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Arizona's Controversial New Immigration Law; Battle Over Assisted Suicide

Aired April 23, 2010 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, "Keeping Them Honest": Highly paid officials from the SEC surfing for porn, instead of keeping Wall Street crooks from ripping you off. And you are paying their salaries. We all are.

Porn at the SEC. And, no, the letters don't stand for sexual explorers club. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Also tonight, the "Raw Politics" -- raw and angry now that the Arizona's governor has signed a law making it easier for police to stop people they suspect are in the country illegally.

And, later, "Up Close": doctors fighting for the right to help patients end their own lives. Dr. Kevorkian may not do it any longer, but we found other doctors who want to, what they are saying in court, what the law says about doctor-assisted suicide in their state, and what patients have to say about such personal and vital decisions.

But, first up, "Keeping Them Honest": government watchdogs acting like teenaged horndogs, men and women, some of them drawing truly hefty taxpayer salaries, some more than $200,000 a year, who were supposed to be regulating Wall Street right at the moment it most needed regulating, and what were they doing? They were viewing Internet porn, downloading it, burning DVDs, or, pathetically, kind of comically, trying and failing over and over again to log into various porn sites.

And they were doing all of this at work at their government jobs. I mean, it sounds like a joke. Sadly, it is not. Take a look.

This is one of several reports compiled by the inspector general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC. It reads, "In reference to misuse of computer -- of government computer resources and official time."

So, you turn the page and you get this, "Warning: May contain offensive material" -- now offensive, as you will see, on more than one level. Turn a few more pages, and you will see this admission from one staffer at the SEC. His name and title were redacted. And he said -- quote -- "It's kind of one of those things where I felt really stressed and it was kind of there, and I guess -- you know, I guess I didn't necessarily have the self-control not to look at it."

So, again, he is talking about porn. And, for the record, no, it wasn't just there popping up on his screen when he booted up in the morning. He went looking for it, even turning off porn-blocking filters in his Web browser.

Now, none of this would matter, of course, except this guy was on the job at the SEC, and we paid his salary.

Here is another report, an executive summary. Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley asked for it. And it is -- well, I mean, it is mind-blowing.

Some lowlights from this report: A senior attorney at the SEC, a senior attorney at SEC headquarters in Washington spent up to eight hours a day downloading porn.


COOPER: Eight hours a day? When he ran out of hard drive space, he burned DVDs and kept them at the office close at hand, so to speak.

Another staffer repeatedly tried to download porn, bypass Web filters. Then, when warned by his boss to stop or lose his job, he refused to stop and quit instead. The summary provided to Senator Grassley says the SEC conducted 33 probes over the last five years, 31 in the last two-and-a-half years, and 16 in 2008.

Now, what happened in 2008? Hmm, 2008. Oh, yes, Bernie Madoff, the Ponzi scheme, the biggest one ever, tens of billions of dollars, guess what, stolen right under the nose of the SEC. Oh, yes, there was Lehman Brothers. That melted down.

And, oh, yes, that took the whole stock market and the economy down with it. More than a year ago, Gary Ackerman, the Democratic congressman from New York, well, he kind of went off on members of the SEC about why they miss so much of it, especially Bernie Madoff. This is what he said back then.


REP. GARY ACKERMAN (D), NEW YORK: What the heck went on?

Your mission, you said, was to -- was to protect investors and detect fraud quickly. How did that work out? What went wrong? It seems to me a private -- with all of your investigators and all of your agency and everything that you all describe, one guy with a few friends and helpers discovered this thing nearly a decade ago, led you to this pile of dung that is -- that is Bernie Madoff, and stuck your nose in it, and you couldn't figure it out.

You couldn't find your backside with two hands if the lights were on.


COOPER: Well, now we know the lights were on, and so was the porn.

"Keeping Them Honest" tonight, Joe Johns.

Joe, what happened to these porn pals?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, the beauty of this is the names of these people are protected by the privacy laws, so we really even can't get their names.

But we do know, generally, that, if people did this, got caught, and fessed up, some of them got a break. We're talking about people with six-figure jobs. They might, you know, have been given the opportunity to, say, get a suspension, or a slap on the wrist, a reprimand, what have you. That's if they fessed up.

But if they didn't fess up or if they were contractors, say, or they tried to obscure the truth, then they threw the book at them. A lot of people got fired. If they were contractors, their contracts were taken away.

In some cases, people were allowed actually to resign before the full force of the inspector general came after them. So, it's the full range of punishment here, Anderson.

COOPER: And I understand the Democratic spin machine -- or political spin machine is already getting under -- under way on this, of course, hard on the heels of some Republican spinning about the SEC's decision on Goldman Sachs.

JOHNS: Yes. And, I mean, you know and I know porn is not partisan.


JOHNS: But the Democrats are saying tonight that a lot of this stuff happened during the days of George W. Bush.

The Republicans sort of dusted all this information off in the first place, recycling the story, because, for at least twice over the last couple years, there have been reports in the inspector general's report about porn at the SEC. So, this is not a new story, by any stretch of the imagination.

But, because we are dealing right now with securities reform, the debate that is going on, on Capitol Hill, it is all being put in front of the face of the American public one more time.

COOPER: Well, fascinating.

Joe Johns -- Joe, thanks. On the -- one quick note, you can go to for a link to the executive summary of the SEC porn investigation -- not to the actual porn sites.

While you're there, let us know what you think. The live chat is up and running.

Up next: Arizona's governor signs a bill giving police power to stop people they suspect are illegal immigrants, and now boycotts of the state, some death threats against a congressman, allegations of racism, racial profiling, and also a lot of fear and support -- both sides of the debate square off tonight.

And, later: Comedy Central censors "South Park" in response to threats from radical Islamic forces. Why is Islam the only religion you apparently can't make fun of in America? We will talk about it with John Avlon and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.


COOPER: Tonight: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer defies the president, signing the country's toughest anti-immigration bill into law. On the same day President Obama slammed the bill as misguided, in his words, Governor Brewer insisted her critics are overreacting, that the bill will protect, not profile, Arizona citizens. Listen.


GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: My signature today represents my steadfast support for enforcing the law, both against illegal immigration and against racial profiling.


COOPER: Well, thousands took to the streets today protesting the bill, which gives police new power to stop anyone they reasonably suspect of being an illegal immigrant.

The question, of course, is reasonable suspicion. That's undefined in the bill.

Arizona Republican State Representative John Kavanagh is a key architect of the bill. He joins me tonight. And CNN contributor and syndicated columnist Miguel Perez joins me, who opposes it.

Thank you both for -- for being with us.

Miguel, those who support this measure say, look, it's not going to lead to racial profiling, that someone has to be doing something suspicious in order to be approached by the police in question.

MIGUEL PEREZ, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Who is to regulate what the police, each -- each cop is going to do, once this law is out?

I mean, I could dress down, Anderson, go to a Hispanic neighborhood, hang out in the street corner, as I often do, speak with my strong Spanish accent, and that would be enough for me to get arrested. Do I need a passport from now on to go to the state, to the reactionary republic of Arizona, because that's what -- that's what it should be called?

It's -- this is a clear violation of my constitutional rights. I would be afraid. I don't feel protected. I feel threatened by this law.

COOPER: Representative Kavanagh, there are a lot of Latinos around the country who say they would feel threatened. Is he right? If he was standing on a street corner in -- in clothes that were scuffed up or something, would he be able to be approached?


He is completely wrong. It's more than just what you look like. It's behaviors. You know, the stop-and-question law has been around since 1968. As to his question of who judges, it is a judge that judges. Police officers will receive training. They have already been trained in other areas. They will be updated.

When they have reasonable suspicion, they have got to articulate it to a judge. If a judge says, you don't have it, the case gets thrown out.

PEREZ: These are not federal officers. These are state officers who have -- most of them have not been trained to do this.

When -- where does it say in the Constitution that states have the right to enforce federal law? That's what I don't understand. This is clearly a violation. And it will be thrown out by the courts. There's no doubt in my mind that it will be.

COOPER: Representative...

PEREZ: I -- I just -- I don't understand why they're wasting our time with this. It will never become law.

COOPER: Representative Kavanagh, what, though, in the bill, specifically says what -- what reasonable suspicion is? Because, I mean, I have looked at it a couple times. I don't think I have seen anything -- we talked about this last night.

But -- but other than under -- I mean, you know, under federal law, and the Supreme Court has upheld, if a police officer sees, you know, something suspicious that shows the commission of a crime or the intention to commit a crime, then that is reasonable and can -- the person can be approached.

But, other than someone just being illegal, what -- what makes it all right to approach them?



COOPER: You said behaviors. What sort of behaviors?

KAVANAGH: Yes, it would have to be behaviors. And in most situations...

COOPER: What kind of behaviors?


In most situations, this questioning will occur as the result of an otherwise different lawful stop. Maybe they were pulled over for speeding. Maybe it was a stop-and-question because they look like they were going to burglarize a store.

There will be very few cases where the officer, just by watching somebody on the street, could have suspicion that they're here illegally. In fact, I can't imagine a case like that. Most of these stop-and-questions will occur after they have been legally contacted for other reasons.

COOPER: Miguel, you are shaking your head.

PEREZ: It's a license to discriminate against Latinos.

It really -- I don't understand. Even Latino Republicans are horrorized by the situation, because how can they defend a party that now discriminates against them? I think hordes of Latinos are going to leave -- the few that remain are going to leave the Republican Party after this. This is shameful.


COOPER: Miguel, let me ask just you, though...


PEREZ: This is a very sad day in American history.

COOPER: Miguel, let me...

PEREZ: In the future, we are going to look back and feel ashamed. Some people are going to feel ashamed of having done this today.

COOPER: Well, Miguel, let me play devil's advocate here. Look, if it is against the law to be here illegally, why shouldn't police -- and I got e-mails about this last night -- why shouldn't police have the power to question someone about their status?

PEREZ: It's against the law to be here illegally.

But I am a legal resident. I am -- I have a strong accent. And I may hang out in a Hispanic neighborhood in Arizona tomorrow and be discriminated against. This goes beyond illegal immigration. Those people who claim that they are illegal immigrants, when they do things like this, they show that they are against all immigrants.

And this is what is happening in Arizona today. They're declaring war on all legal immigrants.

COOPER: Representative Kavanagh, you are a former cop, but, I mean, do you have any concerns that the language of this is pretty -- I mean, it's left up to -- you said it's left up to judges. But, in reality, it's left up to -- to local police officers to decide, oh, well, this person seems suspicious or they're -- they're...


COOPER: ... something about their behavior is suspicious. That is a lot of latitude.

KAVANAGH: It's based on existing body of law. Federal immigration officers who have trained local police have criteria that they have used.

I have spoken to our statewide police training commission today. Anticipating the governor's signature, they have already completed the lesson plans to properly instruct Arizona police officers in what is a legitimate thing to make -- to increase suspiciousness and what should not be used. And, in the law itself, we say, you cannot use ethnicity or race.

COOPER: Miguel, I will just give you the final thought.

PEREZ: Amazing. They're concerned about crime. And this is going to create even more crime, because undocumented immigrants from now will be afraid to report crimes when they see them.

If you're an undocumented immigrant and the house next door is burning, you are not going to call the fire department now, because you are afraid that you're going to be arrested.

So, there are going to -- there's going to be a -- there's a lot of otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants who are not going to want to deal with the cops at all. This is shameful.

COOPER: Well, Representative Kavanagh, I know, in the bill, it does allow police officers discretion about whether or not they actually pursue somebody on immigration-related charges, or even ask them about it...

KAVANAGH: That's right.

COOPER: ... if they're involved in some crime.

But, I mean, isn't that -- that -- you are still asking an awful lot of trust from potentially a illegal immigrant to trust a police officer to report a crime that they're not going to then be asked that question.

KAVANAGH: We wrote into the bill, if it in any way hinders an investigation, the questions don't have to be asked.

COOPER: But why would an illegal immigrant trust the police to -- to use that judgment?

KAVANAGH: Well, I mean, to the question just brought off, if somebody's house is on fire, you just dial 911 and give the address. You don't have to run to the police station and present yourself. So, you know, it's a bogus argument.

PEREZ: Do you want the cops next door to you? Do you want them to -- coming over to your lawn, if you are an undocumented immigrant? Do you want them around your neighborhood?

KAVANAGH: There would be no justification for a police officer to go into anybody else's home just if there's a fire...


PEREZ: It's absurd. It's absurd. You are scaring people out of your state. If all -- all immigrants, legal immigrants, anybody who supports immigrants should stay out of Arizona, until you guys get your head together.

KAVANAGH: A recent -- a recent poll showed that 70 percent of the voters and 60 percent of Hispanic voters support this bill. Arizona is fed up with the lack of enforcement at the federal level.


PEREZ: Hispanic voters, sir? That is a lie, if I ever heard one, sir.


PEREZ: I'm sorry, but Hispanic voters will never agree to that. I am sorry. They would never agree to such a thing.


COOPER: We are going to have to leave it there.

I appreciate both of your perspectives. John Kavanagh, thank you, and Miguel Perez as well.

Even before Governor Brewer signed the bill, President Obama said he instructed the Justice Department to examine whether it violated civil rights in Arizona.

So, will it hold up?

Let's talk to senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who joins me now.

Jeff, what do you think? Will this hold up?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think the biggest problem with the bill is not this reasonable suspicion question, which is, of course, a big one, but the question of, does Arizona have the right to enforce federal immigration laws?

There is a doctrine of law called preemption, where it says that the United States government, the federal government, preempts, takes over certain areas of law. And immigration is a classic example. So, I think many courts...

COOPER: Well, supporters say, though, that the federal government has failed in their responsibilities to do that, and they have no other choice.

TOOBIN: Well, that -- that may -- that may be, that the federal government has failed. But that doesn't change the legal doctrine which says, vote out your congressman, vote out the president, get the federal government to fix it, but you can't suddenly have a state take over a federal function. I think that is the biggest problem with the law.

COOPER: When -- when supporters of this bill, like Representative Kavanagh, who was kind enough to be on for a second night, who's a former police officer, says, look, this is in line with other federal laws, this is in line with rulings -- I think Terry v. Ohio...

TOOBIN: Right.

COOPER: ... allows police, if they have reasonable -- reasonably suspect that a crime is being committed, or that, you know, someone is a drunk driver and they see somebody swerving, they can pull over and talk to them.

Is this the same thing?

TOOBIN: Well, that's -- that's the rubric of law they're trying to fit it into, the -- it's called a Terry stop, after the case you mention, Terry vs. Ohio.

And the argument is that law -- law enforcement officers have had the opportunity -- if they reasonably suspect a crime is taking place, they don't have to have probable cause -- they have this lower level, reasonable suspicion -- they can go stop someone and talk to them if they see them passing packages that look like drugs.

The question that makes this law so different is, what does it mean to look like you are reasonably suspected of being an illegal immigrant? What does an illegal immigrant look like?

COOPER: Right, because the crime is not an action actual. It is just -- it's who you...

TOOBIN: A status.

COOPER: It is a status. It's your being.

TOOBIN: That's right. And that's what makes opponents of the law so uncomfortable, because, if you give the police the opportunity, the obligation -- and, in fact, this is not an option on the part of the Arizona police -- this is an obligation on the part of the Arizona police, to stop people who reasonably look like an illegal immigrant -- that seems to open the door to a lot of stops of people.

And the question of what does an illegal immigrant look like is not addressed in the law. The governor said today she is going to have a training manual put forward. But it is a big mystery in the law of, what does a police officer look for when he or she is obligated to make one of these stops?

COOPER: Do you -- do you -- I mean, you are an expert on the Supreme Court. As it is now, do you think it would hold up to scrutiny, whether it's this or the federal question? TOOBIN: Well, look, this is a highly political issue. Republicans are for it. Democrats are against it. This is a highly partisan Supreme Court.

At the moment, I think lower courts will likely find this law unconstitutional, probably on this -- this preemption ground, the ground that this is -- belongs to the federal government. But, in highly charged political environments, it is always difficult to predict what the Supreme Court will do.

COOPER: Jeff Toobin, appreciate it tonight. Thank, Jeff.

Up next: "South Park" censored after threats from radical Muslims. And we're not talking about that first episode. We're talking about the second episode. John Avlon and Ayaan Hirsi Ali join us. She's from an undisclosed location because of threats against her from the same group, in fact, and other groups as well.

Also, Sarah Palin, witness for the prosecution -- why she took the stand today, in her own words -- ahead on 360.


COOPER: Reports of extra police at the New York offices of Comedy Central, according to "Newsweek" -- certainly, no one taking the radical Islamist threat on the lives of "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone lightly, after they ran an episode last week portraying the Prophet Mohammed in a bear costume.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: You have done this town a huge favor, Mohammed.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Hold on a second. Stop. There's some extremists threatening that, if we give Mohammed to the celebrities, they're going to bomb us.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Oh, it's just a stupid threat. Come on. We don't want to piss off Tom Cruise again.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: All right. We got him, Tom.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Mohammed, are you OK?


COOPER: All right. So, that was part of part one of the two- part series.

And, when part two aired this week, it aired with items bleeped out by the network, including a speech at the end that Stone and Parker say didn't even mention the Prophet Mohammed. With us now is CNN political contributor and author of "Wingnuts," John Avlon, also Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose life has been threatened because of what she's said and written about Islam. We are not disclosing her location tonight for security reasons.

So, John, I mean, Comedy Central obviously is worried about security. Obviously, they're worried about money. But they censor a speech about fear and intimidation in a cartoon that didn't even mention Mohammed.

I want to play some of that, what they censored, for our viewers.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You see, I learned something today.


COOPER: So, I mean, they basically censor this. It didn't mention even Mohammed.

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, it is ironic, but it's not funny. And it doesn't make any sense. Obviously, that is the whole point of this, is about standing up to intimidation and fear of violence.

And -- and throughout these two cartoons, the "South Park" guys took care not to show the -- the face of the Prophet Mohammed. They were aware of that line. They -- they intentionally didn't cross it.

And it seems like Comedy Central, obviously acting out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of their employees, over-crossed the line, because, if you take a step back here, this isn't a tough call. This is not -- this is -- if you have look at this through a moral prism or a prism of principle, the only way this becomes a difficult call is if you, all of a sudden, start buying into the fear that threats of terrorism and terrorism always feed off of.

COOPER: Ayaan, should any religious group be able to tell everybody else, or nonbelievers, what they can and cannot do or say?


What makes America different and the West, Western society different from other societies is because a resounding answer has been given to exactly that question many years ago in the 17th and 18th centuries -- in the 19th century, for goodness' sake. And this is the 21st century.

This is what it means to be a free, liberal society, that you don't have religious groups or any other group imposing their icons and their taboos on the rest of society.

I am not at all interested or surprised by the response of I am amazed at the response by Comedy Central. COOPER: John, I mean, it's -- they're -- they're -- every religion in this cartoon was made fun of. I mean, they had Buddha snorting cocaine. They had Jesus, I think, watching porn, you know, things...


COOPER: ... which would be deeply offensive to -- you know, to people who believe in Jesus or believe in Buddha or any of the religions that were mocked.

And, yet, only Islam seems -- Muslims are held to a different standard, that only -- that is the only one that you cannot -- that, apparently, according to Comedy Central, you cannot mock or even portray or even mention the name of.

AVLON: Right. And that -- and that was entirely the point of the "South Park" episodes, that we have this sort of free speech zone that applies to everything except this one area. And it's sort of a fear-inflicted free speech zone. And it's -- that's why it was called out.

But, you know, that's why we need to also follow through here. Free speech debates sometimes come in unexpected places. But the open society needs to be defended, and it requires a straightening of our civic backbone and not giving into fear.

COOPER: And, Ayaan, I mean, this group, Revolution Muslim...


COOPER: ... they're an obscure group operating out of New York. We have done a lot of stuff on them over the last year. But I was interested in a statement made by a spokesperson for the Council on Islamic American Relations in Washington about this.

And he -- he said, Revolution Muslim is -- quote -- "an extreme fringe group that has absolutely no credibility within the Muslim community."

But then he went on to say: "In fact, most Muslims suspect they were set up only to make Muslims look bad. We have very deep suspicions they say such outrageous, irresponsible things, it almost seems like they're doing it to smear Islam."

He is actually -- he's basically saying they're not actually Muslim because they're -- because of what they're saying, that they're some sort of non-Muslim group trying to make Muslims look bad.

ALI: Well, you know, the answer to that is, great. Let Muslims come out (INAUDIBLE) or not, and say, we don't want a prophet or a religious icon who is depicted as someone with no sense of humor.

If you cannot laugh at your religious leader, then you are saying that the entire -- he is a tyrant. And you don't want to say that, as Muslims. So, let them come out. Let them give a resounding answer to extremist groups like Muslim Revolution, and let them marginalize them.

AVLON: And -- and Ayaan is -- is a living example of the real stakes here. And that's why it is so important to listen to her.

But let's not, any of us, be lulled into the idea that this is somehow a conflict between America and Islam. This is about free people of every faith vs. violent religious extremism that would drag individual rights back to the Dark Ages. Those are the stakes. We have seen the example. We know the costs.

That's why we have got to stand up to these threats every time, whenever we see them.

COOPER: John Avlon, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, I appreciate your perspectives. Thank you.

AVLON: Thank you.

ALI: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up: new developments in the search for 11 oil rig workers missing since Tuesday's explosion. Can they ever be found?

And faith healing -- sick kids in America denied drugs, left in the hands of God by their own parents. Well, now dozens of them are dead, and parents are facing charges tonight -- "Crime & Punishment" ahead.


COOPER: Still ahead, assisted suicide: an act of mercy or manslaughter. An up-close look at a Connecticut doctor fighting to help his patients die with dignity. But first, Joe Johns has a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, rescuers today suspended the search for 11 people missing from Tuesday's oil-rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Survivors indicating the missing workers, quote, "Might have been in the vicinity of the blast."

New home sales soared in March, rising at the fastest rate in 47 years. Sales spiked nearly 27 percent.

And a Missouri man hits a $258 million jackpot. Chris Shaw, a 29-year-old father of three, stepped forward as the winner of the tenth largest Powerball jackpot in history. He says he's going to pay his bills, replace his two front teeth, and, of course, take his kids to Disney World. A man has got to have priorities, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, he also -- I read that he just bought a used truck. And he said maybe he'd get it, like, fixed up. I thought it was so cool that he wasn't talking about, like, going out and buying some huge, new Lamborghini or something. And I mean, he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. So...

JOHNS: Yes, that's right; sounds like an F-150 man. COOPER: Yes. Think so.

Next on 360, unlikely speaking engagement for Sarah Palin. Former governor was on the witness stand today, testifying about her hacked e-mails. You'll hear from her, coming up.

Also, helping patients die. Doctors in one state are determined to now make it a law. You'll hear from them ahead tonight.


COOPER: Tomorrow night, HBO is going to premiere a film about Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who by his own admission helped more than 130 people end their lives, although he said he did it to stop their suffering.

I spoke to Dr. Kevorkian recently. Here's a quick bite of that.


COOPER: And the first time you did it, who was the first?


COOPER: And that was in a van?

KEVORKIAN: In a van.

COOPER: Why in a van?

KEVORKIAN: I couldn't find a place. I tried nursing homes, churches.

COOPER: You didn't want to do it at your apartment?

KEVORKIAN: Hospitals, clinics. No, because the police would -- would raid the apartment, clean it out. And I didn't want to involve anybody else in it, like the landlord.

COOPER: I mean, what is that like, to end somebody's life in a van?

KEVORKIAN: Well, you're only -- you're not ending their life. I didn't do it to end the life. I did it to end the suffering the patient is going through. The patient is obviously suffering. What's a doctor supposed to do, turn his back? If he's a coward he is.

COOPER: But a lot of doctors do that.

KEVORKIAN: Well, they're cowards. Doctors are cowards. You know that. They won't take anything that's going to hurt their income or their reputation. Anything that's going to possible -- any legal thing that's going to possibly be damaging.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: For Dr. Kevorkian, physicians who don't help patients are cowards. Doctors-assisted suicide is only right now allowed in Oregon, Washington, and Montana. And a doctor can only prescribe medication to ill patients. He can't actually be present for the deaths.

Now some doctors in Connecticut are trying to change the law in Connecticut. Up close tonight, here's Randi Kaye.



RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Stuart Lane is terminally ill. He isn't sure how long he has to live, but he's absolutely sure how he wants to die: quickly, peacefully, no suffering.

LANE: I'm petrified. I am petrified of suffering.

KAYE: But if Stuart's doctor gives him medication, which he then uses to intentionally overdose and die, his doctor could go to jail. That's the law in Connecticut, where Stuart lives.

(on camera) If you could die on your own terms, what would that look like?

LANE: I'd like to have the ability to die, you know, comfortably and the way I want to die and not, you know the way that society says I should die. Why should I have how to go through that?

KAYE (voice-over): Stuart has HIV and Hepatitis C. He got both decades ago through intravenous drug use. Today, at 53, he's clean, married, with a son in college. Only problem: his liver is failing.

(on camera) Do you think about dying?

LANE: I think about it, like, every day. Every day. Every single day.

KAYE (voice-over): Stuart has discussed dying with his physician, Dr. Gary Blick. Dr. Blick and another doctor are suing the state of Connecticut so doctors don't go to jail if parents like Stuart overdose on medication they've prescribed. Under the current law, it's a felony to intentionally cause or aid another to commit suicide.

DR. GARY BLICK, STUART LANE'S DOCTOR: If they tip that bottle of Xanax and that bottle of Percocet and they kill themselves with that, then I could potentially go to jail for secondary manslaughter.

KAYE: Dr. Blick told me patients have begged him for drugs so they can die on their terms.

BLICK: We want to help terminally-ill patients that are mentally competent to make these decisions, help them in their counseling, help them with prescriptions, and then plan for that death so they can die a nice, dignified, comfortable death.

KAYE (on camera): If the law stands as it is here in Connecticut, Dr. Blick says patients won't be able to get the medication they need to die peacefully. He worries that will lead to desperate measures, such as shooting themselves or some other miserable end without the assistance or guidance of their doctor.

(voice-over) Dr. Blick says he knows some of his patients have used prescriptions he's written for pain to end their life.

BLICK: I know that probably patients have taken full bottles and have died rapidly as a result of that.

KAYE: Wesley Smith, with the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, says Dr. Blick is looking to legalize intentional killings.

WESLEY J. SMITH, INTERNATIONAL TASK FORCE ON EUTHANASIA AND ASSISTED SUICIDE: Any doctor who thinks that the only way to keep a patient from suffering is to help kill that patient may need to refer that patient to a better doctor.

KAYE: Smith says Dr. Blick is abandoning his patients.

SMITH: It says that "We are not going to take the time to care for you properly. And if you want to die, we will give you the pills to do it." That's just not right.

KAYE: The state of Connecticut wants the lawsuit dismissed, arguing it would create a suicide market, targeting the terminally ill. A judge will decide.

In the meantime, Stuart Lane will continue taking medication to keep his HIV at bay and his liver functioning. In the face of death, he's counting his blessings.

LANE: I mean, I'm pretty blessed. I'm still alive. And I've got a nice house and a nice family. And a great doctor.

KAYE: A doctor who he hopes will be able to help him when his time comes.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Norwalk, Connecticut.


COOPER: It's a tough subject. As we said, HBO is premiering tomorrow night a film on Dr. Jack Kevorkian called "You Don't Know Jack." It's a really good movie. It airs Saturday at 9 p.m. Eastern. Al Pacino is Dr. Kevorkian. I've seen it. Very thought provoking. Definitely worth watching.

Join the live chat, happening now at

Coming up next on the program, deadly devotion. It's a fascinating story. A religious group right here in America that believes in faith-based healing, even if it costs the lives of a child.

And later, on a very different note, Kelly Ripa and I play everyone's favorite morning game: "What's My Beef?"


COOPER: They're not even pillows. They're like -- it's a puff of some synthetic material, covered with a disgusting plastic sheet that other people have used and slobbered on and left their hairs on.

KELLY RIPA, CO-HOST, "LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY": It always has a hair. Always have a hair.

COOPER: And they leave it on your seat as if it's fresh and new.



COOPER: In "Crime & Punishment" tonight, blind faith. Followers of one church in Oregon don't turn to doctors when a child is sick. They seek divine intervention. Now, this group chooses spiritual healing over medicine, no matter the risk, no matter the price. And there has been a very high price.

Dan Simon reports.


DAM SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A boy is dead. A teenager. His parents are now in prison: not for what they did, but for what they didn't do.

JUDGE STEVEN MAURER, CLACKAMAS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: This child would be alive today if the defendants, Jeffrey and Marci Beagley, would have done that which this community expects every parent to do.

SIMON: Marci and Jeff Beagley got 16 months after admitting they had denied their son the drugs he needed. They were convicted of negligent homicide. Their son died of what prosecutors say was a curable disease of his kidneys.

(on camera) There was no question that, medically, his problem could have been handled with medicine?

GREG HORNER, CHIEF DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OREGON: That was, that was -- a fact that, that the defense did not contest.

SIMON (voice-over): No medicine because the Beagleys belonged to a Christian church near Portland, Oregon, that believes seeing a doctor is a sign of weakness. Instead, members rely solely on faith healing found in the New Testament, believing that God will cure them of their ills.

Holly Martinez is a former member of the church, called the Followers of Christ.

HOLLY MARTINEZ, FORMER MEMBER, FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST: When I was a young kid growing up, to late teens, I had never seen a doctor in my life.

SIMON (on camera): Imagine not allowing your own children to go to see a doctor. To fully understand the impact of that, authorities say just come here to the church's cemetery, where you'll find the names of numerous children whose deaths doctors say could easily have been prevented.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know what word you put on it: ignorant, misinformed, bull-headed.

SIMON: Dr. Larry Lumin (ph) is the former chief medical examiner in this county. He thought the church would have learned its lesson long ago. Over the last three decades, his office investigated the deaths of some 30 fetuses, infants and children, all connected to the church. Most, Lumin (ph) says, could have been saved with medical treatment.

About 10 years ago, Lumin (ph) pushed the state to pass a law that can make parents criminally liable for their children's deaths.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's against the law not to feed your kid. It's against the law not to provide the necessities of life, including medical care, for a child, and nothing was being done about it.

SIMON: The Followers of Christ Church was found in the early 1900s by a man named Walter White, who was called the Apostle. This photo was posted by a member on the Web site Flickr.

White believed in a literal interpretation of the scripture. He died more than 40 years ago. The church hasn't had a pastor since. Members today conduct their own services.

They blend into this community. They dress like everyone else, drive. Some own businesses. Their kids attend public schools. They can watch television and use the Internet.

But at home there is a critical difference.

(on camera) We're told you can find one of these in every family's medical cabinet: a bottle of olive oil. Here's how it works. You take a couple drops, dab it on your finger, and then anoint the oil or put it on whatever body part is hurting. Then you say a prayer, and that, they believe, is what cures the sick.

MARTINEZ: We were God's chosen people on the face of the earth.

SIMON (voice-over): Holly Martinez says she watched too many people die. Her family won't speak to her now. She wants them to know there's a better, more sensible life out there. But it's hard.

MARTINEZ: I really miss -- I really miss my family. I really miss having the close, close family, and family, and friends, you know that, the group of friends that I grew up with. I miss them.

SIMON: But she's now an outsider, and outsiders are unwelcome.

Through its lawyer, the church declined to comment. We tried to talk to them anyway.

(on camera) I'm Dan with CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know you're not supposed to be on the property.

SIMON (voice-over): We wanted to talk to church members about their practices, about why children are dying.

(on camera) Why not just...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please get off the property, or I'll have the police out here to get you off.

SIMON: OK. All right.

(voice-over) We moved to the public sidewalk, and he was still angry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of us have any comment. So why even bug us? Because that's all you're going to get, is no comment.

SIMON: No comment. But we couldn't help but wonder why families would let the cemetery grow with the graves of loved ones who could have been saved.

Dan Simon, CNN, Oregon City, Oregon.


COOPER: Yes, it's hard to comprehend.

Coming up next, Sarah Palin speaking out about her personal trauma after her e-mail was hacked and how it affected her family.

Then talk about a maverick. This dog is leading a police officer to his owner, who is in urgent need. A remarkable story ahead.


COOPER: Following a number of other stories. Joe Johns tonight is back with a "360 Bulletin" -- Joe.

JOHNS: Anderson, Bret Michaels, the former front man for the band Poison, is in critical condition after suffering a massive brain hemorrhage. The reality TV star is being treated at an undisclosed hospital.

Taking the stand in Tennessee, Sarah Palin. She testified at the trial of a former college student accused of hacking into her Yahoo! e-mail account while she was on the campaign trail in 2008. Here's some of what was said outside of court.


SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: The distress and the disruption within the campaign was -- on my part, an effort was needed to convince the campaign managers that, no, there weren't these horrible e-mails that the media was talking about that would end up derailing the McCain campaign. And that was what was going around in the blogosphere. The promise was in there that people were going to have these e-mails finally disclosed to the public to show the real Sarah Palin.

Well, Trig was 14 -- or 16 weeks old. And then Bristol, of course, in case you missed it on the front page of the "National Enquirer" at the time, Bristol was pregnant and quite worried about her. And the threats that came our way were not pleasant for a mom to have to deal with. Anybody...


JOHNS: From outer space, an amazing new image from the Hubble Telescope. It celebrates its 20th anniversary. Astronomers call this the Mystic Mountain. It is a massive cloud of gas and dust where new stars are being born.

And in Alaska, Buddy, the heroic German Shepard, leads a state trooper in the dark to the scene of a fire. It was caught on the officer's dash-cam. We sped it up a bit. Buddy's owner told him to get help. He did. Everyone managed to escape the flames. Sounds just like Lassie, only a German Shepard.

COOPER: Aww, yet another evidence that dogs are great.

JOHNS: I know. That's awesome.

Now, Anderson, these are my honors. I get to handle tonight "The Shot." You were -- you were subbing for Regis Philbin today on "Live with Regis and Kelly," and you were telling the talented and lovely Ms. Ripa about, among other things, an incident you had on the subway. Let's listen to that.


COOPER: I've been riding the subway the other day.

RIPA: Yes.

COOPER: And this kid comes up to me. And you know, I'm thinking, all right, you know, he's going to, like, ask for something, an autograph or whatever, maybe directions, or you know? And he says to me...

RIPA: For directions?

COOPER: You know, I don't want to assume he knows. Anyway, so he comes up, and he goes, "Hey, you're Anderson Cooper. You look a lot weaker in person."

RIPA: He did not say that.

COOPER: I kid you not.

RIPA: He did not say that.

COOPER: Not kidding. I was like, weaker? And then I started being like, "Well, you know, I was in Haiti. I lost 15 pounds." And then, I'm like, why am I explaining myself to this person?

RIPA: You are a perfectionist (ph).

COOPER: And then he went on to tell me that he was a journalism student, and did I have any pointers for getting into journalism. I was like, well, learn how to, you know, say nice things to people, maybe.

RIPA: That's right. Fan a person's ego a little bit.

COOPER: Don't insult a person right off the get-go.

RIPA: I don't think you look weaker. I think you look even more powerful.

COOPER: Yes, I told him he just needed a permit for the gun show. But you know...

RIPA: That's right.


RIPA: Don't mess with the Coops.

COOPER: Weaker. All day long, I was thinking, like, "would you ever go up to somebody and say..."

RIPA: In your head. Right? Right in your head.

COOPER: Yes. Weaker, really? Anyway.

Kate Gosselin is on the program today.

RIPA: Yes.

COOPER: Don't know if you saw this picture in the -- one of the papers of her walking through the airport. Can you imagine what it's like walking through the airport with all these kids? Or like traveling for me is bad, and all I have is my little, like, carry-on pillow.

RIPA: I actually...

COOPER: Because I will not use those pillows, which are, like, basically Petri dishes.

RIPA: Right.

COOPER: They're not even pillows. They're, like, it's a puff of some synthetic material covered with a disgusting plastic sheet that other people have used and slobbered on and left their hairs on.

RIPA: It always has a hair. Always has a hair.

COOPER: And they leave it on your seat as though it's fresh and new. You know? And you pick it up and you're like what the heck. And it's like it's so small. It's like this. It's like.

RIPA: It is actually.

COOPER: And then you try to fold it. And like -- it's the most ridiculous thing.


JOHNS: Dude, you gave me airplane pillow phobia. I had never thought about that.

COOPER: Well, then I flew today. And sure enough, there was one of those little Styrofoam pillows on my thing. And, you know, there I was trying to -- it was very sad.

JOHNS: Now I don't want the blanket either.

COOPER: Yes, well, the blanket, usually that comes in plastic. So I'm less worried about the blanket. It's that pillow. It's a Petri dish.

Anyway, tonight is a very sad night for all of us at 360, because our beloved executive producer, Kathleen Friery, is leaving us. And I've been lucky enough to work with Kathleen for pretty much my entire career here at CNN. And she's smart, and she's kind, and so dedicated and so loved by all of us here.

And it would be doubly hard to say good-bye to Kathleen if she was leaving for some other network or some other job in television. But after a remarkable career, she's embarking on a far more important adventure. Kathleen had a beautiful little girl this year and has decided to devote herself full-time to raising her. And really, frankly, who can argue with that?

So Kathleen, thank you for all you have given to us. We love you and we support you. And oh, how I hope one day we will work together again.

More news at the top of the hour.


COOPER: Tonight, "Keeping Them Honest." Highly-paid officials from the SEC surfing for porn instead of keeping Wall Street crooks from ripping you off. And you are paying their salaries. We all are. Porn at the SEC, and no, the letters don't stand for Sexual Explorers Club. We're "Keeping Them Honest."