VICE (2013) s06e16 Episode Script

Waiting to Die & Women in War

1 SHANE SMITH: This week on Vice: execution, by overdose.
MAN: I prefer the firing squad because, quite honestly, what people don't see is there is suffering.
GIANNA TOBONI: You were convicted of two murders.
You've been on death row for 10 years.
- Yep.
- Why are you still alive? Right? (LAUGHS) SHANE: And then, the fight for civil rights in Yemen.
(SHOUTING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) ISOBEL YEUNG: It's really quite extraordinary to see women shouting themselves hoarse, right outside the security building, which is incredibly risky here.
(GIRL SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (THEME MUSIC PLAYING) (CROWD SHOUTING) They're saying that, right now, it's time for change.
(INDISTINCT SHOUTING) While most of the Western world rejects the death penalty, the issue remains controversial here in the United States, with the country split almost down the middle over what to do about it.
Now, this controversy has lead to every supplier of FDA-approved lethal injection drugs to refuse providing them.
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has announced it is blocking the use of its drugs for lethal injections in the United States.
That, together with a lengthy appeals process, can create endless stays of execution.
In Nevada, one condemned prisoner has had enough.
So, in a bizarre twist, the state turned to a drug so deadly, that it took the lives of 19,000 Americans in 2016: the opioid fentanyl.
We're driving up to Ely State Prison in Nevada.
This is where Scott Dozier is being held.
And we had an interview scheduled with him inside the prison, but it was canceled because his execution was stayed at the last minute.
But since we're here, we're just gonna give him a call.
(RECORDED VOICE) (SCOTT SPEAKS) Hey, Scott, how you doing? (SCOTT SPEAKS) GIANNA: Scott Dozier is 47 years old.
He was convicted of two murders while manufacturing and dealing drugs in Arizona and Nevada.
NEWSMAN: Miller's torso was found in two pieces, placed in suitcases, dumped in a valley apartment complex.
GIANNA: Dozier was sentenced to death in 2007, for the murder of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller.
And after nearly a decade on death row, Dozier waived his rights to appeal.
He told the judge he was ready to die.
GIANNA: Can you help people understand why, so badly, you want to die? (SCOTT SPEAKING) Do you still maintain your innocence? (SCOTT SPEAKING) GIANNI: Nevada has more than 70 men on death row, but they haven't executed anybody for more than 12 years.
So, when Dozier volunteered in October, 2016, it sent the state into a tailspin because they didn't actually have a way to execute him.
That's because by 2016 every supplier of FDA-approved lethal injection drugs in the country had banned the sale of their products for use in executions.
Pharmaceutical suppliers that once provided the drug for lethal injection now refuse.
GIANNA: Nevada was forced to search for a new solution.
NEWSWOMAN: Nebraska and Nevada are considering using fentanyl to kill death row inmates.
GIANNA: How do you feel about fentanyl? (SCOTT SPEAKING) GIANNA: Because this drug cocktail had never been tested, questions about whether the combination would be effective and humane ultimately lead to a stay of execution.
At the first hearing after the stay, it was the state prosecutors who seemed to be arguing on Dozier's behalf.
BAILIFF: All rise! Judge, at the beginning of this, when Mr.
Dozier first said, "I wanna give up all my rights and submit to the sentence," you found him competent.
He's been consistent with you from the very beginning.
The bottom line here is, it's his choice.
And he said to you, "I want to go forward with the cocktail as drafted.
" Based on that JUDGE: It's his choice within certain parameters, because if it was really his choice, perhaps the first suicide that he attempted, back in some corrections facility in Arizona would've been fruitful, and they would've just let him pass.
So, it it's his "choice," - with certain parameters, right? - Yes JUDGE: And so, you know, I appreciate that argument, but that's not, that's not, it's not as simple as that.
GIANNA: Historically, during a lethal injection, three drugs are used in a specific order.
The anesthetic makes them unconscious, the paralytic renders them immobile, and the last drug stops their heart.
While fentanyl is what made headlines, it's the use of the paralytic that the court questioned.
Expert witnesses testified that the use of the paralytic, which they say only serves to mask any suffering, could lead to a cruel death, a breach of the Eighth Amendment.
So, the court demanded the paralytic be removed.
The state, however, won't proceed without it, and at this point, Dozier doesn't care.
He just wants to move forward.
- - After 10 years on death row, Dozier's case continued to stall, pending a ruling from the State Supreme Court.
When you learned that the execution was stayed, was there any part of you that felt relief? (SCOTT SPEAKING) I guess what seemed a little bit strange to me is that the state wants you executed, you want to be executed, and yet you all aren't able to move forward with it.
(SCOTT SPEAKING) So firing squad? GIANNI: While that may sound crazy, a string of widely covered botched executions is making lethal injection less and less appealing.
NEWSMAN: Last Thursday, Dennis McGuire took nearly 25 minutes to die from a mixture of drugs never before used in executions.
NEWSWOMAN: Clayton Lockett was the first inmate injected with the state's new mix of lethal drugs.
But minutes after being declared unconscious, Lockett tried to lift his head and began squirming.
Prison officials halted the execution.
GIANNA: Inmates are now requesting to be killed by gunfire, a method that is more effective than lethal injection.
In Utah, Representative Paul Ray successfully lead the campaign to bring back the firing squad in 2015.
Well, we have a death penalty, and we didn't have any way to use the death penalty.
You know, the drug makers decided that they were done selling drugs.
So, we needed to have a plan B.
I prefer the firing squad because, quite honestly, what people don't see the white-washing on the lethal injection, is there is suffering.
You know, basically, you're paralyzed by the medication, then we stop your breathing.
There is obviously a lot of agonizing.
How much do you think these decisions by states to only move forward with drugs has to do with public image? Has to do with optics? It has a lot to do with it.
It's not a pretty site to take somebody's life, whether you do it with lethal injection, firing squad, electric chair, gas chamber, or whatever.
It's very serious.
And, you know, the thing about the optics of the firing squad is it brings back the seriousness of what we're actually doing.
Generally, we'll use five shooters, four of which will have a live round, one will have a blank, pin the target over the heart, and then the orders are given.
And what do you say to those who argue that the firing squad is just too brutal.
See what they did to their victims, and let's talk about being brutal.
The fact is, is these guys are monsters.
You know, they're not here because they sing too loud in the choir on Sunday.
They're here because they brutalized people.
The whole situation of taking a life is not pretty.
If you have the death penalty, you gotta find a way to pull it off, and understand that you can't window-dress it.
Which is what they've tried to do with lethal injections, or you get rid of it.
GIANNA: At least 16 states allow for other execution methods, but not Nevada.
They're entirely reliant on lethal injection.
It took an additional five months before a warrant was finally signed, and Dozier was given an execution date, July 11th.
So, you're gonna be dead in two days.
Yeah.
- I am.
- Have you processed that? I mean, as much as a person can, right? That's a heavy-duty thing, isn't it? Two days before his scheduled execution, we visited Dozier on death row, for what was meant to be his final interview.
So, you were convicted of two murders, you've been on death row for 10 years.
Yep, that's right.
Why are you still alive? Right? (LAUGHS) I mean, I can tell you the specifics of why it happens, but, you know, these people don't wanna die, and as long as the FPD's office or these other people that represent us as long as no one's being killed, they're cool with that.
So, they just use dilatory tactics, and that's the actualities of why - no one's getting killed.
- Mm-hmm.
I don't know, I mean, but as far as why the state's not pushing for it, that's not an answer I can begin to even conceive.
I don't know, I don't get it at all.
Why do you think the country has turned to lethal injection, as opposed to the other methods? (SIGHS) Well, you know, that whole idea, it's more humane, they're just a bunch of pussies.
You know, you're murdering somebody, man.
It's gonna be brutal.
GIANNA: In fact, the new drug protocol, released eight days before the execution, included a drug substitute that created even more controversy.
Midazolam is the drug that's been involved in all these botched executions.
These guys gasping for air, suffering for more than an hour.
My understanding of that is that that's a side effect of midazolam.
Midazolam causes clenching, some thrashing, coughing, so Actually, I was gonna bring that up with my mother and say, "Listen, just so you know, I've talked to people, and they said that that happens with midazolam.
So, don't take that as indications that I'm having a bad time.
" You know what I mean? So, do you expect for that to happen? I do.
And you're cool with that? I don't care.
I'm not gonna get up off that fucking table.
- How do you feel about the state using fentanyl to kill you? - I think it's awesome.
Look, I mean, it's killing people all over the place.
You guys get pharmaceutical grade fentanyl and just bang me up, man.
Use a shit-ton.
Do you believe in the death penalty? You know, I'm, I'm ambivalent about it because I think if there is a wrong that needs killing, you know, I mean, if that's the answer to it, people should be able to do it.
But I'm also opposed to Ameri to governments of any sort killing their citizens.
So, you're thankful that it's legal here.
- Yes.
But it's pretty conflating, isn't it? - Mm-hmm.
Do you think you deserve the death penalty? No, I don't, though, actually.
However, I think that if Jeremiah Miller's family really thinks I killed him, they should have the opportunity to kill me.
You know what I mean? And so, I guess, maybe I do believe, to some extent, in an eye for eye.
I mean, I know how I would respond if somebody killed somebody I loved, and I was sure they did it.
I mean, like, someone rapes your sister, the only thing you do is bail that person out of jail.
Know what I mean? Kill them? I didn't say that.
I said you'd bail them out of jail.
It's interesting, just 'cause it's not the world we live in.
I get it.
I lived outside that world, you know what I'm saying? What do you hope for your son? What do you hope for your grandkids? They are more successful in finding happiness and some degree of satisfaction and gratification in a life within the parameters, you know what I'm saying? My inability to do that clearly is a sizable portion for me being here.
- Mm.
- And I, I, I just hope they're able to do that, - you know what I mean? - Mm-hmm.
GIANNA: Hours before his scheduled execution, while Dozier was saying his final goodbyes to his family, a judge ruled to stay his execution.
The company that manufactured the midazolam sued at the last minute, alleging that the state of Nevada had fraudulently purchased the drug.
So, after a decade on death row, and nearly two years of trying to get executed, Dozier is now showing us just how hard it is to die on death row.
GIANNA: What's the hardest part of all this? (SCOTT SPEAKING) In Yemen, a vicious civil war is raging between the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, and the Saudi-backed central government.
SHANE: It's grown into a humanitarian crisis, with the conflict blocking access to food and supplies for millions of people.
Reports of violence against women have soared, in a country that already affords them very few basic rights.
So, we sent Isobel Yeung to see how this bitter and protracted war has affected the lives of women in Yemen.
(DISTANT HORNS HONK) (WOMEN SHOUTING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) We're with the elite female unit of the special forces here.
They're just running through a couple of training drills in this building that was stormed by ISIS, just a couple of months ago.
(SHOUTS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) ISOBEL: These are the 60 or so new recruits who are joining the Aden security forces.
This all-female unit was formed just a couple years ago, once the war broke out.
(SHOUTING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) These ladies are just learning how to handle their weapons.
That looks like there's a lot of mansplaining going on.
Which is aggravating some of these ladies.
(GUNSHOTS) ISOBEL: How many women are in the special forces? (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) Can you tell me about the kind of work you do? ISOBEL: Can I jump in here? - WOMEN: Yes.
- Thanks.
How would you describe the security situation here in Aden at the moment? (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) ISOBEL: What happened to this area? (WOMEN SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) ISOBEL: Yemen's brutal civil war is a proxy battle between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
In 2015, a group of Iran-backed Shia rebels, known as the Houthis, seized control of the capital Sana'a.
In response, Saudi Arabia began a brutal bombing campaign, in support of what they say is the rightful Yemeni government.
While women on both sides have been called on to support the war effort, the conflict has only worsened the already miserable state of women's rights in the country.
We visited one of the few recently set up shelters scattered across Yemen where women have been arriving in desperate hope of escaping their abusers.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) Given how ultraconservative Yemeni society is, and given how the legal system has completely broken down here, this is really one of the only places that women can come and share their stories and their experiences since the start of the war.
How do you think women in general have been affected here in Yemen by the war? (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) How did your life change since the war? (WOMAN SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) ISOBEL: This sense of hopelessness is something Valentena Mahdi has witnessed time and again since the conflict broke out.
How have the rates of gender-based violence changed since the war? (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (CANS RATTLING) Not only are women targeted, but they're now increasingly having to provide for their households.
Fawzia is one of more than a million women displaced by the conflict.
She now spends her days collecting and selling soda cans.
ISOBEL: Right now, you're the only one who's able to make a living.
Does that mean that you get to make the decisions, or does your husband still make the decisions? (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) ISOBEL: But it's not just grown women who are expected to contribute.
Young girls have long been regarded as financial burdens to their families.
But because of the war, there's now a need to see them as commercial commodities.
(MAN SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) ISOBEL: Yemen has no minimum age for marriage.
But since the outbreak of war, families have resorted to marrying their daughters off younger and younger.
Now, two-thirds of Yemeni girls are married before they hit 18.
Iman is 12 years old and was sold for just 240 dollars.
ISOBEL: What did you think when your dad told you, you have to marry this man? (IMAN SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) How do you feel towards your dad? Mm.
So, when you agreed to marry your daughter off, when she was just eight or nine years old, did you ask her at all, if that's what she wanted? (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) If it was down to you, would Iman be married right now? ISOBEL: Iman's marriage certificate stipulated that she would have to live with her husband when she hit puberty.
But instead, he showed up early to claim her this year.
Desperate to prevent their child from being taken, the family appealed to the police, who stated that a divorce would only be granted if the dowry money be paid back in full.
Are you going to be able to afford to pay him back? ISOBEL: It's just incredibly heart-breaking to know that a decision for Iman's entire future has been based solely on finances, and that's purely because of war.
And also to know that Iman is just one of thousands of young girls faced with this sort of a situation.
(INDISTINCT CHATTER) With child marriages on the up, abuse becoming more common, and with the widest gender gap in the world, the situation for Yemeni women is dire.
We tried to track down the politicians and officials responsible for doing something about it.
It's been incredibly difficult to get any senior level politicians to talk to us at all, largely because a lot of them aren't even here.
They're in Saudi Arabia.
We have, though, been invited around to someone's home, who works for the ministry of interior, to have an afternoon khat-chewing session.
- (FLUTE PLAYING) - (INDISTINCT CHATTER) ISOBEL: Thanks! How do I do this? (MAN SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) Swallow? - MEN: No.
- Oh! - (LAUGHTER) - So bitter! - MAN: Bitter! - Ugh! Everyday you chew this? How, how many hours do you spend chewing? - Four hours.
- Fours a day you spend chewing this khat? How do you have so much time? So, you guys all work in the government, right? What is the status of the government right now? And why is it that your bosses, I mean, the president and the prime minister, aren't here in the country? Right, so it sounds like it's already difficult enough to achieve anything here in Aden.
How far up on that list of priorities, in terms of things to do, are women's rights? Do you feel like Yemen has reached equality for men and women? Yeah, do you think that there's gender equality here in Yemen? You don't think that women's rights have regressed since the war here? You don't think that it's because of the lack of governance, because of the lack of security, that women's rights have regressed since the war? ISOBEL: While those in government diminish the issue, some Yemeni women are taking things into their own hands.
(CHANTING) In Aden, we came across a street protest demanding the end to illegal detentions by Yemeni Security Forces.
The protesters call themselves, "The Mothers of Abductees," and were calling for justice.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (HORN HONKING) ISOBEL: It's really quite extraordinary to see women out here in public shouting themselves hoarse, right outside the security building, which is incredibly risky here, and insuring that their voices are heard, and that men are the ones listening to them, in a place where, often, their voices go completely unheard.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (WOMAN SPEAKING OVER PA SYSTEM) ISOBEL: Some of the government security men are coming over right now to tell these women that they shouldn't be here, and these women are being incredibly feisty, telling them that they have every right to be here, and that this is their protest, and their fight to fight.
(WOMAN SPEAKING OVER PA SYSTEM) ISOBEL: You're making quite an impact.
ISOBEL: That impact has been lasting.
A few weeks ago, 46 detainees were released from a Yemeni prison, following the mothers' protests.
Despite being the most vulnerable, and overlooked half of society, women here are proving themselves capable of pushing for real change.
It's only with their involvement that Yemen will ever have hope of one day finding peace.
How much do you think the future of this country depends on the actions of Yemeni women right now? (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)