The Gist

The Death Sentence Is Dubious

But so are specious arguments about an inmate’s gender.


Episode Notes

On the Gist, medical innovation. And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: charitable contributions.

In the interview, it’s part one of Mike’s discussion with author, Michael Scott Alexander about his book, Making Peace with the Universe: Personal Crisis and Spiritual Healing. Alexander details how he searched for insight during an existential crisis, and retroactively explored how other great thinkers, philosophers, psychologists, and musicians found help in healing the mind. Alexander is associate professor of religious studies and Maimonides Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies at the University of California, Riverside.

In the spiel, dubious arguments against dubious death sentences.

Email us at

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder, Margaret Kelley, and Cheyna Roth.


About the Show

A daily evening show about news, culture, and whatever else you’ll be discussing with friends and family tonight.

All episodes


  • Mike Pesca hosted Slate’s daily podcast The Gist from 2014 - 2021.