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tv   Fault Lines 51 Years Behind Bars  Al Jazeera  June 12, 2022 8:30am-9:01am AST

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we don't have an alternative, no support from the government. they made many promises. we got rid of cocoa, but nothing happened in exchange. but all me say the real enemies are powerful businesses that are clearing much larger plots of land. he cautiously take us to another huge devastated area me at the at o m m. in knowing going on until the government arrives with technical assistance and land titling an organization in a way that protects the population and the environment. unfortunately, d 4 station will continue the community for as the program is small and does not offer a long term answer. but it shows that there are alternatives to the devastation of the rain forest. and that those who live here can be part of the solution for future generations. allison m. p at the and as he and capital one, 0, this is al jazeera, these are the top stories, china's defense minister says, ty,
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one's reunification with the mainland is inevitable. and at foreign interference would fail wife angle as comments in singapore or the latest, and the spots between washington and beijing over time. once future. jessica washington's in singapore was more on what the chinese defense minister said. very early in his speech, he took the time to remark directly on lloyd austin's comments about china, saying that he regarded them as falls and moves against his country. now, course he did talk about taiwan that has been a contentious issue of discussion across the course at the summit. he did, of course, mentioned that a that china will fight to the very end if necessary. and he sent a message in his words to those seeking, ty, ones, independence, stopped the delusion the pursuit at independence. a dead end. hundreds of marches have been taking place across the united states,
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calling for stricter gun laws. they were organized after a speed of shootings including last month in texas, where named t school children and 2 teachers were killed. fighting continues in and around the eastern ukrainian city of savannah, don yeske, president of lovely zalinski insists his forces, will win the war with russia. but he says, keep it needs more ammunition and weapons from itself. a russian challenge cause extensive damage to a ukrainian warehouse complex house in 300 tons of grain in the black sea. port of michael i of ukraine has one of the was largest suppliers of grain and sunflower. oil, but exports of almost completely stopped because of the warm falls across france open and around half an hour for the 1st round of voting in the legislative elections. 48000000 citizens are eligible to vote for the 577 members of the national assembly. it follows april presidential election that so emanuel mccomb,
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when a 2nd term on off bards going to be held if required next weekend. but he isn't in is here, have arrested journalist sala, a tier for comments he made on al jazeera about the president, i to reported the case said, has asked the army to close the headquarters of the powerful union u g t t and put some of its leaders under house arrest. those are the headlines coming up next. it's ford lives good by american people have finally spoken. america is isolate when america is long, bells will become more dangerous. the world is looking at us with a mixture of sadness and with the election behind us. will the republican party don't cross your weekly take on us politics and the sy fi that's the bottom line. in 1996, joseph writings a 21 year old manager of an electronics door was killed during an armed robbery and
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knoxville, tennessee. 3 young people were involved. amanda jo, good and amir nance were both 16. robert manning was 20. he gave almira gun and they both went into the radio shack armed amanda waited in the car manning later testified that he killed the manager with a shot to the head. even though i am your nance didn't pull the trigger. he was convicted a felony, murder, and sentenced to a minimum of 51 years in prison. he's 43 years old. now. i've been here through my whole twenties, thirties, and i've been outside of fear. when i say count time, i got to go in room. they locked the door from out miss life a miss in the world. o msm did. oh,
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am near actually represent so many people that were just there and they're held accountable for things that technically they did not in tennessee has the longest mandatory sentence in the united states for a teenager convicted a felony murder at their 16 or 17 if they're carrying a gun and i know they're not supposed to have a gun and they're involved in a criminal act. they know that's wrong. you can afford to let those people out fault lines travel to tennessee, as the state supreme court considers whether these 51 year sentences violate the constitution. it's unfair if like, they're trapped there in some sort of a nightmare that they can get out. my daughters grown. she's in her twenties. i've been in prison. her whole life. she's never know me outside of a visitation gallery. you don't want to give him a chance to like become
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a better person for his family. 51 years before poor o is ridiculous. phyllis, the point i've been imprison more years than i've been free on the street. i wasn't old enough to buy cigarettes when i was only a few promo way for him. should he be punished? nice, but 51 years. what kind of justice system is that? ah, on january 18th, 1996, the day of the shooting, robert manning showed up to al mir's house and flashed a pistol. a what i remember most about robert manning is that he had no off switch. that was
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always struck by the fact that he seemed to have no conscience at all. he did not seem to have true one morsel regret for anything you do. and that made him an incredibly dangerous i shot. or are you mad? robert manning had a history of violence. he had shot and injured one of elmer's friends earlier that day. a week. musson was afraid for his life and he every right to be afraid and no fear. i probably would have gotten a call a amanda was the other teenager in the car that day of the drug. she asked us not to show her face. do you have any memory of weather or wanted to come along to do this thing? i think it's the same as me. he had no idea it was gonna turn out the way that it
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did. and i do know for a fact after that he did tell me or wait right here with her. come with me on the air. sit in the car with her l mirror so you can kind of imagine maybe what the conversation was. well, after the shooting, the group rob to home nearby and tied up the couple blocking them in the trunk of their car. i don't, i don't know was very of trouble really, really. sorry. i've been robert manning was pulling the strings from the get go. he decided that they would go to the radio shack that's his mom. and that was always my sense about both. those young people is that for robert manning, neither they can't afford to have been in this situation. the subject been interviewed lee like male subject named el near nance. almost
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a week after the shooting almira nance was arrested in the middle of the night and interrogated at this knox county sheriff's office building a 16 year old without a parent. without my permission. with data tony aiden, an office's kept me now all night long. subject this interview will be the homicide only or told police that robert manning killed joseph. right. are you sick? i time trying to run out to do when i was i get the do up to do open and i heard a shot. a mere says he repeatedly asked for a lawyer that night, but never got one in line with me. a name there was none of it. he's a 16 year old kids, been looking at gunpoint with dogs, cut off from his mother, and he still shows the presence of mind to invoke council. i want
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a lawyer. we reviewed the trial transcripts with chris erwin, a former public defender that any money and for me, an activist in knoxville in court. the officer who, questioned honor, testified that he didn't recall him asking to see an attorney and the officer lied when he was on the stand. under oath. did he in bo council? he said, no. no, he did not. he comes back with his notes and hands. he goes, oh, he did and opens right to counsel the officers own handwritten notes, contradicted his testimony under oath, but the judge refused to throw out al me, your statements to police. what impact does that have on the rest of his case? when you have some 6 year old talking about his involvement, he would have said anything. the constitutionally, the statement obviously should have been suppressed, was obviously a coerced confession. i couldn't even explain to you a sorry,
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i feel i respect know that to happen. may i really know not about the last thing ma'am. on the end of this interview with elmer news initially, robert manning blamed the shooting anal mirror, but he later testified in court that he pulled the trigger. i'm you know, pushing yeah. oh yeah, sure. yeah. robert manning was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. ah, while in prison, he stopped man and set him on fire, killing him. he did not respond to any letters from fault lines, but amir was sentenced to a minimum of 51 years. that wasn't the case for the 3rd person involved in the robbery. amanda jo, good. she did. how much time a jill did 2 years. 40 years,
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10 years. she did one year she was incarcerated. what's the difference between her? the person who has a darker skin color is going to get more time that has been proven. you had a white judge why prosecutor white defense attorney white cops, and then you have this fly kid the sitting there 16 when it happened and gets nailed. the color of his skin was not my concern and never was ready. nichols was the district attorney at the time and oversaw the prosecution of i'm years case. don't you see a double standard in a way that a 16 year old white girl gets a year? how do you explain? well i, i can explain it, you know, in like say people wish to draw the conclusion that it was racially motivated. they would be free to do that. the only thing i can say is that's just not the way it
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was. he got out of the automobile and went into the store. she did not a secondly, he had a hand gun that she did not. we tried to base our decisions on the facts that we could prove in court. and i believe i did that in this case. do you think that a juvenile who doesn't actually kill anybody? should go into prison as a teenager and come out as a senior citizen? as you look at it in know some 30 years later for chance, it was overly harsh. i wouldn't or you that. but i continued to be able to live with glad to see on this case. right or wrong. so we're on our way to the old knox county courthouse to meet with a juror. and on the our trial this year in particular, it said that really wanted to talk to us. she said that she'd been thinking about
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this case for 25 years. and i've been feeling guilty for 25 years. i don't feel like what we did was just very disturbed when the sentence was pronounced. we're again, i'm really naive. i. i thought the jury would have some input to that. do you remember how you felt when you heard this 51 year, minimums tenant hours? stoned, shot your life was taken and that is a terrible tragedy. a great injustice to the victim, to his family. all the people whose the ripples of his life would have gone out to for generations. but taking al mir's life when he just started in, wasn't even formed into who is going to become yet really i felt horrified enough
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feel like i follow the instructions. but it wasn't just and i regret being a participant in that engine that you're asked us not to use her name because she's concerned about possible backlash for sharing her feelings about amir sentence. it was like a death blow. it was like over q league, you know, it's just, it's cruel and unusual. if you think about it. definitely if you pull in black, you on doing he was definitely in humane. and it was no just, no just served. no body looked at him like he was nothing and they knew he didn't deserve it and they didn't care. they didn't care.
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oh, isn't they pay a call for an inmate that the tennessee department correction northwest correctional complex. hello. hey, alan today? yes, i'm definitely bad. he's doing what happens with me when you were gonna have arms around the center on the table. it's my 1st time with that. i haven't really seen him in a while, and i'd love to just have him home. even if it was just for a few hours, you know, let us go do something together. anything. what goes through your head when you think about the fact that your dad is serving a felony, murder sentence, and didn't murder anybody?
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it just makes me like realized that the system does not always work the right way. they know that i didn't shoot this person. is mendoza broad as like to say his name and i'd like to just say the person or the victim. i like to dignify the main body lisa in his name, but they know i didn't kill this person can be charged with felony murder if they take part in a crime and which someone is killed, even if they didn't cause the death. united states is one of only a few countries in the world with such a law, felony murdered doctrine in and of itself is a fiction because it transfers the intent of a felony which is not murder. and they shouldn't be treated like they intended to kill. because they did do a series of rulings over the past 20 years. the supreme court has concluded that
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juveniles convicted of murder should be sentenced differently than adults in nearly 12000 people in the u. s. are serving life sentences for crimes. they committed as a juvenile in juveniles are different because they are sort of uniquely susceptible to peer pressure from outside. they have a greater capacity for change and growth overtime. their brain does not fully develop until they're 2021 between 21 and 25. so we know a lot more about brain development, and if that juvenile is thinking like an adult, or if they're thinking like a child, you don't really understand things like at that age of 16, you don't think life s like for and were, you know, your normal things right now to day and next week, and since 1995, 236 juvenile offenders and tennessee have received 51 year minimum sentences. 72 percent of them are black compared to just 17 of the states population.
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ah, all of these factors, race, peer pressure, youthful decision making, and a difficult childhood, played a role. and on the nurse case, i grew up in a drug addicted home. my mother was on drugs. my father was absent. i spent a lot of time living with my grandmother. so i was really a kid. i had no big brothers. i had no father figures. why wind up ang, without a guard and doing things that are certainly been dornen. and i was easily manipulated. you know, you blank as they have you feel like you one a good enough mom, but i did the best i could what i now i never want to job again in my life. it cost me too much awe keys. hush me a little bit about your family. i can my mother's clothes about guys. we as he straightened up her life as he works and she's got
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a nice place for sale. and i talk to her love another. mm. if you see where i came from and i know i was allows home kidnapped, thought i would amount anything out 20 years claim to day. i live in truth that people can change if given the cheeks. it's like i know i may have given a chance that one now i am a more troubled him at all period that people do change. then i know i've never been anywhere but to a vending machine. you know? oh, we get along as much as we can. and any way i can be a board or source of hope or something. so i get to tell them know that i'm in school, that i'm doing something i know is not just sitting in her, you know, friendly cups off the bars. like you would imagine. how does it feel when he says
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like, i've never been able to treat it or something i thought in a vending machine. it's really just high brush. encouraged her. what have been that times that stick out in your mind or you've especially messed him around prom birthday. ah. but as long as that a morning thing from her birthday, but for him the walk through the door. you know, how, like little videos are the soldiers come home? i always imagine like that would be me like my dad getting out of prison is the prize of me somewhere there still a dream even now and i'm well ah, people deserve a chance to make mistakes and learn from them and grow up. you know, he's death and not the same person. he's a better man. there's no way he should still be there all these years later. we all
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know he didn't kill any man. tim hutchison was the sheriff. when i'm your nance was convicted, i can understand the 51 years. he has no problem with him spending 51 years behind bars. oh, are you going to do you say, oh, well, he was 16 and had a weapon, but he didn't need to do just a couple of years because of his age. no, there's not. that is the act. there are a lot of people who say there should not be felony murder charges because you shouldn't be considered a murderer if you'd and pulled the trigger or felony. murder is a way to get these people off the street, people mouth street, and they need to be off the street. and the same goes with mr. nance. he knew he was born inside the store to rob the store. what would your response be to people who say this isn't really working, talking people up doesn't actually solve any problems. well,
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for those who say it doesn't really solve any problem by locking the juveniles up on for a long period of time. elmer nance hadn't been involved in any more violent crimes since the supreme court rulings states around the country have been reconsidering life sentences for people like i'm here in 2021. a bill passed the tennessee state senate that would have reduced the mandatory senates from 51 years to 25. there was opposition to it in the house, so the bell didn't move forward. seat senator john lundberg voted against it. he's an influential voice in the legislature opposing criminal justice reform. these are heinous murders and acts. ah, and the unfortunate part, i think we have to admit and we may not like it as a society. but there are some folks who are just born bad. and some of those people
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probably best that you're behind bars if it's their child, if it's someone in their community who is making these mistakes, they don't believe that their child was born bad. it is only people from other communities, people with different backgrounds, people that they don't have a connection with that they can sorta forget what they really know. which is that children are different. are the tennessee supreme court will be deciding soon if the state will treat children any differently. it's considering a case similar to om years, challenging the constitutionality of 51 year sentences for juveniles. the 1st time you are eligible for releases when. oh, well, it's condo, non existent, you know, it's 16 years old. if you give a person 51 years, a u. s. supreme court will that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are cruel
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and unusual punishment, violating the 8th amendment. so i don't even look forward to that date, but tennessee argues that 51 years. it's not a life sentence, because eventually they could get out if they managed to live that long. i don't see any one surviving of 51 year life sentence. i can't see even if you didn't for the trigger, even if you the annoying thing about it felony mara, daryl k with you, which you die in in prison. ah, ah. we spoke with a family of joseph writing, but they declined to take part in our story. his mother cited our old saying, if you have a sore place that escaped over, don't pick on it because it will bleed. i've
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been incarcerated for 26 years. deciding may say, throw those guys away, but i don't have to feel that way about myself. but you guys a family day, you know, they never want to give up on you. you like for what time i have left, i choose to try to be the best version of myself that i can be hello. hey i'm here . we go by when god baby mirror i try to be as much a source of support and inspiration from a dark place. i try to shine light even for her. if i came for them, i live,
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i live a nomad, she a retirement home. you meet demo with women? yeah, i will. my mom is seen some mom. talk about a mile detect. you don't have to come out and get him a job. you know, as a mom, she's at 87 with k. why does they use away? everybody lives up even from worries. oh oh. i've never given up hope now. never will till he comes home with my belongings. yeah. miss melissa allows them to change very soon. oh good. don't worry me, greg did drive. you know,
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when you hit that our way you go to the beach and i feeling a known heart in ask leave. yeah, i'll, we'll see i'm, we're get a chance to get in the car ra would meet his keys in town with his dog. i'm a big i believe he's gonna get a chance one day to come right in his door and we'll be able to hook me top. toma schofield, a ah, the health of humanity is at stake. a global pandemic requires a global response. w h o is the guardian of global health delivering life saving
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