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Paul Butler / Consulting Editor

Molly Miller

Molly Miller is a playwright and screenwriter born and raised in Washington State. She is a graduate of The University of Chicago (BA Political Science) and the University of Southern California (MFA Screenwriting). Molly began her career as an actor in Chicago, improvising and writing sketch at The Annoyance Theatre, The Second City, and The iO Theatre. While performing, Molly wrote over a dozen plays and musicals including the long running comedy, Double Booked and the critically acclaimed musical Tribulation. Now a resident of Los Angeles, Molly is a staff writer on an upcoming drama for Spectrum TV/BET and her comedy pilot, BETTER HOMES & BUNKERS, is currently in development at Tornante. In addition to her work as a screenwriter Molly explores her passion for criminal justice as a reporter for crimestory.com and a writer for the podcast JURY DUTY: THE TRIAL OF ROBERT DURST. She is the recipient of the USC Annenberg Fellowship, the John Wells Summer Mentorship, the Edward Small Writing Award, the UChicago Metcalf Fellowship, and the UChicago Arts Grant.


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PODCAST SPECIAL: The First Los Angeles District Attorney Debate – Part 1

On today’s podcast we have the first part of a special immersive experience into the Los Angeles District Attorney election. Molly Miller takes us inside a recent forum for the candidates. This is: The First LA DA Debate - Part One. Participating Candidates: George Gascón and Rachel Rossi. Invited but not attending: Jackie Lacey. Moderator: USC Professor Jody Armour. SAMSON: “MANY DA’S AROUND THE COUNTRY SEEM FOCUSED PRIMARILY ON ACHIEVING PUNISHMENT AT ANY COST, MEASURED SOLELY BY CONVICTIONS AND PRISON SENTENCES BASED ON THE MISPLACED ASSUMPTION, THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTION THAT MORE PUNISHMENT EQUATES IMPROVED PUBLIC SAFETY…REDUCING THE ABSURDLY HIGH INCARCERATION...

Justice and Abuse

Editor's note: On Tuesday, we published Strong Female Lead: A Reassessment, Molly Miller's meditation on the retrial of Andrea Moorer in the context of her experiences in the L.A. Criminal Courts of the past six months. Today, we present a special compilation Crime Story Podcast of the four articles by Molly which track the evolution of her perspective on issues of justice and abuse, along with the reflections offered below. You can read each of these pieces by clicking on the titles: Strong Female Lead, Facing Your Rapist in a Courtroom, I Hate Men and Strong Female Lead: A...

Strong Female Lead: A Reassessment

Watching a retrial of a case that you followed before is a lot like watching a movie for a second time. There are some films that don’t hold up – the sparkle of the first viewing reduced to a dull matte of cliché tropes and character stereotypes. In better cinema, plot points that escaped you reveal their intricate patchwork and character moments that you didn’t appreciate before showcase fine layers of emotional complexity. But sometimes you watch a film again and realize something unsettling; something that reflects more about you than the movie. You realize that you missed the entire point...

The Six Pack

The following stories are the same: 1. A family of three had moved to a small house in the woods after their apartment was burglarized in the city, an incident that traumatized their young son. One brisk morning they return home from gathering mushrooms for a stew and find that their front door is cracked open. Dirty footprints lead inside. The mother and young son stand back as the father opens the door. He sees that their smallest wooden chair is splintered to pieces on the floor. The food leftover from their breakfast has been ravaged. Thick mud has been...

How Is a Plea a Bargain?

“Horse trading determines who goes to jail and for how long. That’s what plea bargaining is. It is not some adjunct to the criminal justice system. It is the criminal justice system.” -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Imagine going to a baseball game. You grab a beer and a $12 hotdog and mosey your way through die-hard fans in face paint, kids stumbling in oversized jerseys down to their knees, and elderly couples marveling at the stadium’s big screen TVs. The buzz of the crowd fills the stadium, the crisp, fresh air pulses with anticipation. You plop down in your...


You’re driving your car at night, going a cool 35mph in a 25mph zone on a residential street. The streetlights are sparse. The roads are cracked and uneven. You yawn and look down to change the music to something that doesn’t sound plucked from the playlist of your dentist’s waiting room. Then you — dog. There’s a dog in the road in front of you. You swerve. And hit a fire hydrant. A small dent disfigures your bumper. When you take your blemished vehicle in for repair, you tense your jaw waiting for a diagnosis from the mechanic. He tut-tuts...