58 episodes

Attorney, host and creator Paul Townsend examines some of the most famous and infamous - and often misunderstood - court cases to make headlines across America. In doing so, he provides listeners with a true and unbiased understanding of the underlying facts as the judge or jury would have heard them at the time, explains what the role of each party was, breaks down the legal arguments presented, and gives the final word on who ultimately prevailed and why.

In Summation - The Final Word Paul Townsend

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 25 Ratings

Attorney, host and creator Paul Townsend examines some of the most famous and infamous - and often misunderstood - court cases to make headlines across America. In doing so, he provides listeners with a true and unbiased understanding of the underlying facts as the judge or jury would have heard them at the time, explains what the role of each party was, breaks down the legal arguments presented, and gives the final word on who ultimately prevailed and why.

    Idaho v. Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik

    Idaho v. Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik

    Welcome Back Listeners!

    In this episode of In Summation, Paul discusses a horror movie turned real life.  Inspired by the 1996 horror classic, Scream, Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik donned ghostface masks, black robes, and hunting knives to murder their high school classmate and friend, Cassie Jo Stoddart.  Not only did they stab her 30 times while she was alone, house sitting for relatives, but they filmed themselves talking about the act before, and after, the crime.

    We look how two teenagers can sink to such moral depravity.  We talk through interrogation techniques, and how good investigators narrow their focus on leads and ask the right questions.  We discuss how and when a judge might decide to hold two trials, trying each defendant separately, instead of at the same time.  And we answer one of the most common, and difficult, questions about being a defense attorney, "how can you defend awful people who have done such awful things?"

    Strap in Slasher Flick fans, because this installment shows how real life puts Hollywood to shame.  Enjoy!

    • 53 min
    United States v. Lori Loughlin, et al. (Varsity Blues Scandal)

    United States v. Lori Loughlin, et al. (Varsity Blues Scandal)

    Remember Full House?  Remember how wholesome and family-friendly it was?  Remember Aunt Becky?  She was married to Uncle Jesse.  She was part of that wave of television which instilled good family values and strong moral character while still being funny and entertaining...life before the OC.

    But despite Lori Loughlin's fairly robust acting career, she found herself on the wrong side of the law.  In this episode, Paul breaks down the largest college admissions scandal in US history.  The "Varsity Blues" case showcased everything wrong with how rich, entitled people could manipulate and cheat the system to get their kids into the higher education programs of their choice.  

    There was no trial here, everyone in the case pleaded guilty, so this episode is a little different.  But most cases don't go to trial, the vast majority of prosecutions end up in guilty pleas.  Without getting into the weeds on whether that, in and of itself, is an issue we need to remedy, this case presents a look at the common situation of what you do when you have one legal argument to make, and it doesn't work.  When a defense lawyer sees one avenue to getting a case dismissed, and the judge disagrees, sometimes the best advice you can give to a client is, know when to take a deal and reduce your punishment.

    This case is also interesting because of the unique nature of the deal that Loughlin got.  

    Listen and enjoy!

    • 51 min
    California v. Calvin Broadus (Snoop Doggy Dogg)

    California v. Calvin Broadus (Snoop Doggy Dogg)

    The 1990's were filled with high profile criminal trials for some of the most famous entertainers in the world.  Michael Jackson and OJ Simpson headlined a list of extremely public trials, mostly centered in California.

    One case which seems to be getting lost amidst this glut of criminal prosecutions is the murder charge brought against a young up-and-coming gangster rap artist named Calvin Broadus, who adopted the stage name Snoop Doggy Dogg.

    A few months prior to the release of his first studio album, Broadus was arrested for the murder of rival gang member Philip Woldemariam.  He, along with his bodyguard Malik Lee, argued that Woldemariam was shot and killed in self-defense during an altercation in a public park in Los Angeles. 

    In this episode we discuss affirmative defenses, stand your ground laws, and what happens when a jury deadlocks on only some charges, but arrives at a verdict on others.

    Paul hopes you enjoy this throwback!

    • 52 min
    Illinois v. August Spies, Albert Parsons, et al. (The Haymarket 8)

    Illinois v. August Spies, Albert Parsons, et al. (The Haymarket 8)

    Hello again friends and family,

    Bucking a recent trend of recent cases, today we head back roughly 140 years to Chicago in the 1880s.  This is another case where a person or group's personal ideology was put on trial instead of the men and their individual actions themselves.  It's a cautionary tale on what our justice system could become if we aren't vigilant in preventing it.  

    Chicago during the industrial revolution was a tense time.  The working class was always looking for more from the captains of industry who owned the factories they worked in.  Sometimes, if they felt that the pay or benefits they received was so substandard they couldn't take it anymore, they would go on strike.

    This case tells the story of one such strike.  A group of socialist anarchists were asked to come in and give speeches to rally the striking workers.  When they did so, a minor clash ensued between the striking men and the replacement labor the owners had brought in to try to break the strike.  During the skirmish, police opened fire on the strikers, killing several men.  The following day a protest was organized to shed light on the brutality of the Chicago PD.  At the very conclusion of the protest, despite its peaceful nature, the police descended on the men and ordered them to disperse.  At that point, a bomb was thrown at the line of police officers, killing one man.  Chaos and a riot ensued with the police opening fire and many men getting killed.

    In response, the police arrested the organizers of the event, despite no evidence they threw the bomb or even advocated for any violence that day.  This is the story of their show trial, and why it's so important to make sure we uphold the rights of people with whom we disagree.

    Enjoy!

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Florida v. Jamell Demons (YNW Melly)

    Florida v. Jamell Demons (YNW Melly)

    Greetings friends of In Summation - The Final Word.

    Today's episode explores the unusual trial of Jamell Demons, aka YNW Melly, who was charged with the double murder of his close friends in what prosecutors claimed was staged to look like a drive-by shooting.

    This case has it all: gang members, rap stars, lyrics about murder, unusual crime scene forensics, GPS location evidence, petty thin-skinned lawyers, and a lot of question marks left over at the end.

    Listen and get a little perspective on the lives of Florida gang members, rap collectives, the failure to conduct a thorough investigation, and how free expression through rap lyrics can find their way into criminal cases.

    • 57 min
    Wisconsin v. Mark Jensen

    Wisconsin v. Mark Jensen

    Welcome back one and all.  In this installment of In Summation - The Final Word, Paul breaks down one of the elements of the 6th Amendment confrontation clause.  Generally speaking, a criminal defendant has the right to confront an accuser, or someone producing evidence or testimony against them.  This is the basis for the rule against using hearsay at trials.

    In our case today, Mark Jensen was accused of murdering his wife, Julie.  Julie had become increasingly suspicious of Mark in the time period leading up to her death and had given her neighbors a letter, which she instructed them to give to the police if anything happened to her.  When she was found dead, the neighbors gave the police the letter which strongly indicated that law enforcement should investigate Mark should anything happen to her.

    Listen to the breakdown of how these issues played out, as several Supreme Court decisions altered the legal landscape while this case was pending.

    Additionally, Paul goes into the logistical issues for a prosecutor who has to retry a case 15 years after the initial trial.

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

Liana G. in 603 ,

Criminal cases in bite size pieces

Really enjoy listening to this podcast on my commute. The host covers interesting cases and breaks them down for non-lawyers to understand.

I’m now reflecting on my service on a jury for a criminal trial years ago. I hope what I’ve learned about courtroom procedure and strategy from these episodes will make me a better juror should I have the opportunity to serve again.

SSUProf ,

Great information

I’ve been teaching constitutional law for 20 years and really love this podcast. i’m assigning it in my classes this semester.

HoodieTree ,

Meh.

Ep 40 Kennedy v Bremerton: Bad take. Suggest everyone read the decision itself which leaves no doubt in my mind that the supremes made the right decision.

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