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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD

Obama, National Security to Meet on Syria; Terminally Ill Wife Shot, Husband Charged; Boys Sentenced for Bus Beating.

Aired August 30, 2013 - 11:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DR. DAVID KAY, FORMER U.N. WEAPONS INSPECTOR: Although I will say in 2003 I found the actual intelligence. When we reviewed it carefully and compared it to what it was on the ground, it did not match to what we had been told, prior to the war, intelligence said. And I think everyone has understood now that the intelligence methodology of slam- dunk intelligence is over and you need to be very careful when this information is released to see what it says and carefully analyze it.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: I remember, Dr. Kay, back before the incursion into Iraq, I was talking to one of Saddam Hussein's top official who accused the United Nations weapons inspectors of bugging the offices of the top officials in that administration. Is that not a lie or did they not at some point try to gather accurate information through listening?

KAY: To the best of my knowledge, the inspectors did not bug any offices. We have a lot of capabilities but that is not one that we had. I cannot speak to what national intelligence services may have done.

One last warning. When the conversations are released, you're reading an English transcript of Arabic. Very often, as you know, with Google Translate, you get very different meanings. And in the case in 2003, what Colin Powell cited as communication intercepts in the Security Council, indeed, did not mean what we thought they meant. It was a combination of mistranslation and code words they used.

BANFIELD: Well, there you go, Terry Gazzez (ph). Then there's the answer to that accusation that was made to me when I spoke with him.

Spider Marks, I want to talk to you a little bit about what Americans are thinking in light of what happened yesterday in Britain. They voted this down. That nation doesn't seem to have the appetite despite how awful the circumstances in Syria are, the humanitarian tragedy. They don't seem to have the appetite to help. I am curious about the thoughts here in America as Americans watch what has transpired.

Let me go over some of the numbers. As we played world police and helped out desperate people in the past, who had horrifying dictators, in Bosnia in '95, 59 percent of Americans supported going in and helping those people. There were children dying in the streets. They had women dying in the streets there. It dropped in '99 when it was Kosovo. Only 51 percent of people said, OK, we'll help. Yet, again, women and children dying in the streets of Libya. In 2011, that number dropped to 32 percent. And now with Syria, the military action, when the question is asked, do we respond in Syria because they used chemical weapons, the support here is less than 50 percent. It's just 42 percent of Americans.

Spider Marks, are we losing our ability to stomach what it costs in blood and treasure to help out people around the world?

JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, RETIRED MAYOR GENERAL & CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Ashleigh, the difference that we have in this circumstance and what we saw in certainly Bosnia and Kosovo -- and I participated in Kosovo and I was the intel guy that gave Dr. Kay the intel when we went from Exploitation Task Force to the Iraq Service Group, which he led. My view of this is that the president has very, very precisely defined the issue of the use of chemical weapons. The fact that Assad has a regime that has brutalized his country and is killing his own population, to the American population and to America, we have not cared up to this point. At least the administration has been content to say we are going to allow what we see in Syria take place. Nothing has taken place by the United States in advance of the discussions that we hear now. So this really is a distinction with a difference. It's chemical weapons, which is egregious, against international law, as opposed to Assad slaughtering its own people, which many would argue that's an internal Syrian problem. I hate to sound graphic --

(CROSSTALK)

MARKS: -- but that's what it is.

BANFIELD: I know. I know. It's just death by different methods. And one extraordinary and the other not so much.

Dr. Kay and General Marks, thank you much. Appreciate your insight into these very critical questions.

Still to come, three boys charged in a terrible bus beating saying they are sorry. Look at this picture. This is one of them. Blaming peer pressure for what he did. One physically ill right there in front of the judge. Find out what happened anyway. What kind of sentence those kids got.

But first, a husband charged in the shooting death of his wife and he says it was her terminal cancer. She asked him to do it, he says. But wait until you hear where the woman was shot, how many times she was shot before you decide if it's mercy or murder.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: Police in Kentucky are reserving judgment on a case of a husband who said he shot his wife because she asked him to shoot her. Ernest Chris Chumbley admits, "I did it, I killed my wife, Virginia." But she had been battling breast cancer for years. He said she could not stand the pain any more. But authorities say they are not so sure about the story because he shot her three times in the face. Here's his call to police.

(BEGIN AUDIO FEED) ERNEST CHRIS CHUMBLEY, ADMITS KILLING WIFE: You need to come out here.

911 OPERATOR: Tell me what happened.

CHUMBLEY: (INAUDIBLE)

She died from my shots. She told me to end the pain today. I said, I love you. The doctors gave you the medicine, the pain pill. And she said, no. She said, I've took enough of them. I want you to stop my pain for good.

(END AUDIO FEED)

BANFIELD: All right. This is a tough one. It's a good one for our CNN legal analyst, Danny Cevallos; and defense attorney, Midwin Charles.

Midwin, I'll start with you.

Would you prefer to defend or prosecute this case?

MIDWIN CHARLES, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I would prefer to prosecute. This is one of those hard ones. How can you say that you want to end your wife's misery and pain but, yet, you shoot her in the face not once, not twice, but three times? It does not bode well. We always see mercy killings or assisted suicide cases but they usually don't look like this. They are usually where one spouse or a family member will assist the person in passing on to the next life. Of course, the law objects to this. It's still murder.

(CROSSTALK)

CHARLES: At least.

BANFIELD: Danny, that brings me to a case last year. In Phoenix, a man named George Sanders, 86 years old, wrapped a towel around the gun and shot his wife, who was 81, Virginia, saying she asked me to do it. He got two years probation. But I think what's critical here is that his entire family stood up for him. His children, grandchildren all said the same thing, our mother was in such pain, she wanted this.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Unfortunately, it really doesn't matter. Mercy killing is illegal. And it's not that society really has a moral objection to mercy killing. It appears that in a large we do not. The problem is likely an issue of enforcement. If we make it legal, how many husbands are going to claim, my wife wanted it this way after they have a hangnail or maybe the flu. And in many cases, the ones we've discussed so far it's been husband shooting wife, killing wife.

BANFIELD: Yeah.

CEVALLOS: So in those cases, as a public policy issue, if we expand mercy killing and allow mercy killing in society, we may not be morally opposed to it. The problem is other members of society might abuse it.

BANFIELD: So he was prosecuted and he was convicted but again two years probation for this effectively it's murder.

Does it matter then, Midwin, when you build the case, the forensics that you mentioned and the family members that stood up, if this man doesn't have family members to come and plead his case as well -- he's got grown children, apparently -- does it all come down to, that's clever but no dice?

CHARLES: Exactly. That's clever but no dice. Listen, prosecutors have to purport justice. That's what they do.

BANFIELD: Can I add in one more fact here?

CHARLES: You may.

(LAUGHTER)

BANFIELD: That is some of the neighbors say that they were a loving couple for decade. Never had issues.

CHARLES: 20 years.

BANFIELD: Other neighbors, they had issues. Two stories there, right?

CHARLES: But if you just look at the way that it occurred, three shots to the face.

BANFIELD: That's hard.

CHARLES: There is something about that in and of itself that says something isn't right here.

BANFIELD: It's what made me stop, I have to say. It may me say this is a case for both of you.

(LAUGHTER)

Danny Cevallos and Midwin Charles, thank you for that.

He served in Congress and served as mayor of San Diego, and for the last six weeks, we've been talking about Bob Filner. But it's not about his accomplishments, but sexual harassment allegations. We have the latest in what could be at least a closing chapter.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: MVP player, Lamar Odom, was charged with suspicion of DUI in California. The husband of Chloe Kardashian was arrested after he was unable to perform a field sobriety test and refused all chemical tests as well. Odom has been making headlines in several media outlets lately for alleged substance abuse.

San Diego today, it's Bob Filner's last day as mayor. He agreed to resign after being swamped with a tsunami of sexual harassment claims. He was just a year on the job. Gloria Allred and some of the 18 women who are complained about Filner are planning a press conference to be him adieu.

The man known as "Shorty," Delbert Belton, was laid to rest with full military honors. The World War II veteran was beaten to death last week during an attempted robbery in Spokane, Washington. Two teenagers were charged with his murder and they are going to be tried as adults.

Three boys charged and sentenced in a brutal school bus beating. One woman told her grandson, "You want to act like a criminal, you'll be treated like a criminal." More from her coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: The sentence has been handed down for the three teenagers who involved in that brutal school bus beating. We have been telling you about this story since it happened because the video was just astounding.

Pamela Brown has the details of the judge's decision and then the reaction because of those pictures in the courtroom.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Watch as this video displayed shows the three 15-year-old boys taunting the 13-year-old victim as he crouches in his seat. Moments later, this. A vicious attack. Video so powerful even the prosecutor choked up.

UNIDENTIFIED PROSECUTOR: Just a moment, Judge.

DIONNE MILLER, LEGAL GUARDIAN OF DEFENDANT: You could have killed this young man.

BROWN: One of the defendant's legal guardians, Dionne Miller, says watching the video made her want to save the victim from her own grandson.

MILLER: That child was defenseless. And for that to happen to him, it made me angry as a parent and wanting to be in there to help him.

BROWN: In court, the teens handed over apology letters and blamed their actions on peer pressure after they say the victim wrongly accused them of selling drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED DEFENDANT: I listened to what somebody else told me.

UNIDENTIFIED DEFENDANT: I was being a follower.

UNIDENTIFIED DEFENDANT: I was angry. I felt disrespected because something was said about me that wasn't true.

RAYMOND O. GROSS, JUDGE: Had you gone to adult court, there is very little doubt in my mind that you'd be heading to some type of prison. BROWN: They were given indefinite supervised probation because of their age and first-offender status. Among the measures, electronic monitoring, anger management counselor, a strict curfew, community service and drug testing.

Miller says she believed her grandson has learned a tough lesson.

MILLER: When kids are away from home, they do what they choose to do. Yes, we have. We have to spoken to several times about hanging around the wrong people. There are always consequences of things you do, whether positive or negative.

BROWN (on camera): How are you handling this? How does a parent discipline their child after such a vicious act?

MILLER: I told them, I said, you want to act like a criminal, we'll treat you like one. If we watch television, you watch what we watch on television. I said that's how they do it in jail so that's how we're going to do it at home.

BROWN: Pamela Brown, CNN, Clearwater, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BANFIELD: I want to bring in criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, Anne Bremner, who has had a lot of experience with juveniles and prosecuting juveniles. She's live in Seattle.

Anne, it's good to see you, and I'm sorry it's under these circumstances.

A lot of people, Ann, are asking the question, what? Indefinite supervised probation?

ANNE BREMNER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & FORMER PROSECUTOR: Right.

BANFIELD: I get it. They're teenagers. There's all sorts of reasons we don't bring down the hammer, but we don't need to be protected from kids like these?

BREMNER: Absolutely. It's great to see you again, Ashleigh.

The thing is in case like this, we say we give second chances to kids, to juveniles. A lot of what we look at in punishment and the debate about punishment is retribution, one aspect of it. And another one is rehabilitation. Another one is restitution. And the final one is deterrence. So the juveniles will look at rehabilitation. Give them a second chance. They come from maybe problem families. They're not living there (INAUDIBLE). That's one end of the argument. On the other hand, Florida has the highest rate of incarcerating juveniles. This prosecutor wept. The judge called it hideous. Isn't that the kind of case we want to go toward deterrence on --

(CROSSTALK)

BREMNER: -- there's no second acts in American life -- (CROSSTALK)

BANFIELD: I hear you.

(CROSSTALK)

BANFIELD: When you tell me about those very important issues -- restitution, retribution and deterrence -- when it comes to gets and these second chances, what do we know about the statistics of recidivism. How often does it work and keep them from doing it again?

BREMNER: That's a great question. It's the final "R" and question mark, Ashleigh, because you can see all kinds of studies that have conflicting results. When these kids are given a second chance, whether they do it again and again -- and I mean spent the time again and again and again. I had a federal grant. They were murders, chronic offenders. You've got to give them some punishment for them to get it into their heads that they're not going to do it again. The fact of the matter is, if there's no second acts in the American life, how do they get a second chance. Are they going to do the right thing or is it more important, do we deserve more? Do we deserve to be protected? Do we deserve deterrence? Because I don't know if there's anything out there that solves this debate with juveniles --

(CROSSTALK)

BREMNER: -- in a way that would make us feel safe.

BANFIELD: It's distressing. You see that video and you want to cringe.

BREMNER: Oh, my gosh.

(CROSSTALK)

BREMNER: You want to cringe. You want to cry.

BANFIELD: Yeah. It happened in the courtroom.

Anne Bremner, it's great to see you again. Let's do this again, shall we?

BREMNER: It's great to see you.

BANFIELD: Thank you, Anne.

BREMNER: I hope so. My pleasure.

BANFIELD: Thanks. Have a great weekend.

Coming up at the top of the hour, AROUND THE WORLD will bring you the latest on "The Crisis in Syria." We have reporters that are blanketing the region from Great Britain to Washington to over next door in Syria. Stay with us on CNN for continuing live coverage.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BANFIELD: We just told you this story out of Florida with that horrible school bus beating where the kids got indefinite supervised probation, no time behind bars. As it turns out, nearly half of all juvenile offenders in California end up back in court within a year of getting out. One woman has decided that's enough. It's time to teach them a trade.

That's what makes her a "CNN Hero."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I used to get into trouble. I was selling drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was domestic violence in my home. I didn't see a future more myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once I had a record, I felt like I wasn't going to get a job. I'll just going back to what I used to do.

TERESA GOINES, CNN HERO: You guys are the ones that know better than anybody. You're the ones that have to change.

I worked as a juvenile corrections officer. People would get out ready to start their lives. We put them back in the same environment and they would come back to jail. Witnessing that over and over, I couldn't not do something about it.

I'm Teresa Goines. I started the Old School Cafe, a super club run by them to gives them the skills and the opportunities to change their lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody needs to pay attention.

Dionee (ph) is going to start off serving.

GOINES: Our program provides hands on training.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We wanted to say, oh, excuse my reach.

GOINES: Our motto is jump in and learn. If they complete that successfully, they get a chance to apply for a position.

We're excited to have you on the team, and really proud you have.

We do the hiring, firing. We do reviews.

You know what it means to have sense of urgency. You're team player.

I want them to keep rising up in leadership and management.

(MUSIC)

GOINES: The theme of the restaurant is '20, 40's, renaissance. I see my role as being the quarter back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I used to just make grilled cheese. Now I'm cooking everything on the menu.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of opportunities. This will help me stay out of trouble.

GOINES: The core is giving them hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to be my own boss.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to be an entrepreneur.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to be successful.

GOINES: Once that light goes on, what they do, they're on their way to fly.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BANFIELD: We need your help to find more inspiring people. Go to CNNheroes.com and nominate someone you know who is making a difference and deserves to be recognized for it.

Thanks for watching, everybody. Happy Labor Day weekend. AROUND THE WORLD starts right now.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to this special hour of "The Crisis in Syria. We'd like to welcome our viewers here in the United States as well as those watching from around the world. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Richard Quest, in for Michael Holmes this week.

MALVEAUX: We have reached a critical point in the debate over whether or not the U.S. should attack Syria.