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Texas Death Penalty Debate

Republican Governor Rick Perry of Texas is in the middle of a controversy over the way he's handled executions in his state. At issue is the case of Cameron WIllingham, a man put to death for killing his children by setting his house on fire. Just before the execution, a new opinion cast doubt on his guilt, and now there are questions as to whether the governor ever reviewed that report before allowing the execution to go through. Lise Olsen, investigative reporter for the Houston Chronicle, helps us look at capital punishment in Texas.

We also speak to democrat Mark White, who oversaw 19 executions when he served as governor of Texas. Now the current debate is making him rethink his position. White says new science has proven that some innocent people have been put to death and he thinks the legislature should revisit capital punishment.

Sweat Lodge Inquiry

Two people who survived a sweat lodge ceremony in Sedona, Arizona, are coming forward with details about what happened inside the structure. We speak to JJ Hensley who is covering the story for the Arizona Republic and Ted Schmidt, a Tuscon lawyer, who is representing Sidney Spencer, a woman who participated and lost consciousness during the sweat lodge ceremony.

Protecting Consumers and Capping Executive Pay

A key Congressional committee today approved the creation of a new Financial Protection Agency to protect consumers by regulating mortgages, credit cards, and bank accounts. Also the Obama Administration announced a plan that will cut the compensation of senior executives at firms receiving government bailouts by more than one half. We speak with Lizzie O'Leary, Washington Correspondent for Bloomberg TV.

Controversy Over White Supremacist in Britain

Anti-fascist demonstrators protest outside the offices of BBC in west London, Thursday Oct. 22, 2009.  (AP)
Anti-fascist demonstrators protest outside the offices of BBC in west London, Thursday Oct. 22, 2009. (AP)

Halloween Science

Why do we get a chill down our spine when we watch a horror movie? Is there such a thing as a haunted house? A werewolf? Are black cats actually good luck? We speak with award-winning astronomer Stephen James O'Meara, who answers these and other questions in the book "Are You Afraid Yet: The Science Behind the Scary Stuff."

Music from the Show

  • Mike Mills, "Air"
  • Sun Kil Moon, "Carry Me Ohio"
  • Toru Takemitsu, "From me flows what you call Time"

This program aired on October 22, 2009.

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