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Sometimes challenging, often disturbing, occasionally absurd, always timely: Criminal Injustice explores the most complex and urgent issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system in conversation with the field's most knowledgeable experts. Professor David Harris and guests take on everything from racial bias to use of force... from surveillance technology to mass incarceration... and from police abuse and misconduct to the astonishing, frequently hilarious misdeeds of "Lawyers Behaving Badl ...
 
In a world where possibilities have become increasingly limited, a malcontent wrestles to make sense of it all. From labor and racial issues to issues of civil liberties, there's enough to tick us all off a bit. "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."- Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
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show series
 
In the storm of protests after the murder of George Floyd, many say that having more African American and Latino officers will reduce police violence and force used against people of color. Will it? Our guest is the Dr. Rayshawn Ray, Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, show studies the impact of race in policing, and how we can me…
 
Criminal Injustice returns with new episodes on January 19, 2021. Until then, we're reposting some of our favorite interviews. This episode originally appeared June 30, 2020. The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis set off outrage, weeks of demonstrations across the country and around the world, and has started discussion and legislative action at…
 
Criminal Injustice returns with new episodes on January 19, 2021. Until then, we're reposting some of our favorite interviews. This episode originally appeared September 8, 2020. More than two million Americans are incarcerated in prisons and jails. These are often violent, difficult, and unhealthy places. But if prison is dangerous, how much more …
 
More US jurisdictions are questioning the use of money bail systems for pretrial release from jail. But many in law enforcement and the bail bond industry say this will damage public safety. Is that true? What really happens when you trash cash bail? Dr. Don Stemen of Loyola University in Chicago is co-author of a new research paper about what real…
 
President Richard Nixon declared illegal drugs to be public enemy number one in 1971. Almost 50 years later, fifty years of failure, waste, and criminal justice mistakes in the name of the war on drugs, is the end of this disaster finally in sight? Our guest is Matt Sutton, Director of Media Relations, at the Drug Policy Alliance. Advertising Inqui…
 
We hear it everywhere: trust in police has eroded, reaching historic low point. Yet we know that if police want to make communities safe and livable, nothing is more important than trust. How can police build trust with the public, especially in a time when race and police conduct is at the forefront? Tarrick McGuire is the Chief of the Arlington T…
 
Judging from the unexpectedly close presidential election result, the U.S. electorate is as polarized as ever -- at least in terms of partisan alignment. But there's one issue on which the 2020 vote reveals widespread and growing agreement among Americans from across all demographics and in almost every part of the country: the decriminalization an…
 
Mandatory minimum sentences helped fill prisons in the U.S., and they played a substantial role in the mass incarceration we see now. What were these sentences supposed to do, and where did they go wrong? Most importantly, how do we get rid of them? Our guest is Kevin Ring, the President of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, a Washington D.C. adv…
 
"Systemic racism" refers to systems that produce racially disparate outcomes regardless of the individual motivations, values, or personal qualities of the people working within them. The criminal justice system doesn't require individual police officers, lawyers or judges to hold racist views in order to structurally uphold white supremacy. But --…
 
Since the murder of George Floyd, hundreds of protests against police misconduct have occurred across the country. People are demanding real change, right now. But let’s step back, and take the long view: has American policing improved? Even if the answer is yes, what more must police do to give all Americans the policing they deserve, equally, fai…
 
Presumptive Justice-to-be Amy Coney Barrett is conservative in both her political ideology and her judicial philosophy. But that doesn't mean she'll automatically side with police and prosecutors on the Supreme Court bench. Indeed, if her mentor Antonin Scalia is any guide, Coney Barrett may be less predictable on criminal justice than on other soc…
 
For decades, Joe Biden has claimed credit for crafting and championing the 1994 Crime Bill, now widely regarded as the policy foundation for the modern carceral state, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the systematic, often militarized overpolicing of Black communities. It's no surprise that Biden's very public association with that legislation ha…
 
We’ve all heard about the cases of wrongfully convicted people going to prison for the crimes others committed. In some cases, DNA exonerates them and finds the person who really did it. But what about people wrongfully convicted – of crimes that never happened at all? Our guest is Jessica S. Henry, Professor at Montclair State University and the a…
 
More than two million Americans are incarcerated in prisons and jails. These are often violent, difficult, and unhealthy places. But if prison is dangerous, how much more so – is Death Row? And how does a person live, knowing the only way out is death by execution? Our guests are writer Tessie Castillo, and Terry Robinson, a resident of Death Row i…
 
With the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, the search for ways to tame police misconduct has become more intense than ever. Can requiring officers to have private insurance play a role? Our guest is Professor Deborah Ramirez of Northeastern University School of Law, in Boston. She’ll tell us how requiring police to carry professional l…
 
In the storm of protests after the murder of George Floyd, many say that having more African American and Latino officers will reduce police violence and force used against people of color. Will it? Our guest is the Dr. Rayshawn Ray, Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, show studies the impact of race in policing, and how we can me…
 
Pittsburgh has been named America’s most livable city many times over by magazines and ratings guides. And it is pretty great. At least, for people like me. What is it like for African American residents? And why are their experiences with our police so different than mine? Our guest is the Reverend Dr. John Welch, former Vice President and Dean of…
 
With incidents of serious injuries and deaths at the hands of police, cities face the costs of settlements and jury verdicts. Some of these cases mean millions of dollars paid. How do cities pay for this? What does it mean to city budgets? And how is it that someone is making money off of this? Our guest is Brentin Mock, veteran journalist; he’ll d…
 
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis set off outrage, weeks of demonstrations across the country and around the world, and has started discussion and legislative action at every level of government. On this episode, we’ll ask an African American law enforcement leader what policing has been like – and where it goes now. Our guest is Dr. Cedric …
 
On June 10, Dave gave an hour-long presentation on law and racial justice for the Center on Race and Social Problems at the University of Pittsburgh. We invite you to check out the video on YouTube: #CRSPCast: Law & Racial Justice w/ Professor David Harris - June 10, 2020 Support Criminal Injustice at $5/month to unlock extra bonus episodes and mor…
 
Minneapolis takes a bold step, announcing it will dismantle the police department that sparked protests nationwide with the murder of George Floyd -- and just like that, "defund the police" graduates from activist rallying cry to viable policy option. For all the handwringing over what the phrase "really means," it's really not complicated: people …
 
Derek Chauvin faces second- and third-degree murder and assault charges, and the three other Minneapolis police officers who watched him kill George Floyd are charged with aiding and abetting the crime. Why not first-degree? What do the charges mean? Dave breaks down the prosecution's reasoning. Support Criminal Injustice at $5/month to unlock extr…
 
Viral video of an encounter in NYC's Central Park shows a white woman calling 911 to report another park user is threatening her life, apparently trying to provoke a violent police response against the "African American man" who had simply asked her to leash her dog. Reflexively fearing people of another race is racist -- but it's mostly a function…
 
Another horrific episode of police violence, captured on video in Minneapolis, graphically recalls the 2014 killing of Eric Garner by NYPD officers who were never criminally charged in his death. This time the officers may face charges, but prosecuting police is still notoriously difficult. Is there hope for justice? Advertising Inquiries: https://…
 
The killing of an unarmed black man, Ahmaud Arbery, by two white men in Georgia went largely unnoticed until video of the February shooting went viral earlier this month. Now the father and son face murder charges -- but will Georgia's "Stand Your Ground" law block their conviction? Support Criminal Injustice at $5/month to unlock extra bonus episo…
 
Recommended reading on how COVID-19 is impacting incarcerated populations and what must be done to avoid catastrophe: "Let the People Go" by Joseph Margulies in the Boston Review. Support Criminal Injustice at $5/month to unlock extra bonus episodes and more on the Members feed: patreon.com/criminalinjustice Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle…
 
COVID-19 has exposed systemic injustice and institutional failures at every level of society, and nowhere more than in the criminal justice system. Incarcerated people are already being hit hard by the pandemic, but the situation is rapidly deteriorating -- and the effects will be felt beyond the walls of prisons and jails. Support Criminal Injusti…
 
Louisiana's public defender system is funded by fines from traffic violations. But with far fewer cars on the road due to COVID-19, an already badly underfunded system is at the breaking point. Support Criminal Injustice at $5/month to unlock extra bonus episodes and more on the Members feed: patreon.com/criminalinjustice Advertising Inquiries: htt…
 
President Trump claims “total authority” to override governors and end their stay-at-home orders, yet again raising the question: can he do that? No, as Dave explains on 90.5 WESA’s The Confluence, he cannot. Support Criminal Injustice at $5/month to unlock extra bonus episodes and more on the Members feed: patreon.com/criminalinjustice Advertising…
 
Can you believe it? Our first episode was published on this date in 2016! 117 interviews and countless bonus episodes later, producer Josh Raulerson joins Dave to mark the occasion with a look back at four years of Criminal Injustice. Support Criminal Injustice at $5/month to unlock extra bonus episodes and more on the Members feed: patreon.com/cri…
 
Chicago's progressive chief prosecutor, Kim Foxx, has survived her first reelection challenge in the Democratic primary. Meanwhile, reformer and Criminal Injustice alumnus George Gascon may be poised to knock off the tough-on-crime incumbent DA in Los Angeles. We review the latest on progressive prosecutors in politics. Support Criminal Injustice a…
 
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing our institutions to confront a host of thorny problems. Among the thorniest for the criminal justice system: how to uphold the constitutional right to a speedy trial when courts are effectively shut down. Support Criminal Injustice at $5/month to unlock extra bonus episodes and more on the Members feed: patreon.com/…
 
Squalid and unhealthy even in the best of times, prisons and especially jails are especially vulnerable during a pandemic. That's not just a danger to incarcerated people -- it's a disaster for public health. Support Criminal Injustice at $5/month to unlock extra bonus episodes and more on the Members feed: patreon.com/criminalinjustice Advertising…
 
Every year, more than 600,000 Americans leave our jails and prisons. Many are on parole. Others people are put on probation instead of going to prison. The job of supervising all of them falls to parole and probation officers. Our guest, Jason Hardy, served as a probation and parole officer for four years in New Orleans, and he gives us a look into…
 
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