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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 05/15/15

Guests: Phillip Martin, Carlos Arredondo, Nancy Gertner, David Feige

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s nothing to celebrate. This is a matter of justice. HAYES: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sentenced to die for his role in the Boston marathon bombing. Tonight, the reaction from Boston and the long-shot defense strategy that did not work. Then, another police shooting caught on tape shows yet again how faulty eyewitness testimony can be. Actor Danny Glover on the new civil rights movement and actor Ethan Hawke on his new role as a remote-control drone pilot in "Good Kill." UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one, right. ETHAN HAWKE, ACTOR: Good kill. HAYES: ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Friday, April 19th, 2013, a little over two years ago, the entire city of Boston was on lockdown as law enforcement searched for a dangerous suspect at large. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wanted in the attack on the Boston marathon four days earlier. Tsarnaev had been on the lam since his brother was killed in a shoot-out with police in the early hours of that Friday morning. A resident of suburban Watertown, Massachusetts, while the city was under lockdown, noticed a tarp flapping on the boat in his backyard and thermal imaging determined there was a person hiding there, curled up inside. Law enforcement descended on the neighborhood, evacuating residents and surrounding the area. Several times, gunshots rang out on the quiet suburban street, and then not long after dark, a wounded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was brought safely into custody. His capture capped off one of the most tense and frightening weeks in Boston`s history, starting with the attack on one of the city`s prized position, the world famous Boston marathon. On Monday, April 15th, two homemade bombs went off not far from the finish line. The explosions killed three people -- 23-year-old Lingzi Lu, a graduate student from China, Krystle Campbell, 29 year old restaurant manager, and 8-year-old Martin Richard, a third grader. Scores more were injured, many with severe leg injuries that required amputation. In the days after, law enforcement officials raced to find the people responsible. And after the FBI released surveillance footage of its main suspect, one in a black hat and one in a white, an MIT officer who encountered them on campus, Sean Collier, was fatally shot late that Thursday night. The Tsarnaev brothers then hijacked an SUV, drove to the nearby suburb of Watertown, where they engaged with a massive shoot-out with police in the early hours of the morning. At some point, the older brother, Tamerlan, ran out of ammunition and was tackled by police. Dzhokhar sped away in the SUV, hitting Tamerlan who died of gunshot wounds and trauma to his head and torso. In the two years since Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was apprehended, federal prosecutors have brought a capital case against him for the bombings and all that followed. And Tsarnaev`s defense team took the unusual step of acknowledging his role, focusing its strategy at trial on convincing the jury not to give him the death penalty. And they got support from a pretty remarkable source, the family of 8- year-old bombing victim, Martin Richard, who wrote an op-ed in "The Boston Globe," arguing that the death penalty and the appeals that would inevitably follow would only prolong their family`s pain. The defense also appears to have had an impact on public opinion in Massachusetts, which has become less and less inclined to give Tsarnaev the death penalty as the trial has progressed. The most recent "Boston Globe" poll taken last month, less than 20 percent said he should be executed. The jury did not agree, however. Today, at a federal courthouse in Boston, they condemned Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the death. Family members of the victims expressed some mixed emotions. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Happy is not the word I would use. There is nothing happy about having to take somebody`s life. I`m satisfied, I`m grateful that they came to that conclusion. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Having personally endured several things in my own life that have dragged, this seems like another burden that will drag on. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to watch my two sons put a leg on every day, so I don`t mean closure. But I can tell you it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is nothing to celebrate, this is a matter of justice. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter for WGBH in radio in Boston. Phillip, you`ve been monitoring this trial closely. Was this a surprise to you, the verdict today? PHILLIP MARTIN, WGBH RADIO: It was a surprise to me. I think it came as a surprise to quite a few people. I wouldn`t say people are shocked. But there are two surprises. One is that the verdict came today. And the second, of course, is the verdict itself. It was felt, as you pointed out, in your introduction, the demographic, this is an area where most people militate against the death penalty. They`re not just against the death penalty. Many people militate against the death penalty. They`re anti-death penalty. A lot of that is because of Catholicism, a lot of that is because of liberal leanings. And poll after poll has suggested that it was a two-to- one, if you will, against the death penalty. But this has nothing to do with the jury, of course. The jury, at least theoretically, was not supposed to be privy to Facebook, to Twitter, to the news of the day. So, we`re not sure how they were influenced by the Richard op-ed what you mentioned for example. And for me and for other reporters on the courtroom today, when it was announced that the defendant, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, would receive death penalty, we were surprised. Shocked, no, but surprised, because we felt at least one person or many people felt that at least one person on that jury would say no to the death penalty and opt for life in prison at ADX Supermax in Colorado. HAYES: Phillip, the jury described what happened technically today. The jury first had to come to their unanimous decision on each of the aggravating and mitigating factors. That is to say, there`s a set of statutory aggravating factors and mitigating factors supplied by the defense, and where they found each and where they announced. It seemed that some of the mitigating factors the defense had put forward, you know, the remoteness of the Tsarnaev`s father, the sort of experience of dislocation, they did not find persuasive. MARTIN: No, they, didn`t find persuasive. And the least persuasive was the argument that was considered the mitigating factor that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was influenced heavily, dominated by his brother, Tamerlan. That was the least persuasive, as you can see from the jury slip that was sent back. More persuasive was the belief by a quite a few members of the jury that the father was mentally ill. And that was considered a factor, but none of these mitigating factors was enough to offset the aggravating factor, the factors that involved the life -- the loss of Lingzi Lu and 8- year-old Martin Richard and the other victim who is died during the bombing and the subsequent actions that occurred in Watertown. Though they did -- there was not a unanimous agreement on the killing of Police Officer Sean Collier, an MIT police officer. That was not part of the unanimous decision. But the others were, it was enough to, of course, just sentence Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death. The fact that the majority, the preponderance of aggravating circumstances did not outweigh the mitigating circumstances is what sealed the individual`s fate. HAYES: You know, I`ve read so much coverage of people, even as these verdicts are being read, interpretations of the body language of Tsarnaev, and a lot of people interpreting him as sort of diffident, as stone, as cold, as remorseless, even. There`s something profoundly unsatisfying, it seems. Obviously, he does not testify at his own trial and he did not testify in his own trial. People kind of wanting to shake this person and say, what the hell is wrong with you? And that, ultimately, there was never ever any satisfaction that the jurors or others found in understanding what, why, why did you do this? MARTIN: Well, I think that`s right. I think the defense chose to try to paint him as human. And the prosecution, in their own words, said that he was inhumane. And they pointed to his body language. They said he seemed to show no remorse, albeit, the testimony by sister -- a nun, Sister Helen Prejean from New Orleans, she basically said he was remorseful, but no one believed it. But I chose to -- I chose to interpret his body language as not so much aloofness, but resignation. He seemed to be resigned to either life in prison or to death. HAYES: All right. Phillip Martin, thank you very much. Joining me now by phone is one of the first responders to the Boston marathon bombing, Carlos Arredondo. Carlos captured an instantly iconic photo helping apply a tourniquet and apply first aid to Jim Bowman, a man whose legs were blown off. Mr. Arredondo, are you there? I don`t know if we have him there. Mr. Arredondo, do I have you? OK. Sounds like we don`t have him. Maybe we can get that worked out technically, and we -- Mr. Arredondo, are you here? CARLOS ARREDONDO, BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING RESPONDER (via telephone): Yes, I`m here. A lot of noise here. HAYES: Excellent, thank you. I wanted to get your reaction. You were there that day, you were handing out American flags in memory of the son that you lost in Iraq, there at the bombing that day. You helped people to safety. You`ve experienced a lot of tragedy in your own life and I wonder your reaction to the verdict today. ARREDONDO: Well, you know, it`s been a long journey, ever since then, we`ve been going to the courthouse every day and we was pretty much waiting for this moment. Some of us, myself, was hoping that this young man can go for the rest of his life, to jail, and that he can pay -- yes. Hello? HAYES: Hello, yes, you were hoping that he would be sent away for life? ARREDONDO: Yes, yes. We wanted -- I was hoping that he can be in jail for the rest of his life, like that. He cannot get away so easily, like the death penalty. HAYES: You think the death penalty is letting him get away easily, somehow? ARREDOINDO: Well, do you know, for what they believe, you know, his brother was killed and he run over, he even wrote in the book about now his brother being in heaven and all that. So we was hoping, you know, that he didn`t get killed and get away with that. HAYES: He wrote, when he was -- he thought he might die when he was in that boat. He have writings in his in which he said he was jealous of his brother for having gone, essentially, to the afterlife, as he believed. Do you -- how are you prepared to deal with what will likely be a series of appeals that will extend end over a great period? ARREDONDO: Well, you know, that`s another thing, we wasn`t trying to do it. We was trying to avoid that as well. Not just myself, but many other survivors, was hoping that this didn`t happen like that, you know, because that means we have to continue dealing with this person for a long time. So, the grieving process is going to be much longer, than we expected, you know. We was hoping that this would be over by today, you know, the ended up the way ended up today. HAYES: All right. Carlos Arredondo, thank you for joining us on this day. I really appreciate it. ARREDONDO: Thank you, sir. HAYES: Mr. Arredondo is a really remarkable individual, if you want to Google a little bit about his back story. I`m joined now by Harvard law professor, Nancy Gertner. She is a retired judge on the U.S. district court of Massachusetts. That, of course, is where this trial was conducted. What was your reaction to today`s verdict? NANCY GERTNER, FORMER FEDERAL JUDGE: I was shocked. I was profoundly shocked. In one sense, the outcome -- juries are never representative in the sense that, you know, they vote as the public does. They`re always randomly selected. This jury was unique, as other death penalty juries are. It is essentially, a random sample, a fair cross-section of those in the area who believed in the death penalty. And only of that subset, those people who believed that they could impose it. So the distance between this jury and the public in Massachusetts is greater than in in case. HAYES: This is a really important point. My understanding is that, according to what the Supreme Court has held, that jurors can be excluded or are excluded if they have a principled objection, if they don`t believe in the death penalty. And when you`re in a state like Massachusetts, in a city like Boston, you`re then excluding a very hefty portion of the population. GERTNER: Right. In other words, there`s no question that the judge had to disqualify. The Supreme Court has said that. There`s no question that that had to be done. But what it did in this case was dramatic. The difference between these 12 decided and what the public that was equally affected, Boston was a victim of this crime, the distance between them and the rest of the city was very dramatic. And it`s also, in other programs, I`ve heard people say, this was a result that was compelled by the law. That`s not at all true. The jury has enormous discretion in a death penalty case. Mitigating factors are very vaguely defined. They weigh and they balance. This jury had discretion. And another jury might have found something different. So it`s very, very troubling, because it`s so at odds with what the area wanted. HAYES: Part of this has to do with the fact that Massachusetts doesn`t have the death penalty. The last people put to death in Massachusetts was way back in 1947. So, this is anomalous, deeply anomalous. Do you think the federal government should have taken a plea? I mean, it seems that very early on, they could have essentially struck a deal for life and not had this entire process. There are some who say the process has been vital and cathartic to air all the facts. There are others who say that it was a waste of resources to go through all of this. GERTNER: Well, you see, I actually think they went for the death penalty in part. If you recall, when this case happened, there was enormous pressure to talk about making this go before a military tribunal, having him go before a military tribunal, and it was critical to show that a civilian court could do this. And so, I felt that they were pressured to accept a death penalty, to go for the death penalty. But they had an option at any moment, we know that now, to accept a plea of life without parole. Would the facts have come out? The same facts would have come out. We had no surprises in this case. There would have been a plea colloquy in which the facts would have come out. The victims would have been able to speak. And the significance of life without parole and a plea to that would mean that it would have been over. This is not over. HAYES: Nancy Gertner, former federal judge, thank you. GERTNER: You`re very welcome. HAYES: All right. Still ahead, news that the Amtrak train that derailed Tuesday night may have been hit by something before the crash. We`ll go live to Philadelphia for the very latest, next. (COMMERCIL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are cleared hot. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Master arm, on. Weapons hot. HAWKE: Three, two, one, rifle. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time of flight, 12 seconds. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes! (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: "Good Kill" is a brand-new movie about drone warfare and the people operating those drones right back from here in the United States. I`ll talk to the star of that film, Ethan Hawke, a fascinating conversation about his role in that, coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: We`ve got breaking news tonight in the investigation of the deadly crash of Amtrak train 188. After the NTSB interviewed the train`s engineer and two assistant conductors, the agency has sought assistance from the FBI. The lead investigator described the engineer, 32-year-old Brandon Bostian, as being extremely cooperative with the investigation, but Bostian does not remember the crash or anything that might have gone wrong before it. However, one of the conductors does remember something strange happening just before the crash. She told investigators about radio transmissions she heard between her train`s engineer, that`s Bostian, and the engineer of a train from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority or SEPTA. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT SUMWALT, NTSB MEMBER: She said she heard the engineer talking to a SEPTA engineer. She recalled that the SEPTA engineer had reported to the train dispatcher that he had either been hit by a rock or shot at. She also believed that she heard her engineer say something about his train being struck by something. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: The NTSB has not independently confirmed the conductor`s recollection, but they`ve asked the FBI to help them investigate it. Joining me now by phone from Philadelphia, NBC News correspondent, Tom Costello. And, Tom, I`ve got to say, I was watching that press conference today, kind of amazed. I mean, it felt like a massive plot twist in this investigation. What do you make of it? TOM COSTELLO, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, a bit of a bombshell. That said, you know, we did know, we had heard several days ago, that there was this regional train that had been hit by a rock or something, a projectile of some sort, but we thought that was an isolated event, and it still may be. What`s happened here is that the NTSB said, we looked at the windshield from the locomotive on train 188, the train that derailed, and we see something that we want the FBI to take a look at. Is it damage from the derailment or is it damage from something that occurred before the derailment? A projectile of some sort? That`s why they`re bringing them in. But, you know, the question is, you`ve still got a question that will accelerating dramatically over the course of the full minutes before the derailment. Seventeen seconds prior to the crash, it was exceeding 100 miles per hour. What`s interesting here in the narrative is that the engineer reports, once he left the North Philly station, he doesn`t remember anything. He has no recollection until he came to, he claims, after the derailment, in which he suddenly, you know, picked himself up, he had suffered a head injury, and he, at that point, looked for his cell phone and called 911. So, you know, you can see here the questions starting, is it possible that this train, 188, was hit by a projectile. Is it possible the engineer was incapacitated? HAYES: Right. COSTELLO: And is that why the train continued to accelerate? Listen, this is a big hypothetical here. But, obviously, that`s where -- that`s what the questions are all about right now. HAYES: And I think one of the things, you know, obviously, we don`t know, right? But this is one of the things that cautioned folks is I think, obviously, immediately, everyone turned to the engineer. We now have him identified. You know, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that in general very fastidious, loved trains, loved train safety, took, we believe, a drug and alcohol test, so it may turn out result. So, it may turn out that this is his fault, but also, I think, caution that, today, perhaps that we`re going to find out something that`s extremely exculpatory in that respect. COSTELLO: You know, I`ve got to tell you, I`ve covered the NTSB for almost 11 years now, and in almost every major investigation that I have been on, from trains, planes, to major highway accidents, something comes along that kind of upsets the apple cart. Something comes along that kind of challenges your first assumptions. And that may or may not pan out, but this happens. Now, the NTSB is a very transparent organization. They will tell you everything that they`re doing, without drawing conclusions. So, just the fact that they`re bringing in the FBI, we should not immediately suspect that there is a criminal action here, but rather that the NTSB is crossing their T`s and dotting their I`s. I think that`s what`s going on right now. It is not unusual for the FBI to join the NTSB in an investigation. They have expertise that the NTSB relies on. HAYES: And we still do not know, the bottom line, why that train was accelerating into that bend. But -- COSTELLO: And that`s the bottom line, Chris. We don`t know and is it possible that this train would have continued to accelerate without this engineer actually, you know, allowing it to accelerate, or being asleep at the wheel. HAYES: That`s the big question. Tom Costello, thank you very much. Still ahead, new evidence of just how unreliable eyewitnesses can be. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Last night on ALL IN, after we showed you my experience going through a state of the art virtual reality police simulator, we held a discussion with three retired NYPD officers about how policing can be improved and what it`s not doing in its training. Many of you submitted questions for those officers on our Facebook page. For example, Basu Malik (ph) asked, "If you remove the revenue incentives and performs incentives that cause police to force interactions with civilians, would that lead to less civilians being killed?" Dr. Robert Gonzalez, who helped oversee training for the NYPD responded, "Clearly, the overuse of stop and risk, the lack of discretion and racial profiling cause officers to have more contact with the public. It`s those contacts that on occasion cause reckless policing and mistakes by officers." After Ashley Battle pointed out, quote, "There`s a long history of officers turning blind eyes to what officers have done." Eric Sanders, retired NYPD officer, now a lawyer, responded, "This is true," adding "the blue culture is tough to crack, but serious cracks have developed over the years. Today`s police agencies are much better handling misconduct." He concluded that more still needs to be done. Viewer Darcy Butler asked about the impact of sleep deprivation on police. Steve Osbourne, former commanding officer of the Manhattan gang squad responded that, "For 20 years, I was constantly sleep deprived." Adding, "It definitely affects you, especially ambush-type situations." Officers answered many more of your questions. We`ll post those to our Facebook page, tonight, (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: For the past few days on this program, we`ve been showing you surveillance video from a scary incident in Manhattan Wednesday morning, seemingly showing a hammer-wielding man attacking one police officer and being shot by another officer. But what this video seems to show though does not square with what the people who are on the scene right there thought they saw. One eyewitness told "The New York Times" the man was trying to get away from the officers. You know, the video shows the man attacking one of the officers. Another eyewitness told "The Times" quote, I saw a man who was handcuffed being shot. The video clearly shows the man was not handcuffed. These sorts of mistakes are absolutely part of the course. Less than two weeks, we saw an incredible illustration of the unreliability of eyewitness testimony live on FOX News. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Mike Tobin is live for us. He`s on the phone. What has happened, Mike? MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, about 2:45, we saw a guy running from the cops here, right at the intersection of North and Pennsylvania, which has been the epicenter of the unrest here. And as he was running away, that officer drew his weapon and fired and struck the individual who was running away. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Now, it turns out that`s not what happened. The Baltimore police tweeted the report was not true. No one had been shot. Afterwards, it appears that a gun had fallen and gone off while the man was running. He had dropped to the ground. FOX had to apologize for its false report. Now, no one wants to go on the air and be wrong. Mike Tobin seems to have really, absolutely, genuinely thought he saw a man get shot. He was not making that up. This gets to a huge issue, intuitively, we tend to think that an eyewitness is our most reliable way of knowing what happened in a given situation. But social science has shown us over and over, that simply is not the case. Joining me now, former public defender David Feige, author of the book "Indefensible." All right, David. Let`s start with how eyewitness testimony functions in a courtroom. How seriously do jurors take it eyewitness testimony? DAVID FEIGE, FORMER PUBLIC DEFENDER: They take it completely and utterly seriously. It is considered the gold standard and it is anything but. It is an unreliable kind of evidence that is taken and lovingly burnished and polished until it`s presented in a court of law by witnesses from the stand who then appear to be unbelievably certain. HAYES: Right. By the time they get to that stand, we should also say, first of all, it`s been a long period of time. FEIGE: Right. HAYES: They`ve also gone through a lot of rehearsals essentially on what they`re going to say and how they`re going to act. And we know from the evidence that the more times you tell a story to yourself, the more certain you become of the facts, even when you`re wrong. FEIGE: That`s exactly correct. You get locked down and locked into a story. And by the way, that`s the point. Because prosecutors in particular don`t want to put witnesses up on the stand who then have shaky memories. They want them to be rock solid and they go over that testimony over and over and over again, until it sounds incredibly convincing. HAYES: Now, and until then, what do we know about what the social science says about memory and eyewitness testimony? FEIGE: It says that basically everything you think is wrong. That, in other words, we imagine that the eyes and the brain are like a camera, accurately recording what they see. And what we find over and over again is that we see, most often, what we expect to see. We are very bad at recording things that are surprising. That our brains fill in the spaces between events, to create a coherent narrative, which we then tell. HAYES: And here`s the fascinating thing about this research. They fill them in, in the moment. FEIGE: Yes. HAYES: I mean, contemporaneously. So in this case, you see someone run and hear a gunshot, fall to the ground, and the brain fills in, someone drew a weapon in a shooting, your brain is filling that in as it is happening. FEIGE: That`s exactly right. That`s exactly right. Because, we`re trying to make sense of the world. HAYES: Right. FEIGE: Our poor little brains are just trying to figure out what`s going on out there. And this is how we do it. HAYES: Okay. So then the question becomes, and we`ve got, you know, this social science research has gotten very robust and very mature and has been very developed. Has that caught up to the courtroom at all? FEIGE: Yes and no. Not sufficiently. It came up in the context of eyewitness identifications, and particularly in the context of lineups, in the question of whether you should show people simultaneously or sequentially, the question of whether or not there`s unconscious bias in when you show lineups. So in that context, it`s been creeping in, but in the larger context, the fear is, the wheels come off the cart if you really, severely, undermine the reliability of eyewitness testimony. HAYES: Right. I mean, what do you have a trial based on? It seems so central to how we adjudicate facts? FEIGE: But, you know, look, this is one of the problems. And it`s one of the reasons we`ve got a lot of innocent people in prison, right? And that`s one of the reasons. Seventy five percent or so have to do with unreliable eyewitness identification. And by the way, it`s not just eyewitness, like that guy did it, it`s the what happened of it all that is also suspect. HAYES: Right. That`s right. David Feige, always a pleasure, great, thanks for your time. FEIGE: Great to see you. HAYES: All right. Up next, news about Dorian Johnson who was with Michael Brown who was shot and killed in Ferguson and was an eyewitness. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Twenty three-year-old Dorian Johnson appeared on this program last August 11th, two days after Michael Brown was shot to death in Ferguson. Johnson was walking with Michael Brown on the day he was killed. And late last month, he filed a $25,000 lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, it`s for the police chief and Officer Darren Wilson alleging among other things that Wilson fired at him without probable cause. Not long after Johnson filed the suit, he was arrested in St. Louis for allegedly interfering with the arrest of his brother, as long as well as resisting arrest. An unnamed source told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that when he was arrested, Johnson had a cough medication mixed with what police believed to be an illegal narcotic on him. We later learned an analysis did not find narcotics, which makes you wonder who the anonymous source was and whether a reporter burned by that source is having second thoughts about passing along their speculation. Dorian Johnson spent seven days in jail, seven days before he was freed on bond on Wednesday. Johnson has become a somewhat infamous figure to some, because his story about what happened to Michael Brown, including the claim Wilson shot Brown in the back or shot him with his hands up was ultimately determined by either forensics or a grand jury and federal investigators and the Department of Justice not to be credible. And for that, Johnson has been condemned in some corners of the Internet and other parts of the right-wing media as a liar. But if there`s one thing we know about eyewitness testimony, as we saw this week, with the inaccurate witness accounts in the midtown Manhattan hammer attack, and as we see time and time and time again, it is because just because someone recounts something incorrectly, it does not mean they were lying. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Mass incarceration has become a major focus of the civil rights movement taking shape around police shootings over policing and the Black Lives Matter movement. And I sat down this week with actor and activist Danny Glover, who`s been fighting for civil rights for over 40 years. It`s one of the first things I asked him about. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DANNY GLOVER, ACTOR AND ACTIVIST: I think there`s several things that come into play right here. And it`s important to acknowledge that these issues are real issues. Now, it`s certainly the violence against women as well. Those are real issues that we have to confront right now. They could provide a bridge to talk about the real issues that affect mass incarceration. The fact that as I told the mayor of a city one time, she wanted me to go talk to people in the community. I said, for what. What are the political projects? What are the -- projects? What are the employment opportunities? Real employment opportunities for the people? What am I, to stand up there and say, I`m Danny Glover, simple as that? That doesn`t change their real life. How do we affect and impact people`s real lives. Now, this becomes mass incarceration, black lives matter, or the dream keepers, all have become a movement that begins to look at the real historic issues that have prolonged and continue to exasperate themselves in the 21st Century here in this country, then we`re on to something. Because we have to develop another narrative. And the narrative we`re going to develop in the post-industrial age are not the narratives that were developed at the beginning of the 20th century and throughout the 20th century. Because we`re going to have to talk about work in another way. What kind of work that brings us closer together as opposed to alienating us from each other. That`s the kind of conversation we`re going to have to have. If we look at the situation of Black Lives within this new narrative, and look at what is happening with these lives in this new narrative, we understand, we understand that, for this to change in an evolutionary process, or not even, a transformative process as the word I would say, for this to change, we`ll going to have to change something else. Because this narrative, as Michelle Alexander talks about, in her, in the new Jim Crow, mass incarceration, because this narrative has really been a narrative throughout this country`s history. It`s been a narrative throughout this country`s history, from the bacon rebellion, to the emancipation proclamation. Through Jim Crow, through the civil rights movement and all that. This has been the same narrative. And it doesn`t, it doesn`t work. HAYES: If I went in a time machine and talked to Danny Glover in 1967, about what`s going on in 2015, do you think he would be heartened or depressed when I reported back? GLOVER: I would be both. I would be disappointed that we hadn`t gone further than we had, you know? And I`m saying, from 1967, we`re talking about nearly 50 years. I would be disappointed we haven`t gone further than we have. And secondly, I would have been encouraged by how the movement in its way transformed itself, metastasized into something else. HAYES: Yes. GLOVER: That it begins to -- and maybe we begin to answer those questions. What I felt as a young 20-year-old kid in 1967 and feeling that coming out as a child of the civil rights movement, just on the preface or the involvement in the black power movement, I felt a sense of empowerment, in a way. You know, I felt a sense that things were -- we could make things happen and change. There was a building of a certain kind of consciousness. And when I look to that now, I see, I see all those movements, 50 years from now, all those movements have in some ways been eviscerated. All those movements have transformed to the different aspect. We just celebrated the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. The way people galvanized themselves around that war, even though we didn`t stop the Nixon government from bombing Laos and Cambodia and other places beyond, we also -- but we also built up a sense around here, that we made certain demands. And those demands, in political action, and the action of protests, in some sense, changed the nature of how the war was reported and how it reported. Now, we may have some revisionist history about the wars, 50 years or 40 years after the fact, and who won, but we won. We won. Despite the fact that three million Vietnamese and countless numbers of -- hundreds of thousands of Laotians and Cambodians died in the process, we made a point. And I think we have to marshal the same kind of energy in a different kind of way. Because we have different instruments now. We have social media. We have different ways in which you can talk about the world. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That was part of my interview with actor and activist Danny Glover, who I just couldn`t get enough of when he was here the other night. Up next, I talk drones, warfare and technology with actor Ethan Hawke, star of the new movie, "Good Kill." (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Is that real? You ever get to like fly in a war or something? UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Blew away six Taliban in Pakistan just today. Now I`m going home to barbecue. UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, right. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: "New York Times" calls the film "Good Kill" a contemporary horror movie. It`s a fictional depiction of one of the hallmarks of modern combat in the age of Obama, "Drone Warfare." Actor Ethan Hawke plays Major Tom Egan, an Air Force pilot turned drone operator, who engages in remote control strikes by day and then goes home to his family at night. I had the chance to talk with Ethan Hawke about the film which is with his latest collaboration with the Director Andrew Niccol. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ETHAN HAWKE, ACTOR: I first worked with Andrew Niccol in Galatica. And he has an uncanny ability to put his finger right on exactly a problem of where technology meets. You know, genetic engineering was one where we`re making this huge -- and being able to heal people and help our children. But at the same time, we`re table to design human beings, which is very complicated ethical problem. And the drone program is here we have probably the most sophisticated, useful, brilliant tool the U.S. military has ever had, but how it`s used opens up a whole new set of ethics, for me to prepare for the part, is strange, because it`s in this landscape, this sociopolitical landscape that`s incredibly complex, but in the middle of it is really a portrait of depression. Is a guy in the Air Force, who`s having a whole philosophical identity crisis, about what the nature of, where aviation is. HAYES: Well, I think one of the most fascinating parts of the film, is the fact that he wants to fly and this is what flying means now, right? It`s almost like -- HAWKE: That, I think, is the hardest thing for him, he`s been a soldier for his whole adult life, so compartmentalizing work and relationship stuff is stuff he probably is familiar with. He`s never done it the same day. I mean, you know, when my grandfather was coming home from World War II, it took him a year to get home. You know, so he could leave it the front liner with there. This guy is fighting the Taliban in the afternoon, and then picks his kids up from school. Okay, well, he can handle that. But it`s also so remote, you`re not there, your life`s not in danger. So you don`t have any self-respect or dignity about the courage of your own convictions. Plus, it`s not even hard to do. Flying an F-16 is hard. HAYES: Right. HAWKE: Flying a drone, you know, the training is not that complex. HAYES: The thing you said about the difference between your grandfather coming home and this, I remember when the first profile started coming out, drone pilots, in these bases in Nevada, having the thought and this guy talking about, literally, this has never happened in human history. No one has ever done this thing. HAWKE: So as an actor, that`s interesting. HAYES: Right. HAWKE: For me, we get to play a character we`ve actually never seen before. A along history of war in cinema. A lot of Great War films. But this guy is somebody we don`t know. We haven`t seen before. I find that fascinating. HAYES: It also occurs to me that the work that you`re doing as a soldier, whether in combat or remotely like this is in some ways kind of the opposite of what you do as an actor. Right? Like you`re working hard to maintain separation, to put things in one place and keep part of yourself here. And the work you`re doing as an actor is -- HAWKE: So to blur those lines. HAYES: -- exactly to open up, right? HAWKE: It`s interesting. You know, what? My only insight into like Major Tommy Egan`s life is how hard it is, if you`re playing a really complicated person, like, let`s say you`re playing Macbeth or something and you go from rehearsal to having to do to a parent/teacher conference. So, the first part of the day, I`m teaching my body what it`s like to kill somebody for the first time and grieve over that and go mad and do all that. And then you have to kind of pull yourself together and say, see how`s he doing with math. You know? You feel a little schizophrenic. And I can imagine if you`re doing that over a long period of time, that it would knock you off-center, or at least have the ability to, if you weren`t really put together real tight. HAYES: There`s also this aspect to the film, which is, again, in terms of the things about it that are tremendously distinct and tremendously broadly applicable, which is the private world that you have, that you then have you share with your spouse, right? Like, everyone doing every job has some private stresses, frustrations, angers, fits of anger that aren`t -- that are hard to communicate or access sometimes in the midst of a relationship. HAWKE: Yes, look, I can relate to that. You know, it`s super hard to explain to somebody who`s not an actor what`s hard about doing a movie. Because there are a lot of things about doing a movie that are really easy. They`re really (inaudible) and people treat you nice and get you coffee. So what was hard about your day again? And, you know, in some ways, it`s not hard -- and it`s hard for me to understand what my wife`s going through. I mean, that`s classic male/female or anybody who`s in any kind of a relationship. And I think that`s what I love about Andrew`s movie. Is that ultimately, it`s really neither left nor right in its political landscape, he tries to come at it as a humanitarian. HAYES: Right. HAWKE: I mean, and that`s what`s -- what`s interesting is how -- we push ourselves forward to achieve these incredible things. I mean, the idea that we`ve created this instrument called the predator that can do these unbelievable things. But what do we do with it and how does that intersect with our actual humanness. I`ll tell you something funny about that. We were at the Tribeca Film festival and I walked out to do the Q&A and about 90 percent of the audience had their phone and they weren`t actually at the Q&A, they were just filming it. You know, I was looking at this sea of phones everybody. And I thought, is anybody actually going to watch this later? I mean, they`re not even here right now. It just seems ironic to me. HAYES: Yes, I mean, the fact of the matter is, war is often the pioneer and the forefront of technology, right? And so like experiencing war through a mediated screen, like, we`re all just getting there in our regular life. HAWKE: Now we`re dating through a screen. Now we`re -- all that stuff is happening. HAYES: You know, there`s a really interesting -- there`s literature on -- long literature on PTSD, and one of the really interesting and consistent findings is that being shot at is -- can be less traumatic, often less traumatic than shooting. Right? That being the instrument of violence is really the target. HAWKE: It`s really, really interesting. HAYES: And he`s in this situation, in which he can only be the -- HAWKE: You know, I hope this isn`t too long of an answer, but I`ve done a lot of reading about that, because I find that fascinating. Like, in the civil war, they often had the problem of, why those battles took so long, is guys would stand and load their weapon. At the end of the battle field, they would pick up their guys with the rifle loaded 27 times. Because if you would see the guy, first of all, most of them had very little military training. HAYES: Yes. HAWKE: There`s much, you know, movies love to make stories about the idea that the heart of men is black and we`re all these secret serial killers and all this secret darkness and in truth, there`s a lot of light. And that light is hard to squash out. It`s fascinating, people would rather be killed than, A, run away -- they don`t want to be a coward. They want to stand by their friend. But they actually don`t want to kill that guy. And there`s a huge problem -- remember, what the officers were most heard saying was, shoot straight, because they were shooting over or shooting under if they were firing. And that`s I thought about that a lot playing this character. Because here`s a guy, he`s just doing the shooting. And there`s very little, it`s hard to have honor in that. Whereas if you`re flying an F-16 over Baghdad, you may get shot down. You`re being shot at, your plane may crash, you may be tortured when you land. You could be the guy on the news getting your head -- I mean, it`s scary. And so there`s a huge self- respect you have when you have the courage of your convictions, you put your money where your mouth is, you are willing to die for your country. Right? There`s a huge pride there. Even if you don`t like the ethics of that soldier and you don`t like the politics of the administration that soldier is working for, fine. You still have to respect that individual. HAYES: Right. HAWKE: But the drone pilot, what Tommy Egan is going through, he doesn`t respect himself at all. Because it ain`t hard to do and he`s killing people. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: My great thanks to actor Ethan Hawke for discussing his latest film, "Good Kill" with me. That is ALL IN for this evening. A reminder next week, on Tuesday, as I do every Tuesday, I`ll be answering your questions. Just head on over to our Facebook page at noon eastern time on Tuesday, ask me anything. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now on this Friday. Good evening, Rachel. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END