Justice System

Two statewide bus tours begin in Des Moines with stops planned in more than a dozen communities.    They’ll be promoting opposing views on whether Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins should stay on the court.     

On today's "River to River", we take look at the inner workings of the Iowa Supreme Court -  including patterns emerging that provide clues as to how individual judges view issues before the court.  Katherine talks with Des Moines attorney Ryan Koopmans who’s analyzed Iowa Supreme Court Decisions over the past year. Later, host Ben Kieffer talks with author and historian Lawrence Goldstone. Goldstone has studied the U.S. Supreme Court and its interpretation of several amendments to the Constitution.

Host Ben Kieffer’s recent conversations with offenders inside the Iowa State Penitentiary prompted this look at the victim’s perspective on violent crime. This hour, Ben talks with Jonna Williams of Waterloo, the victim of a kidnapping and rape in 1994, when she was just 13 years old. Also joining the conversation are Black Hawk County Prosecutor Tom Ferguson and Mary Roche, Director of Victim Programs with the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Contact Jonna about victim’s advocacy through her Facebook page

Alex Heuer / Iowa Public Radio

Host Ben Kieffer continues the second hour of the special, two-part program featuring conversations he had on a recent trip to the Iowa State Penitentiary in Ft. Madison. The current building dates back to 1839 but a new prison is under construction. Ben talks with two inmates serving life sentences to find out about their lives now and how that may change at the new facility. Ben later talks with Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections John Baldwin.

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