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January 26, 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

The Death Penalty
Is Justice Being Served?
Last Featured: 9/10/2007

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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.

First used in Texas in 1982, lethal injection is the method of execution now authorized in 37 of the 38 states that have the death penalty. But the recent botched execution of Angel Nieves Diaz in Florida raises new questions of whether the method violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Join us on this edition of Justice Talking as we take a new look at capital punishment and ask age-old questions about whether the death penalty is appropriate retribution for heinous crimes, whether it deters criminal activity and whether it can be administered in a fair and humane way.

Report from New Jersey
Justice Talking contributor Brad Linder reports on recent legislative efforts in New Jersey to abolish the state's death penalty.

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The Death Penalty in America
Host Margot Adler speaks with law professor John H. Blume about the current state of the death penalty around the country.

John H. Blume is an associate professor of law at Cornell University. He is a founder and the director of the Cornell Death Penalty Project, which fosters empirical scholarship on the death penalty, offers students an opportunity to work on death penalty cases, and provides information and assistance for death penalty lawyers.

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Methods of Capital Punishment
Host Margot Adler interviews Deborah Denno about the history of lethal injection.

Deborah Denno is an Arthur A. McGivney Professor of Law at Fordham University. She is a leading scholar on the death penalty and lethal injection and has written extensively on numerous aspects of capital punishment, especially the constitutionality of execution methods.

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Debate on the Issue: Lethal Injection
Host Margot Adler is joined by pro-death penalty advocate Robert Blecker and anti-death penalty advocate Richard Dieter to debate the role of pain in capital punishment and whether lethal injection is inhumane.

Robert Blecker is a professor of law at New York Law School. He is a leading proponent of the death penalty.

Richard Dieter is the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, an education and anti-death penalty advocacy group in Washington, D.C.

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Race and the Death Penalty
Host Margot Adler interviews public interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson about how the death penalty disproportionately affects poor people and minorities.

Bryan Stevenson is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama in Montgomery, Alabama and also a professor of law at the New York University School of Law.

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Interview with an Exonerated Person
Host Margot Adler speaks with Harold Wilson about his life after he was exonerated from a death sentence.
In 1999, Wilson's death sentence was overturned when it was determined that his defense counsel had failed to investigate and present mitigating evidence during his original trial. In 2003, Wilson was granted a new trial and the court ruled that, this time, the death penalty could not be sought. Wilson was acquitted of all charges on November 15, 2005, after new DNA evidence revealed blood from the crime scene that did not come from Wilson or any of the victims, suggesting the involvement of another assailant.
You can contact Harold Wilson at:

Harold C. Wilson
P.O. Box 23
Manassas, VA 20110

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From the Court with Lyle Denniston
Host Margot Adler talks with court reporter Lyle Denniston about the most recent Supreme Court cases dealing with the death penalty.

Lyle Denniston is a veteran Supreme Court reporter. He has covered one of every four justices ever to sit on the court. He is currently covering the court for the Web log known as SCOTUSblog.

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NOTE: Justice Talking Blogs and Forums have been closed.
Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Furman v. Georgia
Gregg v. Georgia
McCleskey v. Georgia
Thompson v. Oklahoma
Atkins v. Virginia
Roper v. Simmons
Hill v. McDonough (Acrobat PDF file)
U.S. Department of Justice
The Constitution Project
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Criminal Justice Legal Foundation
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Justice For All
Pro-Death Penalty.com
Religious Organizing Against the Death Penalty
The Wrongfully Exonerated - National District Attorneys Association
Abolish the Death Penalty
Capital Defense Weekly
Amnesty International - Death Penalty Blog
Debating the Death Penalty: Should America Have Capital Punishment? The Experts on Both Sides Make Their Case
by Hugo Adam Bedau and Paul G. Cassell
In the Shadow of Death: Restorative Justice and Death Row Families
by Elizabeth Beck, Sarah Britto and Arlene Andrews
The Innocent Man
by John Grisham
Writing for Their Lives: Death Row USA
by Marie Mulvey-Roberts
The Right to a Jury Trial
Bail Bondsmen, Bounty Hunters and Private Prisons
Innovations in Policing