- Reporter-s Notebook: Pinochet to Stand Trial
In 1990, General Augusto Pinochet gave up power to a civilian government, and retired as a senior statesman, with support from world figures. This week a Chilean judge ruled that the 89 year-old former dictator is mentally competent to stand trial for some of the thousands of killings and disappearances that took place while he was in power. UCLA Sociologist Maurice Zeitlin, author of many articles and two books on Chile, has more.
The Death Penalty and the Scott Peterson Case
Jury decisions are supposed to be based on evidence, but in the San Francisco suburb of Redwood City, a jury recommended capital punishment for Scott Peterson, even though the case was entirely circumstantial. Nobody knows how his pregnant wife Laci was killed or what the motive might have been. Jurors say they voted for the death penalty because the convicted murderer showed no remorse or any emotion at all. With the national trend moving away from death sentences, why was Peterson's case different? Will it set a precedent for other cases? Should defendants take acting lessons? We hear several opinions from experts in criminal law, the death penalty, media and politics. (An extended version of this program was originally broadcast earlier today on To the Point.)