Thursday, March 26, 2015
Monday, November 03, 2014
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Monday, August 11, 2014
After a plane crash killed his wife and badly injured his two daughters, Toby Pearson was thrust into a David-vs-Goliath legal confrontation with a multi-billion dollar insurance company.
Friday, August 01, 2014
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was a groundbreaking decision by the Supreme Court that removed limits on how much money organizations could donate to political campaigns. Years later, this ruling has become the subject of contentious debate: do we really have a constitutional right to unlimited spending on our own political speech.
Thursday, May 01, 2014
In 1997, a Georgia jury imposed a death sentence on Robert Wayne Holsey for murdering a sheriff’s deputy. Holsey’s defense was led by Andy Price, an alcoholic attorney who drank a quart of vodka a night during the trial, faced his own criminal charges and was eventually disbarred and sentenced to prison for stealing from one of his clients. The death penalty is temporarily on hold in Georgia pending a ruling on whether the public is entitled to know how lethal injection drugs are made and who is providing them for executions. Marc Bookman, director of the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, looks at Holsey’s case and some of the problems with private court-appointed counsel in death penalty trials. His article “This Man Is About to Die Because an Alcoholic Lawyer Botched His Case” is in Mother Jones.
Monday, April 28, 2014
William D. Cohan looks at what the Duke lacrosse team scandal reveals about the pressures faced by America's elite colleges and universities, and he pulls back the curtain on the larger issues of sexual misconduct, underage drinking, and bad-boy behavior prevalent on campuses across the country. The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities is an account of what happens when ambition, intellectual elitism, athletic prowess, aggressive sexual behavior, racial bias, and absolute prosecutorial authority collide and on a university campus, in the justice system, and in the media.
Friday, February 28, 2014
In the wake of the shootings at Columbine, a small town in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, elected a charismatic judge who was determined to keep kids in line. Under his reign, over 3,000 children were taken from their families and imprisoned for years for crimes as petty as creating a fake MySpace page. When one parent question this harsh treatment, it was revealed that the judge had received millions of dollars in payments from the privately owned juvenile detention centers where the kids were incarcerated. Robert May tells the story in his documentary “Kids for Cash.” He’ll be joined by Hillary Transue, a formerly incarcerated youth, and Marsha Levick, Chief Counsel, Juvenile Law Center. "Kids for Cash" is playing in NYC at Village 7 and Empire 25.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
It’s been two years since an unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in July.
Legal analyst Lisa Bloom covered the trial for NBC. In her book Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It she discusses covering the trial and outlines what she sees as the major mistakes made by the state of Florida that guaranteed it would lose the case. Bloom tells Leonard in this interview that the prosecution blundered by downplaying the issue of race in the courtroom when it should have been central. “I believe racial profiling is at the heart of the case, not only for Zimmerman, but for the police who did a lax job of investigating the case, for the jury, and I have new info from the jury room that substantiates this, from the judge who didn’t want anyone to talk about racial profiling even though it was so obviously a part of the case,” said Bloom. “Not just in that courtroom, but for all of us.”
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Monday, January 13, 2014
Robert Kolker discusses the “cannibal cop” case and looks at whether it’s possible—or even legal—to convict people for crimes they haven’t even committed yet. His article “A Dangerous Mind,” in the January 13 issue of New York magazine, is about Gilberto Valle, who was arrested in New York on a charge of conspiracy to kidnap. Details from his bail hearings told the story of a husband secretly plotting to kidnap and kill, cook, and eat several women, including his own wife. The trial seemed to be two different cases—the actual charge against Valle (conspiracy to kidnap) and the question of what Valle might do in the future if he were allowed to go free.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Thirty-five states have laws which make it a crime for an HIV positive person to not disclose their status before having sex with a partner. In 29 of those states, it's a felony to expose someone to HIV - even if the infected person has taken measures to protect their partner and whether or not the virus is actually transmitted. These laws are controversial- and many of the cases reveal the problems of mixing law enforcement and public health. Sergio Hernandez discusses his article "Sex, Lies & HIV: When What you Don’t Tell Your Partner Is a Crime," which was co-published by ProPublica and Buzzfeed.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013