Monday, April 20, 2015

The Political Scene: Wrongful Imprisonment

"So many of the exonerees I met were offered various kinds of plea bargains or deals that they didn’t take because they just were not able to bring themselves to admit to a crime that they didn’t commit,” the New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy says on this week’s Political Scene podcast. Levy joins her fellow staff writer Jennifer Gonnerman and the host Dorothy Wickenden to talk about wrongful imprisonment and prison abuse in the United States. They discuss New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to prevent people from being held for years without trial, the top-down culture of violence in correctional facilities, and the difference between how the criminal-justice system is supposed to work and how it works in practice. “There is a central tension in the job of a prosecutor,” Gonnerman says. “Some people would say it is their job to seek justice for the victim, and some people would say the job is to get convictions and hit some sort of unofficial quota. That central tension is what you see at play in these cases.”

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