Professor Godsey is a leading scholar, attorney and activist in the Innocence Movement. In addition to teaching Criminal Law,...
Disclaimer: This episode was originally aired on October 16, 2018.
Joe and Elie take a serious turn, talking to University of Cincinnati Law Professor Mark Godsey, director of the Ohio Innocence Project, and author of Blind Injustice about the scourge of wrongful convictions, prosecutorial misconduct, and the trouble with local elections. Professor Godsey, a former prosecutor himself, discusses his conversion to an advocate for the wrongfully convicted and his grasp of the psychology that consistently lands the wrong people in prison. Speaking of psychology, Elie discusses whatever’s going on in Kanye’s head.
Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
Above the Law – Thinking Like a Lawyer
Fighting For The Innocent (Rebroadcast)
Joe Patrice: Today’s episode is brought to you by your cat, Mr. Whiskers, who is very mad, and thinking about moving in with your ex, all because you are still at the office slogging through an endless doc review project. Make better decisions, keep your pet and work smarter with Logikcull, the eDescovery software that gets you started instantly. Live in the meow. Create a free account today at logikcull.com/atl.
Hello. Welcome to another edition of Thinking Like a Lawyer and in this case an old edition. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday we don’t have a new episode this week, but in the last week’s show when we were talking about justices, discussion came up about where Brett Kavanaugh stood on the question of the death penalty and the importance of the new Supreme Court to the death penalty.
And for that reason we thought a good episode to revisit was an interview we did a year ago with Mark Godsey of the Ohio Innocence Project talking about how he came to be a crusader for the rights of the wrongfully accused and we thought that would fit well and hope everyone enjoyed the holiday and we will be back next week.
Intro: Welcome to Thinking Like a Lawyer with your hosts Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice, talking about legal news and pop culture, all while thinking like a lawyer, here on Legal Talk Network.
Joe Patrice: Hello. Welcome to another edition of Thinking Like a Lawyer; I’m Joe Patrice from Above the Law, and with me all always, Elie Mystal.
Elie Mystal: One has to question why I decided to take a sip of coke right as you were saying hello?
Joe Patrice: Well, you know, I kind of timed it that way the same way that a wait staff always manages to come up to you right when your mouth is full to ask how the meal was, that’s what I was trying to do.
Elie Mystal: You, it succeeded.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, I mean, I waited before I started the show until I saw that — that glimmer that you thought you were going to get a drink in without any real trouble.
Elie Mystal: How are you doing?
Joe Patrice: I’m good. I’m good.
Elie Mystal: I am not so good.
Joe Patrice: Well, mean?
Elie Mystal: Because as an African-American male, I have been able to watch most of the Trump administration Kareem America down the toilet bowl. With a sense of remove as most of the people who were destroying the country happened to be White.
Joe Patrice: Right, there was a sense of camaraderie that you had other people like you who weren’t participating in this.
Elie Mystal: Exactly, I don’t have any racist uncles in my family who secretly voted for Trump. I come from Black people.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, so I feel like I have a sense of where this is going.
Elie Mystal: Because today —
Joe Patrice: Well, not necessarily today —
Elie Mystal: Sorry.
Joe Patrice: Because obviously this is prerecorded but —
Elie Mystal: On the day —
Joe Patrice: — now it won’t have a sense, yes.
Elie Mystal: On the day that we were recording this, it is about two hours after Kanye West’s performance in the Oval Office.
Joe Patrice: So, okay, so that’s — this brings me to the question that I just want you to employ your thinking like a lawyer brain on.
Elie Mystal: Okay. Minstrel.
Joe Patrice: Kanye West —
Elie Mystal: So that wasn’t the question?
Joe Patrice: Well, I mean, in a certain sense it was, the question I was going for which is at this point Kanye West really believe these things, engaged in elaborate 21st Century Andy Kaufman style performance art.
Elie Mystal: I mean, you want to hope that he’s engaged in some kind of disgusting minstrel show, right? You want to hope that it is mere coonery, and I say mere, because that is the best version of events for him, and the same way that I know a lot of White people want to believe that Melania Trump is captured and it needs to be freed as opposed to an active participant in this, like you kind of want to believe that Kanye is in some ways trying to perform here. However, I think it’s — I don’t think it’s that complicated, I don’t think he’s that interesting. I think instead the dumbest answer is true.
If you looked at the —
Joe Patrice: It’s the Occam’s razor of — yeah.
Elie Mystal: Right, the Occam’s razor of Kanye West is that Obama liked Jay-Z better, right?
Joe Patrice: Okay.
Elie Mystal: There’s an aspect of this Oval Office meeting that happened a week ago, if you’re listening to this, where Trump and Kanye are both in the Oval Office, because Obama didn’t like them and like everything that’s happened in some small way, it’s because Obama thought that these people were jokes.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. I mean, I hear you. Here’s my case for the performance art.
Elie Mystal: Okay.
Joe Patrice: I just really feel as though it’s such a break from any previous statement that he’s ever had before this and up to and obviously including his Hurricane Katrina remarks, and look, he has accomplished something, right? Like this has already accomplished something great, which is, he’s managed to take all right Neo-Nazis icon Taylor Swift to the point where she was like, wait a minute, if he’s with that guy and now she’s endorsing Democrats, and I don’t know if you’ve read the right-wing media lately but they are in pure meltdown, one of the lines I read was, betrayal of the ultimate magnitude, they were so convinced that she was like some secret —
Elie Mystal: Nazis poster girl.
Joe Patrice: — Nazis poster girl as opposed to a relatively normal person who is just happened to be blonde. And yeah, so he’s accomplished something. I feel like that’s what — that’s what we were after yay to do.
Elie Mystal: The Kanye Taylor Swift’s Freaky Friday situation is one for the record books. Look, to be clear, to be clear. Everything that Kanye says is trash. Everything that he said in the Oval Office is trash. What we saw was a bipolar man who was off his medication.
Joe Patrice: Which is, yes, I mean, if that’s true, that is serious.
Elie Mystal: And there’s an aspect at which you’re kind of sad for him as opposed to outraged by him, but yeah, I can’t shake this feeling that if Obama had just given him a hug, none of this would be happening.
Joe Patrice: But then we wouldn’t have the I plane. And with that let’s now move from the light frivolity that we had for a bit here to something a little bit more serious.
Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about the criminal justice system which ironically is something that Kim Kardashian is involved in quite a bit. Well, but we’re going to talk about wrongful convictions and with us we have professor Mark Godsey from the University of Cincinnati Law School, but also the Director of the Ohio Innocence Project and author of a book ‘Blind Injustice’, which deals with basically wrongful convictions.
So welcome to the show.
Mark Godsey: Thanks for having me on.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. So wrongful convictions, I did just kind of preview that Kanye’s other half is spending some time talking about —
Elie Mystal: The smarter half.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, as it turns out the smarter half potentially, dealing with wrongful convictions like, for people who aren’t really following all this, like how big a problem is this in the system right now?
Mark Godsey: Well, first of all we’ll take it any way we can get it if she’s going to meet with Trump on behalf of some of the clients, that’s great, but yeah, I mean, I think there’s a disconnect with the public things that we’ve got this criminal justice system with all these constitutional rights and people generally think we have the best criminal justice system in the world. And the reality is that we’ve discovered in the past 25 years that there are many, many innocent people, far more than anybody would imagine who end up being wrongfully convicted and since prison.
I mean, the Innocence Movement has identified over 2,200 in the past 25 years. I think altogether they served more than 20,000 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit, but we know this is just the tip of the iceberg, because the vast majority of these people claiming innocence in prison don’t have like DNA from their cases. They can be tested — you have to be really, really lucky.
So those 2,200 of people who were really, really lucky and every single one of those cases, you can say but for this coincidence or but for that coincidence that person would still be sitting in prison probably for the rest of their life or on death row.
Elie Mystal: I mean, it’s amazing to think about that having been wrongfully convicted, you need luck, take it out when all the bad luck fell on you to get in the first place.
Mark Godsey: Yeah, some of these cases that takes years to find the DNA and we almost give up hope, and then it turns out that some court reporter from 30 years ago actually took it home and been storing it in their basement. Some are like just freaky coincidence like that it’s like just imagine this person is freed on such luck.
Elie Mystal: So, one of the things Mark is that, now we’re living in this brave new world where apparently Republicans care about innocent until proven guilty, they care about due process, all of a sudden, which is awesome. We’ve seen from the Mueller investigation that Republicans really, really care now about the overwhelming power of this state, what it can do to force people into confessions even of crimes that they clearly did not commit.
Have you — in this kind of Trump era, have you seen any kind of uptick in support for your work from people on the right from right-of-center people?
Mark Godsey: Well, I’m going to answer that in a couple ways. First of all, I want to talk about Trump and the famous exoneration case called the Central Park Five, it is a very famous case and these guys were wrongfully convicted of raping a jogger in Central Park that got national attention, and back at the time, Trump took out a full-page ad saying, these guys should get the death penalty.
It turns out later as they’re exonerated by DNA and Trump has been in the forefront of saying, I don’t accept it, I think they’re still guilty. The City of New York should not have settled with these guys, they shouldn’t have gotten any money, it’s just outrageous.
But the Innocence Project and our movement has these different platforms to reform that we need done, and one of them is that snitch testimony, incentivized testimony needs to be limited. This is where somebody’s cut a deal to testify against somebody else. You have one criminal who’s given leniency to testify against somebody else and that’s a leading cause of wrongful conviction.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that a lot of these people are lying when they’ve been basically given a sweetheart deal if they testify against somebody else. And so, it’s ironic that Trump has been so outspoken against the Innocence Movement and using the Central Park Five as a vehicle for that, but as soon as Michael Cohen flips, so these other people flip and start giving information against him, all of a sudden he’s tweeting about the need for reform on Smith’s Law.
So he’ll agree on the Innocence Project, Innocence Movement’s platform for things that apply to him. It’s just ironic how hypocritical it is.
I can be completely honest with you, I talk about this in the book. At least in Ohio, the Republicans have been pretty open to the reforms that we’ve pushed. We’ve had bipartisan support for a lot of our bills. I think a lot of people go into and say this is a left-wing issue, innocent people out of prison is really bipartisan, nobody wants to have an innocent person in prison.
Obviously in the recent political climate, people are taking positions having more to do with what their political persuasion is and what benefits their party but most people in the Innocence Movement will tell you that down on the ground at a local level, it has more to do with just individual personalities involved than really party affiliation.
Joe Patrice: Now on that note though talking about on the ground and a little bit into the kind of dancing around the issue of it being a political question is, one thing that’s discussed in the book and other elsewhere is like, we elect people to be judges and prosecutors and sheriffs.
Mark Godsey: Yeah.
Joe Patrice: And oftentimes those elections go along the lines of I’m XYZ party and therefore, I am tough on crime. I won’t let this go and like so —
Elie Mystal: And the other guy says, I am I’m tougher on crime.
Mark Godsey: That’s exactly right.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, and to some extent though that those do fall somewhat left-righty, the right tends to win that I’m tougher. So even though on the ground people seem to care more about individuals, you say like we also have at the very bottom level of municipal government, officials who view their party identity as being as tough as possible and as anti-excuse as possible and that come translates itself sometimes into pushing forward where maybe the evidence doesn’t really justify.
Mark Godsey: Well, let me just tell you how I think that plays out. I mean, if I could change one thing, I would change so the judges and prosecutors are not elected. I mean, it just politicizes cases so much and the public is bloodthirsty for punishing criminals and so politicians and that’s what they are, are these people that are running.
They learn that they have to tote this campaign cry, if I’m tough on crime and I’m tougher than him and everything else, so that entire thing is just contaminating to justice. It undermines justice in so many ways. So, when we have evidence that somebody’s innocent, they’ve been wrongfully convicted, so many times we have prosecutors refusing to admit a mistake and they don’t want to let somebody out and agree that they’re innocent, let them out, but have them commit a crime.
They’re worried they’re going to have their next Willie Horton, which is what the first Bush used against Dukakis back in the election, everybody is scared of that, like I don’t want my Willie Horton, where Dukakis was governor and he let him out and he ended up committing another crime and then he came back to haunt his political career.
Elie Mystal: Let him out, he let him out on parole just —
Joe Patrice: Furlough.
Elie Mystal: Furlough, furlough.
Mark Godsey: Yeah, so anyway that is like the Horton sort of haunts all these politicians, but the funny thing that I’ve seen and I write about this in the book and I’ve had many other people with Innocence we have to confirm this, I often get more reasonable responses from Republicans on the ground because their party is already given the benefit of the doubt that they’re tough on crime.
And so, you’ll get some of these Democrats who are sort of have a chip on their shoulder and are insecure about their tough-on-crime creds, who sort of have a Napoleon complex and are walking around beating their chests and trying to really act super-tough on crime and they have to overdo it because they’re a Democrat.
And so some of the most unreasonable prosecutors and judges I’ve run across are Democrats, and so to me that was very surprising. And a lot of times, I’ll get in these conversations trying to talk reasonably when a Republican judge or Republican prosecutor, you don’t sense that same urgency of political, I’ve got to act tough.
And I think that’s sort of like a reverse psychology thing. It’s like not what you expect but it’s again Democrats often leave, they’re not giving the benefit of the doubt so they’re sort of overdoing it, which is very sad.
Elie Mystal: That’s an amazing point.
Joe Patrice: I mean, if you think about it that was what a lot of the mid-90s was at the federal level like the death penalty acts and stuff.
Mark Godsey: Oh exactly. I mean, Bill Clinton is one of the worst presidents for criminal justice reform ever. I mean, some of the stuff that he promulgated and the three strikes and you’re out and the habeas reform that makes it almost impossible for innocent people to get out of prison now.
He was horrible and in the last election, Hillary was still in favor of the death penalty. It’s like who’s in basically death penalty advantage especially if you’re a democrat so —
Joe Patrice: Not the State of Washington, it turns out.
Mark Godsey: Yeah, the State of Washington has got rid of it today. But, so it’s not always what you think in terms of how things line up on party lines.
Elie Mystal: And I do think that just that stance came back to haunt or a bit in the election because I think that’s one of the reasons why she didn’t have the kind of African-American turnout that Obama enjoyed. It wasn’t just because she was a White lady, I think it was because the first stance on some of these reform issues.
I have lots of problems Democrats on their commitment to criminal justice reform. I like to tell a story that I was polled earlier this year at the local level for like State Legislature, the pollster asked me what my top issue was, and gave me a list of 13 issues and criminal justice reform was not one of them.
So, I say, I’m African-American and criminal justice reform would be my top one and the pollster literally says, oh, that’s not on my list and I basically lost my s**t on Twitter.
Mark Godsey: Wow.
Elie Mystal: It was amazing.
Mark, I want to ask, excuse me for kind of legal geeking out a little bit, but what role do you feel our kind of judicial understanding of finality plays into all of this? One of the issues that I feel is going on is that the system is so over-the-top concerned with having a final judgment and that needs to end forever discussion.
And so then, reopening and re-examining cases becomes so hard. Are there any prescriptions for that or is there any way that we can loosen the final closing of the door?
Mark Godsey: Well, yeah, I mean, I think first of all we’ve had this belief, societal belief that we’re really good at solving crimes and that we convict somebody, we’re 100% certain that they’re guilty. This is that plays in the finality. So we know we’re not worried about having hard core finality because all these people are clearly guilty.
That’s been proven wrong and we’ve also learned that in the process that humans are quite valuable, they’re not very good at reconstructing the past and that we suffer from tunnel vision and confirmation bias and all these other things that lead to human error.
Instead, I think once you really study the system, once you really study the causes of wrongful conviction, it starts to make sense why there’s so much error because we’re human beings and we’re not perfect. So, I think the system has got to recognize that, yes, finality is important in a sense but so is freedom and we’ve got to be open long-term to re-examining old cases and open to admitting mistakes.
But it’s even more than that. I mean, I think it’s less a concern, policy concern for finality than it is simple cognitive dissonance in denial. I mean, I think most of the time prosecutors are just so convinced that the guy is innocent and they’ve been thinking that for so long that they have a hard time actually even processing the new information in an objective way.
And so many times they’re going to court fighting us and trying to keep a guy in prison where after we’ve already demonstrated the person is innocent with these sort of crazy theories as to how that the pieces of evidence could still fit together in a way to justify their conclusion and you want to step back and you want to go like, are you serious here, like this is so far-fetched. But I think what we’re seeing is people who are just so bought into it that they have a hard time stepping back and being objective.
And so, I think many times they’re espousing these crazy theories in court but they actually believe them.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, in the book you talk a lot about — it’s very psychological, the focus of a lot of your writing, like it’s — like you mentioned in that last segment there you talked about like confirmation biases and stuff like that. You get kind of the sense through your work that we’re almost hardwired to make terrible decisions.
Mark Godsey: Yes
Joe Patrice: Does that sound right?
Mark Godsey: Yeah, this funny thing is we think the exact opposite, but human beings are pretty bad at staying objective and evaluating evidence evenly and coming to a fair conclusion. We get caught up in our theories, we get tunnel vision, we get confirmation bias, investigations go completely awry and we really don’t recognize how problematic that is or to the extent we do it.
Elie Mystal: You know, we talk about this stuff a lot as if it’s — even I talk about it kind of very clearly as an African-American issue because the burden of wrongful convictions, so disproportionately falls on the African-American community, on male African-Americans in particular, do you think that — so one of the kind of again legalistic arguments here, the question is, is this happening, do we wrongfully jail so many people because they’re African-American or do you believe that the system is broken and in the way that the system is broken African-Americans disproportionately face the burden of that broken system? Do you understand what I’m asking?
Mark Godsey: Yeah, I think it’s the second. I mean, I think the system is broken. I think it’s operating based on an understanding of the human mind from the 1800s and it needs serious updating and reform to better reflect human weaknesses. And I think anytime you have a system that’s sort of broken, it’s going to be spitting out these errors that’s going to be — everyone’s going to be subjected to that at a certain — if there’s 4% error rate, it’s going to be, 4% of people going to be wrongfully convicted.
I’m just throwing out that number as an example, but I think you’ve got actual racism and then implicit bias playing into that which just skews it further to the disadvantage of African-Americans.
I mean, people are going to — if there’s direct racism involved obviously that’s going to impact a specific case, but then you’ve got implicit bias and you’ve got a million different factors going on, which I think causes it to disproportionately impact African-Americans.
Joe Patrice: One aspect of your bio that’s interesting in light of what you do now is you were a prosecutor yourself.
Mark Godsey: Yeah, I think I’m one of the only ones in the Innocence Movement now that served a significant time as a prosecutor and that’s how I start off the book is that I basically came into this work by accident.
I had very much prosecutor’s mentality and I went into academia to become a law professor and went to first law school that I taught at had an Innocence Project already and the professor who ran I was on sabbatical that year, so the Dean sort of like, well, you’ve got this criminal investigation background as a prosecutor so you’re going to run this, and I’m un-tenured can’t really say, no, but I was this is how I explained in the book, I was really sort of sarcastic about it like, oh, yeah, right, like there’s innocent people in prison.
And I remember sitting at the first meeting and the students just visited this inmate in prison and we were talking about how he’s innocent, how terrible this is that he’s in prison and I was like doing internal eye rolls and just like, oh, yeah, right, I asked some questions about the case and I was just being very dismissive, and it turns out that we did a DNA testing and he was innocent. So, it was a huge eye-opening experience for me.
Shortly after that I went to the National Conference where I met exonerees from around the country and heard speeches about the causes of wrongful conviction. I sort of gradually came to this realization that I had this prosecutorial mindset, I’ve been to denial about a lot of problems in the system. And so, the next year I got the job at the University of Cincinnati and Ohio didn’t have an Innocence Project yet, so I helped co-found that one. So far we’ve gotten 27 people out who together served over years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.
And so I think having that background and that’s what I talk about in the book like I will talk about cases of my clients who are innocent and what happened to them and what the prosecutors and police did and then reflect on how I did those same things when I was a prosecutor, and the kind of training we need to have to combat that mentality.
Joe Patrice: Yeah.
Elie Mystal: What kind of reparations should we make to the people who are exonerated?
Mark Godsey: Well, I mean, how do you possibly give — our client Ricky Jackson 39 years, he set a national record when he got out for the longest serving person to be exonerated, how do you give that back to him? I mean, obviously, the only thing you can do is financial compensation to make him comfortable and he doesn’t have to worry about at least money and living and food. Many of these guys all they want on top of that is an apology and many times they don’t get it. So, a lot of it is psychological.
It’s ironic that if you’re guilty and you get out after 20 years on parole there’s a lot of services available to you, if you have substance abuse problems or you need to help getting trained for a job, the system has these things.
If you do 20 years and you get out because you’re innocent you don’t fall within the parole guidelines. You’re not on parole, so you don’t have the same access to the same services. So compensation and making sure they —
Elie Mystal: Sorry, we just hear in the office like son of a bitch.
Mark Godsey: Yeah.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, yeah, never, never would have thought of that.
Mark Godsey: Yeah, I mean, may be the law say, let’s get out on parole and you can do this and that and it doesn’t apply to me. You go and try, you have those services, they go, oh, you don’t qualify, it’s just totally ironic.
Joe Patrice: I mean, it makes sense and like it makes sense why the statute would be that way, I just yeah.
Elie Mystal: Yeah.
Mark Godsey: Yeah, they did envision that this would happen when they drafted these things.
Elie Mystal: Man, okay, I’m going to kill myself.
Mark Godsey: Sorry.
Joe Patrice: Stick with me a little bit longer.
Elie Mystal: Because obviously it, the picture you paint your work, the work of the Innocence Project in general, the picture you guys paint it just — it feels hopeless, it feels like there’s nothing that you can do. It feels like all — or maybe a better way of putting it, it feels like all you can do is to save one or two or five people as you come across them but to engender the massive systemic changes that are necessary, how does that ever happen?
Mark Godsey: Well, I mean you have to have the right mentality, so what I’ve come to realize is that this is a multi-decade civil rights movement. I went to high school in the early 80s and homophobia was so widespread that I remember in speech class a kid gave a speech about homophobia and nobody bad than I, about how he doesn’t like gay people, like you can’t do that now, thank God, and nobody in the 80s could have envisioned the massive societal changes and views about gay rights or even marijuana would be legalized. I mean, people thought marijuana was the gateway drug and you’re going to be dead in a month if you even try and that’s what parents preach to them.
So, I mean, there’s — we’ve seen these other areas where there’s been huge societal change but it just takes people yelling and screaming for a really long time, that’s what we’re doing and it’s the right answer, it’s going to win, but large bureaucracies are very slow to change and changing the views of huge populations, it’s very slow and so we have to realize we’re in it for the long haul and it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen in my lifetime hopefully. But you can’t look at it as a short-term. There will be this big moment that everybody wakes up and then everybody’s on the same page and we change it overnight, it’s going to be very slow.
Elie Mystal: Do you think we need national action and I’m just thinking of this because you mentioned the LGBT Movement, do you think we need national action or do you think that we’re better off using federalism and starting in the states that are more amenable to this and working our way up to Mississippi like — which approach do you prefer?
Mark Godsey: Everything, everything we can get all at the same time. I mean, for example, one of the things that we’ve learned is that the state of forensics in this country is a joke and we’re convicting people with junk science, it’s unverified.
So, the National Academy of Sciences came out with a report in 2009 calling for all this reform and that’s obviously a national agency, it advises Congress on issues of science. And so after that report came out it took a few years to work to the Obama administration and eventually we got recommendations right at the end of his term to create an institute to come up with new standards for forensics so we can stop convicting people with junk science and then Trump got into office and he had sessions defunded it.
So that shows an example we were on the right path and that would — having these national forensic standards would be extremely helpful, that’s something that’s going to happen again in the future.
So that’s an example of where — there’s so many different states doing it so many different ways that just having one set of national standards is extremely helpful. We will get there but at the same time changing minds one at a time on the ground is extremely effective too.
I mean, we’ve got at the end of October this month the first ever prosecutors summit on wrongful convictions where the Ohio Innocence Project is co-sponsoring it with the county prosecutors in Cleveland. That would have been unheard of a decade ago and we’re inviting prosecutors from all across the State to come and learn about wrongful convictions and how they could make reforms. Will it be — everybody’s sitting around together holding hands and singing “Kumbaya” and eating ice cream and petting puppies, no, not everyone will be on the same page, but the conversation is starting, but again, that’s not something we could have envisioned ten years ago.
On December 6th I’ve been invited to come by the county prosecutor in Columbus, Ohio to give a lecture on wrongful convictions and to all of the prosecutors in his office and how they can do better, that’s what we need to be doing. We’re starting to see things like that now, that would have been unheard of ten years ago or even five years ago.
So it’s a slow movement, national federal stuff helps but yelling and screaming on the ground and educating is going to make a difference too.
Elie Mystal: Yeah, and 20 years ago I thought that Marisa Tomei was an expert in forensic science.
Mark Godsey: Well, she is like by current standards, that’s what we got to change.
Joe Patrice: Well, thank you so much for joining us. This has been amazing. That’s Professor Mark Godsey; he’s the Director of the Ohio Innocence Project and Author of Blind Injustice. Thanks for joining us. This was incredibly informative.
Mark Godsey: Oh, thank you. Thanks for having me on.
Joe Patrice: And thank you all for listening. You should give us reviews, however you get your podcasts delivered to you, write up a review, don’t just give the stars, the more data that’s there, the more it moves up algorithms, assuming you are subscribed to us which should also be. You should be reading Above the Law, you should be following @ElieNYC, you should be following @JosephPatrice. You should what?
Elie Mystal: Please follow me. I need more help fighting Tucker Carlson trolls on my thread.
Joe Patrice: Yes, he does, and you should listen to other shows in the Above the Law world which are we have the Jabot and the other one that’s about laterals.
Elie Mystal: The other one.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, and the other one, and you should also listen to the various shows on the Legal Talk Network including On the Road, which I occasionally host and with that, I think we’ve said everything we need to say. We’ll talk to you all later.
Elie Mystal: Peace.
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Joe Patrice: And thank you all for listening and we will — and you should, thank you all for listening and you should give us reviews.
Oh, that is amazing.
Elie Mystal: That’s happening right now.
Joe Patrice: This is happening.
Male Speaker: Buddy, keep rolling, I’ll call you back here.
Joe Patrice: Okay.
Above the Law's Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice examine everyday topics through the prism of a legal framework.
Last week provided a cavalcade of news stories.
Two big opinions take surprising turns.
There are some very ill-informed things being said about this case... mostly by the DOJ.
The George Floyd killing is inspiring law firms to reconsider their policies, while bar exams ask applicants to sign liability waivers.
Everything appears to be unraveling apace.
It's not all about knowing the law.