Return to Transcripts main page

The Lead with Jake Tapper

Supreme Court Temporarily Halts Execution Of Richard Glossip; F.L. Gov. DeSantis Addresses Legislature After Passing Contentious Agenda; CNN Speaks To Death Row Inmate After Supreme Court Halts Execution; "Homeland" Actor Weighs In On Consequential Decade. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired May 05, 2023 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: -- let alone in prison. He has maintained his innocence for all 26 years he has spent in prison, accused of hiring someone to murder his boss, Barry Van Treese. Meanwhile, the person who actually murdered Van Treese by beating him with a baseball bat, nobody questions that, that's Justin Sneed, he's in prison, too, not on death row, because Sneed secured a deal to avoid the death penalty. Plead guilty, testify against Glossip, and you won't be put to death.

Now, since then, two independent investigations have poked hole after hole in the case against Glossip, revealing the state's, quote, "intentional destruction of evidence," unquote, an inadequate police investigation, letters from Sneed in prison asking about whether he could recant his testimony. Now, with the U.S. Supreme Court's temporary stay of execution today, Glossip has now endured nine execution dates and three last meals, leaving his advocates wondering, how many chances does he have left?

CNN's Brynn Gingras joins us now.

And Brynn, this has been a momentous day for Richard Glossip. Do you know if he even knows that his execution has been at least temporarily stayed?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Last I heard, Jake, he didn't know. I know you're going to talk to his attorney, Don Knight, in a short time, he might have some more answers, but he was actually in the last visitation he was allowed before heading to death row, the death watch, as they call it, in the state of Oklahoma, visiting with his wife and also some of the lawmakers, those Republican lawmakers who really stood by him and supported him through all of this. So, last I heard, he didn't yet know. But we'll get those updates. I'm sure you will, Jake.

Listen, this was, as you said, momentous, an 8-0 decision by the Supreme Court. And what this allows is this execution to be stayed while the court can consider those filings that are before it. Some of those filings include new evidence in this case that we have been showing on your show and on CNN in his case, that really cast doubt about whether or not Richard Glossip should have been convicted of this crime and sent for the death penalty.

And also, as you remember, Jake, the attorney general in the state, Gentner Drummond, a Republican, he stood by the defense, which was an unprecedented move. And that is also something that is before the Supreme Court.

TAPPER: And, Brynn, you spoke with Richard Glossip on the phone. Tell us about that.

GINGRAS: Yes, so I spoke to him yesterday, Jake, to get a sense of how he was feeling as execution date was nearing. And we talked in depth about what he was feeling. He said he was holding hope. And I can't wait to ask him about how he's feeling now, but I want you to listen to the conversation that we had yesterday.


RICHARD GLOSSIP, DEATH ROW INMATE: I've never been on a plane. I've never seen the ocean.

GINGRAS (voice-over): In less than two weeks, Richard Glossip is set to be executed.

R. GLOSSIP: I have a long bucket list, and I want to do everything on that bucket list. I got a lot of life to live, and I'm going to fight so that I can live it.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Glossip hasn't seen life outside of these prison walls in 26 years. Convicted of concocting a murder for hire plot in the deadly beating of his former boss, Barry Van Treese, a crime he's always denied doing.

(on camera): Do you think your life is going to be saved in the next, you know, two weeks?

R. GLOSSIP: I do, and I tell everybody. Everything in this life happens for a reason. I believe that the right thing will be done in the end.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has never been an execution in the history of this country where the state has agreed with the defense that the defendant's trial and conviction was unconstitutional.

GINGRAS (voice-over): His case is one that's chipped away at even the most hardened death penalty supporters in the state of Oklahoma and reached global attention.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that everyone deserves at least to have their case fully examined before they're about to be executed.

GINGRAS (on camera): What's your reaction to how much support you've had?

R. GLOSSIP: I think it's incredible, but I think people are tired in this country of all of this injustice. We got to fix the system. Why is it so hard for people to think that somebody's actually innocent? GINGRAS (voice-over): Even the state's highest prosecutor, Attorney General Gentner Drummond, took the unprecedented move of arguing for clemency at Glossip's latest parole board meeting.

GENTNER DRUMMOND, OKLAHOMA ATTORNEY GENERAL: And in the name of justice, I humbly ask that you support clemency.

GINGRAS (voice-over): But despite that and newly uncovered evidence in the case, Glossip was denied clemency in a tie vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes for clemency.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Calvin Prince (ph)?

CALVIN PRINCE (PH): Yes for clemency.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Richard Miller (ph)?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Clemency is denied.

GINGRAS (on camera): You thought you were going to get clemency?

R. GLOSSIP: I did. Once I heard the first two yesses, I thought it was done.

GINGRAS (voice-over): A fifth board member recused himself because of his wife's involvement in Glossip's trial.


R. GLOSSIP: If we were to have a fifth person, we could have won.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Glossip's fate may now rest in the hands of Republican Governor Kevin Stitt, a man who's already issued two stays in the case.

GOV. KEVIN STITT (R-OK): Unless the courts act or there's new evidence brought before the courts, we're going to follow the law.

GINGRAS (voice-over): But recently signaled he may not take action this time.

(on camera): If this execution moves forward, what do you want your legacy to be?

R. GLOSSIP: It's kind of simple. I want to make sure that what happens to me can never happen to anybody else again. I just don't want people to ever have to go through what I've been through.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Glossip is now starting the grueling process of preparing for what may be his final days with his wife by his side.

R. GLOSSIP: She has to sit there and do my burial with me. She has to sit there and do my last meal with me. She has to sit there and do my witness list with me. Where does she get justice from? Who gets to pay the price for what they did to me?

What they're doing to me, it's murder. And they're no better than the people on death row.


GINGRAS: And obviously, that whole process that Richard had to go through with his wife, Lea Glossip, that still just happened, as I mentioned, because he had his last visitation. So, this news is all still coming to those guys. So, this is going to sort of change the course.

And of course, this isn't just it, Jake, the SCOTUS, of course, we now wait to see what happens, how the court rules on those filings that are before them. But also there are other filings that are happening in the state of Oklahoma that I can imagine their defense attorney -- his defense attorneys are still going to be pushing. For example, they want another hearing, that clemency hearing happened before four pardon and parole board members, not five, and that's against the Oklahoma Constitution, according to his attorneys. So, there will be more movement both in Oklahoma, but also, this is, as you said, Jake, momentous that SCOTUS intervened this close to his execution date.

TAPPER: Right. So his execution date is in 13 days.


TAPPER: The US Supreme Court has stayed it temporarily, but that -- all that means, correct me if I'm wrong, Brynn, all that means is they want a little time here to decide whether or not they want to formally review. The U.S. Supreme Court could still ultimately say, what, we're not going to formally review this case, and he still could be put to death in 13 days, right?

GINGRAS: They could. However, there's a strong case in there in front of them with the Solicitor General there. He is someone that was appointed by Bush. He is someone that maybe those justices, being conservative that they are, will want to take a closer look at. So, the defense team has a lot of hopes.

Sure, it doesn't really look that way, though. This is a celebration, certainly for the Glossip for -- the Glossip's defense team. They're celebrating this right now. They don't anticipate the Supreme Court just pushing this aside. They do anticipate them actually taking a look at this case and making a decision about it.

And it looks like this stay could -- this isn't just a 30 day stay that Glossip has had in the past from the governor. This could be a while if the justices do decide to take up this case and really thoroughly review it, which is what they've been asking for years, quite honestly. The Republican lawmakers there, his defense team has been asking, just take a look at this case. Take a look at all this new evidence that has come up just within the last few months about Justin Sneed, as you mentioned at the top, the person who actually did the killing in this case, how he tried to recant his testimony, how there's allegations that prosecutors threw away boxes of evidence, all of that, they're saying take a look at it and see if this should go back to a lower court for a jury to take a look at the case again.

TAPPER: Brynn Gingras, thank you so much.

With us now, Republican member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Kevin McDugle. Also joining us is Glossip's wife, Lea Glossip.

Lea, let me start with you. This temporary stay for -- of execution from the Supreme Court, from Brett Kavanaugh, it's huge. What's your response?

LEA GLOSSIP, WIFE OF RICHARD GLOSSIP: It was incredible. We went into today thinking it was going to be our last physical goodbye together before Richard was due to be moved on death watch. And that was a lot. That was us facing our last hug, our last kiss, our last touch goodbye with the one you love. That's a whole incredible weight that I think people don't quite realize that we were facing today.

We went into the day thinking that's what we were getting ready to do and, you know, the clock was ticking down and that moment was coming when our visit was ending and the warden came in and pulled us out to break the news to us and we just crumbled. It truly felt like answered prayer, really an answered prayer that God is watching.

TAPPER: And Representative McDugle, what's your reaction to the news today?

KEVIN MCDUGLE, (R) MEMBER OF OKLAHOMA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I couldn't hardly hear your question. I just heard you say, Representative McDugle.

TAPPER: Sorry, what's your reaction to the news today of the stay of exit and what needs to happen now?


I don't know if he -- it doesn't sound like he can hear me. We're going to work on that connection.

Lea, obviously, I can't even imagine what you and Richard are going through. What now needs to happen? Obviously, the Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court has an opportunity to learn about all of the reasons why it seems questionable that your husband is in prison, even much less on death row.

L. GLOSSIP: Right.

TAPPER: Let's say that they're listening right now, OK? That happens in this town. What do you want them to know? L. GLOSSIP: I hope that they just take the time to review this case and that it will bring us one step closer to finally seeing the justice that I and so many people believe that Richard so rightfully deserves. And that our ultimate hope, is that they just take their time with this case and that it'll bring us one step closer to where we need to be and where we will continue to pray that we will end up and get to the other side of this together.

TAPPER: And what do you want viewers to know? People who are not going to be reading through legal briefs, what should they know about why you think Richard should be a free man and not on death row?

L. GLOSSIP: I think the biggest takeaway from Richard's case is that this really does happen. And I think if anyone takes the time to look at his story, they can learn exactly how these things do happen. No matter how many trials you have and how many appeals you have, it's still possible that these things happen. And I think the incredible coalition that has formed around him is a testament to that. All the legislators that have been fighting so hard for him, and many of whom are pro death penalty Republicans, and that really says something, that they took the time to look at this case.

And of course, the courageous action of Attorney General Drummond as well. And I think that should tell everybody that there is something deeply wrong with what's happened in Richard's case, which is why we are where we are today. And that they just take the time to learn that these things happen and hopefully prevent it from happening in the future, and prevent future Richard Glossips from existing.

TAPPER: Yes. Just for people who are just tuning in or don't know all the details, a guy named Justin Sneed, nobody disputes the fact that Justin Sneed killed Barry Van Treese. Everyone agrees that that happened.

L. GLOSSIP: Right.

TAPPER: But the prosecutors cut a deal with Justin Sneed if he would testify that your husband paid him to kill Barry Van Treese, then he would be spared the death penalty. And since then, he has expressed regret, seemingly, for saying that. He has asked about recanting it, seemingly. And since then --

L. GLOSSIP: Right.

TAPPER: -- the law has actually been changed in Oklahoma so that you cannot even be on death row if you are the hirer of a hitman, per se. What do you make of the fact that Governor Stitt, Senator Lankford, Senator Markwayne Mullin have not come out as aggressively as the attorney general, who obviously, as you note, is a pro death penalty, conservative Republican? Where are the other people from Oklahoma who need to rally around this cause?

L. GLOSSIP: I will -- well, all I will say to that is that I hope everything that's gone on now, the news today and everything that has brought us to this point will be a signal to everybody who is not currently involved that they will take this as a moment that they will add their voice and their support and take the time to look at this case as other people have and join this effort to really ensure that Richard does see justice. And if they are not involved already for -- and that goes for anybody, that they will see that. Perhaps this is the time, once and for all, to join in this effort and in this fight to write this frog once and for all.

TAPPER: Lea Glossip, stay in touch. We're going to keep covering this story. We're going to stay on it as long as it takes. We really appreciate it.

L. GLOSSIP: Thank you. Thank you from both Richard and I. We're very grateful that you have been covering the story the way that you have. So, thank you from both of us, and God bless you.

TAPPER: God bless you.

We're going to bring you more on the Richard Glossip case as we get those updates. Also coming up, Hunter Biden hires a new attorney, and that is already ruffling feathers inside the White House. His dad's White House. Those new clashes are next.



TAPPER: Turning to our politics lead, as the years long Justice Department investigation into Hunter Biden, the President's son, which began in 2018, has dragged on. And as House Republicans ramped up their vigorous probes of the President's son, Hunter Biden has hired an aggressive new attorney to take a more combative approach to investigators. But CNN has learned that decision has caused some tension inside his father's White House. CNN's Paula Reid is digging into this for us.

Paula, what are you learning about these concerns from the White House?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, this goes back to late last year, after Republicans took over the House made it clear that Hunter Biden was going to be one of their primary targets for investigations. And the Justice Department's long running investigation into Hunter Biden had failed to yield any charges. At that point, one of his attorneys, Kevin Morris, decided it was time to take a more aggressive, forward leaning approach and go on offense. But I'm told by multiple sources that this caused some, quote, "anxiety" among senior Democrats who were worried about what that strategy would look like and how it would play out for the President's son. But over some of these concerns, Morris moved ahead and surprised some people when he brought on Abbe Lowell, a famously very aggressive lawyer.

Now, I'm told that also caused some tension inside Hunter's legal team at the time. And one of his White House aligned attorneys, Josh Levy, resigned after Abbe came on. But I am told that late last year, there was a meeting between senior White House officials, senior Democrats and Abbe Lowell trying to at least keep an open line of communication because this is going to be the lawyer who is going to be representing him in some of those contentious Hill investigations.


And now, since Lowell came on, we have certainly seen a more aggressive strategy. He has filed lawsuits on Hunter Biden's behalf. He has fired off letters to the Hill seeking, for example, an inspector general investigation into how some suspicious activity reports related to Hunter Biden ended up online, also asking for an ethics investigation into Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

In fact, earlier this week, we also saw Abbe Lowell down in Arkansas in a court for a child support dispute that Hunter Biden is currently trying to get his child support payments lowered. So, Jake, you can imagine Abbe Lowell in family court in Arkansas, clearly indicative of a very aggressive and possibly very expensive approach. But they believe that a child support dispute has really become a proxy for some of these Republican investigations.

TAPPER: And what happens next?

REID: It's a great question. I am told that over the past several months, some of that initial anxiety about this more forward leaning approach really has tamped down, because they've seen that arguably this has been a fairly successful approach. And I'm told there is currently that open line of communication that the White House was seeking between them and Abbe Lowell. But, of course, the big question, Jake, is what is going to happen with the federal criminal investigation? It's been going on for years.

As CNN has reported, it has really whittled down to just a few possible charges related to possible tax offenses and possibly one charge related to the purchase of a gun. But even last week, as we reported, Hunter's legal team met with the Justice Department. We heard from multiple sources that there was no indication that investigation is going to yield any charges. And at this point, it's unclear exactly how that will resolve. If anything happens there, that will certainly be a test not only for Biden's new strategy, but also for their relationship with the White House.

TAPPER: All right, Paula Reid, thank you so much.

Is the flurry of activity in the Florida legislature helping to pave the way for a Ron DeSantis presidential campaign? We're going to go live to Florida next.




GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): But what happens in the future? Look, people will get on that relatively soon. I mean, you either got to put up or shut up on that as well. So, we'll see.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: Governor Ron DeSantis putting off any major announcement about his political future today in a speech before the Florida legislature. This comes after the governor has helped lead a flurry of legislation through the Florida state house with lawmakers, Republican lawmakers passing what many critics are calling a contentious controversial agenda. CNN's Steve Contorno joins us now live from Florida.

Steve, what did Governor DeSantis have to say to the Florida legislature today?

STEVE CONTORNO, CNN REPORTER: Jake, there was a lot of backslapping and hugging between DeSantis and Republican lawmakers today as they celebrated the end of the legislative session here. Over the last 60 days, they have pushed through a slate of bills, all of which DeSantis has prioritized and handed Governor DeSantis a potential platform for him to run for president if he chooses to get into the race. Let me just go through some of what is on his desk, or he has already signed, and it's quite a bit, but you know, there's an abortion ban after six weeks, with limited exceptions for, you know, rape or incest or if the woman's life is at risk. People can carry a concealed gun in public now without a permit or going through training. The threshold to put someone on death row is now the lowest in the nation, just eight jurors.

And you can also now execute child rapists if the -- what will be a challenge to a Supreme Court ruling. There are also several bills aimed at transgender population in Florida, including a bill that would limit the ability for children to get any sex affirmation, surgeries or treatments, and also a bill that prevents transgender people from using their chosen bathroom in public restrooms. All of this is now part of DeSantis agenda, and he spoke today about the significance of what passed during this legislative session. Take a listen.


DESANTIS: At the end of the day, it's like, OK, what are you going to do if you actually get in office? Are you going to lead? Are you going to deal with issues that are out there? Or are you going to kind of rest on your laurels? And I think that this legislature said, you know, we're going to tackle all these issues, going to take all the meat off the bone, and we are going to deliver results for the people of Florida.


CONTORNO: All session long, Democrats have been beside themselves, but they have no power to stop this. Republicans have the power in both chambers, and they use it to hand DeSantis a decisive contentious yes, but consequential and very conservative victories that he's going to run on if he gets in this race in a few months.

TAPPER: All right.

CONTORNO: Few weeks.

TAPPER: Yes, a few weeks. Steve Contorno in Florida, thanks so much.

Joining us now to discuss, CNN Senior Political Correspondent Abby Phillip, along with Molly Ball, who is a National Political Correspondent for Time Magazine.

So, I mean, I'm looking at this list here, Abby, six week abortion ban, no permits for carrying a concealed gun, being able to put somebody to death with eight jurors, not needing a majority. I'm sure that will be helpful in a Republican primary. Will this be helpful in a general election nationally?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY: I think it just gives if he makes it to the general election, it gives Democrats potentially a lot of ammunition. This is both DeSantis's greatest strength and perhaps his greatest weakness. I think there's probably no other political figure in this race even that can say that he has done as many things on the Republican Party's wish list as DeSantis. For that very same reason, I think it's going to put all of those issues to the test of a general election population that is just a lot more moderate on a lot of these issues. And this is something that I think DeSantis is probably not that concerned about right now because his biggest challenge really is getting out of the primary. But you're starting to see some, you know, very well healed Republican owners starting to say, I don't know if this is going to put him in the strongest position in a general election. People like Peter Thiel and they're voicing some concerns publicly and loudly at the moment.

TAPPER: And Molly, DeSantis obviously making combating the woke agenda, he calls it, a central part of his agenda. Florida is where woke goes to diet, et cetera, et cetera. There's a new CBS News YouGov poll, among Republican voters who want a candidate to challenge woke ideas, so called woke ideas. Trump wins those voters 59 percent, DeSantis only 24 percent. What do you make of that?

MOLLY BALL, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, TIME MAGAZINE: I think it's just a reflection of Trump's continued strength in this Republican primary. We've seen him holding a commanding lead with all Republican voters. And so of course they're going to say they like him best on various issues. But I do think it is, as Abby said, going to be a source of strength for DeSantis when and if he gets in the race to be able to say that he set the agenda on these issues.

He can really say he was talking about a lot of these themes around so called wokeness, political correctness, whatever you want to call it, really before Trump took them up. He has been leading the way on things like the so called book bans and the so called don't say gay bill. Of course --

TAPPER: Right, letting local districts lead the way on that, but allowing them to do so. Yes.

BALL: Exactly. But I think this is his whole pitch as he was just talking about, you know, some leaders lead and others follow. A lot of governors we know are just there to mind the store, run the state well, but he's about racking up win after win for the conservative base to be able to say, you know, I didn't just sit there and sign bills. I set the agenda, I led on these issues. And that's the pitch that I think we can expect him to make.

PHILLIP: Here's the other thing that I think this will be a test of, and it really comes down to whether Republican voters even care about like policy, really. I mean, I think it's a real kind of buzzword of a certain type of, you know, maybe even more moderate Republican voter that says, oh, I love Trump's policies but not his personality. Well, honestly, the rest of the Republican Party loves his personality.

And they're cool with his policies. But it's really the kind of charismatic figure that has made Trump so difficult touch. And I think it remains to be seen whether all of this will really amount to anything in that context for Ron DeSantis. I don't know that Republican voters want or would preference a wonk over a Donald Trump in the primary. And I think that's really what we're going to find out soon enough.

TAPPER: But isn't there also reason to wonder whether, for instance, a six-week abortion ban is basically just a ban? It's just like basically women and girls, you cannot have abortions. Whether that -- whether how aggressive he's been banning trans procedures for children, even if the doctor, even if the parents, even, you know, want the procedure to happen. Isn't there an argument to be made that there's polling that suggests that that's not where the swing voters in the suburbs are?

BALL: It certainly isn't. It where Iowa caucus voters are right? And you have to think that is the first, I mean, you cannot get to that general election where that question is decided unless you get through the primary. And what we have seen is that particularly in Iowa, conservatives really do care about those social issues. They really do care about abortion. And so I think clearly it is going to be a strength if he wants to talk to those voters.

But the question is, you know, are Republican voters going to prioritize electability? Are they going to look at these candidates and say, we need someone who can win the general election? And then what is the argument with Trump, right, who can -- who has already lost the election, but most of his voters don't believe that he lost the election?

PHILLIP: I mean, it's so ironic to even be talking about electability and Trump, you know, sort of winning that argument. But when you see Trump kind of navigating closer to the center on something like abortion, it does kind of suggest that his campaign is trying to position himself as someone who's reading the room better than Ron DeSantis. I don't think you're going to see that necessarily on trans issues, but you are seeing it on abortion. I think that that's notable at the stage.

TAPPER: Even though Donald Trump is the reason that Roe v. Wade was overturned, he won and he appointed.

PHILLIP: Absolutely. And remember, in the campaign, he was the one who raised the issue of, you know, penalizing women for seeking abortions. He walked that back, but that was Donald Trump in the primary, too. TAPPER: Abby Phillip and Molly Ball, thank you so much. Be sure to tune in to CNN when Abby hosts Inside Politics on Sunday. That's Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.


This afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted the execution of Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip. That's at least for now. Moments ago, CNN's Brynn Gingras spoke to Glossip to get his reaction. This is a second phone call and we're going to bring that to you next.


TAPPER: And we're staying on that break in news. In our National Lead, the U.S. Supreme Court today temporarily halting the execution of Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip, who has there are a lot of big case to make about whether or not he belongs in prison, much less on death row. Let's go straight to CNN's Brynn Gingras, who's been on this story for us for months. And Brynn, you just wrapped up a second phone call with Richard Glossip immediately after he learned that the U.S. Supreme Court had intervened. Tell us more.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, what a low and a high for Richard Glossip, because as I told you before, Jake, this was a day where he was having his final visitation, the last moments with his wife, and they've learned that's when he got the news about this day. Take a listen to our conversation.


GINGRAS: How are you doing?


RICHARD GLOSSIP, OKLAHOMA DEATH ROW INMATE: I'm doing great. It's been a very interesting day, to say the least. My wife and I were down for our last visit together. And I had to take my property down for her to pick up. And yes, she was really worried and concerned that she was really going to lose it at the end of the visit. They let us take some pretty awesome pictures then. Yes, they were sitting there. We had a half hour to go and she -- they knocked our door. They came to the door and asked us to come out in the hall and they took her and I out in the hall and told us we got to stay.

GINGRAS: So you got told together?


GINGRAS: You got told together?

GLOSSIP: Yes, well, they pulled us out together and told us. Yes.

GINGRAS: And what did you do?

GLOSSIP: I yelled, are you kidding, at first. And they said, no. And so her and I just grabbed each other. And yes. It was amazing to watch the expression on her face and to see how relieved she was. It was just amazing that she was really so worried and so stressed out and I'm just really grateful that we got to share with it. We got to share it all together. We got the news together. We got the pictures together today. We got to spend time with McDougall and Justin Humphrey and Sister Helen Prejean. So it was a really good day and then to get that nurse (ph) too, is just really well.

GINGRAS: How are you feeling?

GLOSSIP: Hopeful. The fight is still not over. I want to continue to fight. I want to continue to get my message out to people. I want people to continue to stand up because until they rule and they get it right, the fight is never done. We have to continue to fight and fight and fight until we get it, until we accomplish what we're trying to accomplish.

GINGRAS: Yes. Yesterday you told me, Rich, when we talked on the phone, you told me that, you know the right thing will prevail. Do you still feel that way?

GLOSSIP: I do. I do. More so now than ever, you know, we got all eight justice to grant to stay. It's serious enough for them to look at, and that's what's important. They're not going to take it lightly, and that's what I'm grateful for. You know what the court has to do the right thing here and I'm hoping the court is going to finally do the right thing.

GINGRAS: Yes. What happens next for you?

GLOSSIP: To visit with my wife next Friday. That's important because we thought that was the last one today. So it's going to be nice to be able to go down there and see her Friday and spend that time with her. It's like I said, you know, my fight is not over. I still want to speak out. I still want to get the evidence out. I still want people to understand how bad this was and how we can't let this happen anymore.

So I definitely want to use this time to still speak out to people and to show people first off that there is always hope that somebody will do the right thing. And, you know, that's what it is for me to continue to fight.

GINGRAS: Listen, you've been before the Supreme Court before you've had a case. You're before the Supreme Court again. How does that feel?

GLOSSIP: Yes. You know, it feels good. I feel good to before the Supreme Court, and I just I feel good that we have the people that we do on our side. I think it makes a difference. I think our case is powerful. I think that this case could change a lot in this country, and that's what I'm hoping it will do fix some of what's broken, at least, is what I'm hopeful for.

GINGRAS: When you say what's broken, can you expand on that? What do you want to see changed with your story? GLOSSIP: Well, one of the things that's got to change in our system, especially when it comes to death penalty cases, is procedurally barred. You know, that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. When somebody's life is online and they have new evidence proving their innocence, that should never be barred for any reason from a court, getting around it and not having to rule.

And I think that that's important, that we fix that in this country to stop that. If we can get that taken away to where they have to look at evidence, it makes it different. It makes it more difficult for them to shoot people down. And I think that's what has to change. That's one of the biggest changes.

GINGRAS: All right, Rich, thank you so much for calling. It seems you're maybe a bit closer to that bucket list.

GLOSSIP: I know. I can't wait for it. I'm happy and just ready to be there, to be with my wife and to finish up my life happy. And that's all I want. That's what I want to do.


TAPPER: Brynn what a remarkable phone call. But, you know, look, I don't want to be a buzz kill. This fight is still not over.

GINGRAS: Yes, it's not. But you could tell there, Jake, that he's measured and he knows his fight's not over. He has been through so many courts in front of the Supreme Court before, too, and he's been denied, denied, denied mostly in Oklahoma. And he knows that it's very possible the Supreme Court may decide that his case doesn't get another look.


So he has certainly measured, and you heard he just wants to keep fighting. But I do every time I talk to him. And I've talked to him three times now. He is so hopeful. And he always turns the conversation around about the people he loves. His wife, also his defense team, all those lawmakers he know who have really stuck out their necks for him, but also the people he knows that are in the same position that he is in behind bars.

And they should not be executed, certainly for something that they have evidence proving their innocence, in his words. So that is what he fights for. That's what keeps him alive behind those bars. But, yes, he's very well aware that this fight isn't over, but he isn't giving up fighting.

TAPPER: Just a reminder, he has never been accused of actually committing murder. He is accused by the murderer of hiring him. Brynn Gingras, thank you so much. Thanks for staying on top of this. We are going to continue to cover it.

Coming up, the 2010s were a wild age for T.V. It changed what we watch. It changed how we watch. And we're going to talk to a star from one of the most popular, one of the best series from that era, "Homeland." Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our Pop Culture Lead. The 2010s are, believe it or not, well in the rear view mirror, which means that the acclaimed CNN original series "Decades" is back. I don't have to tell you the 2010s were marked by political upheaval and the rise of social media, social unrest and some peak television where we saw big movie stars and huge T.V. productions on the small screen, shows such as "Game of Thrones," "Orange is the New Black," "American Horror Story," "Breaking Bad," "Mad Men," "House of Cards" and "Homeland." All of them changing how and what Americans watch.


JENNIFER KEISHIN ARMSTRONG, AUTHOR, WHEN WOMEN INVENTED TELEVISION: I just remember this still being a really big deal at the beginning of this decade. Claire Danes, movie actress, has deigned to come to television to play this complicated character.

CLAIRE DANES, ACTRESS: If I have a chance to work with material of this caliber, I will in any medium. Cable has created this whole new environment that is incredibly fertile.

ALAN SEPINWALL, CHIEF TV CRITIC, ROLLING STONE: What started in the 2000s was the gradual elimination of the mid budget movie. And so you have this great class of character actors looking for satisfying material and they're not finding it in movies, so they started to come to show time and places on cable.


TAPPER: I'm joined now by Rupert Friend. He played the troubled spy Peter Quinn in the acclaimed 2010 series "Homeland." You might recognize him also. He's one of Lord Vader's bad guys from Obi-Wan. It's so good to have you on. Thank you so much. Let me ask you, "Homeland," I'm not going to spoil anything because there are still people who probably haven't seen it, and I do recommend having watched every single episode that they check it out.

It started as the story of a U.S. Marine returning home after being held as a POW in Afghanistan for eight years, and the big question was whether or not he had been turned during captivity. At that era, it was kind of a risky thing to raise questions about patriotism and the war on terror. What drew you to the show initially?

RUPERT FRIEND, ACTOR, "HOMELAND": First of all, thanks for having me, Jake. It was actually the only show that I watched in England, and I just thought it danced that line of ambiguity so beautifully in a way that, as your introduction mentioned, we were getting writing of a caliber that hadn't never even seen on television before. So deciding who the good guys and bad guys are used to be such a black and white concept, and I think that Homeland was one of the first shows to say, it's not that simple. TAPPER: In addition to that, how do you think shows such as "Homeland" changed T.V. and how we watch it, because obviously the kids today don't know, but it used to be only a few channels, and, you know, you had to record it if you wanted to watch it. And so it's just a completely different universe now.

FRIEND: Yes. Of course, the notion of binging was born in the decade that we're talking about, the idea that you can now sit down and watch eight seasons of "Homeland" back to back if you've got the energy in. It probably would reward that. But it definitely became the idea of exploring a character for that length of time. And in my case, a character who began ostensibly as a heroic assassin of some kind. And then, as we saw the, without spoiling it, he has a very, very drastic change sort of halfway through the seasons and is, in some ways unrecognizable for his final season.

TAPPER: Mental health obviously playing a big role in the characters of "Homeland," whether the main character or any of the supporting characters, obviously, Brody's PTSD, when he returned Carrie's bipolar disorder. So many shows in the past decade broke barriers, talking about mental illness, mental health, struggles, making it OK to talk about topics that had been perceived as formerly taboo. Where do you think we're going to be in 10 years from now?

FRIEND: I hope the conversation continues. If television can have a role, fictitious television, it is to begin those conversations and make them, if not normalized, then OK to have, whether we're talking about sexuality or gender or physical or mental health, any of these things that were previously stigmatized and pushed into the shadowy corners should be front and foremost and should be fair game for further conversation and so people can get the help they need. And if television can do that as well as entertain, then I think that's a great thing.

TAPPER: Well, Rupert Friend, you've been entertaining me for a long time, whether on "Homeland" or "Obi-Wan Kenobi" or "Anatomy of a Scandal." Thank you so much for joining me, and thank you so much for all the entertainment over the years.

FRIEND: Thank you very much.

TAPPER: And be sure to tune in. The all new CNN original series, the 2010s premiere Sunday with a special two hour episode at 09:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific only on CNN.


Coming up on The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer talks to one advocate demanding charges in the chokehold death of a New York City homeless man. But next on THE LEAD, the latest numbers that are alarming scientists.


TAPPER: In our Earth Matters series today, the ocean's surface heat is hitting record breaking levels, and scientists are scrambling to try to figure out why. Temperatures fell since their peak in April, but they're still higher than they've ever been for this time of the year. The co-author of a recent study on heat in the climate system says one reason for the highest -- higher ocean temperatures could be a regulation that was meant to reduce pollution. That rule lowered the amount of sulfur in fuel that ships use, but it turns out that sulfur actually served as an artificial sun screen for the ocean, keeping water temperatures down.


Be sure to join me this Sunday on State of the Union. I'm going to be talking to the number two Democrat in the Senate, Senator Dick Durbin in a joint interview with the Chairman and Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Republican Congressman Mike Turner and Democratic Congressman Jim Himes. It's at 9:00 a.m. at noon Eastern on Sunday only on CNN. Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM". I'll see you Sunday morning.