tv Emily Bazelon Charged CSPAN May 12, 2019 12:49am-2:01am EDT
time in the marine corps and efforts to overturn the ban on women in combat. this weekend on "afterwards", republican senator likely of utah finds his thoughts on the overreach of government. >> typically what we talk about we refer to natural rights, in a sense that the government may not do to you. positive rights, the rights to healthcare or rights to this or that government program. those are not what we would typical think of something the government was to provide for you. and must therefore take away from someone else in order to give it to you. that might be something that an individual regard as good policy. it's important to make the distinction between someone might be or not. we do deter right to the concept of rights and our rights. we dilute the use of the word. we use it in circumstances that don't involve something the government may not do to you or allow and facilitate happening to you. >> "afterwards" airs saturday 10:00 p.m. and sundays 9:00 p.m.
eastern on booktv on c-span2. all previous "afterwards" programs are available as podcast and to watch online at booktv.org. >> i want to welcome you all to this event. welcome to our program. those of you who have not been here before, or come back. we are thrilled to host tonight offense. new book, charged, american prosecution and mass incarceration. [cheering] [cheering and applauding] i like the energy already. keep that going. josie is a special guest. you are in for a very special evening. i have housekeeping issues that
i want to make sure you are aware of. look at your cell phones, picture the cell phone is turned to silent. there's a lot of audio here and if your phone goes off, it can be immortalized on c-span forever. make sure your phones are quiet. thank you. i want to remind you, books are for sale at the register, please pick up a book before hugo. third, we have fires for upcoming event also available. pick one up. we have a lot of stuff going on the rest of this month and next month. keep it on darth vader. tonight's event will be recorded for c-span and podcast. be aware. >> a journalist and essayist, she served as senior reporter for the appeal and justice publication.
she's a featured author, she's a staff writer at the new york times magazine and yelled while school. previous book is a national bestseller, six and stone, bullying and rediscovering the power of character and empathy. she's also a cohost of the safe political, a popular weekly podcast. new book, charged, transformed american prosecution and mass incarceration. two young people caught up in the criminal justice system. author of just mercy called charged an important for examination of criminal justin america speaks to how we reduce that incarceration. price winning author of our own, engaging tale that offers reasons for both caution and hope. once the podcast today called charged which is a companion to the book. also on the panel tonight, people who appear in the book
and podcast who emily will introduce. you're in for something very special. you will have chances to ask your questions at the end. without further ado, join me in welcoming her. [applause] >> thank you. thank you the appeal, a great new criminal justice website. you should all check it out. thank you to everyone up your with me. i stop the introduction for this because they have become important people in my life by letting me tell their stories or have them tell their own stories in my podcast. journalists don't get to think how subjects enough so i want to say a huge thank you to all of my deep appreciation.
to introduce a hip-hop artist here. and who has a youth engagement court nader, an alternative. in an increasing presence in the spoke person about mass incarceration and policing and a lot of issues that we will discuss tonight. it was in a documentary, he has spoke at a number of universities around the country. >> thank you so much for being here. to start with emily to talk a bit about what the podcast is about. with the experience is in making it. >> thank you. so i started working my book in 2016, i was really interested in the power of the prosecutors have. i went to contrast different kinds of prosecutors so part of
the book is told in memphis with a very old-school prosecutor and a lot of the book takes place in brooklyn, looking closely at the opposite, the da for a lot of it here. i got really hooked on specialized court in brooklyn. it's called the gun part but nobody ever knows what that is. it's a place where people who are taking charge for having a gun have their cases processed. these are people who have not find anyone or shot anyone with a weapon. new york state just having fun, treated as a serious phone with three and a half year mandatory minimum sentence with the most serious charge. because of the charges are so high, prosecutors have a lot of power we can talk at that but i also just got really interested in people who were in court, wife they had weapons, but the people were trying to work with them, there is an escape patch,
a diversion one by the da office. what succeeded, what were ways of helping them put their guns aside that didn't necessarily, it didn't depend on to prison. it took over parts of my book, or at least parts of my spring and then when i got to the end writing the book, i wanted to keep reporting and learn more about that. i wanted to tell stories of people who had been through this experience, there's an intimacy about narrative podcast and experience of listening to people's voices in your ears. i wanted to try that. i have never done a podcast before and it turns out it's like a really different kind of project then print journalism. they are very much featured in this podcast, i think they are amazingly good at describing their world. working with them has been a huge pleasure. i've learned a lot from it.
>> part of what we talked about before we came up your was the way that people think about gun control. the way that people talk about guns in the criminal justice system. to start by asking you guys why, in your experience people have guns. not actually using them, just possessing them. the basis of gun in brooklyn. >> good evening, everyone. on behalf of of the panel, i were to say thank you for coming out this evening. it means a lot. in urban communities, can everyone hear me? in urban communities, across
america, they are often under resourced, often over least, often ostracized and marginalized in a way to kind of put forth on a defense and in a lot of ways, violence serves as a means of off your and in these sorts of environments. so firearms come into play usually in the sense of thinking of trying to create love you and also the means of trying to dismantle oneself. that's usually the general reason and is just been a part of the culture. we've into the fabric of the society in this particular community that, the quickest way
to kind of go to the next level in terms of putting yourselves in those conditions. >> my name is tori. thank you for being here, supporting us. supporting emily. to answer the question, i feel like for us to have this in the street, production, protecting ourselves in some use as a form as wanting to use it for others because it's like what we grew up in, we hear about music and like some people just want to have weapons in the streets.
>> you're doing great. >> could answer. protection is a word i heard over and over again from people were facing charges in court. i thought the protection met actual self-defense in the moment and then i changed my thinking about it. i think it has a kind of more abstract kind of meaning. people feel threatened by other people in the community and idea with a gun makes you feel kind of stronger and more productive. people's ideas of masculinity but mostly it was about making sure you're not pray, not somebody other people can mess with. i also never heard anyone take any enjoyment out of having a gun.
it didn't seemed like something that people really wanted. i started thinking of it as like armor that people didn't really want to have. they felt like they had to have it. if you could talk a bit about whether that makes sense to you and also maybe about how you counsel young people not to have guns and what you think you say to them that they actually here. >> it's interesting that you say that is just yesterday, i did a workshop with my young people and i developed a curriculum, called the project and in the, we explore conflict mediation, public speaking for social justice, organizing, those different things. one of the things we were talking about was envisioning
our communities and schools in the public spaces that we frequent in a way in which they would service best. i asked the young people to envision their ideal school. what they would see in their unity and home and into the community. had tons of ideas and we rode all down on a poster board and at the end, one of the things i mentioned, i said if there's anybody, do we all realize that none of us mentioned that we wanted to have guns or none of that. nobody was thinking about that. who are talking about what we want to envision for what we want for ourselves. so that's that piece.
generally, i come to do the work i do because of my own experiences and navigate and these circumstances and navigate these systems. i always deliver the message from a place of experience and ultra perspective. so again, my role is to try to get young people to understand what the verifications are of these particular actions and behaviors, there's research that's proven that your brain isn't even fully developed until you are 25 years old. adolescence, that's when you are most likely to be impressionable. by your peers, influences by the fact that my job is to try to like use not only my experiences
and try to pay that forward but young people in some ways, speed up that process of being able to connect those dots and understand the harms and those behaviors. a lot of it is obviously getting them to understand how the communities ended up in the circumstances they are in but also the power we possess as people to work toward changes and beat the beacons. >> one of the things i wanted, the thing right there was interesting, the reason people don't the same across all communities, masculinity is starting but only some communities are prosecuted for gun ownership.
something to aspire toward. a lot of what emily talked about in her book i think gets to that really well. on the podcast, i was hearing you talk about your experiences with police, kind of just constantly tracking you and how that creates them to be on there. i would love to hear you talk about that. >> i don't know where to start. [laughter] >> i have a lot of different experiences with police. maybe start about what happened to you when you're 17. >> okay, so my first incident with the police basically, being in the projects, especially in brooklyn, there's a lot of violence in brooklyn, it's not even close to other parts so the
other thing in the area, my neighborhood is like that. we got a lot of police activity so especially the police in our area, they are rookies and stuff so they tend to want to get there ranks up fast. one day, there are people in the building so i went to see my art, i don't know what happened. i want to go to the store, i had headphones in my ear, i have my
music blasting. so i can't even hear who is behind me. i felt like a little grab on me and from the projects, somebody grabbed me, that means you are in danger. so instead of looking back, i like let me just do this, i don't know what's about to happen. i don't know if i'm about to be killed or beat up, but all i know, going downstairs, got pushed to a door. we had as in being pushed through the door, i bust my head open and i'm being grabbed so i went to the floor, me and my d dad, i look up and there are
police. i'm just getting beat up. so basically, they arrested me, i got arrested for trespassing and stuff but -- >> and i jump in? the police said somewhat in the building had a knife, a black man had a knife. they arrested him for trespassing even though this was in your housing project. where you are allowed to be. >> i know that is fairly common that people are arrested for trespassing because i don't necessarily have a written note think they are allowed to be there. one of the things i like to talk about is what it's like and we can talk more about those police. want to get out, but has been
like for you. it's a lot of work, way more than anybody expects. >> for me, was particularly unique experience because i'm always on a platform and asked to communicate with people but this particular time, i had the pleasure interviewing him so i was able, it was a learning experience for me because the work with dozens of journalists when they are looking to create a narrative information i'm giving them. so it could be a tooth pulled at some times, i was able to appreciate it from that
perspective, having to ask him questions and the conversation, also from my perspective, being able to pull information but it was definitely methodical, very well thought out. india, it was different for me because i'm usually always searching. i got to have a different experience. >> i want to hear from you what it's been like how you met. >> so, can you talk about rick a
little bit? >> so during -- basically i got introduced when i was in my own program and. >> talk about what that is. >> basically, it's a diversion program for young guys with guns that got locked up for guns. it's a diversion program. basically for the young guy to get a chance instead of doing time, a chance to do this program and once you get right with it, what you go through it, takes over, you get your life again. he does go through the challenges that come with it. it basically curfew, you got to
have a job, doing something productive. you got to do community service, check ins with your social worker -- >> and then -- >> i got introduced into brita britain, they thought i was a good candidate. basically my podcast video shoot and it was a good experience so -- >> is looking for people to be in my podcast, here for these young people, the exact young people i was interested in. they were learning to make podcast and were into it. when i met him the first time, he was super comfortable and it was really helpful. i had already made a video podcast about his own life. which i loved in that really
helped us get going. he is also incredibly patient and willing to come back to the studio more than once which is not true about everybody in the world. [laughter] >> we were trying to remember. [laughter] >> we know each other. >> the other half of my book that takes place in memphis, she was in prison for years before her conviction was overturned when she got out of prison, she got involved in a program, i thank you met on a weekend in washington. so we had gotten to know each other well, reporting on her for a few years. she came back and said another
guy from brooklyn. you really should meet him. ours like yeah, whatever. it turns out he was working there were a lot of my book takes place. we ended up having dinner. that's how. [laughter] >> you remember now. >> yes. >> my book is about the trend prosecution in the past couple of years. that's something we talk about and in this program, it's seen as the progressive response to gun possession charges and what can possibly happen if you are caught with a gun in the wrong place by the wrong person. so i like to hear both what is progressive about it and what is not. experiences you went through.
what presence that place in your life. i thank you are getting at that before. >> so when i was there, the great part about it is it helps you change, especially when you know you don't want to go to jail, getting a gun is not fun. it's a lot of that hanging over your head. especially new york because this is a city where the tolerant guns at all. chicago or places like that, this is a very aggressive state. so being in there, it taught me a lot like how to be a man, move
forward and stuff instead of getting stuck with being in the program. i happened to go see my social worker, you got a good person and you got to deal with it and help you, teach you how to move forward. the worst part i experienced. [laughter] i didn't like the curfew. my curfew was 9:00 p.m. especially in the summertime, everybody was having fun, they party, you got to call your social worker. [laughter] so one thing i did get out of it, i got a couple of things but
one thing, extending my education, high school so when i was in my ct, i had to do something so i had to get my ged and stuff. it helped me to decide what i want to do and stuff. help me find jobs, create a good resume and stuff. it helped me better my skills and stuff. they help you, especially with opportunity that comes with it and stuff. if it wasn't for why ct, i wouldn't be in britain or talking to you all. it gave me a better future.
opened me up two different things. one thing i would say, not that but being in the program like that, coming from the projects and the people that you are around, people expect people to be in jail and stuff, they don don't, especially if they don't know about the program, they never have been through it. so i got a gun charge and i'm in the program, it brings a lot of questions so, did you do that? how did you get this program? they don't know there's a lot of people but it comes with certain people, i have a family that
doesn't tolerate that. i was lucky to be in this program because i'm thinking i will have to do time. i rented a program but i didn't even know about yct. thinking about probation and virtual, are just thinking about if i don't get those two things, i'm going to jail. there was no doubt about it. i didn't even ask what it was like. my lawyer came up with the idea. as a program, a diversion program. , k, i'm up for it. people asked questions, what
type of program is that? how did you get in? stuff like that. especially being young, it's a huge program for youth. so 22 years old and you thank you about to look for yct, i don't know what to tell you. [laughter] >> how old are you? >> i was 19 know, 20. twenty-one is like the limit. i was just lucky because i was about to turn 21. luckily, i got into the program. >> i was going to ask, i think the diversion and incarceration
model is moving the needle for us in a clot of ways in terms of, we already are the past the point of understanding that prison and jail is not effecti effective. it causes way more harm than it does hope for anyone. i myself has spent six years incarcerated when i was in adolescence. first-hand experience so programs like this diversion program, working with them, a program who diverts your people, levels of justice involvement in the different track, but i think the overall, coupled with restorative practices is what we should all be urging our
officials, move the needle with. it makes a better society for all of us, if you take people make decisions out of desperation, in order to prove it, you isolate them and subject them to inhumane treatment for days, weeks, months and years. they return to the same circumstances that compels them to make the decisions they made in the first place. now, they added even more disenfranchisement for that person. they expected them to live a taxpaying law abiding life. programs like this kind of help try to understand why people make these decisions and what can be done on the front end. as far as correcting these
behaviors. making our society safer. >> one thing to say, the program i find in the country, people who are charged, it's unusual for the system to take us on that. it relies on amazingly, i think, to have the social workers here tonight, is going to be mad at me for comic amount but zero good, you're not. [applause] yct is, i will say one thing about that in minute but voters in brooklyn, it's a risky move at the office is making to have this program. it's among -- if someone cluster
and hurts someone else, it's a whole endeavor. that is happened in other cases in new york and we all know about the examples that happened when one case goes wrong. then they have all kinds of political ramifications. something to think about as voters as you evaluate the criminal justice system. what you wanted to be. one takes us back to the end of police, even though people with charges are dismissed, the police are still targeting and tracking people in the program. when he was pushed into this poll, he was telling you that story, he did something that was taking power into his own hands he sued the police department, he one settlement. prove this case.
it also meant the police in his neighborhood had a special eye out for him. justin the time we've been doing this together, there's a couple times where they tried to call or text and say hey, i just got picked up. someone committed a crime in the neighborhood, they are looking for someone, they said i fit that description. i tell a story because it's really hard to go on with your life and do the things you want to do when you're constantly feeling like people are assuming the worst of you. it's a very real phenomenon to deal with. >> i think it's important because it's a form of a lot of diversion programs. we see nationwide, i thank you then have a diversion program that is surveilling people.
making sure they never get out of this space. >> a sickly, one morning me and my friends were chilling in the neighborhood and police patrolling and out of nowhere, one of my friends, he spits on the ground. he spit in the grass. the cop told my friend, he asked for his id first and told him to put his hands behind his back. this is harassment.
you must have been really don't, he probably had a bad cold or a lot of mucus and stuff. [laughter] he had to spit it out. the police wanted to get the high rings and stuff, i asked police for the badge number and he was just not complying with me. i just recorded him. it goes to show that we could be harassed for no reason. we don't really do anything, just chill. when the police come, they have to do that.
i don't know if they want to get paid high salary or what. >> i went to give a perspective, in this city, then reports of all the things, it's when the commissioners us medical goals for officers so that's why what you are saying on their part, urgency. again, a society that has a private prison square. institutions are contracted, have a certain amount.
the only way to do that is to arrest people. easiest way is to arrest people who are marginalized in already oppressed, already living on the edges of society. who already have so many other stresses and factors that there's not even the support in place to have, the right advocacy plan or any of those things, i spent a lot of time all over the country and i've been blessed to be in some nice places all over the country. i've also been in some not so nice is basis in this country and one thing they say is that this doesn't happen everywhere. this places in new york city were people don't experience this. when i have conversations with them, they are different than me. the same desires, same passions
and pain and trauma, all those things but for some reason, black and brown communities, they respond to those things and they are criminalized. >> i think it's important, one of the things, which they are not expecting in other communities, they might be more careful because they don't think there are consequences. even the fact that it's been a good experience for you, the fact that you are even in my ct, that wouldn't even happen in a lot of places. if you're not in the diversion program, for having us on and nothing else. i wanted -- other any questions?
austin will run you the mic. [laughter] >> thanks to the whole panel. mentioned restorative justice at one time. the whole panel, a good example that you've seen in your work that are worth stimulating? >> what restorative practice work restorative part justice is when a person in society has transgressed against society itself, in affinity or society where the community comes together with a person who is
transgressed and also the person who was at home, collectively number one uncovered the reason for that transgression which is always related to trauma. because her people hurt people. then finding ways as a unity collectively to reconcile and restore and re- include that person. right now, i am actually taking a graduate level course with the new school and i'm being trained in circle training and trauma in order to employ these practices. one of the ways in which i utilize my bookshop and model for my young people. i employed that. i think it's also good for
cultural and establishing a sense of real inclusivity. the truth is that all of us transgressed, we all cause harm, we all have trauma. it shows up in different ways so restorative practices say that nobody is expendable. nobody is to be a way to make a human home again. our justice system doesn't do that. they don't demonize us, people and criminalize us in response to trauma. if that makes sense. >> there are a lot of great examples in that program. i thank you wrote some about it,
i think it might be in the end, it's a great program there also. there some in nashville, buffalo, and encourages accountability over punishment. i think there's one solution to this, it's not going to work for every single situation but neither is the system we have right now. >> i want to give a shout out to our criminal justice system in brooklyn. like daniel said, she also has a new book out, so i wanted to add that. >> another question. >> thank you.
just quickly, learning more about ict and the diversion, you have it hanging over your head that you're trying to get opportunities, can you tell us about your experience it is accountable for you to talk about that? >> the challenges, when i got locked up, i was in jail, i got bailed out and when i heard about yct, when i sat down and talked to my social worker, basically the time i heard over my head, if i don't complete it was 15 years.
that was the reason i had to complete that. i didn't want to go to jail for 15 years. just having a gun, i was like 15 years picked me seemed like i just killed a person. that time hanging over my head, do what i have to do. >> i wanted to add, more perspective to that. i also worked in prostration program and again, being exposed to restorative practices, seeing trauma form under the things i've been pushing for in the industry, to even have the case management model or social work model be central, and less
punitive to where even if the mandate over the court said here's your stipulation, if you don't complete it, you're subject to whatever it is, you can attest to this, when engaging with a young person in a place where it's mandated to do something in this punitive model, it puts all barrier because now the defense is up because as far as i'm concerned, you want to send me to jail, too. having a mental form model in place when doing that, fix them on the head and tells a young person, you still have to live your life after you complete
this program so the decisions you make in there are really for your best interest and not just so you will go to jail. >> there are programs in most of the country that are like that. there are lots of programs that are in general where it's recharged so you don't even have to carry around having us on the record. in order to be admitted in their program. >> could you talk a bit about that? >> so jackson was 18 when her mother was stabbed to death.
it's a kind of crime that gets a lot of attention in the news. the person was white, unusual crime. that puts a lot of pressure to solve it. there were obvious setbacks. there was a lot of dna at the scene, the meantime, suspicion was throwing around nora, the circumstantial reasons. she was a teen, she smoked pot, she partied with her friends, she was out the night her mother was killed. she is also honorable because this is like a bizarre story but her father had been murdered a year end a half earlier. in a separate crime from her dad owned a convenience store and you can see in this case that the person who killed him was looking for something and ransacked the store to find it. it would have been possible for the police to drop connection between the crime.
instead, she was arrested and charged for her mother's murder and the dna evidence came back and excluded her. there were profiles of two other unknown suspects. that didn't change the prosecutor's mind in this case. i think of it as a story about over reach in which you can get tunnel vision. once you decide one person did it, they stick with that account. so nora was convicted as a child, a good trial prosecutor. she was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison. while she was in prison, the elected district attorney in memphis, then the tennessee to bring court overturned her conviction because of two constitutional violations of the trial. he didn't disclose evidence she was required to give, it could have helped her innocence and then in the jury, in her closing
statement, tell us where you are. she had her constitutional right not to testify. that's a big no-no. so she had to wrestle with the difficulty of having this in her past and trying to figure out how to move on from it. so i tell this story because i think it shows in some ways, it's extraordinary, not a normal case. prosecutors all over the country are still having tunnel vision, still seeing a real tough on crime law and order, especially since she became the district da and there's a kind of pattern of constitutional violation, it seems like an important other part of the story to show.
it's a complete picture of american prosecutors and they need to show that as well. >> questions? people in the back, the bright green sweater. coming for you. >> i haven't read the book yet but -- >> everybody is off the hook. [laughter] >> i wondered if given the trend source in some areas, more progressive programs and prosecutors office but obviously something not happening everywhere. whether you think we should focus energy in terms of criminal justice reform, whether we should be encouraging or these progressive programs or campaigning more on the local level we bottom-up or whether it has to be a national legislation
type movement as well. >> i'll take that. criminal justice reform is not national. it doesn't really matter, most people are state and local system, doesn't matter how screwed up washington is. we, the people determine the shape of our criminal justice system. i do think encouraging prosecutors is important. you all have the record movement which has come along way. even in just a couple of years the population is now down to about 8000 people a month. there needs to be about five when they close the facility. there's a lot of horse stories attached to it. you have to break ground on details inside new york city. there's already a lot of that in my backyard, unrest about that.
it's an issue, i live in new haven, ten minutes from a big facility. i don't think about it when i drive by it every day. people don't live next door to it but they live like two blocks away from it. it's okay. i was never scared of new yorkers. it's not that big of a deal. >> i think a lot of, when we look at the justice system and the spike in numbers in terms of people being arrested, underserved communities and i was doing some research, i work with adolescents who experienced
the justice system and i was doing some research and i learned that in new york city, young people's between the ages of 12 and 24 in the city, who are charged with crimes, not necessarily convicted, just charged with crimes, about 74% of those arrests are economically motivated. meaning that those charges, crimes that the people in that age range in the city were charged with was because they were trying to acquire some type of money. so i think that when we look at our justice system in these issues, it's very much an economic issue as well as it is fixing the justice system. again, most of these institutions are privatized. people have real stakeholder
ship in folks being in these facilities. we got to ask ourselves, the way we do that is the bottom line, where it hurts. the people who are charged with these crimes, we have to do a better job economically to provide opportunities for folks so they don't turn to crime as a means of livelihood. particularly in black amenities, there's a lot of stereotype or narrative or rhetoric created around people who engage in certain activities. they always overlook the necessary genius that it takes to be there in the black markets. you can't sell drugs if you have not a basic understanding of
chemistry or logic and reason of mathematics or being charismatic, those are things that we'll transferable skills. you can't sell drugs or scam somebody, you can't run a white collar scam if you can't beat them, if you can't do it right, how do you scam somebody? so you think about these things, these are people who have these skills and tools, viscosity and opportunity in order for folks to be able to utilize that to create livelihood. i think we can tackle a large part of this issue economically. >> my favorite and prosecutors, we talk about a lot but one thing i think, there's a lot of return in an investment.
there's a lot in the last few years, from one and of the spectrum to the other because there are more people engaged. there's so little oversight. little engagement the global office so one reason i tell people about this job is because you have never held accountable, someone goes much further, much more useful, they actually care more because they've never experienced it. that's why i say definitely go local. >> one question. >> you're breaking my heart. [laughter] >> i'll be around after. >> any other questions?
i'm trying to spread some love. >> in the beginning, you said the power in all the details, the power of the prosecutor has really increased in recent years or the last 20 years or whatever but the programs are great but how do you also rollback the power of the prosecutor? >> go ahead. >> that's a great question. in order to do that, we have to do that through political power, our voice.
we have to strip down the discretionary power in those cases. i think that's the base of reducing some of that but prosecutors are in a lot of ways, they have more discretion than the judge. i think maybe transferring that discretion maybe over to the judge, absolving the prosecutor is something the authority, i think would help. >> exactly. judges onto neutral or freeze. that's how we think of the system. they're all on the even playing field. the main thing with that, the number of prosecutors increased
a lot in the 90s and 80s and there was a crime rate in the country. mandatory sentences also. they give power to prosecutors, against the charge and plea bargain, whoever is standing on a plea deal. 90% of convictions and a lot of state including new york are. you're right, i guess i see two ways to change this. one of them can just repeal mandatory. if we back down sentencing, the criminal code and prosecutors have fewer choices, that will take discretion in power away from them. state legislators can be having left in terms of making change. new york has had significant success in the last month. there was a long way to go. to bring this back to the point about local folders, one idea is that the city becomes a model, these progressive prosecutors
and the system can can drink them successful and communities are helping them as a way to prove to state under centers that this is really safe and politically friable. like josie said, the most hopeful part is how local it really is and how a small number of people and across the country, people are usually disempowered, a huge part. >> there are also places where they voluntarily get power and turning out to prosecute certain things. both of them said we are actually not going to. i don't want to be involved. so that doesn't change the real problem because they still have
the power to do that. as we are trying to have state legislatures change, in the meantime, it's great to see that. i'm not going to touch that at all. there are 2600 prosecutors. >> also, the criminal rights and those charges, they don't ever necessarily mitigate certain circumstances. real technical areas. again, an example of that, in my personal case, i've been navigating the justice system from the time i was 12 years old until i was 22.
i was in a situation where i had a parent who was addicted to substance abuse and my dad died when i was really young. i was in a position where i was compelled to kind of make decisions to create this. neighborhood and community is already under resourced. in a city where it's illegal to employ a 12-year-old child. the question becomes, you have to eat, right? there are opportunities presenting themselves to folks in those rights. as a kid, that's what i see everyone doing. nobody ever told me, their opportunities that don't even exist in the community.
so a child in that situation, how do you prosecute, bring up everything negative and paint a picture of that code but they don't ever examine the ramifications or mitigating against circumstances and i think that's what the diversion programs in those spaces in those pieces, you're trying to move the needle toward. in our justice system. [laughter] >> sorry for ending that. thank you for coming out. [applause] [applause]
>> thank you, everyone. please buy a book, thank you for coming in. >> good job, guys. teamwork. [inaudible conversations] >> recently on our weekly program, "afterwards", american enterprise institute president arthur talks about his ideas for how to bridge the political divide. >> would've done wrong in treating other people in contempt is not separating people from their ideas. i think there are terrible ideas and hateful ideas but i don't think there's really ever a good reason to treat other people with contempt. i think there's reason for
propelled of other ideas, reason to go him and turn. i'm all about disagreement because the competition of ideas is what is most fundamental for free society. it separates us from china, you have public disagreements and along disagreement. the essence of avoiding and becoming an elect excellent country. that's different than saying, i disagree with you so you are being in contempt. you are a worthless person. i didn't make that distinction earlier enough in her career. i wish i did and i will for the rest of my life. it's a practical reason, for nobody in history has ever been persuaded by hatred. never happened. this all research, you're more likely to make it more radical. the practical reasons. story in this book about being at this rally, conservative rally. >> and politically conservative
not agree and said my speech, let's not forget the people who are not here. i want you to remember, they're not stupid or evil. they are just americans who disagree. this lady says, i think it is. >> i know the joke. at that moment, i thought about where i up. i didn't grow up in russia, i did in seattle, washington. she was talking about my family and friends. i took it personally. moral reason not to treat people with contempt. that's the key thing to keep in mind. don't treat other people with contempt. separate your ideas from them, remember they, as people, they are a lot of things they you do.
want the kids to grow up and security, they want our great country, most of them, they want to help the poor, establish that common moral center and then disagree about the ways to meet it and their ideas are bad. i tell you, when you establish that with another person, they will listen to the ways in which you disagree. they will be able to listen to your ideas. >> author of love your enemies and watch the rest of the program, visit our website, booktv.org and type the name in the search barr at the top of the page. >> now on c-span2s booktv, more television for serious readers. >> our entire schedule is available online at booktv.org. here are programs to keep nile four. tubman service as a nurse, spy and cook for the union army during the civil war.
mallory recounts her tenure as former senior advisor, president barack obama. on "afterwards", you talk republican senator mike lee offers his thoughts on the overreach of government. that's off this weekend on booktv, check your cable card for a complete schedule. now on c-span2, booktv. more television for serious readers. ... ...