tv PBS News Hour PBS November 19, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight... >> we the jury find kyle rittenhouse not guilty. >> woodruff: ...kyle rittenhouse is cleared on all charges, in a case that sparked national debate over racial injustice, guns and self-defense. then, the biden agenda-- the house of representatives passes the president's priority build back better bill, sending it on to the senate and likely changes. plus, searching for justice-- why those wrongfully convicted may face even greater struggles than others when adjusting to their post-prison life. >> sometimes i'm overwhelmed. anxiety. nightmares began to surface,
horrible nightmares. >> woodruff: and it's friday... jonathan capehart and gary abernathy preview the upcoming senate battle over the president's signature social spending bill and the censure of a house republican. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
>> the john s. and james l. knight foundation. fostering informed and engaged communities. more at kf.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
>> woodruff: kyle rittenhouse, the teenager on trial for killing two people and shooting and wounding a third in kenosha, wisconsin, was acquitted by a jury today on all counts. the now 18-year-old faced five charges, including intentional homicide, reckless endangerment of public safety and use of a weapon. the case was watched around the nation, and the jury delivered its verdict early this afternoon. >> we the jury find the defendant kyle h, kyle h rittenhouse not guilty. >> members of jury are these your unanimous verdicts, is there anyone who does not agree with the verdict as read? >> woodruff: rittenhouse shot three people, two of them, joseph rosenbaum and anthony huber, fatally, after protests and riots broke out in kenosha in august 2020.
that civil unrest had been triggered by the police shooting of jacob blake, a black resident, three days before. rittenhouse, then 17, drove from his home in illinois, to kenosha and walked the streets with a semi-automatic rifle. he claimed he was attacked and shot in self-defense. the case became a flashpoint in the debate over whether rittenhouse was a vigilante or defending himself. rittenhouse's attorney, mark richards, spoke after the verdict >> kyle is not here, he's on his way home, he wants to get on with his life, he has a huge sense of relief for what the jury did to him today. the story that came out at the beginning was not the true story, and that was something that we had to overcome in court, and we think we did that.
>> woodruff: victim anthony huber's passport issued a statement this afternoon. today's verdict means there is no accountability for the person who murdered our son. they wrote, it sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street. president biden said in a statement that he joined other americans who were angry and concerned over the verdict but said it was important to abide by the jury's decision peacefully. joining me now is david shaffer, a correspondent for npr, and wisconsin attorney julius kim, he's a former assistant district attorney in milwaukee county. welcome to both of you. david shaffer, i'm going to start with you. i know you were at the courthouse when this verdict came down. tell us what you saw of reaction to it. >> well, it's a sharply divided reaction. you have people on both sideof the political aisle and both
sides of the spectrum in terms of what they thought of kyle rittenhouse and whether or not he was guilty. there were some people who celebrated immediately. some people drove by the courthouse honking horns, and there was a significant amount of people who were very upset and very angry when they heard the verdict. and those are the folks who are speaking out and probably demonstrating. i think there was a protest going on as we speak. so we're going to see a little bit more shouting and prosting over -- over this violence here. >> woodruff: and julius kim, you are, as we said, a former prosecutor. was this a hard case for the d.a., for the prosecution to make? >> absolutely. i think that we could all tell that it was going to be a difficult case as the trial progressed because we got to see some of the evidence ourselves, and when we put our eyes to the evidence and saw the videos in this case, we realized, whoa,
there might be more to this situation than we were first aware of. the videos in particular show joseph rosenbaum pursuing kyle rittenhouse right before the first shooting. secondly, right before the anthony huber shooting, the videos showed kyle rittenhouse, for all intents and purposes, being attacked not only by anthony huber but by other people, and that he was in a vulnerable position when gage walked up to him with a handgun in his hand. we all could tell this was going to be a difficult case and the state's witnesses weren't going to be -- >> woodruff: and gage was the third individual shot and injured, he recovered and testified at the trial. david schafer, coming back to you. there was a comment during the tile about the judge and what seemed to be his pointed rebukes of the prosecutor, of the district attorney in the case. what did you see about that and
what sort of reaction was that getting during the trial? >> well, there is a lot of people who thought that there was a lot of animosity -- maybe not animosity, that's probably the ong word, but there was a lot of tension in that courtroom between the judge and the prosecution. the judge clearly felt that the prosecutor went over the line in his questioning of kyle rittenhouse, and the folks outsidof the courthouse believe that the judge was a little slanted in favor of rittenhouse and the defense. i don't know if you look at the record that that's really true. you know, my knowledge of the courts here in wisconsin and really across the country is judges really do try to work hard to be fair to both sides, but he clearly felt that that line of questioning was a little out of bounds and made his displeasure known. it would have been interesting to see, had there been a
conviction on any of the counts, if the judge would have declared a mistrial as the defense had motion for. >> woodruff: and julius kim, i don't know whether you have experience with the judge or not but what was your take on the judge's handling of this case and what were you expectations as you listened to the arguments? >> yeah, a lot of -- much to do has been made about the judge's rulings and some of the things he did in court. he played "jeopardy," he told anecdotes and little stories. but what i was focusing more on were his legal rulings, and the judge has been around for a long time, the oldest serve judge in the state of wisconsin and he does things his way, it's his prerogative, it's his courtroom and he's entitled to a certain personality. but in terms of the rulings, i don't think anyone can debate and argue that he is a thoughtful judge. that may be part of the critique is he tends to think aloud both
sometimes. but he gives both sides a chance to argue their cases. not everyone may have agreed with his rulings but, in the ent -- end, i thought they were generally fair and there was logic behind it. not many realize the judge has the power tomake the decisions during the course of the trial and he exercised them. >> woodruff: julius kim, staying with you, we are now hearing comments including the parents of one to have the victims whether this sets a precedent officially or unofficially to the rest of the country that it's okay to bring a gun to a protest. from a legal standpoint, is there precedent here in some way? >> i don't think there's any specific precedent as relates to this case moving forward, but people tend to see verdicts like this as messages, and there are a lot of people, i imagine, that now feel emboldened to march
right in to a middle of a protest or a riot or whatever you want to call it with an ar-15 because they can. but i think that's a dangerous thought process because this was a very very unique case in that we had very specific facts in this case, we had video evidence showing exactly what precipitated the shootings in this case, and that might not happen in every situation. and, so, if people get the notion they can show up to a protest with a long gun and the law will somehow protect them as a matter of cows, i think that would be mistake. >> woodruff: david schafer, back to you. you said earlier there's an expectation or question about whether there will be protests today, tonight, into the evening. what do you know about that and what are the expectations there in kenosha? >> well, i do think this verdict, to some of the folks who have been involved in the protest movement in cosh atold
me they were concerned. yeah, there might be people out there with guns who might feel emboldened. some people told me they no longer feel safe in their own community. there are, i think they do feel that they need to make their voices heard. their voices need to be heard on a broader set of issues, in terms of racial justice, in terms of equality of opportunity in a community like this. southeast wisconsin is some of the widest racial disparities in the entire country, and they want to make their voices heard. they do want to get out there and protest, but there's a little bit of angst over that, and what could possibly happen if violence does rear its ugly head here again? >> woodruff: well, we certainly hope that's not the case, but i know that you and other reporters will be following this and we certainly will be following what happens in the kenosha area going
forward. david schafer, thank you very much. and julius kim, we appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you, judy. . >> woodruff: in the day's other news, lawmakers in the house of representatives narrowly passed president biden's massive "build back better" legislation this morning, after republican leader kevin mccarthy stalled the vote for more than eight hours overnight. the sweeping social safety net and climate bill now goes to the senate, where it will face further scrutiny. we'll have much more on this after the news summary. >> woodruff: the u.s. is one step closer tonight to expanding pfizer and moderna covid-19 booster shots to all adults. c.d.c. advisers approved their use this afternoon, hours after the f.d.a. endorsed the added dose. we'll take a closer look at boosters later in the program. meanwhile overseas, austria's leaders announced plans for a
nationwide lockdown to help slow a surge in covid infections. it will go into effect on monday. the country will also mandate covid vaccinations next year. >> ( translated ): we have decided to make vaccinations compulsory across the country. this will begin february 1st. substantially increasing vaccination rates is our only way out of this vicious circle of virus waves and lockdown discussions once and for all. we don't want a fifth wave, we don't want a sixth and seventh wave. >> woodruff: this will be the continent's first nationwide vaccination mandate. today's decision comes as parts of europe are seeing record numbers of daily infections. jury deliberations began today in virginia in the civil trial of white nationalists at the 2017 "unite the right" rally in charlottesville. they face charges of conspiracy to commit racially motivated violence, after marching through the streets carrying torches and
yelling racist and anti-semitic rhetoric. at least one counter-protester died and dozens more were injured. in india, prime minister narendra modi has agreed to repeal controversial farm laws, after thousands of farmers protested against them over the past year. they had argued the legislation would hurt their incomes. the repeal process will begin in december when india's parliament reconvenes. farmers took to the streets to celebrate the surprise announcement. many were cautiously optimistic. >> ( translated ): we welcome prime minister modi's announcement. but the farmers will not leave this protest site until the laws are repealed in the parliament. >> woodruff: farmers make up one of india's most influential voting blocs. the reversal comes as modi's party faces state elections early next year. the u.n. is now calling on china to provide proof of tennis star peng schuai's whereabouts. she has been missing ever since
making sexual assault allegations against a former top chinese official earlier this month. beijing's foreign ministry said today they were, "not aware" of her disappearance. the biden administration voiced concerns today about louis dejoy's leadership at the u.s. postal service. the postmaster general is a trump-era appointee. he came under fire in 2020 for making changes that slowed mail delivery times as many voters were mailing in their presidential election ballots. dejoy has also been criticized for investing in companies that have done business with the postal service. >> we're of course deeply troubled, continue to be deeply troubled as many americans are, by the early reporting of postmaster general dejoy's potential financial conflicts of interest and take serious issues with the job he's doing running the postal service. >> woodruff: dejoy can only be removed by the u.s. postal service board of governors. today, president biden announced
plans to replace two of dejoy's backers on the board with two new members. president biden had his annual physical at walter reed national military medical center today, on the eve of his 79th birthday. his physician said he remains fit for duty. mr. biden also underwent a routine colonoscopy. while under anesthesia, his authority was transferred to vice president harris, making her the first woman in the u.s. to hold presidential powers. stocks were mixed on wall street today. the dow jones industrial average plunged 269 points to close at 35,602. the nasdaq rose 64 points to notch a record close. and the s&p 500 slipped six. and, two lucky turkeys are off the menu this thanksgiving, as part of a presidential tradition. the gobblers, named "peanut butter" and "jelly," were officially pardoned by president
biden at the white house today. they'll live out their days on a farm at purdue university in indiana. still to come on the newshour: the f.d.a. approves booster shots for everyone 18 years and older as covid cases in the u.s. continue to rise. the unique challenges wrongfully convicted parolees struggle with when adjusting to post-prison life. and jonathan capehart and gary abernathy weigh in on the house passing the build back better bill and the verdict in kyle rittenhouse's trial. and much more. >> woodruff: as we reported, house democrats are heading into the weekend with a victory after passing the "build back better" legislation this morning.
li desjardins has this report on a long debate and what's in the sweeping legislation. >> on this vote the yays are 220, the nays are 213, the build back better bill is passed! >> desjardins: house democrats erupted in cheers once they passed president biden's “build back better bill.” the bill, costing nearly $1.7 trillion includes money for combating climate change, expanding federal assistance in health care, reducing child care costs and providing universal pre-k, and creating more affordable housing. democrats say this is all largely paid for by big corporations and the wealthiest americans. and the bill seemed on track for a quick passage last night, until the last republican speaker, house minority leader
kevin mccarthy took the floor. >> every page of all this new washington spending will be paid for or borrowed from you, the american hardworking taxpayer. technically giving one minute to speak as a party leader mccarthy has the right to go as long as he likes. he turned one minute into eight and a half hours speaking against the build back better act, breaking the record set by pelosi for the longest speech on the house floor. it made history and instantly internet memes. from the house cloak room next to the chamber, democratic congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez took to instagram to mock. >> look at all of those different colored ties and haircuts, i have never seen a more diverse republican party than the one behind kevin kevin mccarthy now.
>> mccarthy spent till 5:30 in the morning. >> you're celebrating when inflation is at a 31% hike. gas prices! thanksgiving! a border that in a few months breaks every record of the last three years combined a. >> sizing up the tactic, house speaker nancy pelosi sent democrats home and pushed the vote until daylight. when she got her turn to speak. >> and as a courtesy to my colleagues, i will be brief. >> reporter: after a jab at her republican rival's speaking time, pelosi responded. >> like has been said on this floor, but the facts are these, following the division of president biden guided by the expertise of our chairs, members and staff, we have the build back better bill that a historic, transformative and larger than anything we've ever done before. >> reporter: in the end, pelosi lost only one democratic vote, jared golden of maine.
on twitter, he said the bill offered too much help for some of the wealthy and could be better. golden's concerns foreshadowed the next democratic fight straight ahead as the bill goes to the u.s. snatd. >> woodruff: and lisa joins me after a night of not much sleep. so let's talk about this. as you said, sweeping bill $1.7 trillion. let's break out some of the bigger pieces. talk about what's the thing in here. >> reporter: so excited to dig into this and explain it. at the top of the list of many large programs of this is childcare. combine the childcare and pre-school programs together are $400 billion in this bill. let's take people through that. so that's a big chunk right there. what they'd do, this would offer voluntary free pre-school for every child in america ages 3 and 4 and also for the majority of families with kids up to age 5, it would cap their childcare costs no greater than 7% of their income.
that's a see change. one thing, states have to opt in to this program. it's a bit like medicaid. there's a question of which states would and would not do it. judy, this childcare portion is on an obamacare scale, even larger than obamacare, potentially. even if states sign up, republicans say it's a sweeping program, too much government and could hurt the childcare industry if it's not done well. >> woodruff:el have you break out another piece of this, climate change. we know what a priority that is for democrats. what does the bill do to address that? >> reporter: judy, this bill has climate change in almost every section. there are 55, at least, different programs dealing with climate in this. but i want to talk about sort of overall some of the biggest items. overall, this bill spends over $500 billion, $550 billion, to be exact, on climate. there are tax cress in here for energy efficiency in your home, workplace, new kind of electric
cars, even electric bicycles are in here. there is a limit on methane gas that would go into effect in 19923. a cost for companies who emit too much methane gas under the current form of the bill. the civilian climate core, a big thing benders wanted. interesting, that would be young people doing climate projects across the country. it would be part of americorps. their budget now, $1 million. the budget for this, $15 billion. it's it would make americorps a much larger department and change what it does. >> woodruff: and focused on climb. lisa, this comes with a prague and you were talking about this last night, but we know more about the prague. what can you tell us. >> reporter: i'm really glad to be able to talk more about this. this bill does add to the redeficit.
the congressional budget office score that we talked about, $367 billion added to the deficit, that is from the main bill, the programs and the spending involved. however, there is a separate portion that c.b.o. did not score along with that which is stepped-up i.r.s. enfortunate, the idea of finding people cheating on their taxes. c.b.o. estimates nat that part of the bill could bring in over $200 billion. so do the math. you add that all up, what do you get? according to c.b.o., a deficit of about $160 billion, not as much as that bigger number. democrats however look at this, they say that i.r.s. number, too small. they think actually they will get 400 billion, maybe, much morehan that. they argue this is how this is paid for. they think the i.r.s. number is shallow and that's how it will come in. >> woodruff:ettes over 10 years, so 160 divided by 10. >> reporter: that's right. >> woodruff: you have been reading this 2,000-page bill,
what else caught your eye. >> reporter: how much time do you have? >> woodruff: hours. (laughter) >> reporter: there are a few things i want to high light to give people a sense of the scope thereof, the big and small. let me highlight a few things, there is a small amount of money in this bill, which is $50 million, large money to everyone else, but in this bill not that much, but to protect older forests, things like the sequoias and older growth forest. also payroll credits for local newspapers and journalists to try to encourage local news again. then also something i want to talk about that i spotted, this is an attempt to phase out subminimum wage for workers with disabilities. judy, you and i have talked about this before. since 1938, this country has allowed certify casts so that some imloishes can pay workers with disabilities sub minimum wage, as low as $3, $4 an our hour. this bill has incentive to pay the employers to raise their wages. it's a complicated debate
because they want to keep the number of jobs while increases those wages. this bill takes a stand. it's a bipartisan idea that's in here. >> woodruff: i think a lot of people didn't realize it could be below minimum-wage, now it goes to the senate and you will be reporting on that. >> i will. >> woodruff: lisa desjardins, thank you. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: as we reported, the government's top public health agencies are on the verge of making vaccine boosters available to anyone in the u.s. 18 years or older. as stephanie sy tells us, the change is aimed at helping during the winter months ahead. >> sy: judy, starting this weekend, boosters will now be available for any of the three federally approved vaccines. at least 10 states had already made this change as covid cases rise, up 33% in the last two weeks. for the moment, death rates are stable. but the country is still
averaging more than 1,100 deaths a day. for more on what we should know, i'm joined by dr. robert wachter, chair of the department of medicine at the university of california at san francisco. dr. wachter, thank you for joining us on the "newshour". let's get right to it. would you at this point advise every adult to get a booster shot and why or why not? >> i would. i got mine a month or so ago but advised my 28 and 30-year-old healthy children to get them as well. the boosters do three things. first of all we know the efficacy of the original shots wainat about five months and the more time goes on. the booster do three things. one, they prevent mild infections, and mild infections can lead to long covid. the second is they can prevent severe infections which can lead to hospitalization and death, and the the third is they keep the community safer. they decrease the amount of covid in the community. >> reporter: isn't it, still, though, dr. wachter, the
unvaccinated at risk for severe covid and behind community spread? >> no question about it. early on, people said we should concentrated on vaccinating the unvaccinated. when i heard that, i would say what exactly does that mean? what are we not doing to try to get the unvaccinated vaccinated? we've done everything i think we can humanly possibly do. there are enough shots for everyone. at this point, i think we can walk and chew bubblegum. i think we can concentrate on getting people vaccinated in the first place, but we also have to protect everyone else. if you're vaccinated but you're more than six months out, your level of protection is fully between vaccinated and unvaccinated so it's time to boost it up. >> reporter: let's talk about the efficacy of the booster shot and when it kicks in. does getting the booster shot, dr. wachter, mean you won't get covid 19 and will we get booster shots every six months? >> the vaccines aren't perfect.
these are extraordinarily effective. if you remember the original efficacy numbers of 95% effective at preventing cases of covid, that number wained 50 to 60%. the boosters bump you up to 95%. you probably are better protected than you were after your two shots. they are miraculously effective. how long does it take before they kick in? it looks like about a week. so a week after you've gotten your booster, you're back up to a level of protection similar to the level you had two weeks after your shot. when will we need another shot? i think we will know when we know. unfortunately, there's no way of knowing. because these shots wained in six months doesn't mean the booster will wain in six months because we've had a lag in time, it gave the immune system more time to mature. so there's a good chance we might need one every year or two, but we'll know over time. >> reporter: as we head into the holidays, doctor, people are
expected to gather. if you have a booster shot, should you feel comfortable not wearing a mask around your grandparents again, shopping at the mall without a mask? >> well, the way i approach life, stephanie, is now that i have gotten my booster, i am perfectly comfortable hanging around in indoor spaces with others who are fully vaccinated and if they're eligible who've also got an booster. anything other than that, hanging around with unvaccinated people or people whose shots were nine months ago or not gotten a booster, i'm more careful. i would wear a mask in those circumstances. if you're having thanksgiving together with them, that's a good use of the rapid test. i think it's reasonable to testing them that morning. if they're negative, you can be confident they're not infectious that day, so that makes it safer. but i think the rule is vaccinated plus booster, if you're eligible, you are really good to go. and if you're hanging out with
other people like that, you are quite safe. >> reporter: appreciate that clear advice, dr. robert wachter, the chair of the department of medicine at u.c. san francisco. thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: we've explored this week the many challenges people face after incarceration, from getting healthcare to reconnecting with family. but for those wrongfully convicted and imprisoned, and fortunate enough to be freed, those same challenges exist. and for many, there's even less support than for those who committed crimes and are released on parole. amna nawaz and producer frank carlson report on the struggle that begins after freedom's won as part of our series, "searching for justice." >> nawaz: so what about this? this area? where is this from? >> prison. that's all prison pictures.
>> nawaz: over two years ago, ricky kidd walked out of a missouri prison after 23 years behind bars. he'd been wrongly convicted for two murders he always said he didn't commit. in the two short years he's been free, kidd got married, moved into this house. started a business, and welcomed his new daughter, harmony justice, into the world. >> i often say that freedom is the ability to embrace life fully. it feels like freedom because i'm embracing it fully. >> nawaz: since his release, kidd's traveled across the country, put his feet in the ocean for the first time. he even came by the newshour for a 2019 interview with his lawyer, sean o'brien. >> pbs. we came to see you all. >> nawaz: i remember. >> a few years ago. >> nawaz: i recognize that set anywhere. and with his wife, dawn, he's
built a public speaking business, sharing his story, advocating for criminal justice reform, and fighting for others to be freed. >> i have a lot to be thankful for today, especially when you compare it against other people who are still languishing in prison for crimes they didn't commit. >> nawaz: on the outside looking in, you check all the boxes, right? home, job, family, everything seems really good. what's happening inside? >> sometimes i'm overwhelmed. it's a lot. and it comes out of nowhere. i think, i got this, i got this, i got this. and then i feel like i don't have it. anxiety. nightmares began to surface, horrible nightmares. >> nawaz: to the public, the story of most exonerees ends on the day they're released and walk out of prison, when in fact, that day marks the
beginning of an entirely new set of struggles ahead. >> so here we are walking into prison. >> nawaz: from the outside, it looks like kidd has moved on. but inside, he is grappling with his past. in his basement storm shelter. kidd created a replica of his prison cell, down to the exact same items he had during more than two decades of incarceration. >> this is my prison id. >> nawaz: this is your actual id. missouri department of corrections and offender in big red letter. ricky kidd. >> and they usually call you 528343. not your name. they want you to respond 528343. >> nawaz: do you think you will ever forget that number? >> no. >> nawaz: still, he visits this place almost every morning. >> sometimes i'm thinking about what i've been through when i was once here. sometimes i'm thinking about the other people are still here. >> nawaz: earlier this year, he
filmed an online series here, re-enacting his prison days. re-living them became overwhelming, so he stopped. kidd has also struggled with his health. he's a diabetic, and earlier this year had an emergency triple bypass heart surgery. more recently, he's struggled with his breathing, a complication from that surgery. he blames more than two decades of poor pris healthcare, unhealthy prison food, and the stress of being wrongfully imprisoned and fighting to prove it. on top of that, he's received no support nor compensation from the state of missouri. >> you took all my 20s, you took all my 30s, and you took half of my 40s. at that stage, people who have been working and are a little diligent and a little disciplined, they have a little something. well, i came home at 45 and had nothing. >> nawaz: is there a way for them to make you whole? can they do something to make it right? >> no.
i don't think there's nothing they can do to make it whole or to make it right. there's things they can do to make it better. but even if they did that against their best efforts, we're still left wounded, we're still left with our wounds. and that's-- that's a consequence of a wrongful conviction in america. >> nawaz: on a chilly morning on the other side of kansas city, ricky's lawyer, sean o'brien, is picking up joe amrine, another former client, to go grocery shopping. sean's helped free more than a dozen wrongfully convicted people in his career as a law professor and defense attorney. in 2003, it was joe amrine's turn, after spending 17 years on death row. >> you know, when you know that everybody in the state, everybody in the world wants you
dead. and what you can do? you just can't imagine that everybody wants me dead. >> he could have been executed any time. >> nawaz: for a crime he didn't commit. >> for a crime he didn't commit. every month they executed one of these 10 men and then after they executed him at midnight on the first tuesday of the month, they would come back into the office that morning and issue a new warrant for the next one. there about midway through that process, one of his iends, who he had known since junior high school was executed and he called me the next morning and said, i want to beext because i can't do this again. >> nawaz: since being released, amrine has struggled, with his health, holding down a job, and meeting basic needs. when you got out, what kind of support did you get? >> i had none whatsoever. no support whatsoever. i didn't know how to go get my social security card. i didn't even know how to drive.
>> nawaz: amrine's depended on help from people like sean to keep the lights on and the refrigerator stocked. >> he's food insecure for crying out loud. that's wrong. you know, if i don't if i don't periodically take him to the grocery store. you know, he'll call me up and say, i don't have anything, i haven't eaten in a week. >> nawaz: across the country, the support and compensation exonerees are eligible for differs drastically depending on where they're convicted. 37 states and the district of columbia have laws for compensating exonerees in some way. but qualifying for and accessing that support is another story entirely. in missouri, one of the states that has a law on the books, joe amrine and ricky kidd don't qualify for help, because they weren't exonerated through a specific mechanism involving dna evidence. >> you can count on one hand the number of people who have qualified for support under missouri's exoneration, their compensation statute.
he would be better off if he had been guilty and and then released on parole because a parole officer would help him get public assistance and would constantly be on the lookout for job leads. >> nawaz: he would be better off if he'd actually done the crime. he'd have more support coming out. >> he would be better off if he had done the crime and been released on parole, yeah. >> yeah, i'm mad, i'm still mad. i'm really mad. and i'm gonna stay mad till the day i die i'll probably be mad because they took my life! >> nawaz: so far, ricky kidd's experience after prison has been very different than joe amrine's, and he counts himself lucky. but the trauma, the loss, the anger-- many of those are the same. kidd recently began seeing a therapist to work through those issues. he's currently suing the kansas city police department in civil court, which could take years. because of governmental
immunity, sean o'brien says most clients get nothing. in the meantime, he's trying to focus on the positive each day: advocating for the friends he left behind, the wrongful convictions he can prevent, and redefining what freedom means. >> these are things that i always wanted to happen. and now they happen, so. >> nawaz: not wasting a day. >> not wasting a day. >> nawaz: for the pbs newshour, i'm amna nawaz in kansas city, kansas. >> woodruff: and you can learn much more about ricky kidd's life and case in our podcast, "broken justice," about the failures in public defense that led to his incarceration. >> woodruff: and that brings us to the analysis of capehart and >> woodruff: as reported
president biden's build back better plan was passed and kyle rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges. to break down today's events and more we turn to the analysis of capehart and abernathy, that is jonathan capehart and gary abernathy, both columnists for "the washington post." david brooks is away. it's very very good to see both of you tonight. >> good to see you. be here. >> woodruff: thank you for being here. let's start, jonathan, with the news that broke today and that is the verdict in the kyle rittenhouse case, had been accused of murder, two murders, shootings, the jury found him not guilty on all charges. the country has been on tinder hooks for the last few years when it comes to issues related to race. race didn't some up specifically in this trial but race was certainly around it. do you think this will have an effect on the conversation in the country now? >> it will have an effect on the conversation pause it focuses the mind on the system that made
it possible for a teenager with an illegal gun in a town that was not his own, after sur if you, who shot and killed two people and wounded a third was able to be found not guilty. you know, race was not a part of this conversation because we have to remember the victims here, and they were victims, they're all white. >> right. but there's pain in the black community because we are seeing how justice is meted out, depending on who you are. and there is a great cartoon, sad cartoon in the "post." >> woodruff: we can share it. you see it on the left, treyvon martin, skittles in one hand, iced tea in the other. george zimmerman called 911, a wanna be neighborhood watch person, called 911 and said
there's a very suspicious looking guy and ends up shooting and killing treyvon martin. on the right, you saw the drawing of kyle rittenhouse carrying an assault rifle there in the streets and killed two people, and he gets to go home. and one more thing, and, gary, you're from ohio, if i remember right, i kept thinking of john crawford iii in beaver creek ohio in august of 2014. he's in wal-mart, looking maybe for gifts or presents for a young person in his family. he picks up a toy assault rifle just walking through the aisles in wal-mart shopping, like anybody does. someone calls 911. the police show up, they see him and they kill him. he's carrying an assault rifle, a toy assault rifle, in a store, shopping like anyone else. in ohio, it is an open carry state.
so why didn't the police take that into account, whether it's a toy or not? so i think the kyle rittenhouse case just adds to the conversation that we have ben having in this country about the role of race, the role of law and the role of the two in holding us back, quite frankly. >> woodruff: and gary, as we said, race was not a part of this case. it didn't come up in the courtroom. a jury heard the case. they heard the argument of self-defense and they agreed with it. >> so much can be said about this whole thing. it's a sad situation. okay, there are no winners today. i've read a lot of people saying, oh, they're celebrating the verdict, you know, from maybe somebody on the right. well, there's nothing to celebrate. there's a tragedy. two people died in this situation. it's a tragic, tragic case. a 17-year-old, i agree, shouldn't have been bringing that gun to that situation, but
there was also quite a rush to judgment the first 24 hours or so this happened, there were a lot of things said about, oh, this young man was a trump supporter. we read that. he had been at a trump rally, and then a few months later, this happens. there's a connection between those two things. once the evidence came out, once we began to see video of what happened, it became very, very clear there's a different narrative here than the narrative we heard at first. and the jury -- you know, i've covered trials, anyone who's covered trials understands it doesn't matter how much you read in the media, it doesn't matter how much of a trial you watch on television, when you're a jury or you're sitting in that courtroom watching a trial, off different perspective of what's going on, and that jury reached a verdict. there's an old saying and i've seen it going around today from judges and lawyers, justice is a process, not an outcome.
the process happened, justice was done in that the process happened. people will always disagree on verdicts in this case and every other case depending on which side you're on, but justice was done because the process happened. >> i would say in response, i'm not surprised by the verdict because of the instructions from the judge, because of wisconsin law, and the law as it pertains to self-defense. you know, if i were on that jury and this was the evidence that was presented to me and i take my role as a juror seriously, what else am i left to do? but that's not an indictment of the jury, that's an indictment of the law. that is an indictment of -- i think, of society in that you can, to your point, take the video and a different narrative shows up, but that then requires you to live in a silo and not take into account why on earth was he there in the first place?
>> woodruff: right. and hey, everybodient have been there. so -- and he shouldn't have been there. while, great, on the law, he should have been released, but that's not how people live. people don't live in silos, and i think that's why people ar sort of outraged by this verdict. >> woodruff: and what we heard, the former milwaukee from prosecutor saying earlier on the program, there's concern this may send a message it's okay to carry a gun to a protest. >> well, it's not, and you shouldn't do that and i'm going to guess if he had to do it over again, how many of us at 17 make bad decisions, unfortunately most of the time they don't turn out that bad, but i would hope he wouldn't do it again. well, tragic thing, no matter which side you're on, no question. >> yes. >> woodruff: build back better, jonathan, the house of representatives -- where did i come up with that term? house of representatives passed it today after weeks and weeks
and months of discussion and debate, two completely different stories. the republicans say it's socialism, democrats say it's such important additional help for raising children, for education, for healthcare, for the climate, for climate change, fighting climate change. which one is it? >> oh, obviously it is what the democrats are saying. leave aside what the republicans are saying. they'll band anything socialism and don't bring anything to the table as an alternative, as a positive alternative to what the democrats are presenting. what the house of representatives did today by passing build back better was to put down a marker and show the american people what congress wants to do for them. everyone's talking about the economy and inflation and costs are so high, and yet you look at build back better, and there's an opportunity to bring down your childcare costs, to bring down your homecare and
healthcare costs, that's what congress should be doing, that's what washington should be doing, looking at the problems of the country and the american people and the the american worker and american productivity and doing something about it. and, so, with the house passing it, they've said they've sent a message, look, this is the package. of course, it's just the house, and all the action goes to the senate, where this might be -- build back better might be a shadow of its former self by the time it comes out of the senate, but there should be unadulterated joy the democrats have been able to do this now. >> this is a classic example to have the different attitudes between, you know, the role of government, and the infrastructure bill that was passed earlier, the $1.2 trillion is the rule of government for a lot of people, that's how they look at it,
that's how a lot of republicans used to look at it. we've talked about this before, beginning last year, under trump, there was a lot of an abandonment of this traditional republican attitude about the role of government because trump wasn't afraid to spend money, he wasn't afraid to give tax cuts and spend money on top of the tax cuts, he was all for infrastructure, but what you're hearing today is the infrastructure bill was one thing, but now this is a -- i won't use the word socialist tonight, i'll call it a very progressive wish list of things progressives think government should do. it's the biggest expansion of government, it compares with the l.b.j. great society, the f.d.r. new deal, and joe biden, if that's what he wants his legacy to be we'll see how voters feel about it. but to get down to the $2 trillion prague, 1. .8, whatever we want to call it, they've played some tricks, they've got some -- several
things in here they're touting that will sunset out very quickly. in four years, the pre-school, the child tax credit, the healthcare expansion, and if there's a republican congress, really doubtful they're going to reup this. so a lot of things that are willing celebrated on the left may actually not last very long. >> woodruff: so this may be ephemeral? >> it may be, it may not. remember, folks were really angry about the affordable care act, and republicans ran on replace and repeal, and when they had the majorities in both the house and the senate, they didn't replace or repeal anything. so, you know -- >> did get rid of the individual mandate. >> right, but in washington the hardest part is getting something into law. it's hard to get stuff into law and harder to pull it out. >> especially if it's popular, and especially if it helps
people. >> that's a good point. so it depends on how america reacts to it, how americans react to it over the next couple of years. you're right, if this becomes popular, it will be difficult, more difficult than it sounds even if republicans take over to reverse it. >> are there in i parts of this -- any parts of this bundle of pograms that republicans can be comfortable with? >> i don't think so. if you're talking about congressional republicans, i don't think so, and that was evidenced by the vote in the house, and i think you will probably see a very similar, if this comes down to joe manchin and kyrsten sinema. >> build back better, if it gets to the senate republicans made it clear we're not voting on this whitewater you come up with i is why it's voted by a imple majority on reconciliation rules. so that's why they're able to do the negotiating not worrying
about what republicans think because they say we don't care. >> woodruff: and immigration may come out of it. >> yes. and they say we don't care but it's a shame. speaker pelosi, they were talking about kevin mccarthy's long eight-hour speech, she said, i don't listen to them, and that's a shame. >> woodruff: we leave it there, gary abernathy, jonathan capehart, thank you both. >> thanks, judy. >> woodruff: and online right now, a partial lunar eclipse cast the moon in a red glow overnight. we explore what made this eclipse special. that's on our instagram feed, at instagram.com/newshour. and don't forget to watch "washington week" moderator yamiche alcindor and her panel tonight. that's tonight on pbs. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here on monday evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs
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