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Life of the Law

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Law is alive. It doesn’t live in books and words. It thrives in how well we understand and apply it to everyday life. We ask questions, find answers, and publish what we discover in feature episodes and live storytelling.

Read more

Law is alive. It doesn’t live in books and words. It thrives in how well we understand and apply it to everyday life. We ask questions, find answers, and publish what we discover in feature episodes and live storytelling.

iTunes Ratings

147 Ratings
Average Ratings
124
7
9
4
3

High Quality

By riverlethe9 - Feb 11 2017
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One of my favourite podcasts. It is always well put together and informative.

Love it!

By mayte1429 - Feb 09 2017
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Impressively well done podcast!! Extremely inspiring and informative, I can't stop listening.

iTunes Ratings

147 Ratings
Average Ratings
124
7
9
4
3

High Quality

By riverlethe9 - Feb 11 2017
Read more
One of my favourite podcasts. It is always well put together and informative.

Love it!

By mayte1429 - Feb 09 2017
Read more
Impressively well done podcast!! Extremely inspiring and informative, I can't stop listening.
Cover image of Life of the Law

Life of the Law

Latest release on Sep 26, 2018

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 4 days ago

Rank #1: 133: In-Studio: Police, Race and Fatal Force

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Mothers, brothers, sons and daughters in cities across the country are suffering from the loss of a loved one to police use of fatal force. In 2017 The Washington Post reports police officers in the United States shot and killed 987 people. Sixty eight of them, men and women, some of them teenagers like Tony Robinson, were unarmed when they were shot and killed by police officers. The county with highest number of police shootings per capita in the country, is right here in Kern County in California. Last year, police in Los Angeles shot more than three times the number of people shot by police in New York City, even though NY has one-fourth as many officers.

What is the law on the police use of lethal force? Is there a way, under the law, to prevent these deaths from happening in the future?

This week, Life of the Law's team meets up in the studios of KQED in San Francisco to talk about our most recent episode, DEATH BY POLICE: A MOTHER'S (AUDIO) DIARY and officer use of fatal force.

In-Studio Team:

Osagie Obasogie, Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and a Member of Life of the Law’s Advisory Board

Tony Gannon, Life of the Law’s Senior Producer

Troy Williams, Founder of the San Quentin Prison Report and RISE Coordinator at Chabot College.

• And joining us from the studios of KQED in Sacramento, Lizzie Buchen, Legislative Advocate for the ACLU of California’s Center for Advocacy and Policy.

Production Notes:

IN-STUDIO: POLICE, RACE AND FATAL FORCE was produced by Tony Gannon and Andrea Hendrickson. Nancy Mullane is Executive Producer. Rachael Cain is our Social-Media Editor. Katie McMurran was our engineer at KQED in San Francisco. Katie Orr engineered from KQED studios in Sacramento.

Special thanks to Lizzie Buchen, Legislative Advocate with the ACLU California’s Center for Advocacy and Policy and Troy Williams, Founder of the San Quentin Prison Report and RISE Coordinator at Chabot College for joining us In-Studio.

Life of the Law is a non-profit project of the Tides Center and we’re part of the Panoply Network of Podcasts from Slate. You can also find Life of the Law on PRX, Public Radio Exchange. Visit our website, Life of the Law.org and make a very much appreciated donation to help cover the costs of producing this feature episode. © Copyright 2018 Life of the Law. All rights reserved.

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Apr 17 2018

47mins

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Rank #2: 130: Inside San Quentin - Moonlight

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What would men in prison say, if we just listened? This week, Life of the Law presents a new INSIDE SAN QUENTIN episode - conversations inside San Quentin produced exclusively by men incarcerated inside the prison.

We have laptops and can watch just about any movie or series anytime we want. Prisoners have access to some tv and select movies approved by the prison, but not all movies and, up until recently, not Moonlight, winner of the 2017 Academy Award for Best Picture. One day after watching the movie on my laptop, I described it to a couple of men, scene by scene before the weekly meeting of the San Quentin Society of Professional Journalists. One of the men said he wanted to see the movie but didn’t think the prison would allow it inside. Why not ask.

As it turns out, prison officials said they would allow a screening of Moonlight inside the prison if, one, the producers of the film, A24 Films consented to the screening knowing the men couldn’t pay, and two, one of the prison chapels was available for the screening.

Spencer Lindenman of A24 Films sent a DVD. The San Quentin Catholic Chaplin said the chapel was available.

A few days after more than a hundred inmates attended the screening,  four men who saw the movie for the first time, sat down in the prison’s media center to talk about the film.

Inside San Quentin: Moonlight was produced by Shadeed Wallace Stepter.

Production Notes:

INSIDE SAN QUENTIN - MOONLIGHT was produced by Shaeed Wallace Stepter. We want to thank Rashaan Thomas, Emile DeWeaver and Mike Adams. Our senior producer is Tony Gannon. We had production support from Andrea Hendrickson. Our post production editor is Rachael Cain. Music in this episode was by David Jassy.

Photographer Brian Asey took photos inside San Quentin of the conversation. Special thanks to Spencer Lindenman at A24 Films for sending the DVD of Moonlight, Lt. Sam Robinson for approving the screening, and Father Gregory Williams of the San Quentin Catholic Chapel.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get a behind-the-scenes look at the production, photos, and notes by the producers. You can subscribe right here on our website, Life of the Law.org.

We’re a non-profit project of the Tides Center and we’re part of the Panoply Network of Podcasts from Slate. You can also find Life of the Law on PRX, Public Radio Exchange.

We want to take moment to thank: for their recent donations… Kalli Catcott, Katie Burke, Patricia Pforte, Charles Magnuson, William English, Michael Yarbough and everyone who joined us at LIVE LAW in San Francisco…

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Mar 06 2018

1hr 14mins

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Rank #3: 92: Live Law Phoenix - Borders

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Each summer, people from all around the country gather for the Soros Justice Fellowship Conference -- three days of meetings, conversations, and workshops by scholars, journalists, attorneys, and advocates working on projects that explore the criminal justice system in America.

This year six fellows, some new and some former, shared personal stories about their work and their lives. It was hosted by Adam Culbreath, Program Officer of the Soros Justice Fellows Program. Here are their stories…  

PRODUCTION NOTES

Live Law Phoenix - Borders was held at summer gathering of the Soros Justice Fellows. We’d like to thank Adam Culbreath, Program Officer of the Soros Justice Fellowship, for hosting and Christina Voight, Program Coordinator, for her co-production of the event. Jonathan Hirsch designed the sound. Our post-production editors are Kirsten Jusewicz Haidle and Rachael Cain. Howard Gelman was our engineer.

Music in this episode was from Martin Landh

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Sep 20 2016

43mins

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Rank #4: 108: Unequal Protection - Pt. 1

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America is a country plagued by racism. Culturally, socially, economically. But what about in the courts? 30 years ago, Warren McCleskey, a black man on Georgia’s death row, took proof to the US Supreme Court that his trial and sentence had been affected by racial prejudice. It’s a landmark case that nearly every law student in American is familiar with -- but few of us know the whole story.

And I sort of said, "Well, Gird up your loins. If that’s, in fact, a problem in our criminal justice system, we have to confront it. We can’t simply avert our eyes."

-- Attorney John Boger

Life of the Law reporter Sarah Marshall traveled to Georgia to learn more about the man whose name has come to symbolize the end of equal protection under the law in America.  

We’ll present our story in two parts. This week, Part 1: UNEQUAL PROTECTION. 

Production Notes

Unequal Protection was reported by Sarah Marshall, edited by Nancy Mullane, and produced by Tony Gannon.

Our Post Production Editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle and Rachael Cain.

Our engineers were Sara Melason of Marfa Public Radio and Howard Gelman of KQED Radio in San Francisco. Music in this episode was composed and produced by Ian Coss. Special thanks to Tony Gannon, our Senior Producer for recording Supreme Court Justice William Brennan's dissent in McCleskey v Kemp for our story.

Transcript of Unequal Protection: Part 1

This episode of Life of the Law was funded in part by grants from the Open Society Foundations, the Law and Society Association, and the National Science Foundation.

© Copyright 2017 Life of the Law. All rights reserved.

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May 03 2017

59mins

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Rank #5: 104: Heroin Town

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Heroin is illegal in Canada. And just like in the United States many doctors and treatment centers treat heroin addiction by providing a legal alternative, such as methadone. But methadone treatment doesn’t always work. So what do you do?

These people are currently injecting heroin in alleyways, facing overdose and risk of disease and causing all kinds of problems for the public. Why wouldn't you want them to be getting the heroin from a doctor to bring them in off the street and in contact with the health care system?

-- Martin Schechter, professor at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia

Reporters Sam Fenn and Gordon Katic have this story about a small clinic in Vancouver BC that’s giving their patients legal access the very drug they are addicted to.

Production Notes

Heroin Town was reported and produced by Sam Fenn, Gordon Katic, and Alexander Kim of Cited Podcast in partnership with Travis Lupick and the Georgia Straight, and edited by Nancy Mullane, Life of the Law's Executive Producer.

The story's Senior Producer was Tony Gannon. Our Post Production Editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle and Rachael Cain.

We want to thank Josh Gabert-Doyon for his help with production.

Our engineer was Howard Gelman of KQED Radio in San Francisco. Music in this episode was composed and produced by Ian Coss.

Transcript of Heroin Town

This episode of Life of the Law was funded in part by grants from the Open Society Foundations, the Law and Society Association, and the National Science Foundation.

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Mar 08 2017

51mins

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Rank #6: 99: Shaken

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Tonia Miller lost control and shook her baby to death. That’s what prosecutors said. Miller denied it, but a Michigan jury wasn’t convinced and convicted her of murder. At 19 years old, Miller was separated from her family, sent to prison and found herself having lost something else: her life.

Over 13 years later, those who knew the young family are haunted by moments when the child showed signs something was wrong during the short time she was alive. According to medical experts, authorities may have foreclosed the possibility that the death was the result of something other than murder—birth trauma, an accident or illness. 

This shaken-baby syndrome investigation was reported by The Medill Justice Project, an award-winning national investigative journalism center based at Northwestern University that examines potentially wrongful convictions and criminal justice issues.

Production Notes

Shaken was a co-production with The Medill Justice Project and was reported by Adele Humbert and Taylor Mullaney with production by Adele Humbert and editing by Alec Klein and Amanda Westrich. Our Senior Producer is Tony Gannon. Our Post Production Editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle and Rachael Cain.

We want to thank Allisha Azlan and Rachel Fobar, Medill Justice Project associates, and Anthony Settipani, former Medill Justice Project fellow for their help with the reporting and production of our story. 

Our engineers were Adam Yoffe at WBEZ in Chicago and Howard Gelman at KQED Radio in San Francisco. 

Music in this episode was from The Audio Network.

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Dec 20 2016

32mins

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Rank #7: 115: Ten Hours to Twenty Years

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It all started out as a plan to steal some comic books, sell them and split the cash. That was before a busted lip, a heart attack, and federal prosecutors stepped in.

Reporter Mary Lee Williams, a graduate of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, tells the whole messy story of some people who got caught up in two different systems of laws, and two prosecutors who saw their crime from two very different perspectives, with long term consequences. Our story… Ten Hours to Twenty Years.Ten hours to Twenty Years was reported and produced by Marylee Williams. Tony Gannon senior produced this episode. Our Post Production Editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle and Rachael Cain. Ceil Mueller at KQED Radio in San Francisco was our engineer.  Music in this episode was composed by David Szets-shey, Jah-zzar, the Losers, Blue Dot Sessions, Podington Bear, and April.

Special thanks to UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, Ben Manilla, and Editors Anna Sussman, Kara Platoni, and Julie Caine. We had background research from University of Detroit Mercy Law School Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Law Richard Broughton. We also had editorial assistance from Lacy Jane Roberts, Teresa Cotsirilos, and Jennifer Glenfield. Special thanks to Harlan Haskins, Megan Dunbar, and Armin Samii.

We’re a non-profit project of the Tides Center and we’re part of the Panoply Network of Podcasts. You can also find Life of the Law on PRX, Public Radio Exchange. Production of this episode was funded in part by the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley; the Law and Society Association; the National Science Foundation and by you.

© Copyright 2017 Life of the Law. All rights reserved.

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Aug 08 2017

32mins

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Rank #8: 83: Recuse Yourself - Pt 3: A Fair Fight for a Fair Court

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When should a judge step aside? Most people can agree that when a judge’s family member appears in court, it’s the judge’s responsibility to bow out. Or, if a judge stands to profit directly from the outcome of the ruling — that’s pretty cut and dry, too. But what about this: can a judge remain impartial when a case concerns a person or group that contributed money, sometimes millions of dollars, to help that judge get elected? What then? As more and more money floods into judicial elections across the nation, states are grappling with this question. Perhaps none more than Wisconsin, where, like many states, the final decision whether or not to step aside is left for the judge to determine. Reporter Chloe Prasinos has our story.

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May 17 2016

34mins

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Rank #9: 116: In Studio - Prosecuting Discretion

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"Every criminal trial is a competition between the prosecution and the defense. The judge has relatively less dominant role than in other countries and a lot of times, we have the guilt and innocence of people decided by juries, unless of course there's a plea bargain. This means prosecutors are crucially important because they're the ones who decide whether a case is going to go through, and what shape that case is going to take."

- Hadar Aviram, Professor of Law, UC Hastings

This week on Life of the Law, our team met up in the studios of KQED to talk about the law, moral luck, and prosecutorial discretion in America.

Hadar Aviram, Professor of Law at UC Hastings and a member of our Advisory Panel of Scholars; Brittny Bottorff, Attorney with the Mayor Law Group and Chair of our Advisory Board; Tony Gannon, Life of the Law's Senior Producer; Jessica McKellar, software developer, author, and member of our Advisory Board; Nancy Mullane, Life of the Law's Executive Producer and host; and Osagie Obasogie Professsor at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health.

Production Notes:

In-Studio: Prosecuting Discretion was edited and produced by Tony Gannon. Special thanks to Hadar Avisram, Brittny Bottorff, Tony Gannon, Jessica McKellar, Nancy Mullane, and Osagie Obasogie for joining us at KQED studios in San Francisco.

Our post production editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle and Rachael Cain.  Music in this episode was composed by Ian Coss. Howard Gelman of KQED Radio in San Francisco was our engineer.

This episode of Life of the Law was funded in part by grants from the Law and Society Association, and the National Science Foundation.

© Copyright 2017 Life of the Law. All rights reserved.

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Aug 22 2017

51mins

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Rank #10: 67: The Stop

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We all know this feeling. You're driving. Maybe you're speeding. Maybe you don't think you're doing anything wrong. All of a sudden blue lights flash in your rear-view mirror. Your stomach drops. You've been stopped. 

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Oct 06 2015

19mins

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Rank #11: 66: Who’s the Criminal?

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Ever committed a crime? Were you caught? Arrested? Maybe not. Between a quarter and a third of all adults in America were caught and arrested. Now they have a criminal record. What about those who got away? 

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Sep 22 2015

17mins

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Rank #12: 82: The Holdup

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“I feel like I need to do those things cause the court has to appear normal to the outside world, even though things are really abnormal inside, it's my job to keep a sense of normalcy and not to draw attention to the court.”

--Chief Judge Keith Watkins, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama

This year is an election year, which is already pretty rough going. Then in February, Justice Antonin Scalia died, leaving an open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. More like a black hole. Senate Republicans immediately declared that they would not hold hearings or vote on anyone President Obama nominated to fill the vacancy. That it’s up to whoever is elected President in November to fill the seat on the highest court.  

And it’s not just the Supreme Court that has an empty seat. There are dozens of unfilled judicial seats in federal courts across the country. Some seats have been empty for months, others for a years, and one for a decade. And while politicians argue about who should fill the seat, the judges on the bench continue to work day and night against an ever-growing backlog of cases.

PRODUCTION NOTES

The Hold Up was reported by Ashley Cleek, edited by Annie Aviles, with sound design and production by Jonathan Hirsch.  Alyssa Bernstein, Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle, Shani Aviram, and Nancy Mullane provided production support.

Special thanks to the many federal judges who took time out of their very busy schedules to talk to us.

The music in this episode is from Blue Dot Sessions.

Full Transcript of The Hold Up

SUGGESTED READING“The Impact of Judicial Vacancies on Federal Trial Courts”“The Potential Economic Benefits of Improving the Judicial Infrastructure in the Eastern District of Texas”“Wheels of Justice Slow at Overloaded Federal Courts”

This episode of Life of the Law was funded in part by grants from the Open Society Foundations, the Law and Society Association, the Proteus Fund, the  Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, and was sponsored by Squarespace and The Great Courses Plus. Be sure to use the promo code LAW at check out to receive special benefits as a Life of the Law listener.

© Copyright 2016 Life of the Law. All rights reserved.

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May 03 2016

25mins

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Rank #13: 32: Privacy Issues

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You’re driving your car down a street and as you pass, a camera takes a photo of your license plate. Who is taking the photo and what are they doing with the information? Reporter Cyrus Farivar has our story.

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Apr 22 2014

21mins

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Rank #14: 102: Radio Silenced

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In April of 2014, federal agents raided the studios of 106.1 TOUCH FM in Boston, Massachusetts. They took turntables, microphones, transmitters, pretty much everything. The reason was simple: the radio station was operating without a license. But that raises questions: could the owner get a license? If not, why not? And why did he need one in the first place?

Just because something’s law, doesn't make it right. I like to call us the Rosa Parks of radio. The Harriet Tubman of radio. The Nat Turner of radio. The Malcolm X of radio. Everyone deserves a voice.

-- Charles Clemons

This is a story about how radio regulation has evolved over its one-hundred year history, and whose interests that regulation serves. It is also a story of media diversity -- of two independent and black-owned radio stations that once broadcast on Boston’s airwaves, but have been silenced.

Finally, it is the story of Greg Lawson -- a man who always keeps the radio on, and listened as the stations he depended on disappeared, one after the other.

Suggested Reading

The Titanic’s Role in Radio ReformUnlicensed Grove Hall radio station shutteredRich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious TimesA Political-Economic History of FCC Policy on Minority Broadcast OwnershipProduction Notes

Radio Silenced was reported and produced by Ian Coss and edited by Nancy Mullane, Life of the Law's Executive Producer. The story's Senior Producer was Tony Gannon. Our Post Production Editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle and Rachael Cain.

We want to thank Jason Loviglio, Chair and Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Maryland for sharing his scholarship. Professor Loviglio is the author of Radio’s Intimate Public: Network Broadcasting and Mass-Mediated Democracy.

Our engineer was Howard Gelman of KQED Radio in San Francisco. Music in this episode was composed and produced by Ian Coss.

Transcript of Radio Silence

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Feb 07 2017

44mins

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Rank #15: 114: Inside San Quentin - To Be Heard

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It's been more than 45 years since a thousand inmates at Attica Prison (Correctional Facility) in New York took control of the prison. In her 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning book, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy, Professor Heather Thompson pieces "together the whole, gripping story, from the conditions that gave rise to the rebellion, which cost the lives of 43 men, to the decades of government obstructionism that prevented the full story from being told." (NYTimes)

If you listened to our most recent Episode 114: In-Studio-Locking People Up, you know we're talking about the fact that more than 2.2 million people are locked up in America's prisons and jails. We invited scholars who have spent their professional lives researching and reporting on this crisis of incarceration, and a man who was incarcerated in California for more than 20 years, to join us in the studios of KQED in San Francisco to talk about how we got here and what it would take to make a safe and humane society.

Immediately after our conversation at KQED, Troy Williams and scholars Rebecca McClennan, Keramet Reiter, Ashley Rubin and Heather Thompson drove to San Quentin State Prison about an hour away, to go inside the prison for a round-table (recorded) discussion with men locked up, to talk about their right to be heard and to protest behind the walls.

We begin with an introduction by Shadeed Wallce Stepter, producer of this episode, a reporter with the San Quentin Prison Report and Chair of the San Quentin Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Jul 25 2017

51mins

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Rank #16: 90: Kids Doing Life

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When you’re sixteen or seventeen do you really think about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with? Sometimes, sure. But not all the time. There’s science to show that teens don’t think like adults. Their brains aren’t fully developed. That means two things. First that they don’t have the same ability as an adult to consider the consequences of their actions, and second, that in time, when their brain does become fully developed, they can be rehabilitated.

For these and many reasons, the US Supreme Court issued a series of decisions that teens can’t be sentenced to death and they can’t be given an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole. But what does that mean? How long can a state send a teen to prison before they have a chance at parole?

If you break the law and are sent to prison as a teen, how long do we wait to give you another chance? This week on Life of the Law, reporter Brenda Salinas tells us Ashley Ervin's story.

PRODUCTION NOTES

Kids Doing Life was reported by Brenda Salinas and edited by Jess Engebretson with sound design and production from Shani Aviram. 

We want to thank Rachael Cain, our summer intern, and Megan Flynn, Beth Schwartzapfel, and Terry Langford for their reporting and help with production. Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle is our Post Production Editor. Howard Gelman is our engineer.

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Aug 23 2016

32mins

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Rank #17: 123: The Battle Over Your Right to Vote

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The polls got it wrong. What matters in the end, on election day, is who has the right to vote and who goes to the polls to cast their ballot. Due to strict voter ID laws, not all Americans are allowed to vote on election day. In fact, some 21 million are prevented from voting simply because they don't have the required ID or paperwork when they go to the polls. The Government Accounting Office reports that can shift the election outcome in some states by 2-3 percentage points.

In our most recent episode GOVERNMENT GHOST reporter Megan Marrelli told the story of one American who could not cast a ballot or vote for much of his adult life because he did not have a birth certificate to get a government issued photo ID.

This week on Life of the Law, our team meets IN-STUDIO with Wendy Weiser, Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law to talk about the battle now taking place in state legislatures and in the courts to further restrict who can vote.

According to a report in the NY Times, "In Georgia, which ended a program in September (2017) that had canceled or marked for purging roughly 35,000 registered voters, two-thirds of them African Americans. That purge was based on a data-matching program that had flagged registrations for errors as niggling as a missing apostrophe or missed hyphen."

Wendy Weiser joins Life of the Law's Advisory Board Members Osagie Obasogie, Professor at UC Berkeley School of Public Health and Jessica McKellar, Software Engineer and author; Tony Gannon, Life of the Law's Senior Producer and Nancy Mullane, Life of the Law's Executive Producer.

Production Notes:In-Studio: The Battle over your Right to Vote -- was produced by Nancy Mullane and Tony Gannon. Special thanks to Wendy Weiser, Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice and our Advisory Board Members Osagie Obasogie and Jessica McKellar. Our Post Production Editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle and Rachael Cain. Music in this episode was by Ian Coss. Katie McMurran was our engineer at the studios of KQED in San Francisco. We had engineering support from Ivan Kuraev at Argot Studios in New York City. This episode of Life of the Law was funded in part by grants from theLaw and Society Association, and theNational Science Foundation. © Copyright 2017 Life of the Law. All rights reserved. Suggested Reading and Viewing:

ACLU – Oppose Voter ID Legislation Fact Sheet US Government Accountability Office -Issues Related to State Voter Identification Laws 2014 (Reissued 2015) Brennan Center for Justice  – New Voting Restrictions in America Brennan Center or Justice – Research on Voter ID

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Nov 28 2017

44mins

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Rank #18: 122: Government Ghost

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2017 has been a terrible year for tens of thousands of people. Fires in northern California and record-setting torrential hurricanes and floods in Texas and Puerto Rico have meant that families have lost their homes and in many cases all of their belongings, including documentation and identification -- Social Security cards, drivers licenses and birth certificates. What happens when you lose your identification?  As it turns out it's not always as easy as you might think getting  government issued ID reinstated."The thing is, why do they make it so hard when you lose everything, to get it back? Do you have any answers to that?" - Dennis Rickett

Today, millions of Americans live in the shadows, without any form of government issued photo identification. They can't get social security and many can't vote. A US Government Accounting Office study found that strict voter ID laws around the country have reduced voter turnout by 2-3 percentage points, which, according to the GAO can translate "into tens of thousands of votes lost in a single state."Reporter Megan Marrelli tells the story of Dennis Rickett (in photo below) and his life without  a photo ID. We call our story Government Ghost.

Production Notes:Government Ghost was reported by Megan Marrelli and edited by Nancy Mullane with sound design by Ian Coss. Our Senior Producer is Tony Gannon. Our Post Production Editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle and Rachael Cain. Music in this episode was by Ian Coss. Jim Bennett was our engineer at the studios of KQED in San Francisco. We had engineering support from Rami Azer at Encounter Studios in Toronto. Special thanks to Dennis Rickett and his partner, Samuel "Chip" Delaney for sharing their story with all of us at Life of the Law.  This episode of Life of the Law was funded in part by grants from theLaw and Society Association, and theNational Science Foundation. © Copyright 2017 Life of the Law. All rights reserved. Suggested Reading and Viewing:

ACLU - Oppose Voter ID Legislation Fact Sheet US Government Accountability Office -Issues Related to State Voter Identification Laws 2014 (Reissued 2015) Brennan Center for Justice  - New Voting Restrictions in America Brennan Center or Justice - Research on Voter ID

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Nov 14 2017

23mins

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Rank #19: 28: Bad Constitution

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With more than 300,000 words and over 800 amendments, Alabama’s Constitution is 40 times longer than the US Constitution, and holds the record for being the longest active constitution in the world. Originally written in 1901 by men seeking to establish the law of white supremacy in the state, the constitution still requires racially segregated schools and outlaws interracial marriage, laws that have been nullified by the United States Supreme Court.

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Feb 25 2014

20mins

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Rank #20: 26: School Discipline

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Thousands of kids are arrested in school every year. About a third of U.S. schools have a regular police presence on campus; some school districts even have their own police forces. As the number of law enforcement officers on campus has gone up, so, too, have the number of arrests, often for low-level misdemeanors. Life of the Law’s Alisa Roth investigates one student’s case, and examines the uncertain legal terrain police, teachers, administrators and students face in American high schools.

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Jan 28 2014

21mins

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