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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  October 3, 2011 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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meredith's memory alive. the kercher family says they just want justice for meredith and are leaving it in the hands of the jury. >> i can't think of any reason w why. in terms of the truth, the evidence is obviously there. the police and the judges and the jury all that, so we trust in them and we just have to wait until this evening to see if it's upheld. >> right now a judge and jury are deciding whether to uphold or overturn knox's murder conviction. speaking fluently in italian this morning, knox cried, i did not kill to the jury and pleaded with them to give her life back. [ speaking foreign language ] >> nbc's lester holt joins me live from perugia, italy. these are some very dramatic
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developments. what's happening right now and tell us more about what happened in that courtroom today. >> reporter: well, thomas, right now amanda knox and rafael sollecito are at a prison about 20 minutes from here. they are waiting for word of a jury/judge decision. it's a jury along with two judges that actually are conferring right now. we're told that a verdict would not come before 8:00 p.m., that's 2:00 eastern time. it could certainly happen at any time, not necessarily today, although we expect it could happen sometime this evening based on the timing of the last verdict in this case. but amanda knox, we're told from someone who visited her after this morning's court session, was apparently in the chapel at one point today singing and playing the guitar and said to be relaxed. in court just the opposite of relaxed. she was led in, she seemed weak on her feet. she was wearing a heavy overcoat and helped to her seat where she listened to her daughter first make his argument, then rafael
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sollecito, then she had her moment to speak to the court essentially getting the last word and pleading for her life back, wanting to return home and declaring her innocence. show broke down at several points. at one point the judge said, would you like to deliver your remarks seated? she said that's okay. i'm afraid, i'll be afraid seated or standing and she continued to make her remarks. right now she, like everyone else, waiting for a verdict from the judges and this jury. >> we do expect that later this afternoon, but what are the two scenarios basically whether or not it's overturned or it's upheld? if it is overturned, how quickly could she be free? >> reporter: well, it's important po ount out there's more than two scenarios here. keep in mind she was convicted of six counts, including slander of a man she originally said was the one who did it and he was cleared during the investigation. there's a slander charge against her. this 28-year sentence takes into account all those things. it is possible that they'd say, okay, you remain convicted on slander but you're not guilty of
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sexual battery or murder. then they would have the decision does she get time served and we send her home? does her sentence get reduced to eight years? there's many ways this could go. they could also split her and sollecito, keep her, send him home. it's not just an all or nothing proposition. >> lester holt in perugia, italy for us. thanks so much. i'm sure we'll be talking with you more as we expect an anticipated result coming later this afternoon. joining me now is rickie kleeman, former analyst and sex crimes prosecutor. as we're talking about this and hearing lester's report, there are these different scenarios. not just whether or not the conviction is overturned and she's set to her own freedom. as we talk about this, the options, they can acquit knox and sollecito, set them free, uphold the convictions. they can confirm, reduce, or increase their sentences or convict one and acquit the other. i think there's a lot in the hands of this jury and the two judges that lester has been talking about. but what would be the best
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evidence to sway them to acquit? >> well, certainly from the united states' point of view, and we have heard for four years all of the mounting evidence toward the innocence of amanda knox, i don't mean not guilty, but innocence, and, of course, it was the dna testing that seems to totally exonerate amanda knox, show that she not only did not do it, she wasn't even there at the time. and so those are the types of things that this jury has to take into consideration. much more so than dealing with her emotional plea today. remember, thomas, you have a jury in essence, or judges in essence. there are six people. there are four lay jurors and two professional jurors or judges. certainly the lay jurors will listen much more to the real judges. >> what does this mean if she were to lose the appeal? is there an alternative to move on, to go forward? >> yes, there is. you can go to the eye titalian
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supreme court but that appeal is very technical. it's on those little types of nuances. this appeal is completely different. this is a trial. this is looking at everything as we say in the law de novo, everything brand new, and so this is probably the best chance that amanda knox will ever have. on the other hand, the prosecution is saying not only do they want her to stay there, they want to increase her sentence. >> and as you were talking about the fact that there were so many errors when it came to this dna evidence -- >> it's unbelievable. >> -- that's now been shown to the court. how does the italian justice system save face in the likelihood that they may go ahead and find amanda knox not to be guilty? >> well, it's a very, very difficult walk, and in one way certainly lester hit upon something. they could certainly say that she's guilty of other things such as the slander. they could say that she isn't completely exonerated. that may help them save face.
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but, remember, we're looking at this, as i say, from the point of view of the media from the united states. there have been way too many people out there who have been saying, oh, of course, she's going to come home. i don't think it's quite so simple. >> not so cut and dried, and just to remind everybody, she has already served four years behind bars. >> correct. >> we will wait to see what happens as we anticipate to know more this afternoon. great to see you. >> thank you. after months of adamantly denying interest in running for president, nbc news has learned this morning that governor chris christie is seriously reconsidering jumping into the race. that decision could come within days. christie is actively exploring the next steps in launching a campaign. his family is reportedly on board with it and advisers are asking their contacts to hold off on endorsing any other candidate before wednesday. republican leaders offered the new jersey governor some advice on sunday. take a listen. >> chris is a unique successful governor with a positive outlook, and i think would fare
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very well against the president, but ultimately the call is his. i would be surprised at this point if he got in. >> if governor christie decides to run, i wish him luck. i think there is a bit of a caution that the swimming pool looks a lot better until you jump right in. the water may not be quite as warm as you think. >> joining me now is msnbc political analyst and bloomberg view columnist jonathan alter. jonathan, good morning. it's nice to see you. politico reports that it really is up to chris christie's family and they are say -- or we are learning they are probably on board with this decision. is that the biggest factor or do you think that there is going to be other factors about organizing a campaign and fund-raising this late in the game that really is the biggest hurd "snl." >> i think there are a lot of other factors than the family. obviously you can't run if your family is not supportive. chris christie's wife mary pat is apparently on board but that doesn't mean he's going to decide to go.
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in fact, i think the odds right now from what i'm hearing narrowly favor his not running. that could change in the next 24 to 48 hours. he is weighing a lot of factors right now. the decision by florida to move up the primary is not good news for him. it means he has less time, really only three months to go from a dead stop to a full campaign. remember, he has not been laying the groundwork for this all year. that just has not been going on. so if he had been, if it was just a matter of kind of pushing the button and, you know, all systems are go, i think he would be more likely to jump in, but he has an awful lot of organizing and fund-raising to do. the other republicans have indicated over the weekend that they are going to be all over him the minute he gets into the race. they're going to be accusing him of being too liberal to be the republican nominee on issues like immigration and gun
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control, and so, you know, senator mccain was right that everybody tells you jump in the pool, jump in the pool, but when you jump in, suddenly the press and the other candidates are much tougher on you than maybe you anticipated before hand. >> well, besides the opposition within his own party, democrats have already reportedly taken some of their pre-emptive launching strikes at him. the governors of maryland and massachusetts taking aim at his jobs record as governor of new jersey. how concerned are the democrats though about a christie run, especially if they are already coming out swinging like this and he hasn't even made a decision? >> very concerned. if he could get the republican nomination, he would be a very formidable nomination and he would be the favorite against president obama. getting from here to that nomination is not as easy as it might look to some people who are dissatisfied with the other republican candidates. first of all, the campaign trail is really tough. this is something you have to be in shape to do.
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so the issue with christie's weight is not about whether it hurts him politically. i don't think it will. it's about whether it makes it harder for him to wage the exhausting campaign that is necessary nowadays where you're on and off planes flying all over the country every day as well as having to try to run the state of new jersey. so there are a lot of factors here that will be weighing on his decision that go beyond his family. >> we all know it's a demanding job, that's for sure. let's switch gears and talk about rick perry and this hunting camp controversy. really perry catching a lot of heat over the hunting camp. "the washington post" reporting the "n" word head written at the entrance. he is saying the name was painted over some 30 years ago. however, herman cain jumped on this pretty fast.
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take a listen. >> there isn't a more vial, negative word than the "n" word, and for him to leave it there as long as he did before, i hear, that they finally painted over it is just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country. >> so, jonathan, how bad is this for perry to recover from? >> well, he can recover, but it's pretty bad. you know, now adays in american politics, there's just no room for this kind of thing. perry knows that. he's been back ppedalinbackpeda providing he can plan nations to "the washington post." clearly neither he nor his father took action immediately to get rid of that rock with that offensive name on it that was at the front gate of their hunting cabin. >> jonathan, thanks so much. a programming net for everybody, tonight on "hardball" chris matthews will take a closer look at president obama's 2012 strategy in a special edition of his msnbc show. he's going to examine whether obama should go left or go center. the great democratic debate is
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live tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. also want to pass this along, that south carolina has chosen the date for its gop primary. saturday, january 21st. now, this comes after florida's announcement on friday that its presidential primary would take place on january 31st. south carolina has always been the first southern state to hold its primaries. the concern is the candidates will have to choose between which of those two critical states to focus on and could force other states, including iowa, new hampshire, and nevada, to move their primaries up as well. so the primary calendar gets a little more chaotic. we'll continue to follow it for you right here on msnbc, the place for politics. police in new york arresting hundreds of protesters for blocking traffic on the brooklyn bridge. why those demonstrating against corporate greed and wall street say they're in it for the long haul now that it's not just the group here in new york either that's being focused on. the nationwide occupied wall
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welcome back. work has resumed at the washington monument to make repairs and look for cracks that were caused by august's earthquake. engineers suspended sunday's work due to a forecast of high winds. and that wind blew one worker around like a rag doll. that was on friday. the worker was uninjured in that incident, but, wow. so boston served as a way station for some injured airline passengers last night. officials at logan say at least 20 people on two separate flights were hurt due to extreme turbulence. among them nine people on a jetblue flight and 11 others oon a lufthansa flight bound for germany. fortunately, none of those injuries are considered serious. rallies against wall street getting more intense and going national in new york city this
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weekend. police arrested over 700 people during a massive traffic snarling march on the brooklyn bridge. activists staged similar protests in l.a., chicago using social media sites and many are comparing the rallies to the arab spring uprisings in the middle east. >> those movements, those revolutions led by young people, and i think they've been unemployed and wondering what to do, so i think that's another let's say inspiration for why they are sitting in now. >> we're nowhere on that same level and we're nowhere facing the same kind of opposition, but we can still be inspired by them and i think a lot of us are. >> harrison schultz is a protest organizer and joins me in studio. it's nice to see you this morning. do you think that's a fair compare and contrast to talk about the arab spring and what's happening now? >> we are definitely inspired by those occupations across seas and we are in solidarity with those operations, so, yes. it's a different situation here
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in the united states than it is in the middle east obviously, but, yes. >> when you talk about the support for what you're doing, certainly seems to have grown in attention. how have you been able to organize as we say you are one of the organizers. what are the tricks that you're doing to organize so people are hearing about your message? >> social media is huge. social media is actually more important for us than mainstream media. mainstream media is very one dimensional. there's no di log. we don't really need mainstream media to tell us what to think anymore. the fact we haven't been getting a lot of coverage from institutions such as this one isn't something i'm losing much sleep over to be honest with you. this industry is on its way out, it's obsolete anyway. >> well, that's nice. it's good to have you here, harrison, thanks. let's talk more about the fact that while we are still not obsolete because you're here -- >> yes, sir. >> and in that seat talking to me, that some people might be confused about what occupied wall street is. why don't you explain what it is and what you hope to gain.
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>> my impression of occupied wall street the way i describe it is it's a conversation. it's a conversation about progress, a conversation about change, and it's a conversation that leaders in politics and businesses and in media should be having but aren't. so we're doing it ourselves now. we're running into problems because we're having these conversations. >> when you talk about the conversations, what specifically is number one on the priority list? is it the outrage over the fact that there aren't jobs for the next generation of young americans that are coming up, college educated? is that the biggest concern? >> the problems that are affecting this country right now aren't simple, and so, therefore, into neither are the conversations. every individual protester at this movement, including myself, has their own individual reasons for being there, which is what makes it strong. so, yes, for some people that's a very significant reason. for others it's debt. for others it's the corporate personhood. for others it's the wars overseas. for others it's environmental considerations. there's a lot of problems, and there's a lot to talk about and there's a lot of work to do. >> when you talk about the commitment to what you're doing out there, how long do you
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intend to stay out there? >> as long as it takes. if it starts to snow, we'll build igloos. >> what's your number one priority? what drove you there? >> my number one priority right now, i drove -- i have always been on the left. i grew up on -- with the very leftist parents involved in the american indian movement, so this is a family tradition for me. as far as why i'm there right now, a lot of the political reasons and a lot of the reform, a lot of that has gone away. right now mostly just trying to support my comrades who are out there every day. that's what keeps me down there and that's what's going to keep more people down there. >> occupied wall street organizer harrison schultz. nice to see you. >> thank you for having me. >> absolutely. they've come a long way, baby, but i might be surprised women still face an uphill battle when it comes to certain rights. up next, a look at the worst states when it comes to women in this country. i hired someone to make my website... five months ago.
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so the fight over women's sexual and reproductive rights
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is the focus of a new report showing the toughest places in the country to exercise the right to choose. the report outlines some of the most controversial policies in play across the u.s. like restrictions on abortion clinics, parental consent laws, and mandatory ultrasounds. now, according to that report, indiana and missouri are the worst states for women with ohio, virginia, kansas, and south dakota gaining ground. i'm joined by sarah seltzer, associate editor fof r i think a lot of women's ears are going to perk up when they hear about these different states. based on your reporting, it seems the restrictiveness of the midwest is really what's raising the most red flags. >> yes. there are several states, many of them are in the midwest and the south, some are surprisingly not as red as you would think like virginia where these laws called targeted regulations of abortion providers which if enacted could close all 22 of
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the state's abortion clinics which would mean not even any first trimester abortions for women in virginia. >> what was the criteria you were going by? >> there was a collection of databased on the institute. the worst states were the ones that not only had few abortion providers but had these targeted regulation laws, the parental notification laws. there are some such as indiana which had every single kind of abortion restriction on the book. not only do young women have to get permission from their parents but there are no late-term abortions and there are very few clinics available so when you have all these different restrictions stacked together, what you have is a situation where roe is the law of the land in name only. >> when you did the research, what was the most eye-opening that you came away with?
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>> some of the most shocking ones were these patronizing measures on the books. for instance in south dakota what you have is it hasn't been enacted yet, but it was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor which requires women not only to wait 72 hours before obtaining an abortion, but also to visit an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center and talk to a counselor there. many of these are, as we know, christian run and have an agenda. this is particularly shocking and patronizing law. the fact it's now being fought in the courts. but the fact it made it last the legislative process is shocking. >> sarah, thank you so much. >> thank you for having me. a tough new immigration law in alabama has workers and students thinking about leaving altogether. could it end up hurting the state? bengay cold therapy, it's pro-cool technology releases armies of snowmen masseuse who cuddle up with your soreness and give out polar bear hugs.
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here is what's topping the news now. the man convicted of the 1988 lockerbie bombing gave reuters an exclusive interview saying the truth about what really happened would seen emerge. abdelbaset al megrahi said his role in this attack has been exaggerated and he'd like to be left alone as he only has a few months to live. he reportedly has as little as three months to live. that was in 2009 when scotland released him on compassionate grounds. some parents are refusing some vac keens and delaying others mainly because of safety concerns which health experts say are unfounded. just moments ago president obama met with members of his cabinet at the white house. it's a big week where he's going to be selling his jobs plan in texas. let's listen in. >> the secretaries and heads of agencies have been assigned to look at what we can do
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administratively to accelerate job growth over the next several months. and working with the jobs counsel we've set up, working with the private sector, we have been looking for a wide range of ideas of administrative actions we can take. a good example would be for example accelerating the payments to small businesses so that they've got better cash flow, trying to figure out ways that we can be working in the housing market without congressional action to provide some relief for homeowners. but ultimately we still have to have congressional action. it's been several weeks now since i set up the american jobs act, and as i have been saying on the road, i want it back. i'm ready to sign it. and so my expectation is that now that we're in the month of october, that we will schedule a
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vote before the end of this month. i'll be talking to senator reid, mcconnell, as well as speaker boehner and nancy pelosi and insisting that we have a vote on this bill. we've been hearing from republicans that there's some proposals that they're interested in, that is not surprising since the contents of the american jobs act includes proposals that in the past have been supported by republicans and democrats alike, and if there are aspects of the bail they don't like, they should tell us what it is they're not willing to go for. they should tell us what it is that they're prepared to see move forward. i have to tell you that i can't imagine any american that i have been talking to that's not interested in seeing construction workers back on the job of rebuilding roads and bridges, schools, airports, putting teachers back in the classroom to make sure our kids are getting the very best education, making sure our vets
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get help when they come home and that small businesses have further incentive to hire them. so i'm very much looking forward to seeing congress debate this bill, pass it, get it to my desk so we can start putting hundreds of thousands and millions of americans back to work. and i will be continuing to put as much pressure as i can bring to bear on my administration and our agencies to do everything we can without congress' help, but ultimately they've got to do the right thing for the american people. all right? thank you very much, everybody. >> thank you. >> that was president obama moments ago after meeting with members of his cabinet. again, it's going to be a big week for the president as he is traveling on to texas tomorrow to talk in rick perry's home state about what he wants to see as he comes forth with a jobs plan. he's talking about the american jobs act. he says it has bipartisan proposals but he would like congress to get to work and get that to his deck, a bill to his
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desk as quickly as possible for his signature. well, fallout over alabama's controversial new immigration law is driving hispanic children out of the classroom by the hundreds. that law requires schools to verify the immigration status of school kids. now, school officials are telling parents they won't be hassled by immigration agents, but more than 200 hispanic students still skipped class in the states's capital on thursday. that's first day this law took effect. i'm joined by maria teresa kumar and jose diaz bullark. children whose parents who are in this country illegally are being pulled from school out of fear. why is this climate of fear so damaging to the cultural fabric of the state itself? >> well, i think, first of all, we have to clarify some of these students actually are -- some could be possibly documented themselves, they could have been born in this country but their parents may have mixed status. at the same time anytime you
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start asking public school officials to ask for documentation, you're taking -- asking them to not look at what's the most important thing which is, one, to make sure our kids are getting educated, but also you're starting to actually -- it actually starts smelling almost of world war ii when we started actually asking people who their papers were, what their documentation is, and we're sending it out to a centralized bank in the department of state and no one knows exactly what's happening. and that fear is very real. the other thing that folks don't realize is by pulling out over 200 kids out of the school system, alabama's public school system suffers. you're talking about close to $2 million that the federal government may pull from these school districts because every single seat needs to be filled in order for the public school to receive their benefits. >> jose, maria makes a great point. this is a double edged sword because funding for alabama schools is dependent on the number of students it has. a mass exodus would dry up funds which would hurt all students and one official estimates the montgomery school district where 231 students were absent on
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thursday is going to lose roughly $2 million. >> thomas, you can find statistics to back up your point of view regardless of what point of view you have. i think what we should be focusing on is exactly what are the effects and the after effects of this law for the people of alabama. let me give you an example. tonight on telemundo nightly news i will a story from a correspondent who just returned from alabama. about an hour away from birmingham there are tomato fields by u.s. owned companies, they maybe hire 20, 30 people and they can't get those tomatoes picked because of the fear actor, and that fear factor that kids are not going to school because maybe they fear that their parents are undocumented and they may be used to get that information out of them is the same fear that is driving tomatoes to sit rotting right now as we speak in the fields of alabama because people fear going to the fields and working. it's going to have an economic
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impact regardless of what statistics you want to use about the school system to bolster your point of view. fear is not necessarily the best way we as americans should deal with immigration reform issues. >> so you think that the economic fallout is the way to deal with it? >> look, i think it's a fact. it's a fact of the matter that the fields right now in alabama are going unpicked from tomatoes that are rotting right now in alabama. don't take my word for it. go out and see it yourselves. the fact of the matter is that that is happening. so it all comes back to the fact that the federal government is completely unable to deal with something that the federal government has a responsibility to deal with, which is immigration reform. are the borders sealed to your satisfaction? if not, seal them. but then deal with the 11 million undocumented people that are here. it's a fate ak come pli. let's not deal with the statistical issues on school boards as much as the direct impact it's having on the
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undocumented but especially on the documented, on the american people that are going to have to see the aftereffects of what's happening in alabama. >> jose, i think part of it is it's important to know that when you do talk about statistics, again, the federal government all of a sudden removing $2 million from alabama schools, one of the poorest school districts in the country, i think that's a problem. and then we have to look at what is the patchwork? georgia tried to pass the exact same type of legislation. they lost close to $1 billion in agriculture funding. now, people can say, yes, the tomatoes they're rotting in alabama, but those are repercussions to every single american when they want to make a salad in the sex six months. >> you agree all of this is because of the eninactivity in washington on washington reform. >> it's completely stale and the obama administration and congress have to roll up their sleeves and take a shot at it because what we're creating right now is we're dividing americans. you don't mow what someone looks like by the color of their skin or what they're wearing and that's dangerous legislation. alabama right now is going back to where they were in the 1960s
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and that reversing history is not where we want to be as a country. we want to make sure we're promoting good change. >> msnbc contributor and executive director maria teresa kumar and jose can be caught week nights on telemundo's signature newscast. much more on the breaking news we have been following on msnbc. the amanda knox verdict, awaiting a verdict on whether she's going to be set free or spend the next 24 years to life in prison for murdering her roommate. nbc's savannah guthrie will join me live to break down the latest on her appeal which is now in the hands of the jury. ♪ ♪ ♪ when your chain of supply ♪ goes from here to shanghai, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ chips from here, boards from there ♪ ♪ track it all through the air, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ clearing customs like that ♪ hurry up no time flat that's logistics. ♪
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[ grandpa ] the reason we fall into bed at night sometimes. [ grandma ] yes. that's right. [ male announcer ] humana. welcome back, everybody. week two of the trial of michael jackson's doctor, conrad murray s about to get under way. on friday we heard from two paramedics, one who said murray seemed evasive and at first didn't tell him if jackson had
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been given any drugs, but the defense painted a different picture of that. take a listen. >> i asked was there anything else, is there anything else? no, that's it. just a little bit of lorazepam. >> it's fair to say dr. murray was busy and he was multitasking at that time? >> yes. >> prosecutors will continue to look at the er physician who gave those paramedics the go-ahead to declare that the singer was dead. now back to our breaking news. we are awaiting that verdict in the ahmmanda knox murder appeal trial. she made an emotional plea for her freedom this morning. right now a judge and jury deliberating whether to uphold that conviction. we may hear a verdict in just a few hours. meantime, the family of murder victim meredith kercher says they hope the jury won't base their decision on the media hype surrounding the trial. >> we hope they decide today based purely on the information available to them and they don't
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look into, you know, as we were just discussing, the media hype. that justice will hopefully be found whichever way that may be, we'll have to deal with that. >> joining me now is msnbc's savannah guthrie. savannah, as we watch that very emotional interview for the family, you can't help but your heart going out to the kercher family. they lost their daughter, a sister, and now have been going through this pain of four years. does it look though from the words that they're expressing that they might believe knox should be found not guilty? >> i don't think so. i mean, the kercher family all along has believed in the prosecution's theory that knox and sollecito and rudy, who is serving a term right now for this murder, were in it together and it wasn't one person who acted alone. so i think even though they're saying they want justice to be done and that they'll live with the verdict, wharf it is, just as they lived with it with the first trial, i think it's pretty clear they believe amanda knox is guilty. >> and in saying that then the prosecutor is asking for this harsher sentence on knox, and
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they could come back with a lot of people thinking that amanda knox could walk free. actually she could get something added to the sentence she's convicted. >> there's a lot of differences between our system and the italian legal system for good and for bad. one of the things that would not happen here is the prosecutor is asking for more time. the prosecutors can appeal, too. this is a situation where both sides have appealed, not only amanda knox and rafael sollecito, but also the prosecutor. there's a variety of different verdicts we could see today. yes, the jury could walk them and theyacquitted or they could have their sentence increased owe are slaes a slander charge amanda knox has been convicted of because she for a moment allegedly fingered a totally different guy, a bar owner. he's now claiming she slandered him. she could actually get time for that conviction and remain in jail. so there's an array of different outcomes here. >> isn't it amazing though, and i think a lot of americans would look at this as tikind of a tit
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for tat situation where the knox team appealed and now the prosecutors will appeal since it was discovered there were so many problems with the dna evidence. >> you can find fault with the italian legal system, but here is one feature she wouldn't have in the u.s., a redo of the file. it's essentially another trial. you have live witnesses. you have testimony. in our system the appeal is only on points of law. so they really do -- the defendants in an italian legal system get another bite at the apple but the flip side, as you mentioned, is the prosecutors do too. >> we expect to have a decision coming down, so we'll wait for that. savannah guthrie, always nice to see you. thanks so much. a same-sex couple in new york denied a marriage license by one town clerk who objects based on her religious views. the couple joins me to discuss how they are fighting back. that's coming up next. up! ♪
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welcome back, everybody. at a weekend dinner for the human rights campaign, president obama praised the end of don't ask, don't tell anticipated he also blasted his republican rivals for keeping quiet when a gay soldier was booed at recent gop debate. >> we don't believe in standing silent when that happens. we don't believe in them being silent since. you want to be commander in chief? you can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the united states, even when it's not politically convenient. >> the president is being hit with criticism from this morning. liz chain nirk the former vice president's daughter, saying that the president's overall position on gay rightsment is clear and that he is trying to have things both ways. meantime, a town clerk in upstate new york has suddenly found herself at the center of an emerging test case over the state's new same-sex marriage law that took effect in july.
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rose marie belforte, a self-described bible-toting christian says she believes homosexuality is a sip so she doesn't want to sign same-sex marriage licenses, instead, she is having a deputy issue all licenses and by appointment only. a lesbian company who ups a farm in the up to says the law requires all clerks in new york to provide marriage licenses to same sex couples that couple, deidra and katie join us live from miami. i must point out their main home is in miami they own a farm in upstate new york t is nice tough both on with me this morning, ladies. katie, i want to start with you. you are a filmmaker. deidra is an attorney. explain how this all started when you decided and got the news in july that you could get married where you up a home in new york. what was it like, the experience of going in for that license? >> well, it was very sad and sort of shocking. we walked into a government office and was told by this nice
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lady that we had to come back and make an appointment. so, we left and just felt like we were second-class citizens. >> deidra, you decided not to go with the request of making that appointment with her deputy. why did you decide to do that? >> well, first of all, i thought that it was really are unfair that she would even ask us to come back to get a license. we didn't learn until later that she was not issuing any licenses to any individuals, whether same sex or homosexual couples. once we learned that that was her position, then we thought it was really a matter of principle and also one where the clerk should be performing her job duties as required by the law and by the oath that she has taken. and she is not really permitted to pick and choose which duties she would like to perform. >> the up to clerk says that new york law protects her right to hold both her job and to
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religious beliefs, however, as you point out, governor cuomo recently gave a statement that when you enforce the laws of the state, as you are saying, you don't get to pick and choose which one of those you get enforce. i know you have filed a lawsuit. what do you hope to gape by going through the legal process now? >> well, i think that we just want to be able to go back into that clerk's office on any day that it's open and get a license. just like any other american. >> deidra, did you find out whether or not if she gives licenses to adulterers, interfaith couples, multiraced couples or even those wearing mixed fibers? >> we have no idea, actually, but i do know we have friends who are divorced and they did go and get a license from had her several years ago. we didn't learn that until after the fact. so i'm not sure what ms. belforte's position is on some of these other issues are but i think that's the concern, is one
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that how far does this go and we, as american citizens, should follow the law and she should, as she has been sworn to do this duty, that she should follow t >> katie, as you go through this process, do you think belforte maybe hiding behind her faith to basically skirt this law? >> i don't know. i mean, that's hard to say. i guess i would think so and i just think that if she is going to be in this office, a government office, she has to do her job. and if she doesn't want to do it resign and go work in the private sector. >> deidra and katie, congratulations on your engagement. we will follow your story and hopefully you will get a marriage license. good luck to both of you. >> thanks a lot, thomas. >> thank you for having us. >> that is going to do it for me today, i will see you back here at 11 a.m. eastern time tomorrow, every weekday for that matter, always follow me on twit twitter @thomasaroberts.
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also testimony right now in the conrad murray trial. what to expect from today's testimony and some controversy over a hunting spot rick perry has frequented over the years, why reverend al sharpton says perry now needs to drop out of the race if he does not explain himself. reverend al joins me up next, all that, lots more, top of the hour, right here on msnbc. a lopd medicare prescription drug plan. ♪ with the lowest national plan premium... ♪ ...and copays as low as one dollar... ♪ ...saving on medicare prescriptions is easy. ♪ so you're free to focus on the things that really matter. call humana at 1-800-808-4003. or go to for details.
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good monday, i'm craig mel slip t is a decision day for -- craig melvin. it is decision day for amanda knox. earlier today, she threw herself on the courtesy of the court. because i am innocent, she said, i don't want to be punished. before an appeals court, amanda knox making her heart felt plea
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in fluent italian. before the statement, knox seemed composed. just after she started, she faultered and had to start again. i haven't killed, she said but in december 2009, knox and her then-boyfriend, raffaele sollecito, were convicted of killing knox's roommate, meredith kercher. sollecito made his up statement this morning, offering the jury a bracelet he has been wearing inscribed with the words "free amanda and raffaele." amap deals family memberses arrived upbeat. >> i'm hopeful.nda's family mem arrived upbeat. >> i'm hopeful.