Transcript of Governor Jeb Bushs Meeting with Laura Cardona (6 minutes) Lake City, FL. July 16th, 2002 -transcribed from the video tape made by Laura Cardona
(Gov. Bushs Communication Staff Representative enters alongside me and my camera. She introduces me to Governor Bush)
Governor Bush: You again?
(A little background I was in there previously to film Abe Bonowitz and SueZann Boslers 18 minute meeting with Gov. Bush.)
Laura Cardona: Yup, me again. Governor Bush: How come? Laura Cardona: What do you mean? Governor Bush: Again? We already did this? Staff Representative: She didnt speak at the last meeting sir, she is here to speak to you independently. Laura Cardona: Yeah, I only filmed that last meeting. And I waited to meet with you, and now I am here. Governor Bush: To talk about what? Laura Cardona: The death penalty. Governor Bush: We already did this. Didnt we already do this? Laura Cardona: No sir, Abe Bonowitz spoke with you and so did SueZann. I have not spoken with you and I waited. Governor Bush: And what is your name? Laura Cardona: Laura Cardona Governor Bush: Alright, go on. Whats up? Have a seat. Laura Cardona: Do you mind if I stand sir? I need to film this meeting. Governor Bush: And what is this that you are doing? Staff Representative: Sir, she is from the Florida State Film School and is shooting a documentary. Governor Bush: Yeah, and didnt you just shoot the meeting before? Didnt you already get what you wanted? Didnt we already do this? Laura Cardona: Um, as a matter of fact, I didnt sir. I mean, I did get what I wanted from that meeting, but now I am here to speak with you. Governor Bush: About what? What is this about? Laura Cardona: Well, I shot my documentary on the Moratorium Walkers, do you remember them? Governor Bush: Yes, I wasnt there. Laura Cardona: Yeah, um, I think we all remember that…. Well, I want to ask you some follow-up questions and see how that goes. Then some questions about the death penalty and, if we have some more time, maybe ask you about Tent City. Governor Bush: Didnt we already talk about the death penalty? – Tent what? Laura Cardona: Tent City. The students that have been camped out on Landis Green for a few months now asking FSU to uh, stop negotiating with companies that employs sweatshops- Governor Bush: Sure, sure, FSU. Fine, fine- Laura Cardona: Sir, the people you spoke with were something completely different. I am here now, to ask you questions. I entered with them to film only, now I am here to speak and to be spoken to. Is that fine? Governor Bush: Fine, fine. You did this already. Whats up? Laura Cardona: Well, sir, if I can take a moment have some camera issues.
(Cross talk between Governor Bush and Staff Representative)
Laura Cardona: Ok. Set now. Governor Bush: Great. Laura Cardona: So, do you remember the walkers? The- Laura Cardona: So, do you remember the walkers? The-
[Laura is referring to the Florida Moratorium Walk by Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty in January 2002, which ended with the presentation of more than 20,000 petition signatures calling for a “Time-Out” on executions in Florida. Click here for details –FADP] Governor Bush: I wasnt in town when they came uh but again, I am
I have total respect for people that are involved in the political process, exercise their first amendment rights, um I dont always agree with uh people that uh engaged in uh, political speech
They dont always agree with me, but I respect them enormously for being involved. If more people were actively engaged in advocating their positions I think wed have uh, a better society. Laura Cardona: Eh, right. And what came of that? The uh, the petitions, anything? Did did anything come of that? Governor Bush: Um, well there has been no change in policy, other then the uh… reactions to court rulings that have come up, uh… that have, uh… required us to uh… patiently wait for the courts to decide how the death penalty is to be administered. Uh… Thats happened twice in that last year. One state ruling, uh… and then one uh… Federal Supreme Court ruling regarding uh… actually two cases in uh one in Arizona, one in another state that uh that uh
has some impact on the death penalty
in the Ring Case it relates to whether or not a jury can, uh… should be, uh… engaged in the, uh… sentencing. In our state the jury, the judge makes the determination with the advice of the jury. So the Supreme Court is gonna look at that and there was a case relating to mental retardation. Two years ago, um.. two years ago the uh…. State of Florida with my urging changed the law to prohibit executions of the the mentally retarded. Laura Cardona: Um, the 6 to 1 stay that just – that the US Supreme Court passed, what- Governor Bush: The Florida Supreme Court? Laura Cardona: Right and that – wasnt it the US Supreme Court as well that 6-1 stay on the executions that just well Amos- Governor Bush: No actually the, uh… the uh… United States Supreme Court after their ruling in the Arizona case lifted the stays, uh… of two cases that were pending three cases in fact that were pending, uh… that they had created a stay on an anticipation of making, uh… the Arizona ruling. So they lifted the stay and then the Florida Supreme Court, uh… re-imposed the stay and they are going to take testimony over the next several months, uh… when they get back from vacation- Laura Cardona: So- Governor Bush: On the impact of the United States Supreme Court ruling on the state law. Laura Cardona: So what does that mean the 6 to 1 stay? Is that a moratorium or- Governor Bush: It is
in fact it is a de facto moratorium but it it it is uh
its not a moratorium in the sense that, uh… the court was silent on whether or not other executions that could not fit into those categories, uh… can be – can go forward. Well find that out probably in August. Laura Cardona: The 21st is I think when all the hearings are going to occur. Im not quite sure but so- Governor Bush: I dont know the date. Laura Cardona: Right, so, cause Im still – what is – what exactly is a de facto moratorium then? Governor Bush: It is not- it is
not a moratorium. It is a de facto moratorium because, uh… at least in the cases that are, uh… where a death warrant where all appeals have been exhausted and a death warrant can be signed Governor Bush: It is not- it is not a moratorium. It is a de facto moratorium because, uh… at least in the cases that are, uh… where a death warrant where all appeals have been exhausted and a death warrant can be signed
[A little help for the Governor and you, dear reader: A “de facto” moratorium means that no person or court has specifically said “Time-out on executions,” however because no executions can take place until the courts clarify the law, an undeclared but effective moratorium was in place at the time of this meeting. –FADP]
Laura Cardona: uh-huh Governor Bush: Uh… which is the only time that I will, um… sign a death warrant is when the appeals of each one of these cases is been exhausted, uh… that those two uh have been there is a stay on their executions so in effect until, uh… the decision is made on those two cases, uh… there wont be executions Now there may be other cases where the – the appeals are exhausted and I have a duty to sign the death warrants and if I believe that their cases are separate apart from what we considered in this hearing in August, uh… where a ruling may take place several months after that then I will sign death warrants. I have a duty to do it and an obligation to uphold the law. Laura Cardona: Its just..Im Im against the death penalty. Governor Bush: I noticed. Laura Cardona: Right. Ha. Um I just its a personal question. You can answer it or not but if- if it were one of your family members would you be able to sign the death warrant do you think? or- Governor Bush: If it was one of my family members that committed, uh… an atrocious crime Its very difficult to sign death warrants irrespective of who does it, uh I would hope and pray that no one in my family would commit such an atrocious crime as to be in that position- Laura Cardona: So its tough to say if you would be able to sign it? As a governor how would you- Governor Bush: Ive never been asked that question before its very different . its difficult to sign them right now Laura Cardona: Right- Governor Bush: Its not something I do joyfully. Any other questions? Laura Cardona: Um… actually your views on Tent City. What do you think about those kids sitting out there and the whole situation? And its a Florida State issue but just wondering- Governor Bush: Yeah same well uh again I political activism is a good thing. I dont- I dont have problems with, uh… people expressing their views about about issues, um….. I havent followed the specific case or what their grievance is but, uh… all power to them. Laura Cardona: All power to them. Right on.
– cross talk
Governor Bush: When will you graduate? Laura Cardona: December of next year sir. Governor Bush: And what do you want to do? Laura Cardona: Documentaries. Documentaries about the death penalty. Governor Bush: And make a living out of it? Well jeez. Laura Cardona: Well jeez what? Governor Bush: I wish ya luck. Laura Cardona: Uh-huh, yes well god knows we all need it here in Florida.
**END OF SESSION**