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Criminal (In)justice

Problems with police, prosecutors and courts have people asking: is our criminal justice system broken? University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris interviews the people who know the system best, and hears their best ideas for fixing it. Criminal (In)justice is an independent production created in partnership with 90.5 WESA, Pittsburgh's NPR News Station.
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Now displaying: October, 2017
Oct 31, 2017

Since they began in the early 20th century, juvenile courts always treated kids differently – as people who were young enough to change. This began to change in the 1980s and 1990s when crime really spiked and we began putting some kids in adult courts and prisons – even giving life without parole and death penalties.

Marsha Levick, deputy director and chief counsel for the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, explains what changed.

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Oct 26, 2017

There were high hopes for police body cameras in the wake of Ferguson. But three years later, have they lived up to the hype? A new study says no.

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Oct 24, 2017

Police have endured harsh public scrutiny over use of force cases, but prosecutors have also taken heat for choosing not to pursue cases when civilians are shot by police.

Older, traditional prosecutorial professional organizations, such as the National District Attorneys Association, have fought against any changes. But one group, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, has taken a more open approach, arguing for the importance of prosecutorial independence and transparency.

David LaBahn is the CEO and president for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

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Oct 19, 2017

Harvey Weinstein is heard on tape admitting to criminal acts, and there's more than enough evidence to prosecute him. So why isn't he facing charges? And does this sound familiar?

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Oct 17, 2017

Gun violence kills thousands of Americans every year. It carries massive consequences in lives lost, injuries and medical treatment, but what about the economic cost – in jobs, businesses and community development? How can we measure the economic opportunity costs of gun violence?

Dr. Yasemin Irvin-Erickson is a senior researcher at the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center.

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Oct 10, 2017

The death penalty – once a constant in U.S. criminal justice – has actually declined for more than a decade. In the last few years, it’s fallen dramatically, with death sentences handed down and executions way off. Why? And what does it mean for the rest of the criminal justice system?

Brandon Garrett is a law professor and author of End of Its Rope: How Killing the Death Penalty Can Revive Criminal Justice.

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Oct 5, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court is back in session this week with a major criminal justice case on the docket. In this bonus episode, a quick primer on what's at stake in Carpenter v. U.S.

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Oct 3, 2017

The Chicago Police Department has a big problem with misconduct against civilians – both now and in the past. How much does this cost the city? What do the patterns of misconduct tell us, and why has the city done almost nothing to address those patterns?  

Database journalist Jonah Newman collected over 900 misconduct payouts over six years for the Chicago Reporter.

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