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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 14, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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01/14/19 01/14/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> today we have taken action to pardon groveland four. while this cannot right the wrongs done to the many years ago, i hope that it will bring peace to their families and their communities. i am confident the people of florida would not want this injustice to happen again. amy: florida has pardoned four young african-american men in groveland who were falsely accused 70 years ago of raping a
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17-year-old white girl. before going to trial, one of the men was hunted down and lynched by a mob of 1000 men led by the local sheriff. another was later shot and killed by a sheriff. -- by the same sheriff. we will speak to the daughters of one of the groveland four and gilbert king, author of the pulitzer prize winning book "devil in the grove: thurgood marshall, the groveland boys, and the dawn of a new america." >> legislative branch of the florida government recognizing this was a gross miscarriage of justice and that there is a way to correct this and there is a way to move forward as a society by saying we no longer accept this kind of miscarriage of justice. if you look at this case throughout, it was basically what justice robert jackson described as a minister american society. amy: then as the longest u.s. government shutdown in history has entered its 24th day, the irs has bowed to the wishes of the mortgage industry and
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reopened a key office to help the mortgage industry. is this another sign of the irs -- trump administration favoring the rich? we will look at how corporations and the wealthy have benefited from the ongoing gutting of the internal revenue service. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the partial government shutdown, now the longest in u.s. history, is in its 24th day with still no apparent end in sight. on sunday, republican south carolina senator and trump ally lindsey graham told fox news he thought trump should temporarily reopen the government while pursuing negotiations with democrats. >> before he pulls the plug on the legislative option -- and i think we are almost there -- i would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before
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he pulls the plug and see we can get a deal. if we can't at the end of three weeks, all bets are off. see if he can do it by himself to the emergency powers. amy: the comments came just two days after senator graham tweeted -- "mr. president, declare a national emergency now. build a wall now." president trump has so far refused to consider any spending measures that do not include his $5.7 billion in border wall funding. despite trump's claims last week that republican senators were unified on the shutdown, a number of senators have expressed support for reopening the government as 800,000 federal workers continue to either work without pay or are furloughed. on friday, reports emerged that the white house may attempt to divert disaster relief funding, including money designated for ongoinhurricanrelief wk in puertoico if tmp calls nation emergen to builhis rder wal
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is comes as the rgest congressnal deletion eve visid the isnd of puto rico or the weend to dcuss e ongoineconomicrisis and post-hurcane recovy. mewhile, dpite bei afcted by e governnt shdown, thbureau oland magement iholding blic meings in aska to push rward pls for neoil and s leasesn the aric. texas, e controrsial toillo prin camp, ich at one point jailed several thousand immigrant youth, clos fridayfter months of criticism from immigrant and human rights activists, democratic lawmakers, d health professionals. this is activist janie stein, responding tthe newsf the tornillo shutdown. areow that the children gone, we have gotten confirmation from people inde and from politicians who have also been told that all of the children are gone, mostly to sponsors, to family sponsors,
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and we are very happy about th. we are also very concerned because we know there are detention centers in other parts of the country. they public teachers in los angeles are planning to stage a citywide strike today demanding better pay, more funding for school support staff, smaller class sizes, and a cap on the number of charter schools in the district. the strike, initially planned for last week, was put on hold but the teachers' union -- united teachers los angeles -- and district leaders failed to reach an agreement in their ongoing negotiations. the union represents over 30,000 members. this will be the first such strike in nearly 30 years. on friday, "the new york times" reported counter-intelligence agents began investigating trump's 2017 firing of former fbi director james comey because of concerns he might be working "on behalf of russia" against u.s. interests. investigators reportedly launched the investigation after
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trump himself linked comey's firing to the probe into russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. on saturday, "the washington post" reported that trump went to extraordinary lengths to keep details of his conversations with russian president vladimir putin hidden, including a july 2018 meeting in helsinki, after which trump reportedly took his own interpreter's notes. house judiciary committee chair jerry nadler has said he is looking into the reports, while house foreign affairs committee chair eliot engel said his panel will hold hearings on trump's "dark dealings" with putin. "the wall street journal" is reporting that the national security council asked the pentagon about possible military options targeting iran last year. the request followed a september strike by iranian forces in baghdad, which did not result in any damage or casualties. national security adviser john bolton is known for his extremely hawkish foreign policy
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views and has openly called for regime change in iran. following the pentagon's announcement of the start of u.s. troop withdrawals from syria last week, trump ratcheted up threats to turkey over the issue of syrian kurds. trump said in a tweet sunday the u.s. would "devastate turkey economically if they hit kurds." on saturday, secretary of state mike pompeo said he believed turkey and the u.s. could work together towards a good outcome, days after turkish president recep tayyip erdogan blasted national security adviser john bolton for saying turkey should protect syrian kurdish fighters -- fighters condition for u.s. , a troop withdrawal from syri meanwhile, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu said israeli forces had attacked sunday iranian weans warehouses in syria. secretary of state mike pompeo met with saudi officials, including crown prince mohamed bin salman, in riyadh today. the trump administration has
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continued to defend the saudi royal family over the killing of "washington post" columnist jamal khashoggi, who was killed more than 100 days ago in october at the saudi consulate in istanbul, turkey, by saudi agents. in november, pompeo said despite cia findings to the contrary, there is no direct evidence linking the crown prince with the murder. senators passed a resolution last month condemning mohammed bin salman for jamal khashoggi's order. a saudi teen who fled her abusive family has been granted asylum in canada. last week, 18-year-old rahaf mohammed al-qunun flew to thailand where she was first threatened with deportation but was eventually able to meet with u.n. representatives about her case. her story went viral as she live-tweeted her ordeal, including barricading herself in her thai hotel room to avoid being put on a plane back to her family. al-qunun however reportedly had
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to quit twitter on friday after receiving death threats. on arrived in toronto saturday, greeted by canada's foreign minister. in gaza, palestinians attended the funeral saturday of a 44-year-old palestinian woman who was killed by israeli fire friday during weekly protests near the separation barrier with israel. another 25 palestinians were injured according to gaza health officials. israeli forces have killed at least 220 palestinians since protests under the banner of the great march of return started in march of last year. in more news from the occupied territories, a u.n. official has said around 27,000 palestinians in the west bank are no longer receiving any world food program assistance since the start of the year due to funding cuts. another 165,000 in both gaza and the west bank are receiving a reduced number of food assistance from the u.n.-run program. the cuts are due to a drop in donations in recent years, most
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notably from the united states. in france, tens of thousands of yellow vest protesters took to the streets over the weekend for ninthght straight week -- straight week with over 200 arrests as clashes between protesters and police broke out in paris and other cities. french president emmanuel macron has called for a national debate in an attempt to quell frustration among demonstrators who say macron is too detached from the reality of working people in france. this is protester maxeem raynaud. >> and the government, there are people who don't want to let go of anything. it is their world, fraud. think of their own advantage. they have no reason to let go. they don't know better. it is the same for us. we have no reason to let go. we don't know anything us but misery. amy: in poland, authorities arrested two men friday on suspicion of espionage, including a sales director for chinese telecommunications giant huawei.
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it is the second-largest maker of smart phones. it announced saturday that it fired wang weijing -- who also previously worked for the chinese consulate in poland -- saying he brought the company into disrepute. meng wanzhou, the chief financial officer of huawei, and the daughter of the company's founder, is currently out on bail in canada after being arrested last month. she is facing possible extradition to the united states over suspected violations of sanctions against iran. in california, a federal judge has blocked an attempt by the trump administration to weaken reproductive freedom and roll back parts of the affordable care act by allowing employers to deny birth control coverage to female workers on moral or religious grounds. judge haywood gilliam said the new trump rules mean that states could "face potentially dire public health and fiscal consequences." the court order, however, only applies to the 13 states and the
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district of columbia, who brought the lawsuit. the new rules are set to go into affect around the country today. iowa congressmember steve king's continues to come under fire following his recent interview with "the new york times" in which he praised white supremacy while blasting congressional diversity. house minority leader kevin mccarthy said sunday he would meet with king today to discuss his future in the republican party. in the interview published last thursday, king said -- "white nationalist, white supremacist, western civilization -- how did that language become offensive?" king also criticized the diversity of incoming congress members, saying -- "you could look over there and think the democratic party is no country for white men." and two more high-profile democrats have announced their bid for the 2020 presidential election. julian castro, former san
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antonio mayor and housing secretary under president obama, officially announced his run saturday, one month after he launched a presidential exploratory committee. his first event as a presidential contender will be in puerto rico. meanwhile, hawaii congressmember tulsi gabbard has also said she will run with a formal announcement expected this week. the iraq war veteran has come under scrutiny since the news broke with some pointing to statements about lgbtq rights early in her political career, including once referring to advocates of marriage equality as homosexual extremists. her ties to the nationalist prime minister of india narendra modi and the ruling bjp has also come under scrutiny. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. on friday, florida's governor, republican ron desantis, granted posthumous pardons to four young
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african-american men accused of raping a white woman near groveland, florida 70 years ago. , the case is now seen as a racially-charged miscarriage of justice emblematic of the jim crow south. the men, known as the groveland four, were falsely accused of a 17 euroma padgett, teenager who was white in 1949. before going to trial, one of the four men, ernest thomas, was murdered by a mob of 1000 men, led by the local sheriff, willis mccall. he was killed in a hail of gunfire. the other three men were tortured in jail until two of them gave false confessions. charles greenlee was sentenced to life. walter irvin and samuel shepherd were condemned to death. when irvin and shepherd appealed their conviction, they were represented by thurgood marshall of the naacp, who would later become the first african-american supreme court
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justice. but in 1951, samuel shepherd was shot and killed by the same sheriff, willis mccall. walter irvin was also shot by the sheriff and his deputy, but survived. he eventually died in 1968, two years after being paroled. charles greenlee lived until 2012. but the story of the groveland four has continued to haunt the state of florida. this is florida governor ron desantis speaking on friday >> today we have taken action to pardon a groveland four. while this cannot right the wrongs done to the many years ago, i hope that it will be -- bring peace to the families and community's i'm confident the people of florida will not want this injustice to happen again. amy: for more, we're joined by two guests. gilbert king is the author of "devil in the grove: thurgood marshall, the groveland boys, and the dawn of a new america." the book was awarded the
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pulitzer prize in 2013. king is also the author of "beneath a ruthless sun: a true story of violence, race, and justice lost and found." and in nashville, tennessee, we're joined by carol greenlee, daughter of charles greenlee, one of the groveland four. gilbert king and carol greenlee, welcome to democracy now! carol, if you could begin by talking about the significance pardon ofr desantis' your father, charles greenlee. >> thank you for having me this morning. decision wasntis' very significant to my family. even though my father passed in 2012, it still lingered shame, a cloud over my family that he was convicted of this horrific crime. my nieces and nephews, my
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son all carried this cloud over them. cloud fromed a bad being carried by innocent children, innocent family members. i feel that a chain has been broken. it felt like the door of justice swung open and the nightmare of torture, waking up at night to the pain of what had happened to my father. it was very significant. it relieved a lot of pain. it closed the door of injustice on the family. amy: gilbert king, you wrote this rise winning book "devil in the grove" about the groveland four
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can you talk about what happened 70 years ago? >> 70 years ago, there was a grave miscarriage of justice that took place. accusations of sexual assault by white woman in the jim crow south caret explosive consequences. it was used by law enforcement at the time in the south to brutalize and control black people. so the slightest accusations would lead down this road of within months you would see the defendants going to the electric chair. that was going to be the situation in this particular case. as soon as norma padgett made these accusations, within hours of those accusations, the ku klux klan rolled into groveland and started burning down black homes, chasing hundreds of people from their lives in groveland. all of a sudden, he saw a man had with one suspected just one of the members who was not even in the area chased up in the swamp. 1000 men of like surrounded him and basically
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riddled his body with bullets. there's no way they were going to bring him back alive. so now you're down to the groveland free. amy: you are talking about the sheriff himself? >> he was in charge of the posse. more like a hunting operation. they knew he was up in the swamps, and they were not going to bring them back alive. that is how this whole case started. it was sort of a housekeeping of african-americans that were deemed as troublemakers. walter irvin and samuel shepherd were seen as troublemakers because they served in the military. they continued to wear the military uniforms as a reminder that the people of the south of they fought and were willing to die for this country. amy: this is world war ii. >> right. this was seen as a provocative act, as an uppity thing to remind a community in the jim crow south that you are wanting better treatment. wave of there was a soldier lynchings across the south. african americans were being lynched in their uniforms as a
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reminder saying, you might have got more freedoms in europe, but you are back in the south. amy: they served in segregated units in world war ii. >> exactly. amy: known to have liberated a number of concentration camps, survivors in their camps. >> and many of them were war heroes. still being forced back into the second-class citizenship when they returned. lynching was still a problem after world war ii. this was aware housekeeping. yet a very long order minded sheriff who was very, very consistent, working with the orange grove owners that he was going to control labor in this part of central florida. by controlling labor, he often had to put his foot down on the neck of certain african-americans that he emed as troublemakers. amy: so talk about what happened to carol greenlee's father charles. >> charles had come into groveland expecting to be working as a picker in the citrus business.
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he arrived in groveland. did not quite have a place to so he's been his first that in the train station. he was picked up for loitering and taken into custody. he was actually documented in police custody for loitering at the same exact time norma padgett said she was sexually assaulted by four men. he has an airtight alibi. it when it came to prosecution come all you needed was a state attorney to ignore the evidence and convince 12 white jurors that charles greenlee was one of the man who was involved in this. yet never met norma padgett before, but he got swept into this, too. amy: so the sheriff was involved in the murder of two of the four men. >> he was. he should've been involved in the third murder. walter irvin, against all odds, he survived the shooting on the side of the road in 1951 by playing dead. he was handcuffed -- this was after the supreme court had overturned the verdict in the first trial -- and then sheriff
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mccall said, fine, i will pick up the prisoners and bring them back for the retrial. he put them in the car, handcuffed them, started driving back to the courthouse. then he made a detour around under road and opened fire on two of the groveland boys who were handcuffed and could not go anywhere. sam shepard was killed in italy. walter, handcuffed to his best friend, could not run, was shot two times. he laid in a ditch pretending to be dead while he hears the share it on the radio saying "i got rid of them. get back here." henriettat to turn to irvin, the sister of walter lee irvin, one of the groveland four, caring and the documentary "the groveland four." happenedexplains what in 1951. >> when he opened the door for sam and sam turned to get out of the carhe shot him in the forehead.
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ju like that. said he shot himselfsked he felt his weight moving until he knew that sam was dead, but said by that time, he had shot him also. and he said he remembered hearing him say "come on back. i have killed the [bleep]hot by ." nethecd sent any shi ght on him d said this man is not dead. he said he pulled out his gun and he aimed right at his head. and it wt in the net. he said that time he was out. he tried to pretend like he was dead so that they would not kill him. alive.l was amy: that is henrietta irvin,
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the sister of walter lee irvin. shot by the sheriff and then the deputy comes back and says, he is still alive, and shoots him again as he lay in the ditch. >> what is amazing, if walter irvin had died right there, that would have been the end of the story. i would not have written this book. nobody would know about this case because now it became the word of law enforcement. but because walter irvin survived, he told the story of how he received that last bullet. when he said he was shot at point-blank range in the bullet went through his neck, the fbi went back to the scene of the crime and found the blood spot where walter irvin was laying and they dug under the blood spot and found that 38 caliber bullet that matched the gun. now the fbi had pure proof of cold-blooded murder. i think probably the most disturbing part of this entire story was that that entire investigation was quashed by the fbi. the fbi recommended the sheriff and the deputy be prosecuted,
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and it was quashed by the u.s. attorney. freedom ofd a information act request 60 years later, out the first person to see that report, the forensic report. thurgood marshall and his lawyers never knew about it. amy: i want to go to the comments of norma padgett. the, well, nows she is 86 years old. she testified in front of the florida clemency board on friday. this is the first time she has spoken pubcly since 1952. >> my name is norma padgett upshaw. . am the victim has beenll you now, it on my mind for about 70 years. this hasyears old and never left my mind and i can tell you from the time it started until today -- if it was
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last night, i could carry on that route that i went that night. this, if youou have a gun held your head and told you if you scream i did not do what they said, that they would blow your brains out -- what would you do? and a you had a daughter mother and a wife and a sister were in nice -- or a niece, would you give them pardon? no, i don't think you would. i really don't. every time it comes up, i just quiver on the inside. , nowthat is norma padgett 86 years old, testifying in front of the florida clemency board.
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carol greenlee, your response to what norma padgett said? that this ise was a free country. freedom of speech. i just felt numb at the time. that she said what she felt. it did not change my mind at all after years of reading the testimony in the investigation reports and the books that have been written by individuals digging out the truth. me any illidn't cost will against her. amy: what do we know about what happened in norma padgett? >> one of the interesting things
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that happen is that norma padgett was out. she'd already separated from her husband. she was 17 years old. there were rumors around town he was beating her in the family sort of forced the separation. in the summer of 1949, they got back together one night, when outranking and dancing. we don't know exactly what happened on the side of the road that night, but we do know walter irvin and sam shepard came by and helped them with a broken car on the side of the road. at one point, norma's husband will made a racial remark about these african-americans because norma had offer them a treat of whiskey. he made a racial remark and sam shepard sort of phot with them and they drove off. to sort of put a story in place, willie padgett said there were four that beat me up and they abducted and raped my wife and started this. he and that is what led to the whole reaction in the community. amy: it was believed it was her husband that beat her? >> this story was put in place
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by the husband according to the defense. he said, norma, you have to say four black men did this. amy: where going to go to break and come back to this discussion with gilbert king and carol greenlee, the daughter of charles greenlee, one of the groveland four. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "freedom highway" by rhiannon giddens. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. on friday, florida's republican governor ron desantis granted partial ms. pardons to four young african-american men accused of raping a white woman near groveland, florida, in 1949, 70 years ago. the case now seen as a racist miscarriage of justice, emblematic of the jim crow south. this is henrietta irvin, a sister of walter irvin, one of the groveland four.
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she spoke to the orlando sentinel about visiting her brother on death row. the sundayer going before he was supposed to be electrocuted. that was terrible. shaved. was talking about what was going to happen. be to rayford to pick up his body or otherwise they would just bury him in a grave. thatt did not work like was walter irvin's sister. walter irvin received a last minute stay that saved his life. he was later paroled in 1968. still with us, gilbert king, author of the pulitzer prize-winning book "devil in the grove: thurgood marshall, the groveland boys, and the dawn of a new america."
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and in nashville, tennessee, we're joined by carol greenlee, the daughter of charles greenlee, one of the groveland four. carol, can you talk about your life, what it meant that your father was imprisoned -- he was in prison for about 10 years? >> yes. he was in prison in florida for 10 years. first seeingber him. i was about three years old when my brother would take me to the prison. on a sunday for visits. the last time that i saw my father in prison, i was about three. he said to my mother not to bring me back anymore, it was just too hard. as a three-year-old child, i can remember thinking, what did i do wrong?
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and my the reason that my father is your? the guilt plagued me for years .hroughout my young life it was hard. conversationshe thatred around activities they had done with their families, including their father, i found myself politely leaving the area, leaving the room so that i would not have to talk about it. hard, painfulof excuses for me and trying to understand why this happened. but all during this time, my father would send me gifts wrapped in brown paper backs, if you will, a card on birthdays, a card on a holiday.
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he seemed to have gathered from in prison. i remember one of the last things he sent me was a jewelry of burnt match stems that i have today. it was a time that i felt i had been doing time with my father whatse i could not express i thought that i needed to in goingof activities or different places with my father. alsospent those 10 years locked up in prison within myself. a sense of shame, guilt that i was responsible because i was went tothat he actually
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groveland seeking a job. i was the unborn child at that time that he was trying to find a job to take care of. so i carried that as my burden of guilt. amy: gilbert king, i want to ask you, there was a lot of attention on the u.s. supreme court. your written extensively about the supreme court. the subtitle of your book "devil in the grove: thurgood marshall, the groveland boys, and the dawn of a new america." is before thurgood marshall became the first african-american supreme court justice. talk about his taking on this was >>d how dangerous it it was extraordinarily dangerous. when i first came across this case, i found letters from the loan -- young lawyers in florida and they were basically varying -- imploring thurgood marshall for protection. remember thinking, what happened
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in florida? it was a deadly case. they had to move the lawyers and thurgood marshall around from klane to house because the l was after them. it was a very dangerous place for young black lawyers to be back to sing law. i think one of the things that was most striking to me and it started in the beginning of the trial. he had norma padgett 70 years ago showing up in the courtroom and she stood up in the witness box and she identified three of the groveland boys as her attackers, and the lawyers and the press that were watching this, they basically said, this trial is over. that was enough. you did not need any more evidence. it was the word of this young white woman accusing black men of rape that was going to lead to the electric chair. the power of those words i thought was so significant to marshall because even he knew it was over. 70 years later, norma padgett came into the hearing room in tallahassee to testify before the clemency board. she had not spoken to anyone publicly in 70 years.
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i think was interesting to see what happened in those 70 years. her words were no longer enough to ensure these men were going to die for those accusations. evidence-based. i think you saw that, the clemency board now has the hands on all of this evidence, evidence hidden from the defense at the time, the medical report in this particular case -- a doctor examined norma padgett hours after this alleged attack and found evidence of any kind of attack. what did the prosecutor do? witness.the when thurgood marshall and his lawyers tried to subpoena the medical report, it was quashed. the u.s. attorney said, that is a private matter between her woman -- between a woman and her doctor. the amount of perjury that existed, prosecutorial misconduct. amy: talk about what you found in writing the book. by the way, how many publishers turned down the publication of this book before you got one who would take it? >> it was rejected 38 times.
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amy: so you got a publisher. even when it was published, you got a message from them soon after saying they were going to remainder of because no one is interested. >> i think at that time in 2012, people were not into these kind of justice stories. it did not get a lot of attention or reviews. amy: and the day after you got the call from the publisher or -- that they were going to remainder your book? >> got the pulitzer prize. totally different book all of a sudden one day later. amy: talk about what you uncovered, what you were able to find. >> the main thing i was able to uncover was i got my hands on the unredacted fbi reports. those were significant because you had law enforcement agents admitting to torturing the groveland boys in the basement, even though their official statement said they must have gotten into a fight before i arrested them. you had constant law enforcement saying -- believing they were going off the record to the fbi and saying this did not happen
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and that these witnesses are lying. i just found a ton of perjury. even norma padgett's own statements she made to the fbi did not match the testimony that she gave at trial. that was changed in order to present this prosecutorial narrative. there was perjury, falsification of evidence, the police went about and made fake footprints in the soil to put these men in there. that was document of by an fbi expert. it all of this evidence was ignored because the prosecutor was on a first name basis with 12 white jurors. amy: the role of mabel noris reis. you write about her in the book, but also your new book "beneath a ruthless sun." important to see how this case was covered. she was one of the reporters who is writing about this groveland case and ultimately when the supreme court overturned the decision, they pointed to the
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bias in the press and mabel was one of them. she later admitted she deserved to be stepped on because she was taking the sheriffs word for everything. after the shooting on the side of the road, she had real change of heart and was determined to report on this share. amy: your member the ship murdering one and critically wondering the other of the groveland four. >> i think that is when she really knew this was a really bad sheriff. she started writing about him constantly. years later, they burned down her home. they burned a cross, poison her dog. ultimately, they ran her out of town because she was reporting on these kinds of stories. my latest book is 10 years later after groveland. there's another explosive rate case that reaches the u.s. supreme court. sure enough, willis mccall is in charge of the investigation. it is only mabel nourse rees that will write about it. amy: thurgood marshall went from investigating the case -- was he
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on the supreme court at the time that it was considered? >> he was. beneath aoint in " ruthless sun" when this case reaches the u.s. supreme court, thurgood marshall is on there and he knows all about lake county and willis mccall. they send in order to show cause back to lake county explaining why they're holding this man in an asylum. amy: not to confuse the two, but in "beneath a ruthless sun" the man was a white mentally disabled man. >> and that is the strange twist in this. because and involved a wealthier family this time, it was an actual rape in this case, because it was seen as so impolite, the prosecutor got together with the sheriff and the judge and they decided to switch the race of the defendant so that the victim's husband would not bear the shame of having been assaulted by an african-american. so they framed a white man of rape at the time. amy: going back to this case, a
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pardon is not total exoneration. can you explain that, gilbert king, and what is -- is there any further developments? will these men ever be fully exonerated? >> they will. a pardon sort of encompasses all of it, a recognition that was miscarriage of justice. the reason it was done is because two of the men of the groveland four were never convicted in a court. ernest thomas never stood trial. he was gunned down by the posse. sam shepard was gunned down on the evening of the retrial. technically, his conviction was thrown out. this was a way for the clemency board to of knowledge all four groveland bors, pardon them, but right now the fdle is working with the attorney general's office. i am working with them, too, getting together all of these files and reports. the very next step will be a complete exoneration. that just takes a little bit longer to write that report. amy: carol greenlee, if your father were alive today -- he died in 2012 -- what would you
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say to him and what would this total exoneration mean to you? everything inan viewsof how our family florida. viewed theily really criminal justice system in the united states. thatstores faith and hope years, ith it took 70 is here. it finally happened. that torturedm him, that put him in prison, is the same system that will exonerate him. so, yes, you have to maintain hope. this is the greatest country of the world.
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amy: finally, what does the story of what happened to your father say to you about the criminal justice system today, looking at what you see today when it comes to criminal justice and african-americans? >> that things have changed, but we still have a long way to go. bookse rule of law on the are good, but we as people have to enforce them in the right way. i am pretty sure that back in 1949, the law was to make sure that everybody had a fair trial. it wasn't the law, it was the people that was administering the law. and we still have that today. but thank god things are changing. we have the ability for people to stand up and be bold and tell
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the truth. desantis and all of the elected officials in florida felt that, have done that. they used the law to rectify a wrong, and i'm grateful for that. amy: gilbert king, finally, as we look at the health of ruth bader ginsburg -- by the way, the announcement friday that she is cancer-free, just recuperating and even as the court continues to hear oral arguments, she is looking at the transcripts and being a part of the decision-making expected back in february. the legacy of thurgood marshall ruth badert and ginsburg, her significance? >> right, i think this is extremely worrisome way to look at what is happening in america. we go back to brown versus board -- ducation amy: and that case, 1955, was six years after the groveland
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case. axa, just a few years after because it took a few years to go to court. >> and what a lot of people don't realize, it was funded on the back of this criminal case. all of the money raised for the groveland case got pushed over into brown versus board of education, which enabled them to put together this phenomenal civil rights document to bring that case forward. this is -- after brown versus board, the landmark civil rights the supremeall of court in the 20th century, the country took a step backwards. he started to see more racial violence and tension. he saw that rebirth of the ku klux klan, the white citizens councils popping up -- 300,000 members in 11 states. race relations went backwards after that. i think that is a pattern you see in history. you could look at it and say, african-american president barack obama serves eight years, with those elections quite comfortably, and there is something of a backlash that you see, reaction to that. i like to think it is two steps
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for, one step back and a cycle that will always repeat itself in history. as martin luther king said about the ark of the moral universe bending towards justice, i think that is ultimately where you get, always moving forward. the situation with the supreme court makeup is concerning. we have an attorney general who comes in appointed by president who is really not known for his civil rights point of view, it is deftly concerning. i do have hope for the future. amy: gilbert king, author of "devil in the grove," the story of the groveland four. "devil in the grove: thurgood marshall, the groveland boys, and the dawn of a new america." his latest book is "beneath a ruthless sun: a true story of violence, race, and justice lost and found." and thank you so much to carol greenlee, daughter of charles greenlee, one of the groveland four. again, pardoned by florida's governor on friday. this is democracy now! shutdownrnment
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continues, we look at the irs, what it is and isn't doing, and its history, how it has been gutted over the last decade. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "what if we all stopped paying taxes?" by sharon jones and the dap-kings. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the partial government shutdown, now the longest in u.s. history, has dragged into its 24th day with still no apparent end in sight. as 800,000 workers remain furloughed or working without pay, with some unable to make rent or pay medical bills, we end today's show looking at how the trump administration has restarted a division of the internal revenue service to help the corporate lenders. "the washington post" reports that an appeal from the mortgage industry has resulted in hundreds of paid irs staffers returning to the agency to carry out income verifications for lenders.
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this process earns the $1.3 trillion mortgage banking industry millions of dollars in fees. according to "the post," the irs employees were called back to work just one day after a trade association representing credit reporting companies and high level officials in the mortgage industry lobbied top advisers to secretary of treasury steve mnuchin. robert broeksmit, chief executive of the mortgage bankers association, wrote to mnuchin's senior adviser craig phillips -- "could you make these guys essential?" unlike the 420,000 workers forced to work without pay, the 400 irs employees called back to work are being paid using industry user fees. marvin friedlander, a former senior irs official, told "the washington post" -- "it seems crazy to me that a powerful bank or lobby gets to bring their people back to do their work. how about the normal slob who can't even pay his rent?"
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for more, we're joined by paul kiel, a reporter for propublica, where he covers business and the economy. contributor to the series "gutting the irs" is titled "who's more likely to be audited: a person making $20,000 -- or $400,000?" welcome to democracy now! first, talk about making this group of workers essential in bringing them back to serve the mortgage industry. >> this is the second remarkable decision a trump administration has done to ease the pain of the shutdown. the first was or they richly said workers were coming in and they're going to be processing payments to make sure revenues come to the government but refunds would not go out at tax time, which was a result in enormous amount of congress and people not getting those refunds they are expected to get in february, so they made a decision it was different from all previous ministrations as
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shutdown set said, we're going to bring these workers back and tax filing season and have them push out refunds. then this comes along where the mortgage industry would like to be processing loans and because a lot of text transcripts are required as a way of underwriting the loans, that was stopping. so that is where the pressure came to their and they came up with a new dish came to bear and they came over the new way to change the way it has been dealt with in the past during shutdowns. amy: they make these workers not only essential, but they are paying these workers. >> they found money i guess to make them happier workers i guess? amy: how does this benefit the mortgage industry? >> it make sure that they can make loans, can make money, that things don't shutdown for them. amy: and this was done at the behest of the treasury secretary. >>'s people were obviously listening to the lobbyists and make things happen. amy: talk about your research, gutting of the irs. it does not get added or at
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least the affects are not equal. >> this starts with the tea party congress coming in after the 2010 midterms and there's a lot of strong anti-irs sentiment on the right. originally, kind of the focus is obamacare is cast and the irs plays a crucial role in implementing obamacare. it is seen as a way to get out of obamacare, to attack obamacare are restraining the irs budget. that leads to the reason for budget cuts. there's a large scandal that you rubs in 2013 regarding how the in 2013 regarding how the irs is targeting political nonprofits. that leads to justification for other massive cuts. starting in 2011 through 2018, the irs budget is being hacked out and some years and held down in other years. the cumulative effect of that is
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the budget cut of over $2 billion over that time comes they lost one third of their enforcement staff and taxpayer service has suffered, but that has been one area where constituents were angry because they called the irs and could not get answers to questions so they were looking to bump the funding a little bit in that area. their other basic areas that are -- in a state where they have never been before. amy: some people may say, good, they should not have this kind of resources. there is a whole movement that says, honestly, they want the irs guided another others who say, government is a central. who is more likely to get audited? note oneimportant to of our largest anti-poverty programs is the earned income tax credit. about $70 billion goes out to 70 million households and that is run by the irs. since the 1990's, republicans have put a lot of pressure on the irs to audit people who
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receive that benefit. audits theird of the irs does are people who receive that credit. that is a type of auditing the irs does that is largely automated. what we're able to show in our piece is audits of the rich and of corporations have come down much more quickly than audits of people receiving this credit. these are households that 10 to have income under $20,000 year. one millionut children out of poverty every year. the computers can still pump out those audit letters. that area of auditing has fallen less precipitously. amy: let me go to a graphic on your article. it shows since 2011, audit rates for the wealthy have dropped more steeply than for the earned income tax credit recipients. earning between $200,000 to $500,000 year, audit rates dropped by 74% of earned
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income tax credit recipients who have a median annual income under $20,000, audits dropped by just 36%. you are more likely to be audited if you are making less than $20,000 a year than if you make $1 million? >> right. the irs said we were prioritizing people at the bottom and the tippy top, those who earned over 10 lane dollars year. audits of the affluent have plummeted far more. there's basically no balance anymore worry have to get up to $1 million year before you see the same audit rates as people at the very bottom of the income scale. amy: what is happened of people at the top? >> they are not getting audited. amy: and corporations? >> large corporations used to be audited every year. that is happening less and less. microsoft, google come all of those, they might be audited,
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but very large corporations are no longer audited the way they used to be. amy: what is going to be the effect of the government shutdown overall of people paying taxes this year? >> we are will see whether the irs can somehow make the filing season work in a way that gets people's refunds out on time. i mean, tens a means of people rely on these refunds being on time. -- tens of millions of people rely on these refunds being on time. they're contemplating bringing people back after five weeks to process refunds to make sure everyone gets the refund on time. that remains to be seen how that will work out. it is something that has never been done before. amy: what were you most surprised by in the series you did? >> i would say some of the most basic things the irs is not able to do because of the funding drop off with one area is people who do not file any tax return at all. it is hard for the irs to find those people and to tell them you owe this money and track him
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down and make them pay. they basically just stopped doing it. soif you don't file taxes, they're not opening investigations. they're saying, we don't have people that need to be -- to do things that we need done, other things take more resources that take a lot of time, we just don't have the people to do it so we're not going to do it. amy: i want to thank you very much for being with us, paul kiel, reporter for propublica recovers business and the economy. contributor to the recent series headlined "gutting the irs." the subtitle, a multiyear campaign to slash the irs budget has lifted understaffed and on the defensive. that is been good news for tax cheats, the rich, and the corporations, but not for the poor." that does it for our program. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693
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new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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. hello and thank you for joining us again on nhk "newsline." we begin in tokyo where a court is expected to decide as early as tuesday whether to grant bail to nissan motors' former chairman. last week carlos ghosn was served a fresh indictment on charges of aggravated breach of trust and underreporting his compensation. the indictment paves the way for his release on bail. the latest


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