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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  September 21, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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does the hard work of peace, with a major middle east speech at the u.n., republicans just deliver harsh attacks. >> the president should not be negotiating for his ally israel -- >> naive, arrogant, misguided and dangerous. >> perry is right. >> two congressmen from both sides debate the obama middle east policy. also, job fail. republicans go after the fed, saying do nothing on the economy. are these guys shameless or what? ohio senator sherrod brown live on that tonight. [ chanting ] plus time and options have run out for death row inmate troy davis. moments ago, georgia's supreme court refused to stop the
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execution. davis now scheduled to die less than an hour. this is not justice. welcome to "politics nation." i'm al sharpton, live from atlanta, georgia, reporting tonight on a question of justice, justice denied. troy davis is set to be executed less than one hour from now, despite appeals from around the world, and despite grave doubt about his guilt. just moments ago, a group of former death row wardens released a letter calling for the davis execution to be stopped saying, quote, an innocent person could be executed in georgia tonight. doubt about his guilt remains
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this group includes a warden who was in charge of the georgia death chamber. right now supporters of troy davis are holding a vigil that i started this morning. outside the state prison. i and action network was there all day speaking out against this travesty. security was tight, tv satellite trucks were pulling up, protesters were gathering and emotions were running high. [ chanting ] >> today davis' lawyers frantically fought to save his life. they lost a bid for him to tailing a polygraph test. they lost another appeal asking a judge to block the excuse because of faulty evidence and testimony. some even suggested prison employees strike or call in
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sick, but to no avail. >> i feel that it's injustice. how can you execute someone without true evidence? >> i'm shocked we're here again to see this. >> if there's one thing, it's not to give
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hang a jury. you have five. when you look at the fact that he was given prior repreevs, look at this graph in 2007, his execution was called off the day before. in 2008, he came within 90 minutes of dying when the uss supreme court stopped it. i remember standing right where i was standing today with his mother preparing for the execution and the supreme court stopped it. again in 2008, the federal court of appeals stopped the execution. you would think with all of this, all of this doubt that the georgia board of pardons and parole would have said there's so much doubt here, let uss study the new evidence.
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jurors have come forward. yet they said no, we're not going to hear anything, and this man is less than an hour away from death. how in a civilized society can we execute a man given all of 9 scientific breakthroughs we've had, all of the technology we had, that no technology, nothing scientific, no physical evidence, just the statements by nine witnesses, seven of whom have recanted their statements? us. >> seven people at a minimum have tried to wipe the blood from their hands, reverend, and there's so many others who have a part to play in this case that they now regret, but what was thes parole board basing its decision whether or not to grant clemency on. it appears to me, reverend al
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that it was a lot of passion, and it was a lot of, i guess, prejudice against people accused of a crime, people who have been convicted of crime. we just have no -- we don't care about life, and it's unfortunate. this is something that we must continue to fight past, troy anthony davis, i remain hopeful that perhaps some clear head will prevail on the georgia board of pardons and pa rolls to reconsider this decision. they have the case in their hands, and they will have blood on their hands if they do not do what seems to be compelled by the evidence as far as so many people can see, including alan alt, who used to be the warden.
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>> i've never heard wardens come out and stop executions. these are wardens. >> you have five wardens initial to alt who have come out and spent this last-ditch effort, this last-ditch letter. this is an attempt by them to have clean hearts, as they grow older and reflect on what kind of job they did in their official capacity, and my heart goes out to them, because they were doing what the state compelled them to do. that was their job. so many people get hurt, reverend al, when society does not have a basic level of consciousness and regard for human life. >> well, we've got to keep fighting. thank you, congressman hank
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johnson. thank you for your time tonight. >> well, reverend al, you keep up the fight. we support you 100%, and all of those people out there who are fighting for justice tonight, let's not end it tonight. let's keep moving forward. >> yes, sir, and i think the congressman is right, and as i said, many of us will be pursuing, whether we are for or against the death penalty, and i'm against the death penalty, the fact is there can at least be laws that would outlaw states from having capital cases unless there is at least scientific offer physical evidence involved. we have seen dna overturned so many convictions, 75% of those convictions also involve flawed or false eyewitness accounts. that alone should at least unite this country, whether you're for
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or against the death penalty, saying that eyewitness accounts alone should not be enough to bring a capital case before a jury. you must at least have more than that. at least we can go that far, and we will begin that fight in the name of troy davis this friday. i hope that we will be able to unite, no matter what our positions on the death penalty, if we had had had that law, this man would not be dies within this hour. we'll be right back. with a lot more, as i continue and i will be talking later about this case, getting updates as the countdown goes on the life of troy davis. we'll also be discussing other issues tonight. we'll be right back.
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coming up, the republicans have unveiled a new plan to create jobs. do nothing, literally.
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we'll talk about it with democratic senator sherrod brown, next. scope dual blast technology blasts away bad breath germs and food after tastes. new crest complete with scope dual blast. blast your way to fresh breath. prego?! but i've been buying ragu for years. [ thinking ] i wonder what other questionable choices i've made? [ '80s dance music plays ] [ sighs ] [ male announcer ] choose taste. choose prego. hey, jessica, jerry neumann with a policy question. jerry, how are you doing? fine, i just got a little fender bender. oh, jerry, i'm so sorry. i would love to help but remember, you dropped us last month. yeah, you know it's funny. it only took 15 minutes to sign up for that new auto insurance company but it's taken a lot longer to hear back. is your car up a pole again? [ crying ] i miss you, jessica! jerry, are you crying? no, i just, i bit my tongue. [ male announcer ] get to a better state.
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state farm. the breaking news. the gop has offered up a new jobs plan. it's called -- do nothing. yes, literally do nothing. in a letter to the federal reserve, gop leaders have urged chairman ben bernanke to, quote, resist further intervention in the u.s. economy. why? because this intervention includes the dreaded "s" word -- stimulus. the republican leaders, quote, have seen no evidence that further monetary stimulus will
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create jobs. well, that makes perfect -- i mean, no sense, actually, but needs did eric cantor's latest argument. he says failed bridges are proof that we should adopt another stimulus. >> every time he goes to identify a bridge or another project that's yet not funded and is in disrepair, he's going to remind people it's his stimulus that was unable to deliver. >> am i missing something? here's proof once again. in the third quarter of 2008, is the economy was shrinking. in the fourth quarter of 2008, it shall rink be nearly 9%. enter the stimulus. it grew the economy by nearly 2%, and it added 2.9 million jobs. stimulus equals jobs, by railing
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against the stimulus, republicans are knowingly destroying job creation, and they're doing it so that their party can run on it. well, lack of job creation is -- >> with the help and the courage of the american people, we will get our country working again. god bless you, and god bless the united states of america. >> joining me now is senator sherrod brown, democrat from ohio. senator, thanks for taking the time to be with us. >> good to be back, al. thank you. of course. >> the president is traveling to your home state tomorrow, what do you hope to hear from him? >> i hope to hear that he's going to keep fighting. do we continue to protect tax cuts, continue to protect the tax breaks for hedge fund managers? do we continue to protect oil country subsidies and tax breaks, or do we put people back to work by building bridges,
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highways, water and sewer systems, community colleges, broadband, all the things that directly create jobs and then set the stage for much more job creation in the future. >> the earn american people seem to be with him and with those like you who have stood and said we need to create jobs and we need to spend the money on the american people going back to work. look at this latest poll by gallup. 75% support funds to hire civil servants. 72% infrastructure, 56% extendsing unemployment. we hear all this talk from republicans about they're speaking for the american people. the american people clearly are saying the opposite of what they are writing to the fed chair. >> yeah, we just had an amendment on the floor that i led the opposition to, sponsored by the republican senator from
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arizona, that would have cut a program that helps local manufacturing -- small amount of money, but helps local manufacturing businesses in places like -- places lack bowl vary and worcester, places like that, companies that have been hurt because of china and other job-killing trade agreements. you know, their interest is all about budget cuts and not at all about job creation. the reason the president has public support is the president's major focus is job creation. you don't only cut your way into prosperi prosperity. the focus has to be on job creation. that's how we put people to work. that's how we rebuilt this company. >> and one other thing they do and that's protect the super wealthy. i think that that is what is so
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obscene about this. on top of everything else, they are saying don't touch the rich, don't tax the rich. when i look at the fab that "forbes" 400, the average net worth is 3.8 billion. this is unbelievable. we are protecting billionaires while threatening to cut the safety net of people that have worked heart all their live just to put foot on the table? >> i was on a conference call with a lot of seniors in so ohio, and repeatedly people said, wait snarkts republicans want to continue these tax breaks, and then have to cut medicare and social security? these are choices. these aren't academic exercises. if we're going to continue to give tax breaks to the
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wealthiest in this country, we will not be able to fund medicare and not be able to fix the bridge in cincinnati and not be able to run those small, effective programs that help communities and businesses fight back against unfair trade policies. >> let me get this right. they want to call social security a ponzi scheme and a lie. they said to say that we should not have the kind of entitlements like medicare and medicaid. they want to fight collective bargaining state by state to break down unions. they want to turn around and say we don't need programs to create jobs or training for jobs, but if we say, well, wait a minute, at least make the rich pay the taxes they used to pay, oh, that's class warfare. they've been clobbering us over the head, but if we have the unmitigated gal to speak up, we're the ones starting class warfare? >> yeah, what we do is point out the class warfare they have waged against the middle class.
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it's the republicans representing the koch brothers and some of the biggest special interests, wealthiest special interests in this country that have day after day, week after week, year after year in this city gone after the middle class, and waged class warfare against the middle class and against working families that aspire to join the middle class. as you say, we've seen the wleltier get richer and the broad middle class begin to shrink, where it's harder and harder to get into the middle class, and harder for people as you know, what i definitely want you to address, i was as a forum in michigan saying you've got to cut taxes to provide jobs. bill clinton raised taxes, and bill clinton was able to produce 23.6 million jobs, and he taxed the rich. george bush gave the rich tax
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cuts in his eight years, we only got 3 millionmple mathematics. how do you have a difference of 20.1 million jobs and people can't figure out that taxing the rich does not equal to not producing jobs. >> that says it all. that 22, 23 million jobs in a balanced budget, you didn't even add that, and wages went up during the clinton years. during the bush years, two big tax cuts, a giveaway to the drug and insurance companies, not to mention two warring and no real job growth. clearly just looking at a bit of history this trickle-down economic -- it simply doesn't work. we need a fair tax system. we need to invest in the way the
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president wants to. you're dead right. >> well, senator brown, thank you for your time. >> thank you, al. >> you keep fighting. >> thank you. >> from the suites to the streets, we can make america work. >> thanks. let's bring in richard wolffe, thanks for joining me. >> it's a pleasure. >> as we continue to hearing this language from it is right wing, i mean, can you believe they wrote the fed chair and say don't do anything -- do nothing about stimulus? i mean, are they reading the unemployment statistics? are they looking at the level of is poverty in this country? >> well, a bit of context here, obviously it's a free country, they can say whatever they like and write letters to whoever they like, but the fed is a independent agency, the pressure has been off the charts.
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you may have a fringe candy, or maybe a rick perry. steve forbes used to say alan greenspan want goosing it up enough. they have allowed the fed to make policy decisions on monetary policy, because elected politicians are no good at this stuff. they get it wrong all the time. they try to manipulate things for the politics. the fed has a remedy to cut down inflation and cut down employment. if these elected leaders, the leaders of the republican party think this is normal or acceptable, then the republican party isn't what it used to be, and it's way out of the mainstream of its own history and public opinion. >> i agree with you. in fact, let me show you what vice president biden said about the republican party that really says exactly what your point was that you just made. he says -- you know what our biggest problem is -- there's no republican party. the tail is wagging the dog, and
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they can't control their party. that's the -- that's the problem. that's not going to -- the only thing that's going to change their minds is their constituency. tell them that they have to move. that's what biden says. >> yeah, reverend sharpton, i'm wondering what their constituency actually is when they write this kind of letter, because the stimulus we're talking about here from the federal reserve is to lower interest rates so that banks can lend to businesses. that is their constituency, right? those are the job creators they say they're talking about, and says hopefully to lower rates on mortgages so that people can refinance. it's not about investing in brings or any of the things they think are democratic ideas. if you believe your constituency is the private sector, then this kind of measure to lower the cost of borrowing is a good thing. why they want to take the rick perry route and undermine this,
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when it has no impact on the deficit and can only help is the economy, it's totally what other central banks are doing around the world, i don't understand who they think they're representing. they're not even running for the republican nomination for the presidency. >> then this rhetoric of class warfare. let me show you a sound from elizabeth warren. >> there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. nobody. you build a factory out there, good for you, but i want to be clear. you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. you were safe in your factory because the police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. >> amen.
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amen. she's preaching the truth. this whole notion, like they are so smart and did all of this on their own, and that they were not in many ways aided by the things that this society provided for them, the working class people's tax dollars paid for. it is the most arrogant and false premise to this whole argument. >> well, they're actually not arguing against public spending. if you look at what mitch mcconnell does in kentucky, they don't say wow, it's the way he opposed president obama, but all the dollars he brought here, all the federal tax dollars, this convention center, that road. he has been a master at getting the federal dallas back in his home state. the same is true of 78 of these governors running for president now. they don't mind the gove-- whaty
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mind is someone else getting the public money. it's hypocrishypocrisy. >> richard wolffe, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. breaking news, let me give you this breaking news. lawyers for troy davis have just asked the united states supreme court to stop the execution. it's the ultimate last-ditch appeal. we'll go live to jackson, georgia, for the latest. but first, republicans are itching to use the president's middle east policy to turn jewish voters from blue to red, but their distortions are doomed to fail. we'll tell you why. [ venus ] what are they doing to stufy?
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breaking news, lawyers for troy davis have just asked the suns supreme court to stop the execution. they say in the last-minute filing that, quote, substantial constitutional errors were made when the lower courts denied his claim that newly available evidence revealed that false, mislading and materially inaccurate information was presented at his capital trial in 1989, rendering the conviction and death sentence fundamentally unreliable. there's no guarantee the court will act on it before 7:00 p.m.
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eastern time. we'll go live to jackson, we'll go live to jackson, georgia, for the latest.
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♪ welcome back. this morning president obama addressed the united states general assembly. his message -- a continued commitment to helping israel and palestine reach a peaceful agreement on state boundaries. >> friends of the minds do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution. >> a two-state solution? sounds familiar. >> for the sake of all humanity living side by side in peace and security. this is a matter of foreign
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policy not -- but some in the republican party don't see it that way. the day before the president's big speech, rick perry ripped the president's middle east policy. >> the obama administration and their middle east policy of appeasement that has encouraged such an ominous act of bad faith. simply put, we would not be here today if the obama policy in the middle east wasn't naive and arrogant, misguided and dangerous. it doesn't take long for the other republicans to jump on the bandwagon. >> the president's failure to stand by at the time of need has been very unfortunate. >> perry is right when he talked about obama's foreign policy as
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it relates to israel. it's been misguided, it's been weak, and that has resulted in the minds thinking they're going to be given a state and they're using obama's own words against americans. >> they're trying to paint president obama as extreme and anti-israel for political gain. america's commitment to israel's security is unshakeable. >> joining me now, democrat eccongressman steven rossman of new jersey, and republican congressman bill cass yesterday
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-- cassidy. thank you both for joining me. congressman cassidy, do you support language that is coming from some fellow republicans? >> well, of course i have a lot of fellow republicans. >> i'm talking about the ones attacking the president for saying we need a two-state solution and has said what he is doing is dangerous. >> in none of those quotes that you said did i hear anybody attacking the president about a two-state solution. i think what you did see as a theme was the same that ed koch said and the jewish voters in the race that bob turner just won and there's been question about the president's commitment. i'm pleased to say that the day the president was unequivocal and linked peace with israel by the palestinians with statehood, that's a good thing, but again ed koch and some democrats and some republicans are concerned. >> do you think prime minister
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netanyahu knows whether the president has a good record with supporting israel? let me show you what prime minister of israel, mr. benjamin netanyahu said while he sat with president obama today. maybe he didn't check in with republicans or ed koch. why don't we watch and hear what he had to say, congressman. >> okay. >> i think that standing your ground, taking this principle, which i think is the right position to achieve peace, i think this is a badge of honor, and i want to thank you for wearing that badge of honor, and also to express my hope that others will follow your example, mr. president, so i want to thank you for that. >> congressman rothman, it seems like some of those attacking the president here didn't check in with the people that are right there and on the front line of having to deal with this middle east crisis, when you see the heads of state of israel say that what he's doing is a badge
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of honor. >> well, reverend sharpton, i had the privilege of serving on the subcommittee, and the foreign -- and i can tell you what secretary of defense gates said, what the head of the joint chiefs of staff mike mullins said and what the israeli military and intelligence folks say, and that is that the military and intelligence cooperation between the obama administration and the jewish state of israel is the best in the history of the state of israel. so you can ask all the people, the principals, military intelligence, eselected officials in both countries, and they will tell you, because of president obama's policies and strong support, they now have the strongest military cooperation and intelligence relationship -- >> isn't this really about politics? they know that -- isn't this a way to when the states of middle
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east peace and global politics at stake, they're playing political games here? >> again, let me say something earlier. i said today's speech was good. i agree with netanyahu. i'm agreeing with netten yaw hue. i'm kind of echoing what ed koch said and what the voters that elected bob turners said, that previous statements have expressed some equivocation, if will you, on the part of the president. >> what statement? >> the speech was kind of establishing an equivalency between israel and palestine, and to which truly sought to have peace and did one seek to have more than others? the cairo speech was viewed among jewish-americans and others as being kind of pro-muslim, if you will. >> well, i think calling for two-state solution and having a respect of two states, when you tuck about equal, is the same
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thing that george bush said. >> isn't that a good thing? what was good about the speech is the president unequivocally linked it to first there being peace. if there is peace, then there can be a two-state solution. that's a good thing. this republican applauds that, and that's something that should have been echoed all the way up to the speech as well. congressman, i recall when last year he said we should have the mind state if we have advanced towards peace. he's not saying anything different now than before. what fantasy do they have that this is any different? >> well, that's correct, al. you know i'm a jewish-american, i support the state of israel, as do most americans, jewish or not, because israel is vital to america's natural security interests. period. it guards the mediterranean for us, the suez canal, helps us guard the persian gulf. they're the american aircraft carrier in an important and
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dangerous region of the world. i never would have supported president obama for president if i thought for a moment that the president wasn't 100% able and committed to the jewish state of israel, and that has been his consistent point. even in the cairo speech, and everywhere else, but where the rubber meets the road, reverend, is on defense and military cooperation. on that basis, according to the israelis and the americans in our military and in our intelligence, and all the elected officials, there's no question, israel has no better partner than the obama administration concerning military and intelligence cooperation and obama has tied the two of our nations at the hip, and there's no daylight. that's why president obama is regarded by those in the defense and intelligence communities as being the best american president for israel in israel's
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history. >> well, i'm going to have to leave it there. we are -- we hope we can get some of the politics out of this. i think if any of the democratic candidates for president had done what these had done when george bush was -- we would have been roundly criticized, but again we keep seeing a different standard. thank you congressman rothman hand bill cassidy for both of your times tonight. ahead, more, the breaking news, lawyers for troy davis asking the united states supreme court to stop the execution. we'll go live to jackson, georgia, for the latest. there's only one bottle left !
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this is video of police that seem to be gathering up riot police, preparing for a possible disturbances if troy davis is in fact executed just moments away. we'll be back for give you the update on whether the last-stitch efforts by the lawyers will be successful. , slashing service, and want to lay off over 100,000 workers. the postal service is recording financial losses, but not for reasons you might think. the problem ? a burden no other agency or company bears. a 2006 law that drains 5 billion a year from post-office revenue while the postal service is forced to overpay billions more into federal accounts.
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[ grandpa ] the reason we fall into bed at night sometimes. [ grandma ] yes. that's right. [ male announcer ] humana. a dell. the power to do more. it's now 6:51 on the east coast. troy davis is scheduled to be executed in nine minutes. davis has just filed a final plea, asking the united states supreme court to intervene and stop his execution.
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people all over the world have come together to condemn this execution as a horrific miscarriage of justice. this afternoon i was at the prison we were almost stopped from conducting a prayer vigil. >> you're not going to stop me no more. just moments ago we saw police at the scene getting ready for a possible disturbance at the prison. joining me now, nbc news correspondent tom trong reporting from outside the prison. tell me what the scene is like now? >> reporter: well, al, i can show you, as we get closer to 7:00, take a look at the show the force. i would imagine this is going to be kind of a preventative measure at this point. you can see the guards and multiple riot police, prepared for any possible outbreak of
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protesters' violence. and across the street you'll see the show of force of the prot t protesters and supporters for troy davis at this point. they've been gathering all day, and now this is coming to a head, as we get closer to 7:00, many of these people believe that troy davis is innocent. they believe that recanting 7 of the 9 witnesses is enough for doubt. they say this execution should not proceed. today he spent six hours with his family, mostly trying to reserve that time left. when he was offered his clans for a last meal, his choice, he declined that, and instead was served the prison standard meal of a cheeseburger, baked beans and potato. now we're here, just a few minutes away, they're prepared for any type of outbreak, and we'll bring you the latest if anything happens. al, back to you. >> thank you for your report. joining me by phone is alan
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alt, a former warden who overall executions for the state. he's part of a group of former death-row wardens who just today released a letter calling for the execution to be stopped, saying, quote, an innocent person could be executed in georgia tonight. doubt about his guilt remains. allen, what inspired you to -- >> i spoke out many times against the death penalty, and my worst fear was that we would execute something that was innocent. i certainly hopefully they would intervene in this case. i assume they have not, however. >> it is frightening. i was there in '08 when they did stop it, with moments away from what appears to be an execution.
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i've been over these chambers and seen this. there's nothing worse than to take the life of someone who may have not done the crime, and in this case, there's so much doubt. houses could we live with this? >> there's nothing worse than executing somebody guilty or innocent to prove to the public that we shouldn't use violence. we use violence. it seems to hypocritical. especially if there's doubt. >> allen ault, i do salute you. thank you for talking to us tonight. >> thank you, sir. we'll be right back.
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all of my life i've been involved in civil rights activism, and have marched, as i did today, but then when you
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come across some cases, some issues, it goes beyond the usual suspects. what is so striking about troy davis is not just those of you in civil rights or in other fights of civil liberties. you have rep -- like bill sessions. you have better national figures like the pope, the former president jimmy carter, people coming out from different perspectives, saying that we must come together on this. why? because at the end of the day we must respect human life, and we must have laws that protect us beyond a reasonable doubt. we are a few minutes away from what could be the end of troy davis' life, but we're not away from what could be our
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commitment to justice. i sat on death row and promised troy davis, that no matter what happens, we in his name will fight so there will never be cases that become capital cases that are based solely on eyewitness testimony. if troy davis dies in the next few minutes, it would be the birth of a movement to begin looking at how we still have draconian laws that can have people with flawed recanted eyewitness testimony cost them their life. not only should i commit that, you should, whether you're republican or democrat. independent, it doesn't matter, all of us under threat until we have laws that protect all of us. thank you for watching. i'm al sharpton. a live edition of "hardball" starts right now. sglool execution watch. this is "h