8 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, 670 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

    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
    Episode 2: How did we get here?

    Episode 2: How did we get here?

    Americans didn't always have the right to an attorney. It all started with a pool hall robbery in Florida, and an unlikely legal advocate: a poor drifter named Clarence Earl Gideon. Gideon brought the fight for free counsel to the Supreme Court 50 years ago -- and won. But all these years later, the promise of Gideon goes unfulfilled everyday. This is the story of how we built the public defender system and how we broke it. And what happened when Ricky Kidd was charged with murder in 1997 and was forced to rely on this broken system.
    PBS NewsHour is supported by - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/about/funders

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
670 Ratings

670 Ratings

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.

Jaredfchess ,

A really well done Podcast

I really appreciate the level of investigative journalism involved here. I found this Podcast to be well produced, educational, entertaining, and pertinent to the issues that our criminal justice system faces today. I think that reporting like this is the first step in bringing confidence back to our criminal justice system. Thank you for everything you do, I really think PBS is a fantastic news organization and I'm happy that it's funded by listeners like myself.

GeeDavie ,

Unique In Podcast-Dom

Think about this. A first time podcaster, telling a real story where she is a major subject. All of the sound styling and superb storytelling of the Podcast luminaries pale compared to this writer, producer, subject’s admission that she was fooled for years by a father stranger than fiction.

And he is listening to her podcast that reveals his guilt and he is reading these reviews that tell him we know he did it.

This one should win all the awards. Well, give an honorable mention to Jaad’s “Dolly Parton’s America” because of the sound styling and great story, but not for him being completely embedded in the story like we have here.

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