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Leland Hall

Leland Hall is a filmmaker and writer from Mobile, AL. He is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts where he received his M.F.A in Film and TV Production. He also received his B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Florida A & M University. While at USC, his short film “Driving Lesson,” was selected to numerous film festivals nationwide and showcased for USC’s Media Institute for Social Change. He has interned with NBCUniversal, Bad Robot and is currently an executive assistant at HBO in Original Programming.


Inside the Robe: A Judge’s Candid Tale of Criminal Justice in America – Part 81

In Part 81, Judge Mader reflects on the care a judge must take when composing instructions to a jury. She also navigates a delicate situation with a disrespectful prosecutor.

New Episode of Durst Trial Podcast with Breaking News: Small Time Caveman Lawyer: Closing Arguments — Part 2

On Thursday September 9th, Ethan Milius and Habib Balian wrapped up closing arguments for the prosecution and Dick DeGuerin commenced closing arguments for the defense.

New Episode of Durst Trial Podcast: Roaches in Soup: Closing Arguments — Part 1

On Wednesday September 8th, Deputy DA Habib Balian commenced the prosecution's highly-anticipated closing arguments.

CA Innocence Project: Kiera Newsome, Wrongly Convicted of Murder, Freed After 17 Years

The morning a fatal shooting took place, Kiera Newsome was in class 13 miles away. So how did she end up imprisoned for 17 years for a crime she did not commit?

Inside the Robe: A Judge’s Candid Tale of Criminal Justice in America – Part 79

In Part 79, Judge Mader examines the political pressures surrounding investigations of officer-involved shootings, drawing on her time as the Inspector General of the Los Angeles Police Department.

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Off the Path of Self-Destruction (Excarceration 2)

On Saturday, June 1, 2019, Defy Ventures held an event called Business Coaching Day at the NationBuilder offices in downtown Los Angeles. As a nonprofit focused on reducing recidivism by supporting currently and formerly incarcerated men to become entrepreneurs, Defy puts on Business Coaching Days to give their participants, known as “Entrepreneurs-in-Training” (or EITs), an opportunity to learn from and be mentored by local executives. But their June event was unique: It was the first Business Coaching Day held outside prison and therefore primarily aimed to help EITs in transitional housing.There were roughly 10...

The Expungement

I’m sitting in Department 103 of the Criminal Courts Building, where Judge Curtis B. Rappe is presiding. After several hearings ranging from robbery to murder, a different kind of case is called to order. There’s a noticeable change in the courtroom when the defendant rises from behind me and approaches the table with his counsel. Almost every other defendant this morning has been an inmate wearing county-issued “blues,” handcuffed and escorted from behind heavy iron gates just outside of the courtroom. (The loud locking and unlocking of the bars is chilling.) But those days are long gone...