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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  November 6, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PST

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11/06/19 11/06/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> you try to take a life and you have tested the murder weapon? you have n not called all the witnesses? who does that? where do they do that? i parent, bastrop county. amy: the state of texas is facing growing calls to halt the upcoming execution of rodney
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reed, an african-american man who has spent over 20 years for a rape and murder he says he did not commit. growing evidence shows is framed as art of a cover-up to protect a white police officer r o killeded his fiancee. than 1.4 million n people have signed onlininpetititi to save rodney reed'life. susupporrs i incde celebties m kardrdhian west, rihanna, d meek ml.l. we will spk k to rney y re' brother and sister-in-law, as well as his attorney at the innocence project. >> for over the two decades we have been working on this case, every aspect of the states prove has essentiaially evaporated. ththe forensicc experts who the state relied on have all recounted the testimony. amy: plus we get the latest on tuesday selections across the united states as democrats pull up major victories in kentucky
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and virginia. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. tuesday was election day. results are still pouring in from around the united states. in virginia, democrats have taken control of both legislative houses for the first time in a quarter of a century. in the kentucky governor's race, democratic challenger state attorney general andy beshear ousted trump-backed republican incumbent matt bevin, a deeply unpopular governor who sparked a statewide teachers' strike after he threatened to cut pensions. bevin lost despite president trump holding a rally in lexington, kentucky, monday night, in which he claimed a loss for bevin was a loss for himself. pres. trump: and if you lose, they're going to say trump suffer the greatest defeat in the history of the world.
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you can't let that happen to me. amy: the republican governor said the race is too close to call. in mississippi's governor's race, republican lieutenant governor tate reeves defeated democratic state attorney general jim hood. in virginia, democrats juli briskman, the woman who made headlines in 2017 for flipping off trump's motorcade from her to the, was elected local county board of supervisors. she will represent algonkikian district on the e loudoun county board of supervisors. virginia democrat shelly simonds handily defeated republican incumbent david yancey for a seat in virginia's house of delegates. in 2017, the same two candidates tied and y yancey was handed the seat by a lotot drawing. his nameme was picked at random from a bowl. several local candidates across the country made history tuesday. in scranton, pennsylvania, paige cognetti was elected as the
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first woman mayor. she'll also be the first mayor-elect to give birth. her child is due in december. tuesday's election also decided several important state e ballot initiatives. voters in new york city approved rank-choice voting, a measure supporters say will help underrepresented voters and candidates of color. the town of east hampton in eastern long island also passed ranked choice voting. in jersey city, voters approved strict regulations on short-term rentals in a major blow to airbnb. in arizona, a measure to make tucson a sanctuary city was overwhelmingly defeated. ththis leaves humboldt county, california, where it was voters who approved a sanctuary city ballot measure in 2018. tucson voters also elected democrat regina romero as the city's first woman and first latina mayoror. we'll have more on the elections later in the broadcast. in more electionon news, jp morgan's ceo jamie dimon
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criticized democratic presidential candidate senator elizabeth warren during an interview on cnbc. >> pretty harsh words. some was a vilified successful people. i don't like vilifying anybody. amy: senator warren fired back tuesday, tweeting -- "it's really simple: jamie dimon and his buddies are successful in part because of the opportunities, workforce, and public services that we all paid for. the fact they've reacted so strongly -- so angrily! -- to being asked to chip in more tells you all you need to know. the system is working great for the wealthy and well-connected, and jamie dimon doesn't want that to change. i'm going to fight to make sure it works for everyone." on capitol hill, u.s. ambassador to the eururopean union gordon sondland now says there was a quid pro quo that precondition the release of military aid to .kraine
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gordon sondland is a wealthy hotel magnet in real estate developer in oregon who received the ambassadorship after donating $1 million to trump's inauguration. last month he told impeachment investigators he never thought there was a precondition on the aid, but in a sworn statement released tuesday, gordon sondland reversed himself writing "i said that resumption of the u.s. aid would likely not provided thekraine public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks." a group of scientists has issued a dire warning -- "the climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. it is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity." that's according to a new statement signed by over 11,000 scientists from over 150 countries. it was published in the journal "bioscience." the scientists warn of untold suffering unless the global
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society undergoes a major transformation in order to address the climate crisis. in brazil, there are reports of yet another attack against indigenous land defenders, amid a string of assassinations against brazilian indigenous leaders trying to protect the environment from ranchers and -- illegal logging. environmental activists say gunmen hired by local ranchers opened fire with rubber-coated steel bullets against indigenous residents monday night in the southwestern state of mato grosso do sul. they are trying to reclaim their ancestral land. this is andreia takua fernandez. > the people of brazil to be free of these and bimetal disasters that are happening now, people know this oils bill is a man-made incident. people here to defend the environment to fight against what is happening. amy: in the pacific northwest, five activists were arrested for blockading part of the port of vancouver, washington, tuesday to prevent a shipment of pipeline intended to be used in an expansion of canada's trans
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mountain pipeline. five climbers had locked themselves to the dock where the shipment was to be off-loaded, and this is the latest action demanding the port of vancouver and government officials halt the pipeline expansion which would trtriple the system's capacity. in mexico, at least nine members of a prominent mormon family, including six children, were murdered in an ambush in the northern state of sonora monday. members of the lebaron family, who had dual mexican and american citizenship, were attacked by gunmen as they were driving on the highway in the small town of la mora, less than 100 miles south of arizona. among the six children murdered were seven-month-old twins. eight other children were wounded, including a nine-month-old who was shot in the chest. a 13-year-old survivor reportedly hid his siblings in the bushes and then walked for 14 miles to find help. mexican authorities say they have arrested a suspect in the massacre. the lebaron family has been outspoken about organized crime
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in the region and been the victim of attacks in the past, including kidnapping and murder. there arare an average of 100 murders every day in mexico. more than 70% of firearms recovered at crime scenes across mexico originate in the united states -- the majority purchased legally in states like texas and arizona and then trafficked acrossss the b border. in hong kong, pro-beijing lawmaker junius ho w was stabbbd in the chest wednesday by an unknown assailant while ho was canvassing for votes. the politicician is knn fofor opposing r recent pro-democracy protests i in hong kong and has beenen accused of supportiting b attacks against protesters. several other political figures have been assaulted in recent weeks, including three pro-democracy candidates for upcoming district council elections in hong kong. the israeli supreme court has ruled the government has the right to expel the head of human rights watch's israel and papalestine office. omar shakir is a u.s. citizen.n. israel has a accused himim of supportingng the nonviolent boycotts, divestment and sanctions movement, which aims
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to pressure israel over its treatment of palestinians. a 2017 israeli law that bans foreigners from israel if they publicly support the bds movement. and facebook ceo mark zuckererbg met with civil rights leaders at his home monday night amid the ongoing controversy about facebook's policy of allowing politicians to lie in political advertisements, as well as its role in facilitating election interference and housing discrimination. in an open letter ahead of the meeting, kristen clarke, president of the national lawyers' committee for civil rights under law, wrote to zuckerburg -- "you are using first amendment values as a smokescreen to mask harmful policy decisions that facebook is making to advance its corporate self-interest." the attorney general of the united states, richard barr. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'amy goodmaman. ththe state of texas is facing growing calls to halt thee upcoming executionon of rodney
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reed, an african-american man who spent over 20 years in prison for a rape and murder he says he did not commit. a group of 26 texas lawmakers - -- including both democrcrats ad republicans -- wrote a letter this week asking governor greg abbott to stop the execution plan for november 20. more than a 1.4 million people have signed an online petition to save reed's life. supporters include celebrities kim kardashian west, rihanna and meek mill. rodney reed was sentenced to die after being convicted by an all-white jury for the 1996 stacey stites, 19-year-old white woman. the two were having an affair at the time. but substantntial evidence has since ememerged implicating stites' fiance, a white police officer named jimmy fennell who was later jailed on kidnapping and d rape charges in ananother case. in a m mor developopment, a man
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who spent t time in jail with fennell signed an affidavit last month asserting that fennell had admitted in prison that he had killed his finance because she was having an affair with a black man. later in the show, we will be joined by rodney reed's brother and sister-in-law. but first, let's turn to the documentary "a plea for justice" made by filmmakers for justice. >> they founund the body of aa ofan alonong the dirt road 1441. let me tell you, this morning 19-year-old stacey stites and never arrived at worork. >> in 2006, a small l documentay film teaeam helped expose how an innocent man ended up on texas' death row. >> my personal opinion when i heard she had been killed was that fennell had done it. immediatelely. i kn a number of p people around here felt the same way. >> it became apparent the case against rodney reed was not just a small town affffair.
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>> i belelieve that state new about itit. i believe the district attorneys of bastrop knew w about it.. the e sheriff's department knew about itit. and i believe e the bastrop pole departrtnt knew ababout it. d i do believe they cover that up. they did not want a fellow officer implicated. >> in the past 13 years, the evidence has conontinued t to mt inin favor o orodney reed's innocence. jr is accusednell of sexually assaulting a woman he detained. >>'s guilty pleas today could play a major role in the appeals process of f convicted d murderr rodney reed. >> k key witnesses have recountd testimony. >> hinder justice and some of the most high-profile crimes from a man within days of execution now awaiting word of an appeal after declaring his conclusions on when that woman died. >> key law enforcement o officis who oversaw the initial investigation have been charargd and nvnvicted for r their own misconduct. >> thehe man who oversaw the
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investigigation, basastrop shehf richard hernandez, who also turned out to be a dirty copop d pled guiuilty six felononies. >> critical scientific evidence discovered that essentially exonerates rodney reed. for fiveen face down positioionrs in one beforere she w was turned over o a new position. she was dedead around midnight. >> instead of exonerating reed or even retrying him under fair conditions, ththe texas courts have decided to set a november 20 execution date for this year. amy: an excecerpt from "a plpler justice" about the rodney reed case. last month, the popular daytime tv host dr.p.phil aired an interview he did with rodney reed on death row. >> if you have a messagege to s, what is it?t? >> i a am absolutely innocent of
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this case. i absolutely had nothing to do with stacy's death. i want to be a father to my kids. i want to be a grandfather to my grandchildren. sonnt to be able to be the to look after r my mother and a brother to my brothers. i want to be a part of my family and my friends lives. >> to bebe very clear, did you rape and murder stacy stites? >> absolutely not. no. >> you have nothing to do with it at all? >> nothing to do with stacy's death. i was not with her that night. i had nothing to do with her death. >> you say they did not want to bring in -- there is dna evidence in these allegations against you for other sexual assaults that they are throwing up against the wall. you are saying, let's bring all that forward. if there is that dna evidence, we have technology now that they did not have been, were saying let's bring that t out now and find out if it's right. >> let's test it.
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don't fault me for anything you have done. amy: rodney reed speaking on the "dr. phil show" ahead of his execution scheduled for november 20. welcome i recently sat down with rodney reed's brother and his sister-in-law who we will hear from later in the show. they recently came into our studio a along with bryce beben, a senior attorney at the innocence project. i began by asksking bryce to lay out the story. >> stacy stites was found murdered on the afternoon of april 23. her fiance jimmy fennell claimed she was murdered while on her way to work that morning. roughly 3:00 in the morning. the state theorized that rodney reed had somehow abducted her while she was on her way to work, kidnapped her, took her out to a remote location, sexually assaulted her, and murdered her. the states case rested on two pillars. one was forensic science.
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they had three experts who claimed the presence of a small wasnt of rodney's semen evidence he had sexual he assaulted ms. stites at the time she was murdered. and they rely on jimmy finnell to establish this timeline and to establish that they were a wouldcouple in which she not be having an affair with mr. reed. meanwhile, the trial, mr. reed presented some evidence, to innocence who said they did know about this affair. in fact, his unprepared lawyers had access to other witnesses, but they went and investigated and nonopresented.d. over the two decades that we have been working on t this cas, every aspect of ththe states prf has essentially evaporated. the forensic experts who the state relied on have all recanted their testimony. amy: explained. >> the forensic pathologist
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roberto bayardo who did the biopsy establish -- autopsy establish this timeline of 3:00 murder and said the semen was fresh, therefore had to be related to the murder. that was backed up by a forensic's are all adjust from the dna lab as well as a dps -- texas dps crime scene technician. amy: dps means? >> texas department of safety. none of this theory was true. they told the jury that these small amount of f farm could n t have been there for more than 20 hours -- 24 hours after they were found. in fact, that number is 72. when we went back and talk to roberto bayardo, who was the key witness for the state about this theory, he retracted his entire testimony. he said the state should not have relied on his estimation of the time of death. should not have relied on his
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statements about the semen. in fact, he said the evidence suggested there was consensual sex between rodney and stacy the day before, which is exactly what rodney has said all along to his lawyers come at a bond hearing where rodney's mother testified about the relationship, and at the trial. so we really have a situation where every aspect of the states proof has been negated. but that's not all. the state for months investigated to me for now as -- jimmy fennell. amy: this is stacy's fiance and he is a cop. >> local law enforcement officer jimmy fennell, who is engaged to stacy stites, is the prime suspect for months. they knew it was not fennell's semen in the body, but they still believed he was a suspect.
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he was actively interrogated and after he failed a second polygraph test on facts about the murder, he invoked his right to silence and refused to cooperate. that investigation, however, stopped after mr. reed's semen was identified. and suddenly, jimmy fennell was no longer there suspect and rodney reed -- jimmy fennell was no longer there suspect and rodney reed was prosecuted and ultimately sentenced to death. amy: the alternativeve theory of what happened with a rookie cop jimmy fennell, the fiance of stacy stites, was? what happened that night? >> every piece of evidence we have found over the course of 20 years now points to jimmy fennell, points that the fact that the law-enforcement officers investigating this case who suspected fennell are right ststop when you look at fennel's
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backgrouound, yet a history off excessivive force come eveven pr to thehe murder. his girlrlfriend rightht after e murder described him as emotionallyy abusiveve, verily amy: he is -- like white and rodney reed is black. >> yes. the idea of an interracial relationship would not be something he would like. amy: and did not someone quote stacy saying he told her he would kill her if she was ever unfaithful? >> that is something we have heard from several witnesses now. as we have looked into this case , we have always suspected things about jimmy fennell from the beginning. i took this case in 2002. lo and behold, several years later, i pick up the newspaper and we find out that jimmy fennell had been arrested. ultimately, he was prosecuted and pled guilty to crimes
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related to kidnapping and raping a woman while he was on patrol. and when the texas department of public safety investigated jimmy fennell, they found this was not a one-off incident, that there was a pattern going back years. defense,e have the which was woefully unprepared, did not have the time to present a case, and now we know everything about that defense. everything that rodney reed was saying has in fact been shown to be true. amy: bryce benjet, senior attorney at the innocence project. when we come back, we will be joined by rodney reed's brother and sister-in-law. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman. we continued look at the case of rodney reed, the
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african-american men scheduled to be executed november 20 by the state of framed as part of a car up t proteca white lice offer jimmfennell o killedis own ance stacy stites. more tha1.4 milln people have sned an online petion save re's e. i cently s down wi two mbers ofodney's familyhis other roick and s sier-in-la as well as rodn ree's atrneyey bce benent of e innocence projt. i ked rodrk reed h it felt to have s brotheface the death pelty all ese year >> it s been rl hard. it is li they goa piece us dn there death r as ll, you ow? it is ressful. i don't know iwords ca descbe it wh younow your brotheis innoce and theyou ve to lee him ia place
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where ere tryi to killim. thats a streful thing. ded to do althat i c to keep a sitive minabout the situion, tryo keep h posive andverythin god so amazg becauswhen i try too down tlift him up, he isaking usmile. he is enuragin us. been 12 it iseen 22.5ears sine ha been ab to toucthem, since my mom has bn able t hold his han amy:oontact? >> ncontact all. the rdest thg for me in these 22 yeaea each anevery me iwhen frothe firstime went to sisitim to the las time seen hiis whei tohed thatlass and ge him that pnd, leavg him bend. i can't take h with me as bad
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as i wt to becse i know he is innent, but i he to lea him there. iaven't got ov that yet a it h been 22ears. that is raw rd. y: how iyour motr coping with ts? >> my moer is a stronlady. e is copg. i have sn this a her. i have sn the ag-- it is like s is agin but the samtime,i he seen ts ss very song. e is posive. she lds ontoer faith and right now she is very optimistic. she and i and the rest of the family believe rodney is coming home. amy: one of the things that are astounding is that it is not as if all the evidence has been destroyed. so how do you go back and regrade the situation. thereris evidencnce waiting to e dndna tested in popolice custod. so why hasn't it been tested? >> i believe it has not been tested because they know what
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the test results will come out too. itit will point to jimmy finnel, dna allll -- those guys over the scene. all of them are cops. i believe e that is the reason they have not tested it. that is just my opinion. amy: and what is the evidence that you want dna tested? and in whose custody is it? >> we have asked for dna testing for years now from the bastrop district attorney, which has the power to release the evidence. we have offered to pay for the testing. amy: what is the evidence? >> stacy stites was murdered -- strangled with a belt. the belt was then separated into two pieces by the murderer. one left by the body, one left by the vehicle in which she was traveling. or alleged to have been traveling. obviously, the murder handled pieces of the belt.
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at the time, that was not the type of evidence you can test and get dna from the murderer because it was very early dna technology. today we can test the belt. we can test areas of the clothing where she was dragged. and find evidence of the murderer. unfortunately, even though we have offered to pay for the state has refused. we have gone to court about this . the texas court of criminal appeals has interpreted the dna law in texas to prohibit dna testing of this type of evidence. amy: why? on what grounds are they saying? >> i can't really give a principled explanation for it, but essentially what they have said, the court of criminal appeals has said, we don't think the legislature would want such an expansive right to dna testing. we have shown time and time again that that is just not true. every time the court of criminal appeals interprets the dna law in a way that restricts access, we have gone to the legislature
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and the legislature has expanded access. this is a situation where, i hate to say it, but the will of the people of texas that if we're are going to have the death penalty, that we should make sure at least the people that are subjected to that punishment are actually guilty. amy: i want to go back seven years to june 2012. the federal magistrate judge denied an appeal rodney reed based on what he called unreliable claims of his consensual relationship with stacy stites. one reason the judge cited was that all of the witnesses affirming the relationship were friends of rodney's and not stacy stites. in this clip from the documentary series "a plea for justice," filmmakers interview alicia slater, friend and former coworker of stacy, who confirms her relationship with rodney reed. >> t there was one instance whee we were having lunch in the
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break room together and it was just the two of us she pretty much was confiding in me. we were talking about her engagement ring. i wawas like, are you so excited to get married?d? she said she really wasn't so excited to get married. quicickly follow that with she s acally sleeping with a black guy name rodney. she wanot sure what her fiance woululd dof you found out, that she had to be pretty careful about it. she was not really excited about getting married because she was sleeping with a black dudeamed rodney, she said. >> according to jimmy brown, ththere were multiplple coworors stacy's grocery store job who knew and wititnessed a relationship between she and rodney reed. clubs on everything that rodney told me that happened, i was able to verify. >> in an affidavit in 2019, states when he returned to the store a week later, the same witnesses were unwilling to speak wiwi him and are presumed threatat fromm the bastrop poli.
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>> witness intimidation and threats were two of the main reasons rodney reedd lawyers h d difficulty establishing the relationship during t the origil trtrial. however, since t then, 20 different people have come forward and the personal knowledge that the relationship indeed existed. amy: that is alicia slater, a friend and former coworker of stacy stites from the documentary "a plea for justice." thee benjet, talk about significance of what she is saying and what court has heard what she had to say. >> this has been a problem all along. there was, as i said, some evidence of the relationship at trial but it was not believed, i think a large part, because the state presented is invalid forensic science making that relationship impossible. that has been recanted. so that should change the way you look at these things. but over the years, alicia slater and more people have come out who have no affiliation with
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the family and, frankly, just have information. so this is the key that the federal courts denied. and when we have presented this new evidence to the statee courts, they have refused to consider it. amy: who was the first lawyer? >> jimmy brown was the first lawyer who was hired by the famimily. and foresight, the family did not have the resourcesoo continue to reretain him so the court actually appointed a series of lawyers who did not really prepare the case. and unfortunately, there was a rush to trial here so that the lawyers who ultimately tried the case had almost no time to prepare. and they were investigating, doing forensic testing even while the trial was going on. amy: and this is a death penalty case. clubs yes. a death penalty case often requires over a year of
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preparation. in this case, there was less than 21 before these lawyers were actually working on the case and then they started picking the jury. amy: the allegation of witness tampering that came out in the documentary "a plea for justice"? what is that about? >> we heard from the first lawyer who was hired by the reed family went out and they talked to a number of witnesses who believed there was a relationship. thereafterck soon and nobody will talk to him. we have heard from the trial attorneys that as soon as they would drive into town, they would pick up a police tail. so this idea of witness intimidation is in the record. this is not some speculation here. this was not a fair trial. and with everything we know now, no jury would end up convicting rodney reed. and so what we need is a fair trial where everybody hears
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truthful evidence, they hear valid science, they hear all of the facts. and that is all that rodney once. we think that is what justice requires. renowneds go to the medical examiner michael baden speaking during an evidentiary hearing in october 2017. again, tell us who he is, just the significance of his stature. >> michael baden is essentially a legend of forensic pathology. he was involved in the re-examination of the murder of john f. kennedy, of the martin luther king assassination, and is really the go to forensic papathologist when the most countryt issues in our come up with regard to present a valid you. amy: when was he on the stand? >> this was at an evidentiary hearing based on
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suppressed exculpatory evidence that we discovered in 2017. amy: so this is a clip from the documentary "a plea for justice" with dr. michael baden. when did she die? that will i influencece the of who is telling the truth. this is something that all learnl examiners immediately is that there are changes in the body that indicate how long somebodydy has been deaead. , she was dead - --e midnight of the day the next day t that she was fou. she was dead around midnight. and because of that is dr. michael baden. and the significance of what he
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is saying and what you're calling for now? thatat he is saying is rodney reed's guilt, the state's theory of how this crime occurred is medically and scientifically impossible. and the time of death is saidlly when jimmy fennell he was alone with stacy stites in their apartment. this is significant because at that hearing, we also heard from jimmy fennell's best friend at the time, who was a bastrop sheriff's officer who jimmy fennell actually gave a different story about where he was during this critical time period of when stacy was murdered. he claimed he had gone out late that night and was drinking and that he came home late at night and that stacy left in the morning without him. so what we have here is a completely different forensic picture that shows the time of death is at a time that jimmy
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fennell told the jury he was at home with stacy stites and now does not even have a consistent story about it. when we asked jimmy fennell about this at the hearing, he refused to testify and assert it for the member privilege not to incriminatate himself. amy: rodrick reed, your brother rodney, that night by the time at her so much, where was he at that time? cousin chrish my all ridge. they were in like a little community center right next door to the f families of everybody hung out there and they were sitting out there hanging out. that is where he was. amy: you are wearing a t-shirt that says "pasty forensics" and has a picture of -- "face the forensics" and it is a picture of your brother. now is when we go to your sister
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. it says "grant rodney reed a new trial." i want to talk about that and when you came into this picture. you are the sister-in-law of rodney, married to rodrick. talk about when you first learned about this case. clubs i first learned about this case when i was working as a survivor advocate at safe place. there is this annual martin luther king march that happens every year in austin and the ending parade and that houston tilson university. the first table i saw was one -- i think there were flyers for texas correlation to abolish the death penalty. it had something related to rodney's case. i was talking with someone who was at the table, basically, they invited me to come to an event about rodney's case and everything. when i got to the meeting, they talked about how there was dnana ththat had not been tested in hs case. this was right around his first
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execution date, the mark 5, 2015 one. i thought it was crazy they were trying to take this person's life and there was dna that had not been tested that could prove he did not do the crime. that is when i got involved. amy: and that is also when you met rodrick >> yes, soon after. amy: what has it been like for you to go to the jethro prison and see rodney? >> it is hard. i know rodrick and rodney were really close. rodrick talks about his relationship with rodney all the time. to me the relationship was like a best friend, deeper than up as friend. seeing the pain of what this has done, it is hard. when we go up there -- it is like a feeling of extreme despair saying how the tone changes when we leave livingston. it is tough stuff amy: i went to
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go to a victim of the georgetown police officer jimmy fennell. fennell was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping her after he took her into police custody. this is a clip from a plea for justice of, alere being interviewed on the show w "crime watch daily."" >> he just kept telliling me too shut up. he asked me d dance for h him s that i told him no. en i toldd him no, he got mad. he grabbed me and s slammed me p against the back of the car where the trunk is. i kept telelling him to stop and he kept telling me to shut up, that i knew i liked it. he told me he would hunt me down when he got out of prison and coming. amy: fennell was convicted. close he pled guilty to kidnappingng in such chaharges relalated to thatt a arrest. again, the texas law e enforcemt
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invevestigation of jimimmy fennl arising ouout of that actually showed that was a pattern of conduct. so this was not an isolated incident. defense washat the saying to the jury, everything that we suspected whom we first took this case has proven to be true. amy: where is he now? he recently got out of prison. clubs we have been told by folks who have been out of the church and visited that -- he is a pastor at a church in granger, texas. amy: a pastor? what did they say about his congregant -- his congregation say about his church? >> basically they went up there and i think one person said they delivered a free rodney reed bumper sticker to one of the members of the congregation and there were like, "i don't want that." amy: what are you calling for now? >> we are calling for justice.
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we are calling for rodney to get a new trial. when givenident that the new trial, with all of testimonies and stuff from different witnesses and everything, that rodney is coming home. we a are confifident of that. all we have to do is have the opportunity to present that. his life is on the line. i can't see them takingng my brothers life or something he did not d do and you did d not e usus that avenue to savave his . you are executing an innocent man. at the end of the day, i don't see how anybody could sleep with that on their conscience, their mind, their heart. amy: what is your plea to the community right now? and how important is community respspse as this case goes through the courts, her brother behind bars for more than two decades?
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>> our plea right now is for everybody to get involved. everybody to act, to contact governor greg abbott, ken paxton, the board of pardons and parole. amy: greg abbott, has he made a statement on your brother's case, the governor of texas? >> noto my knowledge. not m my knledgdge. just contact everybodydy. use your social mea.a. hp ringstory out to justice e out of the streets and back into theourtroom w wheret can get peace not ju for rodney, but for stacy ststitess well. her family is going through this as well. fefeel sorry for her fily that they he to go rough this. amy: do u know h family? where e they std on t ts? >> i kw memrs of hefamily. memberof her fily wrote letter ttheovernor aing ck in 20 for clemey for my
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brothebecause ey belie rodn did notommit th cre. th have sa theyelieve jimmy feell has gotn away with murr in thiletter to the goveor. and theyrote theame lett to btrop couy distri attorn bryan gtz. they a stating ts. one of thfamily mbers wasn the r. phil sho with us ll sitti right bide m i hadinner wh herater tha night anshe was lling me abou how t family els. they a torn. the family torn. they a going tough pai family going tough pai and yet murder istill onhe ststet and mbrother is lock up and we e dealinwith this fight ery d. weake up wh thatn our mi and to bed wh that oour mind. this h been gog on far too long. as far as other opople tt hahave been executed onexas dea row and latefofound out to be innocent, that is hard for me to hear because, see, you can't
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undo that. youan't undo that. especially you are tryg to take h l life and you have no tested the murr r weapon? you haven't call all the witness? who es that? where did they do that? appear, and bastrop county. we have got to do something about it. amy: that is rodney reed's brother rodrick reed. rodney sister-in-law and his attorney bryce benjet of the innocence project. rodney reed is scheduled to be executed by the state of texas number 20 for the murder of stacy stites in 1996. in late october, reads legal team filed an application for clemencycy with the texas boardf pardons and paroles after amy revealed that stacy stites fiance jimmy fennell, a white x police officer, had admitted to the murder while in prison for another crime. i want to end with the words of rodney reed speaking recently from death row to dr. phil.
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this?you have anger about i mean, 22.5 years you have been in here for something you say you did not do. >> something i didn't do. > you angry? >> i initially i was comining io prprison, but then you have to t gogo of that anger. things you let it -- don't have no control of, don't try to control. >> you said you miss the simple things in life. what are those simple things that you miss? out. bebeing out andd about. taking long walks.s. being able t tsee the moon. being abable to try to count the stars. >> how long has it been? > we have t these little windows,s, little slots whwheree can look out and sometimes i look out and you can't see them because of the angle that the building is.
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you know they are there. i know they are there. and that is rodney reed speaking to dr. phil onn death row in texas. rodney reed is scheduled to be executed by the s state of texas november 20. when we come back, we look at election results from around the uniteded states with j john nics of the nation. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. results are still coming in around the country after tuesday's elections with major wins for democrats in several crucial states. in virginia, democrats have gained control of both houses for the first time in 25 years. in kentucky, democratic challenger state attorney general andy beshear has claimed victory over trump-backed republican incumbent matt bevin in a tightly contested run for governor. bevin was a deeply unpopular governor spark statewide teacher strikes after he threatened to cut pensions. beshear campaigned on promises to expand medicaid and boost teacher salaries andnd pensions. he addressed supporters tuesday night. >> voters in kentucky sent a message loud and clear for everyone to hear.
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[cheers] that said oure elections don't have to be about right versus left, they are still about right versusus wron. amy: matt bevin has so far refused to concede. the upset victory came despite president trump hosting a rally in kentucky for matt bevin on monday night. pres. trump: and if you lose, they're going to say trump suffer the greatest defeat in the history of the world. you can't let that happen to me. amy: in mississippi, republican lieutenant governor tate reeves defeated democratic state attorney general jim hood in the governor's race. esday's election also decided several important state ballot initiatives. voters in new york city approved ranked choice voting, measure supporters say help underrepresented voters and candidates of color. the town of east hampton new york also voted for ranked choice voting. tucsonona, making
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sanctuary city was defeated. for more on the elections, we go to madison, wisconsin, where we're joined by john nichols, political writer for the nation. his most recent piece is "the 'bernie sanders slate' is on today's ballot." welcome back to democracy now! go through each of these races and we have more upsides to talk about. >> there is a lot to talk about. it was a pretty remarkable night. what happened in virginia is a huge deal. one of the things we talked about when you look at states is the termm "trifecta control" meaning you control the governorship and bototh houses f the state legislature. in virginia,a, for the democrat, that has not happened for a long time. but last night they got it. what this means is, because they have a democratic governor and actually quite progressive, not
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all the way progressive democratic legegislature, you're going to see real openings to do all sorts of things that have been blocked for years in virginia. voting rights initiatives, some labor rights, potentitially even endorsing equal rights amendment , which would be a big deal because there are people still pushing toto move that across te line nationally. so the virginian went is a big deal. t thatould not go unnoted pepeople that republicanans tard and conservatives targeted, folks like state delegate lee carter, democratic-socialist with him bernie sanders campaigned on the night before the electionn, lee carter one ad he won easily. so, too, did a multiracial, multiethnic slate of democratic contenders. let's wait to kentucky. amy: in virginia for one second,
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for some other very interesting races, the democrat juli briskman, the woman who made headlines in 2017 for flipping off trump's motorcade from her bicycle and was fired, was elected to the board of supervisors in loudoun county. simonsn democrat shelley handily defeated republican incumbent david yancey for a rematch and the house of delegates, the same two candidates that had tied before in 2017 when david yancey was then handed the seat by a lot drawing. his name picked randomly from a bowl. also in virginia, democrats gazelle hush may become the first was some -- muslim womanan elected d to statete senate. >> the results are striking. democrats and regina really were celebrating all over the place. they could not keep up with the wins as they came through.
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for many people, and icing on the e cake was the victory in loudoun county. there was the iconic auto of thisis bicyclist flipping ofofte president ofhehe united states as his motorcadede passed by. she is now an elected official. what is significant is on tuesday night, she won and it is quite arguable that donald trump lost most of the play out on that is a rich one. amy: let's go on to kentucky. the kentucky race is a huge d dl very republican. we should not underestimate the fact republicans one credit few aces in kentucky on tuesday -- quite a few races, but in the governor's race, there was an all in effort by president trump to nationalize the race, to make it about impeachment. that is a big differ two reasons. number one, it is a test of voteter sentiment and how powerl the issue is. number two, kentucky is the home of senate majority leaeader mith mcconnell. mcconnell appeared with trump on
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the eve of the election. trump flew into lexington, kentucky, had a major rally in which your clip noted he said "don't t t him do t that to me"r he basically pleaded with the voters of kentucky to protect him from impeachment by reelecting governor matt bevin. bevin is in a popular governor, but at the end of the race, there was a lot of folks who thought he would pull off a victory. it turns out he didn't. one of the reasons he did not win is because andy beshear, who was well-known and is the sitting attorney general in the state -- line amy: and the son of a former governor. >> a skilled politician. but he did something that is very significant. he went into eastern kentucky, rural county, some of which had voted for trump by a 40% margin, and he won more than a dozen counties that t trump had one. this is a big message for
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democrats going into 2020. issues oflso have the the teacher strikes and the hostility people felt totoward matt bevin around pensions and salaries. and you had medicaid expansion, which andy beshehear wasas for. >> and his father had been a big advocate for. the family was well associated with that. one of the things that will be said, amy, andy beshshear one aa conservative democrat. therere is no doubtbt he ran on local and statate issues rather than tying in with other national stop. buts no great left-winger the truth is he rent as a prolabor, pro-abortion rights candidate for governor of kentucky. he was supported by a lot of progressive forces in that state. he prevailed. he prevailed with a huge mobilization in louisville and other urban areas, but also by
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cracking some of the suburban areas. by flipping rural counties -- amy: some cold counties. ose yes. voted 40%0% kentucky for r trump. yet a 40% victory. any beshear went in and won by 20%. amy: ranked choice voting here in new york city come also in the town of east hampton on the eastern part of long island. ranked choice voting is part of a package of reforms that we should be looking at around the country that allow you to open up the politics to let people run who maybe don't have as much money, who may come from a variety ofof backgrounds. brokenchoice voting has througugh the state of maine a d has s been a big factor there. now new york city becomes a largest jurisdiction in the country to embrace ranked choice voting. what that means is you h have se
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realal potential in elections fr candidates who maybe don't have the biggest amount of money but who have a lot of popular appeal to build out a campaign seeking second choice votes. we can run down a list of campaigns in new york city in the past that have narrowly lost, maybe even 70 like tiffany caban, where if you had had ranked choice e voting, there'sa real chance they may have one. this is a big deal. reports california, ktvu the race is too close to call. chesa boudin was leading after the first round. pulleys appointment a fortune agagainst him. >> is important to note there's a lot of mailil and votes stillo bebe counted t there. when you're looking att roughly think --e difference, i
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i would argugue it is silly to trying t to go that t race. it really is a genuinely too close to call contetest. there were probably -- it may be several days before we know. amy: kendra brooks captured a philadelphia city council seat in a historic win the working families party in philadelphia. >> that is a huge win. adelphi has s a quirky law that reserves a couple of seats under city council for minority party candidates. historically it has gone the republicans for some the working families party decided to -- many ways an old insider political l deal between machine democrats and machine republicans, they ran candidates who said they really wanted to pull things to the left in philadadelphia andnd some democs brokoke with their party to back and help these candidates.s. thiswin is a big deal because it has the potential to not just
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help a third party have a breakthrough, but also to move philadelphia city council and philadelphia politics even more to the left. it is a city -- amy: we have to leave it there, john nichols of the nation, thank you so mu
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