Over the past two years, the United States has experienced the largest crime surge in decades. Aggravated assaults went up. Shoplifting went up. Domestic violence went up. Homicides went up. In 2020, the U.S. murder rate rose 30%, the largest single year increase in recorded U.S. history. And yet, the most dominant voices in the last few years, are the ones that believe our attempts to mitigate crime have been too punitive, and that the solutions lie in less people in prison and less police on the streets.
Today, guest host Kmele Foster moderates a debate with Lara Bazelon and Rafael Mangual about the state of criminal justice in America. Bazelon has spent her career advocating for criminal defendants, directs The Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic and The Racial Justice Clinic at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and was a federal public defender in LA. Mangual, author of Criminal Injustice, is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where he's the head of research for the Policing and Public Safety Initiative.
While Foster, Bazelon and Mangual all agree that the criminal justice system is, in many ways, broken, today they debate the particular defects, the scale of the issues, the root causes, and ultimately what we ought to do about it.
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