President and founder of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives Jerome Miller. When he was commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (1969-1972), he closed down the state reform schools and placed residents in community programs because of the brutal, inhumane way the residents were treated. His "experiment" turned out to be a success. He wrote about it in the book "Last One Over the Wall: The Massachusetts Experiment in Closing Reform Schools."
Advocate of children's and women's rights, Sarah Buel. Nineteen years ago she struggled to put her life together after leaving an abusive marriage. After a short time on welfare, Buel began working full-time and taking undergraduate classes. In 1990, she graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School. Buel is the co-founder of the Massachusetts Domestic Violence Council and currently serves as juvenile prosecutor for the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office in Quincy, MA. She believes the entire community must take responsibility for domestic violence.
Defense attorney Robert L. Shapiro. He put together the defense strategy and the team of high-profile attorneys who successfully defended O.J. Simpson. Eventually Shapiro was replaced by Johnny Cochran as lead attorney. And by the trial's end the team members were denouncing each other. Shapiro has written his memoir, "The Search for Justice: A Defense Attorney's Brief on the O.J. Simpson Case," (Time Warner, written with Larkin Warren).
Author Jonathan Harr has written a new nonfiction book: "A Civil Action: A Real-Life Legal Thriller." (Random House). The Boston Globe describes it as "a narrative as deeply involving as one of the earliest of its genre, "In Cold Blood." A fascinating work of literary reportage."
Los Angeles prosecutor Christopher Darden. He'd been a Deputy District Attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office for fifteen years before being selected to be on the team that prosecuted O.J. Simpson. He's written his memoir, "In Contempt," (Regan Books, written with Jess Walter.
Judge Harold J. Rothwax, author of "Guilty, The Collapse of Criminal Justice," (Random House). For twenty-five years he's been a judge on the New York State Supreme Court and has developed a reputation for tough rulings. He'll talk with Terry about his ideas for reform of the criminal justice system.
Film critic Stephen Schiff reviews "Before and After" the new film starring Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson. . . This will be Stephen's last Fresh Air film review. He'll be going on to a new career in screenwriting. His adaptation for "Lolita" will hit the screen this Fall.
Marc Mauer is a co-author for a new study that says there has been a sharp increase over the past five years in the number of African-American males age 20-29 in jail, on probation or on parole. The study finds, on any given day, one in three black men in their 20s is under some form of court supervision. Five years ago, a similar study found that the percentage at one in four blacks. The study is titled Young Black Americans and the Criminal Justice System: Five Years Later. it's two authors are Marc Mauer and Tracy Huling.
Editorial writer for the New York Times Brent Staples. He wrote a memoir last year: Parallel Time: Growing Up in Black & White (Pantheon). In 1984, Staples' younger brother, a cocaine dealer, was murdered. Staples began a process of reconsideration of the major questions in his life: his distance from his family by graduate study at the University of Chicago; the demise and racial divisions of his industrial hometown in Pennsylvania.
Journalist Stephen Adler. He is former legal affairs editor of The Wall Street Journal and is now the paper's investigative editor. Terry will discuss with him the O.J. Simpson trial and the jury process. Last year Adler's book about what's wrong with the jury system and how it can be fixed, was published: The Jury: Trial and Error in the American Courtroom, (Times Books/Random House). Adler looked at the history of the jury system and how our attitudes about juries changed over the years.
Kaminer's new book, It's All the Rage offers insights into our culture's larger questions of individual responsibility, victimization, punishment, innocence and guilt. Kaminer is also a contributing editor to the Atlantic Monthly and Public Fellow at Radcliffe College.
Michael Tonry is a professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota. His new book, Malign Neglect: Race Crime, and Punishment in America, discusses how our current approach to fighting crime victimizes disadvantaged black Americans. He calls for a reform of sentencing and parole policies.
We feature a new interview with John Waters on the day his latest film, "Serial Mom," is released. After the low-budget "Polyester," Waters went to Hollywood to make the big-budget films "Hairspray" and "Cry Baby." Waters still lives in Baltimore, where he was born. "Serial Mom" stars Kathleen Turner and Sam Waterston. Waters is also the author of several books, including "Shock Value" and "Trash Trio."
Ed Ryder and Reverend James McCloskey The story of one man's fight for freedom. Three days after Ryder arrived at Holmesburg prison to do time for theft, he was accused of murdering a prisoner in his cell block. For twenty years, Ryder fought to prove his innocence... the city of Philadelphia rallying behind him. Reverend James McCloskey, who helps prisoners he believes are unjustly convicted get pardons, spearheaded the efforts for Ryder's release. Now Ryder is a free man.
Attorney Bryan Stevenson is the Executive Director of the fledgling Alabama Capital Representation Resource Center. He represents prisoners on Alabama's death row, and tries to persuade other lawyers to do the same on a pro bono basis. He's a graduate of Harvard Law School, and he earns $25,000 a year in his job. He was raised in rural southern Delaware, and says the people he defends are much like people he grew up with, but who didn't get the breaks he did.
James McCloskey, founder of Centurion Ministries, Inc., which was organized to free innocent men and women from prison. Since McCloskey began his work in 1980 at least ten innocent prisoners have been freed. Just this week Clarence Chance, 42, and Benjamin Powell, 44 were freed after serving 17 and 1/2 years of life sentences. They were wrongly accused of murdering a sheriff's deputy. Witnesses who initially implicated them later told officials that they were pressured to lie.
Jury selection for the Noriega trial starts today. Los Angeles Times reporter Douglas Frantz (FRANZ) has been following the Noriega story and will review events leading up to the trial. Frantz will also tell us about Noriega's BCCI connection.