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

Criminal (In)Justice

From 90.5 WESA

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.More from Criminal (In)Justice »

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#98 Holistic Criminal Defense

We try to solve the problem of mass incarceration by eliminating mandatory sentences, or by getting rid of cash bail. But what about a better method of providing criminal defense services? Could this cut prison and jail populations, AND secure public safety? There's a way to do this: use a holistic model for criminal defense services. Our guest is James Anderson, the director of the Justice Policy Program and the Institute for Civil Justice, and a senior behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation, in Pittsburgh. He's one of the authors of "The Effects of Holistic Defense on Criminal Justice Outcomes," which will be published in the Harvard Law Review.

Read This: Prisons Are Building Databases of Inmates' Voice Prints

As reported by George Joseph and Debbie Nathan in The Intercept and The Appeal, inmates at many U.S. prisons are coerced to submit digital voice print samples before being allowed to use the telephone. Prisons Are Building Databases of Inmates' Voice Prints

Bonus: Chicago Update

Following up last week's Jamie Kalven interview (recorded late 2018), an update on major recent developments in the Laquan McDonald case.

Lawyers Behaving Badly: Excuseman Rides Again

Season 1 fan favorite Jordan Margolis, aka Excuseman: the hero we deserve, but not the one we need.

#97 Invisible Chicago

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? Citizens Police Data Project Invisible Institute

Bonus: Why Facial Recognition is Bad At Racial Recognition

An algorithm can't be racist, right? As it turns out, facial recognition software trained and tested mostly on white people is really good at identifying race and gender... as long as you're white and male. New York Times Jan. 24, 2019: "Amazon is Pushing Facial Technology That a Study Says Could Be Biased"

Read This: Sam Walker, "Not Dead Yet"

Criminal Injustice season 1 guest Sam Walker argues in the Illinois Law Review that criminal justice reform is still possible.

Bonus: SCOTUS Review

The Supreme Court delivers decisions on two criminal justice hot buttons: civil asset forfeiture and double jeopardy.

#96 Policing While Black

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.

Bonus: The No-Filter Defense

If Donald Trump goes on Fox News to issue what sounds like a veiled threat against Michael Cohen's family, isn't that obstruction? Or witness tampering, at the least? One school of thought holds that Trump's thinking is too disorganized, and his rhetoric too incoherent, to hold him accountable for much of anything he says.

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