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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: August, 2018
Aug 30, 2018

Technically, slavery is illegal in the United States. But there's a big loophole in the 13th amendment: it's perfectly okay to compel someone's labor against their will, for little or no pay, as long as they've been convicted of a crime. Now, inmates across the country are on strike, demanding an end to what they call "modern-day slavery." The history of prison labor in America shows that's not much of an exaggeration.

Aug 28, 2018

Criminal Injustice returns with a new season on September 4, 2018. Until then, we're reposting some of our favorite past episodes. This episode originally appeared June 26, 2018. 

 

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Every four years, the whole sports-loving planet is watching soccer’s World Cup. Soccer is the world’s most popular sport – so how did its governing body, FIFA, become the focus of the most massive corruption scandal in sports history? And why was that scandal broken by U.S. law enforcement?

Our guest is Ken Bensinger, veteran journalist, who helped break the story with his investigative reporting; his new book is Red Card: How the U.S. Blew the Whistle on the World’s Biggest Sports Scandal (Simon & Schuster, 2018).


Read more at http://criminalinjustice.libsyn.com/size/25/?search=bensinger#vhe0biW51Aa4zaX0.99

Aug 21, 2018

Criminal Injustice returns with a new season on September 4, 2018. Until then, we're reposting some of our favorite past episodes. This episode originally appeared February 20, 2018. 

 

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In the U.S., judges set bail – an amount of money defendants must deposit with the court -- to make sure people appear in court. Defendants must pay the bail amount to get released to wait for trial. Those with enough money to get out before trial, but those without cash stay in jail – regardless of the risk they pose. Could a data-based system do a better job of assessing these risks, and keep the poor out of jail before trial?

Matt Alsdorf is founder and president of Pretrial Advisors, and former Vice President for Criminal Justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Matt headed up the foundation’s effort to apply a data-based solution to the problem of pretrial incarceration – the Public Safety Assessment tool.

Aug 19, 2018

A new report from the Pennsylvania attorney general details how the Catholic church systematically covered up decades of sexual abuse by priests. In almost all of the cases, the abuse happened so long ago that the statute of limitations prevents prosecution of the abusers and their enablers. Or does it?

Aug 14, 2018

Criminal Injustice returns with a new season on September 4, 2018. Until then, we're reposting some of our favorite past episodes. This episode originally appeared January 9, 2018. 

 

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In the criminal justice system, things can go terribly wrong: convictions of the innocent, or killings of unarmed suspects.  We use the courts and investigations try to see who’s to blame.  But we do little to learn ways to stop it from happening again.  Using procedures from the worlds of medicine and aviation as a guide, attorney James Doyle has become the leading advocate for using Sentinel event analysis as way to understand and fix systemic problems in criminal justice.

Aug 7, 2018

Criminal Injustice returns with a new season on September 4, 2018. Until then, we're reposting some of our favorite past episodes. This episode originally appeared February 6, 2018. 

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Private prisons hold over 100,000 people in the U.S. Some say they provide needed flexibility as corrections populations change and budgets shrink. But what really happens when punishment is about profit? 

Lauren-Brooke Eisen is Senior Counsel at the Brennan Center’s Justice Program and author of Inside Private Prisons: An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration.

Aug 5, 2018

John from Dayton calls in with another question: how does the discovery process work in civil law, and how does it apply in criminal cases?

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