Law

Eyes are on Missouri as the state's implementation of the death penalty enters national discussions. What has already shifted in approaches to challenging the death penalty, and what further developments can be expected now that celebrity Larry Flynt has been granted the right to ask for previously sealed documents from Missouri executions?  

Guests:

A grand jury's recent decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has thrown a spotlight on the legal institution of the grand jury:

What’s the prosecutor’s role in grand jury proceedings? Who brings the charges? What are the standards of proof?

Big questions are being asked about the recent grand jury hearing about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, for example, whether justice was served. But there are simpler questions, too: When and why is a grand jury called? What's the prosecutor's role, in a grand jury hearing and otherwise? Who are the jurors, and why is their selection process a secret?

Guests:

Courtesy of Julie Levin.

Julie Levin has worked with Legal Aid of Western Missouri since 1977.

In that time, she's had some monumental cases, from a suit against the Kansas City Housing Authority in 1989 that changed the face of public housing, to a case on behalf of a client who lost her job while on maternity leave. That last case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Family law can be a messy profession. Between acrimonious divorces and bitter custody battles, the terrain is often rocky and difficult to navigate.

In the first part of  Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with a lawyer who’s spent nearly 30 years balancing these types of battles. We’ll discuss how family lawyers stay detached from the raw emotions of their cases, why she sometimes feels like she’s a therapist for her clients, and why personal grievances should stay out of court—even in a divorce case.

What would happen if Superman had to get a warrant for his x-ray vision? Can you imagine Batman in small claims court when his batarangs damage city buildings?

Wikipedia Commmons

It may be the tipping point: among the issues of discussion after Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut: mental health and gun control.