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100:1 The Crack Legacy Podcast by Christopher Johnson

100:1 The Crack Legacy Podcast

by Christopher Johnson

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100:1 The Crack Legacy traces the roots of today’s violent policing and mass-incarceration back to “the war on drugs.” Journalist Christopher Johnson delves deep into how our government’s war on crack cocaine in the 80s and 90s ushered in a slew of laws that helped militarized police forces and erode basic constitutional rights for certain Americans. Through the stories of people who were on the ground when these laws went into effect, this series investigates how the aggressive policing and politics put in place then are still impacting black Americans now.


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  • Ep. 6: 37th & 8th
    Mon, Aug 14, 2017


    Christopher Johnson speaks Neill Franklin, a black, former cop who offers rare insight into the ways his department both incentivized the fight against crack and physically displayed their anti-black bias. The series closes with a look toward the effect 100:1 will have on race, policing, and the war on drugs in President Trump’s America. 

  • Ep. 5: 500 Names
    Mon, Aug 07, 2017


    In this episode, Christopher Johnson examines how changes in the law took discretion away from judges. Rather than being able to take into account the human in front of them, judges were now required to use ridged formulas to calculate sentences. Hear from a judge who regrets having sent hundreds of people to prison on charges proscribed by harsh drug laws, and find out how she is undoing some of those sentences.

  • Ep. 4: Inmate #06831-424
    Mon, Jul 31, 2017


    Meet Eric Wilson. With no adult support and no options for work on Chicago’s Southside, Eric eventually turned to selling crack to support himself and his siblings. This episode details how Eric received the mandatory prison sentence as a direct result of the harsh 100:1 drug provisions.

  • Ep. 3: The 202
    Mon, Jul 24, 2017


    Christopher Johnson brings listeners back in time to the Washington D.C. of his youth, when the crack-cocaine trade turned the city into America’s murder capital. Take a ride with a former narcotics cop across the Anacostia River and through what was one of the most notorious open-air crack markets.

  • Ep 2: 100:1
    Mon, Jul 17, 2017


    In this episode, producer Derek John heads to the US Capitol to uncover what really went on during the secret drafting of the 100:1 bill in 1986. Meet Eric Sterling, a former Congressional lawyer, who reveals how an atmosphere of political one-upmanship during an election year led Congress to fast track a bill that has had lasting, devastating impacts.

  • Ep. 1: Autopsy No. 86-999
    Tue, Jul 11, 2017


    100:1 The Crack Legacy begins with the deaths of two young black men: Freddie Gray, in 2015, and Len Bias, in 1986. The ties between their deaths are unsettling, but, together, they illuminate how the anti-crack drug laws of the 1980s set policing on a new course of lethal aggression against black Americans.

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    • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: 1090934