Louisiana Denies Compensation to Dying Exonerated Death Row Prisoner as Former Prosecutor Apologizes
After three decades on death row in Louisiana, Glenn Ford was freed in March 2014 based on new evidence clearing him of the 1983 fatal shooting a jewelry store owner. Ford is African-American and was tried by an all-white jury. In 2000, the Louisiana Supreme Court ordered an evidentiary hearing on Ford’s claim that the prosecution suppressed favorable evidence related to two brothers initially implicated in the crime. Then in 2013, an unidentified informant told prosecutors that one of the brothers had admitted to shooting and killing the jewelry store owner. Shortly after Ford’s release last year, he received a second death sentence: stage 3 lung cancer, which has now advanced to stage 4 and spread to his bones, lymph nodes and spine. His attorney says he has entered hospice care in New Orleans. Ford filed a federal lawsuit claiming prison officials and medical authorities knew he had cancer in 2011 but denied him treatment. Glenn Ford is one of the longest-serving death row prisoners ever to be exonerated. Under Louisiana law, he can ask for a maximum of $330,000 in compensation. But last week a judge denied his request, saying Ford was involved in two lesser crimes. We are joined by the lead prosecutor in Ford’s murder trial, Marty Stroud, who has come out in favor of his compensation. In a three-page letter to the Shreveport Times, Stroud said he no longer supports the death penalty, and apologized to Ford. "I apologize to Glenn Ford for all the misery I have caused him and his family," he wrote.
Days after being exonerated and freed from an Alabama prison, Anthony Ray Hinton recounts how he got through nearly 30 years on death row as an innocent man. Hinton was convicted of murdering two fast-food managers in separate robberies in 1985, based on scant evidence that later turned out to be false. Hinton is said to be among the longest-serving death row prisoners ever to be freed after presenting evidence of innocence. Hinton joins us along with his attorney, Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, who says race, poverty, inadequate legal assistance, and prosecutorial indifference to innocence conspired to create a textbook example of injustice. "This is a very powerful demonstration of the critique of the American criminal justice system, which we contend treats you better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent," Stevenson says.
- Kenya Hits Al-Shabab in Somalia After Garissa Massacre
- Obama Seeks Public, Congressional Backing of "Robust and Verifiable" Iran Deal
- U.S., Iran Differ on Pace on Sanctions Relief under Final Deal
- Netanyahu Campaigns Against "Historically Bad" Iran Deal
- Red Cross Seeks Fighting Pause in Yemen as Civilian Toll Mounts
- U.N.: "Grave and Desperate" Crisis Inside Palestinian Refugee Camp under ISIS Control
- Rolling Stone Retracts University of Virginia Rape Story After Probe Finds Errors
- Relatives of Missing Mexico Students Continue U.S. Protests
In Kenya, officials say at least 147 people, mostly students, were killed when al-Shabab militants stormed a university in Garissa, making it the worst attack on Kenyan soil since the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy. Al-Shabab militants reportedly went through the university dorms, separating Muslims from Christians and killing the Christians. The Kenyan government said at least 79 people were wounded in the assault. The siege lasted about 15 hours before security forces killed four militants. Al-Shabab has carried out a series of attacks inside Kenya following Kenya’s 2011 invasion of Somalia. We speak to Leslie Lefkow, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Africa Division.
George Takei: LGBT Protections Still Needed Despite Amended Indiana, Arkansas Religious Freedom Laws
After a national outcry, both Indiana and Arkansas have passed fixes to their so-called religious freedom laws that threatened to sanction anti-LGBT discrimination. Both measures were signed into law Thursday by the states’ governors. The revisions to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act provide new protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, tenants and customers, lawmakers. The fixes do not apply to churches or schools. The new Arkansas bill is crafted to make the state’s religious freedom law more closely mirror a federal law that had been signed by former President Bill Clinton. Critics note the fixes to the anti-LGBT laws will not expand LGBT rights. We speak to George Takei, legendary actor and gay rights activist. Last week, he called for a boycott of Indiana to condemn its anti-LGBT law, saying he wanted to "not only send a clear message to Indiana, but also to help stop the further erosion of our core civil values in other parts of this country."
After eight days of talks in Switzerland, Iran and world powers have reached a framework agreement on curbing Iran’s nuclear program for at least a decade. In return, the United States and Europe plan to lift economic sanctions on Iran. As part of the deal, Iran must reduce the number of its centrifuges that can be used to enrich uranium into a bomb by more than two-thirds. Iran also has to redesign a power plant so it cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium, eliminate much of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and be subject to regular international nuclear inspections. While U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the deal would contribute to peace and stability in the region, praise for the deal was not universal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the agreement as a "threat to Israel’s existence." We speak to Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former nuclear negotiator for Iran. He served as Iran’s ambassador to Germany from 1990 to 1997. He joins us from Princeton, New Jersey, where he is an associate research scholar at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Last year, he published the book, "Iran and the United States: An Insider’s View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace."
- Iran, World Powers Reach Framework Nuclear Deal
- Kenya: 147 Killed in Al-Shabab Attack on University
- Yemen: Over 500 Dead in Fighting, 10 Million in Need of Food
- U.N.: Peacekeepers Used "Excessive Force" in Killing Mali Protesters
- Indiana, Arkansas Enact "Religious Freedom" Revisions After Outcry
- New York: 2 Women Accused of Bomb Plot in FBI Sting
- U.S. Citizen with Al-Qaeda Links Flown Secretly to New York
- Germanwings Co-Pilot Researched Suicide, Cockpit Doors Before Crash
- Johns Hopkins Sued for $1 Billion over Guatemala STD Study
- Philadelphia Airport Workers Strike over Pay
- McDonald's Workers Call Pay Hike Inadequate
- Duke University Student Admits Hanging Noose from Tree
- New York Boy Scouts Affiliate Hires Openly Gay Adult, Defying Ban
- Alabama: Prisoner Freed After Nearly 30 Years on Death Row
- Mumia Abu-Jamal Returned to Prison After Hospitalization
The United Arab Emirates has barred New York University professor Andrew Ross from entering the country after he published research about migrant workers and labor abuse in the Gulf State. Ross learned of the ban after arriving at the airport in New York, where he was set to board a flight to continue his research in the UAE, a close U.S. ally. Now it has emerged that a private investigator was also hired to target him and a New York Times reporter who wrote the expose on workers at NYU’s Abu Dhabi campus facing harsh conditions. Ross, who serves as president of NYU’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors, joins us to discuss the case.
While Indiana has been in the spotlight over its new anti-LGBT "religious freedom" law, another state controversy is brewing. On Monday, Purvi Patel became the first person in U.S. history sentenced to prison for feticide for what the state said was an attempt to end her own pregnancy. While Patel says she had a miscarriage, delivering a stillborn fetus, prosecutors accused her of taking drugs to induce an abortion, even though no drugs were found in her system. They also used a discredited test to claim the fetus was born alive. Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison. We look at her case amidst the rising tide of anti-choice laws and the criminalization of pregnancy with Lynn Paltrow, founder and executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women.
As California’s record drought continues, Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered residents and non-agricultural businesses to cut water use by 25 percent in the first mandatory statewide reduction in the state’s history. One group not facing restrictions under the new rules is big agriculture, which uses about 80 percent of California’s water. The group Food & Water Watch California has criticized Brown for not capping water usage by oil extraction industries and corporate farms, which grow water-intensive crops such as almonds and pistachios, most of which are exported out of state and overseas. Studies show the current drought, which has intensified over the past four years, is the worst California has seen in at least 120 years. Some suggest it is the region’s worst drought in more than a thousand years. This comes after California witnessed the warmest winter on record. We speak with environmental reporter Mark Hertsgaard, author of the book, "Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth."
- Iran Claims "Significant Progress" as Post-Deadline Nuclear Talks Continue
- U.S. Renews Threat of Military Action on Iran as Negotiators Seek Deal
- Houthis, Hadi Loyalists in Fierce Fight for Yemeni City of Aden
- HRW: As Backer, U.S. "Shares Obligation" to Minimize Civilian Deaths in Saudi-Led Yemen Operation
- Al-Qaeda Militants Free 300 from Yemen Prison
- Islamic State Fighters Seize Large Parts of Palestinian Refugee Camp in Syria
- Donors Pledge $3.8 Billion for Syria, Less than Half of U.N. Appeal
- Iraq Claims Victory in Fight to Retake Tikrit
- Palestinian Authority Awaits Findings of Probe as ICC Membership Begins
- Al-Shabab Attacks Kenyan College, Killing Scores & Taking Hostages
- Arkansas Governor Rejects Anti-LGBT Law After Outcry
- Dozens of Immigrant Women Stage Hunger Strike at Texas Facility
- Sen. Menendez Indicted on Corruption Charges over Donor Ties
- McDonald's to Raise Pay for Non-Franchise Workers; "Fight for 15" Strike Set for April 15th
- 11 Public School Educators Convicted in Atlanta Cheating Scandal
- Activists Protest McCutcheon Decision inside Supreme Court
The Nation magazine, the oldest news magazine in the United States, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The first issue was published on July 6, 1865 — just weeks after the end of the Civil War and three months after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Over the years, The Nation has published many of the nation’s leading dissidents, academics and activists. We broadcast an excerpt from the new documentary, "Hot Type: 150 Years of The Nation," and speak with the magazine’s editor and publisher, Katrina vanden Heuvel. The Nation is celebrating its anniversary with a quintuple-length, blockbuster edition.
Indiana Scrambles to Contain Growing Corporate, Public Outcry over Anti-LGBT "Religious Freedom" Law
As the state of Indiana faces increasing pressure to repeal a new religious freedom law, Arkansas lawmakers have passed a similar bill that critics say could allow business owners to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender customers in the name of religious freedom. Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he plans to sign the bill into law. On Tuesday, the CEO of Wal-Mart, Arkansas’s largest corporation, called for Hutchinson to veto the bill. Wal-Mart joins a growing number of corporations opposing the religious freedom bills. Nine chief executive officers, including the heads of Apple, Angie’s List and Eli Lilly, have spoken out in protest. A number of states and cities have also taken action, banning officials from traveling to Indiana. On Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said he stood by the law but urged lawmakers to work on reforming its language. We go to Indianapolis to speak with Indiana State Senate Democratic leader Tim Lanane, who led his party’s opposition to the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" before its passage.
- Former Military Ruler Wins Presidency in Historic Nigerian Vote
- Iran Nuclear Talks Continue after Negotiators Extend Deadline
- U.N. Warns of Yemen's "Total Collapse" as Toll Grows; Apparent Saudi Strike Kills 23
- Iraq Claims Control of Central Tikrit; Hundreds of ISIS Fighters Remain
- Obama Admin Lifts Post-Coup Freeze on Military Aid to Egypt
- Palestinian Membership in International Criminal Court Takes Effect
- Backlash Prompts Indiana to "Correct" Anti-LGBT Law; Arkansas Set to Enact its Own
- Obama Commutes Prison Sentences of 22 Drug Offenders
- Critics: New U.S. Climate Pledges "Disguise Weak Reductions"
- Syracuse University to Divest from Fossil Fuel Holdings
Imprisoned journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has been taken to the Intensive Care Unit of Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, after he was removed from prison for a medical emergency without any notification to his family, friends or lawyers. Prison officials told his supporters he is in diabetic shock. We get an update from Abu-Jamal’s longtime friend, Johanna Fernández who first discovered he was in the hospital Monday morning when she went to visit him in prison and was told he had been taken to the intensive care unit. Fernández is a history professor at Baruch College-CUNY, and one of the coordinators of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.
Indiana is facing boycotts and fierce criticism following Gov. Mike Pence’s new measure that could sanction discrimination by allowing business owners to refuse service to LGBT customers in the name of "religious freedom." Connecticut is the first state to officially boycott Indiana over the move, now San Francisco and Seattle have also imposed bans on city-funded travel to the state. Nine chief executive officers, including the heads of Angie’s List and Eli Lilly, wrote letters asking Indiana state officials to "take immediate action" to ensure the act will not sanction or encourage discrimination. On Saturday, thousands of people marched in Indianapolis calling for Pence’s resignation. Critics have called for a boycott, and some, including former NBA star Charles Barkley, are calling for the upcoming Final Four college basketball championship, to be moved out of state. Supporters of the legislation have said 19 other states have similar laws and that Indiana is attracting undue criticism. Pence has said he will seek a new measure to "clarify the intent" of his new law, though he added that LGBT protections are "not on my agenda." We are joined by Eunice Rho, advocacy and policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
We look at the case of Frederic "Rick" Bourke, who is considered a whistleblower after he was imprisoned for exposing corruption and bribery in the oil-rich region of the Caspian Sea. Bourke is known for founding the luxury handbag company Dooney & Bourke and is a philanthropist who has invested his wealth into ventures seeking novel cures for cancer. In the mid-1990s, he met a Czech national named Viktor Kozeny who recruited investors for the takeover of SOCAR, the state-owned oil company of Azerbaijan. Serious investors vetted the opportunity and sank huge sums into the enterprise, including our guest, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, as well as Columbia University’s investment fund, the insurance giant AIG, and legendary hedge-fund manager Lee Cooperman, a longtime executive at Goldman Sachs. But the investment failed, and Kozeny absconded with the remaining funds. Bourke was recently released from prison, while Kozeny was never punished. When asked if Bourke should be exonerated, Mitchell responds, "I do not believe he should have been convicted in the first place."
George Mitchell, the former senator and U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace under President Obama, joins us to discuss the escalating U.S.-Israel standoff over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign against an Iran nuclear deal and open rejection of the two-state solution. Last week, it emerged Israeli intelligence spied on the Iran talks and then fed the information to congressional Republicans. Obama and other top officials have vowed to re-evaluate their approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict following Netanyahu’s vow to prevent a Palestinian state. U.S. officials have suggested they might take steps, including no longer vetoing U.N. Security Council resolutions critical of Israel. A first test of the new U.S. approach might come in the next few weeks when France will put forward a U.N. Security Council measure aimed at encouraging peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Mitchell headed the U.S. role in the Mideast talks between 2009 and 2011. He previously served under President Bill Clinton, as the Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, where he helped broker the Belfast Peace Agreement of 1998.
Negotiators meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, over an Iran nuclear deal are set to issue a general statement that enough progress has been made to continue in a new phase aimed at a comprehensive agreement in June. Details of the talks have been kept under wraps. The United States had imposed a Tuesday deadline for a preliminary accord in order to help stave off congressional opposition, buoyed by the efforts of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Congress has vowed to impose additional sanctions if negotiators fail to reach a preliminary agreement, and the Senate is expected to take up a measure that would give Congress final approval. We go to Lausanne for an update from Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, who has been following the negotiations closely.