FROM Maurice Chammah
SCOTUS Considers Race and Jury Selection Racial bias in America's criminal justice system is an old story, one that's on the docket today at the US Supreme Court. In 1987, 19-year-old Timothy Tyrone Foster was sentenced to death by an all-white jury for the brutal murder of a 79-year old white woman in Rome, Georgia. Today, his appeal reached the US Supreme Court. Foster's lawyers examined notes made by the prosecutors during jury selection when Foster was on trial, and claim the notes prove racial bias. Maurice Chammah, who covers crime and punishment for the Marshall Project , a nonprofit news organization focusing on the criminal justice system, discusses whether courtroom prejudice can be proved. Photo: Ammodramus
Does Public Shaming Guarantee Public Safety? Sexual abuse is an especially heinous crime, and there's unwavering popular support for tough penalties. There's also increased evidence that public registries of convicted sex offenders may be doing more harm than good. Rehabilitation has become almost impossible for some 800,000 people, many of whom — including teen-agers — don't really belong on the lists. Is it time to re-visit laws enacted before the Internet blurred the lines between what's socially acceptable and what's a crime? Nineteen-year-old Zachary Anderson is being released from jail today after serving 90 days for illegal sex with a 14-year-old girl. The girl and her parents agreed in court that she lied about her age on the dating app "Hot or Not." But that won't keep Zachery off the public registry of sex offenders in Elkhart, Indiana. His father lamented, "Obviously our son's life is, at this point, is ruined. He can't do the things that he wanted to do. He can't even live in our own house with his brothers, his siblings. And it doesn't make a whole lot of sense because he is allowed to come visit but he just can't actually reside there. You know, we taught Zach, you know, abstinence, wait for that special person. And unfortunately teenagers don't always do that, but I believe with all my heart that they don't deserve a lifetime punishment for something like this."
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.