Podcast/Archive

“Juror No 2”, as Lindy Lou Isonhood was known, talks about the impact that a death sentence had on her and other jurors in a case in Mississippi in which they reached a verdict to sentence Bobby Wilcher to death for the murder of a woman. Bobby had been convicted by another jury, but his original death sentence was set aside by an appeals court. Bobby was then sentenced to death a second time after a new sentencing trial. Lindy had reservations about the sentence and set out to find the other jurors nearly twenty-two years later to see if they had similar thoughts of regret. Lindy visited Bobby while he was on death row. He was executed and that event sparked a crusade by Lindy to reform the system. Lindy felt trapped by the jury instructions given by the Judge, making her feel like she had no choice. Lindy’s story is captured in a film, “Lindy Lou, Juror No. 2” which is currently being screened in some film festivals. Lindy is interviewed by host Craig Lubow in the second of two parts. Other films and news stories have looked at the impact of the death penalty on the defendants’ families, the victims’ families, and on the Warden and doctors that must implement the death penalty. This is the first time that the impact on the jurors is examined.


Law and Disorder Editorials:

FDA Approves Digital Pill by Heidi Boghosian

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Release Aging People in Prison Campaign

The number of persons 50 years and older in New York State has risen more than 98% since 2000; it now exceeds 10,000″nearly 20% of the total incarcerated population. This reflects a national crisis in the prison system and the extension of a culture of revenge and punishment into all areas of our society.

The organization Release Aging People in Prison, or RAPP, works to end mass incarceration and promote racial justice by getting elderly and infirm people out of prison.

Led by Mujahid Farid, a 2013 Soros Justice Fellow who was incarcerated for 33 years in New York before his release in 2011, RAPP focuses on aging people in prison, many of whom are long-termers convicted of serious crimes. Many of these human beings have transformed their lives and developed skills and abilities they lacked before incarceration. They could be released from prison with little or no threat to public safety. Yet many are denied release, often for political reasons, and they needlessly remain imprisoned into old age. These elders could return to their communities if current mechanisms such as parole and compassionate release were correctly utilized. We also support legislation in New York to correct the parole system and increase the number of releases.

Guest ” Mujahid Farid co-founded the Prisoners AIDS Counseling and Education program and helped design prison-based sociology and theology courses that allowed others to earn college-credited in prison. He also earned four college degrees and other certifications while incarcerated, including his paralegal certificate, NYS Department of Labor Certificate in Human Development Counseling, and NYC Department of Health Certificate in HIV/AIDS Counseling.

Guest – David George, Associate Director of RAPP. In the last few years Dave has organized with and on behalf of currently and formerly incarcerated people, including at the Osborne Association and Correctional Association of New York.

RAPP Website – http://rappcampaign.com/

RAPP, c/o Correctional Assoc. of NY, 22 Cortlandt Street, 33rd Fl., New York, NY 10007
(646) 793-9082 X 1014
[email protected]

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Perpetual Line Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition In America

The presence of surveillance cameras across the United States has enabled targeted facial recognition surveillance at essentially any place and any time. Each day law enforcement puts in place more and more cameras, including CCTV cameras, police body cameras, and cameras on drones and other aircraft. The FBIs Next Generation Biometric Identification Database and its facial recognition unit, FACE Services, can search for and identify nearly 64 million Americans, either from its own databases or through access to state DMV databases of driving license photos.

Its likely that government agencies will soon be able to pinpoint your location and even with whom youve been, just by typing your name into a computer.

The release of Apples IPhone X has drawn scrutiny to this technology. Despite civil liberties and privacy concerns, there are few limits on facial recognition technology. In March 2017 Congress held a hearing to discuss the risks of facial recognition surveillance. There is concern that facial recognition can be used to get around existing legal protections against location tracking, opening the door to unprecedented government monitoring an logging of personal associations, including protected First Amendment-related activities. Knowledge of individuals political, religious and associational activities could lead the way to bias, persecution and abuse.

As with many technological advances, there are benefits, too. Facial recognition can assist in locating missing persons or for other public safety purposes.

Guest – Clare Garvie, Clare is a Law Fellow at the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology. Her research with the Center is on face recognition use by law enforcement and the disparate impact of payday lending on vulnerable communities. She worked on the Centers 2016 report on facial recognition technology.


Victimized By Two Men And The Justice System As Well

Christy DiMaggio is a strong woman that is fighting for custody of her child, a child that the courts awarded to his father, a drug user, who beat Christy and numerous other women in the past. Christ DiMaggio was not always the strong woman she is today and that led her to trust an unethical lawyer who took advantage of her. Christy Dimaggio used to be naive about the Justice System and the “good old boy network” that gave her and her son a Judge, an unethical Lawyer and a Guardian Ad Litem that destroyed her life and very nearly her mental health. Christy Dimaggio is not perfect and has made some bad decisions, but she did nothing that broke the law or endangered her son.

Today Host Elisa Brietenbach talks with Christy DiMaggio in the second of three interviews in which she will talk about the lawyer that took advantage of her when she was at her most vulnerable and address the multitude of ways the legal system has worked to destroy her credibility, her mental health and give her son to her abuser. This is a story that has been covered in detail in The Pitch and now you get to hear Christy’s cautionary tale directly from her.

Rose Brooks Center For Battered Women
Rose Brooks logo-1
The Mission of Rose Brooks Center is to break the cycle of domestic violence so that individuals and families can live free of abuse.
Rose Brooks Center is about saving lives. Not just protecting the hundreds of individuals, families, and pets who need our emergency shelter to escape immediate danger, but the thousands of families who dream of a life safe from violence – a complete life built on respect, love, and compassion. Rose Brooks Center is the leader in innovative domestic violence programs and support. We believe the destructive cycle of abuse can only be broken by offering a full continuum of care including prevention programming, crisis intervention, life skills development, and other supportive and therapeutic services.

Host Teresa Wilke will speak with Scott Mason, Director of Donor Stewardship & Marketing for the Rose Brooks Center about their mission, programs and how the public can help them protect abused women and children.

Rose Brooks Center – 24-hour crisis hotline, 816-861-6100

P.O. Box 320599
Kansas City, MO 64132

Website – https://www.rosebrooks.org/

Scott Mason, Director of Donor Stewardship & Marketing
[email protected]
Direct 816-605-7113


Join us today for Every Woman where we have Alicia Casano Weisenbach from the Willow Domestic Violence Shelter as a guest today.

3pm on 90.1FM KKFI, streaming on kkfi.org and through lots of apps on your phone!

Every Woman: Domestic Violence
Episode date : October 21, 2017
On Every Woman
Play

Join us today to discuss the feminist news of the month for October 2017!


This week on the Heartland Labor Forum, we’ll talk to Thomas Kochen about his new book, Shaping the Future of Work. We’ll ask him what became of the postwar social contract, and if there is a new one on the horizon. Then, the Missouri Public Defenders are in crisis. They say they can’t handle the nearly 90,000 cases a year for the working or unemployed who can’t afford a lawyer. Do public defenders need a bailout? Thursday at 6pm, rebroadcast Friday at 5am.


U.S. Complicit with Saudi Arabia in 10,000 Yemen War Deaths
Interview with Shireen Al-Adeimi, Harvard Graduate School student originally from Yemen, conducted by Scott Harris

The war in Yemen between Shiite Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemen’s President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi began in 2014 after rebels seized control of the capital city of Sanaa. Saudi Arabia and allied Gulf nations launched a brutal bombing campaign targeting the Houthis in March 2015. Human rights groups have condemned the non-stop Saudi airstrikes for repeatedly targeting civilians and civil infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and markets.

It’s estimated that more than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict since 2014. However, a larger humanitarian crisis has developed due to a prolonged air and sea blockade preventing food and medicine from entering the country. As many as 7 million people in Yemen already face “famine-like” conditions and rely completely on food aid to survive. An outbreak of cholera, caused by the destruction of water and sanitation systems by Saudi airstrikes, has already killed more than 2,000 people.

The Saudi government grounded all humanitarian aid flights into Yemen after a missile was fired into Saudi Arabia from Yemen on Nov. 4. The Saudis blamed the Houthi rebels, charging that the missile was supplied by Iran, which they assert may be considered an “act of war.” The U.S. has aided the Saudi bombing campaign with intelligence, in-air refueling, and weapons sales. In a rare bipartisan challenge to U.S. involvement in conflicts abroad, the House of Representatives passed a resolution on Nov. 13 which states that U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia in its war against Yemen has not been authorized by Congress. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Shireen Al-Adeimi, a Harvard graduate School Student originally from Yemen, who discusses the humanitarian crisis which the conflict has triggered, and U.S. complicity with Saudi Arabia in the ongoing war.

SHIREEN AL-ADEIMI: The Saudis have been bombing indiscriminately. They have not left anything unbombed. So, houses, schools, hospitals, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), so they had in one year, four of their hospitals were bombed. And this was after they were providing exact coordinates to the Saudi (unintelligible), saying “Hey, don’t bomb us, we’re a hospital.” And that didn’t seem to help either. Saudi and Yemen have been known for committing double-tap strikes, which means that they bomb an area, and then when rescue operations are underway, they come and they bomb the rescuers one more time. We’ve had double-tap and triple-tap attacks in Yemen consistently. In October of last year, they bombed a funeral home, killing 140 or 150 people. And so they have crossed ever boundary. Nobody has been let unscathed by their bombing campaign.

And they’re using the blockade as a form of control as well. They are starving people to death in Yemen and that’s another one of those violations that they continue to commit with inpunity.

Unfortunately, the United States has been helping them right from the beginning, under the Obama administration, continuing through the Trump administration. The United States, of course, has huge weapons deals with Saudi Arabians. So do a lot of other countries. But we go further, we provide mid-air support while the jets are flying and they’re bombing civilians or targeting whatever they’re targeting. The U.S. provides mid-air refueling for the Saudi jets, and they provide logistics and training and all sorts of things, so it’s really difficult to justify why we’re in Yemen, and that’s part of the reason why nobody’s really talking about the conflict in Yemen.

BETWEEN THE LINES: I’ve read that up to seven million people in Yemen face starvation because of the air and sea blockade. And we also have a situation there where thousands of people are dying from cholera, primarily children.

SHIREEN AL-ADEIMI: The world’s worst outbreak of cholera is happening in Yemen right now. Haiti, at the peak of their cholera outbreak, which took five years, there were 700,000 cases. Yemen has already passed 900,000 cases in just a few months. The treatment for cholera is clean water and people don’t have clean water to drink. And so the most vulnerable are those who are very young children and the elderly, people who have been compromised by hunger and their bodies have been weakened by starvation and what-not. Over 2,000 have already died. The blockade means that people aren’t getting food or very little food and medicine is coming into the country. Prior to the war, Yemen used to import 90 percent of its food. And so, there’s nothing really growing in the country. We have a water crisis and so people are starving and whatever little food remains, people can’t afford any more because civil servants haven’t been paid in a year, and those who are being paid, prices have skyrocketed. The country is set to run out of fuel in one month and vaccines in one month.

So, when the UN says it’s the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, it’s not an exaggeration. Millions and millions of people are already at risk of starvation. People are already dying of starvation and it’s just going to get worst if societies don’t lift the blockade.

BETWEEN THE LINES: What can you tell us about any actions that have taken place within the U.S. Congress and to address the U.S. involvement in this bloody war in Yemen, given the fact we provided intelligence, air refueling and the sale of large amounts of weapons that are being used by the Saudis in this war?

SHIREEN AL-ADEIMI: Right, Congressman Ro Khanna from California introduced H.CON.RES.81, and it says, “Directing the president pursuant to section 5c of the war powers resolution to remove United States Armed Forces from unauthorized hostilities in the Republic of Yemen.” And under the War Powers Resolution, this would have been a privileged bill, which meant that they had to vote on it and debate it in the House and then vote on this U.S. involvement in Yemen. But, unfortunately it was stripped of its privileged status and what we learn from Ro Khanna is negotiating an alternate resolution, which is House Resolution 599, which is nonbinding. It just basically says “We need to have an urgent political solution in Yemen; we denounce the activities of all parties in Yemen – it repeats a lot of the Saudi rhetoric on Yemeni involvement and it was passed in the House overwhelmingly. But this isn’t the resolution that Yemenis were hoping for.

This isn’t the resolution that people in Yemen were hoping for that would extricate the United States from involvement in Yemen, because without the United States’ support, the Saudis cannot sustain this war.They rely very heavily on U.S. support and Yemen intelligence, which is the school training all of those things, besides the weapons, of course. And so, it’s really disappointing that there is this one chance, this hope for the United States finally after two-and-a-half years, to get out of Yemen, not be involved in these war crimes they’ve decided committing. But nothing concrete so far.

Learn more about the conflict in Yemen and the humanitarian crisis there by visiting the Middle East Research and Information Project at merip.org and the Yemen Peace Project at yemenpeaceproject.org.

Trump Nominates Big Pharma CEO for Health and Human Services Secretary
Interview with Wendell Potter, author and former health insurance industry executive, conducted by Scott Harris

President Trump has nominated Alex Azar, a former top pharmaceutical executive to be named Secretary of Health and Human Services. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Azar would replace Tom Price, who resigned as HHS Secretary in September after it was disclosed that his questionable trips on private jets had cost taxpayers more than $1 million. Azar served as president of the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company’s U.S. division for five years, and prior to that was HHS general counsel in the George W. Bush administration.

Azar has condemned the Affordable Care Act, supports converting Medicaid from an entitlement program to state block grants and opposes Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid to working families meeting income guidelines. Healthcare advocacy groups and Senate Democrats are doubtful that Azar will pursue policies to rein in the run-away price of prescription drugs, although during his campaign Trump favored negotiations to lower drug prices. The National Nurses United union condemned Azar’s nomination saying, “It’s like employing a lion to herd your sheep”.

While Azar led Lilly USA, the company’s Humalog brand of insulin more than doubled in price. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Wendell Potter, a former health insurance industry executive turned whistleblower and author, who’s just launched a new investigative news platform, Tarbell.org. Here Potter explains why he believes that Azar, if confirmed as HHS Secretary, will be a disaster for millions of consumers who already are unable to afford critical prescription medicines.

WENDELL POTTER: Well, not only is he truly representing the pharmaceutical industry, I think he’ll be representing the special interest broadly in health care. He was also serving as treasurer of this organization called “The Healthcare Leadership Council” which sounds like a useful organization and one that might have some benefit to consumers and patients. But what it is, is an organization that represents the interests of pharmaceutical and insurance companies and big hospitals, and medical device manufacturers. When I was in my old corporate job, I used to work that organization and it often was the place that would send out press releases in a space in Washington, create campaigns to benefit the industry. So, bottom line here, we have an individual who is very deeply in his career in supporting private enterprise in the health care business – the whole reason for the existence of the Healthcare Leadership Council is to fend off any kinds of government regulation out of the fear that any kind of regulations would hinder profits.

So he’s very much a company man and I just don’t think that we’ll see much in terms of any attention being paid to reducing the cost of medications.

BETWEEN THE LINES: What I’ve read about Alex Azar since his nomination by President Trump is that he is a firm opponent of any form of price controls on pharmaceutical drugs, which of course seems normal for a former CEO of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies. But Wendell, what do we know about his position on some of the proposals to constrain prices for people who really depend on these drugs to maintain their health?

WENDELL POTTER: What we know about his time at Lilly, the company increased its prices of some of its medications significantly. We also know that he is on the record as saying that he thinks that rather than the government being involved to control costs, that it should be done at the private level. He has suggested that insurers and pharmaceutical companies should work more closely together to do that. My response to that is, “My gosh, they’ve had decades to do that. What does he think is going to give them the incentive to do that now? How is he going to do that?” Because reality is that neither health insurers nor pharmaceutical companies want to make less money.

And they had this game going of pointing the finger of blame away from themselves and toward the other. But they have a very symbiotic relationship. So it’s just foolishness to think that the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry would ever do anything to bring costs down.

In fact, they worked very cooperatively – they did very cooperatively, as a matter of fact, when the Congress was considering the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and it was written by lobbyists for insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, so in that sense, they did collaborate with members of Congress and as a part of that, Medicare was prohibited from negotiating for lower prices. So the insurers and the pharmaceutical companies got a very sweet deal out of that. But not so much the taxpayers.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Wendell, you understand the games that go on in Washington and I’m wondering as you look at the nomination process for Alex Azar to be the next secretary of Health and Human Services, what are the prospects that he can be effectively challenged at least by the Democrats within the Senate?

WENDELL POTTER: And I do think that they need to challenge him and find out what he actually proposes to do about high drug costs and what his strategy would be, or at least what he would as a leader of that department, which of course, includes the Medicare and Medicaid programs. What are his plans for those programs? Would he continue to resist efforts to give Medicare the ability to have lower costs? What’s he going to do in many different areas that pertain to the Affordable Care Act? He’s looking very negatively of that law, which does certainly have its flaws, but has been a lifesaver for many people. It’s brought so many people into coverage.

So there are a lot of questions members of parties should be asking, the Democrats in particularly should be very concerned about what he likely would do with regard to both jurisdiction over pharmaceutical companies and the price of drugs as well as the Affordable Care Act.

Find more commentary on Alex Azar’s nomination to be the next Health and Human Services Secretary by visiting Wendell Potter’s website at wendellpotter.com and Tarbell Investigative News Platform at tarbell.org.

Tar Sands Oil Extraction Devastating Indigenous Communities
Posted Nov. 15, 2017

MP3 Excerpt of speech by Eriel Trchekwie Deranger, activist with Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign, recorded and produced by Melinda Tuhus

tarsands
Just before the United Nations convened COP 23 in Bonn, Germany – the 23rd Conference of Parties to discuss and reach agreement to take action to halt climate change – the American Public Health Association launched its annual conference on in Atlanta on Nov. 4. The theme of the five-day gathering this year was Climate Change and Health, which was attended by 12,000 public health professionals and students, mostly from the U.S. but also from 40 other nations.

The conference keynote speaker was Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation of Northern Alberta, Canada. She’s a leader in the Indigenous Environmental Network Canadian (Indigenous) Tar Sands Campaign, which is working to stop construction of four different pipelines that would carry tar sands, the dirtiest, most energy intensive oil on the planet from Alberta to the U.S., other parts of Canada and beyond.

Deranger talked about the terrible health and climate impacts on her people due to fossil fuel contamination and the move away from traditional hunting and trapping to consumption of processed foods. Health consequences include lower life expectancies, increased levels of obesity and diabetes linked to diet; respiratory diseases caused by climate change and the drivers of climate change and increased cancer rates. Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus attended the APH conference where she recorded and produced this excerpt of Deranger’s talk.

Learn more about the campaign by visiting Canadian Tar Sands Resistance at ienearth.org/what-we-do/tar-sands and IEN-Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign on FaceBook at facebook.com/groups/215875949026/.

This week’s summary of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

After Apple CEO Tim Cook was called before the U.S. Senate to explain its use of overseas tax havens to shelter corporate profits, Apple searched for a new tax haven after Ireland raised its corporate tax rate. (“Apple Secretly Moved Parts of Empire to Jersey after Row Over Tax Affairs,” The Guardian, Nov. 6, 2017; “Leaked Documents Expose Secret Tale Of Apple’s Offshore Island Hop,”International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Nov. 6, 2017)
According to the Christian Science Monitor, tens of thousands of children who were indoctrinated in ISIS schools and traumatized by watching ISIS propaganda videos in Iraq and Syria, now suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, aggression, anxiety and depression. (“ISIS Has Planted a Ticking Bomb that Is Hard to Defuse: Traumatized Children,” Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 21, 2017)
As President Trump traveled to China and Vietnam, his administration announced a new crackdown on Cuba, which halts trade deals involving Cuba’s military and restricts American tourists visiting the island to group tours. (“What Trump’s Cuba Crackdown Will Look Like,” Miami Herald, Nov. 8, 2017)

Yemen, Big Pharma, Tar Sands
Episode date : November 17, 2017
On Between the Lines
Play

Live from The COPP 23 Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany.

Live From Bonn
Episode date : November 13, 2017
On Democracy Now!
Play

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