Listen & Learn | A Crash Course

Want more background about Missouri’s death penalty, racial justice, the criminal justice system, and more? See our list of must-listen podcasts below for a crash course.

Death Penalty Information Center On the Issues: Examining issues in the death penalty system. Brought to you by the Death Penalty Information Center, a non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment. This series of 7-10 minutes podcasts will bring you up to date on various aspects, national and international, of the death penalty.

Bonus Episode: Marcellus Williams (Undisclosed): August 18, 2017 / Colin talks to the attorney of a man scheduled to be executed despite DNA evidence exonerating him.

The Death Penalty: Shane Claiborne (Q Podcast): By many metrics, incarceration rates are growing in America with valid concerns about a “cradle-to-prison” pipeline in certain regions. With thirty-one states currently supporting the death penalty backed by a moral, “an eye for an eye,” position, how should Christians engage? Author and activist, Shane Claiborne, believes the Church must be pro-life no matter who is under threat. As an advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, he explains how prison reform is the natural outflow of every Christian’s call to value and protect life.

Crime as a Disease (Hidden Brain): In moments of anger, it can be hard to take a deep breath or count to ten. But public health researcher Harold Pollack says five minutes of reflection can make all the difference between a regular life and one spent behind bars. This week, we visit a Chicago program that helps young men learn how to pause and reflect. Plus, we ask whether we should think of violence as a disease, similar to a blood-borne pathogen in its ability to spread from person to person.

Cruel and Unusual (More Perfect):  On the inaugural episode of More Perfect, we explore three little words embedded in the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: “cruel and unusual.” America has long wrestled with this concept in the context of our strongest punishment, the death penalty. A majority of “we the people” (61 percent, to be exact) are in favor of having it, but inside the Supreme Court, opinions have evolved over time in surprising ways.  And outside of the court, the debate drove one woman in the UK to take on the U.S. death penalty system from Europe. It also caused states to resuscitate old methods used for executing prisoners on death row. And perhaps more than anything, it forced a conversation on what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Death Sentence Changes A Juror’s Life, And Understanding America’s Legacy Of Lynching (KCUR 89.3 Kansas City Public Radio): The consequences of a death sentence most obviously affect the accused, but everyone involved in the case must deal with the decision’s terminal implications. Today, we hear how a 1994 death sentence in Mississippi is affecting one juror’s life decades later. Then, we explore how America’s legacy of lynching still influences race relations in Missouri, Kansas and throughout the country.

Mr. Hallowell Didn’t Like That (Revisionist History): Arrested, arraigned, indicted, tried, convicted, and sentenced to die in the electric chair in 24 hours.

Object Anyway (More Perfect): At the trial of James Batson in 1982, the prosecution eliminated all the black jurors from the jury pool. Batson objected, setting off a complicated discussion about jury selection that would make its way all the way up to the Supreme Court. On this episode of More Perfect, the Supreme Court ruling that was supposed to prevent race-based jury selection, but may have only made the problem worse.

The Personality Myth (Invisibilia): We like to think of our own personalities – and those of our spouses, children and friends – as predictable and constant over time. But what if they aren’t? In this episode, Alix Spiegel visits a prison to explore whether there is such a thing as a stable personality. And Lulu Miller asks whether scientists can point to a single thing about a person that doesn’t change over time. The answer might surprise you.

The Culture Inside (Invisibilia): Is there a part of ourselves that we don’t acknowledge, that we don’t even have access to and that might make us ashamed if we encountered it?

Solitary Confinement: Cruel and Unusual (Stuff You Should Know): In our continuing exploration of crime and punishment, we take a look at the practice of solitary confinement. To be sure, it has its place in prisons, sometimes for protection of the inmates themselves. However, leaving people in solitary for weeks, months and even years is another thing. We explore this cruel and unusual punishment in today’s episode.