61 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.

    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
    Episode 59: The Regressive Pseudoscience of Our "War on Opioid Addiction"

    Episode 59: The Regressive Pseudoscience of Our "War on Opioid Addiction"

    On our last episode of the year we're doing something a little different: Joining us to co-host this week is Appeal contributor Zach Siegel, who’s a journalism fellow at Northeastern University Law School’s Health in Justice Action Lab, to discuss false narratives around drug addiction and how prisons are increasingly employing puritanical pseudoscience in the so-called "War on Opioid Addiction". We will also be joined by our guest, Lev Facher of STAT News. 

    • 38 min
    Episode 58: The Cruel Roadblocks to Getting Innocent People Out of Prison

    Episode 58: The Cruel Roadblocks to Getting Innocent People Out of Prison

    Last month, 106 legal scholars signed a brief supporting St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner's efforts to get a new trial for Lamar Johnson, a man convicted of murder in 1995 for a crime many––including the prosecutor's office that convicted him––say he couldn't have possibly committed. The initial trial, which involved paid witnesses who later recanted and jail house snitches, is now seen as a stain on the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office, but pro-carceral forces in Missouri and a system rigged in opposition to obtaining new trials are preventing this from happening. How could something so obviously wrong be permitted by our justice system? Today we are joined by Daniel Harawa, assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law to explain how our system often makes achieving justice virtually impossible––even when DA's themselves support it. 

    • 14 min
    Episode 57: Imagining a Post-Incarceration World

    Episode 57: Imagining a Post-Incarceration World

    To those tasked with radically reimagining the U.S. legal system and moving it away from the current carceral, hyper-punitive model, the logical question arises: What do you replace it with? It’s a fair question and one activists and thinkers have been struggling with for decades. One such person, our guest Danielle Sered of Common Justice, has been implementing alternative justice systems in New York City for years. Today she joins us to talk about what another world looks like––and how justice and safety are possible without throwing people in cages.

    • 23 min
    Episode 56: States Turn To Nitrogen Gas For Executions, Despite Doctors' Concerns

    Episode 56: States Turn To Nitrogen Gas For Executions, Despite Doctors' Concerns

    Facing legal challenges and a shortage of drugs for lethal injections, Oklahoma was the first state to announce a plan to use nitrogen to execute prisoners on death row. Mississippi and Alabama soon followed, though none of the states has tried it yet. Critics say the science behind using nitrogen to kill people is spotty at best, and there's no way to know if it will be as "painless" as advocates presume. Today we are joined by Appeal staff reporter Lauren Gill to discuss the questions around nitrogen gas and the continuing search for ways to end human life behind bars.

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

closterchargers ,

Absolutely essential

A perfect pairing with Citations Needed — thoughtful examinations of police and prison reform that leave you far more informed than even many fellow progressives claim to be.

Contraryan ,

Great coverage -- much needed

Great podcast. Stories and topics you won't hear anywhere else.

Chris improv fan ,

Fantastic

Very informative podcast about justice/legal issues in America. Covers topics not found elsewhere.

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