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December 7, 2010

Host: Ted Simons

Attorney General-Elect

  |   Video
  • Tom Horne talks about his goals and priorities as the next Arizona Attorney General.
  • Tom Horne - Arizona Attorney General-Elect
Category: Government

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Republican Tom Horne will take over the helm of the state Attorney General's office next year. He survived tough primary and general elections to win the office. Here to talk about his plans as attorney general is Tom Horne. Good to see you, thanks for joining us.

Tom Horne: It's always good to be with you.

Ted Simons: Congratulations on your win.

Tom Horne: Thank you.

Ted Simons: How will your office differ from that of Terry Goddard?

Tom Horne: It will differ substantively. We had some issues you may remember the Florets case, I actually appealed a certain case to the Supreme Court, the attorney general was against us where a federal judge fined Arizona a million dollars a day. There was a big difference substantively there. I believe the attorney general is to represent the taxpayers, and not representing plaintiffs against the taxpayers. I will defend Senate Bill 1070, he was against Senate Bill 1070. I was part of a health care issue to call Obama-care unconstitutional. He was not in agreement with that.

Ted Simons: As far as things at the occurring attorney general’s office has succeeded in doing –- the successes -- things you can build on, what do you see?

Tom Horne: There's very good borderlines going, the settlement with the western union, they got $50 million to be divided among four border states. $7 million went right away to Arizona. There's a good effort started to work on the border to stop money from going south to Mexico. So we'll build on that. That's just getting started, actually.

Ted Simons: Indeed. And the current attorney general's office talks about cartels being the most immediate threat to Arizona border security. You mentioned 1070, as well. Prioritize those two. Is the most immediate threat to end cartels and money transfers and these things?

Tom Horne: I think Senate Bill 1070 fits into that. I've always viewed that as the force multiplier for the border guard, the border guard should be on the border. If we had enough border guard we could stop illegal immigration and all the other illegal trafficking that’s going on. Now there are border guards that are in the interior of Arizona. If the local police are required to enforce the illegal immigration laws on the interior, then the border guard can focus on the border, that's a big step forward. It's really a force multiplier for the border guard.

Ted Simons: Those who are concerned that you might spend too much time worrying being preoccupied with 1070 as opposed to some of these other actions you would say --

Tom Horne: I would say I can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Ted Simons: Alright. You have also mentioned that you have a more cooperative relationship with business with attorney general. What does that mean?

Tom Horne: I used an example, somebody walked into an optometrist's shop not speaking English. She wanted her 12-year-old son to translate. He thought that was dangerous dealing with health matters, referred her to a shop he was associated with here they spoke Spanish. Next thing he knew he was hit with a lawsuit alleging he had violated her human rights from the attorney general's office. The leader of the optometrists association went to the attorney general and said, let's work out some guidelines. We want to obey the law but we would have never guessed that was vital of civil rights. They were not interested in that. They were just interested in pursuing the case. He has talked to me. He wanted to settle. They said you have to pay $1700 to the woman, and he was willing to do that, but then they said you have to translate the documents into Spanish and you have to provide free translation to anybody who listened to it. He said, I can't do that. Ultimately the case was dismissed. It was all a big bluff. There was no requirement that all shop owners learn Spanish. It reflected I think a philosophy of being willing to harass businesspeople who aren't really breaking the law, they are decent people. If changes are needed in their actions, I think you can work out guidelines with them, but we want a friendly attitude toward ethical business. When they are violating the law, we want to prosecute them. Ethical businesses obviously don't want to have to compete with unethical ones, but for the ethical ones we should work cooperatively with them.

Ted Simons: You've also mentioned a sting operation you'd like to get started against the auto repair industry. What’s that all about?

Tom Horne: I did use them as an example. It's not only that industry, but this was done up until about 12 years ago, they would have teams of three people go out. One was a mechanic and would give a perfectly good card to an auto repair place and see if they pretended things were wrong with it that weren't wrong with it. Those kinds of stings, which you can do in other areas as well, were discontinued or greatly reduced during the last 12 years because they were after cases that involved more money. My view is even cases involving a small amount of money are very important in affecting all of our lives. Take my example; auto repair shops know the next person might be from the attorney general's office, they will treat everybody better. Those cases that involve small amounts of money I think are very important for all of our quality of life.

Ted Simons: How do you keep though, from having innocent mistakes penalized and prosecuted? I know some of the auto repair industry folks are saying, wait a second here, what if somebody innocent gets caught up in this, in the headlines and the whole nine yards. Are you prepared for that?

Tom Horne: You need to have the evidence that it's innocence, or you don't really have a case. I noticed a story in the newspaper that a spokesperson for their industry agreed with me that the ethical ones don't want to have to compete with unethical ones.

Ted Simons: You mentioned 1070 and President Obama's health care reform and some of the things that you would join up in terms of fighting. What about the efforts to challenge the 14th Amendment? That’s coming down the pike here. We know it’s going to happen. How do you feel about that?

Tom Horne: We don't know for sure that it's going to happen. Whether it passes the legislature or not, we don't know. If it passes the legislature I've said I can defend that in the courts. The phrase that we’re talking about is a phrase in the 14th amendment that says, people born in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction are citizens. That was passed in 1867, to give citizenship to the freed slaves. The senator who introduced that said it did not apply to children of diplomats or aliens because they are subject to a different jurisdiction; they are not subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States. You can think of a hypothetical a French tourist comes over, is here for a week, has a baby here, goes back to France. Are they subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States? Is that child a citizen? That senator said no. The first U.S. Supreme Court case to deal with this issue, the slaughterhouse cases that dealt with slaughterhouses in Louisiana, said the same thing. Children of aliens aren’t covered. Children of diplomats aren't covered, children of aliens are covered. The United States didn't try to control immigration until 1921. You wouldn't be asking the Supreme Court to do something new, you would be saying you were right the first time.

Ted Simons: You would also be asking the Supreme Court to take a look at this. We’ve had legal experts on the show and they are saying this particular court likes to look at history a lot. When they look at this particular history and this particular ruling and the decision, they see a court back in 1898 that looked very hard at this and went all the way back to who knows what kind of law, and made such a solid ruling that no one has bothered to even try since.

Tom Horne: If they are really interested in history, they may want to look at the 1823 decision.

Ted Simons: The idea is they did look at it during the time.

Tom Horne: I think you can argue they should take another look, particularly in view of new circumstances. There was no such thing as illegal immigrants at the time any of these decisions were made. There were no laws regulating immigration. There is a new element and there is precedent going back earlier than the one in 1898. I think it's perfectly legitimate for the court to look at.

>> Alright, very good. Thank you so much for joining us, we appreciate it.

Tom Horne: Great to be here, Ted.

Coerced Confessions

  |   Video
  • Gary Stuart, Senior Policy Advisor for ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, discusses his book about coerced confessions: “Innocent Until Interrogated: The True Story of the Buddhist Temple Massacre and the Tucson Four”.
  • Gary Stuart - Senior Policy Advisor for ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Category: Law

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Under the right set of circumstances could you be made to confess to a horrible crime you didn't commit? Author Gary Stuart thinks so, he explores the topic in his new book, "Innocent Until Interrogated." It the 1991 massacre at a phoenix area Buddhist temple and explores the false confessions of suspects in case. Joining me now to talk about his book is Gary Stuart, an experienced trial attorney and senior policy advisor for the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Good to have you here, thanks for joining us.

Gary Stuart: Thanks, thanks for having me.

Ted Simons: Was your original aim to write about the murders or to write about false confessions?

Gary Stuart: The original aim was to write about false confessions, and to put Americans into America's police stations to see what really happens some of the time. But then when I got into the story, the murder itself was quite captivating. And then the second seemingly unrelated murder was something that I knew almost nothing about.

Ted Simons: Let's get an overview of the Buddhist temple. A lot of folks probably aren’t familiar with this or have a sketchy idea. Talk to us about that.

Gary Stuart: Well, on August 10th, 1991, two people broke into the Buddhist temple on the west side of Phoenix. One of them had a .22 rifle and the other had a .20 gauge shotgun. Before they left -- and nobody's quite sure what happened in between, but when they left they shot nine people, six Buddhist monks, a 75-year-old grandmother who was a nun in the monastery, her grandson who was 17, and a young acolyte monk. They shot them in grisly, horrific ways you could never imagine. This was not a frenzied killing, it was a slow, methodical, purposeful killing of nine people who didn't resist their deaths. Each iof these nine people were put next to each other, shoulder to shoulder, kneeling on the floor, and forced to put their foreheads on the floor. The shooters walked around. They walked around and shot everybody in the back of the head at least once, some of them twice, a couple of them three times. The shotgun shooter walked in the opposite direction. We have a grisly purposeful murder that created a captivated America for a while, because they were all Buddhist monks from Thailand.

Ted Simons: Now, let's get to the interrogation; let’s get to the original suspects who confessed to the murders.

Gary Stuart: They did.

Ted Simons: Why did they do that?

Gary Stuart: The police induced them to confess. Those first four out of the five suspects gave patently false confessions that were not in the least bit supported by the forensic evidence at the crime scene, but nonetheless four of them confessed. It had to do with time, motivation, hopelessness, a feeling of powerlessness, and not understanding what their rights as citizens were. So they confessed over a two and a half-day period of time to a tag team of interrogators who came in, all in the same building, all at the same time, same circumstances for two and a half days. Four of the five confessed after that.

Ted Simons: Take us from there now. These people were confessing to something they didn't do. The people eventually convicted of the crime were still out there, especially one particular suspect.

Gary Stuart: October the 17th, some seven weeks after the first murders, as it turns out, a seemingly unrelated murder occurred at a campground at Lake Pleasant, north of Phoenix. Two people were involved in that crime, they used a .9 millimeter handgun and shot her in the back three times and killed her. That seemed to be an unrelated crime. The same unit of detectives at the Maricopa County sheriff's office investigated that crime. And they quickly honed in on a mental patient there at the crime scene, camp not far away, a separate camp. That person confessed falsely. That person did not commit that crime any more than the first four who confessed in the Buddhist case confessed to their crime.

Ted Simons: Why do people -- let's get to the eventual convictions of the two. After they found out, again, why do people do this?

Gary Stuart: There are lots of reasons but I'll only take your time up on the police-induced confessions. What happens in those situations -- and they are rare, but they happen often enough to make it an absolutely stunning and terrifying event in American criminal justice. People become so powerless during the interrogation phase, they feel so helpless that at some point they will do anything they need to do to get out of that room. They have to get out of that room. They don't think they can just walk away, even though they have been read Miranda rights and had waived their Miranda rights, they feel powerless. Lots of data, lots of reports, lots of lawsuits, lots of cases. The Innocence Project has a separate entity in every state now. Arizona has an innocence project headquartered out at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. But in all of those cases the overriding calculus is that the person finally somehow becomes totally immersed in the idea that they must have done it. In this particular case, the deputies created what they called a prop room. In there they put photographs of the victims, they put a crime scene diagram drawn to scale that shows where the bodies were at the time. They described the cars and the weapons and the route taken to get there to these -- what were then innocent suspects. But suspects that they believed had some connection because the first of the five suspects, that guy was a mental patient in the Tuscon Psychiatric Institute. He called the police from the psychiatric institute while he was a patient. He told them that he and four friends of his from Tuscon committed these crimes. Within a 24-hour period he not only confessed his own role in that, but took the police officers to the homes of his friends and showed them where they lived. They were brought up to Phoenix on a Wednesday night. Most of them were interrogated all night Wednesday, all day Thursday, half the night on Friday. Over a two and a half-day period of time, four of the five confessed because of what happened to them in the prop room.

Ted Simons: We have Seattle time. As far as the case is concerned, how did we get the right guys?

Gary Stuart: Well, the murder weapon was actually in the hands of the Police Department at the time. They didn't know it at the time, didn't know it was the murder weapon. They waited five weeks to examine the gun. They found out the gun could be easily and quickly traced to three young men on the west side. They arrested all three of those young men. They were all juveniles. Two were 16, one was 17. Two of the three confessed and admitted their roles in the crime. When they looked at the apartment of one of them, they found much of the loot, much of the evidence. And those two confessed. Ultimately what happened that is one of those confessions; Jonathan Andrew Duty was reversed on the grounds that the true confession was coerced. Now we have a case that not only involved multiple false confessions that were coerced, 16 we now have a true confession the court says was coerced, it's up on review.

Ted Simons: What kind of responses are you getting on this book, the idea of false confessions?

Gary Stuart: It is the most rewarding thing I could have imagined happening. This is my sixth book, very different because of the response to the book. Police officers, police departments, are very much in favor of the book and in favor of what I've revealed about the way this is happening. Police commanders have come to my lectures and presentations on this book. Most recently the police officer standards and training group has asked me to help them prepare a video to assist police officers or putative police officers in police academies into talking about how to avoid false confessions. Because none of these police officers wanted to extract false confessions. They weren't out there trying to convict people, they were trying to get people to talk, to confess, that they thought were guilty, when in fact they were not. It's a wonderful, good response.

Ted Simons: If I were to say a lot of folks would hear this and say, there's no way anyone could get me to confess to something this horrific --

Gary Stuart: Then they should read this book. I wrote this book to get Americans into the police station to show that all of us are not too smart, too strong, and too capable to be manipulated into something. If we invoke our rights, then maybe we can avoid it. But if you hang around for two and a half days like these guys did, you, too, might confess.

Ted Simons: Gary, it's an absolutely fascinating book, "Innocent Until Interrogated." Great work, congratulations on a good book and thank you for joining us tonight on "Horizon."

Gary Stuart: Thank you.

Medicaid Cuts

  |   Video
  • Democratic state lawmakers held a press conference to urge Republican legislative leaders to restore cuts made to Arizona's Medicaid program. Representative David Schapira talks about the issue.
  • David Schapira - State Representative
Category: Medical/Health

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to "Horizon," I'm Ted Simons. Democratic state lawmakers held a press conference this afternoon to urge Republican legislative leaders to restore cuts made to Arizona's Medicaid program. Democrats say the cuts literally put the lives of about 100 transplant patients in jeopardy. The lawmakers were joined by the head of a national transplant group as they demanded that the cuts made to the Arizona health care cost-containment system be restored. Here to talk about the issue is Democratic Representative David Schapira, who will be the senate Democratic leader in the next session. Good to see you here, thanks for joining us.

David Schapira: Thanks for having me, Ted.

Ted Simons: Why call this press conference? What's going on here?

David Schapira: We really need to put a face on this. We're pulling out all the stops. Since October 1st this issue has been in play, really since last March. It took effect October 1st. We're kind of shocked that the Governor has not done something about this. We thought, although the national media has done a great job of covering this issue, we wanted to bring patients together and talk to the press face to face, so that people understand these are people's lives that are at stake. Here are the people.

Ted Simons: What kinds of transplants are no longer covered? All transplants? Some transplants? What are we talking about here?

David Schapira: Basically some of the ACCCHS coverage for some of these transplants that are vitally needed who are needed for people who – essentially life and death situations, they are not being covered by ACCCHS. We're talking about heart transplants, bone marrow transplants, liver transplants, what they call solid organ transplants are now not being covered by the ACCCHS program. Which amounts to about 90 people had already been approved and now will not receive those life-saving transplants.

Ted Simons: Some say we don’t have the money for it, we have to set limits, we’ve set the limits.

David Schapira: I don't know if there are some. I know of one who is saying we don't have the money for this and that's the Governor. I have not heard public comments from members of the legislature on either side of the aisle saying there isn't money for this, other than they obviously voted to cut this back in March. Even the Goldwater Institute, one of the most fiscally conservative groups in the state, has come out and said there is money for this, there needs to be money for this because this is a vitally important program.

Ted Simons: There is a difference between there needs to be money for this and there is money for this. Where is the money for this?

David Schapira: First of all, the Governor has about $30 million in stimulus money that has yet to be publicly allocated. At this point, we're talking about a $1.4 million cost. If you take the average income of an American citizen, that equals about $7 of their income. I think any of us would be willing to spend $7 of our own money to save these people's lives. Let me just say, out of the $30 million she has in stimulus money to spend, there has to be money in there for this $1.4 million. Otherwise out of a budget that is billions of dollars we can find it.

Ted Simons: Her office says that money is spoken for. That's A. B, this is stimulus money designed to stimulate the economy. Some are saying helping out transplant patients, as noble as that cause might be, is not necessarily spending this money as to what it's designed to do.

David Schapira: There's nothing more stimulative than putting people back to work. Of the four transplant patients there today, all four of them, if they were healthy, would be back to work. People are stimulative to an economy. Let me just say, on the $30 million already being spent, it's a copout. We have done a public records request to get that information, and the Governor's office refuses to give that information. I don't believe a penny of that money has been spent. I want to know what it's been spent on, and so do the taxpayers of Arizona.

Ted Simons: Again, that is a noble cause, but there are other causes out there that need money, other things that have been cut. For example, if you cut police officers, how many lives would they save? How many lives would Fire Department personnel save if they were still on the job? How do you balance that out?

David Schapira: There's direct and indirect. We're talking about direct saving of lives. If we can give these people organ transplants that they were already promised -- one person had a friend already pass away that said they would give the liver to this person. That liver from that friend who died went to somebody else because that coverage disappeared. That is direct saving of lives. As someone who's advocated to protect education funding in the last couple of years, and someone who says education is my number one priority, this is now my number one priority. 98 peoples lives can be saved and we need to do it.

Ted Simons: What are you hearing from Republican lawmakers?

David Schapira: Really very little. They have kind of been running from this issue. No one really wants to be out there publicly on this issue. I'm kind of shocked that the Governor has even commented, given that she's unwilling to do anything about it. The only thing I’ve heard from republican lawmakers is John Kavanagh has admitted that was a mistake and he would like it to be addressed when we come back into session. I'll be dropping a bill to restore this funding when the session starts. I hope it happens before 34 days from now, because people are dying.

Ted Simons: Last question, very quickly, the Governor says there is no money for this. You say --

David Schapira: There is money for this, whether it's in the $30 million for stimulus money, or taxing country club memberships, tax exempt four-inch pipes, there are various other things out there. Even within the ACCCHS system, we had a doctor who has a lot of ACCCHS patients who came out and told us today they have identified things within the ACCCHS system that would make more sense to cut than this transplant coverage. If they are willing to take the hit, then so should we.

Ted Simons: David, thanks for joining us, we appreciate it.

David Schapira: No problem.