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‘We want youth out of the criminal justice system’

Feb 16, 2017
KUOW Photo / Natalie Newcomb

“April, do you think youth easily get away with committing crimes?

“In certain cases, yes, because adults think that we’re still learning right from wrong. What do you think, Melissa?”

“To be honest, I don’t think so. I always hear about young people getting into trouble on nationwide news or at school.”

In the RadioActive podcast, hosts Melissa Takai and April Reyes share their thoughts and experiences about the criminal justice system. 


Crimes against LGBTQ people are among the most reported hate-crimes in Seattle. In the second half of 2016, 22 crimes were reported against gay, lesbian, or transgender people.

With the support of police, a gay man who was recently targeted is speaking out. His story is having a broader impact than he anticipated.

A bipartisan proposal to repeal the death penalty in Washington state will get a hearing Wednesday morning. But the Democratic chair of the House Judiciary Committee said there’s no plan to hold a vote on the measure.

A jury in New York City has found Pedro Hernandez guilty of murder in the kidnapping and death of Etan Patz, who was 6 years old when he went missing in 1979. The verdict follows a mistrial nearly two years ago, after a jury became deadlocked.

Patz was never again seen by his family after he left home to walk to the school bus stop nearby. His body has never been found.

One of the sons of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky faces child sexual abuse charges in Centre County, Pa.

NPR's Jeff Brady reported that the charges against 41-year-old Jeffrey Sandusky come more than four years after his father was convicted of child sexual abuse.

"Jeffrey Sandusky was charged with 14 counts that include child sexual abuse and child pornography. His adoptive father, former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, was convicted in 2012 of abusing 10 boys," Jeff reported.

At a roundtable meeting with county sheriffs on Tuesday morning, President Trump repeated a false statistic about the U.S. murder rate that he repeatedly deployed on the campaign trail.

The lobby at the King County juvenile detention center lacks privacy, jail workers say.
KUOW Photo/Natalie Newcomb

Some city and King County leaders are calling for a reappraisal of construction of a new youth jail in Seattle. But they're getting pushback.

County Executive Dow Constantine said there’s still a need to rebuild the current jail, but he says the county should adopt a goal of “zero youth detention.”

"It is the long goal and I’m going to ask the county family, not just the council, but the justice system to adopt that as our goal,” he said.

In Chicago, where the number of shootings last year soared, it's often young people who become both perpetrators and victims.

The Cook County Juvenile Justice Center holds about 200 to 300 young residents awaiting trial at the Temporary Detention Center. Among these residents are Leonard and Nigel, both 17 years old.

Because of the rules of the juvenile court, Nigel and Leonard's full names and specifics about their cases can't be disclosed.

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Seattle Times reporter Claudia Rowe about her new book, "The Spider and the Fly." 

Before Seattle Times reporter Claudia Rowe moved here, she was living in Poughkeepsie, New York where  in 1996 women started to disappear. These women had worked as prostitutes, and they had all all reported a man named Kendall Francois to the police for sexual assault, beating, choking. 

The 26-year-old man accused of opening fire at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport earlier this month pleaded not guilty to 22 counts at his arraignment in a federal court on Monday.

Esteban Santiago Ruiz allegedly traveled from Alaska and started firing in the Florida airport's crowded baggage claim area. Investigators say he continued until he ran out of ammunition, then dropped his weapon and was arrested by law enforcement officers.

It happens thousands of times a year in Washington state: someone who isn’t allowed to own a gun tries to buy one but is denied after a background check. But even though it’s a crime to lie on a background check form, police rarely if ever investigate these cases.

For decades, U.S. authorities have been preparing to prosecute one of the world's most feared drug traffickers, known as El Chapo.

Friday, the Justice Department announced charges against Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman following his extradition from Mexico to the United States. He landed Thursday evening on Long Island, N.Y., and Friday afternoon entered a plea of not guilty at a federal court in Brooklyn.

Mexico has extradited to the United States its most notorious drug trafficker, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, according to statements from officials of both countries.

A statement by the U.S. Justice Department says Guzman landed Thursday evening at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip, N.Y. The department also says he faces six separate indictments around the country for crimes "in connection with his leadership of the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel."

The global money service company Western Union has admitted it helped people commit wire fraud, among other criminal violations, and agreed to pay $586 million.

The settlement is the result of an investigation that found Western Union was "willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program," the Justice Department said in a statement.

A fire on Saturday morning burned down a large part of the Islamic Center of the Eastside, a mosque in Bellevue.
Bellevue Fire Department

Updated 8:42 p.m.

A fire burned down most of a mosque in Bellevue early on Saturday morning, just one day after a man was charged with a hate crime for threatening members of that mosque in October.

There were no injuries.

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