Posts in Interviews
#62: Social Psychology and the Police

Killings of unarmed black people by police have worsened historically troubled police-community relations. Until recently, little research existed that might help explain this or improve the situation. Social psychologists have created work that helps us understand why things go wrong in policing, what role race plays, and how we can do better.

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#61: Fighting the Criminalization of Poverty

After riots erupted Ferguson in 2014, investigations revealed that the entire criminal justice system in St. Louis County – not just the police department – levied massive amounts of fines and fees on its poorest citizens in order to fund itself.  It was a wake-up call, but one organization had been in place working on these issues for five years.

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#60: How Often Do Police Shoot Civilians? Don't Ask the Government

The federal government doesn't record anything when police shoot civilians, and there's no official national database to tell us how big or complex the problem is.

One newspaper journalist says he learned a lot requesting documents from more than 400 jurisdictions in his home state alone. In six years and more than 800 shootings, not one incident resulted in criminal charges.

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#53: Forensic Science is No 'Science' at All

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of federal efforts to fix forensic science in April, but not because the problems were solved. Why shut down the National Commission on Forensic Science now, just as better scientific standards were emerging? And what will it mean for wrongful convictions?

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#50: Establishing Innocence After a Guilty Verdict

The exposure of wrongful convictions began in 1989, and it upended the idea that guilty verdicts were always trustworthy. When there’s a wrongful conviction, what has to happen to get a court to exonerate someone?

Marissa Boyers Bluestine is the Litigation Director for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, and she tells us what it’s really like, on the ground, working to establish innocence – after a guilty verdict.

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