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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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Criminal (In)justice
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Now displaying: April, 2018
Apr 29, 2018

Michael Cohen takes the Fifth in the Stormy Daniels suit -- something his client Donald Trump has asserted only mobsters do. What's going on here?

Apr 27, 2018

Analysis of Thursday's guilty verdict in the second sexual abuse trial of comedian Bill Cosby.

Apr 24, 2018

As we await the next shoe-drop in the federal investigation of Trump family bagman and would-be consigliere Michael Cohen, a quick primer on attorney-client privilege: how does it work? what does it cover? is it a get-out-of-jail-free card? (spoiler: nope).

Apr 21, 2018

In convincing a reluctant client to take a plea deal, a Wisconsin lawyer bends the truth about what's in the deal. 

Apr 17, 2018

In the US, there have been almost two thousand wrongful convictions Yet in so many cases, prosecutors, police, judges and even defense attorneys simply refuse to acknowledge these catastrophic mistakes. Our guest – a former prosecutor – explains why we blind ourselves to these injustices.

Mark Godsey is Professor of Law, U. Cincinnati, and author of Blind Injustice: A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions

Apr 15, 2018

A county sheriff in Alabama helped himself hundreds of thousands of dollars from a fund intended to feed jail inmates — and it’s all perfectly legal. How is that possible? And why do sheriffs have so much power over the conditions in which people are incarcerated in the first place?

Apr 13, 2018

A Texas judge orders a public defender to put less effort into defending poor clients. 

"His Clients Weren’t Complaining. But the Judge Said This Lawyer Worked Too Hard," New York Times, 3/29/18

Apr 10, 2018

Is it a big deal that the FBI raided the office of Donald Trump's personal lawyer? Well, yeah. But maybe not for the reasons you think. 

Apr 9, 2018

David discusses the legal parameters of regulating gun safety with Megan Harris on public radio station 90.5 WESA.

Apr 6, 2018

A new low, even by Lawyers Behaving Badly standards: Texas judge George Gallagher administers electric shocks — in court — to subdue a defendant.

Apr 3, 2018

Prosecutors must disclose any evidence that goes against guilt or lessens punishment. The Constitution says so. But some state laws allow them to withhold the evidence until just before trial, so defendant have to make plea decisions without it. This skews the whole system, and is long overdue for change.

Our guest is staff writer Beth Schwartzapfel of the Marshall Project; she’s the author of two articles on this set of problems:

"Undiscovered" 

“New York Courts Say: Hand It Over”

 

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