65 episodes

The Appeal is a podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson, on criminal justice reform, abolition and everything in between. Each week we will feature fascinating interviews with those covering, working in, and most affected by the American criminal system; from lawyers to activists to reporters to the formerly incarcerated. The Appeal will unpack the latest efforts to shine a light on––and radically rethink––the largest prison state in the world.

The Appeal The Appeal

    • News

The Appeal is a podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson, on criminal justice reform, abolition and everything in between. Each week we will feature fascinating interviews with those covering, working in, and most affected by the American criminal system; from lawyers to activists to reporters to the formerly incarcerated. The Appeal will unpack the latest efforts to shine a light on––and radically rethink––the largest prison state in the world.

    Episode 65: The Cruel Rise of 'Drug Induced Homicide' Prosecutions

    Episode 65: The Cruel Rise of 'Drug Induced Homicide' Prosecutions

    In 2014, then-23 year-old Morgan Godvin sold a small amount of heroin to her friend and fellow drug user Justin DeLong who subsequently overdosed and died. Morgan was charged by the federal government for “drug delivery resulting in death” and served five years in prison––despite Justin’s family pleading for leniency. Now out of prison and majoring in community health education at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, Godvin is on a mission to raise awareness of the hyper-punitive rise of “drug induced homicide” prosecutions. She joins us this week along with special guest host Leo Beletsky, a professor of Law and Health Sciences at Northeastern University, to discuss what activists are doing to push back against the latest trend in Tough on Drug Crime cruelty.

    • 30 min
    Episode 64: Documenting the Death Penalty

    Episode 64: Documenting the Death Penalty

    Despite hundreds of people being put to death in the United States since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, surprisingly little data exists on who exactly is killed by the government. Two reporters at The Intercept, Jordan Smith and Liliana Segura, have spent the last three years working on filling the gap in knowledge––collecting and assembling data on how widespread, racially biased, and arbitrary the death penalty remains in 2020. This week, they join us to talk about their findings.

    • 34 min
    Episode 62: Police Abuse In American Schools

    Episode 62: Police Abuse In American Schools

    In recent years, the number of police in American schools has skyrocketed as social services have been cut. As of 2016, 1.7 million students are in schools with police officers but no counselors, 3 million students are in schools with officers but no nurses, and 10 million students are in schools with police but no social workers. This invariably has led to abuse and undue arrests of children, some as young as 6 years old. Today we are joined by Appeal contributor Roxanna Asgarian to discuss one case in Pittsburgh that saw a 7-year-old with development issues detained, pinned down and left with PTSD. 

    • 14 min
    Episode 62: Locking Up Women For Killing Their Rapists

    Episode 62: Locking Up Women For Killing Their Rapists

    In 2018, Brittany Smith was assaulted and raped by a man in her Alabama home. Later that night, when the same man attacked both her and her brother, Smith shot and killed him in what she calls self-defense. Now she’s on trial for murder and her case tells us a lot about how our criminal legal system treats gendered violence. Today we are joined by Appeal writer Lauren Gill to talk about this case and the broader trend of throwing the book at women who defend themselves from abusive men.
     

    • 24 min
    Appeal Podcast: Reexamining the Science of Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Appeal Podcast: Reexamining the Science of Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) bas been the subject of countless news specials, TV drama plots, and shocking tabloid headlines––horrific tales of child abuse, quickly met with the firm justice of the state. But in recent years, medical and legal experts have begun pushing back against the conventional wisdom surrounding SBS, questioning its fundamental scientific basis. Today we are joined by Appeal staff writer Elizbabeth Weill-Greenberg to talk about efforts to reexamine many of the assumptions about how our legal system treats SBS cases.

    • 17 min
    Episode 60: Substandard Healthcare in American Prisons

    Episode 60: Substandard Healthcare in American Prisons

    The only people in the United States the government is required by law to provide healthcare for are the incarcerated. But what constitutes a baseline standard of care is very much in doubt and many human rights activists and legal experts argue the healthcare, namely in states like Illinois and Louisiana, is far below any moral or constitutional standard. Today Type Investigation’s Ida B. Wells Fellow and Appeal contributor Taylor Elizabeth Eldridge joins us to discuss how we are long overdue for a national conversation on healthcare neglect in America’s sprawling prison complex.

    • 19 min

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