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Journalist Andy Worthington with Important Updates on Guantanamo, where Many Innocent Men are Stuck; Filmmaker Sam Banning on his New Film, ‘Cruel and Unusual’


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Journalist Andy Worthington updates us on Guantanamo, where 86 men cleared for release are still held; filmmaker Sam Banning on recent reform to California’s “3 Strikes” law and his doc, Cruel and Unusual.

Worthington wrote The Guantanamo Files and continues to provide the best coverage of our island dungeon at his website.

We talk about the September death of Adnan Latif, the Yemeni who had languished for 8 years since being cleared by Bush-era officials. Two months ago, the Obama administration named for the first time 55 individuals who are still being held despite being cleared and acknowledge 30 additional unnamed men in the same category.

Worthington reports on the almost 100% denial rate for habeas corpus suits from Gitmo prisoners by the DC Court of Appeals in recent years, then that the same court produced a favorable ruling in October in the latest Hamdan case, which overturned convictions for “material support” since that was not a defined crime prior to 2006.

And he gives us an update on the last British detainee still held, Shaker Amer. You can show your support to close Guantanamo here.

About 49 minutes in, Sam Banning joins us to talk about his new documentary, Cruel and Unusual about the “3 Strikes” law in California. The film was produced before voters approved Prop 36, which reformed the definition of a third strike to limit it to serious, violent crimes. Banning profiles 3 people convicted for a third strike for petty crimes, like forging a check for $140. The film also covers the Stanford Law project which has won challenges to 25-life sentences for minor crimes, and which helped get the measure on the ballot.