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Monday, April 1, 2013

  • Texas DA Killed Two Months After Deputy Shot Dead; Aryan Brotherhood Probed in Killings

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    A potential link to white supremacist prison gangs is being probed in the killing of a Texas district attorney and his wife in their home. Mike McLelland and Cynthia McLelland were shot dead inside their home just two months after Assistant Prosecutor Mark Hasse was gunned down outside the Kaufman County courthouse. The killings come just months after Texas warned of potential retaliation by the Aryan Brotherhood against law enforcement officials after 34 members of the white supremacist group were indicted. The murder of McLelland also comes less than two weeks after Tom Clements, the Colorado prisons chief, was shot and killed after answering the doorbell at his home. Two days later, the suspect, Evan Spencer Ebel, a former Colorado inmate and white supremacist, was killed in a shootout with Texas deputies. We speak to Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who tracks hate groups. [includes rush transcript]

  • Prosecutor Seeks Stay of Execution for Texas Prisoner Duane Buck, Sentenced to Death for Being Black

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    Although Duane Buck’s guilt is not in question for the 1995 murder of his former girlfriend Debra Gardner and her friend Kenneth Butler, critics say jurors in his case were led to choose a death sentence over life without parole based on testimony of a state psychologist who argued that African-American criminals are more likely to pose a future danger to the public. We’re joined by two guests: Linda Geffin, the second-chair prosecutor who helped win Buck’s death sentence in 1997, but now opposes his execution, and Christina Swarns, an attorney with Duane Buck’s legal defense team and director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Criminal Justice Project. [includes rush transcript]

  • Texas Prosecutor Linda Geffin, Victim of Brutal Attack at Home, on the Killing of DA Mike McLelland

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    Following the killing of Texas District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia McLelland, in their home, we speak to Linda Geffin, the senior assistant prosecutor for the Harris County attorney’s office in Texas, who herself survived a brutal attack by an unknown intruder at her home last year. Geffin, who says the incident may have been linked to her efforts against human trafficking, discusses her ordeal and explains why it has helped inform her public advocacy work, including backing the commuting of a death sentence for Duane Beck, whom she prosecuted. [includes rush transcript]

  • ExxonMobil Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Ruptures in Arkansas as Obama Ponders Fate of Keystone XL

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    ExxonMobil continues its cleanup efforts after a ruptured pipeline sprayed thousands of barrels of crude oil from Canada across a central Arkansas subdivision, forcing nearly two dozen homes to evacuate. The 20-inch so-called "Pegasus" tar sands pipeline burst late Friday near Mayflower, Arkansas, creating what the Environmental Protection Agency is categorizing as a "major spill." The incident is refueling calls for the Obama administration to reject the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would deliver tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in Texas. "It’s almost as if nature was trying to send a message that it might be best to just leave this stuff underground in Canada, where it’s been safely for the last few million years, instead of trucking it, piping it, training it hither and yon across the countryside," says Bill McKibben, co-founder and director of 350.org. He is author of "Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet." [includes rush transcript]

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