MLK

Written Into Law: The Legacy of African-American Subjugation

A new book offers a timely look at the ugly history of race-based laws. In “Becoming Free, Becoming Black: Race, Freedom, and Law In Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana” professors Ariela J. Gross, of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, and Alejandro de la Fuente, of Harvard University, trace how colonial-era laws used to subjugate people of color still resonate in our justice system.

James LaRossa

‘Gladiator’ or ‘Bionic Mouth’? The Making of a Mob Lawyer

James LaRossa’s clients included unsavory figures such as mob bosses Paul Castellano and Vincent Gigante. But the controversial New York trial lawyer’s defense career really began when he quit his job as a federal prosecutor after a collision over with Robert Kennedy over a terrorism case, LaRossa’s son tells TCR in a conversation about his recently published memoir.

College Behind Bars

Some of America’s ‘Most Terrific’ Students are Behind Bars

The Bard Prison Initiative, one of several programs that attempted to fill the void in prison education created when Congress stopped Pell grants for the incarcerated, is the subject of a new PBS documentary. TCR talks to the producers and some of the students who participated in the New York program.

Opioids and Pain: A Professor’s Story

America’s opioid epidemic was a matter of academic interest to bioethicist Travis Rieder until he suffered a serious accident in 2015. That’s when, as he put it, his efforts to overcome a “profound dependence on oxycodone” led him to write a book arguing for a more nuanced approach to pain sufferers and the doctors who work with them.

Bill Cosby

Cosby Prosecutors: America Saw ‘Who He Actually Is’

The two young Pennsylvania prosecutors who won a conviction of comedian Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges sit down with TCR to reprise the case, and draw lessons about future prosecutions of sex crimes.

From Gang ‘Shot Caller’ to Pastor: A Life-Altering Journey

Darwin “Casey” Diaz was once one of California’s most violent criminals. Today, the former gang leader counsels at-risk  young people. In a conversation with TCR about his new book, Diaz explains how he changed his life.

Dannemora escape

Dannemora Escape: In Defense of the Prison Guards

The June, 2015 escape by two inmates from a high-security prison in upstate New York triggered a country-wide manhunt, a national media feeding frenzy, two movies, and a TV mini-series. In a new book, a former guard reveals what everyone missed.

film

When a Parent Goes to Prison

One in 14 American children are growing up with at least one parent incarcerated. A new documentary by Denali Tiller explores what that means through the eyes of the kids themselves.