Law And Justice
Friday, August 23, 2013
Evan J. Mandery gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Supreme Court and capital punishment—a most politically complex, racially charged, and morally vexing issue. His book A Wild Justice: The Death and Resurrection of Capital Punishment in America looks at two Supreme Court 1970s cases—Furman v. Georgia, which struck down Georgia’s death penalty law, and Gregg v. Georgia, which reversed direction
Friday, August 23, 2013
On today’s show, we take a look at two of the most consequential—but largely forgotten—Supreme Court decisions on capital punishment. Director Wong Kar Wai talks about his long-awaited film “The Grandmaster.” Singer-songwriter Amy Grant discusses collaborating with James Taylor, Carole King, and others on her first album in 10 years. Plus, inspired by this week’s blue moon, Please Explain is all about the moon!
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Ariel Levy, staff writer of The New Yorker, investigates the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case—in which high-school football players assaulted an intoxicated girl—and looks at how online communities and social media transformed and distorted the story, turning a local crime into a national crusade. She discusses whether justice was served. Levy’s article “Trial by Twitter” appears in the August 5 issue of The New Yorker.
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy talks about how social media and online communities are changing how crimes are solved and prosecuted. We’ll look at the fossils of two dinosaurs locked in battle that were discovered in Montana in 2006 and are set to be auctioned to the highest bidder. Mark Slouka talks about his new novel, Brewster. Brenda Wineapple examines America in the mid-19th century, when people were settling the West and finding new freedom there, even as the country was fighting bitterly over slavery.
Monday, June 24, 2013
Dawn Porter, director of “Gideon’s Army,” and Travis Williams, a public defender profiled in the documentary, discuss the work of public defenders. The film follows a group of idealistic young public defenders in the Deep South, where lawyers face particularly difficult challenges due to high bonds, minimum mandatory sentencing and a culture that is traditionally "tough on crime." It airs at 9:00 pm on July 1 on HBO.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Ed Pilkington talks about the court-martial trial of PFC. Bradley Manning, accused of leaking sensitive information to WikiLeaks. Pilkington is chief correspondent on the trial for the Guardian, and one of the few journalists to attend nearly every pre-trial hearing.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Wall Street Journal Asia Editor Paul Beckett talks about how the rape of a young woman in Delhi last December shined a light on the ways women can easily be exploited and abused in a country where, in theory and before the law, men and women have equal rights. He looks at two other stories that highlight this: the 2011 murder of a Catholic nun who was opposed to the expansion of mining in a tribal district and the a young woman duped into leaving her village with three young children. Beckett has collaborated on new Journal e-book: Crimes Against Women: Three Tragedies and the Call for Reform in India.
Thursday, June 06, 2013
Directors Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin discuss their documentary “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.” It tells the story of Nadia, Masha, and Katia, members of the feminist art collective who were arrested and charged with religious hatred after they performed a 40 second "punk prayer" inside Russia's main cathedral.
Monday, April 01, 2013
New York Times reporter Ian Urbina discusses the lengthy detention in solitary confinement of many illegal immigrants here in the United States, "Immigrants Held in Solitary Cells, Often for Weeks."
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Wenguang Huang explores the scandalous story of the corruption of the Bo Xilai family—the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood; Bo’s secret lovers; the secret maneuverings of Bo’s supporters; the hasty trial and sentencing of Gu Kailai, Bo’s wife. In A Death in the Lucky Hotel Huang argues that it was just the first rumble of a seismic power struggle that continues to rock the foundation of China’s all-powerful Communist Party and has reached all the way to China’s new president Xi Jinping.
Monday, March 04, 2013
Jess Bravin, the Wall Street Journal’s Supreme Court correspondent, and Lt. Col. Stuart Couch, a government prosecutor, talk about the terror courts at Guantanamo Bay, set up after the September 11 attacks in 2001, to hold captured suspected al-Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan and around the world. In his book The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay, Bravin describes the U.S. effort to create a parallel justice system for enemy aliens, and argues that a maze of legal, political, and moral issues has stood in the way of justice—issues often raised by military prosecutors who found themselves torn between duty to the chain of command and their commitment to fundamental American values.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Investigative journalist Ian Cobain argues that while the United Kingdom does not “participate in, solicit, encourage or condone” torture, when it’s faced with potential threats to national security, the rules change. His book A Secret History of Torture, shows how, from World War II to the War on Terror, the West has repeatedly and systematically resorted to torture, bending the law, and turning a blind eye. He draws on previously unseen official documents and the accounts of witnesses, victims and experts.
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Sarah Burns and David McMahon, who produced, wrote, and directed the documentary “The Central Park Five,” along with filmmaker Ken Burns, talk about the film, about five young men who were wrongfully convicted of the 1989 rape of a jogger in Central Park. The filmmakers are joined by Raymond Santana, one of the five men who is featured in the film. "The Central Park Five" is playing in NY at the IFC Film Center and at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and will be playing on demand December 7.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Journalist Nancy Mullane tells the story of five convicted murderers sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, who discover after decades in prison that a second chance, if it comes at all, is also the challenge of a lifetime. Her book Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption follows their legal battles to make good on the state’s promise of parole, and the how they changed after so many years in prison.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
On Tuesday, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court vacated a ruling earlier this summer that had upheld the state’s Voter ID law. On this week’s Backstory, Richard Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California Irvine School of Law, talks about how Pennsylvania is just the latest state where Voter ID laws are being challenged or struck down. And we’ll find out what that means for the election in November.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
ProPublica’s Sebastian Rotella tells the story of Oscar Alfred Ramírez Castañeda, whose family lived in a remote village that was attacked as part of a government offensive in 1982, when he was still a child. Castañeda never knew that he had lost almost his entire family, but he was reunited with his father earlier this week, thanks to technologies and resources that are only now helping prosecutors and victims piece together what happened during the three-decade civil war in Guatemala in the hopes that justice will be served.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Josh Meyer and Terry McDermott give an account of the decade-long pursuit and capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Their book The Hunt for KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9/11 Mastermind tells the story of the 18 months between the 9/11 attacks and the capture the actual mastermind of the attacks, the man behind bin Laden himself.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Next week the Supreme Court will hear Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, the case that will decide the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, or health insurance reform. The case includes a number of questions about states' rights, federal jurisdiction, and individual liberty. In addition, it shines a spotlight on the institution that will decide the constitutionality of President Obama's signature legislation.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill that President Barack Obama signed after he took office. Lilly Ledbetter describes the discrimination and sexual harassment she faced daily when she joined the management ranks at Goodyear and how she found out that she was being paid thousands less than her male counterparts. In her memoir, Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond, she also recounts her lawsuit against the company that went all the way to the Supreme Court.