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Political Conversations and Politial Prisoners

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Martin Clancy and Tim O’Brien talk about how the Supreme Court has shaped the death penalty. We’ll look back at the debate over whether the United States should enter World War II—before Pearl Harbor changed everything. Blaine Harden tells the story of a man who managed to escape one of North Korea’s political prison camps. Dr. Mamphela Remphele on her frustration with South Africa’s ANC.

Capital Punishment and the Supreme Court

Martin Clancy and Tim O'Brien discuss the crucial links between landmark capital-punishment cases and the lethal crimes at their root. The cases reported are truly "the cases that made the law"—and have defined the parameters that judges must follow for a death sentence to stand up on appeal. In Murder at the Supreme Court they tell how, in 1969, Supreme Court justices cast votes in secret that could have signaled the end of the death penalty, but the justices' resolve began to unravel.

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Roosevelt, Lindbergh and America's Fight Over World War II

Lynne Olson discusses the debate over American intervention in World War II—a bitter, sometimes violent clash of personalities and ideas that divided the nation. Her book Those Angry Days focuses on the years 1939 to 1941 and on he two most famous men in America: President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Charles Lindbergh.

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Escape from Camp 14: North Korea's Political Prisoners

Blaine Harden tells his story of Shin Donghyuk, who was born and raised—then escaped from—one of North Korea’s political prison camps. In Escape from Camp 14, he offers a narrative of Shin's life and remarkable escape and offers an inside account of one of the world's darkest nations.

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Dr. Mamphela Ramphele on South African Politics

Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, co-founder of South Africa’s Black Consciousness Movement with Steve Biko and founder of the first rural primary care clinic while banished by the Apartheid regime, eventually became the first black woman Vice Chancellor of a South African University, Managing Director of the World Bank, and successful businesswoman. She discusses the increasing anguish in South Africa over the failure of the ANC as a governing party to deliver on the promises of the liberation movement. Dr. Ramphele has announced her intentions to contest the next elections, portending a major realignment of South African politics. She's the author of Conversations with My Sons and Daughters.

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Tributes: Phil Ramone

Even though you may not know Phil Ramone’s name, you probably know the music stars whose work he produced – including Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, and Barbra Streisand among them.  Phil Ramone admitted in his memoir, Making Records, “Unlike a director (who is visible, and often a celebrity in his own right), the record producer toils in anonymity.”  Billy Joel acknowledged that “I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band.  He was the guy that no one ever, ever saw onstage…  So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him.”  Phil Ramone died at the age of 79 (though it was until recently reported he was only 72.)  And you can hear Leonard’s interviews with him from November 20, 2006 and October 16, 2007.

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