CBS ’60 Minutes’ Episode Guide (April 23): Judge Alex Kozinski on the Death Penalty; Timber Racing

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CBS ’60 Minutes’ Episode Guide (April 23): Judge Alex Kozinski on the Death Penalty; Timber Racing

“60 Minutes” (04/23/17) – Strategically placed cameras capture the exhilarating action while Charlie Rose provides the wit and reportage, when 60 MINUTES goes to the Timber Races, the American version of the Steeplechase.

Rose’s story will be broadcast on “60 Minutes,” tonight, April 23 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
America’s Timber Races, so named for the wooden fences horses and riders must jump, are up to four miles long and contain as many as 22 jumps. The sport originated in Ireland 250 years ago when horses were raced across the countryside jumping hedge rows. Today, a series of run-up races in the Mid-Atlantic States culminates in the Maryland Hunt Cup event that will be held Saturday, April 29.

Paddy Neilson has won the prestigious race three times; he comes from a family that’s been riding and racing since 1875. At 75 he’s considered the dean of Timber Racing, still riding for pleasure and wearing the scars of old injuries that any timber jockey will tell you come with the turf. Some of the injuries are serious, but it’s all worth it, says Neilson.

“There’s just some magic about the power of that animal underneath of you,” he tells Rose. “And then when you ask him for everything he’s got in the last quarter of a mile…and there it is, it is a marvelous feeling that only comes from doing it, really. It is great.”

Then, later in the “60 Minutes” broadcast, as Arkansas fights in court to execute several inmates before a key drug in its lethal injection protocol expires, a prominent federal judge says that the use of such drugs in capital punishment is just a lie that masks a brutal practice. Ninth Circuit Appeals Court Judge Alex Kozinski tells Lesley Stahl that the guillotine or firing squad may be more appropriate, so citizens aren’t lulled into seeing the death penalty as a humane and peaceful practice. Stahl profiles the conservative and controversial judge on the next edition of 60 MINUTES Sunday, April 23 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Judge Kozinski, whose court is not involved in the Arkansas matter and was not commenting on the specific case, says lethal injections sugarcoat the truth. “The use of lethal injection is the way of lying to ourselves, to make it look like executions are peaceful, benign…like going to sleep,” he says. “And they’re not. They’re brutal things.” He proposes firing squads. “Never fails,” he tells Stahl. And the guillotine? “Well, you know, its 100 percent effective and it leaves no doubt that what we are doing is a violent thing. If we as a society are willing to take away human life, we should be willing to watch it.”

Judge Kozinski has spent over three decades ruling on appeals cases from the bench of the Ninth Circuit. In February, the court famously upheld a lower court’s blocking of President Trump’s controversial travel ban. The court is scheduled to take up the matter of the revised ban next month. In their discussion, one of the issues the judges raised was the fact Mr. Trump had made numerous statements while campaigning advocating a “Muslim ban.” This would be unconstitutional. But in a dissenting opinion, Judge Kozinski wrote that reading too much motive into candidates’ every statement would “chill campaign speech.” He tells Stahl campaign speech is at the core of the First Amendment. “We want to be sure that candidates for office are free to express their views…we don’t want them holding back… concealing their views and then disclosing them afterward,” he says.

But he does have a word of advice for the president, who’s gone after judges in the past, when he’s disagreed with them. “I think that litigants before the court should be very careful about insulting the people who make the decisions,” Kozinski advises. “It’s not going to help anything. All it’s going to do is emphasize the weakness of your position.”

“60 Minutes,” the most successful television broadcast in history, began its 47th season in September 2016. Offering hard-hitting investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the news, the broadcast begun in 1968 is still a hit in 2015, making Nielsen’s Top 10 list nine consecutive weeks in the fall of 2014.

Over the 2013-2014 season, “60 Minutes” continued its dominance as the number-one news program, drawing an average of 12.2 million viewers per week – almost twice the audience of its nearest network news magazine competitor and three million viewers ahead of the most-watched daily network evening news broadcast. The average audience for a “60 Minutes” broadcast still dwarfs the biggest audiences drawn by cable news programs.

Anderson Cooper, Steve Kroft, Sanjay Gupta; Lara Logan, Scott Pelley, Morley Safer, Lesley Stahl and Bill Whitaker all serve as correspondents and contributing correspondents.

The above press release was issued by CBS.

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