The topic of the first episode was “New Beginnings”, streamed on November 17, 1995, where multiple people, including Ira Glass himself, speculate on how their life or a new stage of life began. It was so simple to recognize the host’s distinctive voice and speaking manner, which was intensely conversational with prolonged pauses and increasing enunciation in some places is a genuine feature of his throughout his program. But the subject of my discussion will be the fourth act, which is about Ed Ryder, a man who was wrongfully convicted of murder.
Thanks to this podcast, I was able to view the world through the eyes of an innocent man who had to serve 20 years in jail. I’ve never understood how individuals can be astounded by seemingly insignificant things like preparing breakfast, as Ed had mentioned (Glass 53:50). A podcast participant who experienced severe depression while incarcerated said that he found that thinking ahead and making plans helped him deal with the harsh realities of life. I became concerned about maintaining inmates’ mental health after hearing this talk. I believe that because a jail is a correctional facility, inmates shouldn’t have to deal with such strain on their own and should instead get help.
Thoughts on the Crime and Justice Systems
After a crucial witness confessed to lying while sworn, Ed Ryder’s new chapter of life began. Besides just feeling sorry for the man about the unfair court decision, I recalled and acknowledged the deeply ingrained bias and, in some cases, injustice in our legislative system. My stance on the criminal justice system promotes addressing the causes of crime above harsh punishment. Our criminal justice system’s effectiveness hinges on its precision and capacity to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent. The defense controversy, the value placed on dubious evidence and misinformed eyewitnesses, and a lack of transparency for police and prosecutors are what I believe to be the main causes of miscarriages of justice that have damaged the reputation of our legal system and affected the lives of the innocent.
Glass, Ira, host. “New Beginnings.” This American Life, season 1, episode 1, Chicago Public Media, 1995.