12 episodes

Abuse of Power is a podcast that identifies and discusses the various ways in which law enforcement and the justice system have victimized the very people they are supposed to protect: us. 


Coerced confessions. Fabricated evidence. Arresting and prosecuting the innocent. While attention has rightfully been focused recently on police brutality in the street, the abuse of power in that context is only the tip of the iceberg. The problems are systemic. They spread beyond abuse in the street and pervade the entire criminal justice system. Award-winning journalist and criminal defense attorney, Sonya Pfeiffer, and her husband and law partner, David Rudolf, scrutinize this abuse by spotlighting ten cases across ten episodes in which law enforcement misconduct within the justice system resulted in the imprisonment of innocent people. Featuring exclusive interviews with those directly involved in each case – including defendants, lawyers, experts and family members – Sonya and David dive deep into each case, providing listeners with an overview of the abuse that occurred, while also highlighting the fallout and showcasing the untold stories of those impacted by the abuses of law enforcement within the criminal justice system.

Abuse of Power with David Rudolf and Sonya Pfeiffer Acast Studios

    • Documentary
    • 4.4 • 299 Ratings

Abuse of Power is a podcast that identifies and discusses the various ways in which law enforcement and the justice system have victimized the very people they are supposed to protect: us. 


Coerced confessions. Fabricated evidence. Arresting and prosecuting the innocent. While attention has rightfully been focused recently on police brutality in the street, the abuse of power in that context is only the tip of the iceberg. The problems are systemic. They spread beyond abuse in the street and pervade the entire criminal justice system. Award-winning journalist and criminal defense attorney, Sonya Pfeiffer, and her husband and law partner, David Rudolf, scrutinize this abuse by spotlighting ten cases across ten episodes in which law enforcement misconduct within the justice system resulted in the imprisonment of innocent people. Featuring exclusive interviews with those directly involved in each case – including defendants, lawyers, experts and family members – Sonya and David dive deep into each case, providing listeners with an overview of the abuse that occurred, while also highlighting the fallout and showcasing the untold stories of those impacted by the abuses of law enforcement within the criminal justice system.

    State of Florida vs. James Dailey

    State of Florida vs. James Dailey

    James Dailey has been on Florida’s death row for 32 years for the murder of Shelly Boggio. Jury consultant, trial strategist, and Dailey’s criminal defense lawyer, Josh Dubin, walks Sonya and David through Dailey’s case, highlighting how the only “evidence” linking Dailey to the crime was the questionable testimony of a jailhouse informant whose testimonies have sent no less than dozens to jail and four to death row. Retired Sun-Sentinel reporter Martin Dyckman also weighs in on the entrenched misconduct as it pertains to the Florida death penalty.
     
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    • 35 min
    State of Texas vs. Hannah Overton

    State of Texas vs. Hannah Overton

    In 2006, mother of six, Hannah Overton, was convicted of capital murder after a jury found her guilty of “omission”, failure to seek medical attention for her sickly child in a timely manner. Further investigation after Hannah’s conviction revealed shocking miscarriages of justice at the hands of the prosecutor. Sonya and David speak to Hannah Overton, who shares her experience of losing all of her children to the justice system seemingly overnight, and Hannah’s attorney, Cynthia Orr, who uncovered the truth of the investigation’s findings and was able to prove Hannah’s innocence.
     
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    • 39 min
    State of Oklahoma vs. Perry Lott

    State of Oklahoma vs. Perry Lott

    Perry Lott is another victim of incorrigible police practices in Ada, Oklahoma. He was charged and convicted of rape in 1987, despite having an alibi. The main evidence against him was that the victim "thought" she recognized him. Perry Lott himself, along with private investigator Shaun Hittle and Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck, discuss the pervasive influence of police misconduct in Ada at the time of his arrest and the suffering Perry endured as a result. Even though Perry was wrongfully incarcerated, he accepted a sentence modification of “time served” in order to regain his life, a deal with the courts that would allow his release from prison but not legally declare his innocence.
     
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    • 44 min
    State of Oklahoma vs. Karl Fontenot

    State of Oklahoma vs. Karl Fontenot

    Karl Fontenot was convicted for the 1984 murder of Denice Harraway in Ada, Oklahoma. In 2018 Netflix released the documentary ‘The Innocent Man’ based on John Grisham’s only nonfiction book that detailed the crime and, further, the corruption in Ada. One year after the doc’s premiere, Karl was released on bond. Currently, his fate rests in the hands of the prosecutor who has yet to declare whether or not he intends to retry Karl. If Karl loses in a retrial, he will be sent back to prison. Barry Scheck, the co-founder of the Innocence Project, John Grisham, and journalist A.C. Shilton, discuss the false confession that landed Karl in prison and his eventual release after 35 years.
     
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    • 36 min
    State of California vs. Quintin Morris

    State of California vs. Quintin Morris

    In 1991, Quintin Morris was arrested for opening fire on a group of teenagers in Los Angeles. In 1994, he was convicted of three counts of first-degree attempted murder. Sonya and David interview his lawyer, Alissa Bjerkhoel of the Innocence Project, as well as Jim Tranium, a retired homicide detective from the Washington, D.C. police department, to understand the abuses of power in this case, including unjust eyewitness identification practices, and the legal technicalities that kept Quintin in prison for years, even after the real culprit confessed.
     
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    • 40 min
    State of California vs. Kimberly Long

    State of California vs. Kimberly Long

    In 2003, Kimberly Long was charged with the murder of her boyfriend, Ozzy Conde, after arriving home and discovering his body in the living room. Kimberly and her lawyer, Michelle Rogers, speak with Sonya and David to talk through the path toward her wrongful conviction, including “tunnel vision” on the part of the police, who made egregious mistakes in examining the crime scene and evidence. And Sonya and David discuss how a person can be convicted of a crime in a US court, even when both the judge and jurors think that person is innocent.
     
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    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
299 Ratings

299 Ratings

Bri Guy B Dawg ,

Fantastic!

Thorough, informative storytelling but doesn’t go too far into the weeds on technical things. This is a massive part of the criminal justice system that people casually talk about so it is important to have pods like this that shine a light on the grave injustices in such a personal yet professional ways. The interviews are all great. Just overall incredibly well done!!!!!! I hope there are more seasons.

Smidge2004 ,

Sucked in!

I heard about this from an interview on My Favorite Murder and it sounded intriguing. I’m hooked. It is both fascinating and horrifying at the same time. It’s very relevant given the much discussed need for justice reform in our country.

Now I’m just sad I’m almost out of episodes.

BDVh2019# ,

Very well done

4 episodes in and this podcast is awesome

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