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CAMPBELL BROWN

Michael Jackson's Private Funeral; Jack Kevorkian Speaks Out

Aired September 3, 2009 - 20:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, here are the questions we want answered.

Is Jaycee Dugard's abductor responsible for even more attacks? New information from investigators.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The victim, who was 14 years old at the time, met Mr. Garrido and another male and was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted.

ROBERTS: After 18 years in captivity, how can Jaycee reconnect with her family? New tonight, the first eyewitness report from their reunion.

TINA DUGARD, AUNT OF JAYCEE DUGARD: Jaycee remembers all of us. Not only have we laughed and cried together, but we have spent time sitting quietly.

ROBERTS: Why do some parents want to keep their kids from hearing the president's speech to students next week? One Republican leader calls it socialist indoctrination.

ROBERTS: Plus, does Jack Kevorkian regret helping patients to commit suicide, and what was life like for eight years in prison? Dr. Death speaks out.

DR. JACK KEVORKIAN, CONVICTED FOR ASSISTING SUICIDES: Why would I have regrets? That's my duty.

ROBERTS: Was this teenager brainwashed into leaving her family or did she escape a possible honor killing for converting to Christianity?

RIFQA BARY, 17-YEAR-OLD: They have to kill me because I am now a Christian.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a family matter. This is my child. And I want my child back.

ROBERTS: Is she a runaway or risking her life for religion?

Plus, the 14-year-old golfer who hit a hole in one, and she did it with only one arm.

LILLY ELLIS, GOLFER: I was shocked. Like, who wouldn't be? But I don't know. I never thought it would be such a big deal.

ANNOUNCER: This is your only source for news. CNN prime time begins now.

In for Campbell Brown, John Roberts.

ROBERTS: Hi, everybody. Campbell Brown is off tonight.

And those are our big questions. But we start, as always, with the "Mash-Up" our look at all stories making an impact right now and the moments that you might have missed. We're watching it all, so you don't have to.

Police barricades are set up in Los Angeles, keeping fans far away from Michael Jackson's funeral set to begin in two hours' time. After a very public death and investigation, tonight's service is a very private one at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very few details coming out, but I can tell you that Gladys Knight will be performing during that service. It has 20-foot archways, lots of marble. It's 11 levels, plenty of mazes inside as well.

Jackson's crypt is supposed to be directly under a massive stained glass window. The Last Supper window is actually a recreation of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece. It's really something to see. And it's interesting because Michael Jackson had actually reportedly commissioned his own Last Supper painting, which he hung over his bed.

A quarter of a million people are buried there, including many celebrities, including Michael Jackson's very good friend Sammy Davis Jr. , along with him, Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, Walt Disney, George Burns, Gracie Allen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: After the ceremony, the closest the public will get to Jackson's vault is that life-sized stained glass recreation of the Last Supper window.

CNN's Larry King plans lots more coverage beginning at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

New accusations against Phillip Garrido, the man accused of kidnapping Jaycee Dugard back in 1991. Almost 20 years before that, in 1972, police had Garrido under arrest, but had to let him go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 1972, Phillip Garrido raped and drugged a then 14-year-old girl, took her back to a motel. Garrido at the time was arrested, again, this happening 37 years ago, but the case never went to trial because, according to the lieutenant, the young woman refused to testify. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: In 1977, Garrido was convicted of raping a 25-year-old woman, but served just 11 years of a 50-year sentence. Today, we heard from one of Jaycee Dugard's relatives, her aunt, who spent time with Jaycee earlier this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DUGARD: We spent time sharing memories and stories and getting to know each other again.

Jaycee remembers all of us. She is especially enjoying getting to know her little sister, who was just a baby when Jaycee was taken. Not only have we laughed and cried together, but we have spent time sitting quietly, taking pleasure in each other's company.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: For her the most powerful moment was when her sister got to see her daughter Jaycee for the first time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They talk about the fact that these girls, these two young girls, who are now 15 and 11, Starlet and angel, that even though they were kept away from school, they are educated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were familiar with the Internet, how they seemed bright, how they seemed like normal children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, are charged with 29 counts of kidnapping, rape, and false imprisonment. They have pleaded not guilty.

ROBERTS: New details from the government on the H1N1 swine flu virus. More than 550 Americans have died, including at least 42 children younger than the age of 18, but message from the Centers for Disease Control, the CDC's top doc, don't panic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: The H1N1 influenza is here. It is spreading. We do expect to see more cases.

The good news is that so far everything that we have seen, the virus has not changed to become more deadly.

Most of the children who had fatal H1N1 infection this past spring had an underlying condition.

Most people with flu don't need treatment. We continue to anticipate that the vaccine will be available by the middle of October. In the public health system, all vaccination will be free, and I would recommend that all schoolchildren get vaccinated.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: Even the CDC is not immune to the swine flu. There are six suspected cases at their Atlanta, Georgia, headquarters.

Well, we have got new details about what we will hear from President Obama when he gives his speech on health care reform next week, the White House saying the president will lay out in what he wants in understandable, clear terms. Lots of people waiting to hear that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: What do you, Mr. President -- give us some guidance here. Are you willing to give up the public option? Are you willing to give up A, B, or C?

DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: I think it's going to be very, very clear by the time the speech is done that he sees a clear path to how we can provide stability and security to the people who have insurance and how we can help those who don't have insurance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: David Axelrod was being grilled by some pretty good journalists, and, you know, he kind of looked like a greased pig.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House is not going to be specific on the fate of the public option, but on Capitol Hill, you already see Democrats pulling away from it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: We have seen a lot of shouting, some pushing, some shoving from people protesting health care reform. What we haven't seen up until now is biting -- yes, biting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's where the fight begins. You can still see the bloodstains on the ground from the 65-year-old man whose finger was bitten off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a defensive strike, because the gentleman kind of aggressed toward him like he was going to hit him. William grabbed his hand and came back to the -- to get on the sidewalk and said, he bit my finger off.

And I saw. I looked down, and I could see that the stump of his finger, I could see that it had been bitten off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officials are still investigating the incident. They have a picture of the suspected finger biter shown here in black. Both sides agree the debate has gotten out of control.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: The victim, by the way, got to a hospital, but doctors were not able to reattach his fingertip. Next, the video that we could not stop talking about today. It's from a Yazoo City, Mississippi, school bus. A 14-year-old student pulled a gun. Watch what happened next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Catch a little nap on the bus on the way to school. Suddenly, his sister wakes him up with a real-life nightmare. Check out this school bus video. What you see there is a young girl, 14-year-old, pulling out a gun and loading it right in the corner of your screen there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: The hero, as it turned out, who tackled her, 6'4'' 255- pound football star Caleb Euwells. His four sisters and two cousins were also on that bus. The girl faces charges of attempted assault and kidnapping.

We have got another amazing story to tell you tonight. A hole in one in golf is special, but not especially rare, but take a look at this 14-year-old girl's very special shot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a tough hole right here, number 13. It's the hardest, I think.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two weeks ago, with her mom and three friends watching, Lilly hit a hole in one at this 115-yard par three hole.

That's just part of the story. You see, Lilly did it with just one arm. She was born that way, and it doesn't stop her from playing.

ELLIS: It's been very difficult trying to get a good technique down. It's not easy controlling one arm.

I was shocked. Like, who wouldn't be, but I don't know. I never thought it would be such a big deal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Good for her. "Sports Illustrated" heard about Lilly's shot, too, and is putting her story in this week's issue.

The characters from Sesame Street are now trying to educate kids about fighting the flu. And Conan O'Brien couldn't resist having some fun with it. Here's tonight's "Punchline."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It's time for you to hear the flu about swine flu.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Yes. And the first thing you have to do to stay healthy is always wash your hand.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Don't listen to him. Everybody run for the mountains. It's the end of the world.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: And when you have to sneeze or cough, do it into the bend of your arm.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Colin (ph) is insane. Make peace with your god.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Great job.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: We're all going to die.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: That's from "The Tonight Show," and that is the "Mash- Up."

The big question tonight: Is a young runaway being brainwashed by a church, or is she escaping a death sentence by her Muslim parents? It's a heated custody battle involving religion, politics, and a family torn apart.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARY: They have to kill me. My blood is now halal, which means that, because I am now a Christian, I'm from a Muslim background, it's an honor. If they love God more than me, they have to do this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Now to the first of tonight's big questions. Is an Ohio teenager a runaway or a risking her life for her religion? She says her Muslim father threatened kill her when she converted to Christianity. He says she is under the thumb of the husband and wife pastors of a nondenominational church in Florida whom she found on Facebook.

The story is making headlines across the country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rifqa Bary, who is 17, says she lived as a secret Christian in her parents' home for years and that when her father found out, he flew into a rage, threatening an honor killing, where a Muslim woman is murdered for bringing shame on her family. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rifqa Bary said she needed get away from her parents, so she hitchhiked to a bus station, then hopped on a bus and ended up here in Orlando. She had befriended the Orlando church on Facebook and ended up at the pastor's home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In fact, the case of Rifqa Bary has really galvanized the Christian evangelical movement here in Florida. Thousands of people have e-mailed the governor, Charlie Crist, to help her stay in Florida until she turns 18 in about 11 months and then can make up their own legal choice of where she wants to live.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Joining us is attorney Shayan Elahi, who represents Rifqa's father, Mohamed Bary.

Shayan, thanks for being with us tonight.

I want to ask you, first of all, this charge that Rifqa says that her father threatened to kill her because she had converted to Christianity, what does he have to say about that?

SHAYAN ELAHI, ATTORNEY FOR MOHAMED BARY: Well, thank you for having me, Mr. Roberts.

First of all, I think I need to tell you and your viewers that the judge basically put a gag order on us today. And basically I'm limited in my advocacy of my client tonight. And what I can discuss with you are the procedural issues and the motions that have been filed and what will be filed from now on.

So I'm limited as to the facts of the case itself.

ROBERTS: Sure, but he has actually been on the record talking about this before, so we're talking about something that's already out there in the public domain.

ELAHI: Sure.

What I can actually tell you is that today was arraignment. And that's a procedural issue, and we did file denials to all the allegations. The judge accepted those denials on the record. My client was present over the phone. And so that -- that was what basically happened today. He denied all the allegations.

ROBERTS: So he is saying that what she says is not true.

She also said in a rather lengthy interview with a Florida television station that she fears being killed if she returns back home. I want to play just a little bit of that and get your reaction to her state of mind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARY: They have to kill me. My blood is now halal, which means that, because I am now a Christian, I'm from a Muslim background, it's an honor. If they love God more than me, they have to do this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: So, Mr. Elahi, what does he have to say about that and her state of mind, this idea that because she is a Muslim who has converted Christianity, by Islamic law, it would be an honor killing to end her life should she go back home?

ELAHI: Well, Mr. Roberts, all I can say about that is that the court of law today that we were all in is an American court of law, which runs by American principles. And we all adhere to that.

And, today, a denial was formally entered as to all the allegations and any allegations that have been brought up either by Ms. Bary or on her behalf by the guardian ad litem or her attorney, Mr. Stemberger.

ROBERTS: Now, she rightly says in the course of this interview that there are hundreds of cases of honor killings. And there was one in the city of Toronto north of us, in Ontario, Canada, not too long ago in which a Muslim father strangled his daughter because she refused to wear the traditional Muslim head scarf, the hijab.

So, does she have a legitimate concern here?

ELAHI: Well, what I can tell you, Mr. Roberts is, again, my client denies all these allegations. And we will be filing a motion for psychological evaluation. And, you know, we will go on from there.

I moved for in deposition of the child today. That was denied. And, again, that's a procedural issue. And I will be moving to depose Lorenzes, Beverly and Blake, in the next couple of weeks, before we move into mediation, which is the next stage in this procedure.

ROBERTS: The Lorenzes, Beverly and Blake, as you mentioned, they are the husband and wife pastors who are -- have her, I guess, in what the state is referring to as foster care. What do you know about them?

ELAHI: Well, actually, just to correct the fact that -- my understanding is, Mr. Bary is not in their foster care at this point. That's where she was before. And she is actually in DCF custody at this point with a foster family...

ROBERTS: Gotcha.

ELAHI: ... which is just on to correct that fact.

But Blake and Beverly Lorenz are the people that allegedly she had come. And, so, again, going back to the procedure, what I wanted to mention to you was that I will be deposing them. And that's another thing that will happen the next couple of weeks.

The judge has ordered mediation in this case. And as an officer of the court, I have to go to mediation with some information in my hands. And part of that would be to get depositions. The judge denied the deposition of the child, but I am free to depose the Lorenzes.

ROBERTS: All right. Got you on that point.

Now, there are some other claims that are being made by Rifqa through her attorney that I assume were talked about in court today, allegations that she was sexually abused by an uncle, that her father hit her on at least one occasion. There was also a 35-page filing that I have here claiming that the Noor Center, which is the mosque that her father attends, is allied with Islamic extremism. The mosque denies this.

I assume that you have denied all of those charges as well in your pleading?

ELAHI: Well, Mr. Roberts, I represent Mr. Bary and not anybody else in this matter. And people can speak for themselves and defend themselves if they need to.

What I can tell you because of the gag order with the limitations imposed upon me today by the court is that we will be filing a writ of prohibition in the 5th District Court of Appeals and in our state of Florida. And, hopefully, you know, what that would do is that would stop these proceedings if that writ of prohibition is granted.

ROBERTS: Right. We should also mention, Mr. Elahi, that this has made its way to the governor's office. Governor Charlie Crist said that he was that Rifqa has been able to stay in Florida, that his administration will continue to protect Rifqa's safety and well-being, as we move forward.

So, it doesn't seem like he has any thoughts, positive thoughts, at least about a reunion with her family.

Shayan Elahi, good to talk to you tonight. Thanks for joining us, sir.

ELAHI: Thank you. Thank you so much.

ROBERTS: Tonight's big question: How is U.S. aid money landing in the hands of the Taliban? Plus, our newsmaker, Dr. Death, Jack Kevorkian.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVORKIAN: Why would I have regrets? That's my duty. I'm pleased to have done my duty, not like other doctors, who cowardly turn away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK) ROBERTS: President Obama giving a speech to school students. Sounds innocent enough. So, tonight's big question, why is it causing so much controversy, and why are some parents pulling their kids out of class?

Plus, tonight's newsmaker, Dr. Death, Jack Kevorkian, hear why he considered taking his own life in prison.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVORKIAN: Well, I considered ending this suffering, yes, because I didn't think they would let me out of prison, and I didn't want to die on their terms.

ROBERTS: Right. And -- and your preferred method would have been starvation?

KEVORKIAN: It's the only method I could do. I'm not going to slit my throat or hang by a rope or something. I didn't want to suffer when I'm dying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Talk about a teachable moment. President Obama's plan to make a back-to-school speech to students next week has some conservatives up in arms. They're urging schools not to show the address in class, calling it -- quote -- "an attempt to indoctrinate students."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: On Tuesday, the president is going to be addressing the schoolchildren and saying that they should work hard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Critics say the speech and the teaching aids are just a way for the president to indoctrinate children. And some school districts say they're not going to show this and some parents are refusing to send their kids to school that day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is some historical precedent for presidents speaking to students in nationally televised addresses. President George H.W. Bush did so in 1991. Ronald Reagan even talked politics with students in 1988.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the head of Florida's Republican Party accused President Obama of trying to turn kids into socialists. Like other controversies, this one spread over the Internet and talk radio faster than the White House could contain in t.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: So, is this a manufactured controversy, or do critics have a point? Joining us me now is Jim Greer. He's the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. He put out a statement condemning the president's planned speech as -- quote -- "an attempt to indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda." And on the other side of the issue, CNN political analyst Roland Martin.

Jim Greer, let's start with you.

What's your problem with the president addressing schoolchildren next week?

JIM GREER, CHAIRMAN, FLORIDA REPUBLICAN PARTY: Well, first of all, we have to see where we are today, compared to where we were 24 hours ago.

Up until recently, last night, the White House had lesson plans distributed throughout the country for teachers to talk about how students can help President Obama, the new ideas of President Obama. There was clearly going to be designed some effort to engage the students across this country into the public policy debate.

After the parents across this country and the uproar that occurred, the Department of Education withdrew all of that language last night. The White House reissued its lesson plans. And now they have said they will let parents see the text of the speech.

So, I think my concerns and the concerns of parents across this country certainly were substantiated by the scramble that the White House went through last night.

ROBERTS: In fact, Jim, if I could, just to help folks at home, let's put up what the original text was of this lesson plan, which is what you have an immediate problem with, and how it was amended.

GREER: Sure.

ROBERTS: First of all, here's the original lesson plan, which asked students to -- quote -- "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president." That was amended now to read, "Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short- term and long-term educational goals. These will be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals."

So, Roland Martin, was there a little bit of problem there with the additional materials that were provided to go along with the president's speech?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No. It's not a problem.

What you have is, you have some insane parents who want to bring their ideology into the table. Now, here's what's interesting. Our guest heads the Florida Republican Party. I remember, when I was in school, John, the former head of the Texas Republican Party, George Strake, came to my school. Thank God I didn't have some crazy parents saying, oh, no, I want my child to opt out of listening to George Strake because he might indoctrinate my child to become a Republican.

This is about ideology. Why is it -- I didn't see people sitting here saying when President George W. Bush went to go read to students, oh, I want to see what book he is reading. I want to pull my kid out of the class because I'm a Democrat, he is a Republican.

This is absolute nonsense.

GREER: Well, you see, the example you gave, the parents didn't have an opportunity to decide whether you have to listen to when the chairman came to speak.

Here, in this case...

MARTIN: Because they shouldn't. It was ridiculous. They should not.

(CROSSTALK)

GREER: As a parent, as a parent -- and I believe parents across this country believe this -- I want to know what my child is going to be taught. I want to know who is teaching it to them, and I want to know what my child is going to be exposed to.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: Really? How about this, John?

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: Roland -- Roland, let me just interject here for a second if I could, because, Jim Greer, you talk about the lesson plans that will accompany the president's speeches being really the central focus of the problem, but you also said this the other day. You said, "The idea that schoolchildren across our nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans for government-run health care, banks and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs and racking up more debt than any other president is not only infuriating but goes against the beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power."

Now, when you look at the central part of that statement, forced to watch the president justify his plans for government-run health care, banks and automobile companies. PolitiFact ran that through their truth-0-meter and they said well, that's pants on fire untrue. That you just made that up.

GREER: Well, I really don't have or believe in much credibility of political fact because it's run by some left-leaning people that don't really focus on the issues.

MARTIN: Oh, here we go. GREER: But let's get back to the issue at hand, John. Here's when the White House put these lesson plans out and they asked students to write a letter and say how they can help President Obama. Well, President Obama has for the last nine months been very vocal and aggressive on his vision for the future of America.

MARTIN: OK, John.

GREER: And his vision may not be the vision that I want my children to hear and that's why parents have raised their voices nationwide. And, John, that's why the White House has scrambled and changed the lesson plans and now are telling parents what he's going to say.

MARTIN: And, John -- and, John, here's why Jim's argument is an absolute fraud. Most school board members across this country are elected. So here's what I want to know.

I want to know does Jim plan to protest every time a school board member, a state rep, a city councilman, a governor, a congressman goes to visit any school in the state of Florida, because if you want to suggest that parents should opt out of pulling their kids out when any politician speaks, all of those people are elected. So are you going to say right now that you are going to protest any elected official who goes to any school in your state or anywhere in the country?

GREER: Well, I can tell you, Roland, if there's a lesson plan to attack your vision --

MARTIN: Oh, no, no, no. Now, you're switching. Now you're dancing.

GREER: That's the problem is.

MARTIN: No, no, no. No, no, no, Jim. It's the lesson plans that were attached to his speech is what started this controversy.

(CROSSTALK)

GREER: John, it's clearly what has shown --

ROBERTS: Hang on, Roland, on that point, federal statute does deny the Department of Education from providing any kind of curriculum to schools on the state level. So, does he have a point?

MARTIN: A little point.

ROBERTS: Does he have a point --

GREER: I have a point.

MARTIN: No, Jim --

ROBERTS: Does he have a point about this curriculum should not have been distributed (ph). MARTIN: No. Jim doesn't have a point because what he's complaining about that students are going to be writing letters to the president. Do you know how many children every day in classrooms as a part of the process actually write letters to the president, to the White House?

There are kids they send packets every day to the White House from schools all across this country. This is politics, John. Jim wants to dance around it.

You know, people who are bringing their ideology saying I don't want my child listening to this liberal Democratic president when you have people complaining -- John, your letter was ridiculous talking about health care in all industry.

GREER: I have never said --

MARTIN: He's talking about kids staying in school. Your letter was incendiary.

GREER: The president should not be allowed --

MARTIN: And it was on purpose.

GREER: I believe that the president, any president, should be allowed to talk to students on the first day of school to talk to them about staying in school and the benefits of an education. I believe that. This president included.

MARTIN: You just say this president --

GREER: Let me finish, Roland. Roland, no. No, I haven't said anything about pulling kids out.

MARTIN: OK.

GREER: Others are saying that. I do believe -- let me finish. I do believe that parents, parents, not the government, should decide what their children should be exposed to. And I would tell you in this day and age I think the president has enough to do focusing on the economy and finding jobs for Americans than writing lesson plans out of the Oval Office.

MARTIN: Well, you know what?

GREER: That's what's concerning.

MARTIN: You know what, Jim? Considering the dropout rate in this country and concerning so many kids don't even understand civics in the United States, I'm glad we have a president who's willing to speak to children because maybe these same parents were acting like children. I mean, they can't listen. Maybe the kids can also teach them a lesson on how to have some respect for the president of the United States.

ROBERTS: Gentlemen -- MARTIN: I'm not afraid of kids listening to politicians talk like you are.

GREER: Roland, you have --

ROBERTS: Unfortunately, we're --

GREER: Do you have any children?

MARTIN: I have --

ROBERTS: We're going to have it leave it there.

MARTIN: And I love them to talk to politicians any time.

ROBERTS: Roland, Jim Greer, we have to leave it there. A spirited debate. Thanks for joining us tonight. Appreciate it.

MARTIN: Thanks a lot.

Jack Kevorkian says he has no regrets about helping patients to commit suicide. Here what he says about that and his eight years in prison in tonight's newsmaker interview.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: You know tonight's newsmakers is "Dr. Death." The man who single handedly ignited a nationwide debate over physician- assisted suicide more than a decade ago.

Well, since then, Jack Kevorkian has done prison time, lost his medical license, and even considered taking his own life, but has he changed his mind? Earlier, we sat down for his first primetime interview since his parole ended this summer.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Jack Kevorkian, you spent eight years in prison. You were convicted of second degree murder for assisting in the death of Thomas Youk. I guess it's a very basic level to go over the prison system as to punish people for their crimes and to try to convince them to never, ever do it again.

I'm wondering, I'm curious. If someone were to come to you and say, Dr. Kevorkian, I want to end my life, I want your assistance, would you help them to commit suicide to end their life?

JACK KEVORKIAN, ASSISTED SUICIDE ADVOCATE: Not now. It wouldn't serve any purpose.

ROBERTS: So you've changed --

KEVORKIAN: The world all knows. The world knows. Everybody knows about it, and anybody who does it now will just end up in prison. It's not worth it.

ROBERTS: So have you changed your mind about assisted suicide?

KEVORKIAN: No. I changed my mind about suffering in prison for nothing. You can't -- listen, the issue is settled when the ice is broken with one case. You know, everybody knows about it now, but nobody can do it. They're afraid to death because the law will punish them.

They won't solve anything. It won't change anything. The people have got to demand this right.

ROBERTS: What was life in prison like for you?

KEVORKIAN: It was all right. Boring. It was boring, and the worst thing was the total lack of total freedom and the snoring. Boy, there are a lot of people snoring in prison.

ROBERTS: I read an interview in which you said that at one point you actually considered taking your own life.

KEVORKIAN: Well, I considered ending the suffering, yes, because I didn't think they would let me out of prison, and I didn't want to die on their terms.

ROBERTS: Right.

KEVORKIAN: And --

ROBERTS: Your preferred method would have been starvation?

KEVORKIAN: It's the only method I could do. I'm not going to slit my throat or hang by a rope or something. It's -- I didn't want to suffer when I'm dying.

ROBERTS: Let me ask you, Dr. Kevorkian, about the Michael Jackson case. As you know, his doctor, Conrad Murray, is under investigation, potential manslaughter charges or what he could face because it's alleged that he gave Michael Jackson a dose of Diprivan otherwise known as propofol that contributed to his death? Do you think that he should face charges for his role in the demise of Michael Jackson?

KEVORKIAN: Well, I don't know anything about the case. I don't know any details. In fact, I'm not even following it. I'm not connected with it.

And who knows? You got to have the details. You got to have the doctor's notes, medical notes and see what he did and what he said.

I mean, did Jackson demand the drugs? Did he demand higher dosage? And the doctor might have refused it and then Jackson felt he would throw a fit. Who knows?

And I think he was trying to -- he was trying to conform to the patient's wishes. That's what a good doctor should do. In that case, I could not blame him for doing it if the person wanted.

Jackson was on a suicide campaign. He kept that up. He know he's going to die. Multiple drugs, you know.

ROBERTS: So, is it right for a doctor just to say it's what the patient wants, this is what I'm going to give the patient?

KEVORKIAN: Well, that's not a blank check. It's all right for the doctor to conform exactly to the patient's wishes as long as it's in conformity with regular medical ethics. Simple as that. The ethics will control the profession, not law.

ROBERTS: Doctor, if you had an opportunity to rewind the clock, would you have done anything different?

KEVORKIAN: Yes, I would have done it earlier.

ROBERTS: You would have helped people to die early?

KEVORKIAN: Because it's better -- yes, it will. I would have done it earlier in my life, because it's not good to have all this commotion near the end of your life. I'd rather have been younger. I could have taken everything a little easier.

Prison wasn't that hard on me. I was surprised. When you know you're not a criminal, prison is quite easy, in fact.

ROBERTS: So in terms of helping people to die in terms of assisted suicide, you have no regrets?

KEVORKIAN: Why would I have regrets? That's my duty. I was pleased to have done my duty, not like other doctors who cowardly turn away.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Jack Kevorkian, by the way, whose life will be the subject of an HBO documentary next year. Al Pacino will play the lead role.

Michael Jackson's funeral happening in just over an hour from now. We're going to take you there live. Plus, tonight's big question, is everything we have learned about raising our kids all wrong?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PO BRONSON, CO-AUTHOR, "NURTURESHOCK": One school district started an hour later. The SAT scores were the best and brightest went up 200 points.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Parents, what's the difference between raising an A student and a B student? Fifteen minutes. And we're not talking about study time, we're talking about sleep. That's part of "NurtureShock": New Thinking About Children. A book that challenges all you thought you knew about parenting.

Here's part two of Campbell Brown's conversation with co-author Po Bronson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: We heard for, you know, (INAUDIBLE) sleep is crucial, but you say that you highlight a study here that shows kids test two grade levels lower when they aren't getting enough sleep.

PO BRONSON, CO-AUTHOR, "NURTURESHOCK": This work by Dr. Avesade (ph) had kids, six graders, for three nights get 30 minutes less sleep. That's all. Just 30 minutes less.

BROWN: That's nothing.

BRONSON: And then after three nights, he tested, gave them IQ tests and they were scoring three grades behind -- scoring fourth graders. On average in high school -- and this is research out of Minnesota and Rhode Island -- A students average 15 more minutes sleep than B students who average 50 more minutes than C students and so on.

Every 15 minutes counts. And what's troubling is in the last 30 years we've stolen an hour of sleep from our kids. When we were growing up, we don't think we got a lot of sleep. Subtract an hour, and that's what you get for today's kids.

BROWN: So you actually highlight some high school, I think that have moved to their start time back an hour.

BRONSON: Right.

BROWN: And they're having incredible results.

BRONSON: In Connecticut or in Minnesota, one school district started an hour later. The SAT scores for the best and brightest went up 200 points.

BROWN: Because they started an hour later?

BRONSON: Because they started school an hour later. So how could that possibly be? We are learning every day that during your nighttime your brain recodes your memory into long-term memory, and this is crucial to sort of plasticity and looseness to your brain is necessary for sleep to make this happen.

Genes regulate during the nighttime. And if you don't sleep enough, it doesn't happen. You can't store things in long-term memory. You can't remember them when you're taking the SAT.

BROWN: You also say there is a link or in some of these studies between sleep deprivation and obesity.

BRONSON: Exactly. Now what could those two things have in common? But again, just like we're talking about the cognitive side, a lot of hormones that regulate appetite and suppression of appetite and fat burning are all regulated during sleep, and that's one hour less of sleep for a child leads to an 80 percent increase in the odds of obesity.

BROWN: OK. But you also wrote -- and this is where even letting the kids stay up a little later on the weekends can have a detrimental effect because most parents -- I'm included. You think, oh, it's the weekend. What's a half an hour here and there?

BRONSON: Well, let's work on kindergartners and young kids to be sure. So those are kids who, you know, are building up their biorhythms and they're really well established. And we often -- I certainly did -- let them stay up late on weekends.

I'm going to admit it. I still do it myself too. You know, but that -- that will impair them on Monday or Tuesday as they're recovering. It's sort of like giving the kids jetlag.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Well, Bronson on parenting.

Private moments inside. A media circus outside. A live report as we await Michael Jackson's burial in California.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: All right. This just in to CNN. The fire in California just North of Los Angeles, the so-called station fire which has burned dozens of homes, burned three people and left two firefighters dead is now being described by authorities, according to "The Associated Press" as an arson fire and is being invested because of the death of those two firefighters as a homicide.

Forty percent contained, that fire as now firefighters continue to battle those blazes trying to save more property as the flames continue to roar.

Well, now under our looming big story of the night. The Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California just outside of Los Angeles, where in a little more than an hour Michael Jackson will finally be laid to rest more than two months after his death.

CNN's Randi Kaye is watching as events develop tonight. And you've got the assembled media of the world gathered there with you outside the gates. What's going on inside tonight as we know it will happen, Randi?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, as you know, this is supposed to be a private burial service for just very close friends and family of Michael Jackson. And just in the last couple of minutes, we did see some people starting to arrive here escorted by Los Angeles police.

But I do have here those that were invited that received one of these. This is the official invitation to the close family friends, and inside there's a very nice picture of Michael Jackson from his Neverland Ranch. But you did mention the media. There are actually 60 media outlets from around the world here. I can show you some of the frenzy that's going on out here.

People have been camped out out here since about, oh, I don't know, about 4:00 a.m. this morning. One crew from Australia told us that.

But Michael Jackson will be buried in the Great Mausoleum, and his crypt, I'm told, will be right beneath this amazing stain glass window. It's the Last Supper window and it's an exact replica of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece. So quite a sight there -- John.

ROBERTS: Randi Kaye in Los Angeles tonight. Randi, thanks so much.

As Michael Jackson's friends and family gathered tonight, is this really the end of the story? That's the focus of the special edition of "LARRY KING LIVE" coming up at the top of the hour.

And at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, "AC 360" is live at the Forest Lawn Cemetery as Michael Jackson is laid to rest.

We're watching "Money and Main Street" tonight. Most experts say the recession is over, but a lot of working people are still worried sick about their jobs making ends meet. We'll ask our Ali Velshi, is it ever going to get any easier for them?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: The latest unemployment report comes out tomorrow morning. Economists predict it will show another 225,000 Americans lost their jobs last month.

Meanwhile, a new CNN poll shows fewer Americans are down on the economy, but nearly nine out of ten people we talked to say the U.S. is still in a recession.

Let's bring in our Ali Velshi for tonight's "Money and Main Street" report. Our weekly look at how ordinary people are coping in these tough times. He is riding the CNN Express in Madison, Wisconsin, today.

And, Ali, so many Americans so worried about losing their jobs, so how do you make sure you keep the job that you've got?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's going to be that way for a while. John, we're going to get the unemployment numbers tomorrow morning. There are going to be a lot of job losses.

So things that people need to think about are that they are employed by businesses. They are revenue-generating businesses, so be a revenue generating person in your business. So many people are involved in administrative work or work that doesn't seem to be tied directly to revenue. But come up with ideas for your company to make money and make yourself valuable that way. Another thing to do is simply make yourself a valuable employee, more so than others. Are you trained in the newest technology? Maybe you speak a language that's useful to your company.

There are going to be many, many more layoffs, hundreds of thousands of more layoffs in the United States over the course of the next several months. How do you make yourself the person that when those layoffs come, the company really wants to keep you? These are tough things to get your head around, but they're necessary right now, because we're not out of the woods, John.

ROBERTS: In good times, Ali, people are always looking to trade up jobs, find something better. I know you've been out there talking to people who wish they had the chance to get their old jobs back.

VELSHI: Yes.

ROBERTS: What have you been hearing?

VELSHI: Yes. Just in Evansville, Indiana the other day where they're closing down that Whirlpool plant, and one woman said it to me perfectly. She said, "I wish I had a chance to know that I could have traded something off. I could have maybe given back some of my wages. I could have had my benefits cut."

There are a lot of people who suggest it's worth approaching that idea, the idea that maybe you can take a cut in order to stay employed. But that's a tricky one, John, because the minute you start broaching that one with your employee, you've now put yourself with your employer, you're putting yourself into a bit of a position of weakness. So it's definitely worth considering, but it's a tough one to go down.

ROBERTS: All right. I was troubled to hear that one woman say to you, you know, all we can do is hope for the best because, while hope is a great thing to have in this economy, hope is not going to get you very far.

VELSHI: That's right. Hope and a little strategy might help, John.

ROBERTS: Yes. All right. Ali Velshi for us on the road tonight with "Money and Main Street." Ali, thanks so much.

Test your financial health, by the way, at CNN.com/moneyandmainstreet. Just plug in your age, your salary, and how much you save and spend and get your score.

And Ali is going to be making his way across the country. He's going to be showing up in more places on the CNN Express over the next couple of days as he heads into the Labor Day weekend.

And that's going to be all from us tonight. For Campbell Brown, I'm John Roberts. I'll see you again bright and early tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. on AMERICAN MORNING. Don't forget tonight 10:00 p.m. Eastern, "AC 360" with special coverage of the internment of Michael Jackson. Right now, stay tuned for "LARRY KING LIVE."

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