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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 29, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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lla for the remainder of this century would make what's going on now seem very small. >> no question it and instantly large danger. but i think the unfortunate correlator is that people underestimate the danger of the regime staying in power and supporting terrorism and undermining every single gulf country and funding terrorism as far as the eye can see and bruletly repressing 80 million people for decades. that's an absolutely untenable and unforgiveable situation which we can work faster to undo. >> more on iran in just a moment. today, the last day of the supreme court current term. a decision, five-four, in which justices say the epa failed to take cost into account. the court of upheld a reuse
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-- the use of a controversial drug's in the death penalty. the decision, 5-4, from indecision decision in oklahoma. the court also upholding the use of independent commissions instead of state legislatures in arizona, another 5-4 ruling. you can hear the oral arguments in the case is today starting at 6:25 eastern time with the epa case then at 8:00, the challenge to lethal injections, and at 9:05, congressional districting. by coverage today as president obama signed the number of bills into law. we will take you to the bill signing just a few minutes after 2:00 eastern time. new jersey governor chris christie is expected to enter the presidential race tomorrow, making his announcement from livingston, new jersey at 11:00 eastern. we will have live coverage on
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c-span. tomorrow is the deadline for negotiators to come up with an agreement on iran's nuclear program. here on c-span we finish up our issue spotlight with professor jerrold green. this is about one hour. >> i want to do some contextual talking about iran. but i want to do first of all is try to understand how we got to the impasse where we are at today. quinn steadily, i was into iran -- in tehran during the iranian revolution. i did not participate, but i witnessed the beginnings.
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i saw it first hand. this was 35 years ago. it was a revolution against the shah of iran who accomplish a remarkable achievement when he got the vast majority of people in the country to hit him. to get iranian's to agree on anything is not easy. this, he succeeded brilliantly. this is unfortunate and sad because he had extraordinary resources available to him. i can tell you how he did that but we do not have time to do it today. trust me, he had a remarkable opportunity. he was having chemotherapy. there are all sorts of explanations. why do the iranians not like us?
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there is an inherent oxymoron. many people would say that america is the most pro-iranian government which is not the government but pro-iranian. i go to tehran, and it is amazing. the average person -- having said that, again you will not love it, but i will tell you how a iranians think.
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you need to understand how we look from within iran. first of all, it is believed that we support dictatorships across the middle east. indeed by supporting saudi arabia, there are lots of examples, this is the case. second of all, we supported iraq and its attack on iran. for the iranians, it was a traumatic event. they subsist subscribe to us the responsibility. our hands on this are not completely clean on this. we were selling weapons to the iraqis. the same machine that we overthrew was the one we were supporting. it was a horrible regime.
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again, this is the iranians talking. first, the united states favors israel. what iranians believe is that they favorite jewish states over muslim states, states populated mainly by muslims. it may not be true. this is the perception in iran, what iranians believe. in fact, -- the iranians believe that we as a country favor the jewish state over the muslim state, and therefore we are anti-islamic. there are arguments against that. there was a congressman sworn in on the koran.
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>> [inaudible] >> ok. this is what iranians believe he read that we do not like muslims. you take something and wildly exaggerated, and it becomes true. we try to strangle iran economically. we are. we have reasons to do it. iran is indeed strangled. they consider this more of an emotional type of strangling rather than one that resulted in geopolitics. the u.s. is trying to expel it isolate iran, we are. there is a reason for it.
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iranians believe that iran is a great nation, an ancient nation with local interest. they deeply resent what they think we are trying to do. 65% of the population of iran is under the age of 35. this is all they knew. this is the islamic republic. this is all they knew. there are things about them that they don't like and so forth. this is what makes iran iran. it is certainly not going to change. they have their narrative. what is ours? they took over our embassy. they did. we have all seen "argo," great movie. really inaccurate, but i loved it. i've seen it twice. despite how inaccurate was, i still liked it.
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there was an attack on the jewish community center of what f one of fighters -- of buenos aires. these are things that iran has done. they deny holocaust. i was invited to a meeting in tehran that the holocaust did not happen. there was a holocaust denier. i could not make it. i had accomplished. indeed, there are people who deny the holocaust.
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they have threatened to destroy israel. it is american policy. i used to live in texas. they loved israel more than we did. it was astounding. this is an american issue, not an american jewish issue. they are the axis of evil. you remember the axis of evil? we are the great savior. there are competing narratives. both work in terms of mobilizing negative in energy. what do we know? this is what i think is most important.
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i spend my life, while people are working, i am reading things about iran, written by my learned colleagues across the united states. no one really understands what is going on in iran. it is impossible. the political system in iran is intentionally designed so that it is ok, it is obscure. iranians don't know what is going on. they want to avoid what happened to the shah. they want a political system in which it is difficult to overrule the current political order. part of it is the uncertainty that comes in the wake of a revolution.
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no one wants to make a decision or be at risk. no one wants to take a chance. it is not clear how it works. there's this murkiness. part of the reason i do not do this as much as i used to you , know, i feel like helen keller. north korea is sort of the old stander of ignorance, but iran is not far behind in terms of , the iranian system. i read endlessly and i get frustrated. tv i cannot even do. i read that a key iranian is an american assistant coach. who are the key actors? the one we hear about all the time is the supreme leader. he has many things but one thing
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he is not is supreme. his problem, which will only get worse is a leader who -- the supreme leader is not only the spiritual leader but the political leader. he needs to get political interest in iran to support him and work with them. certainly he is very influential. he is not the only game in town. it is a challenge. second of all, the religious
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sector. it is extremely diverse. not that they all agree. there is race diversity and differences of view within the religious sector. some are extremely conservative and orthodox and some are actually very enlightened and they get it. they get it. they're working within a difficult system. the third is that revolutionary guard. the revolutionary guard is not only a military organization but also an economic entity that is sort of comparable to the people's liberation army in china. its business interests are extraordinary. they are very wealthy. they have built an airport in tehran, for example.
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this was after a battle of another group that wanted to build the airport and they lost. they did not have as many guns. they are again another political entity, which is very influential. none of them are dominant. all of them are important. you cannot discount any of them. the part about the iranian politics that is so fascinating, that none of us have access to is that these people has been a lot of time with one another and they drink tea and a read poetry. they do politics, if you will. it is a constant series of negotiations. horse trading and politicking. it is how iranian politics always works. it worked this way under the shah. there were groups of people who would go to school together in a similar industry.
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in the good old days, they could even be with opposite party. you would do a deal. it is very interesting. they used to do business all the time. iran operates that way. the idea that there is this one source and they are behind everything. that is simply wrong. forgive me, but there is a lot to cover. if we were sitting in either know, tehran, before the
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revolution and some secret confab, most of these people in the room would have supported him. the reason is not because we like them, but because we do not like the shah. people like me who are snooty professors -- this old guy, he has got people. we'll use him to get rid of the shah. now they are sitting in beverly hills drinking tea and wonder what went wrong. that era was one of the most difficult times. there was the invasion of iraq -- of iran by iraq. there are fountains shooting up
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red water to symbolize the blood that was shed. this was sort of a 9/11 equivalent to the iranians. it deeply affected the people of iran. it still does today. ultimately there was a person elected president this sort of liberal guy that we thought we could do business with. it was the rouhani of his age, if you will. nothing much came of it. all my colleagues were swinging from the chandeliers. a wonderful opportunity. the deal never got made. why? he could not deliver iran. part of it was that the time was not right. it is sort of synonymous with reform. the fact that it was not successful does not mean there
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was no room for reform here it is simply means that it was unsuccessful. then there was the ahmadinejad run. he had a vision of the bad guy. he never failed to deliver. i used to call him israel's secret weapon. the israelis must have loved him. this guy was so on country bull -- uncontrollable, so off the charts, that all he had to do was sit there and watch. it was very easy to deal with iran. sanction it. he was concerned with the domestic constituency in iran. it wasn't only u.s. sanctions that destroyed the economy, a lot of it is what ahmadinejad himself was doing, ridiculously liberal concessions and subsidies and other sorts of things.
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he may have been a necessary evil because he may have ran off of the era in which yet again we are presented with an opportunity for negotiation which is further -- is made further urgent by the development of the iranian nuclear program which upsets everybody as well it should. as well it should. the idea of a weaponized iran -- iran having nuclear weapons, appeals to nobody, appeals to nobody. it really is not something that would benefit the world and frankly i don't believe it would benefit iran. the problem with iran -- not the problem, the challenge with iran, iran is not the country which you can bully. it simply doesn't work that way. if you look at what iran excels at at the olympics, it's
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wrestling and weight lifting. really, i'm serious. this is a country that's very very nationalistic but has a strong sense of self. the thing i tell people if you go to teheran, i'm sure you all will at some point, your host will take you to something called a zuhrhana. it's a house of strength where people do sort of synchronized weight lifting. it's very, very interesting. the point i'm making is culturally this is not a country that gives in well to bullying. they have a strong sense of themselves. they're very nationalistic. there's a sort of a marshal quality there. it doesn't work. what's so interesting about the election is yet again an opportunity for some type of peaceful resolution of our
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differences with iran emerges. again, i'm skeptical because i'm always skeptical. we middle east specialists are kind of the oncologists of middle east studies. invariably, we're wrong, we can't do anything, we have no good news. the stakes are so high, they're so important, that i think i certainly supported president obama's attempt to meet the initiative in the spirit in which we would like to believe it's been given. there are no guarantees, no guarantees. having said that, the planet earth is less of a place with iran in a box, with iran in a box that we need to try to find a way without giving away the farm the way we did in syria, i might add, but to try to find accommodation with iran.
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maybe it won't work. maybe it won't. but the irony about this and the sort of unusual characteristics is that the initiative to the u.s. and president obama's response has driven iran and saudi arabia to the same corner. that's quite an achievement that iran and israel -- israel and saudi arabia are very, very uncomfortable with the possibility of the ongoing negotiations with iran. some israelis -- some -- you can't say the israelis. they're too interesting and diverse to be the israelis. what some believe and many more saudis believe, is that the iranians are doing this to buy time and they are not sincere. they don't mean it. they will not be able to deliver.
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in other words, they believe what i believe assad is doing with a chemical weapon's program. in a sense if you accept that accusation about syria, it deserves to be considered about iran. it is my view, my personal view that the risk is certainly worth taking. and indeed if we are right, the big beneficiaries are likely to be both israel and saudi arabia who will not be under the sword? what if i'm wrong? if you're a schlomo six pack sitting in tel aviv or in riyadh. fake and say, easy for him to say, living in los angeles, we nuked, he won't even let us stay in his guest room. i understand that. i really do. i believe in our form of government, i have some trust in
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the elected officials, maybe more than angela merkel does than others. this is a serious issue the united states government has been involved in since day one. if iran is serious, it will be revealed quickly. the first set of negotiations in geneva went very well. wendy sherman who was leading our negotiating team didn't provide any details. the iranians showed up with a detailed power point presentation. this wasn't ahmadinejad clowning around. they showed up with some serious suggestions and everybody walked away from the meeting feeling that this was time well spent. in both countries, this, again is going to be interesting. they're going be naysayers in both countries. there are people in congress who will say aha, see, the
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, sanctions are working. it squeezed iran into compliance. let's ratchet up the sanctions got them on the ropes, they're on the run. elevate the sanctions more. wendy sherman, again, the person from the state department overseeing the negotiations said she does not believe it would be helpful to increase the sanctions now. this was after irritating the iranians when she said the duplicity is part of the dna -- the iranians didn't like that. so there is something from everybody. but i think the nuclear issue is important. i don't think it's the only issue. where it's going to get sticky is on levels of enrichment, that iran believes it has the right enrich plutonium for uses. the level of enrichment is very, very significant. and we -- the isrealies and the saudis and others are afraid of
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is that iran will be so close that they can enrich quickly and weaponize. i would not dismiss that. it's too serious to say it's not a possibility. it's got to be factored into the thinking. the obama administration and the department of state believe they understand it and they have it under control. each country has its own tea party. there are tea -- the iranians invented drinking tea. there are naysayers in iran who will make this very, very difficult. just as there are naysayers who argue we're being tricked. this is not going to work. so the challenge for obama and ruhani, they need to sell one another, they have to sell their own people. the obama administration has had
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such challenges in the middle east, that one of its its -- one of the issues it has to contend with is the credibility on the middle east issues. these issues were all related, were all related. we're having a little discussion that i purposely stayed out of on does the palestine issue matter? at the end of the day, the symbolism of the palestine issue matters a lot. if it's resolved tomorrow, we're not going to be able to retire to a warm climate and not worry about anything ever again. but having said that, if the palestine issue is resolved, satisfactorily in the way to promotes israeli national security and gives the palestinians their own right, it gives one reason to dislike and distrust -- one reason to dislike and distrust this in the middle east will go away. there will be a list of others having to do with egypt and so on and so forth. the palestine issue does matter.
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we need to understand how does it matter. what's the nature of the mattering? there i think we need to be realistic. all of these issues are related. and president obama has all sorts of domestic issues. obama care, the endless list of things. so the question is if we are able to make a deal with the iranians that satisfied him and secretary of state kerry, will he be able to sell this deal to the american people and their elected representatives in congress. it's a real consideration. the same is from iran. it's a two-stage challenge. one is to get a deal with the other. the other is to get the camps to accept the deals. the supreme leader commented. it went well. there were some imperfections. what the supreme leader was criticizing was the phone call between ruhani and obama.
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if they can't have a phone call, it goes to the level, it shows you how difficult it is to make a deal. let me end by advocating extraordinary humility when it comes to understanding iran. the data is just not there. we're stumbling around in the dark and trying to make sense of things with fragmented information. and things change a lot. so these are all my personal views. the longer i study iran, the longer i think i should have been a switzerland specialist or something. the longer i do it, the more -- i am always discovering new nuances and new complications and just things that i hasn't figured. the record of middle east specialists, i'm looking at the professor, the real deal of
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serious political scientists our record is one of uniform failure. you name it, we failed to predict it. it is. it was an extraordinary wreck. i was going to say don't come to las vegas with people like me. but we're in las vegas. that's normally what i say. we didn't predict the arab spring -- you name it, we didn't get it right. be aware of experts from out of town or even in town, this is not for the faint of heart. let me stop with that. i would be delighted to have questions or contrasting views? yes, sir? did everybody hear the question? >> [indiscernible] >> did everyone here the question to >> let me just -- so for the purposes of a c-span taping, we need every question to be made from the microphone in the center of the room,
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please? >> the question is, if we make this deal you spoke of with the islamic republic, are we not selling a six pack down the river. >> i think it depends on what the deal looks like. and i think we as americans and great iranians in the u.s., some of them need to realize, that the islamic republic is here to stay. it is a country bourn of a revolution, something we should understand. it is legitimate, it's done things that are not in accord of our values or many iranian's values, but this is it. bringing iran back in to the world economy, reintegrating it, opening the country up so that people can visit the country and
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they can get visas and come here and go to the university of southern california and study engineering or unlv or whatever will benefit the six pack significantly, significantly. >> before we go to the next question, let me ask you to devote a couple of minutes? can you hear? >> one right here. yeah, ok. there's one aspect of iran's role in the middle east that you might want to touch upon given our limited time, we do so much. this is critical in understanding what is going on in the arab world. which is iran's role as the emerging guardian of the global shiah community. and this is what's getting the saudis to react the way they do. the saudis are reacting the way
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they do less because they're concerned that iran was going to nuke them than baulz of the rise of iran as the major voice in the traditional world that's gone to arabs and islam. this is a direct challenge with saudi role in the world and how they look at themselves. i wonder what your comments are on that? >> a very, very important and good question, paul. thank you for raising it. the iranian revolution if you think about it has failed. it was meant to sponsor a series of islamic revolutions around the world. it was supposed to be the model for muslims to throw off the yolk of oppression. other than various groups around the world, no country has gone the way of iran, iran is the
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good advertisement of creating islamic republics ala iran. the shiah institute is imperative. it's one that's not going to go away. it's very, very important. we can pick our poison. we can line up with saudi arabia where they ear toying with letting women drive cars. that's a remarkable achievement in the 21st century. or we can make a deal with iran. at the end of the day, i go to saudi arabia a lot. i get it. the saudis are not -- they don't have a lot of alternatives. they're not going to start sending their kids to beijing to the university. i think in a perfect world, we have relationships with all major poles in the middle east.
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with iran, with the sunni arabs. with the israelis, and with turkey, which i think of as a middle eastern state. what you're talking about is not going to go away. it's very, very important. the question is how will that play in terms of broader opportunities for economic development and integration into the -- into the world and so forth? i mean, these are countries that are evolving. what we haven't talked about it at all, we don't have time, is the arab spring. events in egypt, events in syria. this is a region which is undergoing changes and areas of instability. they all feed on one another. >> excellent. >> make questions as brief as possible. >> make answers as brief as possible. for that, i apologize. >> you pointed out how all these
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unexpected things happen. don't you think we were helped by that by starting history in 1979 rather than in 1953 and 1952 when alan and his brother got together and overthrew the government. you didn't mention anything about that. another thing that you talk about the danger of iran having nuclear weapons. what about the danger of israel having nuclear weapons. or the united states having nuclear weapons. we're the only ones that have purposefully killed people with nuclear weapons. and what -- i wonder if you could look into the future and see what is going to happen when china becomes the dominant country in the world. it takes over from the united states. what -- how do you think that will affect iran and israel which seems totally oblivious to the fact that this is going to happen?
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>> i'm a simple guy. and i don't disagree with particularly 1953, part of the iranian narrative. you're exactly right. that's part of the story. one of the reasons they don't like us is we brought the shaw back, we kept him in power. israel has nuclear weapons? what are we going to do? call them and, you know, not sure what we can do about it. i don't even like us having -- >> a suggestion? >> get the issues and do it. if we can solve the palestine question.
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if we can solve the palestine question. if we can make a deal with iran, if there's so many ifs, all of the other things you mentioned may not get dealt with. but the world will be a better place if we're realistic in our ambitions. that's the "f" word, ma'am? >> jerry, i have loved your presentation. it was informative and charming and witty and most enjoyable to listen to. the only thing i liked better was our conversation around the table which was a lot of fun as well. but i'm going to take -- i don't think anybody in this room would mistake me for being a tea party person, quite the contrary. but i come down on the side of those that think that a deal with iran right now is an impossibility and i'm going tell you why. or maybe not even talk about that. but i was part of the original co-sponsors of the iranian sanctions bill.
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both of them. and worked very closely with the europeans in ensuring that they voted for sanctions in the eu and at the united nations. so this is something i've been involved with for quite a while. but the reason that ruhani is reaching out the the united states and to the europeans is because the sanctions are actually working. we are bringing their economy to its knees. i am of the mind if we start loosening up those and sanctioning them before the -- and granting them sanctions before the iranians agree to end their nuclear ambitions and i do not believe for a minute that they are attempting to use nuclear -- for peaceful purposes.
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there's only one reason they are working so hard and spending so much money to acquire enough -- enough material to make a nuclear bomb. it is my understanding from the latest intelligence information that they're within a month of having enough material to, in fact, make one bomb. and i think that would be very dangerous for us to lift the sanctions after all of the time and the sacrifice and the efforts on the part of the united states and the europeans, let those sanctions work. and the way they're going to work is just to -- if not make it worse right now, which i'm of the mind that we should, but just leave them in place until the iranians come back and come over to our way of thinking and agree to end their nuclear ambitions. i find it extraordinary in this day and age that ruhani is considered a moderate when he's been the advisor and right hand man of the supreme leader. in addition to that, when asked -- ahmadinejad was a total lunatic and said that israel
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should be wiped off of the map. and was acquiring nuclear capability to do exactly that or so he said. and, of course, was a holocaust denier. so now you have ruhani when asked the same question, did the holocaust occur, he said i'm not a historian and everyone applauded him as being a great moderate. that to me is not being a moderate. >> shelly, shelly. the question? >> the question is -- >> i'll put it to him for you. >> why would you think that lifting the sanctions now would be a help with the iranians given their history and proclivity. >> i didn't say we should lift the sanctions now. i was quoting wendy sherman that says they shouldn't be increased. i don't think we should lift them now. but you'll hate me -- >> no, won't hate you. >> we should consider lifting the sanctions in ways that will satisfy your view which is an important view.
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the only person -- you know, you represent an important segment of congressional and public opinion in this country. your view is not a weird view. so i don't fully agree with it. i get it. i hope you don't think i was calling you a tea partier. >> steer clear of that. >> obama is going to have to satisfy people who hold that view. it will be difficult for him. >> very, very hard. >> the question is, how can he address the sanctions issues in a way that will, you know, have an impact on iran at the same time being able to persuade people who hold your view which is a respectable and important view of your concerns being met. the only thing, sorry. i have heard so many statistics about when iran can weaponize. including from the israelis which are wildly different
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wildly different. and that's part of what i'm lamenting is how little we know. what you can say to me is then green, how can you afford to take the risk. if it's one possibility, if it's a month, how can you do it. my response is you are right, but having said that, the more desperate iran becomes, the more we squeeze them, the more likely they are to feel painted in a corner to do something that's in our collective detriment including their own. >> you just answered the question i was going to put to you yes or no, very briefly can the iranians be forced to give up their nuclear option -- let's call it that. because that's what it is. at any level of sanctions that the world will agree to impose. beyond where we are today. >> it's not only that, by the way, the iranians are going to have to be willing to permit
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very, very intrusive inspections, intrusive inspections. and, you know, there's a very -- there's a will -- will they allow that. they will regard that as infringement on their sovereignty and other things. the bar is going to be pretty high for them. i'm not sure they're going to meet it. this is not a bad discussion. it is not like i'm right -- we may not agree, doesn't mean you're wrong. that's what i'm very mindful of. and history kind of favors, you know, you, more than it does me. sort of recent history that is worrisome, but it is what it is. >> next question, please. >> dr. greene, i have a twofold question. first, christian persecution. how does the average citizen feel about that? and also the man imprisoned in evansville at the prison there is that also on the minds and hearts of the people of iran and how do they feel about it? >> i think that the situation of christian minorities across the middle east is not good.
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i mean the situation in egypt was terrible under morsi and one hopes under the new regime will be better. in terms of iran -- being a religious minority is not a lot of fun in an islamic republic of anything. but it's not only christians but jews and behi. absolutely. they are at the top of the heap in terms of being discriminated against. christians have had issues. jews have had issues. tribal groups. persians are a minority in iran, believe it or not. there are all of these tribal and international and linguistic group. this is not a country that shows great respect for diversity and pluralism. a very important question and the news is not good. in terms of the person being in prison, unclear, unclear. we don't know. >> sir?
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>> generally, i like elephants. but, there might be another elephant in the room that might be a concern. would you please comment on the interaction between iran and iraq as you see it currently and how it impacts on what you've been expressing. >> that's a really, really good question. the relationship between iran and iraq. nothing good, nothing good. the situation in iraq is deteriorating. iran genuinely believes it has interest in iraq. it does. it's a neighboring country to come back to paul's sunni question, there's shiah-shiah questions. that's what paul was asking. the iranians have a shiah inferiority complex vis-a-vis iraq that negev, iran wants a seat at the iraq table. it's wobbly and unsteady. i understand wanting to be a part of it.
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having said that, iraq is not out of the woods, and certainly we're not on the same side as the iranians. there there have been instances that we and iran have agreed. afghanistan, believe it or not we collaborated effectively with iran. these things are fleeting and they're not forever. so you're exactly right. >> good afternoon, sir. >> i just had a question, if we weren't murky enough already, i would like to talk about iranian domestic economics. talk about sanctions and how that affects them in their economy. i was wondering how severe some are the domestic policies. how severe is the recovery going to be from that. particularly the highly educated and severely underemployed we can't imagine here, young population. you mentioned the 65%, under 35 years old. what's the way forward for them? is that going to involve, you
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know, reprivatizing the massive amount of industry that's been nationalized in iran. >> iran economically looks worse than it should look because it still has a very sophisticated business sector. highly educated people. a good labor force. and a tradition of being an economically very healthy country. and the petroleum producers which we often forget, i think if we continue on this track, we keep the sanctions. under certain circumstances will be -- it's american law. we have no choice, we need to do it. it will continue to contract. i agree with the congresswoman. i'm not sure that ruhani would have done this if the economy was healthier. it's not. he did. the question is is there a seriousness ohher a deal to be made. the jury is out on that. the economic recovery is absolutely impossible in iran. absolutely.
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but the right circumstances need to be in place. unemployment. the youth bowl. -- bulge. the environment is a terrible issue. if you have been to teheran lately, like mexico city, cairo. the air is foul. water shortage. endless problems in iran that aren't being dealt with because they don't have the will or the resources or both. >> we've been talking about this as if it were a middle east issue. what about their role particularly in northern africa and closer to home particularly with hezbollah in central and south america? >> again, i mentioned the bombing of the jewish community center in buenos aires. no doubt about it? anybody watching "homeland," can't say anything without spoiling. all right, i take back what i was going to say about "homeland" because i don't want to be a spoiler. you're right. iran is involved in all sorts of things globally. this is what paul was saying.
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sort of the center of a global shiah political -- religious-based inspired political movement. it's not constructive. it's not constructive. but having said that, if we remain on this course, it's not going to get better, it's going to get worse. the question is will the guys in teheran pull back on this stuff if we reach some sort of an accord with them. it will be in their interest. they don't do it because they're monetizing. these are desperation moves with a country dealing with a failed revolution, a stalled global role looking for admission. it's not inevitable. does not have to be forever. it would help us as a country if we would be a little more attentive to latin america as well. it's interesting the degree to which the united states takes latin america for granted.
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the chinese are all over the caribbean. ma'am? >> i have a question -- i have a statement. first, my question is we talked about iran and they said we want to be in the middle east. what about iraq? they are also completely taking turkey. turkey is the biggest ally in the west and as we call them they are the right arm of the nato. last week, turkey, they passed a law. you cannot sell alcohol in their shops. you cannot sell in any restaurant anymore. and between 10:00 to -- 10:00 in the p.m. and 10:00 in the a.m., selling alcohol is completely banned. this is coming from -- >> it sounds like texas by the way. it's like that in texas too. >> that's ok, texas can do that. but turkey is a secular country. today is the day turkey, 29th of
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october, it's a day turkish, they really celebrate it because they really believe they are secular. but that's my question is, what is your opinion with the involvement of the iranian? and the turks. and both of them are arabs. and for the first time in the ottomon empire, one more time, they are together and they are taking control of the middle east. what is your opinion? and the statement was congresswoman shea beckley was absolutely right. i'm half persian. i was born in iran. i left very young the country but still have my cousins, and i see all of them this summer. and all of them, even though they are very, very hurt from the sanction, really sanction bothering them, but they are saying it's the only way to bring end to the islamic republic.
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>> i don't think turkey needs any help from iran. turkey is a very, very big independent country. the movement towards islamization in part is a result of the rejection of the european union. turkey wanted to join eu for years and years and years which never made sense to me. turkey is the only country in the world that's central asian, middle eastern, and european. they should leverage all three of those rather than going in an eu direction that benefits nobody. i don't think iran is a significant actor in turkey. the turks don't love the iranians. they don't listen to them. they don't need any help. the idea they're together, again, i don't see turkey coordinating the policies with iran. it's a very different country with different expectations and different -- different needs.
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but what it does show is that the middle east is sort of an undercurrent of your entire question. if iran is the only good news coming out of the middle east, what does that say about the middle east? nothing very good, nothing very good. >> the fact there's one issue where iranians and turks come together. that's on the kurdish issue. that's where they help each others to keep curving rising kurdish nationalism. this would be more of an issue if the kurds set up an autonomous zone in northeast syria and, of course, in combination with northern iraq. which brings me to the question of a former president of the first council. and the question has to do with iran's role in the syrian. if you can address that for a second? >> the syrian-iranian relationship is always bizarre. if it's about islam and sheism to support the assad family, if
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it's the antithesis of everything that the islamic republic stands for. this is an aggressively minorityian, secular nonreligious political order but it gave them an entree to the world that's valid. it puts to the idea that they are wild eyed zealots is undermined by the relationship with syria. it's my view not responding quickly to deployment of chemical weapons and delaying, delaying, delaying, taking it to congress, making a deal with russia, basically assad should send the united states government a thank you note for buying it another six months or a year or two years or whatever it is. my view about iran. and you would know better than i do, but it's kind of a -- i always felt that the iranian role in syria. the iranian influence in lebanon
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and syria is somewhat exaggerated. i think they were striving to be influential. but the lebanese and the syrians are not willing to be dominated by the iranians. so it's sort of a marriage of convenience in which they collaborated. but i never got the feeling that iran was kind of pushing the buttons in teheran had things happened in lep nonand syria. -- lebanon and syria. it doesn't change the fact their involvement in both places is not constructive and it's very very serious. >> no gain in the fact that hezbollah and lebanon is totally dependent on iran as a supplier of weaponry. dependent on syria as the channel through which the weapons arrive in lebanon. the whole setup is critical to the survival of the power in lebanon, which now it rivals that of that of the lebanese military. they're really the power in the
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country. it's critical in that respect. >> i never know who needs to do more. >> hezbollah needs iran more than iran needs hezbollah. >> that's true. >> how about russian media? russian media portrays iran as a friend, at least an ally. what about the iranians. do they take russia seriously? what is their sense? >> you know, russia is -- russia, everybody sort of takes russia seriously. there are long historical relations between iran and russia. the shah's father was part of a cossack military brigade iranian brigade. russia is looking for a role in the middle east. the iranians are cynical. they understand that it might a useful counterpoint to the u.s. and those forces that are marshaled against it.
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russia is not eager for iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability. russia is concerned about the islamic-based activity. chechnya, certain borders in central asia. they will tolerate certain behavior, not too much. and the iranians don't have great expectations of russia nor should they. >> i would at to that and also -- add to that and also ask you to comment. as far as iran is concerned, in a sense, russia is a -- is a rival on the oil and gas exports front. far more critical to the iranians is the budding relationship with china. china is becoming very aggressive in the purchase of natural resources and establishing all sorts of channels to build on for the
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future. and india also derives a lot of the imports from iran. it had been affected by the by the sanctions. it is tired of them and finding ways of getting around the sanctions. in a sense, we should not think iran is isolated in a box that comes to the sanctions. there is a rising number of emerging major powers that find it in their interest to work with iran and get around the sanctions. that is also part of the picture. jerrold green: absolutely right. i agree. >> any more questions? yes, please. >> [indiscernible] >> the question has to do with whether there are other
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intermediaries which could work with iran other than the united states. germany might be a candidate. jerrold green: for talks in geneva is not bilateral u.s.-iran. the e.u. is involved in a number of other powers. i think at the end of the day, we don't need mediators. we need mediatees. the countries need to decide to make a deal. once they do, it will happen or it won't happen. the iranian foreign minister got his phd at the university of denver, which is where condoleezza rice got her phd. you know, it is simply the ability of these countries to agree. what paul mentioned and others in your questions are all of these other collateral issues which feels bilateral but really is global because there are all
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of these activities elsewhere which impinge on our ability to make a deal, and selling our own peoples, iranians theirs and us ours. >> secretary of state john kerry is in vienna working to finish the iran nuclear deal. the deadline negotiators have set to come to an agreement is tomorrow and this picture tweeted by the iran project of the two in meetings. bill reports senator tom cotton, a member of the armed services committee, once the talks extended until u.s. demands are met. the arkansas republican sent a letter back in march warning them that congress could undo any deal that is reached. congress has given the obama administration till july 9 two submitted text for congressional review. coverage of the signing of a number of bills, including one that was part of a package of trade deals to improve trade
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with africa. we take you to the bill signing live just a few mets past 2:00 eastern time. tomorrow an announcement from livingston new jersey, what coverage on c-span. the supreme court upheld the use of the three drug protocol used in oklahoma death penalty executions. justices ruled five to four ruled that the dru does not violate the eighth amendment's ban against cruel and unusual punishment. here the world argument in the case. this is just over an hour. >> glosssive versus gross. ms. konrad: mr. chief justice and may it please the court. oklahoma chooses to execute our clients with a three-dug formula that includes a paralytic and potassium chloride, drugs that cause intense pain and suffering.
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the second and third drugs are constitutional. only if a prisoner will not feel the pain and be aware of the suffocation caused by those drugs. the district court erred as a matter of law and as a matter of fact when it found that medalazam as a this first drug is constitutionally tolerable. justice scalia: why is that a matter of law? as i see it, just a fact question, and the district court found that it did eliminate the pain do we do that kind of thing. ms. konrad: justice scalia there's a question of law and a question of fact. justice scalia: the question of law? ms. konrad: the question of law
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includes the district court found the three-drug formula was to bible in spite of medical consensus this drug can not be used as -- justice scalia: that's a question of fact. you're saying -- the question of law is that the district court ignored two facts. ignoring two facts dot not make it's question of law. it is still a question of fact. ms. konrad: if if can justice scalia, the second point is the question of law involves the district court found that this drug creates a greater risk of harm than sodium file pentoh but could not quantify. i found this drug that creates a greater risk of harm it could not quantify and had before it evidence this drug is not used for the purpose that which the state intendeds it to. justice sotomayor: could you
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good, the way i thought of this -- in your brief you think de novo review goes to everything. if i disagree with you. if i think that i have to give deference to the district court's factual finding on how this drug works. the medalazam, but that it's a legal question it's a legal question whether it creates a risk of harm that is suggestally intolerable. is that how you divide it up? ms. konrad: yes, justice sotomayor. justice sotomayor: the fact are, -- now let's go to my real question. okay? that a judge ignores facts does not necessarily mean abuse of discretion or clear error. what are the clear errors in terms of the reasoning that the district court used? ms. konrad: the clear errors in
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this case, we have to look at what this case is about. this case is about known information and undisputed facts before the court. this drug, medalazam is in a different class than bash bit him -- barbiturates. it's not a pain reliever. the district court recognize these two facts. it's known that this drug has a ceiling effect. the district court recognize that at 78, the state's expert recognized that. the petitioner's experts recognized that. justice roberts: the district court determined is that it was not able to tell precisely when the ceiling effect kicked, in precisely when they hit the ceiling. right? that's your theory for when pain is possible when it lets the ceiling. ms. konrad: >> what the district
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court found, mr. chief justice is whatever the ceiling effect may be, it takes effect only at the spinal cord and that 500 milligrams of medalazam while, quote, create a phenomenon which is not anesthesia but effectively paralyzes the brain and eliminated awareness of pain that finding we have to look at what undisputed facts were before the court in making that finding. justice roberts: undisputed facts? i thought you had the burden of showing the determineses were erroneous. ms. konrad: i'm sorry if i missmoke. what we have to look at before in order to show why the was an erroneous finding is the undisputed facts before the district court. justice sotomayor: the state doesn't propose that their doctor was right. they're not defending it. they don't say it's true.
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they -- i conceded, as a read their brief, that it does not work the way the doctors said it worked. that it does not paralyze the brain. correct? ms. konrad: that is correct. justice sotomayor: so it's clear error. now we have an admission that the expert was plainly wrong so what else -- nothing else that the district court could have based its conclusion on correct? ms. konrad: that is correct. the district court reached this decision based on no scientific evidence and with a medical consensus to the contrary, that this drug is not able to pharmacologically do what the state's expert said it could do, and that clear error is combined and as the district court said at joint appendix 47, that this is partially a mixed question of fact and mixed question of law.
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justice kagan: konrad, can i make sure i understand this. i read that the part of the opinion that you are referring to and i couldn't figure it out. so, is it that the court said, we don't know what the ceiling effect is? generally? but the ceiling effect only goes to how something operates at the spinal cord level, doesn't go to how it operates at the brain and this takes what we care about is how it operates at the brain so we don't have to worry about the ceiling effect. is that right? ms. konrad: that is -- that what the court said. >> that is what the district court found based on the testimony of the state's experts, not supported by any scientific literature, any medical information, and in fact it's inconsistent with the state's expert's own testimony because he testified and explained that the way this drug works is it works throughout the central nervous system. he --
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justice kagan: you are saying we do have to worry about the ceiling effect there isn't this dichotomy my between the drug at the spinal cords and the drug at the brain, and it's actually crucial what kind of ceiling effect this drug has. in contradiction to what the court said which is we didn't have to worry about the ceiling effect. is that how it goes? ms. konrad: yes. justice alito: did you introduce any evidence to show the doseam at which the ceiling effect would occur? ms. konrad: we had testimony from our expert who indicated it could be calculated but was not. justice alito, that doesn't matter because what matters is we know the drug has a ceiling effect -- justice alito: what is the ceiling effect is a thousand milligrams? ms. konrad: there is know evidence in the record to support that, and -- no. justice alito: any evidence to show it is any amount below 500?
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ms. konrad: it doesn't matter. it doesn't -- justice alito: of course it matters. justice sotomayor: proof we do have is the wood execution. that is the one that was botched. mr. wood was given 750-milligrams. correct? ms. konrad: yes, justice sotomayor. justice sotomayor: and he laid writhing in pain for 20 minutes, 25 minutes. ms. konrad: mr. wood was two hours -- justice sotomayor: i'm sorry two hours. now, there's been some defense that the 750 wasn't immediately delivered but it was still 750 that went into his system, and caused that kind of pain. correct? ms. konrad: yes, and our expert testified that mr. wood's execution demonstrates the ceiling effect, that giving more of this drug is not going to put a prisoner into a -- justice alito: how many
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executions have been carried out using this drug? ms. konrad: using midazolam. 15. justice alito: you're talking about one. ms. konrad: no, we're actually talking of several executions that -- the execution in this case in oklahoma that haven't happened a year ago of mr.locket, demonstrate why midazolam is does not put a prisoner in a coma. justice alito: i thought they were issues of the -- justice roberts: i thought there were issues of the administration of to the drugs the nature of the veins and so forth. i got a different one in the locket case? ms. konrad: mr. chief justice -- justice roberts: that was not then -- were there issues about -- i thought there were issues involve thing veins and the ability to make a intravenous connection. there were problems with the
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ms. konrad: there were problems with the catheter, but mr. lockett received enough miiidazolam and the discussioner found he was unconscious and regained consciousness and that is the key issue. here -- justice scalia: not if he didn't receive the proper dosage. you're saying it's okay that he didn't receive the proper dosage so long as he was unconscious? ms. konrad: he received -- justice scalia: i don't see how that follows. if in fact the execution was not properly conducted, i don't see how you can blame it on the drug. ms. konrad: what we know about this drug, justice scalia, is that it can never paint the deep coma-like up consciousness necessary to prevent a prisoner from feeling the painful effects of this -- justice kagan: how do we know that? i thought that what we knew was just that we can't know. in other words, that there's this huge range of uncertainty about what happens when somebody is given this drug. you're suggesting something more than that. which is that we know what happens, we know the drugs can't maintain deep unconsciousness,
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which is right? ms. konrad: justice kagan, we know because of the properties on the drug. the way when the drug was being tested and being introduced, it is not used for the sole purpose of preventing somebody from feeling pain during a painful procedure. justice kagan: i thought it wasn't used for that purpose just because we don't know whether it's capable of being used for that purpose. as opposed to, we know it's incapable of being used for that purpose, if you see the difference. ms. konrad: i do see the difference. i think what is important here is this court in bays explains it's important to re-emphasize that a proper dose sodium penthol is that the prisoner will be sufficiently sedated . that is the key aspect. justice alito: why is oklahoma not using that drug?
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ms. konrad: it isn't using it -- you could ask my friend here but -- justice alito: you don't know? ms. konrad: the findings here is it was unavailable at that time of the hearing. justice alito: let's be honest about what's is going on here. executions can be cared out painlessly. there are many jurisdictions in this country and abroad that allow assisted evidence suicide and i assume they're carried out with little if any pain. oklahoma and other states could carry out executions painlessly. now, this court has held that the death penalty is constitutional. it's controversial, as a constitutional matter, it certainly is controversial as a policy matter. those who oppose the death penalty are free to try to persuade legislatures to abolish the death penalty. some efforts have been successful. they're free ask the court to overrule the death penalty. until that occurs is its appropriate for the judiciary to countenance what amounts to a guerrilla war against the death
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penalty? which consists of efforts to make it impossible for the states to obtain drugs that could be used to carry out capital punishment with little if any, pain, and the states are reduced to using drugs like this one, which give rise to disputes about whether in fact every possibility of pain is eliminated. now, what is your response to that? ms. konrad: well, justice alito the purpose of the court is to decide whether a method of execution or the way that the state is going to carry out an execution is in fact constitutional. and whether we're going to tolerate, is it objectively intolerable to allow the states to carry out a method in this way, and so -- justice scalia: i guess i would be more inclined to find that it was intolerable if there is even some doubt about this drug. when there was a perfectly safe other drug available.
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but the states have gone through two different drugs, and those drugs have been rendered unavailable by the abolitionist movement, putting pressure on the companies that manufacture them. so that the states cannot obtain those two other drugs. and now you want to come before the court and say, well, this third drug is not 100% sure. the reason it isn't 100% sure is because the abolitionists have rendered it impossible to get the 100% sure drugs, and you think we should not view that as relevant to the decision that you're putting before us? ms. konrad: justice scalia, i don't think that it's relevant to the decision as to what is available because what this court needs to look at is whether the drug that the state is intending to use to cause what they say is a -- put the prisoner in a place where he will not feel pain, that drug is
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good enough. justice kagan: i understand -- justice ginsburg: is any state using a lethal injection protocol without this questionable drug? we know that two are not available. is there another combination that has been used by states? it doesn't involve the question able drug. ms. konrad: yes, justice ginsburg. they were then 11 executions using colorful -- pentohol bash --justice kennedy: that doesn't answer question question. the question is what bearing, if any, should we pit on the fact there isn't a method but it's not available because of opposition to the death penalty. what relevance does that have? none? ms. konrad: justice kennedy, the
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fact that the state chooses a certain method should not have bearing on whether that method is constitutional -- justice kennedy: i would like an answer to the question. you have been interrupted several times. you still haven't given -- is it relevant or not? ms. konrad: no. it's not relevant. the availability of an -- justice sotomayor: there are other ways to kill people regretably. there are. that are seamless, doesn't have to be a drug protocol we elect that has a substantial risk of burning a person alive. who is paralyzed. correct? ms. konrad: that is correct. justice sotomayor: i know you'll get up and argue that the other ways are not constitutional either, potentially, but people do that with every protocol. but the little bit of research i've done has shown that the reason people don't use the other methods is because it offends them to look at them. like, you could use gas. that renders people not even knowing that they're going to sleep to die. and people probably don't want to use that protocol because of
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what happened during world war ii. but there are alternatives. oklahoma found some. it's used the firing squad now. so i don't know what the absence of a drug -- what pertinence it has when alternatives exist? ms. konrad: i would agree justice sotomayor -- justice ginsburg: doesn't a firing squad cause pain? ms. konrad: justice ginsburg, we don't know. we don't know how if the state chose to carry out an execution by firing squad, whether in fact it would cause -- rise to the level of unconstitutional pain and suffering. justice roberts: well, you don't know. do you have a guess? there is a reason states moved progressively to what i understand to be more humane methods of execution?
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hanging, firing squad electric , chair, gas chamber, and you're not suggesting that those other methodses are preferable to the method in this case, are you? ms. konrad: i'm not suggesting that, mr. chief justice, but the reason why states moved to more humane methods is as we learned more and as we learned more about science and developed, then as a society we moved forward. we have evolving standards -- justice roberts: you have no suggestion what would be an acceptable alternative to what you propose. right now, for oklahoma. do you've have any -- the case comes to us in a posture where it's recognized your client is guilty of a capital offense. it's recognized your client is eligible for the death penalty. that has been duly imposed, and yet you put us in a petition with your argument that he can't be executed, even though he satisfies all of those requirements. you have no suggested alternative that is more humane. ms. konrad: i actually disagree with the characterization that he can't be executed.
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oklahoma has just passed a new statute and they are continue -- continuously looking for methods and ways -- justice roberts: what does the new statute provide? ms. konrad: the new statute provides if the ehly that injection protest cal is found unconstitutional or drugs are unavailable, then they can go to other methods. justice roberts: what other method? ms. konrad: they go to nitrogen gas and then go to -- justice roberts: are you suggesting that's okay with you? ms. konrad: i don't know anything about that protocol. they have not not -- justice roberts: what do you think? do you of an instinct whether or not the gas chamber is preferable to this lethal injection or not. ms. konrad: mr. chief justice it's hard for know say whether it's preferable. the legislature has said that this could be a painless method. i don't know. they haven't come out with any information about how -- justice scalia: suppose it were
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true. the facts here, your client was already in jail with a life sentence. right? for murder. some while in jail on that life sentence, he stabbed and killed a prison guard. and that is the crime for which oklahoma is seeking to execute him. is that the fact we have before us? ms. konrad: one of the petitioners here before the court. justice breyer: there is that larger question, that if in fact -- for whatever set of reasons it's not new. didn't purposely hide these these other kinds of drugs. if there is no method of executing a person, that does not cause unacceptable pain, that in addition to other things might show that the death penalty is not consistent with the eighth amendment. is that so or not, in your opinion? ms. konrad: that perhaps could be true, justice breyer. justice alito: is that your arguement? ms. konrad: no.
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justice alito: you can make one of two arguments, and one is that the death penalty is unconstitutional because there is no method that has been used in the past or that can be devised that is capable of carrying that sentence out without inflicting some pain. pain that is unacceptable. that's an argument you can make. but i don't understand you to be making that argument. am i right? ms. konrad: you are correct. justice alito: you want us to reverse a finding of fact of the district court on the ground that it is clearly erroneous. when is the last time we did that? ms. konrad: the court in comcast, we cited that opinion a few years ago and explained where there are clearly erroneous findings in this case, this is obviously an exceptionally erroneous, looking at the findings based on no scientific evidence, no studies, and all of the evidence shows that this drug does not work in the way that the state -- justice alito: 500-milligrams is a lethal dose? capable of causing death? ms. konrad: that is -- i don't
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know, justice alito. if the expert who testified for the state talked about a potential toxic dose but there's no information of, yes, this dose will cause death. justice alito: is a therapeutic dose? is it ever administered in that quantity for any therapeutic reason? ms. konrad: no. justice kagan: the fact that something is a lethal dose necessarily mean that it's not incredibly painful? ms. konrad: no, justice kagan. justice kagan: could be a lethal dose and be -- justice alito: that's not the point. if it's a lethal dose and how do you do a study to determine whether in fact it renders the person insensate. ms. konrad: you don't need to do a study because we already know from science and the
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pharmacological of the drug, how the drug works, and so that is what the district court got wrong ask there's clear error here -- justice kagan: maybe -- justice breyer: justice kagan it's your turn. justice kagan: please go ahead. justice breyer: i since we're on the narrow question, the narrow question that you want to present, i would like too hear the argument, as far as i know, we held in bays in this context, that if the person is not rendered unconscious where when the two drugs come in there's a constitutionally unacceptable risk of suffocation and pain. that's the holding. and in this case, the court of appeals says that the district court found that this drug that you're talking about, midazolam will result in central nervous depression rendering the person , unconscious and insensate during the procedure, that's his finding. a sufficient level of
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unconsciousness to resist the later stimuli of the other two drugs. you had an expert testify that , that is not the case. the expert said, citing an article, said it would not reliably put the person in a coma. isn't that what he said? ms. konrad: that's correct. justice breyer: the other side produced the expert which just said the contrary. so you have to say that conclusion, namely, quote, the 500-milligrams will be at -- will make it a virtual certainty that he will be at a sufficient level of unconsciousness to resist the stimuli of the other two drugs. so i'm sorry you don't -- i'm run out of your time. maybe i'll ask the other side the same questions. i want to know what underlies
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that, sufficient to make you say -- clearly wrong, but the other side is just as good to ask that question. in way to reserve your time. mr. wyrick: the district court found as a matter of fact that a 500 milligram dose with near certainty would render these unconscious. regardless of our other disagreements, all parties agree that petitioners bear the threshold burden of establishing that there is a substantial or objectively intolerable risk that they would feel the pain from the second and third drug. and let that finding of fact affirmed by the court of appeals , mirrored by three other trial courts in florida, affirmed by
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three other appeal courts in florida set aside, they cannot satisfy the threshold burden. justice kagan: as i understand it, there were three subsidiary findings that underlay this conclusion. the first is the one we talked a little bit about with miss konr it has to do witha the ceilingd effects, which as i understand it, you don't at all defend. . and the second is the idea that 500 milligrams of this would likely kill a patient in 30 minutes or an hour. that seems to me irrelevant given that a lethal dose is consistent with the unbearable. and the third is that the dose would keep a patient unconscious while a needle is inserted into his thigh. which also seems irrelevant given the -- what everybody understands to be the much much, much greater potential of pain of potassium fluoride. so those were the three findings and one of them nobody thinks is
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anything other than nonsense and the other two are irrelevant. is than the case? mr. wyrick: i will take those in reverse order. the third actually is relevant. these petitioners and the amended complaint describe the setting of the iv as an invasive procedure involving pain. justice kagan: it does not sound pleasant to have a needle put into the thigh. to read the descriptions of what it does, to give the sensation of being burned alive sound to be considerably more than put a needle in the thigh. mr. wyrick: no one argues that it causes pain upon injection is a sedative hypnotic. earlier, the question if this is
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lethal or not, it would involve great pain. a lethal dose would not cause pain. and a lethal dose of that. justice kagan: it's a lethal dose of myth as a lamb -- medaz elam.. so in that sense. the fact that this is a lethal dose has nothing to do with the question that is before us. whether before the 30 minutes or the hour passes. potassium is wreaking unbearable pain on the individual. mr. wyrick: the question for the court is whether this district courts findings that they would be unconscious is erroneous and on that point. to look at the record case that petitioners would put on before the district court. there was three reasons why it was inappropriate. they said paradoxical reaction, those have disappeared from the case.
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would you not see them in the supply group. they are extraordinarily rare and to the extent that they will happen the trained medical staff will catch those and never call the person unconscious. and secondly, they said lack of analgesia. phenobarbital is not an analgesic. that is never been relevant to the question. the question is that does the drug render them unconscious. justice sotomayor: so, pain relief medication. justice scalia: what is the third point that you had. i was anxious to hear the third point. mr. wyrick: in response to justice kagan's question. justice scalia: yes, yes. mr. wyrick: i forget right now. justice kagan: the fact that this is a lethal dose again completely consistent with the possibility of the potassium chloride causing grave pain. there is a fact that it will render and keep a patient unconscious with a needle. completely consistent with that not keeping a patient unconscious. with potassium chloride running
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through his body. and again, this statement that nobody can figure out about the feeling of the effects. mr. wyrick: the ceiling effect is what i want to focus on. what the district court said is whatever the feeling effect may be, what we are concern about the, is whether this will keep somebody unconscious and unaware of pain. when you talk about that phenomenon that is not anesthesia. what he was referring to is their expert. the doctor said in the medical sense to have true anesthesia you need to have unconsciousness. inability to have pain and immobility, and the district court is saying that what we care about is will this render them unconscious and unable to feet pain. under their experts opinion, it may not be in the medical sense. that is the constitutionally relevant question. justice ginsburg: and what do we do with this professor in the state. it will not continue with -- induce coma like unconsciousness.
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mr. wyrick: several effects it would reduce unconsciousness. that is something that nobody agrees with. and induction of anesthesia is a commonly -- justice breyer: can i have the ask the same question. that is, as i read this record that you would remember what i say is a standard. you remember what i said of the district court findings that i believe that what this is about is whether that finding is clearly erroneous. why have or two sentences. the first sentence is from their expert. and he quote, when you could be unconscious, he means that this drug is an anti-anxiety drug like xanax and people use to go to sleep every night. it can render you unconscious. and not reacting to minor stimulus -- that is their expert.
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but, when major stimulus such as the introduction of the two drugs that we are talking about here come into play, you are jolted into consciousness and you are quite aware and you wake up. if we stop there, you would lose. right? we stop there. mr. wyrick: if any of that were -- justice breyer: he pointed to two articles and base that had statement. and i will look at the two articles and seemed that he was facing a statement on medical articles and okay. we will have to look at the support for that. all right. let's look at the other side. your side says -- he says right here. he says it will put you into a coma. that is his point and the reasoning was that if you take enough of it, you will be dead.
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then he says, and this is essentially the extrapolation from a toxic effect. by which he means if you take a , lot, you will be dead. but before you are dead, you will be in a coma. that is his reason. i did not find any other reasoning. now, we obviously are two -- lot of things kill you without putting you into a comb a such as the next two drugs. lots of things do. and he did not support anything that putting it into coma. it was just an extrapolation. that is what i want for to you focus on. if what i said is correct, i think there is no support in that record for his conclusion. if what i have said is incorrect there may be support. mr. wyrick: a couple of things. first that would assume a deep coma like level of consciousness
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is the relevant question. they argue that court's cases in the constitution would require that. that is beyond a surgical plain of anesthesia to use in the operating room to remove one of the limbs. a coma is brain dead. justice ginsburg: would any doctor use this drug -- any doctor conducting a surgical procedure who doesn't want the patient to suffer pain, wants to induce this unconscious state -- would any doctor in the country give this drug to induce that coma like unconsciousness? mr. wyrick: it is routinely used to induce anesthesia, it is not commonly used anymore for the maintenance of the anesthesia for hours for surgeries. their source -- this is the
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saarri article this is spelled , saarri. and i am quoting. it has been used to induce and maintain the general anesthesia. and the recovery period is approximately three times longer than propofol. the genuine use is the sole induction and maintenance agent for general anesthesia is exceptionally uncommon have has been replaced by propofol. for organizational and economic reasons, fast-track recovery has gained popularity. justice sotomayor: i have a real problem with whatever you are reading. i will have to go back to the article. i am substantially disturbed that in your brief that you made factual statements that were not supported by the cited stores
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sources and directly contradicting. i will give you just three small examples among many that i found it. nothing that i say or read to me will i believe frankly. until i see it with my own eyes. the context. the three examples. on pages four and five of the brief, you cite the fda approved label. as holding that this drug can get you to mild sedation and to deep levels of sedation. virtually equivalent to the state of the general anesthesia , where the patient may require external support for vital functions. this quote was not on general use, but it came from the section of the fda label where it was saying that this drug's effects, when taken with other drugs that suppress the central nervous system.
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this can happen. that to me, is really -- there is no other central nervous system drug at play in the protocol. justice scalia: do you have an answer to that one? mr. wyrick: justice sotomayer. in the brief we explain that the fda label says that the effects of the drug depend upon three things. the rate of infusion. the maintenance, the rate the dosage and the rate of infusion and whether it is others to see in us. justice sotomayor: you quoted this for the proposition that this could cause a fatality because of the depression -- it can produce general anesthesia. mr. wyrick: ja 217. their expert agrees it could cause of vitality. -- a fatality. justice sotomayor: sure.
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he said that. with old people. you know, there have been 80 deaths from theraputic doses of this drug. this is almost like you saying because 80 people have died from the use of one aspirin. that means that if i give people 100 aspirins they are going to die. is just not logical. obviously, people die from anything that you give them it. that is why there are hospital fatalities in every procedure but 80 among the millions given the drug do not die. my point is -- what the fda is saying that the general anesthesia will effect and when have you a central nervous drug. central nervous system drug. mr. wyrick: the fda has said no such thing -- justice sotomayor: they put it
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into that section. mr. wyrick: they described the potential affects. and they described. they said three things matter when you look at the affects. how much of the drug you are getting the rate of which you are giving it. and given with another drug. their expert said the fda tested this. justice sotomayor: all right. the melkin study says that this is how it happens. it gave this drug in doses of .02 to .06 and what it showed is that .06 dose, that there was less effect than.02. and this suggests that there is a ceiling effect to the drug. that it is less potent as you go in higher doses. now you quoted for saying.
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and you took up -- you quoted by saying that the melvin study for the position that studies on humans have found that the anesthetic effect increased with dosage and the estimates that 2 milligrams is enough for the full surgical anesthetic. what melvin actually said, after pointing out that the ceiling effect is shown by his study. he said but presuming that there was no ceiling effects , extrapolation of the data suggests that such a dose would be sufficient. you took out that -- mr. wyrick: respectfully, what they were comparing is a dose of a different drug to the .6 per kilogram dose. they said that we would have expected it to have a greater effect than the other drug which is more poetant than the other
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drug. but there are two things going on. either there is a dose dependent relationship with the other drug or they said that there may be a ceiling effect here. they hypothesize that there be. may and they say there is no extrapolating what we know about the drug that you would get that anesthesia. justice sotomayor: we are back to is there a ceiling effect? mr. wyrick: let's talk about the evidence. neither of their experts could say at what level a ceiling effect will occur. and it is not whether it is or is not a ceiling effect. their expert said all drugs have a ceiling effect at some point. what matters is that there is a ceiling effect that will kick in before we get to the level where there they are unconscious and unaware of the pain that is the constitutionally relevant inquiry. and on this point, they presented the district court with two-pieces of evidence and the material data safety sheet that is in the brief that never even mentions the ceiling effect. justice sotomayor: it would be
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very different --justice kagan: it would be very different if the court had said look we do do not think you presented enough evidence that it doesn't take in at this right? point. that is not what the court said. the theory that it did not have to concern itself with whether the ceiling effect had kicked in. that is the thing that you don't defend as well. that is what the court said. mr. wyrick: that is not how we read the district court's opinion. you recount the explanation of what the ceiling effect was. ja 77 or 78 and he said what ever it may be, with respect to the anesthesia that occurs with the spinal cord level. justice kagan: and whatever it is, all we have to whery about is brain and not spinal court and in the brain, there is no ceiling effect. that is just wrong. you know that is wrong. mr. wyrick: yeah. we know that a central nervous system depressant works throughout the central nervous system.
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so this is affecting the receptors that are located in the spinal court and in the brain. his point was, perhaps that the receptors may be fully saturated at the spinal cord level. and the brain level. and in his words we paralyzing the brain that the extent that the person is unconscious and unaware of the pain? and he thought that the evidence sufficient to conclude that there was. justice kagan: i think if we go back and read it that it will , show that what he was saying is that we just do not have to worry about the ceiling effect. because the brain level, the ceiling effect has no relevance. let me ask you another question. maybe this is one that we will agree on. maybe not. i am not sure. do you think that if we conclude that there is just a lot of uncertainty about this drug -- in other words, you may be right
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or miss konrad may be right this. is just impossible to tell. given no studies on the drug. we simply cannot know the answer to the questions. if that is the state of the world, do you think that this is the violation of the 8th amendment to use it? mr. wyrick: if there is a risk of serious pain that rises to intolerable. justice kagan: you are just repeating the standard. we just do not know. it may be substanltial pain. it may not be. we can't quantify it at all. mr. wyrick: if what you are suggesting is shifting the burden to the state to show that there is some medical consensus that a drug in fact can do it at these doses -- justice kagan: i'm talking about a district court presented with evidence. just put yourself in the district judge. the evidence is -- who can tell? no one can tell. what is the district court going to do at this point. mr. wyrick: in the 9th circuit
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court. and temporary challenge to the efficacy of legal -- lethal injection drugs vacated a temporary injunction granted by the lower courts to show that they will likely suffer from the harm. they said speculative evidence isn't enough. that is the burden a bear. -- that is the burden that they bear. justice kagan: have i not found a place. and that seems to be quite something that would be like something. people say that this potassium chloride is like being burned alive. we had talked about being burned at the stake, and everybody agrees that it is cruel and unusual punishment. suppose that we said, we are going to burn you at the stake. but before we do that, we are going to use an anesthetic of completely unknown properties and unknown effects. maybe you will not feel it. maybe you will. we can't tell.
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you think that would be ok? mr. wyrick: a petitioner in that case would have no problem satisfying the court. showing that it is a substantial risk of objectively untolerable risk of severe pain. that threshold would be incredibly easy to make in the case. justice kagan: i am saying you do not know about the anesthesia. and maybe the anesthesia will cover all of that pain of being burned at the stake or maybe it will not. the court does not know. mr. wyrick: that isn't the world that we live in, and it's not the world this district court lived in. we know for a fact. this is the conceded facts. their experts say this dosage is going to be rendering the petitioners unconscious, 60 to 90 seconds. we know that induction of anesthesia -- induction monotonous. justice kagan: -- induction, but not maintenance. mr. wyrick: and maintenance is
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keeping it at the state for so many hours for surgery. justice kagan: or the time it takes for potassium clear idea to kill somebody. mr. wyrick: it is commonly used for painful procedures like setting of a femoral iv. and example is a good example. and we have pointed out that the drug is regularly. and routinely used for rapid sequence intubation. we have experts saying that as i just said that this drug will not keep you sleep, when two -- keep you asleep once these two others are introduced, you will be jolted into consciousness. that is his testimony. i believe he supported that arlt -- supported that with medical articles. i will look to see. justice breyer: and if support weed have to look to the other side to see what was refuting. what is refuting it on 327. i agree with you that the ceiling effect is a big red
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herring here, when actually he said it would go against it was that he said there is an extrapolation from his conclusion that a 500 milligrams could cause death. so if that much is likely to cause death, it certainly is likely to cause a coma. and a coma would prevent the person from pain. but his evidence for that was the road. -- zero. we know that in fact, lots of drugs can kill people without putting them into a coma so we will look to see what he thinks is if this kills you will first put knew a coma. -- put you into a coma. and when i looked, we found zero. that is my question. what can you point me to that will show that what i think is
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the key reputation of their expert rests upon zero? that is what i'm asking you. that is what i have tried to ask, in articulately, perhaps. mr. wyrick: again, i have to make this point or not whether it will create a coma or not is not the contusionly relevant question. based on how the nervous system depressant works. justice breyer: i think what he was driving at is that you were in a state such that you would feel no pain. and the reason he thought you were in that state was because 500 mg will probably kill you. and if it is going to kill you it must, of course -- at least first, put you in that state. so i'm asking the same question, but i'm using the words that state in substitution for the word coma. mr. wyrick: because of how a
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central nervous system depression works -- justice breyer: i want to know where the record he provides support for that statement that state proceeds the death. caused by this drug. mr. wyrick: first he described the action by with the drug works as a central nervous system depressant. by causing death. it works by paralyzing the brain to such an extent that you your respiratory drive is knocked out. justice sotomayor: that is the clear error here. it starts right there, because the reason evans thought that is he thought it worked on the spinal cord. nobody argues that it works on the spinal cord. this is not a central nervous system drug.
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that is the barbiturates. this works very differently than barbiturates. mr. wyrick: this is a central nervous system depressant, just like a barbiturates. justice sotomayor: it has no pain relieving qualities. mr. wyrick: they are both central nervous system depressants. the barbiturates have no pain relieving qualities as well. justice sotomayor: i don't know where you are getting. justice breyer said -- the proof of that. mr. wyrick: it is a conceded fact on the record. a 500 milligram dose will render them unconscious in a matter of 60 to 90 seconds. that means that the central nervous system is working to paralyze their brain and to render them unconscious. it is a conceded fact -- justice kagan: --justice sotomayor: they will be that
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will not tell me that you are not feeling pain or the knoxous stimulant like being burned alive will not cause pain. look at what happens with the integrations. they paralyze your throat them. give you a drug. and they are paralyzing your throat. that has his own anesthetic effect and pain relief. so what you are arguing is very different from what is happening here. they are putting a chemical in the inside of you that it is burning you to death. that is the most noxious stimuli i can think of. mr. wyrick: you have that backward. they give the paralytic. the second drug here, first, to keep the patient for moving. they give this to anesthetize them, and then give them the paralytic. the same paralytic these petitioners say caused unconstitutional agonizing suffering. rapid sequence intubation is done routinely giving patients a small dose of this and then
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paralyzing them with the paralytic. justice sotomayor: they paralyze them also with the local throat anesthetic. i read it. mr. wyrick: this is a first-line choice. justice sotomayor: it's a first-line on a lot of things. but it doesn't keep you in anesthetic stage. it doesn't keep you during the procedure. mr. wyrick: it can. look at the article cited by their experts which describe the use of the anesthetic. everything i want to point out is the 16 professors briefed. this is the ceiling effect in a nutshell. it shows that a benzodiazepine get you right to a surgical plan of anesthesia but not to beyond. first we would say a surgical plane of anesthesia is sufficient. but go to the source. the source that they cite is the textbook, and read what it actually says with respect to
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this chart. here is what it says. benzodiazepine exhibit a ceiling effect which preclude severe cns depression after oral administration of the drug. intravenous administrative and can produce anesthesia. that is what the text actually says. that is what the article actually says. you can produce anesthesia with these drugs. the fact they are commonly not use a general anesthetic's is because we have better choices not because the drug is incapable of producing an effect. here is whether expert started here is where they started. they said because of the ceiling effect, this drug is incapable of producing a coma. we said someone forgot to tell the fda this, because the warning is right there in the fda labeled coma. they were treated now. -- they retreated now saying it can't get them reliably to a coma. where's the ceiling effect? is there a basic pharmacological
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principle that prevents the drug from ever getting to a coma were not? we establish there is not. we ask you to look at the cases out of florida. the anesthesiologist who was the anesthesiologist for the inmate. justice sotomayor: can i come out of this argument, because you presented a lot of things to us that wasn't before either the district court or the court of appeals. i believe that your experts didn't prove their point at all, and that they do showed enough -- when we let the district court below sort out whether it still holds to his opinion based on the plethora of materials you have given us. mr. wyrick: >> two quick responses. they didn't meet their burden that it is sure were likely on the record they presented, second, we put plenty of rebuttal evidence on -- enough
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to support the district court's finding. there is no clear error here. the two global applies. -- court rule applies. justice roberts: >> unusual in this court, and you have been listening rather than talking. we are happy to give you an extra five and it. hopefully we will have a chance to hear what you have to say. >> i appreciate that. i will told you about the 1st source, the material safety data sheet. nothing in the reply brief. a study about rats. we read that study. no mention of the ceiling effect. no responsible reply brief. that is the evidence they put before the district court on what they said clearly demonstrates that there is a ceiling effect. after the fact, at the court of appeals their experts submitted