Bonus: Attorney-Client Privilege for Dummies

As we await the next shoe-drop in the federal investigation of Trump family bagman and would-be consigliere Michael Cohen, a quick primer on attorney-client privilege: how does it work? what does it cover? is it a get-out-of-jail-free card? (spoiler: nope).

Lawyers Behaving Badly: Lawyer Knows Best

In convincing a reluctant client to take a plea deal, a Wisconsin lawyer bends the truth about what's in the deal.

#80: Blind Injustice

In the US, there have been almost two thousand wrongful convictions Yet in so many cases, prosecutors, police, judges and even defense attorneys simply refuse to acknowledge these catastrophic mistakes. Our guest – a former prosecutor – explains why we blind ourselves to these injustices. Mark Godsey is Professor of Law, U. Cincinnati, and author of Blind Injustice: A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions

Ask Dave: What's the Deal With Sheriffs and Jails?

A county sheriff in Alabama helped himself hundreds of thousands of dollars from a fund intended to feed jail inmates — and it's all perfectly legal. How is that possible? And why do sheriffs have so much power over the conditions in which people are incarcerated in the first place?

Bonus: Working Hard, or Hardly Working?

A Texas judge orders a public defender to put less effort into defending poor clients. "His Clients Weren't Complaining. But the Judge Said This Lawyer Worked Too Hard," New York Times, 3/29/18

Bonus: When the FBI Raids Your Lawyer's Office

Is it a big deal that the FBI raided the office of Donald Trump's personal lawyer? Well, yeah. But maybe not for the reasons you think.

Bonus: Gun Control and the Law

David discusses the legal parameters of regulating gun safety with Megan Harris on public radio station 90.5 WESA.

Lawyers Behaving Badly: Shock and Awe

A new low, even by Lawyers Behaving Badly standards: Texas judge George Gallagher administers electric shocks — in court — to subdue a defendant.

#79: Hiding the Evidence

Prosecutors must disclose any evidence that goes against guilt or lessens punishment. The Constitution says so. But some state laws allow them to withhold the evidence until just before trial, so defendant have to make plea decisions without it. This skews the whole system, and is long overdue for change. Our guest is staff writer Beth Schwartzapfel of the Marshall Project; she's the author of two articles on this set of problems: "Undiscovered" "New York Courts Say: Hand It Over"

Bonus: How Hard Could It Be?

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens offers a simple solution for the seemingly intractable problem of legislating gun safety: repeal the second amendment. Is that realistic?

Bonus: Happy Birthday to Us!

Criminal Injustice is two years old today! A message of thanks to everyone who's made made the show a success — especially our listeners.

Lawyers Behaving Badly: Teamwork!

The close working relationship between a Texas attorney and Hidalgo County Judge Rudy Delgado illustrates the old adage: a good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows the judge.

Ask Dave: Do Grand Jury Witnesses Get Immunity?

Our February 10 bonus episode on the mechanics of the seemingly inevitable Mueller-Trump interview prompted a question from Eric in New York: is it true that some witnesses get immunity from prosecution when they testify in grand jury proceedings?

#78: Driver's License Suspension As Collateral Damage

For people attempting to re-enter society from jail, a job is key to staying straight. And a driver's license is a must for lots of jobs. So why does the law in so many states suspend drivers licenses for crimes having nothing to do with driving? Our guest is Aleks Kajstura, Legal Director of the Prison Policy Initiative. Their report, "Reinstating Common Sense: How Driver's License Suspensions for Drug Offenses Are Falling Out of Favor," gives us the scope of the problem. "Reinstating Common Sense" Prison Policy Initiative

Ask Dave: How Common Are Victim Impact Statements?

If you followed the sentencing phase of U.S. gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse trial, you saw dozens of victims testify about how his crimes affected them. Is it unusual for so many people to speak up?

Bonus: The Stones On This Guy

Ken Starr, a guy who knows a thing or two about jurisdictional overreach, says Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is exceeding his authority in investigating the Trump campaign's dealings with Russia. On this bonus episode: unpacking the exquisite, multi-tiered hypocrisy of Starr's analysis.

Bonus: Jail, Poverty, and Defendants' Rights

David discusses the unconstitutional jailing of defendants who can't afford to pay fines and court costs on public radio station 90.5 WESA.

Bonus: Why Mandatory Death Sentences Are Not an Option

A Republican gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania says school shooters should face automatic, mandatory execution. But the U.S. Supreme Court says only a judge can impose a death sentence.

#77: New Jersey Leads the Way on Bail Reform

In U.S. courts using bail for pretrial release, those with enough money to get out before trial, but those without cash stay in. But support for reform has been building, and New Jersey did away with cash bail almost entirely in 2017. What happens instead of bail, and how is it working so far? Our guest Roseanne Scotti is with the Drug Policy Alliance, and she's been part of the reform effort. New Jersey Bail Reform in the press: PBS: New Jersey Eliminates Cash Bail, Leads Nation in Reforms New York Times: New Jersey Is Front Line in a National Battle Over Bail Here's how much N.J. jail population fell since bail reform How bail reform is playing out in N.J.'s largest city

Bonus: When Police Know and Look the Other Way

Almost anywhere you find police corruption and abuse, you'll find otherwise decent cops who knew about their colleagues' misconduct and did nothing. How can police earn communities' trust when they continue to protect the worst actors within their own ranks?

Ask Dave: How Does Double Jeopardy Work?

Bill Cosby faces a second sexual assault trial after a hung jury scuttled the first one. But doesn't the Constitution protect people from being tried twice for the same crime?

Bonus: Constitutional Crisis du Jour

Republican state lawmakers in Pennsylvania are threatening to impeach state Supreme Court justices over redrawn congressional districts. What could possibly go wrong?

Lawyers Behaving Badly: Couples Edition

A tale of ethical shenanigans by two married lawyers: when she's disbarred after a fraud conviction, he looks the other way while she continues practicing without a license.

#76: Using Data Instead of Bail

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.