This Week on Between The Lines

Posted May 6, 2015 for week ending May 15, 2015


"There's a form of violence that might be lethal injection – the death penalty – state-sponsored violence. But rarely do we talk in this country about the violence of suffocating poverty."

– Dr. Brad Braxton, senior pastor of The Open Church in West Baltimore, reflecting on the eruption of violence in Baltimore in the aftermath of the death of 25-year-old African-American Freddie Gray while in police custody.

Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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Seeds of Change Found in the Ashes of Baltimore's Uprising

MP3 Interview with Brad Braxton, senior pastor of The Open Church, a progressive congregation in West Baltimore, conducted by Scott Harris


In a now familiar pattern, the broadcast of video images of police interaction with African-American men follows reports of abuse or death linked to law enforcement action. Such was the case in Baltimore when a 25-year-old black man, Freddie Gray, died one week after being unlawfully arrested by police on April 12. Gray’s April 19 death resulted from a severe spinal cord injury after being transported in a police van. The six officers involved in Gray’s arrest and transport had reportedly ignored his repeated request for medical help.  Story continues

New Book Chronicles Growing Consensus Advocating U.S. Criminal Justice System Reform

MP3 Interview with Nicole Fortier, counsel with the Brennan Center’s Justice Program and associate editor of the book "Solutions", conducted by Melinda Tuhus


Over the past two decades, jails and prisons in the U.S. have incarcerated an increasing number of people, most of whom have not been convicted of violent or even serious crimes. There are now more than two million inmates behind bars and many politicians on the left, right and middle recognizing that the status quo is untenable have called for reforms. Incarceration rates have remained high in the U.S., even as crime rates have fallen dramatically.  Story continues

Will Sanders' Run for the White House Help Build a National Progressive Movement Beyond '16 Campaign?

MP3 Interview with Greg Guma, activist, author and historian, conducted by Scott Harris


With his announcement on April 30, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, launched his campaign for president and ended concern by some in the Democratic party that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would face no competition in primary contests next year. Sanders, a proud Democratic socialist, began his political career by winning the mayor’s office in Vermont’s largest city, Burlington, in 1981. In 1990, he was elected to represent Vermont’s lone House seat. After serving 16 years in the House, Sanders ran for and won election as Vermont’s junior senator in 2006, and won re-election by a wide margin in 2012.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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