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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 19, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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the three of them hammered on nuclear warheads or tried to get as close to them as they could at the y 12 nuclear facility in oak ridge, tennessee. and before that, cecile richards president of planned parenthood federation of america . increasingly repressive around the issue of american women are at -- american women reproductive rights. if you appreciate this forum for free speech, the number to call is -- as we turn now to brian stephenson to a story about justice and redemption. with a growing focus on the failures of the criminal justice system stevenson has been fighting those injustices, case-by-case. he is the founder and executive
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director of the old justice initiative, a group that is based in montgomery, alabama. they represent some of this country's marginalized people, the poor, the wrongfully convicted. brian stephenson argued before the u.s. supreme court six times. in 2012, he won a landmark supreme court case the bars states from giving mandatory life sentences without parole should children -- two children. desmond tutu has called stephenson america's young mandela. others have compared bryant to atticus finch, the fearless fictional hero of harper lee's seminal novel "to kill a mockingbird." brian stephenson's book, "it just mercy," a story of justice and redemption, tells many stories. but it focuses on his battle to
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free an african-american man who was falsely convicted and condemned to die for killing a white woman. stephenson has joined us on "democracy now!" a number of times. as soon as we play for you his story about this the, about "just mercy," which we are offering you come along with all of our interviews with brian stephenson -- when we finish with him talking about this case, we will be joined by him in another interview where he has just freed another african-american man who has been in prison for 30 years. he could not believe he was sitting next to him not in prison talking to him as his lawyer, but in a tv studio in montgomery alabama. that was the story of anthony ray hinton. but right now, i want to bring you brian stephenson talking about just mercy, a story of
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justice and redemption. again, you can call that number for a couple of reasons. to get any of the gifts we are giving, but also if you would like to come to new york for dinner and a show, sitting on the set with whoever you would like to bring. we will supply you with organic coffee or tea, freshly baked muffins -- our broadcast time is it :00 -- is 8:00 eastern time. you will come to the set, watch the broadcast, and then i personally get to host you for dinner. i do it every week. i'sve done it for years. maybe you want to celebrate father's day. maybe you would like to celebrate a late mother's day or graduation, an anniversary that
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is coming up. you don't know how -- you don't have to know when you're going to do it. when you call, all you say is i want dinner and a show. that it is a chernobyl contribution. it go strictly -- that is a charitable contribution. a district leap to link tv. bringing you the voices like you have heard today and every day on "democracy now!" but let's turn right now. if you call in and say i want dinner and a show, you leave it there. but then my colleague brenda calls you in a few days and says when are you coming to you nor destined new york -- when are you coming to new york? what counts is the contribution right now. whether you live in wyoming or washington state california, texas, whether you live in new mexico florida and alabama or
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georgia or louisiana or you live in ohio or you live in iowa or idaho, montana, we need you. my college roommate was from missoula, montana. we urge you to call. your call makes a difference. you make it possible for link to happen. but let's go right now to bryan stevenson who wrote the book "just mercy," a story of justice and redemption. i started by asking brian where he grew up. brian: i grew up in southern delaware on the eastern shore in a community that was very much segregated. there were no black high schools in my county. my dad could not go to high school there. i saw people really branded by the mark of jim crow and apartheid. and you can't recover. and why people." . -- and why peopl quitewhite people,
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too . anchor: who is walter mcmillan? brian: he is one of the people i wrote about in this book, an innocent man wrongly convicted of murder in alabama. at the time, there was a young woman murdered. everybody knew he was innocent, but he was charged because he was having an interracial affair, not because he had a prior criminal history. he was put on death row for 15 months before the trial. he was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death. what was really troubling for me is that this case took place in monroeville, which is where harlow -- were harper lee grew up in "to kill a mockingbird."
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anchor: you have been compared to the young atticus finch. brian: i want to do better than atticus finch. tom robinson dies in prison because there was no hope for him. i want our clients, i want people wrongly convicted and confused -- and convicted released. i want to do more. anchor: what heavens to walter mcmillan? brian: the police had coerced witnesses to testify falsely against him. for some reason, they tape-recorded the sessions where they were colors. -- they were coerced. we presented that evidence and eventually won his release. he is one of 150 people on death row who have been exonerated in this country. for every 10 executions in america, we have identified one
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innocent person and has now been released. it is a shameful rate of error when it comes to the death penalty. anchor: are you encouraged by the number of states who are abolishing the death penalty? brian: i am encouraged, but i am also worried. it's state guess to make of its own decision. we have seen some progress with several states in the last few years. abolishing the death penalty. i was incurred should by the 2012 referendum in california. the people in that state almost voted to end the death penalty by popular vote, which would be progress. but i'm word that our indifference to wrongful conviction, our indifference to suffering of jail than imprison people continues to be very strong. until we break that indifference i worry that we will continue to have a country were people will continue to condemn and some tortured in prisons. actor: the title of your burke -- your book, why "just mercy"?
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brian: we are doing harsh extraordinarily harsh things to people. it is not mercy not justice not compassion when we give it to people who have not done anything wrong. you earn the right to call yourself compassionate and merciful when you expose people who have fallen down, who have done bad things to your justice, to your mercy. and ica criminal justice system completely devoid of mercy devoid of justice. anchor: young people in prison. the story of joe sullivan, who was sentenced to life at the age of 13. brian: one of the more tragic things is that we have put thousands of children in the adult prison system, the adult criminal justice system. we have two and 50,000 people -- 250,000 people in prison
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convicted us children. it is horrific. i was hearing about the story but there are thousands of children in similar situations. joe sullivan was 13, convicted of a non-homicide, and sentenced to die in prison by a supreme court decision that is easier to challenge those decisions. but we still have a lot of work to do. we create these narratives and done cruel things. the united states and somalia are the only two nations in the world that have not saved -- not signed the covenant in the protection of the child. one of the great tragedies is when you go to jails and prisons and you see 14-year-old and 15
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euro children being raped and abused because we have not confronted the need to protect children after they have been accused of a crime. anchor: the 2012 supreme court decision that you argued barring mandatory life for that parole for children give us examples. brian: i write about a young woman in pennsylvania who was horribly abused. her mother died when she was young. she was living in a house where she witnessed a lot of violence. she was living on the street and eating out of garbage cans. there was a boy in the family. she tries to go see the boy by breaking in. she drops matches and the house catches on fire and two children die. she is convicted of an intentional murder but is sentenced to mandatory life in prison.
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at 14, she's condemned to die in prison. she goes to prison and is raped by a male guard. she gets pregnant. she has been in jail now for 40 years and that suffering continues. there are many children like that, who suffered these horrible injustices because we imposed a mandatory sentence that would not consider their age at the time of sentencing. we don't let kids vote, drink smoke, and we protect child status, except when they are cruised -- are accused of a crime. this whole country is now populated by jails and prisons where you find children. the 15 states with no minimum chop -- minimum age for trying a child as an adult. a 12-year-old in the state of florida. it is really shameful what we have done to children in the name of being tough on crime. i think that disconnect is part of what we are try to expose
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without litigation. amy: what gives you must hope? brian: when you tell people about these realities, when you get people to actually look am i for most people saw what i seek him i think they would be outraged. they would demand justice. i am hopeful that we are create more space to give people a glance of what is happening through films and through books and through narratives. i am persuaded that we can bring down the prison population in this country by dramatic -- i think we can ring it down by 50% in the next six or seven years if we just demand greater justice. payment: you are watched -- amy: you're watching brian stevenson who wrote the book "just mercy." it is available for a contribution. we are also making available to you our dvd of all our interviews with brian stevenson the full justice initiative, the institute he just started put out a major report on lynching. we interviewed him when it came out. we want to make that available to you as well as our interview
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that is coming up, of which we can play a part. it is a story of anthony ray hinton, a man that brian steven seale to got out of prison after 30 years. he was falsely imprisoned for murders he did not commit. and i want you to hear that story from brian stephenson as a man himself, anthony ray hinton. when stevenson was sitting with him in the montgomery studio brian stevenson, before that when he was sitting next to anthony ray hinton said i cannot believe i am sitting next to this man as three people. the book is yours for $100. the dvd of our interviews with brian stevenson, anthony ray hinton and brian stevenson about the other reports that have put out, is yours for $75. put them together for $150, the book in the dvd are yours. we have a limited supply of the
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books so we can all laugh at them today. the never to call is 86 is-59-34. get a copy of the dvd. have friends over. play it at a library. have an extensive conversation about the criminal justice system in this country. link tv cannot bring your the different programs. again, the book and dvd "just mercy," yours for a contribution of $150. we are going to turn right now to alabama, to anthony ray hinton our interview with him and attorney brian stevenson once again. this is just after anthony was released from prison, after spending nearly 30 years on death row. anthony ray hinton was convicted of murdering two fast food managers and separate robberies in 1985.
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he was 29-year-old at the time. the only evidence linking him to the crime were bullets allegedly matching him. after hinton was convicted subsequent tests found the bullets at the scene could not have been matched to the kind -- the gun he was accused of using. last year, the u.s. supreme court throughout his conviction concluding he had been in adequately represented at trial and could not afford a defense lawyer. his court-appointed attorney used as a witness a firearms expert he knew was incompetent. he is among the longest-serving death row prisoners ever to be freed after presenting evidence of innocence. i began by asking in the near ray hinton -- anthony ray hinton how it felt to be free. anthony: it felt wonderful. a little scared at times. i have been out to the mall. i am not used to being around
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that many people in a certain setting. amy: where were you in prison when you heard that you would be freed? when was it? anthony: i was out in the day room at the county jail. i had just gone through talking with one of the attorneys. he told me to call mr. stevenson right away. and i called mr. stevenson. and mr. stevenson gave me the news, the wonderful news. amy: brian stevenson, why did you take on this case? how did you hear about anthony ray hinton in prison? he was freed after 30 years. how did you hear about the case? brian: we actually monitor almost all of the cases in people mod -- sentenced to death in alabama.
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there is no justice system. there is no right to counsel people in death row who are dying for legal assistance. so we are pretty familiar with all of the cases. we have recruited lawyers to represent mr. hinton. it is a difficult thing to take on. if you do not have a lot of resources and you are far away it is hard. we have known about the case for some time. esther hinton and diet met -- and i met several years earlier. i got personally involved. i just have to say extraordinary to be sitting next to my friend and my client. we spent so many hours together at home and prison, but we have never been able to sit together in suits in a place like this and i have to say it is an extraordinary comics are an area feeling. amy: can you explain this case? you took it on a 1999. go back to. 1985. what happened, what evidence was not presented? what evidence was presented?
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brian: in many ways, this is a powerful demonstration of the critique of the american criminal justice system where you are treated better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent. there was concern in the community because these restaurant managers had been murdered. they had these bullets they falsely claimed that they could be linked to a single weapon. they falsely claimed that it was mr. hinton's. because his lawyer was only paid $60 to represent him, he could not get an expert that was confident to disprove that. he got someone who was visually impaired, a civil engineer, and wrongfully convicted mr. hinton. had he had the resources to get the legal help he needed, he would never have been convicted. the real problem was, years later, when we develop to the evidence that showed these bullets cannot be matched to a single gun and that it was not mr. hinton's gone, the state then refused for 16 years to even retested the evidence.
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that for me was the most distressing part of this case. it was indifference. it was irresponsible. it was really unconscionable that they chose to risk executing an innocent person over risking the perception that they were somehow making a mistake or not being tough on crime. and they fought us tooth and nail. and i have to say it was quite an unlikely and rare occurrence that we could get the united states supreme court to intervene when we did. had they not intervene, i think the risk of a wrongful execution would have been very, very high. there has been no accountability. the experts have not been held accountable. the future care nurse have not been -- the prosecutors have not been held accountable. there has been no apology. there has been no offer and have -- of any assistance. this case is an example of the reforms that are needed. race was a factor here, too.
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i cannot leave that out. the investigators have been previously charged in federal court for torturing black prisoners. they have been using cattle prods to coerce statements out of black prisoners. the prosecutor claimed that mr. hinton was innocent. by looking at him, he could say he was evil by looking at his face. that prosecutor had been reversed for excluding african-americans from serving on juries. mr. hinton was convicted in part because of the presumption of guilt that gets assigned to too many black people in this country when they are accused of a crime. amy: anthony ray hinton, you are on death row for nearly 30 years. did you ever face an execution date? anthony: no, i did not. thank god. i thought about it a lot of times. but like i stated before, i had faith that god would not let me be executed for something i didn't do.
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amy: before 1999, that was well over a decade after you were imprisoned on death row, before the equal justice initiative bryan stevenson took your case on. did you ever think your verdict would ever be returned? who could you appeal to? anthony: to be honest, when use placed on death row, you have to have strong faith. and the lawyer that i had that represented me during trial once the case goes through the alabama criminal court of appeals and you lose there, you are on your own. so i had wrote this to stevenson and asked for assistance. he got me an attorney at a boston. to be honest with you, the
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lawyer from boston come down and talk to me and he stayed on the case may be a year or so, a couple of years. it just wasn't working out in the way that i thought the case should be going. and i read members specifically he told me he was tried to get me life without. i said give that to someone who's guilty. i'm innocent. i need someone who believes in me and will fight for my life as hard as they could. and that is what mr. stevenson gave me. amy: this issue of money, the ballistics expert, explaining the limited vision, let alone his incompetence. and was money the key issue here anthony? anthony: yes, money was very important.
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not only the expert that i had during my trial, he was blind in one eye. when he went to the forensics to check what they'll -- they were doing, he did not even know how to turn on the basic machine. he had to ask for help to turn on the machine. that should have been a red flag for those men sitting there watching this man ask for help. not only that, he said once he got up under the microscope, all he could see was his finger. so he testified in court he had very limited eyesight. he had very limited telescope he was using. i just don't understand how a judge of anyone could qualify him as being an expert. and they kept using the term would he no more than an average
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person? i think some laws need to be changed. just because you read a magazine about surgery, don't mean i can come up to new york and give you open-heart surgery. this is what we need to try to change in alabama. people just getting up on the stand and testifying and considering themselves an expert. amy: how do you maintain your sense of humor? you are both respected by the guards on death row and also other reason is -- other prisoners. anthony: oh, yes. i was born with this sense of humor. that is something that 20 years 30 years they took from it, they could not take my soul. they could not take the fact that i love to make people laugh. i could find humor in anything. i used that as a tool to make
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other people forget their problems. i think it was my biggest asset that i had having a sense of humor. i remember sitting up there and a correctional officer would come by and i said, hey, i need to go home for an hour. i promise you i will be right back. amy: bryan stevenson, the state's evidence of the match discredited by three highly qualified firearms examiners coming reading the former chief of the fbi's firearm in two marks unit, who testified in 2002, that the bullets from all three crimes could not be matched to a single gun at all much less to anthony's mother's gun. 2002, when you talk about they
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just would not reviewed, aren't there laws that say you have to review exonerating evidence? the supreme court unanimously overturned the verdict. brian: you are absolutely right. no, there aren't those kinds of laws. we rely on the integrity of prosecutors and the integrity of law enforcement officials to do what is required. and in this case, there was an absence of integrity. there was an absence of leadership. there was an absence of goodwill. that's the challenge that we face right now. mr. hinton is the 152nd person to be exonerated after being sentenced to death. that means for every nine people executed in this country, we now identified one innocent person. and if we had integrity, we would -- we would stop executed people until we dealt with these problems of unreliability. but that is what was missing in this case. we went to every attorney general in the state of alabama during four administrations.
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we repeatedly asked the prosecutor and they just a decided to see if they could get away with holding onto this conviction. and it is really shameful because, while mr. hinton is a remarkable healing -- human being, he was on death row when 53 other people were executed. they took them just a few feet from where he was housed at them in the electric chair and strapped to them on grace and they tried to kill him everyday during his time on death row. i still think we've got great challenges. there are some parts of the country that have created condition integrity units. we don't have them in alabama. i would like to see the supreme court create requirements that would make it easier for us to insist on the kind of 10 -- kind of testing we were denied for 16 years. amy: you are the 152nd person to be exonerated from death row anthony ray hinton. when you came outside, your first reaction to standing
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outside, on the other side of the bars? anthony: thanking god all along, seeing so many cameras and families and friends, it was a long time. i just felt so relieved knowing that i was finally being freed for some that i had been telling people, screaming to people that i didn't do. it was a feeling like i never felt before. and i can't really explain it to you where you can understand it. the from where i have been for 30 years, just to be able to come out and knowing that i wasn't going to have to be locked up, it was just an amazing feeling. amy: your mother died in 2002 when you are imprisoned? anthony: yes.
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amy: were you able to visit her grave when you left? anthony: yes, i went to her grave. it was my rock. that was everything i have. i would have loved to have been able to say they finally got it right, mama, and i'm home. i know she would have been the happiest person. she probably would have cooked me all my favorites. and we would just sit down and hug. i know she wouldn't have left me and she would not let me leave her alone. my father lost his mind when i was very young. and my mother still loves to do the right thing at all times. she was just an extremely
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extraordinary woman. i love her more than life itself. i owed it to her to fight as hard as i could because she didn't raise no killer. and i thank god that he brought me through. and i'm pretty sure that she is jumping around in heaven, saying thank you, jesus. amy: brian stephenson, what about compensation? anthony ray hinton was on death row for 30 years before he was freed, an innocent man. brian: there is no amount of money that can totally compensate you for that. they took something from him that they don't have the power to give back. but i think they ought to want to initiate anything they can do to pay for some of the outrageous injustices that this case creates.
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but if there is going to be any meaningful response to this, not only should he be compensated, but people should be held accountable. people should apologize. people should do some soul-searching. we should create some procedures that mandate that, when there is evidence that suggests the prison has been wrongly convicted, that that evidence has to be reviewed and he passed a -- b are viewed. he passed a polygraph test when he was first arrested. they ignored that. the court has immunized prosecutors and law enforcement officers and judges. in the thompson case a couple of years ago, i think that is a wrongly prosecuted case. and finally, i think there has to be the creation of the type of integrity conviction unit that are too infrequent in this country. i don't believe that we can rely on the goodwill of the people
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who have been elected, particularly when they have acted as irresponsibly as they have acted in mr. hinton's case. amy: you have been listening to brian stephenson, this remarkable attorney who has been compared to atticus finch in harper lee's book "to kill a mockingbird." brian stevens equal justice initiative is based in montgomery alabama. we have a lot people calling in. we are a jew to call as well. thanks to the -- we urge you to call as well. thanks for calling. "just mercy," a story of justice and redemption. brian stephenson is very much alive and doing god's work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the vulnerable, the outcast with no hope.
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"just mercy" is his inspiring and powerful story. we urge you to call in as vanessa did from tempe, arizona and patricia from minnesota and marianne from michigan. neil called in from brooklyn new york and avble called from send marcos, our lab -- send marcos, california. if you live in bar harbor and camden and rocked forward, if you live in portland, maine or portland oregon, linda called from pennsylvania and john called from ames, iowa. can we hear from idaho and illinois and indiana? we only have a limited supply of ryan stevenson's book just out on paperback here in these colin as quickly as you can. the book is yours for $100. the dvd of interviews with brian
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stephenson -- i want to play for you more where he meets rosa parks. please call. what counts is your call. you determine how much content we can bring you in this hour by calling in. and ensuring that "democracy now!" continues here only tv. link tv is not brought to you by the insurance company, the weapons industry or oil or gas or coal companies are the prison industrial complex. no, it is brought to you by viewers like you heart deeply committed to independent media. please: from ohio, from utah, everywhere from moab to salt lake city to orem we are asking you to call right now. if you live in san antonio texas or las cruces, new mexico or santa fe or albuquerque art house, make the call that makes a difference. houston, dallas, brownsville, make a call right now. we cannot do this without you, california.
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that ring for freedom in the media buoys our hearts but let's go to brian stevenson remembering the great civil rights pioneer rosa parks. an active resistance that led to a 13-month boycott of the bus system. we begin with a clip of rosa parks in april 1956, in the midst of the boycott. ms. parks: if i refused to leave the seat, he would have to call the police. i told him to call the police. he then calls the officer of the law. they came and placed me under arrest. violation of the segregation law of the state of alabama transportation. i did not think i was violating any. i felt i was not being treated right and i had a right to
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retain the seat that i had taken as a passenger on the bus. the time has come where i had been pushed as far as i could stand to be pushed, i suppose. they placed me under arrest. amy: that was rosa parks in april 1956. i remember when she died and we were going down to washington and cnn said that rosa parks was a tired seamstress. she was no troublemaker. you were a personal friend. was she a troll maker? brian: she was a proud troublemaker because they're needed to be troubled away people of color were being treated. what people don't know, before that moment, she was organizing protests. there was a young african american man who was executed for a crime that people in montgomery insisted he did not commit. she was deeply affected by the wrongful execution of a young black man who was in a band and accused of assault. they actually arrested him, took him to death row, put him in the
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electric chair, and kept in there until he confessed to the crime. amy: in the electric chair? what's his name? brian: his name was alexander greer. he stayed in that chair until they got that confession. and people in the black community, including dr. king, were very concerned about organizing about his mistreatment. they could not get him released and he was ultimately convicted -- ultimately executed for real. she was an amazing person. she was a kind of person who would inspire people. we went down to tallahassee florida, where they were getting her an honorary degree. and they started playing "we shall overcome" at the beginning of the ceremony and people just sat there. she looked around at everybody and said i'm am used to standing when we sing the song. she stood up.
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or a moment, she stood by herself and then everyone else stood up. that was ms. parks. she was courageous. she was determined and she was very influential. i met her for the first time when she came back to be with to her of her friends, johnnie carr, the architect of the montgomery bus boycott and a white woman named virginia dirk, whose husband had represented dr. king. i was sitting and listening to her for two hours and she was so encouraging. at one point she said to me, bryant, tommy what the equal justice initiative is. tell me what your turn to do. and i looked at her to see if i had permission to speak and she nodded. i gave her my rep. and i gave her my whole rap and when i finished, she said, that is going to make you tired and tired. and she said that is why you've got to be brave, brave, brave.
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ms. parks was a courageous woman . what defined her was her bravery, her willingness to take personal challenges, personal risks to advance the cause of justice. she is really in many ways not fully credited for being that courageous, tenacious fighter which i think more accurately characterized her life. amy: talk about how you and from delaware to becoming this leading civil rights, human rights attorney arguing numbers of times before the supreme court. brian: i got to go to high school due to lawyers who came in. i did not know what i would do to college and ended up going to law school by default. i was frustrated because they were not talking about poverty and race injustice in my first year in law school. but that i had an opportunity to work with a human rights group that provided services to people
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on death row. i met people legal -- literally dying for legal assistance in georgia. i saw the inhumanity and the possibility of people struggling for redemption, surely for recovery. it was so impactful that i knew that that is what i wanted to do. i went back and i have been standing with the incarcerated in the condemned ever since. amy: brian stevenson who wrote the book "just mercy," who started the will justice initiative in montgomery alabama. the last two copies of the book are available for that compensation of $100. -- the contribution of $100. if you want the dvd, making such a difference, the book and the dvd are yours for $150. please make a call. join the viewer who called from fort collins, colorado. can we hear from denver,
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boulder, telluride, aspen, carbondale? make that call that makes a difference in these last few minutes. you live anywhere in texas, we are urging you to call in right now here in fill the phone lines. atlanta, georgia, or montgomery or selma alabama -- birmingham we need your support. fill the phone lines. join the viewers who called in from seven california, from santa monica, santa maria, from torrance, from los angeles from hollywood. we only have a few copies. how about from albany new york or western massachusetts? how about san antonio? keep the phone calls coming in. we cannot do this work without you. "just mercy," a story of justice and redemption by brian stephenson, winner of the naacp image award for nonfiction.
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we urge you to call. a powerful true story for the potential of mercy to redeem us and a clarion call to break -- to fix our broken system of justice from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time. we urge you to call right now. give us a call. your call counts. kill these phone lines. if you want to come to the set and watch the broadcast, come to the set, watch the broadcast let us know that you are standing up for independent media. come with your friend, with a partner, with your daughter or a son, somebody you want to meet up in new york and we are in the
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chelsea neighborhood of manhattan. we cannot do this work without you. only together, only with you -- your call counts. come to the set, watch the broadcast, meet the team that makes democracy now happen everyday. please call. i want to renew a little dialing music. let's go back to brian. let's go back right now. brian: i still expect more from the court on these issues. amy: dred scott is buried just four miles down the road at cavalry cemetery. he went to the st. louis court to appeal for his freedom. talk about the significance of dred scott and bring it to modern day ferguson? brian: i think that is why we can run from racial inequality but we cannot hide. here we are sitting in 2014 when
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all of this attention is focused on missouri. not a deep south states, but a state with a history of racial inequality playing out in very dramatic terms. amy: many may be surprised to know that missouri was a slave stray. brian: the story of dred scott the and willingness to give up slavery, when they wanted it for economic gain, when they were demonizing and criminalizing and accusing people of color and treating some gain for them is important. the stories ever told the way needs to be told. missouri has the same story of racial segregation in slavery and abuse that you find an -- find in alabama and mississippi. you just don't talk about it as much. because we don't talk about it we have these perceptions of guilt for young men of color in that state, in ferguson. people in ferguson are not protesting because of one thing that happened to one person. there are protesting because all of their lives have been menaced
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and traumatized and followed and presumed guilty and dangerous. that history has never been confronted because we never held anybody accountable for that history. and when the supreme court in 1987 in a death penalty case where the court said this is the system at its best because we are imposing these perfect punishments. if we don't do it right in a penalty context, then we can't. they are asked to commit to eliminateing -- to eliminating racial bias. they say it is to prevalent and pervasive to deal with it. and now we have had all of these executions in a system that has admittedly undermined by racial bias in racial justice -- racial injustice. now we are talking about unrest in ferguson, missouri. we are talking about our failure to confront this history of racial inequality. and until we confront it and
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deal with it more honestly, we are going to be having this conversation for another 50 years. amy: that's brian stevenson. we are speaking to him at the time of the ferguson protest. so much has happened since then. weird you to call. if you would like the dvd of all of our interviews with brian stevenson, the author of "just mercy," a story of justice and redemption, the book is yours for $100. the dvd is yours for $75. put them together for $150. please call in. hey, that is fantastic. hall just called in from the washington viewers like you did just mercy pack. you will get the book and dvd for that $150 contribution. thank you so much for that call, paul. can we get someone calling in right now for dinner and a show in new york? you come to new york city, the chelsea never heard in
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