The world of the podcast is very much new to us. In the past 10 years since their inception, they have become more and more popular as people look for other ways to get their news rather than traditional media. According to one of these top criminal lawyers in Sydney, in years gone by the only way you could read about an ongoing court case was through newspapers or books published after the case was done. While television news reports or documentaries gave you all the insight you needed if you wanted to watch something on television.
Documentaries done purely through word of mouth with no picture were rare. However, there were audio books and radio was used for mostly news and music. However, since the advent of the podcast, documentary style storytelling has become very popular especially in the true crime genre. The most famous one being Serial, which catapulted the genre into the public eye and with that the role of all parties involved in a murder investigation, including the criminal lawyers.
There are plenty of other podcasts that have run with the same successful formula as that of Serial. In it, the storyteller / investigative journalist looks at the case from start to finish, examining every bit of evidence that is on the table while also trying to look at new avenues to go down. Contact is also made with the accused, Adnan Syed in this case, with several recorded phone calls being played for the audience to hear.
Serial focuses mainly on the guilt or innocence of Adnan to see if they can have any better idea of whether he did the crime or not. However, not all podcasts follow this route. In the Dark Season 2 takes a particularly strong interest in the motives of the criminal lawyer trying Curtis Flowers, accused of killing 4 people in a furniture store in America. Whether he is innocent or guilty really isn’t discussed too much but rather the journalists focus on the behaviour of the elected District Attorney and his behaviour throughout the trials of the defendant.
According to Papa Hughes, there are a couple of things to remember before going into more detail. Curtis Flowers has been tried 6 times, on each occasion he has been found guilty but, on each occasion, he got off on appeal for several reasons including prosecutorial misconduct on behalf of the DA’s office, whereby they broke laws while trying the case that were in the constitution. This ties in with the second thing to know about this case, Curtis Flowers is African American and, on each occasion, he was tried by a majority white jury, in a majority black town.
As the podcast progressed and the audience learned more about the story it became clear the Doug Evans, the DA, was like a dog with a bone when it came to this case. Each time he tried the case, even after setback after setback. Each time that he tried the case, he used every opportunity he could to strike off a black member from the jury. On at least one occasion, in doing so he was said to have gone against the constitution and committed a Batson violation. There was no punishment for Doug Evans for doing so and he continued to try the case.
The podcast shed some light over the role of a criminal lawyer in a case and how in some districts in the US, there are corrupt officials who answer to nobody. They get re-elected term after term with little or no opposition, making it easy for them to do what they want. The case has gathered so much attention through this podcast that now, the case is being heard by the US Supreme Court where 13 judges will decide on the fate of Curtis Flowers and whether Doug Evans really has done anything wrong in the years gone by.