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Between The Lines Archive
For The Week Ending June 22, 2001


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below.

This week we present Between The Lines' summary
of under-reported news stories and:

Timothy McVeigh's Execution Provokes
Renewed Debate on Death Penalty

Interview by Scott Harris.

Amid a media circus, convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed by lethal injection at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind. on June 11. While many citizens applauded McVeigh's execution as just retribution for the 168 people he killed and the thousands of lives shattered in the 1995 bombing, others -- including some relatives of those who died -- felt that another killing only brought more pain.

With McVeigh's execution, George W. Bush, a passionate advocate of capital punishment while governor of Texas, presided over his 153rd death sentence and the first federal execution in 38 years. Even as Mr. Bush traveled to Europe, protesters shadowed him -- decrying America's continued use of the death penalty, a punishment outlawed in most of the world's democratic industrialized nations.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Bruce Shapiro, contributing editor with the Nation Magazine, who considers the execution of Timothy McVeigh and the impact it may have on the growing national debate over capital punishment.

Bruce Shapiro's book, "Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America's Future," co-written with Rev. Jesse Jackson, will be published this August by the New Press.

Related links: Read Bruce Shapiro's columns online at or

U.S. Civil Rights Commission Condemns Officials' Conduct
During Florida 's Pivotal 2000 Election

Interview by Scott Harris.

Some eight months after one of the most chaotic presidential elections in United States history, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a report June 8, which examined irregularities in Florida's pivotal 2000 election. The commission concluded that Florida's African American citizens were nearly 10 times more likely than white voters to have their ballots rejected. While African Americans comprised about 11 percent of all voters in Florida in the November election, blacks cast about 54 percent of the ballots thrown out.

The commission, which held three days of hearings, with over 30 hours of testimony from over 100 witnesses, also found that Florida election officials had wrongfully purged thousands of voters from the registration rolls. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who recently signed legislation reforming his state's electoral system, attacked the report for what he characterized as its "faulty analysis and political bias."

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Penda Hair, co-director of the Advancement Project, one of several civil rights groups which have filed a law suit against the state of Florida for its disenfranchisement of minority voters. She assesses the U.S. Civil Rights Commission report and offers suggestions for overhauling the nation's electoral system that go well beyond the simple upgrade of outdated voting machinery.

Contact the Advancement Project by calling (202) 728-9557 or visit the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Web site at

Related links:

5 Cubans Convicted of Spying on U.S.
While Exile Groups Continue Attacks on Havana

Interview by Denise Manzari.

After a trial that lasted six months, five Cubans were convicted on June 8 of conspiring to spy on the United States for the Cuban government.

Gerardo Hernandez, reportedly the leader of the 14 member group, faces a possible life sentence after being found guilty of contributing to the deaths of four members of the Miami-based Cuban exile group Brothers to the Rescue, who planes were shot down by Cuban jet fighters after crossing over into Cuban airspace on Feb. 24, 1996.

Jose Basulto, founder of Brothers to the Rescue and the only survivor of the attack, dropped leaflets over Havana in the past, but maintains he never flew over Cuba. Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guererro, two of those convicted as spies, were allegedly assigned to gather information on U.S. military bases and also face life sentences.

H. Bruce Franklin is a cultural historian, author and professor of English and American Studies at Rutgers University. He spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about the trial and the lack of media coverage in the U.S.

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon and Rich Fraser

  • Maine House of Representatives pass single-payer health insurance system. ("Single-payer health insurance passes the House," by Meg Haskell, Maine Times, May 31, 2001)
  • "Mad deer disease" spreading in Rocky Mountain deer and elk population, ("Now, Mad Deer," by Karla Platoni, Sierra Magazine, January/February 2001)
  • Conservative gay journalist and commentator Andrew Sullivan faces charges of hypocrisy over recent sex scandal. (The Nation Magazine Web site, June 5, 2001.)

Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon
News writer: Rich Fraser
Program narration: Prue Cullen
News reader: Zelphia Hunter
Segment Producer: Denise Manzari
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD

June 14-16, 2001 European Summit Protests in Sweden

3 Protesters Shot, 1 in Serious Condition, at European Union Summit Protests Independent Media Center video report of shots fired in Goteborg, Sweden Friday June 15, 8 p.m. Swedish time

TG2 TV report of above, condensed

Other video footage from Swedish TV news report, HET-Journaal, Saturday, June 16, 2001

"Anti-EU Protests Accompany Summit," Associated Press, New York Times Web site June 16, 2001, 7:03 pm.ET

Independent Media Center

Sweden Independent Media Center

April 17-22, 2001 FTAA Summit Protest Resources

Between The Lines Summit of the Americas Archive

ZNet's Global Economic Crisis resource site Excellent source for understanding global economics and trade issues and particularly in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

Pacifica Crisis Resources

The Nation magazine links

Between The Lines' Special Report on the Crisis at Pacifica Radio Network and WBAI in New York

Post Inauguration and Electoral Reform Resources

"Making Every Vote Count", The Nation Magazine, Special Section

"Hailing the Thief," The Nation Special Web Exclusive Report, by Ben Ehrenreich

"Rogue Nation", The Nation magazine, Editorial on Bush's 100 Days in Office, May 28, 2001

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report


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