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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Florida Teen Set on Fire by Other Teens; Judge Order Jon, Kate to Work out Agreement
Aired October 13, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, gut-wrenching teen violence spreads across the count row. A 15-year-old boy doused in fuel, set on fire. Cops say the blaze was ignited by other teenagers. This young man suffered agonizing burns on 3/4 of his body. Police have arrested three kids in this hellish act. It may have all been because of a fight over a bicycle?
Tonight`s big issue: what`s going on with our teenagers? What`s it going to take to change our blood-drenched culture?
And kidnapped, raped and left for dead. An 8-year-old girl taken from her bed in the middle of the night, her throat slashed by a rapist. But now nearly 20 years later, the monster responsible may finally be brought to justice. Jennifer Schuett`s nightmare had gone unsolved since 1990, but now, thanks to DNA, cops have finally made an arrest. Tonight, the courageous victim speaks out.
Also, blood-boiling new details in the case of the alleged drunk- driving mom who smashed into a guardrail, killing an 11-year-old girl. Not only was this lady allegedly boozed up with seven young girls in her car but now one of the passengers claims the driver`s very own daughter pleaded with her mom to slow down. Instead, the mom allegedly taunted the girl, saying, "You think this is fast, just wait until we get on the highway."
Tonight`s big issue: inside the mind of a drunk driver.
Plus, new developments in the Jon and Kate divorce drama. It seems we`re not the only ones fed up with the Gosselins. A judge told the reality couple, work it out and focus on the kids. But are they capable of doing anything that`s in the best interests of their children?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a 15-year-old Florida boy fights for his life after an unspeakable, savage attack by other teenaged boys. Michael Brewer is burned over 80 percent of his body. Look at that handsome young boy. Police say three juveniles drenched him in rubbing alcohol and then set fire to him, using a lighter. Two other boys allegedly kept him from escaping.
Listen to the victim`s brokenhearted mother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VALERIE BREWER, MOTHER: He`s got 70 percent of his body burnt. It`s going to take a long time for him to recover. But hopefully, the Broward sheriff`s office will do what they need to do to catch this kid. And if anybody knows about this, please contact the Broward sheriff`s office so that we can catch the people that did this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police have already charged five boys in the attack. It happened in an apartment complex near Boca Raton, Florida. Police heard a few of the teens laughing about it. That`s right, laughing, about a boy in such pain from severe burns, doctors had to put him in a medically- induced coma. And they`re laughing?
They allegedly targeted him because he, quote, "snitched" on one of them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF AL LAMBERTI, BROWARD COUNTY: It`s retaliation because he reported somebody stealing his dad`s bike. And whether or not as to whether they owed him money, they deliberately sought him out, poured alcohol on him, and set him on fire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight`s big issue, has America turned into one giant "Lord of the Flies"? Only the cruelest kids survive? Are teen boys being indoctrinated into violence by a culture that is saturated in violent imagery? Yes, yes, and yes!
So what the heck are we going do about it? We`re going to debate that, and I want to hear from you at home. You better call me.
Straight out to my outstanding panel: former prosecutor and law professor, Wendy Murphy, author of "And Justice for Some"; clinical psychologist, Brenda Wade. There she is, and we want to hear from you, Brenda. We need a shrink on there one. Steve Rogers, detective/lieutenant from the Nutley, New Jersey Police Department; Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; and Jim Leljedal, director of media relations for the Broward County Sheriff`s Office.
Jim, dare we ask, what is the motive for this horror?
JIM LELJEDAL, DIRECTOR OF MEDIA RELATIONS, BROWARD COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: The motive was basically revenge, retaliation. This victim was responsible for getting one of these five young suspects arrested for attempting to steal a bicycle. And for that, they decided to set him on fire.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The way I understand it -- correct me if I`m wrong -- one of these kids allegedly gave him, the victim, a video game, and felt he was owed $40, and when he didn`t get the $40, he said, "Oh, I`m going to steal Dad`s -- the victim`s father`s bicycle."
And this poor child that you`re looking at here, this handsome 15- year-old boy, reported that. And he was so scared, he did not go to school yesterday because he sensed that, for being what they call a snitch, something bad would happen to him.
Look at that, look at that. That`s just the charred remains of his clothing. He ripped his clothing off, he was in such agony, and ran to a swimming pool and jumped into a swimming pool.
Wendy Murphy, when they were setting him on fire, the boys allegedly yelled, "He`s a snitch; he`s a snitch. Pour it on him." Where do they learn these values?
WENDY MURPHY, AUTHOR, "AND JUSTICE FOR SOME": Where to begin with the list, Jane? It`s not just television. It`s not just bad parenting. It is literally a culture that, for a very long time, has rewarded boys for being brutes. And now we actually live in an even worse society than probably, you know, when these boys were younger.
And I`ll tell you why. We have never, ever punished juveniles who do grotesque things like this with the kind of severe punishment they deserve. We`ve always thought, "Oh well, he`s only 15; he`s only 16. OK, he burned a house down. He tried to kill a kid by lighting his body on fire. Let`s get him some rehabilitation."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy, Wendy, Wendy.
MURPHY: And send that message to anybody...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got to say this to you.
MURPHY: Come on, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
MURPHY: Come on, come on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, all right!
MURPHY: I`m just making a very important point.
MURPHY: And you know what? The data is with me on this.
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Wendy, this isn`t about a 15-year-old juvenile.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let Wendy finish.
MURPHY: Younger ages than ever before.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just say this, Wendy. We`re locking up more people in this country than any other country in the entire world. And guess what? We`re just getting more and more violent. Because, I believe, we are so obsessed with crime, various cops, all of those cops are doing a great job, but they`ve got to be paid. It costs money to house all of these kids in prison. We`re locking up more people than any other country in the entire world.
MURPHY: We should be locking up the dangerous ones, not the kids with drug addiction.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you.
MURPHY: We`re locking up the wrong ones.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, I think we need to legalize drugs and start focusing on violence -- Jayne Weintraub.
WEINTRAUB: This is so beyond evil. This is not just, you know, a bad act of a kid or a juvenile act. This is exactly what you were talking about. Where does somebody learn this? Do they learn this from the parents? No. This is -- this is dousing someone with gasoline.
And thank God the kid was laying out near the pool, because he was able to be thrown in that. That saved his life.
But what I`m asking is, where`s the community? Where are neighbors? Kids don`t just get so evil. Where are the teachers? Doesn`t anybody notice this kid or these boys are really in need of help? They are sick.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s tonight`s big issue.
WEINTRAUB: Oh, please.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is wrong with our teenaged boys? The FBI says the number of juveniles arrested for murder is up 26 percent since 2005. How did we get there? Look around, you people.
Here`s the wildly popular video game, "Mortal Combat." The title alone tells you the goal of the game is to kill. This is the kind of stuff teenaged boys do for fun. And this is a mild version of stuff.
What about these successful movies like "Saw" and all these sequels? The plots are based on killing and sadistic physical and sexual torture. And the films are box office hits, especially with teenaged boys. How can we expect, Brenda Wade, teenaged boys not to be violent when the only thing that we are teaching them is violence?
BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Jane, we have -- we have two issues here. One of them is absolutely the issue you`re raising, which is that the brain is a programmable tool. As we`re constantly exposing our young people to violence, their brains, which are much more permeable than an adult`s brain. Because remember, the brain isn`t finished until the age of 22 to 24. So the higher cortex, the part that can reason, the part that can look at consequences, isn`t there.
So kids are trained in violence, that`s what`s going to come out.
Now the other issue, and I really appreciate what my colleague just said about where are the parents, where are the neighbors? We don`t have that village raising our children. Children are not miniature adults. They are not capable of raising. So we have to have parents, neighbors, friends, teachers working together to make sure these kids are monitored, they are getting training, they`re getting support, they`re getting help.
And clearly, we are not getting that. It does take a village to raise a child, and we`re not developing those villages the way we need to.
STEVE ROGERS, DETECTIVE/LIEUTENANT, NUTLEY, NEW JERSEY, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Jane...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead. Go ahead, go ahead, Steve Rogers. Steve Rogers.
ROGERS: May I add this, being a law enforcement officer who deals with this daily, there`s also one other missing element. These kids are not afraid of retribution. They`re not afraid of a penalty. They`re not afraid of facing the criminal justice system. And that`s because...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because there are no penalties?
ROGERS: ... as Wendy said, this criminal justice system is more concerned about it rights of criminals than the rights of victims.
WEINTRAUB: Oh, that`s so ridiculous. Thank you!
WADE: In (UNINTELLIGIBLE) county they lock up teenagers.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to bring -- I want to bring Jim Leljedal. Jim, you`re the spokesperson of the sheriff`s office. You`re out there in the field. What is your explanation for the behavior of these kids? We`ve got 15-year-old boys, one 13-year-old boy.
LELJEDAL: There is no way to explain it. And the sheriff made this point today, that we have lots of touchy-feely programs, but it`s too late for these boys. And for some reason, they don`t seem to know the difference between right and wrong. When they were toddlers no one told them, apparently, the difference between right and wrong. And they think that it`s perfectly acceptable to set someone on fire if they`ve done you wrong.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they`ve probably seen it in the movies a million times. I mean, all you have to do is channel surf, and all you see is violence, violence...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... and more violence.
WADE: No parental control.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So if you don`t keep your kids away from it.
ROGERS: There`s been an increase in sexual assaults across this country, and the age groups are now from 13 to 18, instead of 18 and above.
ROGERS: We have a serious problem across the criminal justice system.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on this horrific assault, and we`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Also coming up, an amazing story told by a woman who was raped and left for dead 20 years ago. What she`s doing today to help change her violent past and get this guy arrested?
But first, this young boy burned for being a snitch. Why did this horror have to happen? It didn`t.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They swore that they were going to get their revenge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They tossed something on him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gasoline.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And threw a match?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And threw a match.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How bad is it? Do you know that, sweetheart?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s severely burned on his chest and arms. That`s all I heard right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALISSA DURKEE, VICTIM`S SISTER: I told the 14-year-old kid to "Please leave premises. You`re not welcome here." And as I was trying to walk back towards my house, he had then turned around and started threatening me and my children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was the sister of Michael Brewer, a 15-year-old who was set on fire, allegedly by boys he goes to school with. He`s severely burned over most of his body and is expected to be hospitalized for at least five months. He`s going to need skin grafts. This is one of the most painful kind of injuries you can get.
Michelle, Oklahoma, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Well, I`m dealing with same thing. Last week on Wednesday, my little girl got into it with a little boy at school. And he went and told his older brother. So he punched her in the mouth. And they suspended him one day.
And then the very next day, the little boy -- it`s a boy that hit her -- his little brother came to school and told her he was going to stab her. And they did nothing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So this is -- this is part of the problem. Very good, Michelle. And I wish you the best with your daughter.
Jim Leljedal, you`re the sheriff`s office spokesperson. What do parents do? You can`t just let these -- these out-of-control wild bullies run rampant. You have to sometimes stand up and say, "No, you can`t steal that bike."
LELJEDAL: Absolutely. You can`t -- you can`t let something like this go.
And this lady needs to make sure that people listen. When she says that there`s -- that there`s a problem, she needs to get some attention. If she has to go to the principal and -- and demand it, she needs to get some attention to this so that her children are safe. Our children deserve to go to school and be safe.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, they sure do, but...
LELJEDAL: If there`s a threat.
WADE: And it`s important in this case, Jane, for the parent to be brought in.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this, Brenda. Yes, but sometimes you can make a situation worse. It`s like getting a temporary restraining order. How many cases have we covered of women who were killed after they got a temporary restraining order against their former boyfriend who was stalking them? It`s paper. It`s not worth the paper it`s written on.
ROGERS: The restraining order is worth...
MURPHY: Don`t give them a piece of paper. Give them a gun.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, please.
MURPHY: I know you don`t like guns.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy, you don`t answer violence with more violence. We`ve got a spiral escalating violence in this country. Let`s get everyone in the world armed, and we can all shoot each other. And then we wouldn`t have any violence, because we`ll all be dead. I don`t think that`s the answer.
ROGERS: Jane, this last caller about her child at school...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, Wendy.
ROGERS: The caller who had a daughter in the schools...
MURPHY: You have to give...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy, first. What, I`m sorry. Wendy.
MURPHY: I`m sorry, look, I think you have to sometimes give force against the bully. And I know you don`t like guns, and I`m not always telling -- you know, telling it straight when I say give a woman a gun instead of a restraining order.
But what makes the guy stop beating the hell out of her? It`s when he thinks she might actually fight him back with equal power.
Now, the thing about the kids, the thing I want to say about the kids, though, there are two things here. One is they didn`t just beat a kid up. They almost killed him, and they did it because he did what all responsible citizens are expected to do: tell authorities when something bad happens, when a crime occurs or somebody has stolen your stuff, right? That should be a civil rights violation. When you get beaten up, because you called the cops to protect your rights? That should be a civil rights crime in this country.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to get to this. This is important. Let me get to this. Michael Brewer`s head was so severely burned, he lost most of his hair and his eyelashes. Now, let`s consider the hell this boy faces as he recovers.
Remember Michael Jackson`s scalp was burned in 1984 as he filmed a Pepsi commercial? You see it right there. His injuries -- look at his hair, set on fire right there. His injuries much less severe than young Michael Brewer`s. Still, they were excruciating. They actually led Jackson to develop an addiction to painkillers.
Jackson befriended burn victim David Rothenberg. David was just 6 years old when his father set him on fire, and Rothenberg was burned head to toe --look at that poor child -- over 90 percent of his child.
Brenda Wade, they say burn injuries are the most painful.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They have to put the boy in this case in a medically- induced coma.
ROGERS: Jane, it goes back to...
WADE: I really believe that the answer here is that we all, children need vigilant care and nurturing. Parents are not equipped. We have a problem with parents today. We have a problem with schools. We are all overwhelmed with economic distress. I believe the answer is threefold.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. All right, we`re going to have to leave it right there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just say this. We`re not going to let this go. We`re going to stay on top of this subject. Fantastic panel, thank you.
The issue of kids and violence and our society`s outright addiction to violence -- that`s what it is -- it`s reaching epidemic proportions. In my book "iWant," I talk about my own poisonous addiction to alcohol and how I struggled to overcome it. You know, all these addictions you solve them the same way. It doesn`t matter whether it`s addiction to booze or to violence. OK.
If you Are battling an addiction to something, get this book, because you get inside of the mind of an addict, and you can understand how to combat the addiction. And, yes, my friend, we are addicted to violence in America.
You can order my book online: CNN.com/Jane. It`s also in book stores.
Coming up, a major victory in the war on women. Twenty years after being raped, left for dead, Jennifer Schuett fighting back, winning. We`re going to tell you about the suspect`s dramatic arrest.
And then a judge orders Jon and Kate Gosselin, shut up and figure it out!
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon and Kate going head-to-head, and for once it`s off camera. The messy divorce battle continued today, this time inside of a courtroom.
Here`s Kate headed to court. Great hair, Kate. They fought about, what else, money.
For the latest juicy details, TMZ reports the judge slammed Jon, ordering him, pay back the 80 -- $180,000 he withdrew from the account he shares with Kate. The judge says, "Puts back the cash or be held in contempt of court."
As for Kate`s claims Jon left her broke, the judge reportedly said, "Hey, honey, show me the paperwork, and prove it to me."
Cameras cornered Jon outside the courthouse, but for once, he wasn`t talking. He would only say this little tiny tidbit. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR: The Phillies will win the series.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that a prediction?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A sports reference, what else?
Normally, these two blab to cameras every chance they get, but today the judge warned Jon and Kate, "Shut up! Stop doing TV appearances. Keep your divorce private for the sake of the kids."
Somehow, I doubt that will happen because, guess what, their next hearing will reportedly be public. I will be talking about all of this tonight on "NANCY GRACE," along with financial expert Suze Orman. Stay tuned for me at 8.
Joining me now, the one and only Harvey Levin, executive producer at TMZ.
Harvey, do you think Jon Gosselin still has the $180 grand, or has he spent it?
HARVEY LEVIN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, TMZ: Well, you know, Jane, good question. My gut -- I don`t know this for sure. My gut is he spent some of it. And I`m saying that, because he knows the clock was ticking on this money. And you know, it was squirrelly the way he did it. I mean, remember he said, "No, no, I only took about $20,000 out." Remember, "I never took all that money out"? Well, he did, at least according to the judge.
So it sounds to me like something -- this is not going to just be the end of it. And my gut tells me Jon Gosselin`s going to have to do another one of those shows that`s going to pay him a lot of money to get some of that money back to put back in the account.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but without the kids, who`s going to hire him? Oh, that`s an interesting thing. Do you think -- he`s put up that sign that says, "TLC, you cannot film in here," so TLC has now halted production. And that happened very shortly after TLC kicked him off the show and said, "We`re going to make it `Kate Plus 8`."
So he`s like, "Aha, oh, you think you are? You`re not doing anything without me, because I`m the dad."
Could he actually take those kids and create another reality show, "Jon Plus 8"?
LEVIN: Well, maybe he has, Jane. And that`s a really interesting proposition here. Because here`s what`s going on.
Jon Gosselin is starting to appear on certain shows. He is for sale. I mean, there are shows that are buying him right now. Because one of the things they get, in addition to him, is access to the kids.
So ironically, he can stop them being shot on the TLC show, and at the same time negotiate his own deals and say, "Yes, you know, come over to the birthday party, and I`ll get you a little shot here and there of the kids." So he`s doing what he prohibited TLC from doing under the guise that it was bad for the kids.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have 15 seconds. You want to tell me something about governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver.
LEVIN: Fifteen seconds. She`s on the cell phone repeatedly. We`ve got all these pictures of her. And the governor signed this thing into law, saying you can`t drive with the cell phone. And we`ve got pictures of her.
So he Twitters me. The governor Twittered me about two hours ago, saying, "I`m going to take action against her on this thing." And just as he twittered me, Jane, just as he Twitters me, we get video of Maria on the cell phone again. And she`s on the phone, and when she sees us she puts the phone down real fast.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Love you, Harvey.
A wild story coming up next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kidnapped, raped, left for dead: an 8-year-old girl taken from her bed in the middle of the night and her throat slashed by a rapist. But now nearly 20 years later the monster responsible may finally be brought to justice.
Also, blood-boiling new details in the case of the alleged drunk- driving mom who smash interested a guardrail killing an 11-year-old girl. And now one of the surviving passengers claim the driver`s very own daughter pleaded with her mom to slow down. Tonight`s big issue: inside the mind of a drunk driver.
Tonight, a hero in the "War on Women": Jennifer Schuett was the victim of a violent rape. But she would not be silenced. For years she courageously put her face and her name out there. After 19 years, her alleged attacker is finally behind bars tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER SCHUETT, RAPE VICTIM: This is it in my life. And 19 years ago it was a tragic one. But today 19 years later I stand here and want you all to know that I`m ok. I am not a victim but instead victorious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jennifer was an innocent 8-year-old girl when she was snatched from her bedroom and brutally raped, her throat slashed. She was left for dead in this empty field.
Little Jennifer lay alone slowly dying for 14 long hours. She couldn`t scream because her voice box had been severed. She was finally found buried alive by one of her young classmates. Dubbed the miracle child, she somehow survived.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHUETT: Throughout this journey I`ve had two main goals and they were two, find the man who kidnapped, sexually assaulted and attempted to murder me 19 years ago so that he could not hurt anyone else and to use my voice in telling my story to as many people as I possibly could over the years in hopes that I may encourage other victims of violent crime to stand up and speak out against criminals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: New technology matched DNA on Jennifer`s pink pajamas to a 40-year-old married father of two named Dennis Earl Bradford. You`re looking at him. He`s a welder.
He was in the system after abducting a woman in 1996. He also raped her and slit her throat. He served just four years out of a 12-year sentence. Four years.
Bradford now charged with attempted murder. Again, he is a husband and a father of two children, a stepfather to three who`s allegedly been keeping a very, very, very toxic secret.
This is a story of a little girl`s survival and a woman`s strength. Her tireless fight could put this serial rapist -- accused, alleged -- away.
Straight out to my expert panel: also on the phone, Harvey Rice, reporter, "Houston Chronicle". But I start with Wendy Murphy, former sex crimes prosecutor.
How did this alleged monster almost get away with this when he was convicted of a similar crime, locked up in 1997 so they had his DNA in the system then? Why wasn`t that DNA matched with the DNA on this cold case a lot sooner?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I think you know the answer to that, Jane. And how many times have we screamed about it on your show?
Jaycee Dugard comes to mind as yet another recent example. It`s because we don`t give enough of a damn about women and girls in this country.
MURPHY: So that when they are nearly killed or raped and abused, we don`t put a lot of money into finding their attacker, which is why guys like this do it again and again and again and never get caught.
I mean, how many more statistics do we need? Can I just say, though, I want to ring that guy`s neck. I know he`s only alleged at this point and that`s fine. But this is my applause for that young girl.
MURPHY: I felt she makes it clear...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I say a round of applause on everybody`s part for this young woman. She deserves a round of applause for standing up and putting her face out there. You know somebody challenged me the other day on the "War on Women" and they said there is no "War on Women". You know there is a "War on Women".
MURPHY: And here`s the message, we`re going to find them and capture them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, rapes are down to a 20-year-low. You know how many rapes that means, that about 90,000 rapes in this country, that`s obscene. Harvey Rice, you`re a reporter for the "Houston Chronicle".
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How did they find --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that was on the front page of the "USA Today", ok? Harvey, reporter, Houston...
MURPHY: I know but the government is notoriously bad. I`m sorry, Jane, go ahead.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s probably more than that, because it doesn`t include the unreported rapes but Harvey Rice, reporter "Houston Chronicle". They did have a special system that they put to work on this particular cold case. Tell us about it.
HARVEY RICE, REPORTER, HOUSTON CHRONICLE (via telephone): Well, they had...
RICE: ... called CODIS; it`s the Combined DNA Index System. And they did not have the same techniques 20 years ago that they do today. So the two officers that were put on this case, one was a Dickinson detective and the other was an FBI agent.
And they got together and decided to take the -- this underwear, they were men`s underwear and some underwear from the victim that were found bundled about two-tenths of a mile away from where her nude body with a slit throat was dumped on an ant hill and she was there for 14 hours while being stung by fire ants and she still has scars on her from that.
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I have to say, Harvey will corroborate this. You know what happened? The FBI worked with local law enforcement which rarely happens and together these agencies combined all of their resources, they went to Jennifer, and they did it together. And that`s what we`re missing in most of these cases.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Steve Rogers, yes, I applaud the FBI and law enforcement on this case. But what I`m asking and Steve Rogers, you`re in police, you`re a detective at Nutley, New Jersey police, why isn`t there a system where you take all of the unsolved cold cases where you have DNA, where it`s a felony, where it`s a woman being attacked and you match it with all the people, all the men who are in prison on rape?
You take all of the outstanding rapes with the DNA, the underwear, all these things that are left in closets and file cabinets and you match it with the DNA of these guys who are behind bars for similar crimes.
STEVE ROGERS, DETECTIVE, NUTLEY, NEW JERSEY: Jane, you`re absolutely, absolutely right. And the answer is simple.
ROGERS: The money is being poured into these good touchy-feely programs where we`re trying to rehabilitate every criminal that walks when it should be invested in the DNA programming that you just talk about. We have to catch these criminals.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But here`s the problem and I have to go back to Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist. What we`re doing wrong in this country -- I`ve said it before -- we lock up more people than any other country than the entire world and we spend so much money on crime and punishment and prosecution and it`s very expensive to take a case like this through a court. It`s very expensive to have people lock up.
It`s a big business, let`s be real. You have to feed them, you have to house them. People are making money off of it and the taxpayers are paying for it. There are private prisons. We all know what the Scooby Doo is.
But the money that they could take to solve these cases and use the money intelligently. And I`m not saying don`t put people away. I`m saying put right people away efficiently.
BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Right. It`s not a priority to these people Jane. There is that part of the issue, Jane. But there`s another issue, to answer your question. One of the things we also need to do is prevent these crimes and we need at least three things to happen for that to be true.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What three things?
WADE: One is, again, we`ve got to give parents help in learning how to protect their children and I think Jennifer is my absolute definition of a hero. A person who goes through an obstacle, comes out the other side and then tries to help other people. So I think her lesson is one we all need to take to heart.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know here on ISSUES we talk about the "War on Women."
WADE: At the end of the day, children need protection.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rape victims Jennifer Schuett -- you`re looking at her, dedicated her life to seeking justice. She spoke directly to other victims today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHUETT: I hope that my case will remain as a reminder to all victims of violent crimes to never give up hope in seeking justice no matter how long it may take or how hard it may be. With determination and by using your voice to speak out you`re capable of anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again, doctors thought she would never speak, her actual vocal chords were severed and she pulled herself together. What a hero.
Jayne Weintraub, you know, they say, statistic is millions but one person is a story that we can really understand. But I think with these statistics -- I don`t care if it is 90,000, 100,000, 150,000 -- the number of women who are getting raped in this country is obscene. And what I feel needs to happen is for all these women to stand up together, show their faces and march on Washington, and demand a change in making rape a top priority for law enforcement.
WEINTRAUB: I agree and I think that`s, to me, answer to your question of why cold cases remain cold. It`s the people in charge are not prioritizing rape, you know especially children crime.
And Jennifer -- I join Brenda Wade -- Jennifer is a hero, she`s a survivor and she`s the voice. And the word should be spread that women and children won`t take it anymore. We will hunt you down and we will capture you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up next, more defense tactics by Casey Anthony`s lawyers. What they`re up to this time and how it will affect her upcoming trial.
And then uproar over alleged drunk mom`s choice to get behind the wheel with kids in the car, seven of them. A car she then ran off of the road. One girl is dead; others are seriously hurt. To say an outrage, obviously, an understatement.
I want to hear from you, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Why do people drive drunk? Why do moms drive drunk? 1-877-586-7297.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let`s meet today`s winner. Ben R. from San Diego, California, there he is looking very stoned nearly 12 years ago. Look at him, much better there. Then says he was addicted to marijuana, got so bad, even his apartment complex posted a complaint notice on his door saying, "Hey, we`re all smelling the pot. Stop it."
Then quit with the help of Marijuana Anonymous. He has reconnected with old friends. He`s now going to college. Ben has not smoked pot for 18 months now.
Ben, for sharing your story you will get an autographed copy of my new book "I Want" plus a chance to win a trip to New York and to visit me here on the set of ISSUES. I promise you, dude, I will show you a good time and it`ll all be sober. You can have a lot of fun even when you are sober.
And this is a sobering story about drinking too much. A little girl is dead because one mom allegedly drove very drunk. Shocking new claims from witnesses moments before the fatal wreck.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight: A laundry list of demands from Casey Anthony`s defense team. Topping it off a court request to have Casey`s fraud trial moved to a different county; her lawyers say it`s the only way she will get a fair trial. But the big news here, Casey could end up a convicted felon even before her murder trial begins which means prosecutors can ask during the murder trial, "Why, young lady, are you a convicted felon?" And she will have to tell them, "Well, because I`m a liar and a thief."
Slam dunk for prosecutors? Perhaps. But is it enough to convict her of murder? Time will tell and ISSUES will stay on top of this story, of course. We`re tracking that one right to the very end.
That is tonight`s "Top of the Block". .
Outrageously shocking developments in the wake of a tragic and deadly DUI, also known as DWI accident: tonight, the cover of "The New York Daily News" splashed with the words "How Dare You!"
How dare you! The speaker, a seething mom whose 11-year-old daughter was battered, bruised and bloody when the car she was riding in smashed into a tree. Cops say the driver, 31-year-old Carmen Huertas was smashed on booze when she swerved off the road and caused her car to flip over and over and over.
Three girls were violently thrown from the vehicle. One of them precious 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, in the school photo, killed. But the daughter of that enraged mom quoted on the cover of the "Daily News," she was a lucky survivor. This child says the allegedly boozed up driver, seen here in a photo from the same paper, ignored pleas from her own daughter, her own daughter was begging her. Quote, "Mommy, slow down," end quote.
The young passenger says the mocking mom shot back, quote, "You think this is fast?" And added, "Just wait until we get on to the highway," end quote. Cops say Carmen Huertas had a blood-alcohol level, one-and-a-half times of the legal limit when she got behind the wheel after drinking at a party.
A witness at that party says Carmen was the only one drinking, but one friend is standing by her tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK MULA, FRIEND OF ACCUSED DRUNK-DRIVER: I have never known her to be a drinker. I have never known her to be a violent person. All I know her to do is to take care of the kids. Take care of the (INAUDIBLE) as she could. Take care of her responsibilities. And that`s it. That`s what that woman does.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops arrested her for drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter, but oh my God, this isn`t the first time, an allegedly wasted mom kills a child passenger.
Tonight`s big issue, is this some kind of scary new trend? Will we have mothers against drunk driving? Now what are we going to have? Mothers for drunk driving? I want to hear from you. Give me a shout out.
Back to my fantastic panel. I have got to start with the cop who has to deal with this on the street. Steve Rogers, what is it going to take to wake people up, to wake moms up? You cannot have so much as one drink and get into a car with seven kids especially when there`s not enough seat belts for seven kids.
ROGERS: Well, unfortunately Jane, we get involved after the fact. However, this is where education`s going to have to really play a big role. And you know where the education will come from, the victims. Just show those graphics of those children who are injured and unfortunately are killed maybe that`ll wake up some moms.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, one of the victims is dead. So she, sadly, cannot rehabilitate and go and crusade against drunk driving.
That poor 11-year-old girl, gorgeous child, is dead and her father is just beyond, beyond grief-stricken. I mean to read the quotes of this dad in the paper, he lost his best friend. He`s just devastated.
ROGERS: Jane, are there so many drunk driver checkpoints that the police could put up and like I said it`s after the fact that we usually get involved. But the word has to get out by those who were seriously injured and witnessed these horrific incidents to those mothers and to schools and to PTOs and the community, wake up. Look what`s happened.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s recap and review what we know.
WEINTRAUB: She was in a party. People watched her get in the car with seven kids. Who lets their kid get in the car with seven kids when the car couldn`t fit seven kids?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait a second. A lot of the parents weren`t there. The parent of the child who died went to tremendous lengths to go and check...
WEINTRAUB: It`s our fault as moms. We`re so permissive and we`re so quick to say...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Permissive? This is -- this is about drinking. Let`s keep it on focus. This isn`t really about being permissive. This is about a woman being allegedly extraordinarily irresponsible and emotionally immature.
And I want to talk about that when we...
MURPHY: Jayne Weintraub can`t blame any criminal. She really wants to blame society. I`m so up to here with it`s the culture; it`s the television; it`s the people; it`s the other mothers. You know what? This is simple. She is a criminal. She should lose custody of all of her children and I don`t want to hear anyone say, "She`s not the type. She`s not the type, she`s really nice.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, we hear you, Wendy. But we`re going to debate this some more when we come right back after the break. What should happen to this alleged drunk driving mom? I want to know. You tell me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LENNY ROSADO, DAUGHTER WAS KILLED: She was my only one, she was my everything. What was the thinking of this woman who`s a mother and you`re intoxicated?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That man`s little girl is dead because the woman behind the wheel was allegedly wasted well beyond the legal limit when she plowed into a guardrail after losing control of her speeding car.
Lori, New Jersey, your question or thought.
LORI, NEW JERSEY (via telephone): Yes. Before I make my comment, Jane, I do want to say that my heart goes out to the families of these children.
LORI: But on the other hand, I do have a different take on this. As a parent you need to be responsible for your children. I have a son and all through growing up never once did I let him go in a car with anyone, you know, without me knowing who this person was, exactly what vehicle it was, you know, how many other kids.
I mean, there weren`t enough seat belts for these children. Didn`t any of these parents ask, well, how are they getting home or who are they going to be with?
I mean, you know, it`s easy to blame everyone, but unfortunately, there`s people like this out there. So you have to be responsible for your kids. You have to be on top of it all the time and know what`s going on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brenda Wade? Very good point, Lori of New Jersey. Brenda Wade?
BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes. Jane, I couldn`t agree more. And you know, when we learn better, we can do better. I`ve actually got seven free tips on how to be a better parent on my Web site, docwade.com.
We have to learn how to be vigilant, nurturing parents.
WADE: But parents also need support and help. Because if somebody is under-functioning as a parent, we have to all pay attention. All children are our children. And we`ve got to help parents be better parents too.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this. I don`t believe that we should go around blaming the parents of the kids who were injured or died. You know, they`re victims here as well. And we don`t know the details. We know she was the only one who was drinking.
That the father had checked. She hadn`t started drinking when he had checked...
WEINTRAUB: And it`s not about blaming. We`re alerting people to remember, to be more vigilant. It`s a reminder.
ROGERS: Well, Jane how about...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my theory about this...
MURPHY: We`re shifting the focus, we`re shifting the focus...
ROGERS: Hey, Jane, how about this one?
MURPHY: There`s only one bad guy in this story. It`s the drunk woman.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I agree with you.
MURPHY: This is not about being a good parent.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I agree with you. A witness at the party where the alleged DWI mom got wasted said she was the only one boozing it up. The same witness said the mom didn`t apparently have a drinking problem -- that she only indulged on special occasions. But just because she wasn`t an addict doesn`t mean she didn`t necessarily have a problem with alcohol.
WADE: That`s right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m going to quote from my own book here. "When you get sober, you return emotionally to the age you were when you began drinking."
So you can actually check out my before and after pictures because they`re pretty embarrassing there. You saw them. You know -- now I`m here and sober.
ROGERS: Jane, how about this problem that law enforcement officers have? We arrest drunk drivers. We can`t take their licenses until they go to court and they get convicted.
So 12 hours later they`re back out on the street, they`re getting drunk again, and unfortunately it`ll result in a death and then we`ve got problems.
WEINTRAUB: That`s not true in Florida...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. I`m going to give Jayne Weintraub the last word. Jayne, there`s an emotional immaturity here if this woman did and said all the things that she`s accused that is simply the way a 12 or 13- year-old should act. Ten seconds.
WEINTRAUB: And I think that`s why a neuro-consult should be given. I think something might have even clicked in the brain. And nobody talks to their children that way.
But aside from that...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s why you`re a defense attorney, Jayne Weintraub.
Thank you, fabulous panel. Click on CNN.com/Jane to order your copy of my new book.
You are watching ISSUES.