9 episodes

In 1997, Ricky Kidd was sentenced to life without parole for a double homicide he says he didn't commit. And he says his court-appointed lawyer is the reason. In the U.S. justice system, everyone has the right to an attorney, even if you can't afford one. But what happens when your lawyer is overworked, underfunded and unable to do their job? From the PBS NewsHour, a look inside Missouri's public defender system at a crisis point and what it means for serving justice in America. PBS NewsHour is supported by - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/about/funders

Broken Justice PBS NewsHour

    • True Crime
    • 4.6 • 725 Ratings

In 1997, Ricky Kidd was sentenced to life without parole for a double homicide he says he didn't commit. And he says his court-appointed lawyer is the reason. In the U.S. justice system, everyone has the right to an attorney, even if you can't afford one. But what happens when your lawyer is overworked, underfunded and unable to do their job? From the PBS NewsHour, a look inside Missouri's public defender system at a crisis point and what it means for serving justice in America. PBS NewsHour is supported by - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/about/funders

    An update from Ricky Kidd

    An update from Ricky Kidd

    It's been about a year since Ricky Kidd was exonerated of charges for a 1996 double homicide he didn't commit. As he's set out to build a new life after 23 years in prison, the world has also changed around him, amid a global pandemic and widespread protests against police violence and racism, including calls for criminal justice reform. In this special episode, producer Frank Carlson catches up with Ricky about the fallout from his case, his work with others who have been wrongfully convicted and the challenges the formerly incarcerated face in restarting their lives. PBS NewsHour is supported by - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/about/funders

    • 29 min
    Introducing America, Interrupted

    Introducing America, Interrupted

    Much of what we've heard about the coronavirus is from major cities like New York. But what's happening to hospitals in rural America, where there are more high-risk patients, fewer resources and a smaller safety net -- if there is one at all? We talk to two front-line hospital workers in southwest Georgia, and one man in West Texas who has pieced together his own supply chain to get hospitals the equipment they need. PBS NewsHour is supported by - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/about/funders

    • 25 min
    Epilogue: Life after life in prison

    Epilogue: Life after life in prison

    Ricky Kidd is finally free -- thanks to his pro bono legal team, led by law professor Sean O'Brien. In this bonus episode, Ricky and Sean tell us about adjusting to life after prison and we talk through some loose ends from the case. Also, we ask Ricky what gives him hope for reform in the criminal justice system.
    PBS NewsHour is supported by - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/about/funders

    • 35 min
    Episode 5: Where do we go from here?

    Episode 5: Where do we go from here?

    After 23 years behind bars, and a crushing defeat in 2009, Ricky Kidd finally gets a new day in court. Plus, we take a look inside a new St. Louis County prosecutor's campaign to uproot the process that fuels the overload on public defenders. Could changing the way crimes are prosecuted be the answer to the public defense crisis? If you have questions for us or Ricky, you can send them to podcasts@newshour.org
    PBS NewsHour is supported by - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/about/funders

    • 36 min
    Episode 4: Public defenders fight back

    Episode 4: Public defenders fight back

    The most common tool used to attack problems in public defender systems is the class action lawsuit. But what if there's a better strategy? Steve Hanlon, a longtime advocate for systemic legal reform, has a big idea about big data. This is the story of how his data changed things for public defenders in Missouri, and ultimately led to a state-wide showdown with the governor.
    PBS NewsHour is supported by - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/about/funders

    • 23 min
    Episode 3: When things go wrong

    Episode 3: When things go wrong

    The American justice system is based around the idea that you can get to the truth when two opposing sides make their cases in court. But what happens if your defense attorney is so overloaded they can't handle the case that could cost you your freedom? What happens when the most important testimony goes unheard, or when the evidence that could prove your innocence goes unseen? These failures aren't hypothetical. They happen all the time. They happened to Ricky Kidd.
    PBS NewsHour is supported by - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/about/funders

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
725 Ratings

725 Ratings

faith1021 ,

Wife of an exoneree

The Ricky kids episode has by far been the one! My husband is an exoneree who spent 19 years in the Texas prison system. Ricky kids couldn’t have explained the emotions and experiences any better. My husband calls it the “honey moon” stage when exonerees are first released. Nothin can phase them. Until the reality hits and it hits hard. Thank you Ricky for this episode I’m sharing it with famil so that they can understand that my husband does love them.

Fran Liebowitz ,

Enlightening -and entertaining - Podcast

First, this podcast was very well-made, from the engineering to the creator’s “voice” - and this was Katie’s first outing while still in school! Katie is a talent to watch. Secondly, this podcast served to flesh out a fully-formed person and his family, not just inhuman cardboard cutouts.

I’ve been in the “business of law” in one capacity or another for almost 35 years. I’ve always been fascinated with criminal law but,sadly, my career path did not lead me there. I’ve known about exonerees and the tough road they have ahead for decades now … but I didn’t really “get it” until Katie brought me Curtis. Now that I have an actual person whose story unfolded in real time … Well, thank you, Katie, for an enlightening, entertaining, fully rounded podcast.

(Hope you got an A, successfully defended your thesis, or whatever you were working on here! You deserve it - and I listen to a LOT of podcasts! Kindest wishes for the continuation of your career.)

Lynn145 ,

Thank You

Thank you for putting out this very informative podcast that does a very good job of discussing the problem with the system and not just the bottom of the chain that often gets blamed. Bless Ricky Kidd.

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