Stand Your Ground Series in the Times and Sticking It to the Poor?06/06/12 Robert Lorei
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Good morning, welcome to radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up today- How corporations and governments are extracting large amounts of money from the poor…we’ll talk in the second half hour with an author who writes for the newly created Economic Hardship Reporting Project.
But first The Tampa Bay Times this week carried a two part series on the impact of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. The newspaper identified nearly 200 “stand your ground” cases and found that the law has been unequally applied- its allowed killers to go free and violent attackers to claim self defense. The issue of “stand your ground” is important because when prosecutors declined to initially press charges against George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the stand your ground law was cited.
We’re joined by the Times’ investigative editor Chris Davis who worked on this series….
Next, Barbara Ehrereich author of "Nickel and Dimed” and several other books- has just launched the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, which supports innovative journalism on poverty . She writes that "Before we can ‘do something’ for the poor, there are some things we need to stop doing TO them. ... The amounts extracted from the poor by the private and public sector are comparable to the amounts ‘given’ to the poor through the safety net. It’s not just the private sector that’s preying on the poor. Local governments are discovering that they can partially make up for declining tax revenues through fines, fees, and other costs imposed on indigent defendants, often for crimes no more dastardly than driving with a suspended license."
Here to talk about the project is Karen Dolan is Policy Director at EHRP and a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.
http://economichardship.org/Her public scholarship and activism is focused on local democracy/empowerment, anti-poverty and peace. Karen blogs for Huffington Post and regularly appears in print and other media outlets.