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FROM THIS EPISODE

Last July a California judge ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in the case of Ernest D Jones. The reasoning behind the judge’s ruling? It’s taking California too long to kill inmates on Death Row. This morning, a federal appeals court panel in Pasadena considered the lower court’s decision. Could this mean the end of the death penalty in California? And while most prisoners are not on death row or even in prison for life, even a short stint can affect them for the rest of their lives. We look at the case of Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith, who was prosecuted for lying to federal agents about an illegal campaign flier and sentenced to a year and a day in a federal prison in rural Kentucky—500 miles from his St. Louis home. Then, 100,000 migrants crossed into Europe last month alone. Over the weekend, European leaders called for an emergency meeting to address the Mediterranean migrant crisis. In the meantime—is there anything that the United States can do? Then, we remember horror movie visionary, Wes Craven, who died Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 76. Finally, the VMA’s were full of not all that surprising surprises last night.

Banner Image: Director Wes Craven attends the premiere of the movie "Drag Me to Hell" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California May 12, 2009. The movie opens in the U.S. on May 29. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Producers:
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Jolie Myers
Christian Bordal
Ryan Kailath

Is California’s Death Penalty Unconstitutional? 8 MIN

Last July a California judge ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in the case of Ernest D Jones. The reasoning behind the judge’s ruling? It’s taking California too long to kill inmates on Death Row. So long that the sentence amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. The last execution in California was carried out nine years ago and there are 746 people on death row. Today, a federal appeals court panel in Pasadena considered the lower court’s decision on Ernest Dwayne Jones. Could we see the end of the death penalty in California?

Guests:
Ashby Jones, Deputy Chief of the Wall Street Journal’s law bureau.

Mr. Smith Goes to Prison 14 MIN, 34 SEC

Even a short prison sentence affect people for the rest of their lives. That’s certainly the case for Jeff Smith. In 2006, when he was 32 years old, Jeff Smith won a seat in the Missouri State Senate. Three years later, his political career came to an abrupt end when he was prosecuted for lying to federal agents about an illegal campaign flier. He resigned his seat and was sentenced to a year and a day in a federal prison in rural Kentucky—500 miles from his St. Louis home.

Guests:
Jeff Smith, Author of Mr. Smith Goes to Prison

Can the US Help Stop the Migrant Crisis? 6 MIN, 17 SEC

Last month alone,100,000 migrants crossed into Europe, and so far this year at least 2,500 have died trying. Over the weekend, European leaders called for an emergency meeting to address the Mediterranean migrant crisis. The meeting’s now set for September 14th. Leaders hope to establish official “welcome centers” in Greece and Italy. These centers would house and feed migrants while they are screened to determine who stays and who gets sent home. It would be a first and basic step to address the problem. In the meantime—is there anything that the United States can do?

Guests:
Brad Wieners, Bloomberg Businessweek (@bradwieners)

Remembering Wes Craven 8 MIN, 7 SEC

Horror film visionary Wes Craven died Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 76. He reinvented the horror genre several times over the course of his decades-long career. “Nightmare on Elm Street” introduced a terrified generation to Freddy Krueger. And “Scream” gave us both a slick, self-aware reworking of the genre, and an abiding fear of those black-and-white masks.

Guests:
William Bibbiani, Crave Online (@williambibbiani)

TV Roundup: VMAs, Narcos, Documentary Now 8 MIN, 30 SEC

From the outrageous antics of Miley Cyrus to Kanye West’s presidential announcement, the VMA’s were full of not all that surprising surprises last night. We talk about that and new TV programming.


Guests:
Michael Schneider, Indiewire / Variety (@Franklinavenue)
Linda Holmes, NPR (@nprmonkeysee)

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