The Death Penalty in America: Is It Time for a Change?
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Executions are on hold in America until the US Supreme Court decides whether lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment. Is it time for the states to review the death penalty process from arrest to conviction? We hear about wrongful convictions, victims' rights, and issues of fairness and safety. Also, devastating floods in Mexico's state of Tabasco, and Venezuela has President Hugo Chavez. It also has one of the world's great programs for training children in music.
Terrible Floods in the Mexican State of Tabasco ()
President Felipe Calderón calls the flooding in Tabasco "one of the worst natural disasters in the history" of Mexico. Half the Gulf Coast state is under water and 900,000 homes have been flooded. This year, flooding has also devasted the southern states of Chiapas and Veracruz. Lynn Walker is Mexico City Bureau Chief for the Copley News Services.
- Lynne Walker: Mexico City Bureau Chief, Copley News Service
Time for a Change in the Death Penalty? ()
Because death is the ultimate penalty—the one that cannot be revoked--the administration of capital punishment is always under review. The US Supreme Court has created a de facto moratorium for the next few months in most states by taking up the constitutionality of states' standards of lethal injection. The American Bar Association says this is the time to review other problems with capital punishment, ranging from investigation to trial and conviction. It's completed a three-year study of eight sample states and concluded that the death-penalty process is "deeply flawed" and "rife with irregularity." Are cops, prosecutors, judges and juries biased in favor of death? Is there racial discrimination? Do poor defendants get good lawyers? We look at the pros and cons.
- Adam Liptak: National Legal Correspondent, New York Times, @adamliptak
- Ronald Tabak: Steering Committee Member, ABA's Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project
- Joshua Marquis: Vice President, National District Attorneys' Association
- Kathryn Kase: Managing Attorney, Texas Defender Service's Houston Office
Venezuela's Orchestral Treasure Comes to the US ()
President Hugo Chavez's attacks on America may have tarnished Venezuela's reputation in the US, but one of Venezuela's internationally recognized assets will be on display tonight in Los Angeles. In about a year, Gustavo Dudamel will take over leadership of the LA Philharmonic, turned into a world-class orchestra by Essa-Pekka Solonen, who is stepping down. The 26 year-old Dudamel began his training at the age of 4, as part of a program that has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in Venezuela. Tonight at Disney Hall, he will conduct the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra. Arthur Lubow is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.
- Arthur Lubow: Contributing Writer, New York Times Magazine
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