Why, in 1939, was a shipload of German Jews not granted refuge? Why were they turned away by this country?  Why was the SS St. Louis forced back to Europe, where nearly a third of its passengers would be killed in the Holocaust?

It's an episode that cuts to critical questions of American law and justice.

On this edition of "Due Process," a look back at that "Voyage of the Damned," with a St. Louis survivor, Eva Wiener, and the leaders of the St. Louis Legacy Project.

In their documentary, "Complicit: The Untold Story of Why the Roosevelt Administration Denied Safe Haven to Jewish Refugees," Psychologist Ruth Ann Kalish and Lawyer Robert Krakow charge FDR with placing politics above compassion.

Join us and decide for yourself!

Bob Curvin: Inside Newark

"Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion and the Search for Transformation" is the title of Bob Curvin's important new book.  And inside Newark is where Bob's been for nearly all his life.


It may be the definitive political history of New Jersey's largest city. So its author - early activist, academic, Princeton PhD and onetime member of the New York Times Editorial Board - is our only guest for this candid conversation on Newark: how it got here ... and where it might be going.
It's a Due Process you won't want to miss.

Pot Prohibition: High Time for Repeal?

Colorado was the first to legalize; Washington followed suit - and the buzz is spreading across the country. Two more states and the District of Columbia are putting it to their voters next month and a half dozen others are moving toward referendum.


New Jersey and New York both have legislation pending and public opinion polls show that most Americans now favor legal weed - and not just for medical use...


Is it a legal and social reform whose time has come? Or a misguided, reckless move?


On the next edition of "Due Process" we look at America's new take on marijuana with Udi Ofer of the ACLU of NJ, Jon-Henry Barr of the Municipal Prosecutors Association and former White House Adviser Kevin Sabet.


It's a "Due Process" worth watching. Please join us!

The Schomburg's Khalil Muhammad

His great-grandfather was Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad, who left his mark on the black struggle of the 20th Century.


Now Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director of the prestigious New York City Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, hopes to do the same in the 21st.  


His important historical study, "The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America," broke new ground in tracing the creation and perpetuation of the white American belief in the moral inferiority and criminal nature of African Americans - a belief that continues to hold sway today.


On this edition of "Due Process," my in-depth conversation with Dr. Muhammad - on his book, his life, his ancestry, his bold ideas.

Justice Sotomayor: Up Close and Personal

For five terms now, she's been a member of America's most elite club; just the third woman to be named to the U.S. Supreme Court, one of four to have ever served.


The New York Times says that in the term that ended last month, Justice Sonia Sotomayor finally "found her voice" - and that voice was front and center at Seton Hall Law School in her recent visit to Newark.  


"Due Process" was there as she judged a moot court competition, met with future lawyers, signed copies of her book, and spoke about her life and the law.


On this edition of "Due Process": Justice Sotomayor, candidly tracing the hard road that took her from the poverty of a Bronx housing project to a seat on the nation's highest court.  Following our field report from Seton Hall Law, Sandra King sits down with Rutgers Law Prof. Elise Boddie and former NJ State Bar President Karol Corbin Walker.


It's a unique chance to see a "wise Latina" justice, up close and personal.

Maxing out - The Consequences

Parole's denied.  The inmate's forced to serve out his sentence.  It's called maxing out - and it's happening more and more, especially in New Jersey, where inmates max out at twice the national average.

It's designed to be "tough on crime" - but a new national study shows it may have just the opposite effect, with maxed out prisoners more likely to commit new crimes than those released from prison early on supervised parole.

On the next edition of "Due Process," we look at the societal consequences of maxing out with studio guests: Sen. Ray Lesniak, Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll and Rutgers Law Prof. Doug Eakeley.

Foreclosures: A New Way Out?

The mortgage bubble burst ... And, suddenly, so did your biggest investment!

Should your town be bailing you out in the name of Eminent Domain?

That was Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith's plan - to make Irvington the second municipality in the country to buy up underwater mortgages and keep residents in their homes.

Defeated in the May 13 mayoral race, Smith will leave office
July 1, but his proposal will continue to raise debate about one possible way to stem home foreclosures.

The idea - which would have to survive court challenge - is the focus of this week's Due Process.

In the studio: Mayor Smith, Rutgers Law Dean and former Public Advocate Ron Chen and Bankruptcy Lawyer Tim Duggan.

Day Out? Day's Pay!

You make minimum wage, live from paycheck to paycheck. A day off means a day without pay. So what do you do when you're sick? It's a question none of us would want to face, and it may be less than fair. But is it up to the government to make it right?


That question - at the heart of a growing movement to force private employers to give sick leave with pay to ALL workers - is the focus of this week's edition of "Due Process."


New York City's on board, and so are Newark and Jersey City, whose new mandates may make a real difference for the working poor. We take to the streets and shops and even Newark airport to talk to workers and employers, while, in the studio, a heated debate features New Jersey Citizen Action Executive Director Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, and Jack Mozloom of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Junius Williams: Unfinished Agenda

His life mirrors the movements of the last half century.  From southern segregation and civil rights work in the South to organizing against inequality in the North; from the call to black power to the disappointment of electoral answers.

Junius Williams' new book "Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power," traces the American scene of the last half century through his own life story: in the Movement, in the law, in urban politics and in Newark - the city he came to organize ... and never left.

As you'll see in this edition of Due Process, it's a story so emblematic that the Smithsonian Institution invited Junius - and his onetime mentor, Tom Hayden - to share a personal and political history of the last 50 years.

It's a Due Process you won't want to miss.

Scottsboro: Justice Delayed, Justice Denied

It was one countless cases of southern injustice.  Of black men falsely accused of raping white women.  Of lynchings, legal and otherwise.  Of innocent black defendants imprisoned - and worse.

On this week's edition of Due Process: the infamous case of The Scottsboro Boys, nine black teens, who, double-damned by Depression and Jim Crow, guilty of nothing more than riding the rails, found themselves sentenced to die.

Late last year, the State of Alabama issued posthumous pardons.  The Scottsboro Boys were finally exonerated - more than 80 years too late.

We look at how they were framed, how they were freed after long years in prison, and how players as varied as the Communist Party, the NAACP and the U.S. Supreme Court all played a part.

Helping us understand the Scottsboro tragedy - and how far we have - or have not - come since: Rutgers Law Professor Taja-Nia Henderson, an expert on race and incarceration, and Rutgers-Newark Historian James Goodman, author of the seminal work, "Stories of Scottsboro," a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Fugitive Safe Surrender

You may not have committed a major crime, maybe not a crime at all. It could be a ticket unpaid, a child support payment unmade, but it's enough to trigger a warrant for arrest - and that puts you on the wrong side of the law.

Tens of thousands in New Jersey can't get a license or a job, because warrants show up on a background check. They are always looking over their shoulders, knowing any contact with police could see them arrested or jailed.

But five times in recent years, the state has created a rare opportunity to clear a record and put a life back on track. It's called Fugitive Safe Surrender and when it came to Jersey City, Due Process was there for an inside look at a unique opportunity for thousands to come out of the shadows.

Back in the studio, we go deeper with Rev. William Howard of Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, with Lori Scott-Pickens of the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, and with Assistant Attorney General Wanda Moore.

SCOTUS Update 2014

This year's U.S. Supreme Court session is in full swing, with cases ranging from the constitutionality of prayer at public meetings to a test of presidential powers.

And while this high court docket may be drawing fewer headlines than last year's dramatic decisions on same sex marriage, we're keeping our eye on new cases involving abortion clinic protests, affirmative action in higher education and the coverage of contraception under Obamacare.

On this edition of Due Process: our annual Supreme Court update with national ACLU Legal Director Steve Shapiro.

Death with Dignity

End of life.  A time few of us like to think about.  But, for some - those suffering from irreversible illness and a certain, painful end - a peaceful death, by choice, might seem a reasonable choice.

On this edition of "Due Process, " what proponents call a "death with dignity."  A suicide with some gentle assistance.  Should there be an individual right to die - if pain, disease and a body that's stopped working have made life less than bearable?

The NJ Legislature hasn't yet weighed in on a bill modeled after the Oregon and Washington laws on "right to die," but polls show the public increasingly in favor.

We visit with a man suffering from a degenerative brain disease, who says all he wants is a peaceful finish,  before he loses both his body and his mind, as well as a leader of the national volunteer organization, Final Exit Network.  And we get a look inside a Swiss clinic where the hopelessly ill from all over the world are able to come for help in dying.

Our studio guests: Assemblyman John Burzichelli, the ACLU's Ed Barocas and Seton Hall Law Prof. Kathleen Boozang.

It's a difficult subject - but a "Due Process" you won't want to miss.

Mount Laurel

The New York Times places them among the most  "important civil rights decisions of the modern era."   A pair of landmark rulings  by the New Jersey Supreme Court, prohibiting "exclusionary zoning" and requiring a "fair share" of affordable housing in every municipality in the state.

Mount Laurel, a court case that began nearly 50 years ago when the South Jersey suburb blocked just 36 garden apartments intended for displaced black and poor residents.  The NAACP filed suit - and the rest is history.

But it's been a troubled history, praised by some, condemned by others .. and still creating dissension, resistance and, now, still another major Supreme Court ruling.

The ongoing fight for fair housing, the Governor's opposition and what comes next - on this week's edition of "Due Process."


Studio guests: Senator Ray Lesniak and Assemblyman Scott Rumana.

Same-Sex Marriage: Here at Last

When Lambda Legal filed suit 11 years ago, the idea was to make New Jersey the first state in the union to legalize same-sex marriage.  But 13 other states and the District of Columbia got there first.

It wasn't until late last month that New Jersey finally lifted the bar on gay marriage, and, since then, there's been a run on weddings in this state's same-sex community.

On this edition of Due Process, we look back at the long fight for gay marriage, and our Due Process coverage over the last 17 years.

In the studio: Larry Lustberg, who won the latest court case; former Gov. Jim McGreevey, who signed the state's Domestic Partnerships Act nearly 10 years ago, and Demetrios Stratis, a legal advisor to the NJ Family Policy Council.

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