In 2017, Arkansas announced a plan to execute eight people in 10 days because the state’s lethal injection drugs were about to expire. The first person executed was Ledell Lee. He was convicted of the 1993 murder of Debra Reese and sentenced to death. But his trials and appeals were plagued by problems from the start. DNA and fingerprints found at the scene of the crime were never tested before his execution, and new analysis from the nation’s top forensic experts provides strong reason to believe he may have been innocent. Cassandra Stubbs, Director of ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project, joins the podcast to discuss a new lawsuit the ACLU is filing to finally uncover DNA evidence that could potentially exonerate Lee.
Ayelet Waldman on the ACLU’s 100 Year Fight
This weekend, we celebrate the ACLU’s 100th birthday. To commemorate the centennial, novelist and essayist Ayelet Waldman and her husband Michael Chabon edited an anthology of essays from today’s most prominent writers reflecting on landmark ACLU cases. The book is called Fight of The Century, and it features authors like Jesmyn Ward, Dave Eggers and Salman Rushdie, among many others. Waldman joins us to discuss the power of storytelling in both literature and litigation, and what compelled her to take on this project.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Stamp on the ACLU
This week, we are bringing back a very special episode from 2019 featuring our former director of the Women’s Rights Project, Lenora Lapidus. Lenora passed away just a few months after the interview, having fought a long battle with cancer. She started as an intern in 1988, later served as legal director of the ACLU of New Jersey, and for nearly two decades led the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, which was founded by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. During this memorable conversation, Lenora reflects on her own journey as a women’s rights advocate, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lasting impact on the ACLU.
How To Stop Your City from Spying on You
Surveillance technology is slowly encroaching on every part of our lives. With regulation at the federal level slow to materialize, local governments are taking action. Since this episode first ran in July, more American cities in California, Massachusetts, and Maine passed local laws to ban the use of facial recognition technology by police and other government agencies. Is local advocacy our best bet for keeping the surveillance state at bay? Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts, discusses a growing local movement to protect privacy.
What We Do At The ACLU, Told By Our Kids
For a special year-end holiday episode, we decided to ask some ACLU staff to have a conversation with their kids about the work they do. On this episode, you’ll hear kids learn about gerrymandering, how we inform legislation, the Keystone XL Pipeline and what kinds of snacks we keep nearby. Thanks for all of your support in 2019! We have some great conversations to share in the new year.