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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Interview With Former President Bill Clinton; Jury Recommends Death in Carlie Brucia Murder Trial; Heralded Single Father Murdered in Philadelphia

Aired December 01, 2005 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone, again.
We begin with breaking news. The crime shocked a nation. Tonight, a jury decides, and millions hold their breath, as a monster learns his fate.


ANNOUNCER: He abducted little Carlie Brucia, raped and killed her -- the kidnapping caught on tape. Tonight, the jury says Joseph Smith deserves to die -- tonight, the latest on the verdict and the family's dramatic reaction.

SUSAN SCHORPEN, MOTHER OF CARLIE BRUCIA: He couldn't be dead fast enough for me.

ANNOUNCER: Bill Clinton one-on-one with Anderson -- in an exclusive interview, the former president doesn't hold back.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, whether you were for it or against it, it seems to me, you should all be praying that it succeeds. I am.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, he was celebrated as the single father of the year. And, two weeks ago, he was gunned down. A heartbroken community mourns, while his alleged killers are jailed.

And a mysterious disappearance -- this couple left for a boating vacation and suddenly vanished, until the boat was found adrift and she turned up dead on shore. Investigators' clues revealed more questions than answer. 360 investigates.


ANNOUNCER: This is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: And good evening again.

We begin with breaking news. Just a short time ago, by a vote 10 to two, a jury recommended that a killer, himself a father of three, should be executed for kidnapping, raping and killing 11-year-old Carlie Brucia. This is how we first knew of her. And this is the last time we saw her alive, a security camera capturing 11-year-old's Carlie's abduction. We know what this man did to her. It is unspeakable.

And, tonight, a jury says he should die for it.


COOPER (voice-over): The jury was unswayed by the defense, their verdict on the fate of Joseph Smith unequivocal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The advisory sentence, a majority of the jury, by the vote of 10-2, advise and recommend to the court that impose the death penalty upon the defendant.

COOPER: Death by lethal injection for 39-year-old Smith. The final decision still rests with the judge.

Though we didn't know it then, the man on this surveillance tape, the man grabbing 11-year-old Carlie Brucia and who later raped and killed her outside a car wash near Sarasota, Florida, last year, is Joseph Smith. In part because of this terrifying security camera tape, the case drew national attention. Carlie was walking home from a friend's house when she was interrupted by the man in the blue shirt.

Her half-naked body was found five days later, just miles from the car wash. Smith, a father of three daughters, pleaded not guilty. But DNA samples suggested otherwise. In fact, Smith's brother testified against him. He said Smith confessed to him that he had abducted and killed the young girl. Though they have been overwhelmed with their daughter's brutal fate, Carlie's parents have been divided over exactly what should happen to Smith.

Her father had been in favor of life without parole. He wanted to avoid the years of appeals and instead have Smith trapped for life in prison.

JOSEPH BRUCIA, FATHER OF CARLIE BRUCIA: His life would be uncomfortable, within the confines of life imprisonment, amongst the other inmates in general population.


COOPER: Well, that was Carlie's father, saying her killer deserves life in prison. Carlie's mother believes Smith should face death. Here's what she said just a short time ago.


SCHORPEN: He may be condemned, but he's still breathing, and my daughter isn't. If he was to die tonight, yes, I might get a good night's sleep.

He damned himself. He did this all to himself. His -- his evidence was left, and then he showed his true colors while he's been incarcerated. So, I -- there's -- he did it to himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That letter that he wrote... SCHORPEN: Couldn't be dead fast enough for me. I want him dead. I want him dead now. My daughter's not breathing. She will never breathe again. I can never hold her again. I have got to wait for appeals before, you know, he dies? It matters to me.


COOPER: Well, tonight, we have more reaction to the jury's recommendation. Defense attorney Jayne Weintraub calls the decision a shame. She joins us from Miami. With us in the studio, former prosecutor and Court TV anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle, and, on the phone from Sarasota, Todd Ruger of "The Sarasota Herald-Tribune." He was in the courtroom today.

Todd, let me start out with you.

What was it like in the courtroom when the jury read its recommendation?

TODD RUGER, "THE SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE": Well, the courtroom has been very tense all day today, ever since one of the spectators had to be removed for the court -- from the courtroom from -- for an outburst. And it was very tense, electric and quiet when the clerk read that verdict.

Sue Schorpen, Carlie Brucia's mother, was on the edge of her chair.

COOPER: And her -- we saw her afterward. We see her dabbing her eyes here. She had made a very emotional victim-impact statement. What was her emotion when -- when the actual verdict was read?

RUGER: She -- she was very emotional as well.

She wasn't outright sobbing, but she had trouble standing. She was being helped by some of the people she had attended the trial with during this week, when she had to listen to some very horrible details about her daughter's death. And it was very tough for her at some points.

COOPER: Kimberly, is it possible that -- that the judge might not agree with this jury, that they might -- the judge might overturn the jury's recommendations?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, COURT TV ANCHOR: It's certainly definitely possible. That is definitely something he has as an option.

The jury sent a pretty strong message with a 10-2 -- 10-2 decision recommending a death sentence for Joseph Smith. And this was one of the most horrific cases, really, many people felt, a textbook example of a case that was ultimately appropriate for a death sentence to be handed down.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, it -- the -- the -- the abduction was caught on tape.

He strangled her from behind, according to the ligature marks. I mean, it -- it was just a brutal crime.

GUILFOYLE: A brutal crime. He left her lifeless body to be eaten by animals and by bugs. She's 11 years old. Her little bra was pushed up, no bottoms on. It was a horrific, brutal crime. It produces a visceral response. I do not expect that Judge Owens will show any mercy for Joseph Smith.

COOPER: Jayne, what about that? I mean, you're in Florida. It is very rare in Florida for a judge to overturn a -- a jury's recommendation, correct?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It -- it is. It is, Anderson.

And the law in Florida, as a matter of fact, is that the jury is -- will be given great weight, the jury's recommendation. Great weight is a very high standard. And, unfortunately, in Florida, we have elected judicial officials. And I think the public pressure, in and of itself, if he failed to give the death penalty, would probably make him lose his bench. So...

COOPER: Why do you -- why do you say it's a shame, this -- this recommendation? I mean, is it just because you oppose the death penalty?

WEINTRAUB: I -- I do oppose the death penalty.

And I think it's a shame because anybody who could do something so horrific to a child is mentally diminished in some way and deficient in some way. He was under the influence of drugs. He was suffering from severe depression. The -- what is -- what is to be gained by it, but nothing? And life without the possibility of parole would protect society and would comply with the law. There's no purpose in the death penalty.

Deterring somebody that is mentally ill doesn't work.

COOPER: Todd, clearly, the jury did not buy that he was a -- a drug addict. I mean, the defense, at one point, was saying, you know, he -- he has had back pain for a lot of time. He was depressed for a lot of time. Clearly, the jury just didn't -- didn't really buy any of that.

RUGER: Well, one of the things that happened during the defense's presentation is, they brought on a -- an expert on prisons to talk about what his life would be like and to talk about Joseph Smith's behavior, past behavior, when he was in prison and jail.

And the prosecutors brought in a letter after that, that Joseph Smith wrote during the guilt penalty -- during the guilt phase of this trial that he wrote to another inmate who's also up on a murder charge and seeking the death -- and the state is seeking the death penalty there. And he wrote -- he wrote him about wanting to break his brother's jaw, if his brother came to visit him at jail, because he had testified against him. And he wrote about punching another inmate in the Adam's apple. And the prosecution brought this up in their closing arguments again today. And it -- it's -- it was just something that kind of undid all the three days of testimony that the defense had put on about how this guy was nice to others.

COOPER: Kimberly, you think this guy is the perfect candidate for...

GUILFOYLE: Oh, I absolutely -- I absolutely do.

I have handled death penalty cases as a prosecutor. And there's -- this is a case that, without exception, I would not exercise my discretion to recommend life without possibility of parole. I think this man has proved himself to be a depraved individual, who had showed no regard for this little girl's life, who was a selfish animal in the way he treated her, the despicable acts that he committed.

And he is certainly not a candidate for the Innocence Project. This is a man who was caught on tape. There is DNA. There is fingerprints. It was overwhelming, conclusive evidence. They acted in that courtroom like this man is a -- a poor victim. Feel sorry for him because he has back pain. Feel sorry for him because he has mental illness. What mental illness? Selfishness, depravity?

This is a sick individual who society should be protected from, and a strong message to people who seek out young children as innocent victims and prey on them, that it will not be tolerated.


COOPER: Jayne, I got to say, listening to his defense, though, I mean, it did seem pretty weak, that the -- the -- the -- the strongest thing they could come up with was that he had back pain and had suffered depression.

I mean, that's -- that's half the United States has those symptoms. What are the possibilities of an appeal? I mean, this is a man who wanted to address the jury today before they went to sentencing. The judge said no, because his -- his -- his lawyers didn't want him to be cross-examined. So, is there any opportunity for an appeal here?

WEINTRAUB: Actually, Anderson, that's exactly what the appeal will be.

And the appeal will be whether or not the judge committed reversible error when he denied the defendant the right to read a statement in front of the jury.

COOPER: But why should...

WEINTRAUB: The prosecutors...

COOPER: But why should he -- if he refused to -- to go on the witness stand, why should he be allowed to -- to address the jury without being cross-examined?

WEINTRAUB: Well, that's a question that the appellate courts will have to answer.

Remember, Anderson, because the death penalty, I believe, will be imposed, the standard on appeal will be, stricter scrutiny will have to be applied. Strict scrutiny is the absolute highest microscopic scrutiny that any appellate court can give to any issue.

And I think, when everything is balanced, that he should have let him read the statement to the jury.

COOPER: The statement was...

WEINTRAUB: Everybody would have seen that it couldn't have been cross-examined. The jurors would have seen that.

COOPER: Kimberly, the statement was admitted into the record for -- for...

GUILFOYLE: That's correct.

COOPER: ... when an appeal happens. Why -- why was that done?

GUILFOYLE: Well, I think it is a smart move by Judge Owens. This is a very smart judge. He has followed all the rules by the book.

I will bet Jayne Weintraub -- right now, Jayne, dinner at whatever restaurant you want in New York -- this case will not be reversed on appeal. The judge did it right. And you know what? Joseph Smith had an opportunity to say sorry, to take the stand and be a man, to throw himself at the mercy of the court and these jurors. And he sat there, like a coward, and did nothing.

WEINTRAUB: Kimberly, hiding -- hiding is being a coward. Asserting your Fifth Amendment rights is a constitutional right that every person in the United States has.

And that...

GUILFOYLE: You're -- you're absolutely right.

WEINTRAUB: ... is what makes this system so great.

GUILFOYLE: And if he wanted -- and if he wanted a jury to spare him his life...

WEINTRAUB: Joseph Smiths included.

GUILFOYLE: ... he had the opportunity to do so and get up there today and do something about it. He didn't. He didn't do that.


WEINTRAUB: Actually, he will one more chance. GUILFOYLE: So, he's going to have to live with that...


COOPER: Todd, let me...

WEINTRAUB: And that...

COOPER: Todd, let me...

WEINTRAUB: And that's in his Spencer hearing. He will have the opportunity before the judge...


WEINTRAUB: ... sentence.

GUILFOYLE: We will see what he does then.

COOPER: Todd, let me ask you. In the courtroom, Joseph Smith's -- I understand his wife, actually -- and I think his mother -- showed up today. This was the first time they came. Is that correct?

RUGER: Yes, that's correct.

Carlie's parents, Joseph -- Joe Brucia came down from Brooklyn to attend the entire trial. But he left when Joseph Smith started -- started presenting evidence. He didn't want to sit through that.

Carlie's mom came a lot. But the first time that -- that Joseph Smith's relatives came -- I believe that his sister was there and his mother -- sat behind him, gave him support, that -- and that first time was today.

COOPER: It -- it's -- it's not over yet. Obviously, we're waiting to hear what the judge will rule.

Any sense of when that might happen, Kimberly?

GUILFOYLE: And we're waiting for the future date on this. But I think that the judge is going to respect the words of the jurors and go forward with the death sentence in this case. And, so, we will have to see what happens.

COOPER: Kimberly Guilfoyle, great to see you.

Todd Ruger, appreciate you joining us.

And, Jayne Weintraub, good to see you, as always.

WEINTRAUB: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: I want to look at some of the other headlines happening at this moment.

In North Carolina, Kenneth Lee Boyd, well, he is just hours from death in another death penalty case. He's scheduled to die by lethal injection at 2:00 a.m. Eastern time tonight. It's going to be the nation's 1,000th execution in nearly 30 years. Boyd was convicted of killing his wife and father-in-law while two children watched.

As the U.S. debates withdrawing troops from Iraq, some of America's allies are done talking about it. Bulgaria and Ukraine will begin withdrawing their combined troops, more than 1,200, by mid- December. A half-dozen other allies are also debating possible pullouts or reductions.

In New Orleans, government engineers confirmed that the levees protecting the city were flawed before Hurricane Katrina. Through sonar tests, they discovered that steel reinforcements at the site of the breach barely went more than half as deep as they were supposed to.

Even so, computer models show that, even if they were built properly, the levees still would have failed after Katrina. And, as you know, there are numerous investigations into going -- going on right now by the FBI and the state's attorney about how those levees were built.

And President Bush may be undergoing any number of trials these days, but his own home county in Texas looks like it wants him to face one more as a prospective juror. He's been summoned for jury duty in McLennan -- in -- excuse me -- McLennan County for this coming Monday. The White House told the court the president has other commitments that day, but is looking to reschedule.

Back to Iraq, where two more soldiers died today, and a political bustle back here at home. Even Republicans are distancing themselves from the president on the war, but Democrats can't seem to gain the advantage. Up next, we will look at why.

Later, our exclusive one-on-one with former President Bill Clinton.

A break first -- from America and around the world, you're watching 360.


COOPER: Well, you might recall the president made a direct appeal to the American people, laying out his plan for the war in Iraq just yesterday. No surprise, today, Democrats spoke out against the president's plan for the rest of the war. They did not, however, speak with a unified voice.

As CNN's Joe Johns tells us, that alone says a lot.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another bad news story out of Iraq, a Defense Ministry official wounded in an assassination attempt, another example of what polls show most Americans believe, that the war is not going well. That discontent has given Democrats a growing opportunity, but, so far, because of deep divisions in the party, they have not been able to capitalize -- example, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announcing that she now supports a quick pullout from Iraq, as advocated by respected House Democratic hawk John Murtha.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: But the fact is that all Democrats agree that the course of action that the president is following is not the best one and that we have to have another plan.

JOHNS: But Pelosi's second in command, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, completely disagrees. He says it's wrong to pull the troops out too soon: "I believe that a precipitous withdrawal of American forces in Iraq could lead to disaster, spawning a civil war, fostering a haven for terrorists, and damaging our nation's security and credibility."

Simply put, the Democrats can't agree on how to get out. Former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who last week was defending Murtha against personal attacks, stopped far short of endorsing Murtha's immediate pullout plan.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: So, I'm not asking even for the specific timetable of withdrawal. I'm asking for a specific timetable of transfer of authority, of transfer of responsibility, of the shift and the setting of the benchmark specifically that allow us to bring our troops home. That's the difference.

JOHNS: For Democrats, this is the problem. The left side of the party wants out of Iraq now, but moderates fear it makes them look weak.

(on camera): Is there a danger for Democrats in going too far on a message that the public wouldn't get behind? Are you concerned about that as a strategy?

JULIAN EPSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes. I think there is a danger is that the Democrats are arguing for too precipitous a withdrawal, which could have, if implemented, very, very serious consequences. So, I think that there is a middle ground that the public is receptive to, that the Democrats could occupy, that the president and the administration and White House have clearly forsaken at this point.

JOHNS: The problem with the middle ground is that it can be awfully muddy. And, as long as Democrats can't rally around an alternative, their critics will argue that staying the course is better than no solution at all.


JOHNS: One thing remains clear for Democrats tonight: John Murtha's call for a quick exit has changed the debate. And, with the midterm elections less than a year away, the fight about the war is expected to intensify -- Anderson.

COOPER: No doubt about that. Joe Johns, thanks very much.

Considering the Democrats' difficulties, Republicans don't have it too much better either. Suddenly, for many GOP lawmakers, the 2006 elections, they seem a whole lot closer. And, even in very conservative parts of the country, they're feeling the heat on the war.

Reporting for us tonight, our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president is not giving a series of Iraq speeches to quiet his critics, so much as to keep his friends. It was Republicans who pushed the president into the bully pulpit. They need him in the battle over the war, because, even in Republican Georgia, down near Newt Gingrich's home turf, the war has gone sour.

REP. PHIL GINGREY (R), GEORGIA: People do get discouraged. And even my good Republican friends and -- and strong supporters of the president, they needed to hear from him.

CROWLEY: Almost all Republican lawmakers voted for the war. Most of them are up for reelection next year.

BILL MCINTURFF, PUBLIC OPINION STRATEGIES: I don't think most candidate want to run in a world where we had one more year like the year we have had. They want to run, and they want to run for reelection as the Republican majority in a year where the discernible progress that has been made because of the American commitment in Iraq can be shown and demonstrated to the American people.

CROWLEY: The political toxicity of the war was test-marketed by the liberal group MoveOn, which placed an ad buy in six congressional districts.


NARRATOR: Democrats in Congress are leading the way home. Where are the Republicans? Tell Representative Phil Gingrey, supports our troops.


CROWLEY: Congressman Phil Gingrey says, the war is not about politics, but there's no use denying the political implications.

GINGREY: The president, of course, is not running for reelection. I am. My Republican colleagues are. We need some good news.

CROWLEY: Good news he hopes will come in the form of a U.S. troop reduction in Iraq some time next year, preferably before the elections. In the meantime, Gingrey wants the president to keep talking. Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Former President Clinton also weighed in on Iraq today. I sat down with him today for an exclusive one-on-one interview.


CLINTON: The question is, what's now best for the American people, for the war on terror, and for the people of Iraq, and the stability of the Middle East?

We don't want to set a fixed timetable, if that led to chaos, the establishment of permanent terrorist operations in the Sunni section of Iraq, and long-term greater instability in the Middle East. So, whether you are for it or against it, it seems to me you should all be praying that it succeeds. I am.

And so -- and I didn't agree with what was done when it was done. But we are where we are. And it seems to me, the best thing to do is to heed the wishes of all the leaders of Iraq, the various sectors who say they want us to draw down our forces. But we don't want to set a timetable now before this election.

And when we draw down, we want to put them in safer areas and use them where they are most effective, in battle with strike force capacity and in intelligence gathering, which means we need some more people who can do that work there.


COOPER: Well, on this World AIDS Day, Mr. Clinton and I also talked about that and rebuilding New Orleans.

We will have more of my one-on-one interview with Mr. Clinton coming up on 360.

Also ahead, a teen father from a rough neighborhood, he became a model dad, against all the odds. "People" magazine even called him an outstanding single father. He's now gone, murdered -- his little girl, fatherless. Some arrests have been made. We will tell you about the break in the case.

Plus, a case that has police baffled now and two families desperate for answer -- new clues tonight about the boating trip that went horribly wrong and why two people vanished -- coming up next on 360.


COOPER: Well, to lose a parent when you're just a toddler is a tragedy, by any measure.

But, for Diamond Pough, the tragedy is almost unbearable. Her father was murdered just days before she turned 2. Wednesday, two suspects were charged in his killing. Diamond is too young to understand the murder charges, of course. All she knows is that she has lost a remarkable father, a dad who was so devoted to her, so dedicated, that others, many others, took notice.

CNN's Adaora Udoji investigates.


ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Growing up in tough Philadelphia neighborhoods, Terrell Pough defied all the odds, and the quiet young man never would have imagined how many people he inspired in his short 18 years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We all should take his advice and try to live our lives a little bit better than what we're doing.

UDOJI: Terrell never knew his father, started working at 14, and became a father himself at 16. And that, says his uncle Richard Nesbitt, was a turning point.

RICHARD NESBITT, UNCLE OF TERRELL POUGH: I think Diamond changed his whole life.

UDOJI (on camera): His daughter.


UDOJI: Because?

NESBITT: Because it was unconditional love.

UDOJI (voice-over): Terrell loved his daughter, Diamond, so fiercely, he fought his ex-girlfriend for full custody and won. Their days together started at dawn and ended near midnight. Terrell got Diamond to day care and himself to school, then to a full-time job as a night manager at a fast-food restaurant and then picking Diamond up from family members at the end of his shift.

"People" magazine was so impressed Terrell's passion to succeed, they named him an outstanding single father. The Philadelphia 76ers honored them at a game. And people across the country donated money, toys. A New York man even gave them a car, the very car that prosecutors say is at the center of Terrell's murder two weeks ago.

(on camera): Terrell came home from work just after 10:00 p.m., his uncle says, to run a quick errand on his way to picking up his daughter. But, before Terrell could make it inside, he was shot.

(voice-over): He died an hour later at the hospital. Prosecutors say Saul Rosario and Antoine Lee Riggins, with whom Terrell went to high school, shot him while trying to steal the car. They were arrested Wednesday.

NESBITT: The first thought, we were elated. You know what I mean? And I thought it would bring a lot of closure to us. But, after really hearing about it, it still kind of leaves that question mark in your head.

UDOJI (on camera): Which is?


UDOJI (voice-over): In court today, they were arraigned on murder charges.


UDOJI: Earlier this week, mourners celebrated Terrell's life.

T'LIA MCCOY, SISTER OF TERRELL POUGH: I'm pretty sure that my brother didn't realize that Thursday would be the last morning that he would see his daughter. So, I'm asking all of you today to make each day count.

UDOJI: But Diamond got in the last word.


UDOJI: Those who knew him believe that's the way Terrell would have wanted it.

Adaora Udoji, CNN, Philadelphia.


COOPER: Yes, that poor little girl.

We sit down with former President Bill Clinton in a moment to talk about calamities, AIDS, the tsunami, New Orleans, and challenges, Iraq, politics, the Middle East -- all that ahead.

And the ultimate transplant surgery -- doctors in France give a woman a new face. The question is, will it work and what will she look like after it's done?

From America and around the world, 360 returns.


COOPER: Well, the numbers on this 18th World AIDS day are staggering. Twenty-five million people have died of the disease, 40 million currently infected. Fifteen million of them children orphaned; 5 million new cases this year alone. And yet, treatments advance, sufferers survive longer in a very bleak landscape. Here and there, there are glimmers of hope. And of course, if some see more hope than others, that may be because they are themselves working to help provide it. In that category, Former President Bill Clinton, to whom we spoke earlier on this first of December about AIDS, New Orleans, and the war.

Mr. President, you said on this World AIDS Day that, "We have a long way to go, but we're making progress." Your Former Ambassador to the U.N., Richard Holbrooke, has a much bleaker assessment in the Washington Post.

He writes. "We have to face the truth: We are not winning the war on AIDS, and our current strategies are not working. The very best that can be said is that we are losing at a slightly slower rate." Do you think that's true?

CLINTON: I think if you look at this year's figures that's true. But my more optimistic view is based on my conviction that there will be an explosion in the number of people under treatment, the number of people being educated not to communicate AIDS to other people, and the number of people being reached with education programs next year. We have now signed up 48 countries to participate in my Drug Purchase Program, which is by far the least expensive way to get high quality drugs in the world. And we're going to be treating five times as many children next year as we treated this year. So, I think we're going to see big increases.

COOPER: Bono, who I interviewed recently, you know, often said that AIDS in Africa is not just a humanitarian issue it's a national security issue. The armies of these nations are being decimated, hopelessness breeds hate and terrorism. Why should Americans care about what is happening in Africa on this issue?

CLINTON: Well, it is a national security issue. If you let all the adults and authority figures die and there are no, not just the military and police, there are no teachers, there are no health care workers, societies descend into chaos, young children get forced into more and more tribal wars, there's more and more threat of more and more Rwandas and inevitably the United States and other people will have to intervene. We'll spend a whole lot more with military deployments than we would ever spend in trying to prevent the epidemic and deal with malaria and tuberculosis, as well, and give these people a healthy future.

COOPER: You have been also working with Former President Bush to focus attention on the plight of tsunami victims in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. You were just in Sri Lanka and Banda Aceh, I know. I mean, people are still living in tents in Banda Aceh. What has been the biggest hold up do you think for relief there?

CLINTON: I think, first of all, in the beginning, the relief effort was not as well organized as it might have been. But, then the Indonesian president created this VRR, the recovery and relief agency and put a man named Pa Kuntoro Mangkusubroto in charge of it. He's exceedingly competent and they're working at a frenzied pace. While there are still tens of thousands of people still living in tents, they will all be out of tents into good temporary shelters by March.

COOPER: You talk about the need for transparency, the need for coordination in all these disasters. When you look at what's happening with Katrina, and you and Former President Bush have worked extensively on that, there's not even at this point an agreed upon plan about how to rebuild New Orleans. What's your assessment of the recovery there?

CLINTON: I know that the governor and the mayor have advisory committees and I think the state committee is a very distinguished committee. I have urged them to try to find someone that they both have confidence in that can coordinate this full time. It is a mammoth, mammoth job. You know, we still don't even have all the power back on there. And then we've got to figure out where all the housing is going to be rebuilt for the people that were in the lower Ninth Ward, as well as how to rebuild the upper Ninth Ward and a lot of other sort of fact questions. Then, I hope to spend some more time next year trying to help the people of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana hammer out an ambitious change. You know, we could just totally rebuild New Orleans and it could be made America's first green city, we could restore a lot of the wetlands, we could put solar panels on all the buildings. There's a ton of things we can do, but we've got to be organized and disciplined and think big. And, I hope we will be able to do that. I'll do what I can to help.

COOPER: One final question, just on the war. President Bush made a speech at Annapolis yesterday, basically saying not to set an actual timetable for withdrawal, the key being the rebuilding the Iraqi security forces. Your wife, Senator Clinton, wrote an e-mail response to the President's address saying, "Given years of assurances that the war was nearly over and that the insurgents were in their last throes,' this Administration was either was not being honest with the American people or did not know what was going on in Iraq. Do you think either of those two options are true? And what do you think should be done now?

CLINTON: Well, I think, keep in mind, in her e-mail Hillary also said that she didn't think we could set a direct timetable, and certainly not before these elections. What we want to do is to maximize the participation of all the Iraqis, including the Sunnis, in the election. Now, the thing that was important about the President's speech, I thought, was he acknowledged that we can have a drawdown next year and we should withdraw our troops into safer areas, which is what Mr. Murtha said. And, I hope that we'll reconfigure them with greater strike force capacity and greater intelligence capacity. But, that's essentially what Hillary said in her e-mail.

So, I think whether people agreed with what we did in Iraq in the beginning or disagreed with it, the question is what's now best for the American people for the war on terror and for the people of Iraq, and stability of the Middle East? We don't want to set a fixed timetable if that led to chaos; the establishment of permanent terrorist operation is in the Sunni section of Iraq; and long-term greater instability in the Middle East. So, whether you were for it or against it, it seems to me you should all be praying that it succeeds. I am.

COOPER: Congressman Murtha seems to be arguing that withdrawing will basically force the Iraqis to take care of it themselves, and that they're probably more capable of it than we are being led to believe. You think that's a mistake?

CLINTON: I think that we will have to drawdown our troops. They have said they want us to drawdown our troops. And, I think his idea that we need greater strike force capacity, he said right outside the country, I would favor I think locating them in the Kurdish areas, or some place in the country, where they'd be safe. But, I think that we shouldn't set a deadline before these parliamentary elections. We should do it after they constitute a parliament, and in consultation with the Iraqis, based on their capacity. I think that, obviously, they have to learn to defend themselves. But we don't want to do anything right now. It seems to me that discourages people from participating in the elections and encourages the continuing insurgency.

COOPER: President Clinton, thanks very much. I appreciate your time.

CLINTON: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, coming up, a police puzzler, death and questions on the Great Lakes. A couple vanishes, a body appears and a man is still missing. Also ahead, a medical first -- a partial human face transplant. Imagine! What will the woman who's been given a new face really look like? Will she still look like herself, or will she suddenly see a stranger in the mirror? From America Around the World, this is "360."


COOPER: Well, new clues tonight in the mysterious disappearance of two people from a boating trip. That story is coming up. But, first, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with the latest. Hey Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS: Hey, Anderson. A Florida jury has recommended the death penalty for a man convicted of abducting, raping and killing an 11-year-old girl. A security camera caught Joseph Smith abducting Carlie Brucia two years ago. Her body was found less than a week later. The judge in the case does have the final word on whether Smith gets the death penalty. But, in Florida, it's pretty rare for a judge to reject a jury's recommendation.

And, in Gulf Stream Park, Florida, Belmont and Preakness winner, Afleet Alex is retiring because of a newly discovered injury. Now, you may remember the colt won the Preakness after nearly falling into the dirt. It turns out that injury, the injury may have happened during that race.

Across the eastern U.S., jewel thieves at large with more than $5 million in necklaces, watches and assorted gems. The FBI has released photos, sketches and surveillance videos, some of that you're seeing right now, hoping the public will help it nab the five or six sophisticated thieves that are said to have robbed some 56 jewelry stores at this point, all the way from New Hampshire down to Florida.

And, curiosity didn't kill this cat. It actually landed her in France. The feline, named Emily, had apparently wandered into a paper company's distribution center near her Appleton, Wisconsin home. She ended up in a container that was shipped to the French town of Nancy. And when the cat was found, she was thin and thirsty but she's eaten pretty well since. I mean, she ended up in France, after all, and was treated to a business class plane ride home. Did she eat like pate and...?

COOPER: Foie gras.

HILL: Foie gras!

COOPER: Wow, get a Kleenex! Erica, thank you very much. We'll see you again in about 30 minutes.

A boat ride mystery coming up. A couple vanishes without a trace. Tonight we have an exclusive on new clues that may help solve the case.

Also coming up, the mystery of faith. People flocking to see this -- what they say is a weeping statue of the Virgin Mary. Is it a miracle? Judge for yourself. Next, on 360.


COOPER: What should have been a weekend getaway for a Michigan couple has turned into a desperate search for answers. We know that the couple went for a boat ride on Lake Huron, part of the Great Lakes and we know they never returned alive. It is a case that has baffled detectives for months. CNN's Rick Sanchez investigates.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She was a model turned lawyer. He was a prosecutor starting his own private practice. Together they seemed the ideal couple, prominent, successful, in love, and on a boating trip from Belle River, Ontario to Mackinac Island. What no one could have known then was something horrible was about to happen. Today, what did happen is a mystery that's created a cloud of suspicion.

JOE CROWLEY, LANA'S COUSIN: Just a lot of things don't add up. And, she was an experienced navigator. And just a lot of things are unanswered, unanswered questions.

SANCHEZ: The man trying to answer those questions is Detective Robin Sexton.

ROBIN SEXTON, DETECTIVE INVESTIGATING MISSING COUPLE: There was no sign whatsoever of foul play? None was reported by the pathologist.

SANCHEZ: None on the boat?

SEXTON: None on the boat.

SANCHEZ: The boat, a 27-foot cabin cruiser was found adrift. Nobody on board. Strangely enough, the engine was running and the radio blaring, life preservers untouched. The couple's cell phone, still there, but where were they? Two weeks later police got part of their answer when 35-year-old Lana Stempian's body washed ashore. But, where was her boyfriend, 34-year-old Chuck Rutherford? The more authorities learned the more questions they had. For example, they found an empty vodka bottle, but the coroner says she was not intoxicated. Another question.

Is there any evidence that they came in contact with anybody else, or that there was ever anybody else on the boat aside from them two?

SEXTON: There's no evidence that we know of.

SANCHEZ: That there was ever anybody else on the boat?

SEXTON: There's no evidence that we know of.

SANCHEZ: Then, there's the unexplained. Phone records show the couple was here, near Rogers City, when they made their last call to Lana's parents. It was 2:00 in the afternoon. Ten hours later, early the next morning, police say the GPS which tracks the boat's course was flipped on. Police made the discovery after they found the boat, empty now, just south of Marquette Island. The question is who turned it on?

And, you have no idea, nor seemingly does anyone else, what happened during those ten hours?

SEXTON: Please understand the environment. You're out in the middle of a lake. Whom are you going to see? What are you going to do to create a record?

SANCHEZ: No record. No witnesses. And the scene was contaminated because the Coast Guard boarded the boat when they were looking for a clue in this missing persons search. That means fingerprints, blood, fiber and hair samples would be hard to isolate. And, it gets even worse.

SEXTON: It had been through a rainstorm. The boat was wet, condensation all over it. Some of the normal things we'd like to have done weren't possible.

SANCHEZ: And, what about the missing boyfriend, Charles Rutherford? Because he has not been found, police say they understand questions will linger about his role. Authorities tell us they have absolutely no reason to suspect him. So, where is he?

SEXTON: It's not unusual for bodies to go missing for a great deal of time. We're talking about some very deep water we're talking about some very cold water.

SANCHEZ: So, after an extensive search throughout parts of Lake Huron, police find no signs of apparent foul play. No signs of injury to the body. No apparent signs of intoxication. Then, what possibly could have caused her to fall into the water? There is one thing -- unintentional poisoning, carbon monoxide. CNN has learned that medical examiners found exceedingly high levels of the dangerous gas in her spleen. And, when we asked the Michigan coroner what effect that could have, Dr. David Stark told us, "It is enough to cause some type of incapacitation." We took that information back to the lead detective on the case.

A significant amount of carbon monoxide, wouldn't you say?

SEXTON: I would say.

SANCHEZ: Enough carbon monoxide can make a person pass out?

SEXTON: Correct.

SANCHEZ: No one knows for sure. But, even if Lana's death was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, that still doesn't explain what happened to her boyfriend. Police believe his body is out there, somewhere in these cold deep waters and they won't be able to unravel this Michigan mystery until they find it. Rick Sanchez, CNN, St. Ignace, Michigan.

COOPER: Strange case indeed. To our International viewers, thanks for watching. For American viewers, still to come on 360, jurors call for the death sentence in the case of the killer of 11- year-old Carlie Brucia. Also, doctors in France gave a woman a new face, but will it work and what exactly will she look like? And a wild high rise rescue. See how the drama played out, and hear from rescuers how they saved these window washers. From America, around the world. You're watching 360.


COOPER: Welcome to 360. We begin with breaking news. In Raleigh, North Carolina, for one killer the clock is ticking and for another in Florida, the clock has just been started.


COOPER (voice-over): He abducted little Carlie Brucia. Raped and killed her. The kidnapping caught on tape. Tonight the jury says Joseph Smith deserves to die. Tonight the latest on the verdict and the family's dramatic reaction.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He couldn't be dead fast enough for me.

COOPER: A medical first. Transplanting a human face. A terribly injured woman gets someone else's nose, lips and chin. But now her doctors stand accused of breaching ethics and endangering her life. Did they put glory ahead of her health?

And miracle, hoax, or natural phenomenon? This statue of the Virgin Mary is said to be crying blood, drawing crowds of the hopeful. But, what's really going on? Should the Church be investigating?

ANNOUNCER: This is Anderson Cooper 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.


COOPER: And we begin with breaking news in a kidnapping case that shocked the nation. A jury has recommended death for a man convicted of raping and killing an 11-year-old girl, Carlie Brucia. More on that shortly first. But, here's what's happening at this moment.

The boyfriend of the alleged cell phone bandit has pleaded guilty to federal charges. Dave Williams says he helped Candace Martinez rob branches of Wachovia Bank, which she allegedly did while talking on her cell phone. Martinez is being held without bail. She has not entered a plea.

Around 7,500 New Orleans public school employees are going to lose their jobs soon. Most have been on leave without pay since August 26th, the last school day before Hurricane Katrina hit. They're going to lose their health insurance at the end of next month because most of their school district is going under state control.

And, apparently suicide bombings are declining in Iraq. U.S. military says the number of bombings in November was the lowest in seven months. The military says U.S. Iraqi military operations near the Syrian border led to the drop.

And, the breaking news, it is a strange night. One death sentence very soon to be carried out, more on that in a few minutes. Another death sentence just imposed. It happened tonight in Florida. Last year 11-year-old Carlie Brucia is seen being abducted in Florida. You've seen the videotape. That's it. Her kidnapper and rapist and killer, Joseph P. Smith today heard 12 jurors speak out in a courtroom and the rest of us heard Carlie's mother speak out, as well.


FLORIDA COURT CLERK: The State of Florida versus Joseph P. Smith, 2004 CF2129, the advisory sentence a majority of the jury by the vote of 10 to 2 advised and recommend to the court that imposed the death penalty upon the defendant.

SUSAN SCHORPEN, CARLIA BRUCIA'S MOTHER: He may be condemned, but he's still breathing, and my daughter isn't. If he was to die tonight, yeah, I might get a good night's sleep. He damned himself.