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Young Woman Brutally Stabbed; Sting Nabs Alleged Child Molesters

Aired March 23, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a life slashed short. A beautiful college freshman brutally stabbed near a New York park. What happened after she stormed out of a party late Friday night? Is someone from that party responsible for this horror? The latest on this fast-breaking story.

And fighting to save our kids. Jaw-dropping video of a Florida Internet sex predator sting. Cops say they snagged 22 pedophiles, including a couple. Cops lured them to a house by posing as a 14-year-old girl on Craigslist. I`ll show you the dramatic video of cops catching these alleged perverts red-handed.

Also, Casey evidence shocker. Does a hair found in Casey Anthony`s trunk prove that little Caylee`s body was placed there after her death? The defense says the hair`s junk science and should be booted out of evidence. But prosecutors think it might be a nail in the Casey case coffin. I`ll have details.

Plus tonight, our broken justice system out of control. Twin brothers sent to the slammer for long prison terms, even though both were first-time drug offenders and the evidence was dicey at best. I`ll talk one on one with the mother and one of the just-released twins about how these mandatory minimums for crack are destroying lives while violent criminals skate free.

ISSUES starts now.



CHARLES BROE, HYDE PARK POLICE CHIEF: It`s difficult. It`s a young girl. She was a student here at FDR.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything that can be done is being done.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, look at this beautiful girl you just saw there. Breaking news, a tragic murder mystery destroying a small town. Cops desperately trying to find out who killed and dumped a beautiful college student right on the side of the road.

Eighteen-year-old Kathryn Filiberti was last seen at a friend`s party Friday night, 75 miles north of New York City. A young man who calls himself Kathryn`s boyfriend told "Poughkeepsie Journal" that he was the last person to see her. He said the two of them argued because Kathryn was upset about another guest at the party she didn`t like. Then Kathryn left the party on foot. But did somebody follow her?

Her body found the next day on the side of the road, five miles from the party. Cops have reportedly removed evidence from the scene. WABC now reporting she was stabbed multiple times in the face and chest and that two people are being questioned tonight. But the police chief will not confirm that.

Kathryn`s devastated best friend simply cannot believe this.


LINDSAY MCGARRIL, KATHRYN`S FRIEND: I never thought that it could happen, never. You never -- you never think it could happen to you until you hear that your best friend was murdered.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops tell ISSUES they haven`t named any suspects but say they`re working on this case around the clock. So did somebody follow this beautiful young woman from the party? Or was this some kind of crime of opportunity as she left alone in a huff? What do you think?

Straight out to investigative journalist Jon Lieberman.

Jon, if this beautiful girl was indeed stabbed in the face and multiple times, it sounds to me like a crime of passion. What do you know? What`s the latest?

JON LIEBERMAN, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Absolutely, Jane. Of course, our thoughts and prayers go out to Kathryn`s family tonight as all murder victims.

Here`s what we know. Police are working feverishly around the clock. They have gathered evidence. Dozens of cops from a number of different agencies scoured the area around where her body was found, and they did find some significant pieces of evidence.

Cops are telling me this. They expect a major break in this case very, very soon.

And to your point, they don`t believe there`s a public safety risk here. They do believe that Kathryn was killed by someone that she does know. Right now they`re trying to piece together a narrative and a chronology of exactly what happened at that party, all of her interactions with everybody at that party; and, of course, trying to put together a timeline between the time she left that party and the time a few hours later that her body was found dead.


LIEBERMAN: But they do believe she knew her attacker.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, OK. She knew her attacker. A break is imminent. All right.

The victim from Hyde Park, New York. That`s about 75 miles north of New York City. Now, we checked to see what the weather conditions were like there this past weekend. Guess what? It was barely above freezing. And that brings me to my big issue. Is this an unlikely scenario?

You need to tell me that this young woman left the party on foot -- OK, again, unlikely scenario -- And walked five miles in the dead of night in the freezing cold? Remember, she was five miles from the party when she was found, when her body was found. I just don`t believe it, John Lucich, criminal investigator. She must have gotten a ride from somebody or was taken by force.

JOHN LUCICH, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Sure, absolutely. Could be a lot of different scenarios, Jane. But I`m troubled by her boyfriend`s statement when he said he was the last one to see her alive at the party. If he truly let -- did not leave with that woman, how does he know she didn`t meet somebody outside, if she really, truly left alone? There`s no doubt about it they`re taking a look this guy very, very closely. Although they have not named this guy as a suspect, he knew her. Most people are murdered by people that they know, end of story.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And he is not, I want to stress, considered a suspect. In fact, they`re saying they don`t have any suspects at this time. Only that the person who did this, they believe, is somebody she knew, the public is not in danger, and that they`re going to have a break in the case soon.

Let`s talk about this boyfriend. The victim`s best friend describes him as Kathryn`s on-again, off-again boyfriend. "The Poughkeepsie Journal" is reporting this guy has gone so far as to say the police could try harder to find Kathryn`s killer, who says they met in high school. He had a crush on her for a year before she dated him. He`s also quoted as saying that he`s not the greatest guy in the world but that Kathryn loved him anyway.

Now, "The Poughkeepsie Journal" reporting he was arrested last year for second-degree gang assault.

Jay Wendell Gorton, what do you make of that and that he admits he was the last person to see Kathryn alive?

JAY WENDELL GORTON: Jane, I say sound the alarm for Mike Delarm, her boyfriend. Jane, the victim`s body had multiple stab wounds in the face and chest. That is the mark of a passion killing. That is not the mark of a real killer. A real killer would have possibly slashed her throat.

He was obsessed with her, I would say. He tried to date her for an entire year. A person like that is a someone who`s obsessed with her looks. I mean, he stabbed her in her face. That`s a person who`s obsessed with her looks, a person who`s obsessed with her. And just to give you a snapshot, although all people are innocent until proven guilty...


GORTON: ... his gang violence arrest gives you a little snapshot of him. We know about her. We know she was a fantastic gymnast.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait a second. Let me say one thing. OK. First of all, his attorney, he invited on any time if he even has an attorney. Again, he is not considered a suspect by law enforcement.

GORTON: Not by law enforcement.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I have to raise the issue of this person supposedly at the party that the victim did not like. Now, there was a possible conflict there, and I want to know about that, Jon Lieberman. Someone at the party she did not like. Now, there was a possible conflict there and I want to know about that, Jon Lieberman. There was somebody at the party she did not like, apparently. Tell us.

LIEBERMAN: Well, that was according to the boyfriend. The boyfriend said there was somebody at the party that she didn`t like. And that`s what police are trying to get to the bottom of right now.

They have spoken to everybody at that party. In fact, they brought some people in from that party to speak to, as well. And they will get to the bottom of this.

You know, Jane, we shouldn`t lose sight of the fact that Kathryn was, by all accounts, a great kid, a star athlete, you know, not the type of kid that would be involved, you know, in situations...


LIEBERMAN: ... that -- that would warrant something.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She made varsity. This was a very athletic, good girl.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not a troubled girl at all. The victim`s best friend is -- she`s just absolutely devastated over the loss of her friend. Listen to this.


MCGARRIL: We just got back from the mall and I was about to close the car door and the last thing I said to her was "I love you, Boo," and I closed the door and that`s the last time I saw her smile.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lindsay McGarril said she could not go to this party last weekend because she didn`t have a ride, and now she`s beating herself up, Dr. Dale Archer, saying somehow if she had arrived and been there, maybe -- people often live the guilt over -- the irrational guilt over a terrible crime like this seeps into everybody who really couldn`t do anything to prevent it.

DR. DALE ARCHER, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Right. It`s an irrational guilt. And of course, that`s her best friend, and her best friend is dead. So your whole world changes at that moment, because this is something that has occurred which you never possible could have conceived.

And every single person that knows her is thinking, "Wow, I could have done this. I could have done that. What if I had been there? What if, what if, what if?" It`s human nature to think that we could have done something, when in reality, of course, no one could have done anything.

I mean, this was a crime of passion. The victim -- she was -- the guy who did it or person who did it absolutely knew her without a doubt. And slashing the face really speaks to me that this was a relationship type of killing, either with the boyfriend or another guy that was involved and wanted to say, "You know what? If I can`t have you, no one else can. And I`m going to take out your looks, as well."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. She`s a beautiful young woman. You don`t know who might have had a crush on her, who might have had some kind of interactions. We don`t know all the answers.

Thank you, fantastic panel.

Coming up, a Casey Anthony shocker. Does a single hair allegedly found in Casey Anthony`s trunk prove Casey`s guilt? Or is this junk science? A huge debate in court today.

But first, a dramatic Internet sex sting, allegedly grabbing 22 individuals who cops say are perverts off the street. We`re going to show you the dramatic video and talk to a cop who helped organize all this. What do you think of this?


SHERIFF BILL FARMER: Obviously, they`re coming to meet a 14-year-old child. And when they`re greeted at the door with three deputies, you know, ordering them to get on the ground and that they`re under arrest, then sheer terror.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t resist. Don`t resist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the way down.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, alleged child predators saunter right into a trap. Police say they busted 22 people who showed up to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex, but there was no girl, just a house packed with cops.


FARMER: How many of these sick people is out there preying on our children that we do not apprehend?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Florida investigators posted Craigslist ads pretending to be minors. They set up a bait house, where they say the suspects went to have sex with an underaged girl. Police took them down one by one by one. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground. Get on the ground. Get on the ground.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, dramatic video, all right. But some people are wondering tonight, will these cases hold up in court? Are the defendants going to argue entrapment?

Straight out to Sheriff Bill Farmer from Sumter County, Florida.

Sheriff, why did you decide to take this dramatic step and run a sting that seems to be really from the page book of "Dateline NBC`s To Catch a Predator"?

FARMER (via phone): Well, Jane, we -- we`re just tired of it here in the state of Florida. We`ve got such a child predator problem within the state of Florida. All the sheriffs of Florida, we kind of band together. And we`re going to do these operations throughout the state of Florida to protect the children of Florida.

This is a bad thing that we`ve got going on down in Florida. And we just want to curb it. We want to stop it, with the enforcement of these sting operations.

We believe that they`re constitutional. And we believe that they`ll hold up in court, because each and every one of these people, they contacted us on the Internet and made contact, thinking they were contacting a 14-year-old girl, and they came to a location to have sex with that 14-year-old girl. So we firmly feel and believe that it will hold up, and it will be a strong case in court.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. The 22 suspects range in age from 20 to 59 years old, among them a married couple. And another suspect is a security guard at Universal Studios.

Now I want to ask you about this married couple. Are you alleging that you spoke to both the husband and the wife? Because I`m kind of wondering what if the husband was involved and, let`s say, didn`t tell the wife where they were going, and she gets swept up in this thing, Sheriff?

FARMER: Yes, that`s something that will be learned throughout the investigation. She did arrive with the husband to commit this act upon a 14-year-old girl. And that`s something that`s going to be sorted out by the state attorney`s office and their investigation.

We know that we were in contact with someone from their computer to our computer station, and that person left and arrived at our residence for sex with a 14-year-old girl. And that`s something that our investigation will -- will look at.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, hang on there, Sheriff. I certainly admire your intentions, but we have to ask the tough question. That`s part of our job.

FARMER: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So here`s my big issue. Are these good targets or bad traps? This sting resulted in 22 arrests in just five days. And authorities say many of the suspects have no criminal record, and not one of them is a registered sex offender.

FARMER: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We all want pedophiles behind bars, but the reality is undercover stings like this can sometimes -- they have in the past resulted in overturned convictions. Defendants often claim entrapment.

I used to watch "Dateline`s To Catch a Predator" series, and I have to be honest, I was conflicted, because in one of the cases on "Dateline," for example, a suspect committed suicide. His family sued NBC for $105 million. They reached a confidential settlement.

Debra Opri, criminal defense attorney, we all want predators in prison. Do you think this is the best way to do it?

DEBRA OPRI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: In this Internet age with this high technology, absolutely it`s the best way. I call these the Craigslist Crimestoppers. We have to use our technology.

And the gentleman is correct. He did not solicit them. They posted a young 14-year-old girl on Craigslist. She put herself out there, and they came looking for her. The fact that they came to her and she didn`t go to them, that would be a strong argument against the entrapment defense. I think you have to use every avenue you have, Jane, and you know this. You know this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. And again, believe me, I want to catch predators. I am saying these people -- first of all, we have to say they haven`t been convicted of anything. They have been arrested and charged. But I want to learn more about how this is done.

Cris Logan, you`re the communications director for Enough is Enough. It wasn`t involved in this particular sting, but you`ve been involved in this area. Now, my question is these decoys, are they the first to bring up the subject of sex? And how graphic is the talk that these decoys engage in, in the process of enticing the subjects to come out and come to a house where they think they`re going to have sex, allegedly?

CRIS CLAPP LOGAN, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Well, it`s certainly amazing. One of the things that we`ve seen through the Internet is that predators have easy and anonymous access to kids. They also have access to a la carte child pornography.

And oftentimes, the level of discussions that these individuals are engaging in when they`re soliciting a youth online is very graphic; it`s very sexual in nature. They`re swapping and exchanging child pornography and encouraging youth to act out sexually in a way that`s absolutely horrendous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. But my question is who brings up the sex first? In other words, if somebody`s pretending to be a 14-year-old girl, are they going online and saying, "Hey, I would like to have sex with somebody" and -- and soliciting? Because I will say that a successful defense of entrapment is that you would not have committed the crime, were it not for the involvement of law enforcement. Just explain that, Cris.

LOGAN: Well, one of the things that we see regularly, whenever we`re involved with any law enforcement is that they`re going into these rooms. And these individuals, oftentimes a man, oftentimes individuals that are in a strong position in society, are actually soliciting and seeking out sex with a minor.

So you don`t have to be the one that`s reaching out, seeking that information as a 14-year-old. These individuals are all over the place online.

And parents have to be first line of defense. They have to be aware of the warning signs their child may be engaging in this type of content. You have to be aware.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Hang in a second, because we`re just getting started.

Plus, Casey Anthony in court. A huge day all over a hair that could decide this case.

But first, an Internet sting nabs 22 alleged pedophiles. It`s caught on camera. We`re talking to the sheriff involved.



FARMER: If we can do two weeks of operations like that here in this area and then get 44 people as a result of just two weeks, how many more is doing this on our children of this state and getting away with it?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Suspected predators caught on camera in an undercover sting. Were these 22 people all intending to have sex with a 14-year-old girl they met online? We`re talking to Sheriff Bill Farmer, who helped organize all this.

Sheriff, I understand that some of these suspects arrived with condoms and lubricant?

FARMER: Yes, Jane. They arrived ready for business. They had condoms and lubricants with them in their possession. And when we took them down, as they came in the house, they had this in their possession, and they were ready to fulfill whatever fantasy they came with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So tell me how it works, Sheriff. You`re online with a law enforcement officer or somebody working with law enforcement who`s pretending to be a 14-year-old girl.

FARMER: Yes, first of all, Jane, we posted it on Craigslist. Craigslist has -- they have a policy of taking it down within ten minutes as soon. As someone posts a sex ad on Craiglist now, they automatically take it down. But within that ten minutes, we had hundreds of hits within ten minutes on our Web site.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what did the ads say?

FARMER: And then our investigators picked it up from there and talked to the individuals.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did the ads say, sir?

FARMER: I don`t have one in front of me. It`s just basically a Craigslist ad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But did it say 14-year-old girl?

FARMER: Fourteen-year-old -- right, 14-year-old girl, you know. And they`ll post what they`d like to talk about, what they`d like to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then these suspects allegedly contact...

FARMER: They contact them, and they`re carrying on a conversation with a 14-year-old girl online, is the way they feel.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So you`re maintaining that nobody could ever confuse this with any kind of fantasy game or any kind of...

FARMER: No, Jane. There`s no way. Because we make it quite plain on the Internet that they are in communication with a 14-year-old girl, that they are coming and they are arriving at this residence in question to have sex with a 14-year-old girl. There`s no -- there`s no way they can be mistaken about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask -- what -- what are these people technically charged with? Are they all charged with the same thing?

FARMER: Yes. They`re meeting a minor for sexual purposes, and bond`s been $50,000 on them. And we`ve got 50 felonies on these 22. A couple of weeks ago...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you find it interesting that none of these people have ever -- I just find it fascinating that none of them are on any kind of sex registry list.

FARMER: No, ma`am. There are not -- there`s not a one of them that`s on our radar screen, so to speak. Every single one of them was flying under the radar. We did not have any prior arrests for sexual offenders or predators on any -- any of these. They have no criminal records.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cris Logan, what should parents tell their kids?

LOGAN: Well, we recommend -- we actually developed a multi-media teaching program called Internet Safety 101, where we encourage parents to actually have conversations, know where their kids are going, who they`re communicating with, what they`re doing online. Use parental control software, monitoring software, filtering technology. Make sure you know who your kids are talking to, where they`re going and what they`re doing online. Parents really are the first line of defense. In this instance, law enforcement was ahead, but oftentimes, we find that parents are...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Thank you, panel. Casey Anthony up next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey evidence shocker. Does a hair found in Casey Anthony`s trunk prove that little Caylee`s body was placed there after her death? The defense says the hair`s junk science and should be booted out of evidence, but prosecutors think it might be a nail in the Casey case coffin. I`ll have details.

Plus tonight: our broken justice system out of control. Twin brothers sent to the slammer for long prison terms even though both were first-time drug offenders and the evidence was dicey at best. I`ll talk one on one with the mother and one of the just-released twins about how these mandatory minimums for crack are destroying lives while violent criminals skate free.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What can you say about a new theory that she might be dead; it might have been an accident?

GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY`S FATHER: Shut up, shut up, shut up.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It has been a drama-filled saga that has obsessed the nation for more than two years. Could all of this craziness, the screaming, the charges, the counter-charges come down to a single strand of hair? That is the battle being fought in the Casey Anthony court right now. And the decision could really determine her fate whether she`ll be convicted and possibly even executed or set free.

The hair was found, say cops, in the trunk of Casey`s car, a trunk that her own mother said smelled like death.


CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: I found out my granddaughter has been taken. She has been missing for a month. Her mother finally admitted that she`s been missing. Get someone here now.


911 OPERATOR: Ok. Your daughter admitted that the baby is where?

C. ANTHONY: The baby-sitter took her a month ago, that my daughter`s been looking for her. There`s something wrong.

I found my daughter`s car today and it smells like there`s been a dead body in the damn car.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the very same trunk where this crucial piece of evidence, a hair, was found.

Straight out to Jean Casarez, correspondent for "In Session" on TruTV; Jean, what happened in court today vis-a-vis this hair? Why is this single strand of hair so terribly significant?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Because prosecutors say that it was shown to have post mortem banding on it meaning it was decomposed hair from a decomposing body that was in that trunk.

Jane, the FBI scientific analyst came from Virginia via teleconferencing to that courtroom today and testified that she analyzed that hair herself. She found post mortem banding on it, but the defense on cross-examination said, no, wait a minute. You have no standards to follow. You have no protocols to follow. This is just your opinion. This is not something that is reliable enough to go before a jury.

She agreed there are no standards. There are no set protocols but for the years and years of research that she has done, that training has given her, her expertise to know exactly that the post mortem banding, the dark coloration found near the root of that hair tells her it has to be apparently from a decomposing body in that trunk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue and this is what everybody is wondering, is this junk science? Is it accepted or is this banding stuff too experimental?

Now, the defense is arguing, it`s junk science and should not even be heard by the jury. They`re questioning does the decomposition only mean death? Because that hair could belong -- my understanding is -- to Casey, Cindy or Caylee. But obviously two of the three people are not deceased, there`s only one deceased among those three.

So Debra Opri, criminal defense attorney, this is going to back up all the circumstantial evidence that Caylee was in Casey`s trunk.

DEBRA OPRI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes it is. And this is why it is so absolutely critical that the defense argue for a fry hearing which is basically to get the witness excluded because they`re not testifying about sound science. But what they have to do, they have to get this hair excluded because if that hair is placed in the trunk, that means the body was in the trunk and that statement by the mother, all that circumstantial evidence come to the fore.

The issue here is this -- and I think this is how it`s going to weigh down with the court. The court is going to allow the fry hearing to go forward and then he`s probably going the allow the testimony to come in with the caveat and the instruction to the jury that you give it the weight that you give it. It`s not going to come in as full scientific evidence but you give it the weight of belief you give it.

It`s going to be one more thing in the nail.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Take a look at this. Come back to me on camera. Take a look at this. Can you see? That`s one tiny little hair there -- one little tiny hair.

OPRI: But it`s the banding --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Imagine the entire case comes down to that one little tiny hair. That`s astounding.

OPRI: I think it`s getting in. It`s getting in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you combine the statements made by George and Cindy to this forensic evidence, if you marry it, it could be the nail in the coffin for their daughter. Talk about feeling guilty. Listen to George.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You loved your granddaughter more than anything in the world.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you would have done anything to help find her?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you love your daughter more than anything in the world.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you would do anything to protect her?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is your baby.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale Archer, given that the father, George, and the mother, Cindy, of the defendant have both said basically it smelled like there was a dead body in the car, how guilty are they feeling now and what will they do to try to back pedal on that when they are taken to the witness stand during their daughter`s trial?

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, Jane, I`m not sure that guilt is really the right word. I think they`re being torn apart. I think on the one hand, of course, that they want justice, but on the other hand, this is their daughter.

You`ve got a granddaughter that was killed and you got your daughter that`s being held as possibly responsible. So I think they`re being ripped apart. And on the one hand, yes, they want to cooperate. On the other hand, they want to save their daughter. So it`s a dilemma.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We found the photo of the hair itself. We`re going to show it to you.

Jean Casarez, let`s take a look at that hair, ok? And talk about the significance because we are talking about very specific stuff, post mortem root banding.

CASAREZ: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The defense is saying that`s junk science. What are the other alternatives to why this hair had this root banding, this decomposition? Any other possible explanation?

And let`s look at the hair as we talk about this.

CASAREZ: The defense brought out that it could be enzymes. It could be garbage that then would give the enzymes into this hair to have this discoloring that you see close to the end root.

But the forensic examiner was very strong. She said, no. She said that would look different. This apparently to me was the post mortem, that there actually was a deceased person that that hair was in the scalp of someone that was decomposing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So the prosecution`s going to say this is a sign that the hair belonged to a dead body and the defense is going to say, no, there`s plenty of other reasons, soil and all sorts of other explanations for why the hair ends up looking like that.

Now, I want --


CASAREZ: And Jane, here`s the issue. That goes toward the weight of the evidence, but it`s not discrediting the process, the science.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s correct.

Now, I want you to take a look at the judge during one of the FBI analysts` cross-examinations. Watch the judge. Listen to this and watch the judge.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There isn`t a manual, is there?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the procedure for collecting and mounting a slide that is to be used just for the purpose of hair banding?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is nothing specific to hair banding. It would handled as any other case.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Debra Opri, the judge looks bored out of his mind, irritated that this is all dragging on. This is known as a no-nonsense judge.

You`re chuckling Dr. Dale Archer, so take it away. He`s not looking at the person who is talking.

ARCHER: He`s not looking at the person who is talking. It looks like he`s going, this whole thing is ridiculous. And let`s get this case moving. What are we waiting on here? This is wasting my time.

OPRI: Jane, the judge is going to let in the hair and they`re probably going to try to get to other jurisdictions to see where this banding came in and try to use it this way. But this hair is getting in and this judge is going to allow it.

As I said earlier, as Jean Casarez has confirmed, it`s going to go to the weight of the evidence but it`s too strong a causal connection with the body being in that truck to not allow that hair in. It`s got to come in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jean Casarez, you`ve been there. Does this judge seem irritated by the pace of this? And what does that say for the trial quickly?

CASAREZ: He had to keep reiterating that the fry hearing goes towards the process, the science and the questions were like we were cross- examining at trial. But the prosecution got a great example of the dress rehearsal of what the defense will do at trial.

OPRI: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I got to say. I think this is not good news for Casey Anthony. But who knows? One thing I`ve learned, never predict the outcome of a trial. I`ve often been shocked.

Thank you, wonderful panel.

Twin brothers thrown in the slammer for very long sentence even though they were first-time offenders. I will talk exclusively, one on one with the mother and one of the twins about our totally broken justice system.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re letting murderers run free because we clogged our prison system with nonviolent drug offender.

MIDWIN CHARLES, ATTORNEY: That`s right, Jane. Murderers, rapists, pedophiles, child abuser, to name a few.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are we addicted to incarceration? That is a chapter in my new book "Addict Nation" available right now at We are spending billions of dollars on a prison system, packing it full with nonviolent drug offenders when the violent criminals are roaming free preying on our children.

Does it make sense? I`ve got the arguments on "Addict Nation".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I may run a tough and be called the meanest and toughest sheriff in America but I still run a humane jail system.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight has America`s tough on crime attitude gone way too far? For so many families across America including my very special exclusive guests tonight, the answer is yes.

Now, the young man you`re looking at there spent about a decade in prison. His twin brother is still behind bars.

The Garrison family was shattered when Lawrence and Lamont were busted for allegedly being part of a crack and cocaine conspiracy. At the time they were arrested, the 25-year-old twins had college degrees and were both working as juvenile counselors in Maryland. Neither had ever been accused of a crime before ever. So how did their lives take such a horrific twist?

Well, an accused drug kingpin allegedly pointed the finger at them for being a part of his crack and cocaine ring. The twins were charged with conspiracy to possession, intent to distribute about 10 kilos, which is about 22 pounds of coke and 500 grams of crack, which is about 14 ounces.

The thing is they say they were never found with any drugs on them or drug paraphernalia. They say they were unfairly considered a part of a 20- person powder-and-crack conspiracy.

In 1998, the once inseparable twin brothers who love each other so dearly were torn apart by harsh federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Lawrence was slapped with 15 years and sent to prison all the way in Kentucky. Lamont got 19 years in prison and was shipped off all the way to Ohio. Lamont`s sentence was apparently enhanced because he insisted he and his brother were innocent. Meantime that accused drug kingpin, the mastermind who fingered them, he got just three years behind bars.

Lawrence and his mother Karen join me in an exclusive interview here on ISSUES along with Julie Stewart, the president and founder of Families against Mandatory Minimums.

Lawrence, this story broke my heart when I read about it. I just literally -- it makes me want to cry because our tax dollars are spent in this manner.

Your twin brother, he`s still locked up. What are your feelings inside you when you think about your beloved brother who you can`t hug or console because he`s stuck behind bars as we speak when both of you are college graduates who dreamed of becoming lawyers until this horrific drug conspiracy charge entered your life, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE GARRISON, SERVED ALMOST A DECADE IN FEDERAL PRISON: Well, a part of me is still incarcerated. Every day I wake up, I still have a sense of emptiness. The same emptiness I had when I served the 188 months, when I was serving the 188 months, but a part of me is still incarcerated.

You know, I get to talk to my brother on the phone. I can e-mail him, but he`s not here. And it`s still a big sense of emptiness here in my heart. There always will be until he`s sitting right next to me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Karen Garrison, your son is serving 19 years in federal prison. You`ve got one son back but you`ve got your other son, your other twin boy still locked up. What runs through your heart -- and what has run through your heart as you have seen your life shattered by this?

KAREN GARRISON, MOTHER OF LAWRENCE AND LAMONT GARRISON: When I think about it now and I look at Lawrence, such a fine grown man that I didn`t know as a man. Ten years in prison from 25 to 35, he comes home, you know, and I look at him and I just can`t wait till the day that his brother`s with us. You know?

It`s just hard one day looking at one and not the other. But he talks to his brother every day. We e-mail back and forth. So we have a ring of correspondence, but I`m just waiting. And I realized I`ve lived halfway through the nightmare. And it will be to end when Lamont is home with us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. You know what makes me so angry, so sick to my stomach about this? These two young men got sentences of 15 and 19 years and they say they`re totally innocent, but either way it`s a non- violent offense. I repeat, a nonviolent crime.

Ok? Compare that to Phillip Garrido who raped Katie Calloway Hall for hours on end. Let`s listen to this for a second.


KATIE CALLOWAY HALL, VICTIM OF PHILLIP GARRIDO: I feel extremely lucky. You know, I must have had an angel watching over me that night because I have no doubt he would have killed me. I mean there`s no way he could have let me go and pressed me not to tell on him. He would have had to kill me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The guy who did that to her got ten years and then went on to kidnap Jaycee Dugard and hold her for 18 years, Julie Stewart. We have a messed up criminal justice system.

JULIE STEWART, PRESIDENT, FAMILIES AGAINST MANDATORY MINIMUMS: Yes, we certainly do. And we seem to love punishing people. More than half of the people in federal prison today are there for nonviolent drug offenses. That`s over 100,000 people. And that`s just in the federal system.

In the state systems altogether, there is 2.2 million people and something like a quarter of them are nonviolent drug offenders.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In my book I talk about the prison industrial complex. That`s what it is. It`s a big business.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you know that they make $1 billion alone on inmate phone calls? That money coming from you, your family and tax dollars.

Stay right where you are. We have more.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tragic heart-breaking story about how mandatory minimum sentences destroyed a family. I`m back talking exclusively to this fine young man whose twin brother is still behind bars each sentenced to a long time in prison. Your son, Karen, is serving 19 years in federal prison. These kids when they were arrested, they were basically -- they were college graduates, never in trouble; didn`t a professor, Karen, write a letter trying to talk some sense into our criminal justice system? And what did it say Karen, about your sons?

K. GARRISON: He even testified. Professor Thornton testified. He put his reputation on the line because he knew that those boys could not have done this crime because they say they were ten weeks with this drug dealer. All day he knows that they were in college with him. He would never have passed them. He knew that they ate their lunch out of the car. They never left campus during the day, only when I was off on Wednesdays.

He testified and said it is impossible that they could have been committing these crimes that he said in these times and that he knew that they were not drug dealers.

STEWART: But the Garrison`s case is a perfect example of how it just is this conspiracy law; if somebody gets arrested, they turnover someone else`s names. And in the course of turning over other people`s names, they can cut a deal for themselves.

So it just sweeps up a huge number of people who are peripherally involved, maybe not involved at all and it creates this enormous prison population.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And in my book, "Addict Nation", I talk about the ridiculous amount of money we taxpayers spend on locking up nonviolent criminals.

STEWART: Absolutely. The states can`t afford it, especially. I mean the federal government should be looking at these costs as well but the states are really crunching their budgets and saying we can`t afford to keep all these people in prison. We`ve got to turn the spigot off. We can`t keep putting so many people in prison.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lawrence Garrison, it costs at least $22,000 a year; and I`m sure it is much more than that to house you in a prison for a year. You, then, are not contributing to society and not paying taxes. Many times these prisons are criminal-making factories. You lived this horrific life for how many years and how did it impact you as a human being?

L. GARRISON: 11 years and eight months I lived this life. And you`re right, it`s a broken system. Eleven years and eight months; I worked every day of it. When they had federal prison industries, Unicorps (ph), it is about making money. Each body is counted for and it is a certain dollar amount. You are getting free labor and mostly sometimes cheap labor, 19 cents an hour for an inmate to rebuild and build computers.

Where this Unicorps factory is at where I was employed, they made over $150,000 a month and only paying minimum amounts and most of the money was spent back to the prison just to survive in prison. These things all affect you. Every day you wake up. It takes a little bit out of you every day.

I was thankful to have a diligent mother that was there by my side. I was thankful to be able to correspond with my brother through writing. And also have something to look forward to coming home. Coming back to a tough job market was one obstacle that I had overcome, which I did.

Thankfully, I graduated from university and having prior job employment. I knew how to write a resume and communicate with others to get a job.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to say, I love your attitude. I would be filled with rage. I would be so angry.

Stay with us. We are coming right back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here is my call to action tonight, get rid of mandatory minimums once and for all. Get involved. This is a horror. There is Families against Mandatory Minimums. Join it. Google it. Get involved. Families against Mandatory Minimum.

Karen Garrison, say something to your son.

K. GARRISON: You know I want Lamont home. Lawrence is so strong. I know that he`s preparing everything for his brother. And I`m so proud of both of them. The men they have become. Because ten years in prison, they had to be men; and I`m so proud of both of them. I just can`t wait until we are home again. And we maybe on this show but we`ll be together again.

And I think you so much for allowing us this moment. But I love my sons so much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are not going to give up on the fight for justice for your family.

K. GARRISON: I believe that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened to you is a disgrace. It`s embarrassing to me and we have got to change it.

Thank you so much.

Nancy Grace is up next.