header image
Home Page
Hear Past Shows
About Us
January 24, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Photo by: Sonia J. Stamm
Rape on Trial
Last Featured: 5/24/2004

Listen to Full Program
(Windows Media Player Required)

Download the MP3
(Right-click and choose 'Save As...'
from the pop-up menu.)

Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

It is far too early for court-watching spinmeisters to declare a “Trial of the Century.” However, NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant is facing rape charges in a trial that combines celebrity with very real and difficult questions about the rights of the accused. Since the 1970s, 49 states have adopted Rape Shield Laws to protect victims from character attacks based on their sexual histories. But a generation later, Americans have different attitudes about both sex and rape and some wonder if the old laws serve to protect the victim or rob the accused of a fair trial.

Lynn Hecht Schafran is Director of the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts, a project of Legal Momentum with the National Association of Women Judges. Widely recognized for her contributions to legal education, Ms. Schafran has served on the faculty of judicial colleges in the U.S. and Canada and serves as an advisor to state supreme court and federal circuit task forces on gender bias in the courts. She has authored several model judicial education curricula including Understanding Sexual Violence: The Judicial Response to Stranger and Nonstranger Rape and Sexual Assault.

Marvin E. Schechter is a 30 year veteran attorney specializing in criminal defense. He recently completed a term on the Board of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and is a past president of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Prior to these offices, he chaired the indigent defense committees for both organizations. Mr. Schechter began his career as a staff attorney in the criminal defense section of the Legal Aid Society, rising to Attorney in Charge. A respected lecturer, he has served as an instructor and adjunct professor at several New York City-based law schools.

Closing Quote
"No society that feeds its children on tales of successful violence can expect them not to believe that violence in the end is rewarded."

— Margaret Meade

©1999-2020 University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved. Any Justice Talking program downloaded or podcast from this site is for personal use only. Any Justice Talking program, or portion of it, may not reproduced, publicly distributed or displayed, used to create a derivative work, or otherwise copied or transmitted to a third party, in any format now known or hereafter discovered, except as expressly permitted by Law.

To request permission to use Justice Talking audio, please contact support.
Join the Debate
NOTE: Justice Talking Blogs and Forums have been closed.
Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Colorado Rape Shield Law
NOW Press Release
Feminist Majority
National Center for Victims of Crime
Center For Individual Freedom
Against Our Will : Men, Women, and Rape
by Susan Brownmiller
Transforming a Rape Culture
by Emilie Buchwald (Editor), Pamela R. Fletcher (Editor), Martha Roth (Editor)
The Right to a Jury Trial
Bail Bondsmen, Bounty Hunters and Private Prisons
Innovations in Policing