Shaw Quinn: The fight she got in with that guy of like, “I am asking a… I have heard you and it is overruled.”

Marcia Clark: “I have ruled. I have ruled do not continue to argue after I have ruled.” Which is good. You want a judge to control her court that way. But here’s the thing. She did, in my opinion, make a mistake that might have been the crucial thing that really broke the prosecution’s case in half.

Eric Shaw Quinn: What was that?

Marcia Clark: And it was this. In California… We have the same laws they do, by the way, stand your ground.

Christopher Rice: We do? Jesus.

Marcia Clark: We do. Many states do.

Eric Shaw Quinn: 23.

Marcia Clark: It’s not the stand your ground law that is the issue, really. They didn’t even rely on it in Zimmerman. It wasn’t the issue there. But part of the law here is the judge will read the instruction. If you find that the defendant was the initial aggressor in the case, he was the one who threw the first punch or he was the one who began the confrontation, then he does not have a right to use lethal force in self-defense until he has made an effort to withdraw, stop everything, and announced his intention to withdraw and the person who’s the victim kept coming at him. Then he regains the right of self-defense. That initial aggressor law was not given to the jury in Zimmerman. The prosecution requested it, and she refused.

Christopher Rice: Why did she refuse?

Marcia Clark: I don’t know. I don’t know. And she didn’t… If you see the ruling, and you can find the clip, it’s findable on the web. She just said, “That’s my ruling. I understand the prosecution wants it. The defense doesn’t. I’m not going to give it. Period.” And that, to me, was one of the worst rulings I’ve ever seen.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Because that really does, I think, affect the jury’s decision.

Marcia Clark: It gutted their case. Yeah, of course. To what degree the jury was really guided by the law versus their gut-level feeling that they agreed with Zimmerman’s entire defense and they bought it hook, line, and sinker and it wouldn’t have mattered what jury instructions they got, I don’t know. And we’ll never know, I think.

Christopher Rice: But that effectively bars the prosecution from saying the same thing.

Marcia Clark: Yeah. It bars the prosecution from saying, “Hey, if you believe that George Zimmerman got out of his truck, if you believe that George Zimmerman then confronted Trayvon Martin, if you believe that George Zimmerman made an aggressive move towards Trayvon Martin, then you must find that George Zimmerman did not have the right to use that gun in self-defense.”

Christopher Rice: Right, right.

Marcia Clark: Because he was the initial aggressor.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And he was.

Marcia Clark: And there was evidence to back it up. You had Rachel Jeantel saying he was saying “This guy’s following me. He’s following me.”

Christopher Rice: He’s following me, right.

Marcia Clark: Heard him say, “What are you doing here?” And then “Get off me.” Trayvon is saying, “Get off me.” I thought that’s plenty of evidence to justify the instruction.

Christopher Rice: Yeah. Jesus.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s one of the most… It just tore me up. And then the President’s address of it was, I thought, timely and well-measured.

Marcia Clark: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Eric Shaw Quinn: In responding to, but also kind of calling the question of really, at what point is it a crime to follow some kid… If you are the… What was it? Neighborhood watch guy. It’s your job to see Trayvon gets home safe.

Christopher Rice: Just he lived in that neighborhood.

Eric Shaw Quinn: He was just going home.

Marcia Clark: He lived in the neighborhood. The thing is to say to him, and he never did, and he admitted he never did, “I’m Neighborhood Watch. I just want to know if you live here. What are you doing here?” And he did say, according to Jeantel, she heard somebody say, “What are you doing here?” And Trayvon responded. And then there was a tussle. That’s when it all happened. But he didn’t identify himself as a neighborhood watch guy. And it seems to me that would’ve been number…

Christopher Rice: Sounds predatory to not identify yourself in that way. “I’m Neighborhood Watch. I want to know what you’re doing in this alley.”

Eric Shaw Quinn: Stalking people. I had a thing where years ago, I was going home to my parents. I was driving down the hill. It was at night. I had the top down on the car and I stopped under a stoplight to close the top because I knew the lights wouldn’t be on. It wouldn’t be bright enough in my parents’ driveway. And the radio was on, and it disturbed one of the neighbors. I’m still sorry. If you’re listening, I’m still sorry. Really didn’t mean to do that. But he just came up to my car with a flashlight and said, with light in my eye, “What are you doing here?” And I said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to disturb you. I’m going down the street.” It was a civil response, but I thought even in the moment of you don’t know who I am, I might have just shot you.

Marcia Clark: Oh yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I just thought it was really a questionable choice.

Marcia Clark: Very questionable.

Eric Shaw Quinn: The whole question of this case is, as you said on MSNBC, and as we’ve talked about before, and as I have said a million times is if you’d just stayed in the car, none of this would’ve happened.  think it’s good to have a sense of protecting your property and keeping an eye out on the neighborhood and that sort of thing. But confronting people? I’m not a really a threat, but that man didn’t know that.

Marcia Clark: He didn’t know that…

Eric Shaw Quinn: A light in my eyes and “What are you doing here?” Oh, my God. And bam, and I’m gone. And what happened to him?

Marcia Clark: That’s right. That’s right.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Who knows. Really not a good call.

Marcia Clark: No, not a good call. Zimmerman was somebody who was obviously… He admits he was strapped to go to Target. I mean, who does this? This is a guy, he’s like a walking time bomb, he’s got loaded gun that he’s carrying around with him all the time. I understand he had a permit. But this is what it leads to.

Eric Shaw Quinn: God, I hate everybody having a gun. I just hate everybody having a gun. I know it’s in the Constitution. And no, I’m not arguing with everybody’s rights, but I really don’t care. I really just don’t care. If he hadn’t had a gun, it would’ve been unpleasant, but everybody would be fine.

Marcia Clark: Or let’s say for a moment, okay, that is the law. I’m accepting it for what it is right now. But then you have to have more responsibility. You have to actually be more restrained. More restrained. Because when he got out of that truck, he knew he had lethal force. He knew. Trayvon didn’t know.

Eric Shaw Quinn: He wasn’t conducting himself as though…

Marcia Clark: When you know have that, then you have to actually be more responsible. You have to be the one who pulls back, who finds every reason not to confront, as opposed to what he did.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Or you make it clear, you walk up and you show them the gun, and you say, “What are you doing in this neighborhood?” Nobody’s going to punch you in the face.

Marcia Clark: No, but that can actually engender something even more dangerous. You don’t know what the reaction’s going to be when somebody sees a gun. They can panic, they can grab it, and then it goes off.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I don’t think you should have been a gun there.

Marcia Clark: The first thing, don’t approach him.

Eric Shaw Quinn: But he didn’t know. Yes.

Christopher Rice: Don’t get out of the car.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Don’t get out of the car.

Marcia Clark: Don’t get out of the car. Let the police come.

Christopher Rice: Am I correct in this, the thing that had inspired George Zimmerman to be so on edge was a series of burglaries?

Marcia Clark: Yes.

Christopher Rice: Not a series of murders, not a series of rapes, not a series of physical assaults, a series of burglaries.

Marcia Clark: Burglaries.

Christopher Rice: That’s when you involve law enforcement, I’m sorry.

Marcia Clark: Yes.

Christopher Rice: Now, if I thought somebody was going down the alleyway to kill or rape my mother, maybe it would’ve been a different story. But that’s not the situation that was described by anybody here.

Marcia Clark: No, he was…

Christopher Rice: And man, this was the ugliest damn thing I’ve ever seen on Twitter. This whole case, everything about it.

Marcia Clark: Yeah true.

Christopher Rice: All the fake profiles propping up of just absolute, unmitigated racism. And I can’t think of a worse case to be discussed in that medium, where you only have 150 characters per response. But goddamn, people were determined to do it. And I mean, people I respected, like Melissa Harris-Perry and Goldie Taylor, and all these activists were getting in there on Twitter where there’s no depth and there’s no context and you can’t… I guess it was ugly everywhere, but I saw it particularly in that form of social media. And I just saw people just reinforcing their own beliefs and not changing anybody’s mind.

Marcia Clark: It’s true. It’s so absolutely true. You’re so right, Chris and I couldn’t believe…Twitter exploded with some of the nastiest stuff I’ve ever seen. And then you see these trolls, they create profiles for no other reason than to sling mud at people. And you can tell they have three followers or whatever.

Christopher Rice: Right, right.

Marcia Clark: They don’t exist, really.

Eric Shaw Quinn: They appeared this morning.

Marcia Clark: It’s just disgusting. I understand now that actually Twitter has put a new rule out. Have you heard about that?

Christopher Rice: It’s changing, yeah. There will be a report button the way there is on Facebook, and they are already shutting down profiles.

Marcia Clark: Yes. And that’s good. The only thing I worry about is people abusing the report button.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Of course. The trolls will actually use the report button to go after people who…

Marcia Clark: To harass people, yeah. As long as you have this anonymous way of getting in there to just throw mud at people and sling shit, basically, you’re going to have these trolls that just love to do that. That’s all they… And I actually had a couple of people reach out on Twitter really looking for an explanation, really trying to engage me and talk about stand your ground and stuff.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I have to say, your work on this was incredibly insightful. I’m with Lawrence, incredibly insightful and great. The problem is I react as the modern crime watcher, I don’t react as a lawyer. And to hear your reasoned response to so much of what was going on, because it does get confusing and it is my tendency to respond from emotion rather than from the law. From what are the nature of what’s actually possible? What’s being discussed? What are the real issues here? You have been incredibly helpful to me…

Marcia Clark: Thank you, thank you.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And to everybody watching.

Christopher Rice: We have a question for you from our page. One of our party people, John Matson, wants to know if George Zimmerman could be retried on the basis of the fact that nobody read that initial aggressor crime into the record or because of the judge’s ruling. Is that grounds for an appeal for Trayvon Martin’s family?

Marcia Clark: No, the prosecution can never appeal. Double jeopardy, right?

Christopher Rice: Can’t try again.

Marcia Clark: Once someone is acquitted in a jury trial, the state cannot retry him. The feds could. The feds can try him if they want to, but I’m betting they won’t.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And the family is going to…

Christopher Rice: The civil suit will [inaudible 00:30:47]

Eric Shaw Quinn: He doesn’t have any money, but… Yeah, they’ll win, but what can they really get from him? It’s not like he’s a millionaire or something. The book deal…

Marcia Clark: Exactly. And I think I heard that the housing… The place where the…

Eric Shaw Quinn: The homeowner’s association.

Marcia Clark: Thank you. I lost the word for a second. The homeowner’s association already paid off to the Martin family. They did, I think, settle immediately.

Christopher Rice:

Wow. We have another question. We got so swept up in our Trayvon Martin discussion. Christopher Ott would like to know if you feel that high profile, highly-publicized cases are tougher to prosecute. I think we talked about some of that, but is the actual prosecution once you’re in the courtroom, tougher?

Marcia Clark:

Yeah. It’s tough from start to finish. There is no question about it. And from the prosecutor’s standpoint, what’s the toughest thing is really the way it affects the witnesses. Witnesses come forward who really don’t have a story to tell, but just want the limelight.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Right right. What was his name?

Marcia Clark: Witnesses avoid the limelight because they don’t…

Christopher Rice: Kato Kaelin.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Kato Kaelin.

Christopher Rice: If you say his name three times, he appears in your guest house.

Eric Shaw Quinn: My favorite.

Marcia Clark:You don’t have to say it that many times.

Christopher Rice: Because the jury is sequestered maybe, but the rest of you aren’t. The witnesses aren’t, the lawyers aren’t.

Marcia Clark: Right right.

Christopher Rice: It’s impossible to have that barrier between what’s going on about the case and the media and what you’re trying to do in the courtroom.

Marcia Clark: True. And then you have people who really don’t want to be involved, but do have information that is necessary, and they don’t come forward. Because they don’t want to be trashed in the limelight, they don’t want to have the experience.

Eric Shaq Quinn: They don’t want to be dragged through…

Marcia Clark: The other part is having a sequestered jury. I don’t think that’s so good for justice.

Christopher Rice: Really?

Marcia Clark: Yeah. I really don’t.

Christopher Rice: Tell us about that.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Wow.

Marcia Clark: Jury sequestration started back in the day when they were concerned about jurors’ safety, because they were prosecuting mobsters who would try to whack them or bribe them or whatever. And so it was for their protection. But now, it’s the opposite. Now we sequester juries because we don’t trust them. Think about it.

Christopher Rice: Right.

Marcia Clark: The reason that we lock them up in these hotel rooms, and believe me, this is no picnic. We lock them up so that they can’t see the news. They can’t see all of us talking heads and all the rest of it. And of course, you don’t want a jury to do that, but in the process, I think you skew the actual dynamic of juries. And this is not just coming from me. I actually consulted with jury experts and some psychologists about this who say that the experience of living together that way kind of rubs off all your corners. And you try to become… People have an effort, even if it’s subconscious, to be more homogeneous, more like one another.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Pack mentality, sure.

Christopher Rice: Interesting. So you don’t get voices of dissent in your jury pool when you need them.

Marcia Clark: Right, exactly. People lose their individuality because they can’t go home and reassert their identity. They’re stuck, they’re forced into that unnatural situation.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Oh, that’s really an interesting point.

Christopher Rice: That’s interesting. Interesting.

Marcia Clark: It’s hard from every point of view.

Christopher Rice: Yeah, absolutely. Christopher Ott would also like to know when a high profile defendant is acquitted, and there is public outrage, do you feel vindicated? If you were the prosecutor, obviously. Is the public outrage over…

Marcia Clark: Oh, I see. Over an acquittal?

Christopher Rice: Well, “At least they knew I was right.”

Marcia Clark: At least they knew. Yeah, he’s got a point there. There is. At a point in the trial, for me anyway, it was really, really clear just watching the jury. You could see their body language. They would lean forward when Johnny stood up, they would lean back when we stood up, and it was impossible. So I knew that we wouldn’t convince them, but I did think, “Well, at least the rest of the world will see.”

Christopher Rice: Absolutely. Well, Marcia Clark-

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah, there’s that.

Christopher Rice: This has been lovely, having you on.

Marcia Clark: It’s always a pleasure.

Christopher Rice: We would have you on every show if we could, but we know you’re a busy lady. You got a lot to do. A lot of MSNBC to do, a lot of books to write.

Marcia Clark: Books to write. We got to write books.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Tough to be the Princess, then there’s the book.

Marcia Clark: I can’t wait to read your book, Chris.

Christopher Rice: Absolutely. I’ve finished it, so it’ll be out October 15th.

Marcia Clark: Yee-haw.

Christopher Rice: Anyway, thank you so much.

Marcia Clark: Thank you. It was fun.

Christopher Rice: Stick around, we’ll get a picture with you out in the lobby, as we always do. And in the meantime, we’re going to take a short break for… Well, isn’t this appropriate? It’s a tourism board ad for the State of Florida.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Which you might want to put on your headset for.

Marcia Clark: I can’t miss this one.

[comedy sketch]

Christopher Rice: Welcome back to the Dinner Party Show. I’m Christopher Rice.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And I’m Eric Shaw Quinn.

Christopher Rice: And Marcia Clark had to stay and listen to our special spot from the State of Florida.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It was just a very special moment.

Marcia Clark: That is so good.

Eric Shaw Quinn: We needed to share it. Thank you, very much. It has been a very special show.

Christopher Rice: It sure has been. And next week we will not have a guest because our party people are going to be the guests again.

Eric Shaw Quinn: That’s right. We haven’t been ignoring you. We’ve just had other people in the dining room.

Christopher Rice: In the dining room. We don’t want you guys to feel neglected.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s a chance for you to come up with your own questions and the news articles you want us to talk about. It’s all about you, babe.

Christopher Rice: Absolutely. So visit our Facebook page all week long and post the topics you want us to cover.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Just stay there.

Christopher Rice: Post embarrassing questions for Eric Shaw Quinn.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Or Christopher Rice.

Christopher Rice: Ask him how many times he’s been to the bathroom… I don’t, there’s nothing embarrassing about me. Nothing’s embarrassing at all..

Eric Shaw Quinn: I’m always embarrassed when I’m with you.

Christopher Rice: That’s because I always burp on the air.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Oh, that’s so horrifying.

Christopher Rice: It’s horrifying. I didn’t do it once tonight.

Eric Shaw Quinn: No, it really is. He burps like Barney from The Simpsons. It’s just horrifying.

Christopher Rice: The walk over here…

Eric Shaw Quinn: The drapes blow.

Christopher Rice: The walk over here was one long continuous burp, so I think I got it out of my system.

Eric Shaw Quinn: That’s lovely.

Christopher Rice: I think I got it out of my system.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Face farts. It’s just horrifying.

Christopher Rice: It’s even better when you describe it in such an explicit manner, Eric Shaw Quinn.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Thank you. I’m writer for a reason.

Christopher Rice: You’re a writer…

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s the power of the English language. So tune in next week for Christopher’s burps and your questions.

Christopher Rice: Yeah, absolutely. What else? We have some guests coming up later in the year, but we don’t care about them right now because we’re doing this now.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Because it’s all about you, babe. It’s really, it’s all about you.

Christopher Rice: It’s really, we’ll bring guests in and then we’ll find ways to talk about our books, which is how we usually do the show.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Right. Which is what we always do. It’s really all about us.

Christopher Rice: I may be jumping the gun a little bit here, but we do have one party person who has already made his entry into the contest of guess what happened to Jordan Ampersand. And that is Alan Fogg. And he believes that Adam Fitzgerald, the poet, hit Jordan Ampersand as he was leaving the studio. If you’ve been with us all night, you will know why that’s funny because a guest that was supposed to be with us tonight was unable to because of a car accident. He is okay.

Eric Shaw Quinn: We’re very happy to say.

Christopher Rice: And that is what matters.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Sorry he wasn’t here, but he’s all right. Yet…

Christopher Rice: We are not laughing at an injured person.

Eric Shaw Quinn: But he’s a New Yorker trying to drive in Los Angeles. That’s all we’re going to say.

Christopher Rice: I once read on the blog LAist or LA-ist, or however you say it…

Eric Shaw Quinn: LAist?

Christopher Rice: LAist, that New Yorkers often tried to demonstrate how there were so much smarter than Angelinos by not being able to get around a city that wasn’t a rectangle.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s really, it’s a challenge.

Christopher Rice: It is, it’s a big challenge. I think we have one more act left in our show. I see something on the schedule, but I’m not really sure what it is.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Oh, wait a minute. Are we sure?

Christopher Rice: I don’t see, or maybe, let’s see. Hold on. Are the… Oh, no. Oh no.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I warned you. Okay, Marcia.

Christopher Rice: It’s the Restless Leg Dancers.

[Can-can music plays. Cat squeals. Ceramic and glass shatter.]

Eric Shaw Quinn: Get under the table now. Oh, God. Over here, Marcia.

Christopher Rice: Watch out for the cat.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Why do they always bring that cat? Ugh.

Christopher Rice: It’s the restless cat dancer.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Whose idea was it to have a dance troupe?

Christopher Rice: Yours. And I’m getting sick of it.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Because the china costs alone, my God.

Christopher Rice: Oh, the Restless Leg Dancers.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Oh. Are you all right, Marcia?

Marcia Clark: I’m okay, I think.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Thank goodness. Well, we’re all okay.

Christopher Rice: She doesn’t know what’s happening. Yeah, that’s awful. We should maybe end their contract. Do we have a clause or something?

Eric Shaw Quinn: We’re going to have to discuss it when we’re not on the air.

Christopher Rice: All right, all right. We’ll discuss it on the uncomfortable walk back to our respective homes. You’ve been listening to The Dinner Party Show. I’m Christopher Rice.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And I’m Eric Shaw Quinn.

Christopher Rice: And our special guest was Marcia Clark.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Thanks for being here, Marcia.

Christopher Rice: Thanks, Marcia.

Marcia Clark: Thanks you for having me. It’s always a pleasure.

Christopher Rice: And thanks to all you lovely party people out there in the dark, we’ll be with you next…

Eric Shaw Quinn: Any final thoughts, Christopher?

Christopher Rice: I have no final…I’m giving my final thought, which is I love our party people, and I just hope they don’t feel neglected. We’ll be back with you guys next week.

Eric Shaw Quinn: We’re always thinking about you, all the time.

Christopher Rice: Until then.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Thanks for listening.

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