Democracy Now! - September 17, 2015

An Oklahoma appeals court granted death row prisoner Richard Glossip a last-minute stay of execution on Wednesday only hours before he was slated to die. The decision was a response to an emergency request filed by his lawyers Tuesday afternoon. The decision came down at 11:30 a.m. — only three-and-a-half hours before his scheduled execution by lethal injection. Glossip’s new execution date is September 30. We speak to Don Knight, one of the pro bono attorneys representing death row inmate Richard Glossip. Also with us is Sister Helen Prejean, one of the world’s most well-known anti-death-penalty activists. As a Catholic nun, she began her prison ministry over 30 years ago. She is the author of the best-selling book, "Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty."

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina joined the prime-time Republican debate lineup for the first time in this campaign season, after surging in the polls in recent weeks. She emerged as a fierce hawk on foreign policy issues, calling for sending more arms to the Middle East and warning that one of the first calls she would make as president would be to demand Iran open up its nuclear facilities to U.S. inspectors at any time. In contrast, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul decried U.S. interventionist policies abroad, saying, "We have to learn sometimes the interventions backfire. The Iraq War backfired and did not help us." Real estate mogul Donald Trump and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush also sparred over the legacy of President George W. Bush’s foreign policy decisions. For more on the candidates’ foreign policy positions, we’re joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston and political writer John Nichols.

While the Republican candidates appeared unanimous during the second debate on their stances on issues like Planned Parenthood, they fiercely disagreed on the issue of marijuana legalization and the so-called war on drugs. At the center of this debate were Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Paul accused Bush of hypocrisy in his position on marijuana legalization, saying: "If you’re are against letting people use medical marijuana, we’re left to put them in jail. Kids who had privilege, like you do, don’t go to jail, but the poor kids in our inner cities go to jail." Former Hewlett-PackardCEO Carly Fiorina also jumped into the back-and-forth to share her own family’s story of losing a son to drug addition. For more, we’re joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston and political writer John Nichols.

While some candidates touted their past political experience, real estate developer Donald Trump and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina faced off over their business experience. Each accused the other of poorly managing their companies, with Trump accusing Fiorina of being one of the worst CEOs, while Fiorina took aim at Trump for his companies’ records of filing for bankruptcy. To dissect the two candidates’ business records, we turn to Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, who has been covering Donald Trump for decades.

We now turn to the Republican candidates’ views on Planned Parenthood, which was mentioned 23 times during the three-hour debate. Defunding Planned Parenthood has become a cornerstone of the Republican Party platform during the campaign thus far. On Wednesday night, Governor John Kasich, Senator Ted Cruz and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina all said they would move to defund the organization. Fiorina even linked her opposition to the Iran nuclear deal with her opposition to Planned Parenthood, saying, "One has to do with the defense and security the nation, and the other has to do with the defense of the character of this nation." For more, we’re joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston and political writer John Nichols.

A coalition of more than 400 organizations have called on the White House to stop issuing new fossil fuel leases on public lands and oceans. More than 67 million acres of public land and ocean are already leased to the fossil fuel industry. The coalition says that declaring unleased oil, gas and coal on public lands as "unburnable" would accomplish more in the global fight against climate change than any other single action taken by the Obama administration. Joining us to discuss the new campaign is climate justice activist Tim DeChristopher. In 2008, DeChristopher spent 21 months in federal prison after he disrupted an oil and gas leasing auction on public land in Utah by posing as a bidder. Tim DeChristopher is now one of the co-founders of the new Climate Disobedience Center, which is among the many organizations calling for the end to all new fossil fuel leases on public lands.

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