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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
What Obama Did, Did Not Know; Pillowcase Rapist to Be Set Free; Hernandez Investigated for Gun Trafficking.
Aired October 29, 2013 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: What about that whole notion you're not going to lose your policy. If you like your policy or your doctor, you're not going to lose it. All of these people are getting notices. That can't be something they didn't know was going to happen.
MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, Sure. Well, Joe Johns actually focused on the right thing, which was those are policies that the insurance companies are cancelling. They could grandfather those in if the insurance companies wanted to. But more importantly, Ashleigh, the folks getting those letters are also getting options to get better coverage. That's exactly what Obamacare is designed to do.
And this is what the president said that I think is the important thing to focus on. This is absolutely more than a website. And I know at this point it sounds like a talking point, but it is reality. When talk to the 30 million people who are now going to have the option of getting health care who didn't have it before. And by the way, that includes the millions of invincibles. It wasn't that long ago that I didn't have health care coverage and I did not sleep well at night. So today, when those invincibles can stay on their parents' coverage until their 26 and then have the option of getting coverage for $50 or $100 --
BANFIELD: All of these messages are great. I hear you. That's a good message to be sticking with today when -- it's a very loud message that's out-voluming you with all of the problems.
I have to leave it there.
David Rothkopf and Maria Cardona, thank you both. Appreciate your insight.
Please turn in to Wolf Blitzer in "The Situation Room" for a CNN special report, "Obamacare Under Fire." That airs tonight at 6:00 eastern right here on CNN.
Something else we're following, he is known as the Pillowcase Rapist because of the way he did his trade. He has been in and out of prison several times, only to reoffend. And now Christopher Hubbard, hello, is about to walk out of at mental hospital and into a California neighborhood and those neighbors are none too pleased. Why is it allowed to happen? And is it something that can be stopped. You're going to get the "Legal View" on the protection of the citizens who may be meeting their new neighbor within a month.
BANFIELD: Welcome back to "Legal View."
He is known as the Pillowcase Rapist. Convicted of assaulting dozens upon dozens of women. And he just kept on raping even after he got out of jail the first go around. So what happens now that he's getting out again?
Also ahead, he is also charged with first-degree murder. Now ex-NFL player, Aaron Hernandez, is being investigated for gun trafficking. We'll dig into that story as well. Find out a former teammate is making headlines along with him.
Welcome back to "Legal View." I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
During his reign of terror, he was known as the Pillowcase Rapist. Christopher Hubbard was convicted of assault dozens of women in the 1970s and the 1980s. Now he's about to be released once again, from time from a mental hospital. And the residents where Mr. Hubbard is expected to set down his suitcase and call home are expressing a lot of alarm and outrage, if not out-right fear.
CNN's Kyung Lah spoke with some of them.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here in the dusty high desert of Lake Los Angeles, two hours from downtown L.A., is a place where one of California's most infamous rapists will soon be calling home.
(on camera): Can you see it from your driveway?
NICHOLE STONE, NEIGHBOR: Yeah. It's right over there.
LAH (voice-over): Just two doors down from Nichole Stone.
LAH (voice-over): This is the house?
STONE: Yes. I wouldn't want to come home if he moved in. I wouldn't want to risk being here. How is that fair to me to be forced not to come home out of fear from him.
LAH (voice-over): Fear. And Stone wasn't even alive during Hubbard's reign of terror.
It was the '70s and '80s when Hubbard was known as the Pillowcase Rapist after his practice of covering his victims' heads with a pillowcase. He was convicted of assaulting dozens of women. Hubbard was first arrested in the early '70s and later admitted to raping almost two dozen women throughout the state over a three-year period. (on camera): He admitted in court that he drove around neighbors and looking for open garage doors indicating husbands had left for work. He looked for toys, believing mothers would protect their children and fight less. He served six years behind bars and was released in 1979. Prosecutors say he then raped another 23 women.
(voice-over): After serving two more prison sentences for rape and burglary, he was paroled in 1993. Part of that parole included a psychological evaluation, which resulted in his parole being revoked. He was sent to a state mental hospital. Psychiatrists have testified that he has a mental disorder with a high risk of reoffending. Earlier this year, he petitioned for the unconditional release.
MIKE ANTONOVICH, LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERVISOR: It sent a shock of fear through the Los Angeles community.
LAH: Los Angeles County supervisor, Mike Antonovich, remembers the Pillowcase Rapist and was stunned to hear that he was being released.
(on camera): Will this community be protected from this man?
ANTONOVICH: There's no way you can protect the community. You do not have 24/7 protection. He's not living in a cage. He's going to be roaming around. And that's the problem. That's how rapists attack and how he attacked in the past.
LAH: How is it Hubbard can be released here in a neighborhood of young families? There is a school, but farther away than the 2000 feet minimum by the California law. There's a park where children play, two minutes away, but again, just slightly farther than 2,000 feet. This is, says a judge in California, an appropriate place for a man who has done his time.
JOHN MLYNAR, NEIGHBOR: I don't think it's fair. I don't think it's right.
LAH: Residents of neighboring Palmdale are outraged and disagree with the judge saying that Hubbard has never lived here.
(on camera): If you served your time, shouldn't you be allowed to live?
MLYNAR: Yes. But why in a community that you have no relationship or ties with.
LAH (voice-over): Under state release rules, Hubbard will wear a monitor and other limits including a curfew, no access to driving a car, and weekly psychologist visits.
But that's not enough for his new neighbors.
(on camera): How does that make you feel as a young woman living a couple of doors from him?
STONE: Not safe. Not at all. Not for me and my community. Not for anybody. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BANFIELD: And our thank you to Kyung Lah for that report.
Here with me to talk more about this case and how on earth this happens is Harvard Law School professor, Alan Dershowitz.
How on earth does this happen? Obviously, Alan's most recent book, "Taking a Stand By Life in the Law." Most people think that there are laws on the books, especially in California, that can deem him dangerous enough to stand behind bars even after he served his sentence. In this particular case, doctors said he's OK. How do they know he's OK really?
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR: In my book, I deal with this problem in great detail. We cannot predict the future. We ought to focus on the past. The system broke down. This guy has committed two dozen rapes. Less assume five years for each rape. That's a low sentence. He never ought to see the light of day. This plea bargaining system that gives guys discounts if they plea --
BANFIELD: You can't always -- I know you can make some law retroactive, but you can't make it all retroactive. In this case, we're dealing with the late '70s, when apparently, if you were wearing a short skirt at the bus stop in the '70s, you were asking for it. How can you apply today's standards and protect today's people?
DERSHOWITZ: Even when he was most recently convicted, when you have a record like that, you should not get a short prison sentence and be subject to parole based on a prediction of a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are worse predictors than social workers. There is all kind of data showing that they over predict and under predict. We ought to be focusing our system on what the person has actually done.
BANFIELD: Done. And --
DERSHOWITZ: And what this guy did -- the best predictor of the future is the past. This guy has --
DERSHOWITZ: -- can control himself.
BANFIELD: For our audience, let's repeat that he was cleared by psychiatric professionals to be released and got out and rapes 23 more women. This was back in '79. Again, the past is the past. The mistakes and the folly of how they set up the system back then is done. What about today? If these people show up at the judge's doorstep with picket signs, is it going to make a difference?
DERSHOWITZ: It's not going to help. It's not going to help. I understand, not in my backyard, not near my kid's school. The system has broken down. In a case like this, some states do have preventive detention rules that you can have the person civilly committed if you can demonstrate by a very strong, clear and convincing standard that he's like lie to recidivates in the future. This guy --
BANFIELD: He's done it. Yeah.
DERSHOWITZ: If anything is predictable, and very few things are --
DERSHOWITZ: Is that a rapist whose done 23 is going to do his 24th.
BANFIELD: We've got 10 seconds. What's it going to take? What kind of crime is it going to take for this guy who is now out, wearing a monitor, to get locked back up indefinitely?
DERSHOWITZ: They have to watch him carefully and make sure he doesn't stalk people and engage in conduct with leads to the likelihood that he will rape. Do not wait until he rapes again. That's not fair.
BANFIELD: I hope there are good monitoring services in that neighborhood.
Alan Dershowitz, thank you. Always good to see you. Come back again.
DERSHOWITZ: Thank you.
BANFIELD: Thank you.
He was a rising star in the NFL and now Aaron Hernandez faces murder charges. But at the same time, a grand jury is also investigating possible gun trafficking. And this time, it comes with a hook, a friend, a former teammate, being hauled into this story, too.
BANFIELD: More big trouble for former New England Patriot's tight end, Aaron Hernandez. He is the target of a Massachusetts grand jury investigation for possible gun trafficking. You'll remember that he's being prosecuted on first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of his friend.
And here with me for more is CNN analyst, Sunny Hostin.
So gun trafficking. And now it involves a friend and former teammate? What's going on in the case?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. What we're hearing is that yes, Aaron Hernandez is now the potential target of a gun trafficking investigation, perhaps multi-state gun running. And when I say we're hearing, we don't know that much. And that is because this would be a grand jury investigation and we know that they're cloaked in secrecy. And so everyone involved is cloaked in secrecy including the prosecutors, the grand jurors, the court reporters, but not necessarily the witness. And the reason that we now know about this is because Aaron Hernandez's former roommate and University of Florida teammate, Mike Pouncey, was actually subpoenaed after a football game on Sunday in Massachusetts.
BANFIELD: Do we know that Mike Pouncey's connection is gun related or is it murder related or is that something we just don't know?
HOSTIN: We really just don't know. But I can say in terms of a grand jury investigation, typically, the target of a grand jury investigation is not served with a subpoena. So it is much more likely that he is a material witness into this gun trafficking investigation.
BANFIELD: They were roommates, too, right?
HOSTIN: They sure were. They were roommates, friends. Apparently, the Pouncey brother, there's another brother, they were sort of responsible for keeping Aaron Hernandez oust trouble when they were all at the University of Florida. They are friends of his and supportive friends. In mid-July, they got into some trouble for wearing "Free Hernandez" hats in Florida.
HOSTIN: That's right. But they have apologized for that. Marquee (ph) has said that he wanted to make it clear that he regrets that his actions appear to make light of a serious situation.
Sunny Hostin, thank you for the report.
Coming up next, is Mike Pouncey in a world of trouble because of his former friend or is he just getting squeezed for information. There's some strategy that might be at play here. You're going to get that "Legal View" coming up next.
BANFIELD: So we were just talking about the football player and his former football player friend, who are all seemingly in a whole lot of legal trouble, but how much trouble really are we talking about?
Here with me now for more on this case, CNN legal analyst, Paul Callan, and criminal defense attorney, Heather Hansen.
Paul Callan, let's start with the idea of Mike Pouncey getting a subpoena after a Dolphins football game and wondering, oh, dear god, my former roommate is in a lot of trouble and now perhaps I am, too. Sunny just said you don't subpoena people at the center typically of an investigation like that. Is this a squeeze job?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You generally don't. You're probably looking at him as a material witness. He went to the University of Florida with Hernandez. They had been associated for a long time, and this gun running investigation has a lot of links back to Florida. And the University of Florida. So it doesn't surprise me that his former college fellow players might somehow be brought into the investigation.
BANFIELD: And, Heather, what do you think about the notion that, at a time when Aaron Hernandez has to aggressively defend himself against a murder charge and another investigation of other crimes that's ongoing, as well, do you even bother at this point with the gun running or do you just wait that out and let me clear the more important one that could put me away for life or is it all one and the same?
HEATHER HANSEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think it's all together. The murder case may be weaker than we on the outside seeing it as being. They haven't found the weapon. The two witnesses to it, their credibility will be questioned. There's five gun charges against him with regard to the murder. He faces about 29 years for that time. If they can't prove the murder case, the gun case may put him away.
BANFIELD: He may end up more aggressively fighting the gun case than the murder?
BANFIELD: Don't you think the video is pretty powerful?
HANSEN: Absolutely. The fact, he destroyed a lot of the evidence is powerful. Circumstantial evidence, there's nothing direct. Whereas in the gun case, as Paul said, if you bring in all the different witnesses and give them the squeeze job, could you get really strong evidence.
BANFIELD: Is it an even better squeeze job, Paul, when it's your friend, as opposed to just some other player?
CALLAN: Absolutely. By the way, I think the murder case is probably very strong, but Massachusetts authorities would proceed against a gun running case anyway. As guns get into the state, it's very, very dangerous. They've got a lot of good reasons to develop a gun running operation and develop a case there. This doesn't surprise me at all.
BANFIELD: Paul Callan, Heather Hansen, thank you for your insight. Thank you.
Just ahead, the search is on in Colorado for this man. Police believe he tried to kidnap an 8-year-old girl from her home. They are willing to pay big money to find out who is the man behind that drawing. And is he near you?
BANFIELD: Want to get you back into that hearing on Capitol Hill, the House ways and means committee hearing. Congressman Bill Pascrell just had quite the fiery moment. On the hot seat all morning, has been Marilyn Tavernner (ph), the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, effectively one of the first Obama administration officials to be questioned directly by Congress in this debacle that has been the Obamacare website rollout. Have a listen to how it went.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BILL PASCRELL, (D), NEW JERSEY: Despite our Democrats opposition to Part D 10 years ago, we committed to making the best of the program. And because of all the changes that have occurred in Part D prescription program, 90 percent of seniors right now are satisfied. And why are they satisfied? Well, are in my district, before that vote, I made seniors know that I was going to vote no and opposed, and I told them two reasons, the gap, the doughnut hole when you're paying for premiums you're not getting any benefits. That was horrendous. And number two, no one was -- an outside source was not sitting down and being the third party to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs. So it lost. We lost the policy fight. And what did we do?