Guests: Kelly Ayotte, Louise Melling, Arlene Ellis Schipper, Jamie Skeeters, Clint Van Zandt, Peter Fleming, Bob Martin, April Woodard, Robert Butterworth, Gail Gross
DAN ABRAMS, HOST: Coming up, abortion on the docket at the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time in five years and for the first time since John Roberts took over as chief justice.
ABRAMS (voice-over): The question: Should a minor have to tell her parents before getting an abortion even if the girl‘s health could suffer? It‘s a case that could set a new standard for abortion in this country.
And the Aruban government is fighting back saying that an audiotape of one of the suspects in Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance that was broadcast on the “Dr. Phil” show is not what it seems. They say Deepak Kalpoe did not admit to having sex with Natalee. We‘ve got the tape.
Plus, a teenage student who had sex with his female teacher speaks out about the encounter. We hear from him.
The program about justice starts now.
ABRAMS: Hi, everyone. First up on the docket, abortion on the Supreme Court docket for the first time in five years. This as we learn more about Supreme Court-nominee Samuel Alito‘s thoughts on the issue. A 1985 memo has just been released that shows he was a key player in the Reagan administration‘s bid to have the court weaken, even overrule Roe v. Wade.
But at the court today the issue was not overruling Roe, but whether New Hampshire‘s law, which requires minors to tell their parents or a judge if they‘re getting an abortion question whether it‘s constitutional. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union arguing the law should be struck down because it doesn‘t include an exception to allow a doctor to provide an abortion if a pregnant girl‘s health, but not her life, is in jeopardy.
We‘ve got audiotape from the arguments. Here is New Hampshire‘s attorney general, Kelly Ayotte, argued the law should stand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF KELLY AYOTTE, NEW HAMPSHIRE ATTORNEY GENERAL: In that rare case, if it does arise, where an abortion has to be performed immediately and the child does not want to notify a parent, there is a judicial bypass mechanism available which requires New Hampshire courts to act promptly and without delay and in the best interest of the minor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: But Justice Stephen Breyer and some other justices had some trouble with that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER, U.S. SUPREME COURT: A 15-year-old walks in at 2:00 in the morning on Saturday into the emergency room and the doctor looks at her. She‘s pregnant. She has this very high blood pressure, whatever, and the doctor thinks to himself, he thinks well I—immediate abortion. No question.
Immediately deliver the child. If I don‘t, I don‘t think she‘s going to die but she‘ll never have children. And he‘s thinking that. What is supposed to happen? There is no answer. There‘s—it‘s 2:00 in the morning and there is a—you know, one of those things, leave a message. OK, should I call your parents? No. They don‘t know I‘m pregnant. Now what‘s suppose to happen?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: The big question so many are asking, what did the new chief justice, John Roberts, have to say?
NBC justice correspondent Pete Williams was inside the court as the arguments took place. All right, Pete, did we learn anything about new Chief Justice Roberts‘ views on abortion?
PETE WILLIAMS, NBC JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Some but not a lot, Dan. I think most of the justices were sympathetic to what Justice Breyer was asking. They seemed concerned that this law did not have a health exception. But, and here‘s where Chief Justice Roberts comes in, I think probably also a majority of the Supreme Court thought that the remedy here that the lower courts imposed was too drastic.
Both the lower federal court, the trial court and the court of appeals struck the entire law down. And Justice Roberts seemed to say didn‘t that go too far? If what you are worried about is just the emergency exception, can‘t we maybe send this back, start all over again and then maybe have a case where doctors without a real patient, but in advance, doctors say, you know, we challenge this law because we think we ought to be able to perform these abortions in emergency cases, what about that?
So his—several questions today were about trying to narrow this case. How do you winnow it down? So it‘s not about the whole thing wiping out the whole New Hampshire law. Because even Justice O‘Connor today, Dan, said this might well apply constitutionally to teenagers who don‘t come in with an emergency health situation. Why shouldn‘t the law apply to them? And as you know, the Supreme Court has upheld parental notification laws, which most of the states have. So Roberts was concerned about narrowing it down and I think most of the justices on the court were as well.
ABRAMS: You mentioned Justice O‘Connor. Is it possible, Pete, that by the time they‘re able to resolve this case Justice O‘Connor is no longer on the court and that could end up in some sort of 4-4 decision or maybe even rearguing the case?
WILLIAMS: Yes, I think it is more than possible. It‘s probably
likely. Now I don‘t know about the 4-4 part, but it seems very difficult -
it seems very unlikely, not impossible, but unlikely that in a complicated case like this they could decide it before it late February, which is probably when if Judge Alito does get confirmed he would come over here, and then because when he wasn‘t here, Justice O‘Connor would have to leave and her vote wouldn‘t count when the case came out.
If it were then a 4-4 tie, the court would have to reargue it. Could possibly do it this year, maybe next year. And by then who knows what the New Hampshire legislature might do because this squeaked through the legislature. One vote in the State Senate. And you had audio today from the New Hampshire attorney general up here; the governor has a brief on the other side of this case.
ABRAMS: Well, Pete Williams, thanks very much.
Joining us now is that attorney general; Kelly Ayotte is New Hampshire‘s attorney general. You just heard part of her argument before the high court and Louis Melling is an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, Reproductive Freedom Project, and was in court today.
All right. Attorney General Ayotte, is your position this and I want to try and make this as simple as possible. Is it that you are saying that the state should not have to accept the doctor‘s judgment alone about the health of a minor seeking an abortion, that you want someone else, possibly a judge, but someone other than a doctor to decide if a child‘s health is in danger?
AYOTTE: Well no. My position is, is that the New Hampshire Parental Notification Act, our legislature made a judgment that if a minor does not want to notify her parents that she should seek a judicial bypass. And our position today was if for some reason that‘s not possible given the circumstances that there will be another provision of New Hampshire law that would protect the physician in those circumstances.
ABRAMS: But the bottom line though is that if a doctor under the law as it stands now, believes that a child‘s health could suffer, the law seems to indicate that doctor cannot perform an abortion without first going to a judge. Correct?
AYOTTE: Well, as the law stands, that‘s right. The doctor has to make efforts to go to a judge first because the law says that in the first instance the legislature would like parents to be involved in a health situation where their minor child is at issue.
ABRAMS: And Louise Melling, you know that the courts have upheld the idea that parental notification is OK. You know Justice Scalia at one point in the questioning said look, what if there‘s just a judge on duty. You make sure that there‘s a judge on duty, so it takes an extra 30 seconds to just say hey, we just wanted to make sure everything is OK and the judge is always available. Why is that such a burden?
LOUISE MELLING, ACLU ATTORNEY: Well there are several issues. One is I think we have to ask ourselves how realistic is it that there would be a judge absolutely just on duty? We you know live in the real world. And in the real world under the New Hampshire proposals, the New Hampshire regulations, the rules don‘t contemplate a judge sort of sitting there readily available.
So instead what we have is a doctor who, you know I would want my—I would want a doctor to be taking care of a patient, not worrying about whether—where to find a judge, trying to find a judge and letting the time pass where the teen‘s health in is danger. That‘s what we‘re asking for.
ABRAMS: But it sounds like -- I mean what—again, I‘m going to ask you as a practical matter now the reverse side of this. As a practical matter, what you are talking about is when a parent cannot somehow be notified, right? And that it is somehow only up to the doctor. Look, the honest position that they are taking is we‘re just not going to trust the doctor to make that decision alone. And since parental notification laws have been upheld, why is that such a radical position to take?
MELLING: Laws requiring a teen to involve a parent have definitely been upheld, but what the Supreme Court has said over and over and over again is that abortion laws must include protection for women‘s health and that‘s true about adults as well as teens. So if you look at some of their earlier cases including one requiring parental consent, the court scrutinized with great care the exception there, the emergency exception for those occasions where the doctor doesn‘t have time to involve the parent and the teen then doesn‘t have time to go through the bypass.
But the doctor is given an exception to go forward and the laws are set up and the Constitution has been interpreted to date to give the doctor that discretion so that we take care of women. We take care of women under the Constitution. And if the doctor is otherwise you know negligent, there is a way go address it, the same way there is for all, you know other doctors, for other doctors in the emergency room who are taking care of our loved ones, adult and young in the context of any emergency.
ABRAMS: But I mean the bottom line is abortion is different; I mean the law views it differently, right?
MELLING: You know if anything, in most cases a teen has to involve a parent for most kinds of medical care. But in emergency exceptions, for example in New Hampshire and other states, in emergency exceptions, the law gives physicians the ability to go forward because the law is you know making a presumption.
What we don‘t want is to seriously compromise health. Right. These risks here that were talked about were infertility, major organ damage. And so with abortion like with other care, when there is an emergency, when there is a crisis, the physician needs to be able to treat the patient.
ABRAMS: Attorney General look, it seems as a practical matter we‘re talking about a tiny, tiny percentage of the abortions that are going to be sought in the state of New Hampshire. Is that fair to say?
AYOTTE: Absolutely. Even by their position, they have characterized it as really a small fraction of cases. And we don‘t even know, you know how many cases in which this will arise...
AYOTTE: ... if any.
ABRAMS: So with that in mind, do you—is it really that big a deal if you lose the case?
AYOTTE: Well, you know, it certainly is if the First Circuit‘s order remains in place, which means the entirety of the act has no effect. So we can‘t enforce the act in any context. And that really goes to our second issue in the case, which is even if you find that it may not work in that one rare case if it ever arises, what the court did here was strike down our entire act so it doesn‘t apply to anyone right now.
ABRAMS: But it sounds like what the Supreme Court is trying to do is figure out a way to send it back down so that you can still enforce the act, but maybe not the provision that bothers them.
AYOTTE: We‘re certainly hopeful that if they decide that it‘s problematic in that one application that they do, do that because that would allow the rest of our act to remain in effect.
ABRAMS: All right, we shall see. Attorney General Ayotte, thanks a lot. Louise Melling—I think I introduced you as Louis. I apologize about that. Thanks a lot.
Coming up, the Aruban government is fighting back saying that an audiotape of one of the suspects in Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance that was broadcast on the “Dr. Phil” show is not what it seems. They say Deepak Kalpoe did not admit to having sex with Natalee. We‘ve got the tape and the man who made it.
And convicted murderer and former gang leader Tookie Williams set to die in less than two weeks, he has now got a list of celebrities asking Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to grant him clemency. We talk to his lawyer and to the man who helped put him on death row.
Plus, for the first time we hear from a teenager student who had sex with his 42-year-old teacher.
Your e-mails firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and where you‘re writing from. I respond at the end of the show.
ABRAMS: The Aruban government is fighting back and it‘s about this interview with Deepak Kalpoe, one of the three suspects in the investigation into Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance.
JAMIE SKEETERS, POLYGRAPH EXPERT: And the question I‘ll ask you is if you intentionally kill her?
DEEPAK KALPOE, SUSPECT IN NATALEE HOLLOWAY‘S DISAPPEARANCE: No.
SKEETERS: If it was an accident I can help all of you and if you guys were partying, even if someone had given her a date drug—I‘m sure she had sex with all of you.
KALPOE: She did. You‘d be surprised how simple it was.
ABRAMS: Well Aruban authorities are saying that interview first aired on the “Dr. Phil” show is not what it seems and that Deepak Kalpoe actually gave a very different answer.
SKEETERS: And the question I‘ll ask you is if you intentionally killed her?
SKEETERS: If it was an accident I can help all of you. If you guys were partying, even if somebody had given her a date drug—I‘m sure she had sex with all of you.
KALPOE: She did. You‘d be surprised how simple it would have been.
ABRAMS: Joining me now is Arlene Ellis Schipper, Aruban attorney and member of Aruba‘s Strategic Communications Task Force, polygraph expert Jamie Skeeters—he‘s the one who interviewed Deepak Kalpoe—and MSNBC analyst and former FBI investigator Clint Van Zandt.
All right. Arlene, bottom line is I think the big problem here is with regard to the translation or if you want to—the words that are being put on the screen to describe what it is that Kalpoe said, correct?
ARLENE ELLIS SCHIPPER, ARUBAN ATTORNEY (via phone): Well, no, not correct. The biggest problem is that the footage on the “Dr. Phil” show, which is video and audio shows Kalpoe that does not move his head and with a transcript which says yes or which says she did.
The CD ROM that we have received from Mr. Skeeters does not show a frozen image. It shows Kalpoe shaking his head no while he said, no, she didn‘t, so that is a clear change of the answer (UNINTELLIGIBLE) denial to an admission. And that was the result from the NFI, the Netherlands Forensic Institute that clearly says that these—the footage of “Dr. Phil” was manipulated both in audio and in video.
ABRAMS: So, again, when you say manipulated look, there is no question they edited the tape. All right and there‘s nothing wrong with editing the tape. But you‘re—but what you are saying is you believe that this was beyond just editing the tape. You are saying that they actually...
ELLIS SCHIPPER: Yes.
ABRAMS: ... manipulated the answers?
ELLIS SCHIPPER: This is not what I believe. This is what the NFI, four separate investigators came to conclude in their report and they specifically used the word manipulation of the answer. And that is—because editing wouldn‘t mean that you have to cut right in the sentence. And that is what has happened.
ABRAMS: Jamie Skeeters, look, you‘re the one who did this interview. This is a big deal because this is what many thought would be the reason that the—at least Deepak Kalpoe might be brought back in for questioning, the idea that he said he had sex with Natalee and they all did. What is—what do you make of the allegation that Arlene Ellis Schipper is making?
JAMIE SKEETERS, POLYGRAPH EXPERT (via phone): One gig cigar smoke screen. Deepak admitted he had sex with Natalee and it‘s on the tape. It‘ll speak for itself. It‘s one of those things where they‘re trying to try the case in the court of world opinion. The tapes will say it all.
As far as him shaking his head, I‘m looking at my hard drive right now. He‘s not shaking his head. And on my tape it‘s as clear as a bell. As a matter of fact, I would like for you to have one.
ABRAMS: Well we have I think talked to you about this and we are going to get those and air those tomorrow on the program so we can really get to the bottom of this.
Arlene, he‘s the one who made the tape and he‘s saying—and look—and when we listen to it, it sounds to me like the difference really isn‘t in what‘s said on the tape. The difference is in the interpretation of what‘s being said on the tape.
ELLIS SCHIPPER: It‘s not an interpretation. This is results—forensic results that I‘m talking about. It is not my allegation. I‘m speaking out of the results of the NFI, four separate investigators and it‘s not smoke screen. The comparison has been made of the video and the CD Rom, which Mr. Skeeters sent to the police and the footage of “Dr. Phil”.
And the specific findings were manipulation, not editing, manipulation. And the reason why we were focusing on this, it‘s not just because we have joined suddenly the defense team of Mr. Kalpoe, the reason is because for weeks and weeks in the media the police have been battered and—because claims were made that it was crystal clear that he admitted to rape.
And this also set the scene for support for a boycott. Now clearly the results from the NFI state that these tapes have been tampered with. This is not the truth that has been broadcasted. And basically, this was used to manipulate the viewers and the governor to call out for a boycott. This is our problem with this tape.
ABRAMS: All right...
ELLIS SCHIPPER: It is not about Kalpoe not being a suspect.
ABRAMS: I understand. I understand...
ELLIS SCHIPPER: He is a suspect. And as a matter of fact he is scheduled to be heard.
ABRAMS: What do you mean he‘s scheduled to be heard?
ELLIS SCHIPPER: Well, the police explained to me that they are—I have the pleasure with meeting the whole investigative team. And the problem with this whole media coverage is that all the leads that goes on one scenario. The police cannot do that.
They have to investigate all kinds of scenarios. There are hundreds of witnesses and leads that support all kinds of different scenarios. So they have to go technical—in a technical way, hear witnesses...
ABRAMS: All right.
ELLIS SCHIPPER: ... and hear suspects again.
ABRAMS: All right...
ELLIS SCHIPPER: ... and one of the suspects that will be heard again is Kalpoe.
ABRAMS: All right, I‘m going to play these two tapes again. But
Jamie Skeeters, again, just to make it perfectly clear, you are—look
they‘re saying that they tested the tapes and they‘re saying that the tapes
the tape that was played on the “Dr. Phil” show was altered. Are you vouching for the tape that was played on the “Dr. Phil” show?
SKEETERS: Dan, yes. Listen, even the Dutch folks indicated my tapes are authentic. They haven‘t been touched. They are pure. They are virgin. And they‘ll speak for themselves.
ABRAMS: All right.
SKEETERS: And as far as Dr. Phil, Dan, he‘s as honest as you are and his entire staff. Nobody is trying to manipulate anything. The evidence is what it is.
ABRAMS: Well I got to tell you, I really do want to see that tape. We‘re going to evaluate that, maybe we‘ll even get an expert. And Clint Van Zandt, I want to ask you in a moment how you go about authenticating a tape like this. But let‘s listen to these again.
First, I want to listen to the “Dr. Phil” version, then I want to listen to what is viewed as the original version, which the Aruban authorities are now saying is different. I don‘t know if the viewers will be able to tell any difference, but I‘ll let you listen and then we‘ll talk to Clint about it.
SKEETERS: I‘m sure she had sex with all of you.
KALPOE: She did. You‘d be surprised how simple it was.
ABRAMS: All right and now let‘s listen to the other one, which is the
what is referred to as the original version.
SKEETERS: I‘m sure she had sex with all of you.
KALPOE: No she didn‘t. You‘d be surprised how simple it would have been.
ABRAMS: All right, I got to tell you, it does sound different to me.
Before I go to Clint, Jamie, those two do sound different to me.
SKEETERS: Well I don‘t know which one that you were playing first, whatever, but when you say the original, is that the...
ABRAMS: The first one was a “Dr. Phil” tape, all right, where it said she did. You‘d be surprised how simple it was. The second was what—I‘m assuming comes from your original DVDs, et cetera, where it sure sounds like he‘s saying no, she didn‘t. You‘d be surprised how simple it would have been.
SKEETERS: Well what I heard on the tapes and what you can hear on the tapes is when I make that statement, she probably had sex with all of you. If you wait about a second and a half, you can hear him say she did. And then I go oh, because I‘m responding to a surprise copout. Then he says something like and she did or did. And then he goes and then you would be surprised how simpler it was that night. Now that‘s what I heard.
ABRAMS: I‘m going to listen to these tapes...
ABRAMS: I‘m going to give everyone a very fair evaluation of what I think. I‘ve got no stake in this. Clint Van Zandt, maybe you‘ll listen to them with me. You have been on the “Dr. Phil” show talking about this stuff. What do you make of this?
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well Dan, we know eyewitness testimony is one of the worst things there is to deal with but you still deal with it. Here we have eyewitness and ear witness.
Number one, you‘ve got Jamie Skeeters, who was the original interviewer who was standing just like I did when I was in Aruba one or two feet away from Deepak when he talked to him. Jamie says he said it. Jamie says his tape says he said the same thing.
Now what the labs will do, what the FBI would do—in fact I‘ve talked to a former FBI agent who does this, who has worked with me, and he said it‘s not real rocket scientist. He said you know we can take it and we can run the graphs and we can look at the voice pitch and we can compare the two. But of course what they are looking for is that Richard Nixon gap or change in the tape that we all remember...
VAN ZANDT: ... from Nixon‘s day, but when it comes down to it, Dan, you get an audio expert and he or she will sit there with a headset and they will compare one...
VAN ZANDT: ... against the other second by second, maybe 25, 50, 100 times...
VAN ZANDT: ... and that‘s how they will ultimately come to their expert opinion.
ABRAMS: You know what? I‘m going to try for tomorrow—because I know we‘re going to have that tape for tomorrow—I‘m going to also try and have an audio expert on the program with us as well to do any kind of evaluation that they can. Hopefully Arlene will come back on. We‘ll continue discussing this.
Arlene Ellis Schipper, thank you for taking the time. Jamie Skeeters, we appreciate it. And Clint Van Zandt, thanks.
For more on this and the investigation into Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance tune in to a special edition of “Rita Cosby” live at 9:00 right here on MSNBC.
All right. Coming up, former gang leader, Tookie Williams, set to die in two weeks for killing four people. His supporters say he should live because he‘s changed in prison. He also says he‘s innocent. Any chance his death sentence will be commuted? We talk to his lawyer and to the prosecutor who helped put him on death row.
ABRAMS: The clock is ticking on what could be the last days of Stanley Tookie Williams‘ life. The man who co-founded the street gang, the Crips, scheduled to be executed in about two weeks for murdering four people. Williams and a list of celebrities are now pleading with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to spare his life.
MSNBC‘s Rita Cosby spoke with Williams from California‘s death row and asked him why he should be allowed to live.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS, AWAITING EXECUTION: Well first and foremost, I‘m innocent. And secondly, being allowed to live enables me to continue disseminating my positive message to youths and adults throughout this country and abroad. And you know lastly, being able to live, it would allow me to inevitably prove my innocence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Williams was convicted of murdering four people in two separate robberies in 1979. Supporters cite among other things the fact that Williams wrote a number of books including a series educating children on the dangers of being involved in gangs. He‘s been nominated for a Nobel Prize in literature four times and for a Nobel Peace Prize. But prosecutors and the victims‘ families are hoping the governor will do nothing, saying the jury‘s verdict should stand.
Joining me now is Tookie Williams‘ attorney Peter Fleming and Bob Martin who prosecuted Tookie Williams. Gentlemen thanks very much for coming on the program. Appreciate it.
All right, Mr. Fleming, let me ask you this. As a strategic mater, Tookie Williams continues to protest his innocence. His supporters, many of them are continuing to focus on the fact that they claim that he‘s innocent. It seems to me that that is not a particularly strong or smart argument for them to be making because the courts have already said this is moving forward.
This is now simply a clemency issue with the governor. Where the reason that the governor, it seems to me, would say I‘m going to allow clemency in a case like this is because of the things he‘s done in his life, not because of actual innocence.
PETER FLEMING, TOOKIE WILLIAMS‘ ATTORNEY: Well there are two answers, Dan. First, our petition for clemency is based—is not based upon guilt or innocence, although I want to get back to that question. And I want to be clear what we‘re asking for. We are asking for what, in essence is a reduction of sentence from death to life imprisonment without parole.
Now, Tookie, when I talked—when I first met Stanley Williams, we discussed the very issue you have just mentioned. And I advised him that clearly, a confession, if in fact he were guilty, would act in his favor in terms of a clemency petition. Tookie Williams looked me in the eye and he said I did not do this.
If someone were to tell me that clemency depended upon my confessing, I would not confess. I did not do these crimes. I believe him. He continued to say exactly that. And I believe the trial in which he was convicted was materially flawed. He did not receive a fair trial. And that there are lingering doubts at the very least about whether Tookie Williams committed these crimes.
ABRAMS: But it seems to me there is something between protesting one‘s innocence and confessing in a sense that he could simply say you know what, I‘ve decided I‘m not going to talk about that particular issue, even though I do continue to maintain my innocence. But instead he‘s just—he‘s going on and on about his innocence. And I understand look, he‘s saying he‘s innocent. He want to put the word out there, but if he wants to save his life, as a strategic matter, maybe it‘s smarter to just simply say nothing about that and simply focus on his deeds.
FLEMING: Well you really just struck at the heart of Tookie Williams. Stanley Williams is a man of firm conviction. And what you have said may be the smart thing to do. But for his conscience and for his feelings, he feels anything other than the position he‘s taking would be disingenuous and false. And if it costs him—if it does cost him his life, he is prepared to pay that price.
ABRAMS: Bob Martin, how clear is it that Tookie Williams committed these crimes?
BOB MARTIN, PROSECUTED TOOKIE WILLIAMS: I think it‘s absolutely clear, Dan. The evidence has been looked at by many courts for 25 years. He‘s had due process. I did two habeas corpus hearings...
ABRAMS: ... but apart from the due process issues, I‘m asking you a more fundamental question. You are a—you know you‘re a man who has prosecuted a lot of cases. I‘m asking you to tell us, to tell my viewers that based on the evidence that was presented in court, based on the trial he had, you are entirely convinced, no question in your mind that Tookie Williams committed these crimes?
MARTIN: There is absolutely no question in my mind. And there hasn‘t been any question in any judge‘s that have looked at the evidence. What I resent is people saying, as Peter just did, well, the trial was flawed. How was it flawed? We had an expert on handwriting where Stanley Williams was going to have an escape attempt and wrote down himself what he was going to do with dynamite and shotguns.
We have not only a handwriting expert, we have a firearms expert. We have two friends of his, one, Sam Coleman who was—testified that Stanley was bragging to him about the crimes that he did on the Brookhaven murders. Esther Williams (ph), another friend of his, he was bragging to her about what he did on the Brookhaven murders.
The evidence in the case is rock solid, has always been rock solid. And what they‘ve been doing is extra legal. It‘s been P.R. And he‘s received more publicity probably than any other person ever on death row...
ABRAMS: Do you think he‘s changed? Do you think he‘s changed?
MARTIN: Well, how can he possibly change? The first thing you do if you are an addict or an alcoholic is admit that you are that. From that point on you can possibly be rehabilitated. But he‘s never admitted that he‘s a murderer. He said he‘s remorseful about what did he in gang banging and what he did to his own people, but he was never convicted or charged with those crimes. And he may have reached some sort of peace in his conscience with his own God. That‘s a very personal thing.
ABRAMS: Mr. Fleming, go ahead, a chance to respond...
FLEMING: Yes, Dan, two things, the court of appeals for the 9th Circuit, which as you know is the highest federal court in California, looked at this case and it said about the evidence that the evidence supporting conviction was comprised of circumstantial evidence and that testimony of witnesses with less than clean backgrounds and incentives to lie in order to obtain leniency from the state in either charging or sentencing.
ABRAMS: A lot of cases are like that though.
FLEMING: This—a lot of cases like that. This prosecutor was severely criticized twice for racial discrimination in jury selection. He struck the only blacks on Tookie Williams‘ jury...
ABRAMS: But see...
FLEMING: ... peremptorily and he compared them to a Bengal tire—tiger. Let me talk about one of the witnesses, the principle witness, Alfred Coward. Alfred Coward was supposedly a part of this robbery, which resulted in this murder.
ABRAMS: ... accomplice...
FLEMING: He received complete immunity.
FLEMING: But beyond that, beyond that, after he testified at Williams‘ trial, he was convicted of federal conspiracy, given probation. He was thereafter arrested for drug dealing...
ABRAMS: So what...
FLEMING: ... burglary...
ABRAMS: I mean people—they‘re bad witnesses. People—they‘re—look, when you‘re deal with low-lifes, you get low-lifes as witnesses. I mean that‘s the fact of every criminal case.
FLEMING: Well it may be a fact of every criminal case, but in this situation where all the witnesses received penal benefits, it casts real questions in my mind...
FLEMING: ... as to the legitimacy of the conviction.
FLEMING: ... it was...
MARTIN: I find it ironic.
ABRAMS: Ten seconds, Mr. Martin.
MARTIN: I find it ironic. Peter, I knew your general partner, Keith Hyatt (ph), for years and years, ever since he was a Marine. When you said there were an all white jury, you are absolutely wrong. Because McClurkin (ph) and we have his death certificate was black.
MARTIN: Vas Gonzales (ph) was Hispanic and a further witness was from the Philippines.
ABRAMS: All right. All right...
FLEMING: That‘s not true...
FLEMING: The only witnesses...
FLEMING: ... who were questioned about their attitude...
ABRAMS: All right.
FLEMING: ... based upon their color were struck. Three of them.
ABRAMS: The only way that Tookie Williams is going to get clemency in this case is if Arnold Schwarzenegger decides that what he has done in prison has been so important that he deserves to live. I don‘t think the debate over his innocence or guilt is going to help him. But you heard Mr. Fleming‘s response to that. Peter Fleming and Bob Martin, thank you very much. We could talk about this for hours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could I say one thing, Dan...
ABRAMS: I got to wrap it up. I‘m sorry.
ABRAMS: Coming up, a student who had sex with his teacher is talking about how they met and details about what happened. Is the 17-year-old really that traumatized to be telling everyone about it? We‘ll debate.
ABRAMS: Coming up, a student who had sex with his teacher breaks his silence. After the break.
ABRAMS: We‘re back. Remember Beth Geisel, the Albany, New York teacher sentenced last week to six months in jail after having sex with a 16-year-old student? Well now for the first time one of the other three boys with whom she had sex who were 17, is speaking out. Remember she wasn‘t charged in those cases because legally in New York they were old enough to consent.
“Inside Edition” got the exclusive interview with—quote—
“Michael” who claims he got involved with Geisel on a bus after a school ski trip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many times did you have sex with Beth Geisel?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably 10 or 11 times.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you love her?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don‘t know if I loved her. I mean that‘s a strong word. She was like a real good friend for me, a friend that you have sex with.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did your teacher ever say the relationship was wrong?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She never really said it was wrong. She said it was crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: April Woodard is senior correspondent of “Inside Edition”.
She joins me now. April, thanks for coming in. Appreciate it.
All right, so what did this kid seem like? Did he seem like someone who was sort of proud, a 17-year-old who had sex with his hot teacher or did he seem traumatized?
APRIL WOODARD, “INSIDE EDITION” SR. CORRESPONDENT: He seemed torn. I mean obviously he still had respect for this teacher. He didn‘t really want to go into too many graphic details about who was there when they first had their sexual exchange and further ones—future incidents that happened where there were other boys that were actually there. But he also felt like he was a victim. He also was upset with the judge who made some comments at the end that indicated that the boys were also the persons who were the predators...
ABRAMS: Because there were a lot of allegations in this case about them sort of you know—like doing it in front of each other and setting it up so the others could watch and things like that.
WOODARD: Right. This particular boy, Michael, that I spoke to, had a three-month affair with this teacher and he told one person about it. Now that‘s what he says. Now after he broke up with her because he wanted to have a relationship with a girl his age that‘s when she began the other relationships with the other boys who did kiss and tell.
ABRAMS: But he was 17, right, at the time?
WOODARD: He‘s 17 years old.
ABRAMS: I mean is he really saying—I mean it‘s hard for me to believe a 17-year-old is saying I‘m too young to understand.
WOODARD: No, he‘s not saying he‘s too young because he did say that he knew he did something wrong. He felt like he committed adultery. He broke up with Ms. Geisel because he wanted to have a relationship with a younger girl, a girl his age and he said he didn‘t want to cheat on her. So obviously he knows that there was something wrong. He just didn‘t like the fact at the end of the case that it appeared that people were labeling him as the person who was the perpetrator.
ABRAMS: His parents let him come on?
WOODARD: Absolutely. We spoke with his mother.
ABRAMS: And she was comfortable with him talking about it, et cetera?
WOODARD: She wanted him to tell all. And she was furious and furious and outraged because of what the judge had said. And she was upset that you know a woman her own age had son—had sex with her son. And in fact the teacher had a son that was the same age as Michael in his class.
ABRAMS: April Woodward, thanks a lot for coming in. Appreciate it.
WOODARD: Thank you.
ABRAMS: All right. The question everyone is acting, does it affect boys and girls in the same way? Are the crimes the same when it‘s a man or a woman? We talk about this a lot, but let‘s look at it from the psychological point of view.
Joined now by child psychologists Robert Butterworth and Gail Gross. All right. Thanks to both of you for coming on.
Dr. Butterworth, what do you make of it? I mean bottom line, is it different when a—let‘s take the older children, all right. Forget a moment about the 12 and 13-year-olds because I think they‘re—doesn‘t—you know boy or girl you‘re going to be talking about serious trauma. But now let‘s talk about 16 or 17 years old. Boys versus girls. Having sex with teachers, difference?
ROBERT BUTTERWORTH, CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST: Well yes, I mean your whole peer group as a boy you are looked upon as a stud. Your self-esteem goes through the roof. As a girl, you‘re looked upon as a slut and the self-esteem goes down. So the problem with boys is it‘s very difficult to feel that something bad happened when your peer group is looking at you and saying hey, great, look at what you‘ve been doing.
ABRAMS: But Dr. Butterworth, what I keep hearing—I get letters from people all the time on this topic. You know my position has been that I think it‘s more important to send a message in the law to male sexual predators than to female just because I think they are more of a societal problem. Every time I say that I get letters from people who deal with children, psychologists, psychiatrists who say Dan, you just don‘t get it. It‘s just as traumatic to boys as to girls.
BUTTERWORTH: But here‘s how it‘s traumatic. Boys aren‘t going to do what girls do after they‘ve been sexually abused. Girls kind of withdraw in and they don‘t really trust males. Boys go the opposite. Sex becomes a big deal and they keep looking at people as sexual partners rather than love.
So what it does to boys is it kind of eliminates the whole process of love and my next relationship is about sex. So that‘s the trauma as opposed to girls that withdraw and become suspicious.
ABRAMS: Dr. Gross, do you accept the fact that there is a difference in the type of trauma when we‘re talking about older—quote—“victims”?
GAIL GROSS, CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST: Well you know I really believe that all generalizations are false including this one. You know men and women, boys and girls, have different ranges of experiences and histories and feelings. A lot of boys are very immature at 17. In fact, boys are more emotionally immature anyway than girls right through adolescence. Every mother knows that when she has children and watches them grow. And boys repress their feelings a lot of the time. They may act macho when they‘re really feeling shame and guilt...
ABRAMS: Do the physical differences mean anything to you, Dr.
ABRAMS: I mean is that significant?
GROSS: Well the physical difference is that boys are thinking of sex like every two minutes. The testosterone is pumping. Their biological surge is wanting them to mate. And actually they push forward.
But on the other hand, culturally we want them to be macho while we teach them rules through religion, rules through morality, rules through school so they have this confusion. And when they are with an authority figure and the authority figure takes advantage of them, you know it‘s sort of like the morning after. They wake up and they feel guilty and humiliated and shamed and exploited and...
ABRAMS: But if you were testifying in front of some sort of committee and they said to you Dr. Gross, would you be comfortable with the sentences being different for adult men who have sex with 16-year-old girls versus adult women who have sex with 16-year-old boys?
GROSS: I think the law should be equal and evenhanded, because it‘s an individual event with boys and girls, but abuse is abuse. And when an authority figure takes advantage of a child and an adolescent is still in that age of danger where they‘re striking out, doing things, feeling (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we know that boys get into a lot of more trouble than girls, all the substance abuse, suicide, all of those issues are higher for boys.
They get into more danger. And they then have to deal with their feelings. And boys don‘t kiss and tell.
GROSS: So they may brag about it, but they won‘t brag about their feelings. And as a result they can repress those feelings...
ABRAMS: Right. Dr. Butterworth...
GROSS: ... become fixated...
BUTTERWORTH: But this is how society makes boys crazy. I mean with a girl, if she‘s been sexually abused the girlfriends come together and they feel well gee, we‘re with you. But when a boy says it, is a boy going to go up to his friends and say gee I had sex with a gorgeous 25-year-old and I feel bad? They‘re going to laugh at him. So in a sense the whole society...
BUTTERWORTH: ... it‘s crazy because the social group...
GROSS: That‘s a great...
BUTTERWORTH: ... are looking at these...
BUTTERWORTH: It is not. Talk to teenagers, Doc...
GROSS: Boys end up...
GROSS: Boys end up having a lot of anger...
ABRAMS: I got to...
GROSS: ... against women, a lot of...
ABRAMS: All right.
GROSS: ... S and M (ph) comes from that. A lot of...
ABRAMS: All right. I got to...
ABRAMS: Before we go too deep in this, I‘m going to wrap it up.
ABRAMS: Dr. Butterworth, Dr. Gross, thanks a lot for coming on the program.
GROSS: Thank you.
ABRAMS: Appreciate it.
Coming up, George Clooney.
ABRAMS: Coming up tomorrow, my interview with George Clooney about his new movie “Syriana”. Will this just be viewed as a liberal movie by George Clooney who is a proud liberal?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: You were also one of the honest ones in the sense that you come out and you say, look, I‘m a liberal. This is my political position. I don‘t hide it. Are you worried that people will say that about this movie? They‘ll say oh, this is just Clooney at it again?
GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: Well, they will. And the truth is, if I‘m going to demand the right of freedom of speech, you can‘t then say but don‘t say bad things about me. You got to take your hits. I‘m a grownup. So if people want to come out and say, hey, you know, that‘s just a bunch of liberal, you know, baloney that‘s thrown in there, I‘ll have to take those hits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: That is tomorrow here at 4:00 Eastern and again, of course, at 6:0 p.m. Eastern Time. Be right back.
ABRAMS: Sorry, ran out of time, wanted to do my “Closing Argument” on prenuptial agreements and Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. I‘ll do it tomorrow.
That does it for us tonight. “HARDBALL” next.
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