Monday, May 28, 2012 - Evening Edition

Uploaded by KPBSSanDiego on 28.05.2012

>> >>: This memorial day we'll show you how San Diego honored those who payed the ultimate
sacrifice. We'll hear from a San Diego attorney who helped
to clear the name of a man wrongly imprisoned for rape.
Plus, proposition B could be the answer to the pension crisis.
If it passes the city could face another big controversy.
>> >>PEGGY: Good evening, thanks for joining us, I'm peggy pico.
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke at a memorial day service in
San Diego today. He was accompanied by former prisoner of war
senator John McCain. >> >>: Greatness in a people I believe is
pleasure to the extent by which they will give themselves to something bigger than themselves.
The sacrifice of a cause of significance. When they sacrifice them sivels and for purpose
and for principle greater than self, surpasses our every day of understanding by the widest
Marge b n. We call.
>> >>: Kyla Calvert was at the ceremony today and she joins us with the details.
Kyla, what was Romney's message to Veterans? >> >>: Romney really stuck with that theme
of heroism. He spoke about a couple Veterans and about
his time as Massachusetts governor and visiting Massachusetts soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan
and thanking them for the sacrifices the fam families and soldiers commitd for the United
States. >> >>PEGGY: Did he have a political message
also to send? >> >>KYLA: Romney didn't message President
Obama by name, he did draw distinction between his own stance on the military and Obama's
Obama has talked about decreasing the size of the military after the conflicts in Iraq
and Afghanistan. Romney today said that the country has two
choices and one will be to cut back on military spending in order to fund social programs
which he said is the pathway European countries have taken.
The United States wouldn't have someone else there to stand up and protect us.
He made it clear his choice would be to continue spending to ensure the U.S. has a strong military.
>> >>PEGGY: Thousands of families including those with members in the military filled
Rosecrans national cemetery in Point Loma to honor fallen troops.
A gun salute, were among the many moments met with applause by young and old alike.
Lieutenant general Wallace spoke of being humbled on this memorial day.
>> >>: As Marine and as a citizen of this nation it is humbling to stand here in uniform
tootd and speak to you about the many women and men we honor on this special day.
>> >>: Children with snrags as the parents show their respects.
>> >>: It's important to pay our respects to the men and women who have served in the
ultimate sacrifice that some of them have made for us so that we can live the way we
live and I brought my two sons here because I want them to know how important it is to
pay our respects. >> >>PEGGY: Respect that could be speen seen
as well as heard by navy soul oest Nicky Rogers. Lrn.
>> >>: God bless u mairks my home sweet home. >> >>PEGGY: It was the 112th year for the
memorial day service at the cemetery. Up next, at the round table the story about
an ultimate injustice, innocent people serving time in prison.
It happens more than you might expect. Joanne speakswith an attorney who helps those
who are wrongly convicted. >> >>JOANNE: Brian banks had a promising football
career as a middle line backer at long beach high.
His prospects and lie kiem came to an abrupt halt when he was convicted of rape in 2002,
wrongly convicted. Last week, an L.A. county judge over turned
the conviction. >> >>: [inaudible]
>> >>: I know that I'm here today and I remain unbroken.
I send my heart out to prove my innocence by any means necessary.
And we did that today. >> >>JOANNE: That video comes from press telegram.
Brian banks is one of many wrongly convicted people in the U.S.
A new database release said last week documents hundreds since 1989.
Justin brooks at California western school of law and project directer of the California
innocence project. You helped free Brian banks, tell us a little
bit more about his story. >> >>JUSTIN BROOKS: I helped free him along
with my law students. Brian was this incredible football prospect.
Every college in the country wanted him, people talked about him going to the NFL and then
he was falsely accused of rape by another student at the school.
>> >>JOANNE: He actually served 5 years in prison.
>> >>JUSTIN BROOKS: In fact, he wrote to us while he was in prison and we looked into
his case and the problem with it as there is with any case like that is we had to say
to him without any evidence to prove your innocence, there's nothing we can do.
So he served his time, and he got outed, and then all of a sudden he gets this Facebook
friend request from this woman saying she wants to let bigones by tbi gones and can
we still be friends. >> >>JOANNE: And he ends up getting a recorded
confession from her, which is what you were able to use to get his case over turned.
>> >>JUSTIN BROOKS: She gave a statement saying it never happened in fact she lost her virginity
years later. And then we got the video, but the problem
is we have the video, but that doesn't mean we're out of the woods because we have the
burden of proof of showing innocence. There was a chance that they wouldn't have
admitted that video. So we started negotiating with the District
Attorney's office in aws Angeles saying look into this case, investigate it with us, meet
with our client. What's great about running the innocence project
is, you know, we have truth on our side. We're not hiding anything.
We brought our client into the interview by the District Attorney.
We met with their investigators and the right thing happened last week.
>> >>JOANNE: Here's the scary thing, though. This isn't an isolated incident.
That's according to now this nagdz national database released last week.
It showed it looked at 900 cases of innocent people who were wrongly convicted.
What are some of the crimes peep rl going to prison for that it turns out they never
even committed? >> >>JUSTIN BROOKS: For every type of crime
peep rl going to priz expn they're innocent. The study, even though it's documentedÊ actually
2000 in totality of wrongful conviction t really is the tip of the ice berg.
Those who got exonerated are the lucky ones. Brian's case, had this woman not come forward
and recanted there's another guy wrongfully convicted that never would have been reswrawrved.
>> >>JOANNE: Half of these cases that are documented were actually murder.
>> >>JUSTIN BROOKS: Yeah, and in murder cases the thing is lots of times there is ever dns
you can use for Exxon raigz. Rape, murder cases, sometimes you have biological
materials, DNA, but how many drug cases outed there are people wrongfully convicted.
Those cases are almost impossible to reserve. >> >>JOANNE: What are some of the reasons
people are convict whd they shouldn't have been.
>> >>JUSTIN BROOKS: The leading cause in this study is false testimony.
One of the big reason for that is the use of jail house snitches.
Snitch testimony is very unreliable. In fact, in Canada, they've abolished using
it in courts. You bring guys into court who have a lot of
motivation to make a deal andÊ that the prosecutor or police want them to say and sometimes it's
not even misconduct by the police or the prosecution. It's just somebody comes forward, gets information
off a guy, maybe they locked up with, says this guy told me high he did it and maybe
they know something special about the case. The problem is jurors don't always get that.
They don't see the motivation for that. Another big reason is misidentification.
When somebody walksinto court and says that's the person who did it, that's very powerful
evidence. Studies have shown it's not reliable evidence.
>> >>JOANNE: How will this new database now that can documento kay, here's what went wrong
in these cases, how can it help you do your job, and perhaps even look at the justice
system to try to establish what are the common mistakes, can it change any of that?
>> >>JUSTIN BROOKS: I think us sitting here talking about it can change things. The general
public is starting to understand the system makes mistakes.
We're looking at the death penalty in qulfer now, and people are getting that innocent
people have been sent to death row. That innocent people, more than a hundred
of them have been walked off to death row after finding of innocence.
I think we can change the system. The first step is rek recognition that these
mistakes happen. We can make identification procedures better,
be more cautious about using snitch testimony,. >> >>JOANNE: We haven't got a lot of time.
I want to know what happens to Brian banks necks lt he basically now his conviction is
over turned, what are his plans? >> >>JUSTIN BROOKS: Brian had a dream that
he says is paused. His driem dream was to play football in the
NFL. I'm told by the people around him and trainer
who have work would him, he has the speed and strength to do it.
I'm hoping we're going to have a fairy tale ending to this and he ends up in the NFL.
>> >>JOANNE: Thanks for being here. >> >>JUSTIN BROOKS: My pleasure.
>> >>JOANNE: Captions provided by ecaptions. >> >>PEGGY: San Diego will soon decide whether
the city should end its traditional pens pension cis frm new city workers and switch to a 401k.
KPBS reporter Katie or says if proposition B passes, it will raise another big question
for the city. >> >>: Leafy trees cast shadows on the people
coming and going from the downtown social security office.
San Diego city employ uys likely don't walk through that door very often because the city
isn't currently enrolled in social security. That could change if prop B passes.
In the 1980s, San Diego was allowed to opt out of social security because it promised
workers a pension and retirement health care. Soon after San Diego left the sims, the federal
law was changed to require the participation of all public and private employers.
If San Diego voters decide to leave pensions behind in favor of new workers, the city may
have to reenroll in scoalings security. Disailings San Diego State social work professor
tom really has written a book on city pensions. He says San Diego is in a unique spot and
the federal government is likely waiting to see how the vote turns out before offering
a formal poirn on what San Diego needs to do next.
>> >>: It does have participate significant implications nationally.
I don't know of any place in the United States, public, or private where they only offer 401K.
>> >>: It could open up the door for other employers who want to leave the system.
And he says that's not a good thing at a time when the federal government is looking to
extend the life of social security. San Diego chief operating officer jay goldstone
says San Diego could reenter the system but it doesn't necessarily have to.
>> >>: There is a safe harbor obligation and so as long as the contribution into a 401K
style plan is at least 7 and a half percent, you meet the safe harbor.
And that 7 and a half per r percent can come from any source.
Eefn if the city were to contribute 4Êpercent and the employee matches 4%, you would meet
the safe harbor and not be forced back into social security.
>> >>: Gold stone says it would be the city works who would be affected who would decide
whether to rejoin the system just as employees decided to opt out in the 80s.
Goldstone says there's no minimum or maximum number of wurng r workersÊ social security
requires employers and employees each contribute 6.2% of an employee's salary towards the the
system. San Diego tax payers u association president
Lani Lutar helped write prop B. It caps the city's contribution for non public
safety employees at 9 point tbo% ssments she says it's noted a big deal if the city rejoins
social security because it can't sur paz the cap.
>> >>: From our perspective, it doesn't matter to us one way oa another whether the city
decides to re enroll or not because it has no negative impacts to tax payers.
>> >>: But municipal employees association general manager Michael Zucchet says it is
a big deal. He says city workers originally opted out
of social security because the deal they were offered was so much better.
He says that deal is now gone. He says even if the city gets back into social
security it will leave the workers with just a 3% 401k match.
>> >>: The problem with that is there's issues of equity and fairness, and morality, most
other cities in the state of California are not going to go to this model.
When we compete for fire fighters or 911 dispatchers or librarians they're going to have one compensation
package pin city next door. You don't have to leave the county of San
Diego. >> >>: Zucchet says that could lead to the
city becoming a training ground for certain professions when the economy begins to improve.
>> >>PEGGY: That was Katie Orr reporting. They fought with honor but some vetd Veterans
were layed to rest without dignity in San Diego until a group of San Diego Veterans
decided to make a change. Joanne has more on this story at the evening
edition round table vmentd. >> >>JOANNE: About 12 years ago some retired
military officers learned that not all Veterans were being buried with dignity.
Some remains were being shipped to fort rosekrans national cemetery in FedEx bogs boxes.
Thank you admiral for being here. Why was this happening?
>> >>: You know, you get Veterans that die without families, even in San Diego you get
homeless Veterans that are living oon the street that die and they were either being,
you know, just taken and buried and like when you had family boxes coming to fort rosekrans
without family or anything like that, they would put them in and berry them.
There was no formal service, no recognition of their service, and we at the Veterans museum
felt we needed to do something to treat them with hawn toor give them the recognition that
wasn't being done. >> >>JOANNE: We know that one in four homeless
people here in San Diego sta war Veteran, is a military Veteran.
How often was this happening wh where these vets were being buried without this military
honor? >> >>KATIE: I can't speak historically but
today as we do it, we will have anywhere from one to four caskets that will come to the
museum, once a month we do a memorial service dollar.
>> >>: And so if we have identified Veteran that has no family or is homeless, then we
take them in. We partnered with dignity memorial, glen aby cemetery in bonita with the Veterans
journal alocal Veterans group such as a pearl harbor survivors and the Marine Corps league.
We provide full honors military furn funeral, we have an honor guard, and fire three volleys,
and usually it's the 82ND honor guard that does that force.
We have other group dooz it too. We put flowers on the casket, they're broughtÊ
glen aby provides an actual casket and bring as funeral service hurs to the museum.
If they are cremated remains they go to fort rose krans.
With the opening of Miramar, they can be you know, entered right here in San Diego.
So it's a combination and it's not us by any means, but it's expus glen aby, and Veterans
journal and the pearl harbor survivors and other Veterans groups that pull together and
do the services. We have music and everything, and they're
very moving. >> >>JOANNE: Tell us why especially on memorial
day. Why this is so important, why this matters.
>> >>: Sure, especially when you have a Veteran that has lost all his family, or he's homeless
or just a last family member in his line, there's no one to say goodbye to him.
So we do that. >> >>JOANNE: It mean as lot.
You've obviously attended these? >> >>: Yes.
As a matter of fact, when I was on active duty y did four formal ceremonies at ar lng
tn national cemetery, honor guard, horses, bands the wholeÊ so they're movingÊ very
moving ceremonies. >> >>JOANNE: There might be some people at
home who maybe want to attend and be a part of this.
Where can they get more information? >> >>: On the fourth Saturday of every month
we do a memorial service at the museum. First we read the names of all those Veterans
that are passed away in San Diego county it, the names of all the active duty personnel
that have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. We pull the bell, ring the bell after that.
Then if we have any indigent Veterans or homeless Veteran that are there, or Veterans without
family, we bring the caskets in and do a full honors funeral service, fold the flag, present
it to either one of the pearl harbor survivors. >> >>JOANNE: Do you have a website?
>> >>: Yes, WWW.veteran, there's no S.
>> >>JOANNE: Thank you so much for being here. >> >>: Oo sure.
>> >>PEGGY: Fum full containment of the banner fire is expected tomorrow as crews continue
to work to extinguish hot spots. More than 5,000 acres burn in the fire south
of highway 78 and east of Julian. Some families in the shelter valley area were
evacuated but all residents were allowed to return home.
Thirteen water tenders along with two helicopters were used to battle the blaze at an estimate
offed cost of $3Êmillion t.several communities around the count count a were without power
today. More than 3,000 SDG&E customers in lemon grove
and 1200 in vista. SDG&E released a statement saying the power
failure was probably caused by problems in the over head electrical system.
No additional details were given. The utilities said power would be back on
this afternoon. Now, summer is coming and for San Diego teens
that could mean summer jobs if they can find them.
But in some tough mid city neighborhoods not having summer work may actually become a public
safety issue. The media arts sebt or f San Diego produced
this video from a job fair to help teens stay off the street.
It's part of the KPBS media collaboration called speak city heights.
>> >>: This event was put on through the collaboration to keep city heights streets safe.
At the teen center, we are also trying to promote keeping youth safe.
A at one of the meetings I decided have we ever had a career frair? We gawt together
and with over 43 different employers we felt this would be a great cause and deal for our
community to actually promote students going to school in a neighborhood, students getting
hard in their. >> >>: The collaboration is made up of just
a bunch of different community organizations and big businesses here in city heights that
care about keeping our youth safe. Most of the youths coming up are interested
in jobs which is the primary focus for today's event.
A lot of them are looking for summer jobs. Many of the young adults here in city heights
have to support their family. We have a lot of homeless youth here in city
heights. Paid training program so it serves two purposes;
one, it's a high school diploma recovery program. And see how important that is to actually
opening doors in their future. We can do that by offering them a pay pd training
program so it's like a job, they're building a job skill, getting hands on training while
completing their high school education. So it's win win.
>> >>: It's very worth while. There are people here struggling to look for
jobs. Right here is a whole bunch of opportunities
that are hirers. I hope thp opportunity comes true and they're
willing to go out and work. >> >>: When we started this job fair over
six months ago, we really did not know how many employers were going to show up.
When we et up this job fair, we felt like we must have the employer, the prerequisite,
you must offer internship or training, or must come and offer a resource.
In this neighborhood we want the students in the neighborhood to be hired in the neighborhood,
so hopefully start withing this first job fair in city heights, most of the franchises
in this neighborhood will start being prepared to hire youth again.
>> >>: It's hard to find a job in our neighborhood. When I walked around here, there are more
volunteer positions than jobs. There are more connections it, people that
can help you get a job. You know, there's a job here, you can apply
and get it. It's not a guaranteed thing, you know.
>> >>: There are not enough jobs in the neighborhood. But at the same time, this is a new start.
So sometimes we can't offer jobs or resources, we keep the youth on the right track.
Hopefully this is a beginning for city heights as a whole.
>> >>PEGGY: Brian miers and Megan burks produced the video.
For more information go to More than 6,000 men and weum tn of the U.S.
armed forces have died over the past decade fighting in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Tom Mitchell of the Veterans village of San Diego made this video to convey the powerful
feelings of sorrow and pride shared by all on this memorial day for the ultimate sacrifice
of our fellow Americans. >> >>PEGGY: You can watch and comment on any
of the stories you saw tonight on our website,
Thank you for joining us and have a great evening.
Captions provided by ecaptions