Sometimes what’s considered as socially acceptable behavior can also be technically unlawful. Reporter Jason Albert follows one city as it grapples with how to enforce laws in a public park without unnecessarily restricting public use.
What do we really know about death row in California? When we don’t know we create, we imagine.
In California, there are hundreds if not thousands of people practicing criminal law though they’ve never passed a bar exam. They don’t wear suits. They don’t have secretaries. And they can’t bill for their time. They’re called Jailhouse Lawyers. They’re inmates who pursue the equivalent of a lawyer’s education and who work as lawyers from within prison walls.
Though jurors are sworn to uphold the law during their deliberation, they still have the power to decide that a defendant is innocent even when all signs point to their guilt. Prosecutor Paul Butler traces the ways this hidden process was a boon for abolitionists in the 1800’s, and a curse to contemporary prosecutors arguing for a guilty verdict.
Standing in the empty parking lot of a Subway store in Springfield, Illinois, Don Norton unfolds a ragged cardboard poster and holds it just below his chest. The sign, which reads, ‘Please help any way you can,’ is so old it looks like it’s about to dissolve.