tv News Nation MSNBC June 17, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT
is what he said before british prime minister david cameron in what's been described combative wording in a conference yesterday. >> as regards the supplies of weapons to the assad government and as regards to who has the blood of the children and peaceful citizens of syria, i believe you will not deny that the blood is on the hands of the both parties. >> joining me now to discuss the meeting live here in studio, former u.s. ambassador to nato and former undersecretary of state for political affairs under george w. bush nicholas burns and ryan walsh, senior editor of "time" magazine, thank you, gentlemen for joining us. let's start off with the comments from vladimir putin. "the new york times" categorized it as a combative style. brian, we wonder if that's the same style putin is using in the meeting right now with president obama regarding his assertion that blood is on both hands in
the civil war in syria. >> well he's never been hesitant busing that kind of language before either in front of cameras or behind closed doors i would imagine. certainly you see president putin has talked about he actually mentioned the fact about the famous cannibal video that we discovered initially. making it seem as if there's simply nothing that can be done. this is a case where any attempted intervention will only increase bloodshed and russia of course having those historic ties to assad, he doesn't want to see that happen, either. >> and you have david cameron also expressing concern over the opposition in who these people are. that ultimately the u.s. has said that these arms are in the pipelines to give them the small weapons needed. >> it's been the major problem for the united states and europe for the last two years. are there moderate rebel groups out there that we can believe in, that won't take the arms and put them on the black market? or use them against us eventually? that would be the problem with the radical groups. there's a consensus here among the british, the french that we
should arm the rebels. the issue is, will it be enough. the rebels are on the offensive. assad is being supplied by russia, iran and hezbollah. >> that's a certificate just topic to put on the back burner who the rebels are, in real-time with a we're discussing now is russia and their positioning and what is likely the conversation behind closed doors here. combined with the interesting dynamic of the relationship, brian, between putin and obama. >> yes. >> it's not the dmitry medvedev relationship that he allegedly had. >> this is a more combative relationship. and it sims as if president putin takes pleasure in being the fly in the oithment for the western alliance. >> i want to point this out, our first read team says it must be quite interesting for the president to have his fate in a sense in the hands of vladimir putin regarding this issue in syria. as we do, the united states needs him to be a player or a balanced player in this. >> that's true and it's, he has
not sent out a lot of signals that that's something he's very interested in doing it seems that it's going to draw the united states and russia into not a proxy war, but certainly i don't see a lot of evidence that president putin is someone who is very interested in bending on this issue. >> and ambassador, to the american public, we had a poll last week who showed a very small percent, 10%, that said they'd like to see -- not even boots on the ground. dennis mcdonough yesterday saying that the united states has gone into war before and this is not what they want to see this administration, i.e. boots on the ground. no one wants to see that right now. >> not surprising, the american public after iraq and afghanistan would be wary of another foreign entanglement in the meests, but here are the stakes for us. this is the heat of the middle east. there are a million and a half refugees in syria. we have do capacity not to put troops in, but we can use
political support, sanctions and arming the rebels, to at least the evening of the playing field. >> if you're looking at ammunitions that the u.s. is willing to put in, already have been said to be ineffective before one has been fired. and that what you need for air strikes, and tanks is not the rebels being armed with small ammunition. that's not the solution, that's why at the end of the week people were asking, too little, too late. >> some people have said that. >> many. >> that's right. but this is a long-term process, the rebels aren't going to go away. britain and france, qatar, saudi arabia, will be involved and it wouldn't surprise me to see the united states increase its military support over the next six to 12 months. >> but if putin retains the same tone we saw in the press conference with david cameron, what's the end game here? >> everything is linked in international politics. the russians need us on a lot of issues, they're going to want to work with us on iran, so the russias and americans may disagree on syria.
but you're not going 0 to see a deterioration of the relationship overall. >> what realistically do you think we're going to hear from these two men? >> disagreement on syria. and probably an agreement that we ought to go forward with negotiations with iran. now that the new iranian president. >> but since syria is the topic we're discussing, disagreement. we know that. does it end there? >> it doesn't end there. it continues. we, you know there's now an iranian-russia-hezbollah axis, versus the u.s.-arab. perhaps they'll want to go back to the idea of political talks between assad and the rebels. >> so no agreement on syria means a failure? >> no just another chapter in the very long-range drama. >> brian, another chapter to pick up on what the ambassador said is the information that came out from the admitted nsa leaker is that there was spying by the united states and great britain, the intelligence agencies eavesdropped in 2009.
how does this fact interior the behind-the-doors conversation between putin and obama right now. >> i presume people will be a little more careful in what internet cafes they're using in the g-8. countries do spy on one another, that's a given. >> you look into someone's medicine cabinet in the guest room. we all kind of know people do that. but you've been busted doing it. they know that this exists, we are at a time where eavesdropping is not something new, the technology is better than ever, but it's always existed. but the meeting coming at this time of the revelation. >> the timing is not great and certainly russia loves to look at what they see as western unfairness, saying one thing, doing something else, how much that will have an impact on the real meat of the negotiations, i can't see at this time. >> and nsa leaker, speaking of, edward snowden says president obama was a factor in his decision to release secret surveillance documents during an online, he actually held a q&a
online with the "guardian" newspaper that wrapped up only a short time ago. a writer asked why snowden wanted to release the information, even though he wanted to do so before president obama was elected. snowden wrote, that he had faith mr. obama would make good on campaign promises, but instead quote, he closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs and refused to spend the political capital to end the kinds of human rights violations we see in guantanamo bay. joining me now, nbc news national investigative correspondent, michael isikoff. what else did he say in this q&a? here's this man on the run and he's stopping somewhere in an internet cafe or somewhere to have this conversation. >> look, there's a public relations battle going on right now. over these surveillance programs. the intelligence community is putting out more and more information declassifying more and more. trying to show how justified they are.
and how dangerous edward snowden's leaks were. and snowden is pushing back. and trying to explain himself more, trying to provide more context of why he did what he did. trying to cloak himself in the mantle of the traditional whistleblower. so the comments about president obama were quite interesting, because they obviously went beyond his objections to the surveillance program, suggesting other matters, such as failure to close guantanamo. was one of the motivating factors behind him doing what he did. but in terms of some of the other questions, he made clear again that he views himself as a selective leaker. he said he did not leak anything involving traditional military targets. he pushed back quite hard against the suggestion that he's working with the chinese government. he said he went to hong kong because it provided what he called the cultural and legal framework for him to do what he
wanted to do. but that he's had no contact with the chinese government at all. he says i only work with journalists. >> let me read a part of what he said. the question specifically to him, michael was regard you seek giving classified to the chinese government. some are saying you didn't answer clearly, can you give a flat no? to which he replies no, i've had no contact with the chinese government, just like with the "guardian" and the "washington post," i only work with journalists which is what you said this as well, michael. there's been development of whether or not he's going to seek asylum or refuge in a different country. what are you hearing there? >> well, you know, in that question about why he went to hong kong, he was asked, instead of going to iceland, which does have this tradition of internet freedom. and he said he did express concerns that the icelandic government would be more susceptible to pressure from the u.s. government so he didn't feel entirely safe there he didn't really shed light on where if he is seeking asylum,
where he might do so. but there are a couple of other answers i just want to highlight, he was asked about other whistleblowers and the crackdown by the obama administration, against leaks in these other whistleblowers he mentioned, tom drake, who was indicted for leaking classified information out of the nsa and a few others. and he said these, what he called draconian crackdowns by the obama administration only led to more and more disclosures. and that's an observation that others have made. that when you do push back and try to crack down and prosecute these sort of leaks, there could be blow-back and it leads to a more and more leaks from others. >> and michael, he also said he was talking about not being silenced and he said all i can say right now is the u.s. government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing me, and then he goes on to say, or murdering me. the truth is coming out. >> well, there's clearly some
hyperbolic rhetoric that he uses at times that probably is not great for his credibility with the broader public. but like i said before, you're going to see over the next few days, more and more statements from people in the intelligence community, there's a hearing tomorrow, a house intelligence committee rodgers has called in which keith alexander and other top intelligence community officials are going to be testifying. and they're going to try to get, push out more information, showing the how these programs have worked, how they've led to foiling terrorist plots, the question though, when they do this is, are we getting the full story? they acknowledge they can't disclose operational details and the big question coming is could this information have been gotten through other ways, and that's, that one we're going to have to listen very closely to get, to see if we can get some real answers there. >> we will be listening in tomorrow. thank you very much, michael. in a few hours, the george zimmerman trial will focus once
again now on the battle over who is heard screaming for help in the background of a 911 tape from the night trayvon martin was killed. we'll get the latest on why this is back as a focus in this hearing. plus the supreme court strikes down arizona's controversial law, requiring voters to show proof of citizenship to vote. but still no decision on major cases like proposition 8, doma, affirmative action or the voting rights act. what's taking so long? we'll take a look at that. plus massachusetts senator, elizabeth warren slams the justices saying corporate interests are increasingly winning their day in court. >> follow this pro business trend to its logical conclusion and sooner or later you will end up with a supreme court that functions as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the chamber of commerce. i'm at twitter, @tamrynhall.
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welcome back, in a few hours, focus in the george zimmerman murder trial will shift from jury selection back to the screens for help heard back in the background of the 911 call made. defense will call a voice recognition expert who is expected to testify that analysis of the tape by two experts, two state experts should not be trusted. the state experts say the voice calling for help in not zimmerman, zimmerman has pleaded not guilty in the shooting death of 17-year-old trayvon martin last year. he claims self-defense. martin was unarmed. nbc's ron mott joins us from
sanford. at the beginning before jury selection, ron there was a great focus on this tape. and whose voice and those were witnesses from the prosecution at the time. now this has shifted to the defense. >> right. hey there, tamryn. the defense has one more person that they would like to call. they were hoping to try to get this hearing done this frye hearing done before jury selection. the judge was pretty adamant we get started with jury selection a week ago today. at 4:00 p.m. eastern we're expecting the third witness for the defense to take the stand. we're told this could last four to five hours so it could be a long night at the courthouse, outside the presence of prospective jurors. what the defense has been arguing is that the two witnesses, the two experts that the prosecution brought forward are saying one expert was saying the person screaming on the tape was not george zimmerman. didn't say it was trayvon martin, just said it was not george zimmerman. the other expert went a little bit further saying not only was it trayvon martin screaming, but co-make out words of what he was screaming, help and things of that sort. so the judge is going it make a
determination once all the testimony in the frye hearing to determine whether she will allow the experts to testify before jury at trial. it's a crucial ruling. we don't know if we'll get it tonight, but we expect once the hearing is wrapped, in due order the judge will make her ruling. >> why would you have the prosecution witness and the break to jury selection, now another break going back to the defense witness regarding these 911, this 911 call and whose voice it is? >> yeah it was apurely logistic issue here. because the third witness when we were going to get to the third witness a week ago, actual lay week ago friday, that witness was stuck on an airplane in europe and was not able to testify at the time. so they postponed the hearing, we thought the judge would get to that last week. but she propelled forward through the jury selection process and decided today at 4:00 p.m. eastern that they were going to resume that frye hearing. it's a little disjointed, but they want to get this?
. >> thank you for the latest. and george zimmerman has sued nbc universal the parent company of this network for defamation, the company has strongly denied his allegations. a 16-year-old sentenced to death for brutally murdering a bible school teacher, will now she is a free woman. released from prison within the last hour. she spent 27 years behind bars. did the convicted killer deserve this second chance? she confessed to the murder. and it is our news nation gut check. michael scomish. the monday moral protest in north carolina continues and now the protests are said to be reportedly splitting christians over the best way to help the poor. we'll have more on what's become the battle over what would jesus do. a simple question: how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer,
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citizenship to vote in federal elections. it was one of five decisions the court handed down today and none of the others were the high-profile cases we've been watching for for weeks. we're still waiting on the justices to rule on prop 8, the defense of marriage act, voting rights act and affirmative action. the next decision comes thursday. joining me now is supreme court expert. and thanks for your time. let's talk about arizona, though this is not insignificant. given some of the other laws out of arizona hately this one is worthy of discussion, but it is not amongst those big ones we've been watching. let's get your take first on the arizona decision. >> i think it's an important case in another year we would be talking about it an awful lot. there's a lot of concern in the country about immigration, there's a lot of segments of the country that think that the problems of people fraudulently registering to vote and the supreme court said a federal law, not a state law controls
how it is you prove citizenship when you register to vote. but the justices left a lot of room for arizona going forward to try to put more restrictions in place, that will be one to watch for several years, actually. >> let's move on to some of the others. same-sex marriage in california. prop 8 as i mentioned, voting rights act from '65. affirmative action. the supreme court justices do not live in a bubble. certainly they live quite different lives than any of us. however they must be aware, tom, of the anticipation and the great importance and real-timeliness of these issues that are before them. that we're waiting to hear from them. >> it's amazing, you think the constitution we've had it for hundreds of years and yet the major controversies are still bubbling around out there without definite answers, there's question that the next ten days are going to be absolutely historic. these are cases that will be talked about for centuries. the notion that there's a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
>> and perhaps perspective is everything and your own life. someone might be watching for the voting rights act of '65, that decision and that may play a bigger role if their life than same-sex marriage. it sems ems as if all of the pending cases would have an impact on our society greatly. when you look at the list stands out to you most? z excited to see the decision? >> i would say the same-sex marriage cases only because that's such a new and novel question for the justices. the justices have been tackling affirmative action for decades. now the court, the the modern roberts court which may become more conservative, may overturn those rulings, but same-sex marriage is completely novel and it it puts the united states in an interesting position, ve vis-a-vis the rest of the world. should the supreme court intervene with the constitution
or let the political process play out. >> you've argued 28 cases before the supreme court. you teach supreme court litigation at harvard law, previously taught at stanford here. i don't like to ask people if they're a betting man or woman, but looking back did you ever anticipate that we would get to the point where we're all running in for each round, monday, thursday to see these decisions? did you ever expect it to go this far, to the wire, almost? >> i really didn't in the sense of last term when we had the affordable care act decision. i thought that public interest in the supreme court had probably peaked it was right in the middle of the election cycle and everything like that. but really the country is very focused on the supreme court. when you have big decision after big decision. so it's actually great to see because it's a really important part of our government. it's wonderful that people are engaged. >> and last question about the delay. do you believe that us not hearing a decision on these key cases, the biggest of these, is because they are still pondering
or something going on behind the scenes? >> yeah, that's exactly what's going on. some of these cases weren't argued until relatively late in the term, so it's not a shock. but take the affirmative action case, it was argued in october and the only possible explanation for it not being out yet is that they are still writing opinions and dissents back and forth. trying to iron out their disagreement so it wouldn't surprise me if these three cases didn't come down until the last couple of days of the term and they will come bang, bang. >> tom, we hope to have you on to discuss those decisions when they are revealed. up next, the debate over late-term abortions, the house is set to vote tomorrow on a bill that move ban from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or five months. but the language has changed since republican congressman trent frank's comment last week that pregnancies from rape are rare. we'll tell you the change in the language of the bill and what some republican leaders are saying about it. plus cold war tensions are back according to our first read
team as president obama and russian president putin meet behind closed doors right now on what to do about syria. we'll talk with nbc's senior political editor, mark murray. right. but the most important feature of all is... the capital one purchase eraser. i can redeem the double miles i earned with my venture card to erase recent travel purchases. and with a few clicks, this mission never happened. uh, what's this button do? [ electricity zaps ] ♪ you requested backup? yes. yes i did. what's in your wallet?
part of our goal to inspire more than three million people to rediscover the joy of being active this summer. see the difference all of us can make... together. welcome back. as president obama and russian president vladimir putin continue their face-to-face talks at the g-8 summit in ireland this hour, first read team writes this, quote, we probably aren't the only ones having flashbacks to the early '80s, tensions in syria are pitting the u.s. against its cold war era rival, russia. the only nation among the group of eight backing syrian president bashar al assad's regime. all of this as new leaks from former nsa contractor edward snowden allegedly, alleging that u.s. and british intelligence agencies eavesdroppeded on world leaders at the london conference in 2009. joining me now, nbc news senior political editor, mark mury.
when the video showed the president leisurely walking you would never know the tensions. we're talking about 93,000 lives lost in syria, approximately 150 through this sarin gas attack and what to do with russia or at least how do you bring russia into the fold with the other allies. >> that's all about syria and it's all about the g-7, the attendees minus russia on one side of the issue pretty much supporting the rebels and not backing the assad regime, versus russia, which is backing the assad regime. and that has created some tensions as we write in first reed today, given this, the stories about surveillance, the vladimir putin's predecessor, at a 2009 summit it might kind of take you back to maybe iraqi 4 or red dawn film, some of the movies when you and i were growing up. this is daengs that's going on right now between the united states and russia and of course, they don't always see eye to
eye. but it is worth noting that president obama had a much better relationship with vladimir putin's predecessor, than he currently has with mr. putin. >> and it's interesting that his predecessor, dmitry medvedev, was a person who was supposedly eavesdropped on during that conference. >> with all of that said, what are the realistic expectations we should be looking for regarding this meeting with putin and obama? what will be said? i know you and the first read time talk about this being another test of leadership for the president? >> i think that everyone should have their sights on not much is going to come out of the syria situation. russia seems adamant that they're backing the assad regime. the other seven nations including the united states are on the other side on this. i don't think vladimir putin is anyone to say oh, my mind is made up, of course i see the light now. there is a sense that president obama needs to be able to show a little bit more muscle. this has been a rough month. and things that are completely have nothing to do with syria, but the collective controversies that have been hitting his administration.
he goes into europe and goes overseas at a time when his poll numbers are down a notch or two where you're almost in the cycle of there's no good news coming out and he and his folks are probably looking for some better news than expected. although i think the bar is set very, very low. >> thank you very much, mark. we'll spiel with you tomorrow once we know more about the meeting happening now between president obama and president putin. the full house is expected to vote tomorrow on a bill that would move back the current limit on late-term abortions from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or five months. the bill introduced by arizona republican trent franks is expected to pass the republican-led house but fail in the democrat-led senate. the last week's committee vote may have passed quietly, if not for this comment made by congressman franks. >> before, when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject because you know,
the incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low. >> instantly democrats jumped on those remarks and certainly pointed out the similarity to comments made last year by fellow republicans todd akin and richard murdoch. joining me now, salon's erin malone who has an article contradicting lawmakers comments on rape and pregnancy. you're a fortune teller or a very wise woman following the trail that republicans have led before. >> tamryn, apparently republicans have decided to relaunch the republican party right from a woman's uterus, they cannot quit. at this point they know for sure this bill will never become law. are trying to use this to try to stigmatize women who have had abortions. whether women have had rape or incest or distressed circumstances are very small
portion of the people who seek abortions. but they are people who are constitutionally protected to get those abortions. so they're hoping to just set up this theater to make this an issue to throw to their base. >> look at this there are within the base and maybe even some who are in congress that are not seeing this as theater. they see it as a constant issue for them based on their religion and their beliefs and their moral values, they believe it is wrong to have a late-term aborti abortion. that is separate, i think, erin, from the comments repeatedly made by male republicans, who say these things that are scientifically wrong and have been disproven about rape and pregnancies. those are two different things. you can believe that morally, you have moral objection to abortion. but also, know that pregnancy does happen in rape. >> that's absolutely true. i would submit that they are totally related. because they have to do with the disrespect for science and
biology and for women's rights. >> amongst these individuals. we don't know that that's a reflection of the base that they're appealing to. >> i think in order to explain away the fact that women are in difficult circumstances like rape, they have to pretend it doesn't exist. and ask richard murdoch, they know that women can get pregnant from rape and they don't care. the point is yes, it's true, they think the fetus is more important than the life of the woman who is carrying it. the point is they don't want this to be an issue about women. but women tend to perceive this as an issue about women. if they don't like later abortions, we know how to make the absolute number of them smaller. if you give women access to birth control. if you give women access to abortions earlier in the pregnancy when they say they want them, hur going to have fewer abortions after 20 weeks and they've opposed to all of those measures. >> all as a result of we assume eric cantor and others realizing hello, we stepped in it again. we may have not made the step, but one of our colleagues made it for us.
>> i think that the republican leadership is in a very tough position here. last year they took a million votes on women's reproductive rights, whether it was abortion and contraception, came back to haunts them in the election. they're looking forward to 2014. on the one hand they have the faith and freedom coalition all weekend saying don't you dare dessert us on abortion and on the other hand, they have these comments alienating female voters. >> it probably won't be the end of it. thank you very much, erin, greatly appreciate it. chicago hit with its most violent weekend of the year. close to 50 people shot since friday. seven killed. we'll talk with bun wun of chicago's most prominent outspoken social activists congressman michael flagler and why some now calling chicago chi-rac. but first there's a lot going on today and here's somts things we thought you should know. if former florida governor, jeb bush did choose to run for
president in 2016, it would be a split ballot among his own family. barbara bush made headlines earlier this year, pronouncing that she felt there had been enough bushes in the white house. however yesterday jeb bush told nbc news that his father would like to see him running for president. massachusetts senator elizabeth warren is railing against corporate decisions. she said the conservative justices of the supreme court are among the most ideologically pro corporate in a half century. >> following this pro business trend to its logical conclusion and sooner or later you will end up with a supreme court that functions as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the chamber of commerce. r i'm telling people about how they could save money on car insurance with geico... yeah, a little bit more of the lime green love yeah... or letting them know they can reach geico 24/7 using the latest technology.
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a 16-year-old boy. grim news comes after police figures earlier this month shows a 34% drop in murders compared to last year. over the same weekend last year the city saw even more shootings. in an email to the chicago sun-"times," chicago police spokesperson adam collins says while we've had fewer murders to date this year than any year since the mid 1960s, there's more work to be done and we won't rest until everyone in chicago enjoys the same sense of safety. the city's wave of violence has been documented on hbo's new show called "vice" take a look. >> we use a handguns in chicago, just to point that out. why they trying to ban assault rifles, we don't use assault rifles, we get up on you, baby. >> extended clips are popular? >> we like to eat the body up. that's why we call this chi-rac. >> joining me is michael flagler
who is featured in the "vice" episode. pastor of sabina catholic church. i saw you in that piece. i watched "vice" and i cried after watching it. i consider chicago part of me and i know you've been fighting and sounding the alarm for so many years. why are we still at this point? >> well i think part of it, tamryn, good to talk to you, we have the same statistics, highest unemployment, poor schools, lack of infrastructure, lack of programs for young people. those perfect storm conditions continue. and while we're hear, crime is better, when you have seven murdered and 46 shot on one weekend, people are afraid. i had a, a family yesterday at church whose 10-year-old son, coming back from vacation on saturday, says to his mom and dad -- i don't want to go back to chicago. i'm afraid. a child to not have to grow up being afraid to be at home, and his block on his neighborhood in
the south side of chicago, it's unacceptable. >> you hear the report that the homicides were down in chicago, 34%. when i look at those who were killed over the weekend, it's on the northwest side. it's on the south side. it's on the west side. that you're seeing, it's all over. even though you and i know there's always a heavy focus on the south side of chicago here. when you heard that young man in that "vice" episode that you were featured in refer to it as chi-rac, what did you think? >> well i was shaken when i first heard it. but i understand it the number of the past weekend is greater than iraq, greater than afghanistan, these are war numbers, and the truth of the matter is, we're at war. there's an epidemic of violence, a genocide that's going on. if it is a war, we have to understand what a war needs is soldiers, boots on the ground and the community is going to have to be involved in and engaged, if we're thinking the police are going to stop this, it's not going to happen. we're going to have to come out
on the streets. >> community engage. i saw you picket liquor stores targeting the neighborhood where they were selling malt liquor. i've seen you protest with success. but with this particular issue, there have been these marches, we've seen the beautiful faces of kids who were mowed down and we've seen others carted off to jail for the rest of their adult lives. but we're still at this point. >> well, i think part of it is, is people have been overwhelmed by it. there's one segment, just overwhelmed, they can't handle it. and other people are just hopeless by it they think this is the way it's got to be. i know two families who told their college sons, don't come home this summer. stay where you're at in atlanta. stay where you're at in d.c. don't come home because i want you to be safe. and the other thing is people are afraid. people are in that i talked to are saying keeping their kids indoors, as soon as it gets dark. this is inhuman conditions for people to have to live. and that's why we have to
understand it's got to be a fundamental change from the top down as well as from the bottom up in the city. otherwise we're going to continue to see blood baths like this on the weekend. we had a very cool spring and a wet spring. summer begins on friday. and public schools end this weekend. what's going to happen this summer? if we don't stop this? >> that is an important question. if we do not stop it. father flagler, thank you for being a voice of the people in chicago and those that don't have anyone to speak up for them. thank you very much. developing news, the youngest person ever to be put on death row released from an indiana prison within the last couple of hours. the question is -- should she have been sentenced to death row at the age of 16? and, she confessed to the brutal crime. should she be free now? michael smirkonish will join us to discuss this gut check.
welcome back, more than 400 people have now been arrested over the past two months in the weekly moral monday protests at north carolina's state capitol. more protests are planned for later today. they were originally started by the local naacp chapter. other groups have joined in. they're aimed at the policies of the state republican governor and legislature, which protesters say will cut medicaid, education and voting rights for minorities and the poor. joining me now, democratic congressman jk butterfield of north carolina. last week he became the first member of congress to join these protests, congressman thank you for your time. first let me ask you why you decided to join these protests. >> let me tell you, tamryn, the republican agenda has now begun to play itself out in north carolina. the right wing agenda is, is at work. we have a republican legislature for the first time in over 100 years, a republican governor. and one of the first things they did was to decline the medicaid
expansion under the affordable care act. had they embraced the affordable care act, this would have allowed 500,000 poor north carolinians to get medicaid. but yet they joined many of the other states across the country. republican-led legislatures and turned down medicaid expansion, we're so disappointed about that. not only did they begin by declining to expand medicaid. they cut $90 million out of public education. this is unacceptable. they went so far as to cut unemployment benefits, for those that are chronically unemployed. the earned tax credit has been removed. a use tax as a means of revenue. all of these right-wing policies are going to have a devastating impact on poor people. >> but i don't have to tell you the republicans are saying that listen, they're doing exactly what the public wanted and in electing them in a veto-proof majorities and that the protesters, which includes you now do not represent the majority or clear majority they
say. your reaction? >> i argue that the public does not want to punish poor people using the budget as a pretense. it will not cost the state one cent to expand the medicaid program, so it's a false argument to say that it's needed in order to balance the state's budget. these are mean-spirited policies that republicans have wanted to execute and implement for many years and now they're in power and they're using that power in a mean-spirited way and poor people are paying the price for it. so moral monday has emerged. >> will people from other parts of congress join you? you are the first. >> i did join moral monday last monday and did speak to the audience and there will be other activities as we go forward. the leaders in north carolina need to know that people of good ouellet not sit by and watch poor people be decimated in the way that they are we're going to continue moral monday in the leadership of the north carolina naacp, the reverend dr. william barber, we're going to say to
the state and the nation, republicans you've got to have a balanced approach to solving the nation's problems. >> thank you very much congressman butterfield, we'll talk with you more as we continue to cover these moral mondays. an indiana woman put on death row in 1986 when she was just 16 years old was released from prison in the past hour after serving a sentence shorten when the indiana state supreme court intervened. paula cooper confessed to killing an elderly bible school teacher. but her death sentence at such a young age sparked international protest. including a plea for clemency, from pope john paul ii. and since then, the supreme court found it unconstitutional to execute anyone younger than the age of 18, joining me now, michael is smirkonish, who is also an msnbc contributor what does your gut tell you on this one? >> i have mixed emotionses, i'm not supportive of executing someone who was just 15 when
they committed a crime. but this is like out of a law school final exam, you could not have a more sympathetic victim. 78-year-old bible school teacher, stabbed 33 times, four girls on a break from high school, if you can believe it railroad r responsible for this and the dying woman recites the lord's prayer with her last gasping breath. i believe in firm punishment, i wouldn't execute a 15-year-old. the individual is only 43. 43 is pretty young. at least i say as i get older myself. >> my gut probably a few more years, but i wouldn't have her put to death. >> her three accomplices were sentenced to prison terms, ranging from 25-60 years, she confessed to the slaying was convicted of murder sentenced to die by the electric chair. her sister was quoted as saying she hopes her sister paula will be seen as more than a killer. she got in trouble 23 times during her time in prison but
she turned to education and earned a bachelor's degree in 2001. this has so many layers as you can imagine, michael in which you pointed out as well. what is justice. when you look at yes this keeps her from being executed, but was there enough time spent behind bars? and what is enough time? there's so many questions about this. >> one of the layers tamryn was the fact that a grandson of the victim has befriended her and is supportive of this release. look we want to believe in rehabilitation. so i guess the silver lining is to say that perhaps we hope she becomes a role model for those who are incarcerated who are given hope and believe that if they fly straight behind bars and get their lives together, get a g.e.d., that they can have a future. >> all right. michael smirkonish, thank you very much, michael, it's always good to see you. what does your gut tell you? do you agree with the decision to release paula cooper from prison? she's out right now.
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