Life of the Law

Series produced by Life of the Law

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A podcast offering documentary stories and investigations of people's relationship to the law.

Life of the Law publishes a new, unique episode every other Tuesday morning on our website - www.lifeofthelaw.org, Panoply, iTunes and on most podcast apps.

Investigative reports
Audio diaries
Live storytelling events (recorded)
In-Studio discussions


127 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Hosted by Al Letson, this is a special hour from Life of the Law. We look back over some of our favorite stories from the year: the ones that left...

Bought by KOSU and XRAY.fm


  • Added: Jan 05, 2015
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 2
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How long would your relationship last without a kiss or more than a kiss In America, only three states allow prisoners and their spouses or domesti...

Bought by KALW and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 12, 2014
  • Length: 17:48
  • Purchases: 2
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Life of the Law and Destination DIY team up to examine the legal grey area occupied by the sharing economy. How are cities grappling with these inc...

Bought by KMUZ and PRX Remix


  • Added: Nov 25, 2014
  • Length: 20:51
  • Purchases: 2
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Bringing wolves back to the West has tested the legal system’s tolerance for restoring wild places ­­ Especially when humans live nearby. This year...

Bought by PRX Remix and KALW


  • Added: Nov 07, 2014
  • Length: 16:25
  • Purchases: 2
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Everyone's familiar with local laws that don't seem to make sense. In Tennessee, it’s illegal for grocery stores to sell wine, but legal to ride in...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Nov 07, 2014
  • Length: 15:46
  • Purchases: 1
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The Scottsboro Boys are infamous — nine black teenagers falsely accused and convicted of raping two white women. Last year, the state of Alabama f...

Bought by WJCT


  • Added: Nov 28, 2014
  • Length: 23:08
  • Purchases: 1
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Comedian Carlos Mencia is notorious for stealing other comics’ jokes. But he’s never been sued—in fact, there are almost no lawsuits in comedy. On ...

Bought by KVSC and PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 06, 2014
  • Length: 18:43
  • Purchases: 2
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What happens when one parent takes a child across international borders without the other parent’s permission? In 1980, the United States and inter...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 06, 2014
  • Length: 20:21
  • Purchases: 1
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It’s odd to think cannibals, cannabis-growers, Vietnam War protesters, and prison escapees all have something in common. But they do: the necessity...

Bought by WEZU and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 11, 2014
  • Length: 21:04
  • Purchases: 2
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Mother’s Day is the one day of the year we set aside to honor mothers. Some do it with flowers and cards. For women who are in prison and their chi...

Bought by KVNF and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 11, 2014
  • Length: 24:57
  • Purchases: 2
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You’re driving your car down a street and as you pass, a camera takes a photo of your license plate. Who is taking the photo and what are they doin...

Bought by KMUZ and PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 29, 2014
  • Length: 17:42
  • Purchases: 2
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Border Patrol agents are only allowed to stop a car if they have ‘reasonable suspicion’ that something illegal is going on. But does looking ‘Mexic...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio, KMUZ, Accessible Media Inc., KALW, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 26, 2014
  • Length: 12:47
  • Purchases: 5
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What’s love got to do with the law? Then again, what’s the law got to do with falling in love? From coast to coast, Life of the Law occasionally ta...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 11, 2014
  • Length: 17:26
  • Purchases: 1
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With more than 300,000 words and over 800 amendments, Alabama’s Constitution is 40 times longer than the US Constitution, and holds the record for ...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 25, 2014
  • Length: 16:39
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Kyle Thompson, Credit: American Civil Liberties Union
Thousands of kids are arrested in school every year. About a third of U.S. schools have a regular police presence on campus; some school districts ...

Bought by KMUZ, WEZU, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 05, 2014
  • Length: 17:23
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Curtis Penn takes his first walk of freedom on his release day from San Quentin, at Chrissy Field in San Francisco., Credit: Nancy Mullane
For eighteen years, California’s three strikes law leveled harsh penalties against repeat felons: anyone with two felony convictions received 25 ye...

  • Added: Jan 15, 2014
  • Length: 16:06
Caption: Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Credit: Bitchcakes
This hour-long special hosted by Al Letson features three of Life of the Law's best stories of 2013. Letson leads listeners through the virtual wor...

Bought by Troy Public Radio, NPR Illinois, WJCT, and KOSU


  • Added: Dec 27, 2013
  • Length: 53:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: A woman prisoner in a cell at the Women’s House of Detention, a women’s-only prison run by the Women’s Prison Association, in the 1940s. , Credit: Women's Prison Association
The United States incarcerates six times as many women as it did thirty years ago. Many of these women are already mothers, and four percent of inc...

Bought by KFAI, WCAI / WNAN, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 18, 2013
  • Length: 16:11
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Fees and fines in Philadelphia, Credit: Amanda Aronczyk
It’s not unusual at all to leave prison anywhere across the country owing fees, fines, or other costs to the local court. The city of Philadelphia ...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 13, 2013
  • Length: 16:17
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: A big thunderhead rolls in from the West toward  Becky Hyde’s ranch. She says her father, also a rancher, would have called it a million dollar rain. But these days,  she says, it’d be more like a billion dollar rain., Credit: Jason Albert
When a serious drought hit just months after an Oregon court awarded senior water rights to the Klamath Tribes, the tribe made a ‘call’ for water. ...

Bought by KMUZ, PRX Remix, and KALW


  • Added: Dec 13, 2013
  • Length: 15:59
  • Purchases: 3