We hear the first part of our story about Archer Daniels Midland and FBI informant Mark Whitacre. In this half, Whitacre inadvertently ends up a cooperating witness—and turns himself into one of the best cooperating witnesses in the history of U.S. law enforcement, gathering evidence with an adeptness few have matched.
Our story about ADM and Mark Whitacre continues. The FBI finds out that their star cooperating witness Mark Whitacre has been lying to them for three years about some rather serious matters.
Monica Childs's story continues. She tells the story of how she was asked by her boss to do something illegal...and how she refused...and the repercussions she suffered.
When Jessica Robinson was sent to adult prison at the age of 14, the state did such a terrible job taking care of her that several women—an embezzler, a convicted murderer, and some thieves—stepped in to mother her. Alex Kotlowitz reports.
The story of a con man, one of the most successful salesmen in a long-running multimillion-dollar telemarketing scam, who finally got caught when he was conned himself. Nancy Updike talks about the case with Dale Sekovich, Federal Trade Commission investigator.
Host Ira Glass with former Congressman Daniel Rostenkowski. When Rostenkowski began a term in federal prison, he met for the first time people who'd been locked up under harsh drug laws that he'd voted for himself. "The whole thing's a sham," he declares.
We hear the history of why these drug laws were enacted from a firsthand witness. Eric Sterling was the lawyer in charge of drug laws for the House Judiciary Committee during the 1980s, when mandatory minimums were put in place.
Judges give their opinions of the drug sentencing laws. Terry Hatter is the Chief U.S.
Before this show ended we wanted to know—how typical are the horror stories? What happens in a typical drug case? To find out, reporter Nancy Updike spent nine hours in Night Narcotics Court in Chicago. What she discovers is that the system is working as fairly as one could hope or expect, with one caveat: Nearly all the defendants are African-American, even though the jurisdiction contains an equal number of white drug users.
The story of how a person could be sentenced to 19 years for drug possession—even if police found no drugs, drug money, residue or paraphrenalia—even if it's a first offense. Dorothy Gaines was an Alabama nurse with no prior record and no physical evidence of any drugs who was sentenced to 19 years.
Journalist Steve Bogira tells the story of Vincent Bogan, who said "no" to something once—a decade ago, when he was 21—and now has to live with that one decisive act. Bogan was arrested and charged with 17 counts of armed robbery.
Twenty-six-year-old Jose William Huezo Soriano—a.k.a. Weasel—grew up in Los Angeles.
Ira goes to the courtroom of Abraham Lincoln Marovitz, who, at 93, presides over the ceremony to make people citizens. In this setting, it's hard to talk about America as it is.
Writer Scott Carrier in Salt Lake City tells the story of someone's life that improved with a huge insurance settlement—even though the money never arrived.
Two people who've nearly died in gun battles describe what it's like, getting shot at. They draw opposite conclusions from their near death experiences.
A story by Margy Rochlin.
An original radio drama called "Kathleen on the Carpet," in which animals talk and hold their own "animal court." It's a comedy by David Sedaris, starring our own radio theater company, the Pinetree Gang.
They can't pronounce the names, can't read the maps, don't know the history, and are on an idealistic quest for justice that so far has not flowered. Kitty Felde, on Americans at the War Crimes Trial for the former Yugoslavia.Interview with Michael Ignatieff about war crimes trials and truth commissions.
Scott Carrier visits a courtroom where teenagers are tried and convicted by their teenage peers in Tucson, Arizona.
The story of the worst stateside disaster during World War II, at Port Chicago, an ammunition dump for the navy just north of San Francisco. Black workers were assigned to load ammo onto ships under such unsafe conditions that on July 17, 1944, two ships blew up, killing 320 men.
Jack Hitt reviews the strange case of William Kane, his mistress, his family, and fifteen vials of frozen sperm.
Barbara Adams, a former member of the Whitewater trial jury, showed up for jury duty wearing a full-scale costume from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Ira dissects a discussion on an Internet mailing list about fandom, inspired by Adams' celebrity. Also: Temple University professor Cindy Patton's childhood infatuation with G.I.
Ira describes a wedding held in the dingy basement room of the City of Chicago's Marriage Court.
A story about Christmas at Juvenile Court by Chicago novelist/editor Reginald Gibbons.