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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Name better deliver this is the stadium socalled gila wall they have to rules who sitting in the stands excuses on the fields at historic day for the yoga american i'm steve kroft i'm leslie stall i'm scott pelley i'm interested in cooper i'm sharon alfonsi i'm bill whitaker those stories tonight on sixty minutes jailhouse lawyers are prisoners who manage to learn enough about the law while incarcerated to help themselves and other inmates with legal problems we get letters from them every week tonight we're going to reintroduce you to sean hopwood who is arguably the most successful jailhouse lawyer ever having had one of his cases argued before the us supreme court while serving a twelve year sentence for armed bank robbery since his release he's built up an extraordinary resume as a legal scholar and has been published in top law journals we first met him last fall it one of the nation's premier law schools where he's become its newest professor taylor redemption is improbable is any you're likely to hear question one is whether constitutional violation in his first semester georgetown university professor hopwood is teaching criminal law or the first statements unlawfully obtained yes the isn't lost on him or his students who know that he's a convicted felon and that less than a decade ago was an inmate at the federal correctional institution in pekan illinois here a professor that one of the finest law schools in the country so that's something that you thought you would be able to do so it makes me laugh hearing you say it out loud because there are days where it doesn't make sense to me and i've lived it so i can see why it doesn't make sense to hardly anyone else it's easier for me to imagine you as georgetown law professor than it is for me to imagine you as a bank robber while that's because the bank robbers long been dead and gone hopwood was born here forty two years ago in the smooth farming community babied city nebraska surrounded by cornfields in count he was a bright cocky stubborn kid from a solid family any hated rules a good athlete in a miserable student who went a basketball scholarship midland university in party is way out of it in one semester he drank himself through a two year hitch in the navy then added drugs to the mix when he returned to david city working in a feed lot how much does david city change key was broke unrepentant and frustrated the things weren't going his way so this is where it started one night he got a call from a friend asking him to come down to the local bar for a drink and listen to what turned out to be a very bad idea a sad why about robbing a bank most people at a laugh that off or said maybe we need another beer or anything other than that sounds like a great idea which is what i ended up saying really you know i don't think either one of us thought that night that we were going to actually do it it's added exciting that sounded exciting sound like easy money but we didn't have to work for something that fit with where my mind was at at the time which was a reckless immature foolish twenty one year old it wasn't until months later when they started scouting locations that sean realize they might actually do it so this is one of your backs have a full third back the idea was to stick up very small banks in tiny towns like gresham where there was no police presence in little risk of armed confrontation when we wanted to get in and out of the bank has quickly as possible not hurt anyone grab as much money as we could and run and that's basically what we did and all five bank robberies were you any good at it no i did eleven years in federal prison for stealing a hundred and fifty thousand dollars i don't think that's good visually the fbi put out a composite sketch and began closing in in july nineteen ninety eight he was apprehended in this omaha hotel ten months after his first rob when they arrested me they searched my car and found a hundred thousand dollars in cash that was directly traceable to the bank i had just robbed and multiple guns and a scanner and binoculars they had you had me and they would have him for a long time when he entered the federal penitentiary in illinois in may of nineteen ninety nine he was twenty three years old was a dangerous.