Bucking a decades-long trend of fewer death sentences imposed by states, the Trump administration wants to bring back capital punishment in federal cases. What does that mean? What happens next?Read More
Why has the US prison population has grown for decades, surpassing two million? We’ve put more people in jail, but new research shows it’s not just how many people go to prison. What counts, for prison growth, is how long they stay.Read More
Here we are again: amid a worsening climate of white supremacist violence and right-wing terrorism, two more horrific mass shootings. How long are we going to keep doing this?Read More
Since the creation of the first SWAT teams in the 1960s, militarized police units have multiplied. SWAT teams can rescue hostages or handle emergencies – but are they used that way? Do they increase public safety? And what’s the impact on the public, and on officers? Guest Jonathan Mummolo, Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University, discusses his new research into the effect of police militarization – on crime, on communities of color, and on police agencies themselves.Read More
Jury service is THE way that members of the public participate in the criminal justice system. But who gets to serve? Are certain racial or ethnic groups excluded, and what’s the effect of these exclusions in the courtroom? An update on the groundbreaking “Jury Sunshine Project” from Professor Ronald Wright of Wake Forest University School of Law; he’s one of the co-leaders of the Jury Sunshine Project in North Carolina.Read More
Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who died last week at age 99, was an independent thinker and a fascinating figure. We recall a few notable moments from Justice Stevens's extraordinary legal career.Read More
When the police kill an unarmed black man, we know the family and community suffer. But what about other people – particularly Black Americans beyond those closest to the victim – what’s the impact on them? The spillover effect of police killings and other violence on Black Americans?Read More
Donald Trump's (thus far unfulfilled) threats of mass immigration raids in major cities have led many to wonder: if ICE comes knocking with a deportation order, do I have to let them in? Unless they have an order from a real judge (not a DOJ-appointed immigration judge), the answer is NO.Read More
American prosecutors have always been powerful figures in our justice system: they decide the charges, and offer the plea bargains. But our guest says they have become far too powerful – resulting in mass incarceration and the wrecking of human lives over trivial offenses.
Emily Bazelon, best-selling author and a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, says it’s time for this to change. She’s the author of “Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Criminal Justice and End Mass Incarceration.”Read More
Americans know that if they want a better criminal justice system, prosecutors must drive change. We’ve seen the result in election of more progressive prosecutors across the country. But what should this new wave of prosecutors do? What policies should shape their priorities?Read More
More analysis of the recently completed Supreme Court term, this time on WESA's The Confluence.Read More
We're holding off on the launch of season 7 so we can squeeze in a few more bonus episodes on recent and developing news stories. Today: analysis of the just-concluded U.S. Supreme Court session.Read More
The Supreme Court affirms the longstanding "dual sovereignty" doctrine, which skirts the Fifth Amendment's Double Jeopardy Clause by distinguishing between state and federal cases.Read More
Chicago has seen police scandals for decades -- from torturing suspects into confessions to the Laquan McDonald murder and coverup.
James Kalven has combined journalism and human rights work to spur police reform. Has it worked? And what lies ahead for a city awash in homicides and distrust of police?Read More
Black Americans say they often experience difficulty with police that whites don't experience: extra scrutiny, harassment, profiling, even violence. Police say they have a difficult job that others just don't understand. What's it like to be both black and a police officer?
Matthew Horace is a former officer and the co-author of a fascinating memoir that explores this dynamic, The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism, and Injustice in America's Law Enforcement.Read More
As we wrap up season 6 and pause for a quick summer break, some exciting news: Criminal Injustice returns in July as part of the Pittsburgh-based Postindustrial Media network. It's the first of several big changes you'll be hearing in the months ahead, and producer Josh Raulerson is in studio to help unpack the agenda.
We leave you with Dave's May 8 appearance on 90.5 WESA's The Confluence, discussing a recent federal court ruling on the right of prisoners to receive treatment for opioid addiction.Read More
A federal judge says Seattle's new contract with police puts the city out of compliance with a 2012 consent that was supposed to make officers more accountable for use of force. We'll be watching this one closely.Read More