WILL - Focus - February 07, 2014

Encore: The House I Live In

Today on Focus, we’ll listen back to host Jim Meadows’ conversation with filmmaker Eugene Jarecki about his documentary “The House I Live In.”


(Duration: 51:32)

Inmates at Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite, OK.

While federal laws against marijuana remain in place, two states of decriminalized its use, and several states have passed laws allowing medicinal use of the drug. Meanwhile, the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from a heroin overdose has ignited a conversation about whether heroin use is a criminal issue or a public health issue. Is America starting to reconsider its war on drugs?

This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation with Eugene Jarecki, writer, producer and director for the documentary “The House I Live In.” In the film, Jarecki talks with everyone from a federal judge to an inmate reflecting on his life on the outside.

Categories: Criminal Justice

WILL - Focus - October 15, 2013

When to Grant Clemency?

Friday, Governor Pat Quinn granted 65 clemency requests while working through a backlog of cases left by Fmr. Gov. Rod Blagojevich. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about why and when clemency requests are granted.


(Duration: 51:31)

courtroom gavel and scales

So far in his time as Governor, Pat Quinn has granted nearly 1,000 clemency requests, reducing penalties for people convicted of certain crimes. In the batch he approved Friday, Southern Illinois University Former Board of Trustee Member Enoch Benson, former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Branden Jones, an armed robber and several former drug dealers were among those pardoned.

This hour on Focus, we’ll hear from Urbana Attorney and University of Illinois Law Lecturer Steve Beckett about what’s taken into consideration when deciding to either approve or deny a clemency request and who applies for it. Host Jim Meadows also talks with Beckett about the reasons someone would request clemency, why the Governor has the power to grant it and why it’s an issue that Fmr. Gov. Rod Blagojevich left so many cases sitting.

WILL - Focus - September 09, 2013

The Illinois Supreme Court Fall Term

Who’re your state’s Supreme Court justices? What decisions are they making for you this fall? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about some of the cases before the Illinois Supreme Court and will learn more about who’s on the court and how they’re likely to vote.


(Duration: 51:55)

Illinois Supreme Court Judges

Despite the fact that we never seem to hear much about it, there are several important cases before the Illinois Supreme Court this fall. One of them could affect the state’s efforts to solve its pension problems, and one of them . This hour on Focus, we’ll talk through some of the cases and their implications with Kirk Jenkins, an appellate attorney based in Chicago. Steve Beckett, a founding partner at Beckett and Webber, P.C. in Urbana and a lecturer at the University of Illinois College of Law also joins us.

Both attorneys have argued cases before the state’s high court, and we’ll also talk with them about Illinois’ Supreme Court justices, who they are and why we never seem to hear much about them.

Do you have questions about the Illinois Supreme Court? We’d love to hear from you this hour on Focus!

Categories: Criminal Justice, Law

WILL - Focus - December 17, 2012

Gun Violence


(Duration: 51:59)

Our show will be dedicated to the subject of gun violence after Friday’s shocking Connecticut school shooting. We’ll look at how the shooting may impact America’s conversations about guns and safety. We'll also discuss the recent court ruling striking down Illinois’ concealed carry ban, and what it means for the future of gun laws in Illinois. And we'll welcome your thoughts - about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, about what it says about our society, and about what, if anything, it tells us about our feelings towards guns. Guests will include Richard Pearson, director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, and Jerry Belair of Stop Handgun Violence, an organization promoting gun safety.

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