Law and Order http://wrkf.org en Do Heat-Sensitive Inmates Have A Right To Air Conditioning? http://wrkf.org/post/do-heat-sensitive-inmates-have-right-air-conditioning The exact cause of prisoner Jerome Murdough's death at Rikers Island in February is still under investigation. But the temperature in the cell when he was found in New York City's biggest jail was at least 100 degrees.<p>The death of Murdough, who had severe mental illness, called renewed attention to a long-standing problem: maintaining reasonable temperatures in jails and prisons.<p>The high temperatures at some U.S. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:56:46 +0000 editor 30005 at http://wrkf.org Do Heat-Sensitive Inmates Have A Right To Air Conditioning? With Judges Overriding Death Penalty Cases, Alabama Is An Outlier http://wrkf.org/post/judges-overriding-death-penalty-cases-alabama-outlier When Courtney Lockhart was tried for murder in Alabama, the jury unanimously recommended a life sentence, but the judge overrode that recommendation and sentenced Lockhart to death instead. Now the convicted murderer is asking the state Supreme Court to examine Alabama's unique process of judicial override.<p>Alabama is an outlier. It's the only state in which judges routinely override jury decisions <em>not</em> to impose the death penalty.<p>Lockhart's journey through the Alabama judicial system began in 2008, after he carjacked and murdered Auburn University freshman Lauren Burk. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 19:08:00 +0000 Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza 29977 at http://wrkf.org With Judges Overriding Death Penalty Cases, Alabama Is An Outlier Study Reveals Worse Outcomes For Black And Latino Defendants http://wrkf.org/post/study-reveals-worse-outcomes-black-and-latino-defendants There are a lot of steps that come between an arrest and a conviction, and between conviction and sentencing. And throughout that winding process, a prosecutor's decisions carry enormous weight.<p><em>Does the prosecutor accept the case? Does she have the defendant jailed before trial? Thu, 17 Jul 2014 14:44:00 +0000 editor 29524 at http://wrkf.org Study Reveals Worse Outcomes For Black And Latino Defendants How Banning One Question Could Help Ex-Offenders Land A Job http://wrkf.org/post/how-banning-one-question-could-help-ex-offenders-land-job Washington, D.C., is expected to join four states and several cities soon in prohibiting companies from asking job applicants — up front — if they have a criminal record.<p>It's part of a growing movement called Ban the Box, a reference to that box on a job application form that asks, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?"<p>Advocates for the laws say having to check the box prevents many ex-offenders from getting a fair shot at a job.<p>Chearie Phelps-El says it happened to her. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 07:28:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 29338 at http://wrkf.org How Banning One Question Could Help Ex-Offenders Land A Job What We Talk About When We Talk About Violence In Chicago http://wrkf.org/post/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-violence-chicago We have a default template for the way we process mass shootings. We scour through every available scrap of the perpetrators' interior lives – Facebook postings, YouTube videos, interviews with former roommates — to try to find out what drove them to kill. The sites of the massacres become a kind of shorthand: Columbine, Sandy Hook, Fort Hood. Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 29301 at http://wrkf.org What We Talk About When We Talk About Violence In Chicago Corruption Convictions Spell 10 Year Sentence For Former NOLA Mayor http://wrkf.org/post/corruption-convictions-spell-10-year-sentence-former-nola-mayor Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>A federal judge has sentenced former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to 10 years in prison for corruption conviction. The sentence was lighter than what prosecutors were seeking for the former two-term Democrat. NPR's Debbie Elliott covered Nagin's trial earlier this year, and she joins us now to talk about today's sentencing. Debbie, first remind us of what Ray Nagin was convicted of back in February.<p>DEBBIE ELLIOT, BYLINE: Well, a New Orleans jury found him guilty of 20 of the 21 federal corruption counts he was facing. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 20:11:00 +0000 Debbie Elliott 29147 at http://wrkf.org States Push For Prison Sentence Overhaul; Prosecutors Push Back http://wrkf.org/post/states-push-prison-sentence-overhaul-prosecutors-push-back Some red states like Louisiana and Texas have emerged as leaders in a new movement: to divert offenders from prisons and into drug treatment, work release and other incarceration alternatives.<p>By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 07:58:00 +0000 Martin Kaste 29116 at http://wrkf.org States Push For Prison Sentence Overhaul; Prosecutors Push Back Gay Teacher Files Sex Discrimination Claim Against Georgia School http://wrkf.org/post/gay-teacher-files-sex-discrimination-claim-against-georgia-school For the past four years, Flint Dollar has been teaching music at Mount de Sales Academy, a Catholic school in Macon, Ga. He is, by all accounts, beloved by his students.<p>But Dollar won't be leading the band or teaching the chorus in the fall. His contract was not renewed after administrators found out he plans to marry a man.<p>Under <a href="http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html">federal anti-discrimination laws</a>, employers are not prohibited from hiring or firing people on the basis of sexual orientation. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 07:33:00 +0000 editor 29114 at http://wrkf.org Gay Teacher Files Sex Discrimination Claim Against Georgia School High Court Allows Some Companies To Opt Out Of Contraceptives Mandate http://wrkf.org/post/high-court-allows-some-companies-opt-out-contraceptives-mandate For the first time, the U.S. Mon, 30 Jun 2014 20:38:00 +0000 Nina Totenberg 28738 at http://wrkf.org High Court Ruling Sends Abortion Clinics Scrambling To Adjust http://wrkf.org/post/high-court-ruling-sends-abortion-clinics-scrambling-adjust Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Let's go now to Massachusetts where staffs at abortion clinics are scrambling to adjust their plans after that ruling. From Boston, NPR's Tovia Smith reports.<p>TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: The rules of the game have changed, as one abortion-rights activist put it, and protesters agree on that point. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 20:44:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 28592 at http://wrkf.org