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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Big Execs, Big Pay Cuts; Death Penalty Cover-Up?; Arresting Illegal Immigrants; Sweat Lodge Death Investigations

Aired October 21, 2009 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to have more on the status of Latinos in America in a little bit. You'll hear from Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and attorney and activist Isabel Garcia, a heated debate ahead about illegal immigrants.

Also tonight, your money and "Raw Politics:" the Obama administration is making top executives, the ones your tax dollars bailed out, give some of your money back; making them take massive pay cuts. Is that fair or is the government going too far? James Carville and Kevin Madden square off.

Also tonight "Keeping Them Honest:" the growing possibility that the state of Texas put an innocent man to death. Meet the arson investigator and he's not the only one who says the prosecution's case was built on junk science.

Plus only here on 360, a woman describes what it was like inside that sweat lodge ceremony that killed three people. We'll also confront the self-help salesman who organized it. "Crime & Punishment" tonight.

First up, making them give it back: all of us bailed out big companies with hundreds of billions of dollars of your taxpayer money. Top executives paid themselves a fortune, including breathtaking bonuses.

Now after months of trying to get them to do right thing on their own the Obama administration is saying enough. They're ordering massive pay cuts for big wigs of the seven largest bailout takers, making them spend less of your money on their paychecks and requiring special permission to spend your money on perks like corporate jets, limos and country club memberships.

The kind of backdoor greed we highlighted on last night's program.

First up, details from Ali Velshi. Ali, which companies does this apply to and how is that all going to work?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORREPONDENT: Anderson, sources tell us -- sources close to this tell us that this will be unveiled over the course of the next week. But the companies that are affected are the seven top recipients of government aid, not including those who have given the money back.

So you are looking at the list now, Chrysler, Bank of America, CITI, GM, GMAC which is GM's finance arm, Chrysler financial and of course the big daddy, AIG. Here is how it's going to work: the top 25 executives, the top highest paid people at those companies are going to see their total compensation, that's their salary, their restricted stock, their bonus, drop by an average of 50 percent.

The cash component of what they get paid, the salary, is going to drop by an average of 90 percent. Much of what they would have gotten in cash is now going to be given to them in restricted stock that they can't sell anytime soon.

So it's a big cut; they'll still be making a lot of money, but a very, very big and aggressive cut by the government -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, yesterday a report came out suggesting that the public may lose money on TARP. Is this an attempt by the White House to address -- address that kind of outrage that that kind of thing brings about?

VELSHI: Well, of the $700 billion that was in that bailout that we called TARP, this report says about $160 billion might never get repaid to taxpayers. And look at this, an ABC News/ Washington Post Poll out shows that the support for cutting or taking back pay from executives is very strong: 58 percent of Americans strongly support it; 13 percent somewhat support it; only seven, 20, by about 29 percent either oppose or don't have an opinion on the matter.

The issue here is that this has gotten out of hand. Americans are so angry at Wall Street and much of it is legitimate, that I think the White House may have been dictated to by mob rule in this case.

While it may not be clearly within the realm of doing it the White House has changed its tact and decided that it's going to go after Wall Street and try and get that money back.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, legally, are they on solid ground? I mean, are they allowed to force these companies to accept pay cuts?

VELSHI: Well, we haven't seen exactly what the government is proposing. There are a lot of reports that are out there, we've got confirmation that something is going to happen. I'm really anxious to see what the legal argument is, because up until now, the White House has been saying to people who say, why don't you take the money back from people who got government money. They've been saying we don't have the legal authority to do that.

They can take back -- they can handle bonuses of executives of companies that they give money to in the future, but they haven't had the legal authority to do it until now.

So I don't know whether something has changed or whether the government is actually going to go out there and say they almost dare these companies to sue them or challenge them in court, because they're going to fight this out in the court of public opinion -- Anderson.

COOPER: So this may be an initial step to try rein in Wall Street, but it isn't an actual reform of the financial system, is it? VELSHI: It is not, it's a penalty, it's a slap on the wrist. These people will still make a lot of money. It simply does not address the underlying issues that led to the financial collapse.

It addresses one issue and one that justifiably angers a lot of Americans, but no, this doesn't count as reform of the financial system -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right Ali, thanks.

As Ali mentioned, new polling shows very few people shedding tears for Wall Street, people understand and really wanting to know why they are losing their jobs while top executives get limos from the country clubs to their private jets.

There's also some criticisms that the Obama administration has until now been all talk and no action when it comes to Wall Street and still others worry about too much government involvement in private enterprise.

It's pretty "Raw Politics" no matter how you look at it. I spoke earlier tonight with Democratic strategist James Carville and his GOP counterpart Kevin Madden.


COOPER: James, the news the White House is going to cap executive pay for companies who gotten TARP money, I assume you think that's a no- brainer?

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, of course. I don't know what they were thinking they were going to ruin the financial system, it almost cause a depression. We're not even sure if it was -- we're not exactly sure we're not going to have one and then they were just going to get all this government money and go back to business as usual.

I don't know what these people were thinking. But they sure weren't thinking like the rest of the country was thinking.

COOPER: Kevin, what about that? I mean, there are some who are concerned obviously about government's setting salaries for private executives?

KEVIN MADDEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Sure look, I think this action makes a lot of political sense, because the Obama White House wants to align themselves with a lot of the Main Street anger that was out there in the wake of the Wall Street demise.

But look, I think businesses have to be in the business of doing business. And I think that there's a problem here if government has too much intervention, too much control over the free market, which should be driving salaries that you end up making our companies less competitive in a global market place.

CARVILLE: Am I missing the big point here? If the government doesn't set the salaries of people in the free market, Steve Jobs can make as much as he wants. But the government says if we have to bail you out and you've bought up all of this junk, or these CDOs or CDSs or whatever the heck they are and we have to come in with government money, you're not going back to business as usual, buster.

That's what the government is saying. Bravo to the government. Bravo.

MADDEN: That's one of the considerations I think that government has to make when they get involved in the bailout business in the first place. The bigger problem here is whether or not the White House, or Congress, or Washington, wants to take a punitive step towards business.

We have to get back and create partnerships with a lot of these companies if we're going to get them flourishing again and creating jobs.

CARVILLE: Again, just don't come to the -- don't wreck the country by irresponsibly buying up things that everybody knows is no good. And then have the government give you trillions of dollars and then come back and act like you're going back to business as usual.

That's the problem. And again, if the government doesn't say any CEO can make as much money as the board wants to give him except for when you get bailed out.

COOPER: Kevin, the White House is saying look, this isn't about politics -- although obviously a lot of people will disagree with that -- but they're saying there's an economic reason to do that, that basically this is discouraging -- that if private individuals and companies think that by taking risky moves they are going to immediately benefit financially, this removes that temptation, that this basically removes the idea that short-term gains are going to benefit you financially that you have to be in it for the long haul.

MADDEN: Right. And the problem with government, Anderson, is that it always has good intentions but the outcome usually doesn't match those intentions.

I think again the bigger problem here is that it ends up serving as a backlash and we end up hurting the competition, hurting the competitive instincts of private industry.

Instead I would like to see incentives. And I think many people would like to see -- the private sector would like to become a partner and they would like to see incentives to get these companies to pay the money back and to get back on their feet and then get back to the job of creating jobs.

CARVILLE: You could have 100 governments messing up 100 times and it couldn't wreak the havoc that these banks did; that one part of AIG in London did.

I mean, there have to be some consequence here and you come in, you -- the government has to bail you out and basically save the economy and you say we're just going to pay people $53 million to $500 million a year, just like we did before, that's not the way it's going to operate.

MADDEN: Well, I, I...

CARVILLE: I think that these guys are 100 percent right.

MADDEN: Well, I think James that we agree on the fact that things can't go back to the way they were, that things do have to change.


MADDEN: But I think that where we do disagree is that government and the private sector have to look at this as a partnership. They have to come together and try to put together better rules for transparency and try to put together rules so that these things don't happen again.

But we can't look at them as -- we can't look at actions against businesses being punitive.


COOPER: Well, let us know what you think about pay cuts for bail out big wigs. Join the live chat at

Up next, Kevin and James and new allegations by Republicans that the Obama administration has an enemy's list and that they're acting like the Nixon administration.


CARVILLE: That they used the word Nixon, 11 people in the Nixon administration went to jail. All right, so let's just take the "N" word, the Nixon world out of all that because that's just a bunch of foolishness.


COOPER: More from James in a moment.

Later, did the State of Texas execute an innocent man? And is the governor trying to cover it up? You're going to hear it for the first time from an expert who says, he had the evidence that might have saved a life. We're "Keeping them Honest."


COOPER: Two big political headlines tonight. The Obama administration finally getting tough on corporate greed and the allegations it's getting too tough, scary tough on perceived political opponents.

A top Republican senator warning today that this White House is starting to look like another White House and the comparison is not flattering. Truth or hype, well, judge for yourself.

More "Raw Politics" now with James Carville and Kevin Madden.


COOPER: Senator Lamar Alexander, a Republican compared President Obama's political strategy to paranoia and harsh political attack of the Nixon presidency. Listen.


SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER, (R) TENNESSEE: I have an uneasy feeling, only ten months into this new administration, that we're beginning to see the symptoms of the same kind of animus developing in the Obama administration. And as those of us who served in the Nixon administration know that can get you into a lot of trouble.

I want to make what I hope will be a friendly suggestion to President Obama and his White House. And it is this -- don't create an enemy's list.


COOPER: James, does the Obama White House have an enemy's list?

CARVILLE: Well, first of all, I like Senator Alexander, he was president of the University of Tennessee which is an SEC school so I've certain amount of his kinship there. But he needs to study history. That to use the word Nixon, 11 people in the Nixon administration went to jail, all right.

So let's just take the "N" word, the "Nixon" word out of all of this, because that's just a bunch of foolishness.

Now, I don't know, he has no evidence that -- does anybody have any evidence that there's any kind of enemy's list? Of course not...

COOPER: They're talking about their treatment of Fox News, them singling out Fox News...

CARVILLE: Oh, please, oh please.

COOPER: And also they are going on the blog to directly attack individuals and organizations.

CARVILLE: Yes, well, that the White House under President Bush and Kevin knows this, went right after MSNBC News, they went after The New York Times every day. And God knows how many times that they went after CNN. I couldn't even count them.

I mean, you know what? This is something called politics. And I think Senator Alexander and I think people know that this is -- this is nothing wrong with that at all. It is an opinion network. I don't think it was particularly controversial what the White House said.

But to say this is sort of going down the way that 11 people going to jail for felonies, and even Senator Alexander he knows better than that, I'm kind a little you know frankly he knows a lot better than that.

COOPER: Kevin, do you see shades of Nixon here?

MADDEN: Well look, I don't know about shades of Nixon, but I do think that Senator Alexander was very accurate when he described what his remarks today as a friendly admonition. I think that you have to remember that the president, this president, President Obama, he reached the White House on a message of post partisanship and inclusiveness.

He was going to change the status quo here in Washington. And I think that's the bigger problem that the Obama administration has now is that they tend to look like they're very hyper partisan.

COOPER: Kevin, a new CNN poll showing for the first time more people disagree with the president on issues important to them than agree. Do Republicans think that they have the president and that they have the Democrats on the run?

MADDEN: Well, I think that what we are seeing right now is an ability to separate the president's personal popularity and the American public's, you know, the fact that they're gravitating towards him personally.

We can separate them from the issues, where they have -- that where the president and the Congress have been involved in a massive overreach to the left. And essentially an electorate amongst an electorate that is essentially a center right nation.

So I think we have an ability right now, we have an opportunity to really make some gains with a lot of the voters that have -- are starting to flee the Democrats and their agenda, namely independents.

COOPER: James, should Democrats be worried?

CARVILLE: Well look, I'm a Democrat, we're always worried. I mean, the truth of the matter is, Democrats look pretty good. We won the popular vote in four out of the last five presidential elections. We've won the last two Congressional cycles.

But of course, in 2010, we're not going to win three elections in a row. We're going to lose some seats. And some polls say this, and other polls say that.

I think the president own mark passes health care bill, I think does that and we get some kind or some kind of way to get some stem the job loss and the economy and I think we can do ok in 2010.

I don't think we're going to have a great 2010. We can't three -- if we win three in a row, it would be the end of the Republicans but I don't think that's going to happen.

COOPER: We'll leave it there James Carville and Kevin Madden, guys thanks.

All right, coming up, two stories you will not see anywhere else. Did the Governor of Texas sign off on the execution of an innocent man? He says his conscience is clear and the evidence is overwhelming.

Well next, you're going to meet the man who agrees that the evidence is overwhelming but overwhelming in that it shows the man who was executed simply didn't do it.

Also, a "360 Exclusive:" a woman who was inside that sweat lodge during the ceremony that killed three people.


BEVERLY DUNN, TOOK PART IN THE SWEAT LODGE CEREMONY: And they did say, "She's passed out, she's passed out. I don't know if she's breathing." And he said, "The door has now closed and this round has begun. We'll deal with that at the end of this round."



COOPER: Tonight, a 360 interview with a key arson scientist who is convinced that Texas executed a man for a crime he did not commit. We've been following the case of Cameron Todd Willingham for years and in recent weeks the controversy has heated up with more than half a dozen forensic investigators now saying Willingham did not set the 1991 fire that killed his three daughters.

Governor Rick Perry who removed four members of the state panel revisiting the evidence says Willingham was a monster and guilty of murder.

But just before the execution, Perry's office received a fax from Gerald Hurst, an arson expert whose report raised some disturbing questions that continue to mount.

Randi Kaye is in Texas tonight and spoke to Hurst. Here is your "Keeping Them Honest" report.


RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just 88 minutes before Cameron Todd Willingham's execution, this man was his last dying hope.

(on camera): Do you believe there is overwhelming evidence that Todd Willingham was guilty?

GERALD HURST, ARSON EXPERT: There was not the slightest iota of evidence. There is no evidence that this was arson. None, zero. Zip.

KAYE (voice-over): Gerald Hurst, a nationally recognized fire investigator was the first to sound the alarm contending that Todd Willingham's conviction was based on flawed forensic evidence used to show he set the 1991 fire that killed his three girls.

The lawyer handling Willingham's appeal had asked Hurst to review the case just three weeks before execution day.

(on camera): If you're saying there was no evidence of arson and he was convicted of arson-homicide and sentenced to death, should he have been executed?

HURST: Absolutely not. It was bogus from the get-go.

KAYE (voice-over): Bogus, Hurst says because the prosecutions fire investigators based their findings on quote, "folklore and junk Science," not fact, not the science we used today.

So Hurst wrote this five page memo signed February 13th, 2004, four days before the execution, warning Texas Governor Rick Perry that critical errors were made in interpreting the evidence that led to Willingham's conviction.

Still, Willingham was executed less than hour and a half, 88 minutes after Hurst memo reached the governor's office.

(on camera): You were the guy who got that memo to the governor's office.


KAYE: The first one to say, "Wait a minute, hold on, this guy may be innocent. This was not an arson fire."


KAYE: Yet nothing was done with your findings.

HURST: Well, it feels terrible, of course.

KAYE (voice-over): The governor's office told us quote, "Hurst's report was no more than an opinion and did not merit re-opening the case."


COOPER: What did Gerald Hurst expect when his memo was sent to Governor Perry?

KAYE: Anderson, Hurst told me that he was hoping that the governor would grant Willingham a 30-day stay. He was hoping that it would give him some time to bring in another expert, maybe even some more -- more than just one expert who would support his findings.

He said he had no doubt in his mind that these other experts would agree with him and also figure out that this was not a case of arson at all.

COOPER: What does he think about the governor replacing four members of the state commission which was at the time investigating whether or not this execution was in fact inappropriate?

KAYE: We talked about that and we also talked about the fact that this new commission, and the new commissioner still have not yet set a date to discuss this investigation. No new hearing date on the calendar.

Listen to what Gerald Hurst had to say about that.


HURST: I expected -- fully expected him, as a politician, to find a way to quash the investigation of the Willingham case. But I thought it would be done in a more sophisticated behind the scenes -- by more sophisticated behind the scenes maneuvering. I did not expect him to simply take out an ax and start lopping the heads off commissioners.


KAYE: For the record, the terms of these commissioners were up. The governor could have kept them on longer but he had said that he didn't want to because he didn't want to replace commissioners in the middle of this investigation once it got underway.

And also for the record, he still stands by his decision. He says that Cameron Todd Willingham was a monster and that there was overwhelming evidence that he was guilty.

COOPER: Did you ask Hurst what he thought of Willingham's defense team?

KAYE: I did, he told me really that Willingham didn't have a defense; in fact he used the word zero in describing his defense. He really wonders as many others do, how the prosecution was able to find two arson investigators to put on the stand for the jury who said that this case was arson, this fire was arson.

Meanwhile, the defense could not find an expert to refute that. They couldn't find anyone to say...

COOPER: Right.

KAYE: ...this was not a case of arson.

So we actually talked to the defense attorney today and we'll have that full interview for you tomorrow night on "360."

COOPER: And just for those who haven't been following at this point, how many arson experts or forensic scientists have come forward in saying that this was junk science that these folks used?

KAYE: Gerald Hurst was the first and there have been eight others since.

COOPER: Right.

KAYE: So a total of nine investigators. And these are experts who are Harvard educated, Cambridge educated, nationally recognized experts.

COOPER: All right, Randi keep on it thanks.

Gerald Hurst says the prosecution's arson expert used discredited techniques to make his case that Willingham set the fire. While Hurst disputes the evidence he will not say if he thinks Willingham is innocent.

Senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin joins us now with insight into the case.

So Governor Perry's office received this fax. And we don't know for a fact he read it. Is he under any legal obligation to read this?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: No. This is one of the areas where a governor has almost complete freedom to make a decision. It's probably the most important thing any governor does which is make the life or death decision about execution, but there's no formal standard.

He can decide, he doesn't even have to read it if he doesn't want to, he can simply rubber stamp what the courts have done.

For -- however he reached the agreement -- the decision Perry decided to let the execution go forward.

COOPER: And what is at stake for the governor? I mean, if -- if it turns out that this was not arson, which would then certainly mean that the reason this man was convicted was false, I mean, what's the implication for the governor?

TOOBIN: Well, it depends to how you look at it. In the narrow term, he is now involved in a very hot reelection fight. He's in a Republican primary with Senator Kaye Bailey Hutchinson. This has become an issue in that campaign. If he wins the nomination, he will have a general election to deal with.

But frankly, I think his biggest concern is simply a moral issue. This is about taking someone's life. And the evidence, even then, was pretty clear that Willingham was innocent. But now it is overwhelming that he's innocent.

COOPER: What's amazing is, I mean, it's not just Willingham, there are hundreds if not thousands of cases, not only just in Texas, but around the country of people who have been convicted based on evidence which is now considered to be junk science.

TOOBIN: Well, this is an issue we've talked about a lot. And it is so important because lots of times in the criminal justice system, experts sort of got to be considered experts by tradition, by folklore as Randi's piece said.

Dogs being used to trace people through the woods, totally unreliable. This sort of arson investigation is very unreliable.

COOPER: Even ballistic evidence turns out to be...

TOOBIN: Ballistic evidence, hair and fiber evidence. The growth and acceptance of DNA evidence, which is totally reliable, has served to point out how many other forms of forensic science, CSI notwithstanding, are actually not very reliable.

COOPER: So is there any procedure to kind of look back at folks who are in prison now, based on junk science?

TOOBIN: There's not any formal procedure...

COOPER: Under the Innocent Project...

TOOBIN: The Innocent Project has tried to reopen cases, but that's very hard to do. The evidence is not -- is often not preserved.

But looking forward, the National Academy of Sciences has tried to set out some standards for the future of forensic science so that courts only accept legitimate science in the future.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: That effort is picking up steam. It's not done, but it's a huge, huge issue.

COOPER: Yes, amazing. Jeff, I appreciate it. Jeff Toobin, thank you very much.

Still ahead, new exclusive details tonight about what went on inside that sweat lodge ceremony where three people died and dozens of others were sickened. A woman who took part and survived is now speaking out.

And later, "LATINO IN AMERICA," you'll meet a young woman who considers herself an American but may soon be deported. Should she be allowed to stay? Two people on the frontlines of the issue face-off ahead.


COOPER: Former President George W. Bush has a new job; we'll tell you about it ahead.

But first, Erica Hill has the "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, police are continuing the search for a missing Virginia Tech student as a criminal investigation. Twenty-year-old Morgan Dana Harrington disappeared during a Metallica concert Saturday at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Her purse and cell phone were found in a parking lot near the concert arena.

A Massachusetts man is accused of conspiring with two other men in terror plots that included attacking shoppers in U.S. malls and American troops in Iraq. Twenty-seven-year-old Tarek Mehanna was arrested this morning in a Boston suburb. He appeared at a brief court father.

His father calls the allegations a show. Prosecutors say the conspiracy began in or about 2001 and lasted until about May of 2008.

Iranian negotiators have agreed to a draft of a deal to ship most of the country's stockpile of nuclear fuel to Russia for enrichment. That deal proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency would effectively limit Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon. There is no guaranty however that Tehran's leaders would accept the terms.

And first lady Michelle Obama hula-hooping on the south lawn of the White House today; all part of a healthy kid's fair she hosted. Mrs. Obama executed frankly an impressive 142 swivels before her hoop hit the ground.

COOPER: 142?

HILL: You think you can beat it?

COOPER: No way.

HILL: I couldn't get like 2. She also jumped rope, and ran an obstacle course. Close to 100 kids and parents from local elementary schools attended. She also reveals her favorite food, French fries.

COOPER: All right. There you go.

Ahead, a woman's hope to stay in America: raised in the U.S. since she was a child but now this young mom could be deported. The story coming up, along with the Arizona sheriff who critics say is targeting people just like her. A spirited debate ahead.

And later, a sweat lodge survivor. An exclusive account of what happened during that Arizona ceremony left three people dead. A report you won't hear anywhere else.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People were so disoriented they were screaming at one point in time, because I know that they were yelling and yelling and yelling at this man because he is so disoriented that he actually started crawling into the pit with the hot rocks.



COOPER: Earlier tonight, CNN premiered "LATINO IN AMERICA," our special 2-part series on America's largest minority. The program shows how Latinos are profoundly changing the country and reshaping their roles in it.

Part of the documentary looks at illegal immigration not with figures and numbers but with real people; a young woman who considers herself an American but may soon be deported.

Soledad O'Brien reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Oh, my goodness, look at those bangs.


O'BRIEN (voice-over): Twenty-six-year-old Araceli Torres is an illegal immigrant. Araceli has attended Tucson Public Schools since 4th Grade. She was only 7 years old when her family drove across the border; she barely remembers it.

(on camera): Did you realize that you were undocumented?


O'BRIEN: When did you know?

TORRES: When I was ready to finish high school and go to college.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): At 17, Araceli dropped out of high school to help her family make ends meet eventually taking a $10 an hour job at the fast food chain, Panda Express; a stable job until March 18, 2008. Araceli came in for her 12-hour shift.

TORRES: We just opened the doors and the first people that came in was the police.

O'BRIEN: Once inside, agents rounded up employees. All told, 11 employees were arrested; all of them working with fake social security numbers.

(on camera): Did you know it was a crime to have a social security number that's fake?

TORRES: I know that it's not a crime to work. I knew that I was not doing anything bad, because I mean, we work like everybody else.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): But using a fake ID to work is a crime here in Arizona, a felony; part of the state's new crack down on illegal immigration. Araceli was detained for five months separated from her then 3-year-old daughter, an American citizen.

TORRES: I just remember just praying to God to put her...

O'BRIEN: Araceli pled guilty to a misdemeanor. She's been out of jail a year. She faces possible deportation to Mexico. A country she barely remembers.

(on camera): Your daughter is an American citizen.


O'BRIEN: Your mother is a resident?

Your uncle?

TORRES: He is a citizen. O'BRIEN: Your sister?

TORRES: Citizen.

O'BRIEN: Who do you know back in Mexico?

TORRES: Nobody.

O'BRIEN: You literally know no one?


O'BRIEN (voice-over): At her deportation hearing, Araceli tried to prove returning to Mexico would be an extreme hardship for her family. She failed. It took less than three hours for the court to rule that Araceli must return to Mexico within two months. Araceli plans to appeal.

TORRES: No matter where they send me to, I'll still be American.


COOPER: Araceli Torres says she'll still be an American, but will she he be allowed to stay in America? It's not looking hopeful for her.

My next two guests are on the front lines of this issue. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has ignited a firestorm of controversy for conducting sweeping raids and arrests on suspected illegal immigrants. The Federal government now says they want him to stop but he's vowing to continue with crackdown. Also with us Isabel Garcia, public defender in Arizona; she represents Araceli and believes the sheriff's actions are intolerable.

Welcome to you both.

Isabel, first on Araceli's case where does she -- is she about to be deported now?

ISABEL GARCIA, ARIZONA PUBLIC DEFENDER: She's been ordered removed by an immigration judge and she's pending appeal. She has filed an appeal.

COOPER: There are a lot of people who see her story and certainly sympathize. It's a sad thing that is obviously happening to her, that she's going to be separated from her family. But she was here illegally and we are a country of laws. Why shouldn't she be deported?

GARCIA: She should not be deported because she has been here since she was a child. She was brought by her parents, has gone to school, graduated from a high school, worked for many years, not only supporting her child but contributing to the social security system.

COOPER: Sheriff, you're not associated with this case in particular, but when you hear stories about families being split up, you hear them all the time, do you have any sympathy for that? SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA: You know, I do. We have 10,000 people in jail, we have mothers, fathers split up from their families because they have violated a law. But when you talk about the illegal immigration problem, it takes it into a different situation, they're split up too.

But what about everybody else in jail that are split up? When you talk about employment, we have an unemployment problem in this country. We raid businesses and the majority of people we arrest are there with phony identification, illegal, so they're taking up jobs that U.S. citizens could take up, especially in this time.

COOPER: Sheriff, your tactics have attracted a lot of criticism. You have a lot of support; you've been re-elected five times now. But criticism now from the federal government which say they don't support your tactics of rounding up illegal immigrants. Why are you still doing it?

ARPAIO: Well, we're still doing it because I enforce the state laws.

COOPER: Isabel, what's wrong with what the sheriff is doing? He says he's enforcing state laws.

GARCIA: Illegal entry is a federal offense, a misdemeanor. The bottom line is that the economy of Arizona has really suffered because of the sweeps, because of the lack of workers being able to engage in their economic activity.

The fact that he has been able to promote laws that are state laws, focusing in on immigrants really is reminiscent of post slavery almost. We have like our own black codes here targeting immigrants in this particular situation.

COOPER: Sheriff I want you to be able to respond to that.

ARPAIO: You know, you were down in Tucson with all these kids, with your pinata, cutting my head off, teaching kids how to fear law enforcement officers. I'm not going to get into you and your garbage down there in Tucson. So don't go insulting me.

COOPER: Let me ask you about that Isabel because it is an issue, it's been a big issue, you've addressed it before. There's this video. You were at a demonstration where there was a pinata of the sheriff that was beheaded by a group of children who are beating it up -- we're showing the video right now -- children and you are then parading around with the beheaded head of the sheriff from the pinata.

If that was done by conservatives to a pinata of President Obama, people would flip out. Do you defend this?

GARCIA: Look, what these kids did was legitimate, symbolic speech (ph)

ARPAIO: I can't get...

(CROSS TALK) GARCIA: He treats our entire community like a pinata himself.

COOPER: Sheriff, there are those who say though that it's not a good idea for local police or even state police to be enforcing federal crimes, immigration laws, because if there is a regular crime, you want someone, even if they're illegal, to be able to come forward and talk to the police. And if they feel that their illegal status makes that -- they're going to get deported if they come and talk and report a crime or talk about a crime that happened to them, then these communities are going to be the targets of more crime because criminals will know these people won't come forward to talk about what they've seen.

ARPAIO: Crime has gone down 18 percent because we have 30,000 people in jail that can't get out to do other crimes because they are on hold. We proved they are illegal.

COOPER: So Sheriff, you're going to continue what you're doing even though the federal government says they don't want you to do it anymore?

ARPAIO: Well, I don't care what they say. We're going to continue to do it. You can send that message to the lady from Tucson that you have on your show.

COOPER: Isabel Garcia, appreciate you being on.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, appreciate your perspective as well.

Thank you both.

A reminder, you can watch tonight's first installment of "LATINO IN AMERICA" immediately following 360 tonight. And a program note for tomorrow, U.S. is talking about giving Pakistan billions in aid over the next five years. But what is the U.S. getting in return? And will the money be well spent?

I sat down with Pakistan's former president Pervez Musharraf and asked him some tough questions about al Qaeda and Mullah Omar and his Taliban fighters widely thought to be hiding out in Pakistan. Take a look.


COOPER: The U.S. officials say the base of terror though right now is in Pakistan, that that's where the majority of al Qaeda leaders are.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, FORMER PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN: This is terrorism is Afghanistan where Mullah Omar and his Taliban who ruled Afghanistan -- 90 percent of Afghanistan -- for six years, are there.

COOPER: As you know, U.S. Officials believe and have said repeatedly they believe Mullah Omar who rule the Taliban is in Pakistan. They say, no doubt about it.

MUSHARRAF: That is a ridiculous idea and I don't contribute at all; anyone who thinks like that is absolutely and 100 percent wrong.


COOPER: Well, we didn't stop there. Watch my full interview with former president Musharraf tomorrow on 360.

Coming up next though tonight, a sweat lodge survivor speaks out: this is the first time we've heard what really went on inside that spiritual retreat that took three lives. And what did the leader, James Arthur Ray actually tell participants. Someone who was there tells us.

Later, it keeps getting worse for Richard Heene. Find out how, ahead.


COOPER: In "Crime & Punishment" tonight, a "360 Exclusive." The first details of what went on inside that Arizona sweat lodge now at the center of a homicide investigation. Three people died, dozens were sickened and now a survivor, a Texas woman who took part in the ceremony is speaking out.

Beverly Bunn is her name. She spoke to Gary Tuchman about her experience inside that sweat lodge. CNN has also gained access to James Arthur Ray today, the self-help salesman who led the ceremony, charged everyone who took part thousands of dollars.

Gary, with an investigation going on in Arizona, what was Ray doing in Colorado today?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this was a very disconcerting night because of a couple of different reasons. James Arthur Ray was inside this Hilton Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, gleefully talking to 125 people who have the potential to become big donors to his philosophy.

He's trying to make money basically, so he's talking to them but he's still not talking to people in the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office who want to talk with his. And more importantly he's still not talking to the families of the three people who died in his sweat lodge two weeks ago.

In a second, we'll tell you about the extraordinary efforts to keep us and our cameras away from James Arthur Ray when he was in this hotel.

But first, what you were just saying. Beverly Bunn -- Beverly Bunn loved James Arthur Ray.

Two weeks ago, she was in the sweat lodge with him. She says what happened in that sweat lodge was chaotic. She is totally distraught and when you hear her voice -- this will be the first time you've heard someone who was in the sweat lodge that night with James Arthur Ray.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) BEVERLY BUNN, TOOK PART IN SWEAT LODGE CEREMONY: Everybody was throwing up everywhere. There was spitting going on. There was -- people were so disoriented they were screaming at one point in time because I know that they were yelling and yelling; yelling at this man because he was so disoriented that he actually started crawling into the pit with the hot rocks.

TUCHMAN: He wasn't alarmed by what was happening inside the sweat lodge?

BUNN: No, because actually they had taken a couple of people out that had passed out and then there was some people yelling, you know, calling different names to see if anybody else was passed out and see who was responding. But I don't think they called everybody's names.

TUCHMAN: So people were passed out though and he was still continuing this and not making any comment about that?

BUNN: He made one comment and they did say, "She's passed out. She's passed out. I don't know if she's breathing." And he said, "The door has now closed and this round has begun. We'll deal with that at the end of this round."


COOPER: Wow. What did she say happened after they got out of the sweat lodge?

TUCHMAN: After they got out of the sweat language, Anderson, she said it was more surreal. Beverly Dunn is a dentist; she has medical training. She saw people dying around her. She saw people collapse and she said what happened when she tried to help, she just couldn't believe.


BUNN: The person actually doing the chest compressions did know CPR, but the person doing the breaths didn't know CPR. And I told them about 10 times when I actually stood up and I saw what was going on and I saw all these people lying around and mucus coming out of their nose and their mouth and eyes rolled back in their heads. And one's guys eyes were -- all the blood vessels were burst. And there was just people lying everywhere just unconscious and everything.

And then I saw them doing CPR and I told them, I said I know CPR, I can help. And one the Dream Teamers, I told them about 10 times. And one of the Dream Teamers said, "I know it's Kirby over there and I can help. I know CPR."

And they would not let me. They would not let me go over there and help. And that's one of the hardest things that I have to deal with because I didn't do this. I didn't do this.

TUCHMAN: I'm so sorry Beverly. I'm so sorry.

(END AUDIO CLIP) COOPER: She's clearly distraught.

Gary, I know you have been trying for a week now to talk to this guy, Ray, to get his side of the story. He's still out there making money. What happened today when you tried to talk to him?

TUCHMAN: Anderson, we're purposely staying at this hotel. Nevertheless, James Arthur Ray's security and hotel security came up to me and said don't leave this area in the lobby. Do not come near this conference room with your cameras.

Nevertheless, my producer Ishmael Estrada (ph) actually identified himself as a reporter to a volunteer who may not have known the significance of a reporter going in. When inside, he tells me this is what James Arthur Ray said, "This has been the most challenging ten days of my life. You might be aware, people are disparaging me and the work that I do."

Ishmael then got up and he said to James Arthur Ray in front of 125 people, he said, "Mr. Ray how can you justify earning money on a tour when 3 people in your sweat lodge two weeks ago?" A very good question; that's the question these families want asked. That's why we asked the question.

He said, this is not press conference and Ishmael Estrada then said, "Sir, please, tell us why you're out here making money. You could be home, laying low, being quiet, helping with the investigation."

He said, "This is not a press conference." Then everyone started booing Ishmael. Security came, rushed Ishmael out of the room and everyone started applauding.

COOPER: Wow. Keep at it Gary. Appreciate the reporting tonight. Amazing interview with that lady who was clearly going through an awful as are the families of course of all those who are involved.

Coming up tonight: former President George W. Bush has a new day job; he could be coming to an auditorium near you. We will tell you what that's about.

And at the top of the hour, Soledad O'Brien journeys into the homes and hearts of a minority group destined to change the country. "LATINO IN AMERICA" is coming up.

Next, more bad news for Richard Heene, science detective.


COOPER: Coming up, "LATINO IN AMERICA." First, Erica Hill has a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

HILL: Anderson, we begin with breaking news; a judge -- CNN has just confirmed in the Bahamas -- has declared a mistrial in the trial of two men accused of attempting to extort millions from John Travolta. The judge believes someone in the jury may have had inappropriate communications outside the jury room. They had been deliberating for hours. So again he's getting this information declaring a mistrial because there may have been some inappropriate communications.

We'll get you more on that as it comes to us.

Meantime, here's something you could do if you have a little free time. How about some business tips from former President George W Bush? Mr. Bush is going to be the special guest speaker at a "Get Motivated Seminar" on Monday. It's happening in at Fort Worth, Texas. The event featuring some other pretty big names: Gen. Colin Powell and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, just two of them.

Mr. Bush is also slated to speak at a seminar in San Antonio in December and according to the Web site tickets are a recession- friendly $19. And that's not per person, that's per office.

Lifetime has canceled a rerun of one of the "Wife Swap" episodes starring the Heene family. The network says the show was scheduled to air well before last week's balloon incident that investigators now say was a hoax. Here's a taste of what you will be missing out on.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go get this go, get that go, do this, go do that.

RICHARD HEENE, BALLOON BOY'S FATHER: Mayumi doesn't jack out on me. She doesn't go -- I really, really don't want to hear that.

You're entering a huge negative field. Here you go, here's how I handle this. Hey, baby, come on in to be my jackhammer. You know what I will do, I have a broken jackhammer over here.


HILL: I wonder if that's how he came up with Richard Heene, science detective.

COOPER: Clearly he has a musical background.

For tonight's shot, fun at the office, all you need are a few web cams, a player for the Backstreet Boys and plenty of time to kill. Watch.




COOPER: I think this is all done in real time as I recall.

I hope the boss wasn't watching.

I don't know if we still have time. Do we still have time? Quickly, "Who the hell is Wolf Blitzer?" Do we have that?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) R. HEENE: Say hi to Wolf?


FALCON HEENE, BALLOON BOY: Who the hell is Wolf?


COOPER: "Who the hell is Wolf?"

HILL: Kid, you will never forget that name now, will you?

COOPER: I'm going to put it on T-shirts. You can see all the most recent shots from our Web site