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FROM THIS EPISODE

Local district attorneys get re-elected for putting people in jail. Now some prosecutors are part of a movement to get some inmates out. An Ohio man who spent 39 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit is just one of 125 released last year—a record number of wrongful convictions. It’s not just new evidence or witnesses changing their stories—it’s also the pressure on innocent people to plead guilty. The Brooklyn DA now runs a “conviction review unit”—part a new wave for exonerations.

Plus, Jordan's hostage negotiation, and a fugitive treasure hunter and "The Ship of Gold."

Photo: Brad K.

Producers:
Evan George
Andrea Brody
Jenny Hamel

Jordan’s Hostage Negotiation and Impact on Anti-ISIS Coalition 6 MIN, 20 SEC

The deadline has passed for a prisoner swap between the nation of Jordan and the so-called Islamic State, which is threatening to kill a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian Air Force pilot. Jordan said it would turn over a woman captured as part of a suicide-bombing plot—but ISIS has not yet provided proof that the Jordanian pilot is still alive. Rod Nordland is in Amman, Jordan for the New York Times.

Guests:
Rod Nordland, New York Times (@rodnordland)

A New Movement to Free the Wrongfully Convicted 34 MIN, 41 SEC

Last year, 125 people across the United States were exonerated of crimes they didn’t commit—the highest number of wrongful convictions ever recorded. That’s according to the National Registry of Exonerations where Maurice Possley is a researcher. He’s a former Pulitzer-Prize winner who reported on wrongful convictions for the Chicago Tribune.

In a 12-part series of podcasts last year, Sarah Keonig studied the case of Adnan Syed, a prisoner who still denies that he strangled Maryland high school student Hae Min Lee. So why did he ask his lawyer to negotiate a guilty plea if he maintained his innocence?

Guests:
Maurice Possley, National Registry of Exonerations (@mauricepossley)
Ken Thompson, District Attorney for Kings County, New York (@brooklynda)
JaneAnne Murray, University of Minnesota Law School
Rodney Roberts, former inmate

Sunken Ship Treasure Hunter Arrested After Being on the Lam 8 MIN, 39 SEC

In 1857, a ship loaded with ore from the California Gold Rush sank during a hurricane off South Carolina. In 1988, a scientist from Ohio discovered the wreck of the SS Central America and recovered 21 tons of gold bars and coins. He sold some—but then became a federal fugitive.

Treasure hunter Tommy Thompson was arrested by federal marshals in West Palm Beach, Florida, but he’ll be extradited to Columbus, Ohio. That’s where investors, insurance companies and crew members are hoping to recover money he promised them from the SS Central America. Among the investors is the company that publishes the Columbus Monthly, where Michelle Sullivan is Assistant Editor.

Guests:
Michelle Sullivan, Columbus Monthly (@shelle_sully)

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