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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, 2018
Oct 30, 2018

With every police shooting of an unarmed civilian, we hear calls for civilian oversight of police. But just creating an oversight agency is no magic bullet. What does a civilian review board need to succeed? What’s the evidence on the success of civilian oversight? Our guest, Brian Corr, is the President of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. He’ll talk to us about what makes for success – and what causes these attempts at reform to fail.

Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement: Assessing the Evidence (2016)

Oct 30, 2018

Criminal Injustice is made in Pittsburgh, and Saturday's massacre hit us close to home in more ways than one. It's time to be very clear about what we mean by "free speech," and about what kinds of speech can never be accepted in a free society.

"After Synagogue Attack, Web-Hosting Sites Suspend Gab," NPR 10/29/18

Oct 28, 2018

In a rare moment of sanity, Pennsylvania lawmakers from both parties agree: revoking the driver's licenses of people convicted on non-driving-related charges doesn't help anybody. 

Oct 25, 2018

Anybody who's ever seen a cop show knows police are supposed to inform arrested suspects of their right to an attorney. But how far does the requirement extend?

Oct 22, 2018

The authors of a new report from the Abolitionist Law Center argue the practice of life-without-parole (LWOP) sentencing is racially discriminatory, needlessly costly, and arbitrarily cruel. 

Oct 19, 2018

Bree from Los Angeles asks about the difference between a "guilty" plea and a "no contest" plea: why would a defendant choose one over the other, and how might it affect the outcome of their case?

Oct 16, 2018

The Supreme Court banned racial discrimination in jury selection decades ago. But some prosecutors refused to abide by the rules. They developed work arounds, including sorting jurors by their reactions to the OJ Simpson verdict. Now the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) argues that using the OJ verdict as racial discrimination tool violates the Constitution. Our guest, attorney Alexis Hoag of the LDF, helped write the amicus brief now before the California Supreme Court.

Oct 15, 2018

An update on the case of East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld, who shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose last summer, on a recent episode of WESA's The Confluence.

Oct 12, 2018

Law enforcement officers making an arrest have to identify themselves as cops... right?

Oct 9, 2018

A Judicial Edition double feature:

1) Contempt is the primary mechanism judges use to maintain their authority over court proceedings. But some abuse that power.

2) A judge's racist remark is caught on tape, and wow. Just wow.

Oct 5, 2018

Bill from Illinois has a question about just how much latitude juries have to disregard the law or the facts in a case when making their decisions.

Oct 2, 2018

Surveillance cameras are everywhere in American cities and
towns. They’re touted as crime fighting tools, but do they
really work? Are they worth the cost – in money, and in
privacy? Dr. Nancy LaVigne, vice president for justice
policy, of the non-partisan Urban Institute is the lead author
of the largest study of the effectiveness of surveillance
cameras.

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