Democracy Now! April 23, 2003

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Democracy Now! April 23, 2003
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Lawyers in Louisiana are claiming DNA evidence proves another man on death row is innocent: We look at the case of 23-year-old Ryan Matthews and hear from his family and attorney; More than two million people gather in Karbala for the spring of Shiites in the world : A report from Al-Jazeera correspondent Yusef Allshouly in Karbala and Professor As ad AbuKhalil of California State University; Columbia University Professor Edward Said on history, colonialism and how the US is changing the map of the Middle East.

9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:30: This is a classic case of wrongful conviction. He was a juvenile, mentally retarded and put on death row for a crime he did not commit. These are the words of Clive Stafford Smith, one of the attorneys for Ryan Mathews a 23 year-old inmate on death row. Mathews was 17 when he was arrested for the 1997 murder of Bridge City grocer Tommy Vanhoose. Attorneys for Mathews say DNA tests have proved that he is innocent and that another inmate was the killer. During the trial experts testified that the DNA evidence did not match Mathews or the getaway driver, Travis Hayes, who is serving a life sentence for the crime. Mathews was largely convicted on the testimony of two eye witnesses whose testimony has been questioned. Smith said that Mathews fits the legal definition of mentally retarded and cannot be executed because of a decision handed down by the US Supreme Court last year. * Video: Clive Stafford Smith (from Press Conference 4/21/03) - Director, Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center * Exclusive Video: James Harrison, speaking from the Washington Correctional Institute in Louisiana, as he discusses how he overheard Rondell Love's jailhouse confession. Courtesy of Off Center Productions: * Billy Sothern, Lawyer for Ryan Mathews, Staff attorney with the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center (LCAC) * Pauline Matthews, Mother of Ryan Matthews * Peter Neufeld, a lawyer and one of the founders of the Innocence Project, a non-profit legal clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City 9:30-9:31 One Minute Music Break 9:31-9:51: More than two million Shi'ite Muslims are converging on the Iraqi holy city of Karbala, an Al-Jazeera correspondent told Democracy Now! today. Many of them are demanding that U.S. troops get out of the country. The numbers could surpass one million this week as the pilgrimage climaxes. According to a front-page report in today s Washington Post, Bush administration officials say they underestimated the organizational strength of the Shiites. They are concerned the Shi ites could establish a fundamentalist, Islamic, anti-American government in Iraq and are unprepared to prevent it. A meeting of generals and admirals at the Pentagon on Monday turned into a spontaneous teach-in on Iraq's Shi'ites and the U.S. strategy for containing Islamic fundamentalism in Iraq. One of the main strategic goals of the US since the Iranian revolution in 1979 has been to contain radical Shiite fundamentalism. In the 1980s, the US backed Saddam Hussein as a bulwark against Iran. But now the US has toppled Saddam s government. US officials told the Washington Post that as the administration plotted to overthrow the Iraqi government, too little attention was paid to the dynamics of religion and politics in the region. This comes as US officials told the New York Times that Iranian-trained agents have crossed into southern Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein and are working in the cities of Najaf, Karbala and Basra to promote friendly Shiite clerics and advance Iranian interests. Meanwhile, U.S. troops detained and later released a senior Shi'ite Muslim cleric, Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mudaressi, leader of an Iraqi exile group, after he crossed the border from Iran to attend the pilgrimage in Karbala. And in Baghdad, hundreds of Shiites yesterday staged demonstrations outside the Palestine Hotel for the second straight day. They demanded the release of Baghdad s leading Shiite cleric Sheikh Muhammad al-Fartusi, who they said had been arrested by US forces. One of al-Fartusi s students, who organized the protests, told the Wall Street Journal: Saddam was talking about freedom while killing us. The Aermcians are also talking about freedom, but they are beginning to behave like Saddam. Within hours, it was reported that the cleric had been released from custody, although US officials never confirmed he was initially detained. * Yousef Allshouly, Al-Jazeera correspondent reporting from Karbala * As ad AbuKhalil, Professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. Author of Bin Laden, Islam and America s New War on Terrorism 9:51-9:52 One Minute Music Break 9:52-9:58: Last week Columbia University professor Edward Said spoke at a 25th anniversary commemoration of his 1978 classic work Orientalism. Today we listen to a short excerpt of Said on colonialism and how the U.S. is changing the map of the Middle East. * Edward Said, addresses Columbia University on April 16,2003 Said is a University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of many works, including Culture and Imperialism and Orientalism. 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Emily Kunstler, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Fatima Mojadiddy, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo.

Date Recorded on: 
April 23, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
April 23, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., April 23, 2003
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