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Legal Affairs

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Eichmann Trial

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, talks about the capture of SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann by Israeli agents in Argentina in May of 1960, and how his subsequent trial in Jerusalem by an Israeli court electrified the world and sparked a public debate on where, how, and by whom Nazi war criminals should be brought to justice. The Eichmann Trial gives an overview of the trial and analyzes the dramatic effect that the survivors’ courtroom testimony had on the world.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

When To Appeal?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Winklevoss twins keep suing over Facebook, but sometimes long-term lawsuits pay off. Jami Floyd, legal analyst, sometime guest host for the Brian Lehrer Show, and IAFC blogger, fields calls about what goes into decisions about when to sue, when to appeal, and when to give up the case.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: The Legal Troubles of Silvio Berlusconi

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has had legal troubles for years, and now he’s facing several different trials, ranging from underage prostitution to tax fraud. Columbia journalism professor Alexander Stille describes the cases against Berlusconi, how he’s has managed to avoid charges in other cases, and how Berlusconi is dealing with his duties as prime minister.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

America and the Death Penalty

Monday, December 20, 2010

David Garland discusses why capital punishment continues in dozens of American states despite the abolition of the death penalty elsewhere in the Western world. Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition looks at its uneven application, legal challenges, and the uncertainty surrounding it don’t seem conducive to effective crime control or criminal justice.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: DNA Databases, Crime & Civil Liberties

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The use of forensic DNA databanks by law enforcement has exploded since the mid 1990s. We’ll examine the implications widespread stockpiling of genetic information has for criminal investigations and civil liberties. We’ll speak with Tufts University professor Sheldon Krimsky and former ACLU science advisor Tania Simoncelli, co-authors of the book Genetic Justice: DNA Data Banks, Criminal Investigations, and Civil Liberties.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Viktor Bout

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout was arraigned yesterday in a New York court on terrorism charges. On today’s Backstory, Stephen Braun, National Security Editor with the Associated Press and co-author of the book Merchant of Death, explains how Bout has shipped goods for everyone from the Taliban to the United Nations. Plus, we’ll find out why the United States wanted to prosecute him and why the Russian government has protested his extradition from Thailand, where he was arrested in 2008.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Liberal Champion Justice William Brennan

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel talk about the influential Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, champion of free speech and public access to information. Justice Brennan granted Wermiel access to a trove of personal and court materials, and Wermiel also conducted more than 60 hours of interviews with Brennan over the course of six years. Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion makes Brennan’s case histories public for the first time, as well as records of the strategizing behind all the major battles of the past half century, including: Roe v. Wade, affirmative action, the death penalty, obscenity law, and the constitutional right to privacy.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Judicial Elections

Thursday, October 21, 2010

State judicial elections, once relatively low interest affairs, recently have been flooded with money, often from outside groups seeking to influence judicial decisions—particularly for state Supreme Court justices. On today’s Backstory segment Adam Skaggs, counsel with the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, traces the history of judicial elections and examines what the political landscape looks like today.

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It's A Free Blog

Don't Tell Me about DADT — I Was There

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell is an inane policy, one in which we compel people to lie to their superiors about who and what they are as people. But while many on the left are cheering the ruling by U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ordering an immediate halt to DADT policy, I am not.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

From Death Row to Freedom

Friday, October 01, 2010

John Thompson, a wrongfully convicted death row inmate, and lawyer John Hollway discuss the long fight for Thompson’s exoneration. In Killing Time: An 18-Year-Old Odyssey from Death Row to Freedom John Hollway and co-author Ronald M. Gauthier tell the story of the quest for Thompson’s freedom, paint a portrait of life on death row, and reveal the corruption in the Louisiana police and DA’s office.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: U.S. Extradites Colombian Paramilitaries and Seals their Case Records

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Since 2006, the United States has extradited more than a dozen Colombian paramilitaries, only to seal the records of their court cases. On this week’s Underreported, Jennifer Janisch and Oriana Zill de Granados of PBS’s Wide Angle series, explain how they discovered that the cases, and what the use of judicial secrecy here in the U.S. means for their Colombian victims seeking justice.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Counterfeit Drugs

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Journalist Paula Park discusses the proliferation of counterfeit drugs around the world, and how these fake medications have led to the development of drug-resistant strains of malaria. We’ll find out who’s making and distributing these counterfeit drugs, and more about the efforts being made in Cambodia and other countries to close down illegal outlets. Her article “Lethal Counterfeits” appeared in World Policy Journal’s summer issue.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Libel Tourism

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Rachel Ehrenfeld, writer and director of the American Center for Democracy, discusses the "libel tourism" bill passed last week by the U.S. Senate designed to shield U.S. journalists and writers from libel suits by repressive governments or wealthy business tycoons in foreign jurisdictions. Ms. Ehrenfield, the author of  Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It, talks about being sued for libel in England. Unlike the United States, the law is skewed in favor of the plaintiff in England, even though neither she, nor the wealthy Saudi businessman who sued her, were residents of the UK.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Amitava Kumar looks at the global repercussions of the war on terror. His book A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb tells the story of two men convicted in U.S. courts on terrorism-related charges: Hemant Lakhani, a 70-year-old tried for attempting to sell a fake missile to an FBI informant, and Shahawar Matin Siraj, who was accused of being involved in a conspiracy to bomb a subway. Kumar explores the experiences of ordinary people caught up in the war on terror and the growing suspicions about foreigners in post-9/11 America.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Charles Ogletree on Race, Class, and Crime in America

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Charles Ogletree, one of the country’s foremost experts on civil rights, discusses the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., MacArthur Fellow and Harvard professor, for attempting to break into his own home last July, and explores issues of race, class, and crime. His book The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America is based on his years of research and his own experiences with law enforcement, and it outlines steps we should take to reach racial and legal equality for all Americans.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Barry Gibbs on His Exoneration and Settlement

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Barry Gibbs had served 19 years in prison when his conviction was overturned in 2005 after evidence surfaced that he had been framed for murder by a corrupt detective.  He sued New York City in 2006, and the city agreed on June 3, 2010, to pay him $9.9 million, the largest personal settlement in its history. We’ll talk to him about his experience and the settlement. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Vadim Jean’s “In the Land of the Free”

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vadim Jean, director of "In the Land of the Free," along with Robert King , discuss the Angola 3—Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox and Robert King—who’ve spent a combined century in solitary confinement in Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

War Don Don

Friday, June 11, 2010

Filmmaker Rebecca Richman Cohen talks about her documentary War Don Don. It tells the story of the sensational trial of Issa Sesay, accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Bhopal Sentencing

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mark Hertsgaard, a fellow at The Open Society Institute and The Nation's environment correspondent, talks about the ruling and the environmental legacy of the Bhopal catastrophe.

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The Takeaway

Day One of Former Illinois Governor's Much-Anticipated Trial

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is in court today for the first day of his political corruption trial.

Blagojevich faces a handful of charges including perhaps the most salacious one – the charge that he allegedly tried to sell President Obama’s old Senate seat.  If Blagojevich is convicted, he could be the fourth Illinois governor to head to federal prison in the past 40 years.

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