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71 Segments




A Judge Explains His Support for the Death Penalty

Judge Alex Kozinski is on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Since the 1970's he has had to make decisions on cases involving the death penalty. But, although an advocate of this controversial form of punishment, he finds it difficult to enforce. In a recent New Yorker article ("Tinkering with Death", 10 Feb 1997), he recalls his experience the first time he wrote an opinion for such a case. Kozinski also writes for the Wall Street Journal's Op-ed page and other publications.


John Dilulio on the Coming "Crime Wave"

Director of the Brookings Institution Center for Public Management, John Dilulio, Jr. He's also a professor at Princeton University and member of the Council on Crime in America. He's just co-authored a new book called Body Count, in which he and others warn that though violent crime by juveniles may be down now, the worse is yet to come. They blame violent crime not on economic poverty, guns, or the use of lack of prisons.


Finding Humane Ways to Reform Juvenile Delinquents

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."


How to Ensure the Safety of Domestic Abuse Victims

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.


Robert Shapiro Discusses His Role in the O. J. Trial.

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).


"A Real-Life Legal Thriller."

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."


Christopher Darden on Being Held "In Contempt."

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.


The Judge Known as "The Prince of Darkness."

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.


A Progressively More Timid Film.

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.


Race and Criminal Justice.

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.


O. J. Analysis: How the L. A. P. D. Bungled the Case.

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.


O. J. Analysis: Stephen Adler Discusses Jurors and Race.

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.


How Crime Policy Has Increased the Black Prison Population

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.


John Waters Discusses "Serial Mom."

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."


False Conviction in Pennsylvania.

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.


The Racial Disparities in the Death Penalty.

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.


Champion of the Falsely Convicted.

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.


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