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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  March 6, 2016 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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>> i was a snowboarding instructor, a bouncer in a nightclub. >> laura logan: and now 44-year- old justin trudeau is a world leader. the new prime minister of canada and his wife will be guests of honor at a white house state dinner later this week. crisis will likely be on the menu. while we were with trudeau we found out he loves to box and is not afraid of a fight.
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your opponent. it's not. it's about how hard of a hit you can take and keep going. >> i am no expert but from what i know, what happened in the things that were torn up, it had to be like an atomic explosion. >> anderson cooper: he is talking about the explosion that killed 29 coal miners in a mine run by the man known as the king of coal, who just became the first c.e.o. of a major american company convicted of a workplace safety crime. >> this was a coal mine and a company that was, not an exaggeration to say run, as a criminal enterprise. >> this can be likened to a drug organization and the defendant was the kingpin. >> bill whitaker: all the condemned men in texas, about 250 of them, are held in one place: death row in livingston. the prison let us inside to speak with several condemned killers just weeks before their executions.
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days may surprise you. >> what do you think you will be thinking? >> if i am going to hell or heaven. if i am going to hell or heaven. >> i am steve kroft. >> i am lesley stahl. >> i am anderson cooper. >> i am bill whitaker. >> i am lara logan. >> i am scott pelley. those stories tonight on "60 minutes." >> cbs money watch pup date sponsored by lincoln financial. calling all chief life officers. >> glor: >> glor: good evening. an iranian billionaire was sentenced to death for embezzling from iran's state-run oil company. china said today it punished nearly 300,000 officials for corruption last year. and peyton manning is retiring as the highest-paid player in nfl history, earning nearly $250 million, not including endorsements.
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>> lara logan: when justin trudeau comes to washington later this week, canada's new
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first canadian leader in almost two decades to be welcomed by the white house with a state dinner. it's an important relationship - - the u.s. gets more oil from canada than any other country and it's one of this nation's biggest trading partners. but relations lately have been a little frosty, after years of conservative leadership in ottawa that was often at odds with the obama administration. that changed when 44 year old trudeau took office last fall. his father, prime minister pierre trudeau, famously made canada one of the most progressive countries in the world and many in canada wonder if justin trudeau would ever have made it to the country's top office without the most storied name in canadian politics. >> logan: you've had a somewhat unusual path to this office of prime minister. >> justin trudeau: well, i was-- i was a snowboard instructor, i was a bouncer in a nightclub-- i
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for many years. i worked as a teacher. you know, i make no apologies for a very varied-- set of life experiences. >> logan: but it's also opened you up to criticism. i mean, we've heard it, you've heard it. you know what people say, that you're too young, you're inexperienced, that, you don't have what it takes to do this job. >> justin trudeau: well, i-- the way i respond to it is by ignoring it. i mean, you-- you cannot let yourself be defined by the-- hopes that you will fulfill the darkest wishes of your opponents. ( cheers and applause ) >> logan: justin trudeau's sweeping victory was not expected. >> justin trudeau: this is what positive politics can do!! >> logan: a few weeks earlier, his liberal party was last in the polls. yet when the votes were counted, he'd done what no other leader in canada had ever done: >> justin trudeau: thank you, merci, merci beaucoup!
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its worst defeat in the last election to an historic win, snatching power from the conservatives after nearly a decade of rule. in that moment of victory, his youth, his looks and his family name captivated the world. >> he's so handsome! >> logan: is that daunting? >> justin trudeau: it is what it is. i look at what i have as a whole bunch of different and i choose not to be daunted by any of them. >> logan: undaunted, and still untested, with a majority government that gives him significant power he says he'll use to return the country to its liberal roots. he's already fulfilled one of the boldest promises of his campaign: welcoming 25,000 syrian refugees, some of them in person. >> justin trudeau: welcome to your new home. >> logan:...at a time when the u.s. has taken in a little over 2,000 refugees from syria.
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concerned than ever about security risks. >> justin trudeau: we were able to actually go and pick and choose and screen and bring over and that gives us a much greater and that gives us a much greater level of control and attention over who's actually going to come in. >> logan: but are you saying there's no risk? or do you acknowledge that there is still a risk? >> justin trudeau: every time a tourist or an immigrant or a refugee shows up in another country, there's a security risk. and i am more than comfortable that doing what we've done, accepting in 25,000 syrian refugees, does right by both the safety of canadians and by the values that define us as a nation. >> logan: would you be just as comfortable if there was a terrorist attack carried out by someone who came through as a refugee? >> justin trudeau: ultimately,
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towards each other is much more powerful as a way to diffuse know, layering on, you know, big walls and oppressive policies. >> logan: his commitment to openness is reminiscent of his father, pierre, who's regarded as one of the founders of modern canada. >> pierre trudeau: canada must be progressive, and canada must be a just society. >> logan: he enshrined into law a charter of rights and freedoms, similar to the u.s.'s bill of rights, that still defines what it means to be canadian today. and he made the country officially bilingual, giving french the same status as english. known as much for his towering intellect, as his glamour and charm, he dominated canadian politics for nearly two decades. >> reporter: and once again that's? >> pierre trudeau: justin.
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his son was born on christmas day in 1971, justin trudeau was thrust into his father's spotlight. every step, including some of his first, chronicled by a nation obsessed. >> tv announcer: with his eldest son justin was in tow. >> logan: his dad took him all over the world to meet popes and prime ministers and royalty, his little brothers sometimes at his side. >> reporter: what did you think of lady diana? >> young justin trudeau: oh she was very beautiful, and i'm glad that prince charles has picked her. >> logan: it was a unique childhood, but it defined him in canada as pierre trudeau's son, and he struggled to break free of that legacy. you still face the people who say, "this guy didn't earn it. you know, he's trading on his father's glorious past." >> justin trudeau: i'm proud to be his son. and i-- and i don't mind-- that people remember that. i think that's a good thing. but one of the things that comes with that is having lived all my life with people who would criticize me without knowing me
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father. or people who loved me without knowing me because they loved my father. >> logan: and both are false. >> justin trudeau: both are false. >> logan: in 2012, four years into his political career, he chose an unusual way to prove he was more than the spoiled son of canadian royalty. >> justin trudeau! >> logan: he turned an annual charity boxing match into a political opportunity, challenging patrick brazeau, a senator from the opposition who had a black belt in karate. canadians took one look at the two of them, and said trudeau had lost his mind. the first round went as expected. but he and his trainer ali nestor, had prepared for this battle.
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outlast him. >> sophie trudeau: i think i was like this. ( laughs ) looking through the fingers. it was not easy. >> logan: trudeau's wife sophie was in the crowd. >> sophie trudeau: you're thinking, why is he doing this again? and i don't like seeing this. but had told me so many times, "i got this. it's not gonna be easy. i got it. i can do it." >> logan: did you know the strategy going in? >> sophie trudeau: i did know that, but he-- he admitted that the punches were with such strength and force, he had been punched before but not with that strength. and-- there were some moments where-- you know, he was seeing stars. but he-- he stayed upright. >> logan: trudeau held firm to the plan and when brazeau tired, pounded him into submission. the referee had to step in before the end of the third
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>> did not even go to the end, not even close. >> justin trudeau: people think that boxing is all about how hard you can hit your opponent. it's not. boxing is about how hard a hit you can take and keep going. that ultimately is much more the measure of a person than someone who says, "oh, i've never been knocked down," or, "i've never been punched in the face." well, you know what? maybe you should have. you might learn a few things about yourself. >> logan: the prime minister still boxes at the same gym in montreal where he and ali trained for the fight. we stopped by to watch them work out. the kids here all know him and still call him by his first name. with his triumph in the ring, trudeau proved he was tougher than most people thought. >> logan: ..a strength that came in part from a life defined not just by privilege, but by tragedy. his mother, a media sensation nearly 30 years younger than her husband, struggled with mental
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when she left her husband and her boys, the painful separation played out in the tabloids. and when trudeau's younger brother michel was killed in an avalanche in 1998, the loss was very public. trudeau says his father was never the same. ( bells pealing ) >> logan: pierre trudeau died two years later. it was the largest state funeral in their history and more than 20 million canadians watched justin trudeau, then 28, deliver the eulogy for his father. >> justin trudeau: united in our grief, to say goodbye. >> logan: that was-- a moment that had lasting impact. why do you think that was? >> justin trudeau: i denied this for a long time. i think there was a sense of
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father he was by showing what love his sons were capable of giving him. >> logan: today, it's his family people come to see. his children growing up in the spotlight, unphased by cameras and temperatures well below zero at the popular winter carnival in quebec city, where we joined them in a ritual he and his father used to enjoy. much of his time as prime minister is spent here on parliament hill in ottawa, the country's capital. this is what they call the lifeblood of canada's democracy, where laws are made and trudeau responds in public to questions from the opposition. the hallways we walked with him are filled with his memories. his father lay in state here and his portrait hangs on the wall, a constant reminder of the man he has to follow. >> logan: how long have you been in politics? about eight years? >> justin trudeau: about eight years.
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to prime minister for-- ( laughs ) in about eight years? >> justin trudeau: things fell into place. there was an opportunity for fresh leadership. and i was-- i was successful. >> logan: under his leadership, canada is redefining its role in the world. he pulled the country's fighter jets out of the u.s.-led air war against isis, but more than doubled the number of advisors on the ground. your role in this war is bigger now than it was with just six planes in the sky. >> justin trudeau: there's a lot of countries that do very well at dropping bombs. there are other things that canada actually does better than most other countries. and one of them is training people on the ground. >> logan: but it's not disengagement. in fact, it's a -- >> justin trudeau: no. >> logan: --deeper engagement in the war. >> justin trudeau: indeed. >> logan: trudeau's father liked to say that hockey players and cold fronts were canada's main exports. but the u.s. relies on its northern neighbor for more than
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the state department says more than eight million americans depend on canada for their jobs, flows across the border every day. on the eve of his visit to the white house, we asked the prime minister about canadians' feelings toward the us and were surprised at his candor. >> logan: what do canadians not like about the u.s? >> justin trudeau: i had a conversation one time with an american parent of a friend of mine and she was a big supporter of a presidential candidate. and i pointed out that if that person was run-- if indeed this man was running to be-- as americans like to say, the "most powerful man in the world", i just felt like it might be nice if they paid a little more attention to the world. so having a little more of an awareness of what's going on in the rest of the world i think is-- is what many canadians
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because you can't be canadian without being aware of at least one other country, the united states, because it's so important to us. i think we sometimes like to think that, you know, americans will pay attention to us from time to time, too. >> justin trudeau on his complicated relationships with his legendary father and his glamorous, troubled mother. go to 60minutesovertime.com, sponsored by lyrica. these feet served my country, carried the weight of a family, and walked a daughter down the aisle. but i couldn't bear my diabetic nerve pain any longer. p so i talked to my doctor and he prescribed lyrica. nerve damage from diabetes causes diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is fda approved to treat this pain. from moderate to even severe diabetic nerve pain. r lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. p tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, p or unusual changes in mood or behavior.
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>> anderson cooper: in december, for the first time in u.s. history, a c.e.o. of a major company was convicted of a workplace safety crime. his name is don blankenship and he was once known as the "king of coal". the company he ran, massey energy, owned more than 40 mines in central appalachia, including the upper big branch mine, located in montcoal, west virginia, a state where coal is the dominant industry. in 2010, the upper big branch mining disaster in the u.s. in 40 years. the kind of accident that isn't supposed to happen anymore. it was just after three o'clock on april 5, when a massive explosion tore through miles of underground tunnels, killing 29 miners.
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blankenship of ignoring mine safety laws and fostering a corporate mentality that allowed the disaster to occur. >> stanley stewart: it was tremendous. i'm no expert, but just from what i know of what happened and the things that were torn up in there, it had to be like an atomic explosion. >> cooper: stanley stewart worked at the upper big branch mine for 15 years. he was 300 feet underground and had just started his shift when the explosion occurred. >> stewart: i felt a little breeze of air coming from inside. and i said "that's not right". well then it got harder, and we just took off running to the outside, and looked and you could see the whoosh just keep coming and coming. seemed like for somewhere between two and four minutes. and one of the younger guys said "hey, what happened?" and i said "buddy, the place blew up". >> cooper: the explosion
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the mine. these photos, taken by the mine safety and health administration, have never been seen before, and show the force of the blast. flames moving at more than 1,500 feet per second shot through more than 2.5 miles of underground tunnels. investigators believe the blast was caused by a spark that ignited methane gas that had built up due to inadequate ventilation. highly flammable coal dust that had been allowed to accumulate throughout the mine fueled the explosion. >> stewart: it was an early 1900's type of explosion. conditions should never have existed for that to take place. >> cooper: stewart was there when some of the 29 miners he'd worked side-by-side with for decades were brought to the surface. what kind of condition were they in? >> stewart: their faces were very black and it smelled like dynamite. i'll never forget that smell. >> cooper: the miners ranged in age from 20 to 61.
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a third were killed instantly. robert atkins, a former coal miner, and his wife shereen, lost their son jason, who was at the end of his shift and was heading toward the mine entrance, when he was overcome by toxic fumes. >> shereen atkins: the coal dust was so bad that it carried, it ignited all the way... ( crying ) ...and took our son's life who was almost out of the mines. >> cooper: gary quarles, a 3rd generation coal miner, lost his only child gary wayne, who left behind two children. >> gary quarles: they lived right beside of us. and at times, we thought that wasn't a good thing for that to be like that. and then after he... ( crying ) after he got killed, i said that was a good thing. >> cooper: gary says he and his son never talked about safety issues in the mines but gary knew all about massey because he
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>> gary: i knew how they operated. they didn't know nothing but to lie, cheat and outlaw. that's the way they done things. >> steve ruby: this was a coal mine and a company that was, it's not an exaggeration to say, run as a criminal enterprise. >> cooper: assistant u.s. attorney steve ruby led the prosecution against don blankenship along with u.s. attorney for west virginia, booth goodwin. >> booth goodwin: this could be likened to a drug organization and the defendant was the kingpin. >> cooper: the defendant, don blankenship, had for decades been one of west virginia's most influential and powerful figures. the c.e.o. of massey energy, the largest coal producer in appalachia, he employed 5,800 people and operated more than 40 mines. blankenship wouldn't do an interview with "60 minutes" but prosecutors say for years he condoned and tolerated safety violations for the sake of profit. >> ruby: right up until the time
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up, that was the way that the company ran, because everybody understood that was the way don blankenship wanted it run. >> cooper: that was the corporate mentality that he instilled in his company. >> booth: right. that was the culture that existed. >> cooper: profits over safety. >> booth: profits over safety. he set the tone. he set the corporate culture. >> cooper: despite receiving daily reports of the high number of safety violations, prosecutors argued blankenship did little to correct them because upper big branch was a big moneymaker for massey, earning more than $600,000 a day, and blankenship's pay was directly tied to every foot of coal mined. in his last three years at massey, blankenship's total compensation was more than $80 million. >> ruby: the men and women that we talked to who worked in this mine said that it was absolutely understood, it was expected that if you worked at that mine, you were going to break the law in order to produce as much coal as possible, as fast and as cheaply
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>> bobbie pauley: everything was produce, produce, produce. it didn't make any difference of the dangers. it didn't make any difference if you had to take shortcuts. it was all about put the coal on the belt. >> cooper: bobbie pauley was the only female miner at upper big branch. she wasn't working the day of the explosion but her fiance e boone payne was. he died in the blast. bobbie says she and boone worried every day the mine was an accident waiting to happen. everyone knew there were problems? everyone knew there were safety issues? >> pauley: absolutely. we all knew. >> cooper: was there enough air in the mine? >> pauley: our section never had air. >> cooper: ventilation is critical to mine safety because fresh air carries explosive coal dust and methane out of the area where miners work. without adequate ventilation and proper clean up, coal dust accumulates, and is not only highly flammable, it can cause black lung disease, which most of the miners killed in the explosion were later found to have.
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wouldn't have any ventilation at all. you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. >> cooper: really? you couldn't see your hand in front of your face? >> stewart: could not see your hand in front of your face. >> cooper: and that's because there's not air fresh air moving through? >> stewart: right, right. >> cooper: it's all dust? >> stewart: all dust. >> ruby: this is what's called a dust pump. >> cooper: as part of their case, prosecutors showed jurors the pumps miners were supposed to wear to measure their intake of coal dust, but at upper big branch, bobbie pauley says they were routinely instructed by their bosses to cheat on the test, by hanging the pumps in the fresh air. >> pauley: so your measurements when they were tested came in compliant with the law. >> cooper: federal mine inspectors visited upper big branch almost daily but illegal advance warning system in place. security guards at the entrance would relay messages to miners underground alerting them an inspector was coming. >> cooper: they would use code words? >> cooper: they would say it's bad weather? >> stewart: uh-huh. which means, we'll let you know
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some other way. >> cooper: so you would get word from up above that ok, an inspector's coming, they would use code words, and then you would basically clean up your area to make it look right? >> stewart: uh huh, yeah. >> cooper: upper big branch was a non-union mine. inspectors were the only people miners could turn to for help. but they say, word was out, they shouldn't be seen talking to inspectors. was there fear about speaking up? >> pauley: if you wanted a job you kept your mouth shut. me, like a lot of other miners, mining is about the only industry it's the biggest industry in the state of west virginia. you have children, you want them to have. you want to provide for them. i was a single mom, you know? >> cooper: you needed that job? >> pauley: i did the best i could. ( crying ) we did the best we could for our families. the guys did as well. >> ruby: some of the stories that they have to tell are
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being forced to work without enough fresh air, being forced to work in water up to their necks, miles underground. being forced to work in areas of the where the roof and the walls of the mine were falling in around them. >> cooper: prosecutors say blankenship was aware of all these safety problems because he was a micro-manager who had oversight over every aspect of massey mines, personally approving every hire, hourly raise, and capital expenditure. >> ruby: he wanted everybody in that company to know he was in charge. >> goodwin: do it don's way. i expect you to do exactly what i tell you to do, when i tell you to do it. >> cooper: that was his message to his managers? >> goodwin: absolutely, time and again. >> ruby: and that's on tape. >> don blankenship: this game is about money. >> cooper: that message was repeatedly emphasized by don blankenship in phone conversations with mine managers he secretly recorded on these machines he installed in his office. >> blankenship: i want you to take a deep breath and i want you to listen carefully.
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>> blanchard: yes, sir. >> blankenship: being a group president and/or someday being a v.p. at massey or president of massey requires that you be focused on dollars. >> cooper: he sent terse handwritten notes and memos to managers criticizing them for high costs and low coal production. "you have a kid to feed" he wrote, "do your job". "pitiful. i could kruschev you" and "in my opinion, children could run these mines better than you all do." the bosses were under pressure? >> stewart: they were under tremendous pressure. >> cooper: to keep mining, keep getting coal? >> stewart: keep mining, right. and they carried out his orders to the t. they treated the people under them as he treated them. i mean, he talked to them like they were dogs, they in turn talked to the superintendents or the section foremen, whatever, like they were dogs and kept that pressure applied to force these people to do his will. >> cooper: blankenship's
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trial and pointed to safety initiatives their client put in place at upper big branch. >> ruby: miner after miner after miner who worked at upper big branch took the stand and said that the so-called safety initiatives were a joke. that the safety program stops at the entrance to the mine. and once you're underground, your job is to run coal. >> cooper: after two weeks of deliberations, a federal jury came to a landmark decision, finding don blankenship guilty of conspiring to willfully violate mine safety laws. >> bill taylor: there was never enough evidence to justify convicting mr. blankenship. >> cooper: but they didn't find him guilty of conspiring to defraud the mine safety and health administration or of lying to investors and regulators about safety violations, felony counts which could have sent blankenship to prison for 30 years. under the law, jurors aren't allowed to know whether the counts they're considering are misdemeanors or felonies. and jurors told us, they were unaware the count they convicted
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which carries a maximum sentence of a year in prison. >> pam: i actually thought they were all felony charges. >> cooper: when you realized - when you heard ok, maybe he'll serve a year in prison, what was your gut? >> pam: i was surprised. >> cooper: you were surprised, pam? in what way? surprised it was so low? >> pam: yes. >> kevin: none of us actually knew. in terms of what the time was for the charges. i was- i was pretty pissed. >> cooper: family members of the dead miners, who attended the trial every day, were also disappointed. do you think was justice done in this verdict? >> sherry: no, no. there was no justice. >> cooper: judy peterson lost her brother, miner dean jones. >> judy peterson: as a result of the explosion, 29 people are gone. and that's a misdemeanor. that's a perversion of justice. >> ruby: do we think that a one- year sentence for what don blankenship has been convicted of is enough?
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we don't. but it's at least right now what the law gives us to work with. >> cooper: don blankenship and his attorneys issued a statement to "60 minutes" denying he was involved in any conspiracy. they claim the explosion was caused and fueled by a sudden and unexpected surge of natural gas, though three state and federal investigations found the deaths of the 29 miners were preventable, and the result of a failure of basic mine safety standards. don blankenship has said this was just an act of god. that these kinds of things happen in coal mining. >> stewart: well, you know, don blankenship, i'd like to take those words and stuff them right back down his throat because that was not an act of god. that was man-made 100%. these men you know, they weren't just 29 people that got killed. they were a lot of good men. >> cooper: and they deserved better than what they got?
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better than they got. >> cooper: don blankenship will be sentenced in april. prosecutors say they'll ask for the maximum one year prison sentence and a fine in the tens of millions of dollars. >> this sex sports update is brought to you by the lincoln motor company. i'm greg gumbel. austin, yale, northern iowa and unc-asheville are in the tournament. peyton manning has informed the denver broncos of his plans to retire after an 18-year playing career. a press conference is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. for more sports news and information, go to cbssports.com. we could do some thai. ooo... how 'bout sushi, eh? [weird dog moan/squeak] why not? [dog yawning/squeaking] no, we're not, we're not having barbecue... again. [quiet dog groan]
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(elephant sound) there's a big difference between making noise, (tapping sound) and making sense. (elephant sound) when it comes to social security, we need more than lip service. our next president keep social security strong. hey candidates. enough talk. give us a plan. >>bill whitaker: texas executes more prisoners than any other state. at a rate of more than one a month, texas kills almost as many inmates as all the other states combined. all the condemned men in texas,
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livingston. at some point, almost all of them will be told the exact day- the exact hour--of their demise. and that has an impact on their view of life- and death- and where they find themselves. once inmates get to death row, they are rarely seen again. but the prison let us inside to speak with several condemned killers, just weeks before their executions. what they're thinking in their final days may surprise you. lopez, who told us he welcomes his execution. >> daniel lopez: i just turned in my 14-day notice for my, my death papers. >> whitaker: you know that in 14 days you are going to die. >> lopez: yes. >> whitaker: what was it like to sign those papers? >> lopez: i felt really relieved to finally get this over with. >> whitaker: daniel lopez, unlike almost all the other inmates here on death row, did
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instead he asked to be executed as soon as possible. >> lopez: i got no dignity, you know what i'm saying? there's-there-there- it doesn't matter to me. you know, dignity does not matter to me. it's just, you know, i'm-- i'm worried about myself my family and the victim's family. and i want everybody to move on, that's it. >> whitaker: is embracing the death penalty for you, is that the easy way out? >> lopez: that, i see it as a yes and no. you know, yes to finally get this over with. no, because i don't want to die. nobody wants to die. >> whitaker: lopez was a crack dealer when he killed police lieutenant stuart alexander during a high speed chase seven years ago. it began as a traffic stop, when another officer pulled him over for driving through a stop sign. after a scuffle, lopez drove off. police put spike strips down on the road to puncture his tires. when lopez veered to the right to get around the spikes he hit lieutenant alexander. lopez said he didn't see the officer in time to avoid him.
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>> lopez: yes, i did. >> whitaker: you didn't stop? >> lopez: i didn't stop. >> whitaker: why not? >> lopez: why would i? >> whitaker: you hit somebody. >> lopez: okay, and i'm running from the police, right? i'm trying to get away, right? >> whitaker: but you're compounding it. you're making a bad situation worse. >> lopez: i was trying to escape for this little incident. and now that it got bigger, i was even more inclined to escape. >> whitaker: after police finally caught him, he was charged with intentionally driving into lieutenant alexander, a highly respected 20-year police veteran. >> whitaker: you say this was an accident? >> lopez: yes. >> whitaker: jury didn't think so. took them less than an hour to convict you. >> lopez: does that make them right? because the jury didn't think so, does that make that right? >> whitaker: you think that was an accident. >> lopez: no, no. i know it's an accident, there's no "thinking." i didn't mean to kill him. he didn't mean to kill himself. and so this was beyond our powers, right. and that's why i believe there's a greater power out there. >> whitaker: do you blame god for the accident? >> lopez: no no no no no. >> whitaker: so who's responsible?
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responsible for fleeing in the first place. ultimately, i feel responsible for it. but it was never intentional. and i wish i could have done things different. and i guess the only way for me to do that now is, you know to finally pass over to the next world and you know, be forgiven by jesus and god. >> whitaker: you have said that no amount of pain will be punishment enough for killing that fine officer. >> lopez: yes. not only did i end his life, i affected his whole family's life. and-- and-- and they become they become the victims too, right? and so it's just-- it's just there's just no amount of pain that i could suffer to make up for that. and i think the best way for it to end is for them to go ahead and execute me and the family gets to have their closure, and my family gets to, you know, finally get that relief this is finally over with. and we could all move on in life. >>perry williams: lock them up for the rest of their life. >> whitaker: but another livingston death row inmate, perry williams, said he wants to keep on living. williams killed a medical student, shot him in the head,
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only contained $40. williams was just weeks away from his execution date when he got a temporary stay. he told us the countdown had been terrifying. >> williams: it's one thing to know exactly the hour and the time that you're gonna die. it does a lot to you. shakes. it's like waking up in cold sweats, having dreams about being executed. >> whitaker: you actually had shakes and cold sweats. >> williams: yes sir. >> whitaker: why do you think you were reacting that way? >> williams: fear, fear of the unknown, fear of the death. >> whitaker: should texas have the death penalty? >> williams: i don't think they should. because i don't think nobody should have the power to take another person's life. >> whitaker: but yet you did. >> williams: yes, i understand that. and i'm sorry for the pain i caused. >> whitaker: who do you blame for your being on death row? >> williams: can't blame nobody else. i blame myself. >> whitaker: many death row inmates blame themselves, but not elvis wesbrook. so who do you blame for your
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>> elvis wesbrook: my wife. >> whitaker: he said his ex-wife invited him to a small party. but at the party, he felt threatened. and his ex-wife was having sex with another man. he grabbed his hunting rifle and killed all five people there. >> wesbrook: i'm a victim in this as well as everybody else. >> whitaker: it sounds like you don't quite get the gravity of your crime, when you call yourself a victim as well. you're still here. they are not. >> wesbrook: well, i'm not going to be here much longer now, am i? come march 9th, i won't be here. >> whitaker: is there any chance that date will be postponed? >> wesbrook: no. nothing else is going to be filed in my case. >> whitaker: do you want that time to pass slowly or quickly? >> wesbrook: i'll tell you what. if you got a pill, i'll take it right here in front of you, and we'll get it over with right now. >> whitaker: you would take a lethal pill? >> wesbrook: yes i would. >> whitaker: you don't think texas should have the death penalty?
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even though these people may execute me, they have to meet the man upstairs too. >> whitaker: you have a 28-year old daughter? >> wesbrook: yes. >> whitaker: will she be at your execution? >> wesbrook: no. >> whitaker: do you want her there? would you? >> wesbrook: no, not really. don't you think that's pretty horrifying to sit there and look at? to watch somebody die? >> whitaker: former warden, tom o'reilly, who we interviewed in front of the state's old electric chair, told us he presided over about 140 executions. what sort of impact do you think that's had on you? >> tom o'reilly: none. i don't feel bad about it or anything. if you commit those kinds of crimes, i can execute you and i don't have a problem at all. >> whitaker: he told us, by the end, the inmates are resigned to their fate and almost all of them agree to walk into the death chamber and lie down on their deathbed. do they ever resist being strapped down?
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it's a futile gesture. >> whitaker: it's going to happen. >> o'reilly: it's going to happen. >> whitaker: i read one description that it's like a horizontal crucifixion, the way he's laid out on the on the gurney. >> o'reilly: that's a good way to describe it. it's-- he lays on the gurney on his back with his arms out in either way. we put an i.v. in the left arm and the right arm. >> whitaker: sounds almost business-like. >> o'reilly: it is. it is. after he's tied down and everybody else is cleared the execution chamber, then i'll open the curtains. to where the witnesses can see him. >> michael graczyk: we watch through a glass. >> whitaker: associated press reporter michael graczyk has probably witnessed more executions than anyone in the country, more than 350. >> graczyk: you hear the description of it as being routine. when the state decides to take someone's life. i think it's significant. >> whitaker: unlike other states, texas says all
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and it has no shortage of lethal drugs. also, in texas condemned inmates can no longer choose their last meal. why is that? >> graczyk: people on the other side would say, well, you know, my loved one didn't get an opportunity to pick their last meal before they were killed. so why should he have that sort of opportunity? >> whitaker: inmates make a brief final statement. then, on the warden's signal, the deadly drugs begin flowing. >> graczyk: there's a reaction of breath, take a few deep breaths or a cough and they start snoring. the snores get progressively less and then there's no movement at all. >> whitaker: but it generally looks like they're just falling asleep? >> graczyk: yes. >> whitaker: most inmates, he said, die within 10 to 20 minutes. when we spoke to daniel lopez, it was just 14 days before his death. he told us something you don't often hear on death row about
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>> lopez: i'm kind of for it and against it. 6>> whitaker: i would think someone on death row would be opposed to the death penalty. >> lopez: you know, certain people will still go out there, rape people and kill people. and they enjoy doing that. and so, i'm for it for some people. but it's just the people that refuse to change. >> whitaker: are you a better person now for having been on death row? >> lopez: of course, of course. i've changed. i matured back here. i'm not no bible thumper or anything like that. but i have learned to accept jesus in my life. >> whitaker: so when our viewers see this, you will be dead. what would you want them to remember of you? >> lopez: i just trying to bring light to the situation back here. we're people. we're people. and we are people. we do have hearts. we do love. we do change. we do care. and they need to know that, you know? that's what i want them to understand that, you know, you're not executing the same person that you convicted ten, 20 years ago. you know, you're executing a changed man, most of us. >> o'reilly: change in prison is inevitable.
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act that they committed to be there in the first place. >> whitaker: six o'clock church bells mark the hour as daniel lopez' relatives walk to the death house to watch him die. behind these walls, strapped to a gurney, daniel lopez made his final statement. he told his relatives and the family of the victim that he was sorry. then he said, "i am ready." about a minute later, the lethal drugs began flow into his veins. after about 30 seconds, he lost consciousness. at the same time, in dueling demonstrations, off-duty police revved their motorcycles to show support for the fallen officer. death penalty opponents responded with a wailing siren. these were the last sounds lopez heard. lieutenant alexander's widow, vicky, watched lopez' execution. >> vicky alexander: our eyes met
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than i had ever felt. i think he was genuinely trying to connect with me and let me know it's ok. this has nothing to do with revenge. this has to do with the law. and when you break the law, there's punishment for what you do. he broke the ultimate law and he had to pay the ultimate price, as my husband did. >> whitaker: after lopez paid the ultimate price, his children came to his funeral. he had talked to us about them, two weeks before he died. >> lopez: the time to go is now instead of to get my kids more attached to me. i want the best for them. >> whitaker: and your death is what's best for them? >> lopez: no, my death's not best for them, it's for them moving on is what's best for them. this is my fate. and i accept it. i want to start over and this is my way of starting over. >> whitaker: what do you think you'll be thinking? >> lopez: if i'm going to go to hell or heaven. if i'm going to go to hell or
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>> whitaker: now an update on a story we called " hands off the wheel," about the rise of self- driving cars. one of the industry's top scientists, google's chris urmson, told us google's autonomous vehicles have come a long way in just seven years. >> chris urmson: we are getting comparable to human driving today. >> whitaker: very comparable. in february, a google self- driving car miscalculated and hit a municipal bus.
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but the car has been reprogrammed. i'm bill whitaker. we'll be back next week with
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the new rotisserie-style chicken sandwich from subway.
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