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tv   Hadar Aviram Yesterdays Monsters  CSPAN  July 12, 2020 4:15pm-5:11pm EDT

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political commentator ãoffers his thoughts on the differences between 20th century socialism and socialism today. and argues it must be stopped. doctor ezekiel emanuel of former special advisor on how policy and the obama administration weighs in on which countries have the best healthcare. economics professor mark light discusses why improvements in our economy are accompanied by increases in stress anxiety and anger. find more information on your program guide or online at booktv.org. >> welcome to tattered covered live the events we do here my name is michaela am the director of marketing and events at tattered cover and am excited for this event we have today. i want to give you a couple updates about how tattered cover is doing and what we are apt to because there's been changes all the time and you should definitely be following us on multiple social media channels as well as signing up
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we want to elevate it, it's always going to be our top priority at tattered cover. these authors have been chosen specifically because we love their work and we can't stand the idea they don't have a platform right now and we think you're gonna love it too. we believe entirely that our communities need books as much as independent bookstores need our neighbors business right now. we know that tattered cover is a community-based normally even our authors out ãwas only early about how it's always a bus stop in denver and while we cannot be physically together were hoping you guys can join us as a virtual community and we can provide that opportunity and connect with you all this way. thank you for joining us tonight. also just to let you know this will be recorded on youtube and close captioning will be available for, you need it. we have plenty more live streams coming up. check out our website we had a middle grade author. we got some young readers out there jessica kim is going to be friday, may 22 and we also have william kent kruger on
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thursdays may 28 all of them are 5:00 p.m. mountain time. the author we have today and very excited for this. my reading has expanded so much getting to do the these author events in this book is no exception. i'm so excited to pick her brain. hadar aviram is a professor of law at the university of california hastings college of law. she's the author of "cheap on crime" and the transformation of american punishment and coeditor of the legal process and the promise of justice. she is a frequent media commentator and runs the california correctional crisis law. we here to talk about her book "yesterday's monsters" and him and invite her to join me. and get a turn on her video here. let me get her connected and we will get this show on the road. hello!
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welcome! >> hi everyone. thank you for joining us. i know you're a little bit earlier than us so thank you for hanging out with us before dinner time.>> this is perfect. my toddler is napping and i have time and this is great. >> i'm so glad. >> thank you for doing this. it's our pleasure is something we really want to share your work and thank you for taking the time to write this book. give us a little bit of a summary of what tran nine is about and then you have a presentation ãb"yesterday's monsters" is about and any representation. >> it talks about the parole process in california and use a fairly unique lens assuming many of the people listening to us on youtube have heard about the manson family members. usually what you read about is the murders in the trial and
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not a lot of people know what happened after. this book is based on 50 years work of all the parole's transcripts of all the parole hearings the manson family inmates have had since the late 70s.through those stories i tell a fifty-year story arc of what happened with criminal justice and extreme punishment in california. >> and it so fascinating because you are right, we think manson family murders we definitely don't go to what happened after the conviction. . i'm gonna hop off what you share your screen and your presentation and then i will join us back for a q&a. while hadar is presenting make sure to think of your questions. >> here we go. there we go. this is actually a topic i figure a lot of people are more interested in now because we been hearing a lot about the question of whether to release people out of prison given what covid-19 is doing inside prisons and all the people that are getting sick.
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it's an opportunity for us to think about how we feel about people who have committed serious crime and what is the back door of the prison look like for people like that. to give you a little bit of an idea of the extent of how many people get out of parole in california i'm going to start with a little bit of numbers. this is the number of parole releases in california from 1978 onward to 2012. he can see thousands of people come up from parole every year but only a very few get out. just to drive that point home, this is the percentage of parole grants you can see that during the 90s and until more or less the great recession of 2008 pretty much almost nobody got out. there were three governors that would not let anybody out the parole board responded by not letting anybody out and it's only once jerry brown became governor and a few other changes happen the doors of the parole open a little bit. so what is parole? parole comes from the french term for word used to be the
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idea that you come up to be released from prison and give your word you not to commit crime again and then you are let out. in the states that still have parole boards the parole hearing looks something like this. every person would have room that looks like this. three parole commissioners, all political appointees of our governor and they will be sitting in the room and there will be the inmate the person seeking parole trying to convince them to let them out. the inmate could be represented by a lawyer and often they are but the lawyer is not doing like lawyer trial lawyer work but rather just sitting there and helping the person prep for the hearing. other people in the room including the prosecutors, victims of a crime if they show up, a few other people, prison personnel and a lot of people
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work involved. then the board of commissioners decide whether they can recommend lease or not. california is one of the few states that has two tiers of parole so even if the board decided to get out you still have to wait four months. the governor has four months to look at parole recommendation and decide whether to approve or veto it.only if the board agrees to release you and the governor agrees to release you then get out. that's the way things work in california. a little bit about the case is at the heart of my book. some of the reviewers might have heard about the manson family viewers for those who have it around 19 67 a man by the name of charlie manson gets at a federal prison at that point he is already a very seasoned criminal, he's done more time inside that he's done outside the really violent crimes. the first place he goes out in 1967 after he gets out is to san francisco. shortly after the summer of
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love ãbis ravaged with crime and violence and drugs and lots of lost people looking for charismatic guys with guitars looking for followers so he's no different than other people and he starts gathering a flock of disciples, followers, most of them young women, teenagers and they start following him to get a bus and travel up and down the coast of california and they find a movie ranch in southern california where they settled down. they sort of hobnob a little bit with the counterculture the music culture in la, manson is trying to break into the music scene unsuccessfully. in 1969 a group of manson's followers commit for very heinous murders which initially are not connected to each other and it's only later that the police connect the dots. the first is the killing of a man by the name of gary kinnaman who was a music teacher and acquaintance of the family. then there is the iconic famous murder of sharon tate at the time nine months pregnant with her child with roman polanski and four of her friends at their mansion.
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the following night for murder lino and rosemary ãa married couple also living in la and then they kill donald shea who is a ranch shorthand ranch and at the ranch they were living because they were afraid he was gonna tell on them. finally, the lapd drops the crime they bring the child in the 1971 all of the people charlie manson, the three women ãba few other compasses and other related trials get our own found guilty and i'll get the death penalty. but there is a reversal of fortune because only a year after all these people are sentenced to death, the death penalty is abolished in california. so at the time this case called people versus anderson in which the court says the death penalty is unconstitutional
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it's the basis california it's inhumane. they basically do away with it and it really angers people in california. ronald reagan, the governor at the time, is just outraged at the courts partly because they're all waiting to hear supreme court decision in a case that some of you might've heard about the case that actually halted the death penalty in the united states for 42 years between 1972 in 1976. but what really enrages people is that at the time, there was some pretty serious people on death row in california. because of this decision, 107 people that are later known as a class of 72, all had sentences commuted from death to life with parole. some of you might be wondering why did they just give them the life without parole? life without parole didn't exist in california until 1978. the outcome of this decision was that everybody gets transferred to general prison in 1972 there gonna start coming off for parole in 1978. even though this sounds really
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hard to imagine now with a very long sentences we have, it was not outlandish at the time for somebody to be serving 10, 15 years for first-degree murder and then getting out. there's a lot of outrage in california, people are very worried this crime becomes that of the symbolic thing. could be nothing more evil than this we have to make sure this doesn't happen again. partly why this happens is because there's a series of books chief among those is helter-skelter the book written by the prosecutor in the case. talking about this crime is being a product of this very sort of demonic apocalyptic cults. the story is that manson told his followers that there was going to be a race war, black people and white people were going to fight each other. blood was going to float on the streets and what the black people win, there to look for a leader and then manson and his followers will come out of hiding and basically rule the
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world. that's the story of what the story becomes. everybody buys into the idea this is a crime that is very very unique. one of the things that come up in the book is that even though this story is factually true, it's a truth that hides other truths.there are two other stories you could tell about this crime there's also a story you can see those books in the second or middle row is also a way to look at these crimes is not being so outlandish and being the crimes of common criminals. there are some accounts including accounts from the victim and offenders and journalists that suggests what actually happened was a drug deal gone bad they tried to make amends with the panthers when the whom they really feared. manson was afraid of the panther getting money and they were trying to get money out of him. and one of the family associates got arrested for the gary inman murder. they re-created the other crimes to be copycat crimes to sort of throw the lapd off the fence and show them they been on the wrong track.
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unsuccessfully obviously. then there's also another dimension to this crime that people don't often think about or didn't think about at the time that the issue of the cults. the books right at the bottom. the idea is that these people were hopped out of their mind on drugs, many very young, hungry, didn't really have food. the room and were regularly sexually exploited. manson himself was a very violent man. a lot of this factors into the way we view the crime. this is crucially important because the account in helter-skelter, the story that yosi tells is a story that he crafted to great extent for legal purposes. under california law at the time you couldn't convict a murder of somebody who had not been on the murder scene itself without tying the very close to the crime.he needed that story to tie manson to the ground. the story of the colt starts
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percolating after the conviction become real. one of the things that some of you might think about is that just last year a new tarantino movie came out basically telling the story of what happened and one of the reasons i like the tarantino book movie is because it tells you a complicated story basically tells you all these three stories i want. the helter-skelter story, the criminal story the colt story you get a flavor of everything some of you will recognize this little scene from the movie you can see there is something wrong going on there the brad pitt character coming into the ranch to see what's going on. there's something very wrong and sinister going on. but you can also see the squalor and the exploitation. it's all there. just to lend more credibility to the story that manson was not the only person violent and scary and exploited at the time this guy in the picture was widely known as one of the granddaddy's of california he
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could see him with some of his wife's.very scary man just as well. the moon is very active in california at the time. and in the early 70s worries about cults in california starting manson said that in 1974 martin duque emily the first african american legislator in california actually holds legislative hearings and people who are in cults come to the hearings fathers and mothers of people in cults come and say please save our kids. he said there's nothing i can do a lot of these people are adults there's freedom of speech. notably a lot of the people who speak up at these hearings in 1974 in mentioning the manson murders and saying, if we knew now, now meeting 1974, if we knew then what we do now about cults we probably would have sentenced the girls to death there's probably victims. think about now looking at the whole thing through a "me too" lens and how we would perceive the murders at this point but the training of what to do the manson family is already left the station.
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not only does it come back big time to the united states with greg versus georgia but also california introduces something called determinate sentencing act which is the change the way that they get punishment to serious crimes and in 1978 california brings back the death penalty creates life without parole and the explanation to these built they say we are doing this because we want to make sure the next charlie manson that comes in we can punish them appropriately. there's a lot of viewing this case as a cautionary tale. a lot of fear about this case repeating itself manson and the disciples are often mentioned. here's jerry brown today use jerry brown when he was young and governor california in the 70s he gets letters from the aclu the legislative analyst office from the lapd police union saying please don't pull the sentence off every time a heinous crime is gonna come up punishment is gonna skyrocket and jerry belts not attentive listening to the helter-skelter
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argument ratchets up the platform for punishment and this is probably how we get these increasingly severe sentences in california ever since. in 1988 there's an extra layer to this is that's where we at the governor's veto before that the government could it veto the decisions now the governor has a political jn denae after the board makes its decision. on top of everything the commissioners become political appointees by the governor so you're looking at a page from the california department of corrections website and as you can see in the picture of the commissioners i'm gonna move myself up so you can see everybody he can see it's a pretty diverse group in terms of gender and race but they are not of all diverse in terms of their background. everything a person you see here comes from corrections background or former sheriff or police chief. not a single person with therapeutic professional not a single psychologist or social worker. nobody who knows anything therapeutic about substance
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abuse about mental illness about a lot of the things that happen in prison, it's only much much later just in the recent two or three years they start appointing people from defense backgrounds but still nobody with a professional therapeutic background is on the board. finally, we have this extra layer on top of everything. this is 2008 when california took off the voter initiative called mercies law. the two in the extra things when victims come to the parole board they can bring a lot of people to support them. the victim advocates can bring their own advocates. more portly, to increase the time between parole denial. when you deny parole in california the presumptive time you have to wait until your next year is 15 years. because this is so much there's often exceptions. this is supposed to be the rules this gives you an idea of what the law is like. what i want to do now is talk a little bit about what's happening this year.
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ãbruns a nonprofit in california called on common law which represents people in parole. he holds trainings for lawyers who want to represent evil on parole. the first thing he tells you is forget about this being a criminal trial. you are already guilty. any effort to argue with the court record to present your own version of events is going to fail. you can imagine this is a massive problem for the people that are in prison and we know there are people in prison who are very long-term think they have it done. people are there innocent. if you say i didn't do it you have expressed insight. insight is a really cool word in california it is important to note, insight is kind of the best way to explain what insight is, it's whatever the board wanted to be. insight is a combination of remorse and looking at yourself back at the time of the crime sort of explaining why you
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committed the crime, i once was blind but now i see but i'm changed. it supposed to reflect this internal transformation for something else you going to imprison. the first and most important way to show this is to basically agree with anything that's in the court records. up until the mid-80s when i looked at the transcripts what i saw was the commissioners were genuinely interested in what people had to say for example, susan atkins has claimed fairly consistently since her trial that she did not actually stab anyone, including sharon tate. even though that's in court records. she said swanson did the stabbing. this is a story that tex watson confirms. up until the mid-80s there like tell me your side of the story. after the mid-80s any efforts you make to tell a story that different from what the court believes, you're trying to minimize your not showing insight. so that's key. the problem with insight one of
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the interesting things about using insight is that insight is whatever they want. so if there are strong political reasons for not letting out they can always say this person doesn't have insight. this is really important because the last 20 years the rule in parole hearings if you can't deny somebody parole just based on heinousness of the crime. it's not grounds for release. but they can always say, you're not showing insight about your heinous crime then they don't let you out. there's another interesting thing to point out about this and that step the prosecutor is actually present at all the hearings. the guy you see in the picture stephen j is one of the original prosecutors in the manson family trials he used to still come into every single hearing actually pioneered a program in the 80s for encouraging more and more prosecutors to show up. so why do you need a prosecutor? the trial has been over for decades. initially the role the prosecutor was to explain things from the trial record but stephen kay and the people that came after him expanded this role and all the
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prosecutor does something a call the moral memory of the board. he feels comfortable he talks about risk, he asks people questions about their behaviors in prison. he will say, charlie, i hear your growing spiders on the walls of your prison. what's up with that? your drawing naked ladies. what should we understand from that? you been dating the wrong people getting near ãbmail from the wrong people. sometimes a foreign language sometimes he points at the inmates and say, you have ice in your veins instead of blood. feels very comfortable participating. he's basically partnering with the increasing block of the victims at the hearings. the woman you're seeing in the picture is deborah tate, sharon tate's sister, last surviving member of the tate family she still shows up for every single hearing including hearings of people who did not actually have anything to do with sharon tate's murder. didn't know about it at the time. when she can't show up as a
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victim she shows up as a victim advocates and the expansion of how many people show up on behalf of victims is really strong this to illustrate this in the mid-80s one person would show up to tex watson tearing out 17 people pretty much regularly at every hearing the commissioners do not limit their time so this could go on for six hours victims speak for themselves they will read letters from other victims they will comment about family members that died before they were born so it's very expanded role for the victims. i can talk more about why i think this is not a great way to advocate justice for the victims or the offenders. i can tell you that in the tate family memoir they talk extensively about how hard it is for them to do it they don't actually get a lot of solace or lease or anything. i can also tell you they basically ban any victim opinion that's not very punitive. at some point in the 90s a woman called susan will emerge a cousin of yonkers struck a
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friendship with tex watson they were both born or grand christians they bonded over their faith and she showed showed up at the hearing to say i'm not actually opposing his release i forgiven him and what have you. after the hearing in the parking lot she was accosted and assaulted by doris tate, sharon tate's mom they say that this is true she told her you are a piece of ãbher parents are rolling in their graves and of course susan laberge never shows up again. the only way to be a victim in california now is to be a punitive so little bit about what happens when they talk about the prisons. in addition to talking about the crime the way it was they talk about what the person is doing now. there's basically two things, they talk about the disciplinary hearings and laudatory paperwork you get for doing rehab programs and drug programs, anger management what have you. you're seeing leslie in the picture she has a masters degree, she's very active in
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prison she has tiny disciplinary file. we see in these cases they will repeatedly come up with the disciplinary writeups you have from 20, 30, 40 years ago and discuss them again and again. we will talk to her about having a fourth and a jacket that she borrowed from a friend for smoking marijuana in the early 80s sometimes they repeatedly ding say you have an incident with the baseball bat. when we talk about rehabilitation programs we are hitting the nail on the head. the issue is the california prisons don't really have rehabilitative programs. not anymore.
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in prisons that are mostly remote they don't have that option. this is one of the shocker things i found out the board regularly recommends or requires people attend programs that don't exist. yes, programs that don't exist. programs you can even attend. for example, a white guy who doesn't want to bond with white supremacist in prison so he became the greatest enemy and basically in solitary for protection from them, and unless you get dinged for not attending programming even though he couldn't physically leave his cell to attend. the one type of programming we do very strongly required everybody to do is drug
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programming, 12 steps. that's because 12 steps is cheap, it's available in all prisons because they don't need professionals for that. people do it for themselves so they required of everyone. whenever summary comes up with a slightly different type of rehabilitative program there very suspicious. tex watson became a born-again christian shortly after coming to prison to start the prison ministry they are constantly suspicious of his efforts at the prison ministry saying, you just doing this because you want to continue manipulating people. they do the same thing to this man bruce davis. bruce davis is doctor of divinity. he became a born-again christian fairly early on in prison very very strong believer and they will be telling him at the hearing you're still occult follower. substituted manson for jesus. as you can imagine, for someone a very devout christian this is incredibly offensive so he starts arguing with them which doesn't bode well for his release. he is only recommended in release 2012 but the governor versus every time.
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ãbcomes into prison as already an accomplished artist and musician. he tells them i already have a profession. they said were not seeing you participating in programs. he said i created an electronic recording studio in prison and put together prison band i'm putting together rehabilitative programs for other people because i don't really need a ged and they ding him for being arrogant. this gives you a sense of how difficult it is to actually satisfy these constantly moving gold posts. he knows they're never letting him out. so throughout the hearings he's laughing and cursing at them and jumping on the table and doing whatever he wants and in the last three hearings he doesn't even bother to show up. they are so flummoxed by the fact he's not there that they talk to the entity table as if he's sitting there. you reading the record and it says mr. manson we are speaking to you through the record.
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run the whole hearing as he is there just to show you that you continue to manipulate people even if you're not there and well into his death a couple years ago. a little bit about the future, i can talk more about letters of support, letters of opposition, we can do that in the q&a but what's most important for me to talk about now is this picture. the woman in the picture is susan atkins and what you are seeing is her 2000 line hearing at that point susan atkins was already 60 she had inoperable brain tumor she's being wheeled into the ramona gertie. nonresponsive can't hear them can't see them she sleeps for more of her hearing and represented by the diana left with the mustache that's james white house her husband also an attorney who represented her at the hearings. what happens at the hearing which chapter 6 of my book gives a blow-by-blow of the whole thing, it's really really heartbreaking because they are just completely ignoring the fact that this woman is lying there on a gurney.
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saying the ada telling you you need a hearing aid. they'll be looking at a record and saying, five years ago she was at low risk but super wasn't super low risk. but what she gonna do? she's gonna die in a few months i wanted to die at home. they said you have enough money to make sure she has hospice care and he said i'm gonna take care of her. they mock him for that. good for you that you have money i wish i had money to take care my relatives. on top of everything deborah tate gets out of the hearing points at her and says she is still a danger to society because are still people that look up to the manson family. they read a decision where they don't let this woman out of prison to live the last few months of her life with her husband, completely clean disciplinary record for many years born-again christian since 1977 the only thing she got dinged for in previous hearings was she was too zealous in advocating ministering for jesus at the
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prison to a literally captive audience. she is dying and they are like, no, she still a risk. i think this brings us to the question, what is true about this? this is susan atkins again in one of the few moments of the hearings were to look at her husband, we can talk more about this really hard stuff. this is a piece of art by bobby buckley called the bardo and bardo is this notion of a purgatory like set of worlds or passages between when you die and when you reach nirvana or reborn. to me this is a huge metaphor for the whole parole thing.my question is, how do we get out of this? how do we get out of this purgatory. it's a really poignant question given what we're seeing now with prison release.
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in the book and make a few recommendations and i will end with those. i recommend removing the governor veto from the process. it's an extra political layer we don't actually need. i recommend diversifying the board so it's not just political appointments as professional payments, people whose backgrounds are vetted, people come from their backgrounds. people who get to the extent of continuing education and substance abuse, mental health, all the things you need to know when you're dealing with proper population behind bars. i recommend you introduce really big time restorative justice processes with victims and offenders talk to each other offenders can actually offer victims apologies that are genuine because they're not banging on that to ask for the release of the victims can get something out of the profits and are not jamming the process for everybody else. i recommend the main recommendation of the book i have a few more recommendations but the most important one is
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we absolutely have to have robust rehabilitation program in prisons because we can't actually blame people for not having skills that the prison is not providing them. if we create vocational training that gives people jobs they can do on the outside and create a continuum of what happens in prison and what happens outside of prison then we can really give people a chance and hope to get released. that's the only pass we have to get the hell out of bartow. thank you.i'm happy to answer questions. >> that was amazing. so fascinating and educational. so many emotions. just to get everyone started, we are answering questions, you can type them in the chat as you watching the video on youtube. we will filter them and read them out and answer them on the video. i would love to, this is one
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thing i thought very interesting. you mentioned about wanting to talk about more with the tate family. i was warned about this, these victims or family members of victims coming to parole hearings from a podcast i enjoy called your wrong about they were talking about this sort of assaults on the parole hearings and how that heavily affects the results. but also you talked about how it's not really healthy for the tate family to keep bringing this up. it's a wound they typically scatter at. i was wondering if you talk more about that process and how that negatively affects the sort of false hope prisoners are given with parole. >> i want to be very cautious here i don't want to speak for terminals was tickly about what other people mean rvs thesis is because every comes into these situations with different feelings. to the extent i'm talking about things in nursing better
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creating more suffering, i'm actually quoting the tate family themselves from their own men were talking about how hard it is for them to come to these hearings and how they're not really getting anything out of it and not getting the apology. the structure of this hearing is such that it's so performative and so artificial that is the last place he would go to get any reckoning any dialogue any apology. if you're going in there like, i want to hear the person tell me, i'm so sorry for what i did to you, the prisoners under california law are actually forbidden from speaking to the victims. very often the victims don't know about this. they will go outside get a tv interview and say something like, she never told me she was sorry. they're not allowed to tell you there sorry. moreover, even if they were, would you really believe somebody who told you there sorry on the hearing they're trying to get out. every processes these things, grief and sadness and personally i'm not a stranger to grieving over loved ones who
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died of violent deaths. i lost a dear friend to homicide in 2014. i lost nine friends to suicide bombing in 2002. this is a very hard to process. i will tell you that i work with two violence prevention coalitions one in santa rosa and one in sacramento and every time i go there i speak to dozens of families don't see things the way the tate family does. most of the victims of violent crime in california are poor people of color and most of the time cindy's mom will come up to me and say, my kid got shot by another kid over a drug deal. i don't care about the death penalty and care about parole what i want is for more kids not to die. i want there to be more opportunities and more education in my neighborhood. these are not the people who have the wherewithal and the bandwidth and the money to travel to these distance prisons to make victim statements. so were getting very lopsided picture of what victims actually want. i been thinking a lot about this in the aftermath some of you might've heard about this horrific killing of a guy by the name of ãbby this
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off-duty police women his neighbor who's a white woman amber witter who breaks into his house basically claiming she fixes her house intruding him and a crime that obviously has outrage and talking about it then she comes to getting convicted and sentenced and bottom jeans brother brad jean is a devout christian gives her this big hug and says i forgive you. twitter and npr goes aflame. white people have been forgiven benefited for black people's forgiveness for long enough. i'm like what is it? now we the woke arcana to help somebody had grieved their brother. he's doing what's good for him. to me these are attacks are just as racist as the racism there pretending to convict. so a particular strand of victimization the only way to be a good victim is to be super punitive and want to kill people and never get out if that's the only acceptable way to be a victim, that's erasing
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the move voices of majority of victims in united states who are not like that. whatever we hear of somebody speaking for the victim ask yourself who's getting the microphone and why. >> is a fascinating way of looking at it. i'm curious a little bit about your writing process if we can talk about that. you have to craft the story over 50 years and you have such extensive research where did you start with your research and how the subject first come to you and why this lens? i think for many of us the manson family has haunted my dreams for decades. when the manson murders happened i was even born yet. i remember as a little kid going to a wax museum that had read creation of the murders and having this haunts my memory for decades. thinking about this crime as being the quintessential crime in california it's only when i came to california as a criminal justice professional started learning more about it i realized what a stronghold
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the story has on the way we view extreme crime and extreme punishment. we tend to cling to the stories of horrific crime because they're so horrible but we also have to keep in mind that their extremely rare. crime rates have been falling steadily since the 80s and part of the reason we are shocked about these murders is not only that they are very terrifying but also that they are not that common. but something like that happens were really shaken by it but shaken out of proportion and it shapes the whole way we view the process this is what california now has such a bloated prison population. this is why we are asking yourself why do we actually have these 60 and 65-year-old sick people in prison facing covid? it's because we treat everybody like charlie manson we are afraid to let people out. even though just in terms of looking at public safety and risk they don't pose a risk. these are folks who would committed crimes 20, 30, 40 years ago everything we know about life course terminology tells us people aged out of
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crime so what are we really doing here? what key people who are old not healthy because they come from proper spec resident come in healthy. california prisons are so terrible before the big court rulings for them in 2011 a person was dying every six days out of a completely present dump preventable disease. this is before a pandemic. god knows how many people are dying because i can tell you we already noticed members were seen for prison away lower than what they really are. we having people that are old that are sick a third of the correctional budgets in california goes to treating these people disproportionately old and sick. quarter of the population in california and prison is old and sick people. we be doing? the reason i started thinking about this, of course long before the pandemic is because my first book people of crime is about all the forms introduced in the aftermath the recession and i noticed every time states were shrinking there prison population, which is a big deal and we should be optimistic about it there also gearing themselves toward
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nonviolent inmates. reform that addresses nonviolent inmates is always easier to sell to the public. you seen the headlines gavin newsom is releasing people in california including murderers. murderers of somebody who 65 and committed a murder when they were 22. this is violent inmates. people convicted of a violent crime decades ago. that made me think of my one know how we treat super violent people in this time of revival of mercy toward nonviolent people. why are we making this distinction? i said, i'm gonna pick the most extreme violent people, the least likable, the least forgivable people i can think of enemy to see how they fair. much to my surprise i'm speaking to people may be interested in criminal justice and doing this work, almost all of this is public record. you can read almost any record. basically what i did there's
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thousands of pages because every hearing is hours long. so i basically went over them three times. the first time i had a team of students working with me this was their logic for the spring they really got into it because it was the first time they learned about parole. each of them picked one person and followed them to all the years. then i did the second two stages myself one of them i did it by year like i did read the hearings by year to see how things change over the years then i read the whole thing the third time and broke it into past present and future. that gave me an insight on how much you could ignore the present and the future because of the past. a person could be lying in front of you basically vegetable and you're not seeing them what you are seeing is 21-year-old who committed the crime 50 years ago. >> i love hearing about how your process went and how much research you delved into it. there's one question we have here going back to the ideas of the commissioner appointees if
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appointees with psychotherapeutic training may be preferable to political appointees how should these appointees be selected given the political and content of nature of psychotherapeutic theories. >> i think that's an excellent question. this digs into a point i couldn't think of the presentation but it's discussed in the book. which is how do we even assess risk? do we trust psychologists with assessing risk? >> the short answer to the question is we can't really trust basically anything that involves the idea anyone subjectively can look at you no matter what training they have or tell if you're dangerous or not. the people who have the most trust in their own ability to tell people who live for people tell the truth or cops and sheriffs. people have done studies on this and cops always report, i can totally tell that this person is lying or not. when they presented with videos of true and false narratives, they're the ones that get dinged the most.
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there are actually worse at doing that the general population. just to tell you a little story about this i go to a party shortly before i finished the book there was a guy who works for the california department of corrections there and there is also a journalist who had been himself incarcerated in saint quentin before he went out 30 years. in talking to them about the book and the guy from the california department of correction says, you should see the hearings they're not just basing it on what people say they're basing it on nonverbal language which by the way is hogwash because i've seen youtube videos of this and i don't know if anybody's telling the truth. and they can't either. then the guy who's been in saint quentin starts giggling and mike was funny he says, i was in prison for 30 years and i saw people come up for parole all the time and they deceived the board all the time ......
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rehabilitation is as rehabilitation does the job of the parole board is not to let people out who are good or visit to us. the job of the parole board is to protect public safety. if a person is not inside transformed, i'm thinking about shawshank redemption. comes up before the parole board. it doesn't matter itself this true or not. i if the person i not going to commit a crime that it fine. does they've have a profession, education, supportive struck, family, friends, peers, they're not going to commit a crime. it the person in their fifths are not going commit a crime. so expect professionals to be able to do that better. it's true that the way they came to view psychology at the hearings changed. initially in the 70s and
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80s, there would be somebody in the prison like a prison counselor talking to you and writing a report. increasingly we're relying more and more on these kind of actuarial stuff like the put stuff in a software that spit outs high risk or low risk. the problem is the board just picks whichever one they want. after 20 years you have dozens of these in your file. and if they want to let you out, even if the one flint last year says you're lows risk and one from seven years ago saysure mideastum rhys risk, theypick that one. in cases where people appeal this to california courts, there's newer one says says i'm nat a danger but be court can ding that but happen people can afford to do to court? >> i'm a theater in english major. i've been able to through the awe their events been able to read so much beyond what i normally would and so
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fascinating to learn about -- i'm curious what you hope -- you have a lot to say on thisy. wrote a whole book. if there was one thing you wanted reader to take away what would that be? >> so, i'm speaking to people who might be reading this book now while the global pandemic is going on and this is a really important message for me to send out. we are now facing a situation where our prisons have basically become incubators of this disease. all of the efforts you're putting into staying home and wearing masks and doing all the good stuff that good boys and girl does because we have been told toking going to be worth nothing if there's no effort to curb diseases in prison. while the stay inside the guards are going in and out and your create can petri dishes around the nation where this disease is festering and killing people. this not just about our safety,
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the question of what i is it in for me is important. i will point out to people behind bars are human beings, too, and even if they're doing time for a crime. they did not sign up to die for horrible disease because they're being held behind bars. i want people to consider the fact that the susan atkins story notice stand alone, route teenly people are old and sick and should be getting out on medical leave and geriatric leave. hundreds of thousands of people in the united states who are going die, going to see mass graves in prisons unless state governors get up and acts. if this is the way things operate during a pandemic, you can only imagine how it's been operating without a pandemic. just on death flow california since the death penalty came back 13 people were executed and more than a hundred died of natural causes, people die behind bars on life without
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parole, die behind behind bars the sentences are long and these people are not endangering public safety and we need ask yourselves in this very punitive canceling culture, you have done a horrible thing and never be african forever and ever and ever, when does it sentence what does do it to them and what does it do to us? that we're unable to actually look at the person we're seeing now and all we can see is the person from decades ago? how this lack of compassion is shaping things now and we'll be paying a dear price for that and the susan atkins story is instructive how to have this tunnel vision of looking at crime and punish. and it's very abstract way without actually looking into the eyes of people who are old and sick and need protection from a disease that the prescribe is unable to provide them. so if this is the one takeway from this i hope this is what you take away from this book.
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>> i recommend everybody reads the book now we talk but the sort of terrible timing of the pandemic but what i fine is that this book gave me such a unique perspective on it and thinking outside of just my personal bubble of people that i care about or that i interact with and really eye-opening look and makes you tap into empathy which is one thing that connects us most as humans. thank you for what you have "us in this unexpected way. it's not only a fascinating book and a really great study into the human condition and i just thank you so much. i hope you who are watching pick up copies. we have one at tattered cover.com and it's such a good title. well done. anything you want to say before we sign if? >> people have asked me in the very few appearances i was able
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to do before the pandemic hit, people were asking why didn't you pick some poor sympathetic person, why have to pick the manson family to the at the sto. there's many rope why bit thank you story is so compelling and the way the process works is so kafkaesque because if you find a way to connect with the manson family try to connect with the rest over the family of man. >> that's a perfect note to end on. check out yesterday's monsters, purchase it at tattered cover.com and check out the rest of the event wed have and i'm sure that hadar has many as well you can check out if you want to learn more about the subject and read it in her book because it's a lot of time and effort. so hadar, if you will stay on we'll sign off here and say thank you everybody, stay safe, wash your hands, all that jazz. until next time, thank you, everyone.
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>> you're watching booktv on c-span2. television for serious readers. tonight we open up our archives to look at programs we best selling author john grisham. a we discuss what he call the face of socialism and dr. ezequiel emanuel offers thoughts on which countries have the best health-care. former information visit booktv.org or check your program guide. >> a look at publishing industry news. new york supreme court ruled for the release of president trump's niece mary trump's book in the book "too much and never enough posterior the daughter of the president's late brother, fred trump jr., asserts president trump engaged in, quote, cheating as a way of life the public's publisher plans to make the book available next week. simon and shuster announced
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that dana kennedy will be the new m-er, a former "new york times" journalist and administrator of the pulitzer prizes and replaces jonathan kearn named the chief executive of simon and simon & schuster. the governor hog began has been reported to be weighing a presidential run in 2024. also in the news, according to npd book scan, print book sales rose 18% for the week ending june 27th. adult nonfiction sales saw a 28% uptick let by former trump administration national security adviser john bolton's memoir of his time in the trumpswhite house, and as the coronavirus continues to affect the nation, self of the fall's larger book festivals are going virtual
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include the decater book festival, the library of congress' unanimous book festival and the texas book festival. booktv will continue to bring you new programs and publishing news and you can watch archived programs at booktv.org. >> joining now on booktv is senator joni ernst, republican from ohio, new memoir, daughter of the heart lean. what presented you to write this book at this time. >> guest: well, thank you, peter so much. this has been a journey of love for me. i drew up in southwest iowa, very rural part of the state, and the perseverance and defend indication, the hard work that my parents taught me, really has carried me through so many different challenges in my lifetime, opportunities in my

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