Monthly Archives: May 2019

The Pathological Politics of Criminal Justice

Rachel Barkow contends criminal justice policy is a “prisoner of politics,” driven by appeals to voters’ worst instincts and an aversion to evidence of what actually works. Defined by its severity and unfairness, the criminal justice system, she says, is counterproductive to the goal of public safety it claims as its justification. In her new book, the NYU law professor makes a provocative case for “freeing” criminal justice from the political imperative in order to achieve real reform.

Full show notes

Emily Bazelon: When Power Shifts

The well-known journalist and commentator Emily Bazelon talks about her new book, Charged, on the “movement to transform American prosecution,” and where she thinks power might be shifting in the criminal justice system. So-called progressive prosecutors are very much a minority among elected D.A.s, but what if they could be the model for dismantling what she calls America’s “giant machine of punishment”?

Full show notes