What Next

Does Proof Matter at the Supreme Court?

There’s evidence a death row inmate is innocent. The justices are condemning him to die.


Episode Notes

The Sixth Amendment is supposed to guarantee the right to a fair trial—including a lawyer, even if the defendant can’t afford one. But Indigent Defense is woefully underfunded and, sometimes, State-appointed lawyers are nowhere near as competent as Federal attorneys. A new Supreme Court ruling makes it more difficult to use exonerating evidence discovered on a Federal level to prove innocence, even if State counsel didn’t look for it.

Guest: Leah Litman, law professor at University of Michigan, specializing in constitutional law and federal courts, and co-host of the podcast Strict Scrutiny

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Elena Schwartz, Carmel Delshad, Anna Rubanova and Sam Kim.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.