Kirk Bloodsworth

  • Aired:  03/04/13
  •  | Views: 13,745

Witness to Innocence's advocacy director, Kirk Bloodsworth, discusses DNA evidence testing for death row inmates and his quest to abolish the death penalty. (4:37)

APPLAUSE]SPHEENCH WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A FORMER DEATH-ROW INMATE WHO WAS EXHONORATED BY DNA EVIDENCE.

YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY: IF THE DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID DON'T FIT, YOU MUST ACQUIT.

[LAUGHTER]

PLEASE WELCOME KIRK BLOODSWORTH!

THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMING ON.

ALL RIGHT.

SIR, YOU WERE THE VERY FIRST INMATE TO BE SENTENCED TO DEATH BUT EXONERATED THROUGH POST

CONVICTION DNA TESTING.

IT'S ALL WRITTEN ABOUT IN THE BOOK "BLOODSWORTH" WHICH HAS BEEN OUT NINE YEARS.

THAT'S NOT REALLY WHY YOU ARE HERE TONIGHT.

YOU ARE THEY'RE TALK ABOUT YOUR QUEST TO GET RID OF THE DEATH PENALTY STATE BY STATE.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: HOW MANY STATES STRILT DEATH PENALTY?

IT'S 33 RIGHT NOW.

THAT'S COUNTING MARYLAND, THE STATE I'M IN STEERCHGHTS NOW, WHILE YOUR CASE IS COMPELLING,

LET'S IGNORE IT FOR A MOMENT BECAUSE --

[LAUGHTER]

-- THE FACTS 6 YOUR CASE WILL PREJUDICE THE JURY.

[LAUGHTER]

HOW CAN YOU GET RID OF THE DEATH PENALTY COMPLETELY?

IT IS A KNOWN DETERRENT BECAUSE EVERYONE WHO KILLS SOMEONE THINKS AHEAD OF TIME I WONDER

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ME IF I GET CAUGHT.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO GET RID OF IT?

>> AS I KNOW, AND I WORK FOR AN ORGANIZATION CALLED WITNESS TO INNOCENCE.

I'M THE ADVOCACY DIRECTOR FOR THEM.

WE'VE FOUND 142 EXONERATED DEATH ROW SURRIFORS IN THE -- SURVIVORS IN THE UNITED STATES.

>> Stephen: THEY WERE ON DEATH ROW AND EXONERATED THROUGH THE USE OF DNA?

>> NOT ALL OF THEM BUT THROUGH OTHER MANS.

PEOPLE FALSELY CONFESSED TO CRIMES.

>> Stephen: DO YOU MEAN WITNESS IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS?

>> I'LL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE.

IN MY CASE IT WAS -- THEY SAID THE PERSON WAS SIX FOOT FIVE, CURLY BLONDE HAIR, TAN SKIN AND SKINNY.

WHEN WE FINALLY CAUGHT THE REAL PERPETRATOR OF THE CRIME SOME YEARS LATER WAS FIVE FOOT SIX

AND 160.

>> Stephen: NO WAY HE JUST LOST WEIGHT AND HEIGHT?

[LAUGHTER]

>> NO.

>> Stephen: JUST ASKING.

>> NO ONE.

>> Steve: PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW.

IF MARYLAND GETS RID OF THE DEATH PENALTY ISN'T THAT LIKE A HOUSE TELLING EVERYBODY IT

DOESN'T HAVE GUNS?

BECAUSE IF I'M GOING TO GO ON A KILL SPREE, I'M GOING TO GO TO MARYLAND NOW.

>> NO.

>> Stephen: BECAUSE I KNOW THERE'S NO DEATH PENALTY.

>> YOU KNOW, IT'S BEEN FOUND OUT FOR --

[LAUGHTER]

-- FOR MANY YEARS THAT WE'VE HAD ONE OF WORST APPLICATIONS OF THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE UNITED STATES.

>> Stephen: IT'S PART OF THE FABRIC OF AMERICA.

WE'VE HAD THE DEATH PENALTY SINCE THE BEGINNING.

WE HAVE.

WE HAVE.

IT'S AN AMERICAN -- IT'S AS AMERICAN AS KILLING SOMEONE WITH AN AM PIE.

[LAUGHTER]

>> WELL, I DON'T KNOW IF I'M GOING TO REFER TO IT AS THAT, STEVEN, HOWEVER WE'VE POSSIBLY

EXECUTED INNOCENT PEOPLE ALL OVER THIS COUNTRY.

>> Stephen: THE KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE CARD IS SO EASY TO WIN THE ARGUMENT.

BECAUSE IT'S THE WORST THING YOU CAN IMAGINE.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: AND IF THAT IS TRUE, THEN NO STATE SHOULD HAVE THE DEATH PENALTY.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

THAT'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

>> Stephen: BECAUSE IF ONE PERSON DIES WHO IS INNOCENT THAT IS TOO MANY.

IT'S A MURDER WE'RE ALL COMPLICITY IN FOR LOOKING THE OTHER WAY.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: THAT'S WHAT I NEED TO IGNORE.

YOU ARE WINNING THE ARGUMENT USING MY MOUTH.

WHICH IS NOT FAIR.

[ LAUGHTER ]

THIS SAY CHRISTIAN NATION.

>> YES -- THIS IS A CHRISTIAN NATION.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: AS A CHRISTIAN NATION SHOULDN'T WE KEEP THE DEATH PENALTY?

SHOULDN'T WE -- BECAUSE WITHOUT THE DEATH PENALTY WE WOULD SNRIET RELIGION.

[ LAUGHTER ]

-- WE WOULD NOT HAVE A RELIGION.

>> NO.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Steve: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US, MR. BLOODSWORTH.

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