As the Final Four gets underway in Indiana, many have focused their attention on the state for another battle of sorts: The Culture Wars. In fact, intense criticism from the public and large, lucrative businesses, pressured Indiana Governor Mike Pence to revise the controversial religious freedom law that he signed last Thursday. The outcry over the law raises the question of which political party has its finger on the social pulse of the nation? And are GOP leaders at the state level at odd with those at the national level? Our panelists will discuss these questions and more.
Then, it was a dramatic scene in an Atlanta courtroom Wednesday with 11 people led away in handcuffs, facing up to 20 years in prison, convicted of racketeering. These people weren’t mobsters; they were educators—convicted in one of the largest cheating scandals in U.S. history. Angela Johnson and Robert Rubin, attorneys for two of the accused, will join us to discuss the case. Do these educators deserve to spend more time in prison than those on Wall Street who brought down the economy? Is this about failing schools and teachers or a failing system?
And, sentencing reform. On Tuesday, President Obama offered clemency to 22 low-level drug offenders -- 8 of whom had been sentenced to life sentences and would have otherwise died in jail. This brings all of the president's commutations to a total of 43, 40 of them for drug related sentences. Many have criticized President Obama for not doing more but things might be changing soon. We’ll be joined by the following guests for a discussion about the current state of sentencing reform:
- Glenn Martin, president and founder of Just Leadership USA
- Dafna Linzer, managing editor at MSNBC
- Richard Tafel, founder of the Log Cabin Republicans and president of The Public Squared
- David Cohen, constitutional lawyer from Drexel University
All that, plus, the latest on Loretta Lynch’s delayed confirmation, the Duke noose investigation, and why First Lady Michelle Obama’s appearance at the Black Girls Rock! award ceremony caused some folks to feel left out.
Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Saturday at 10am ET on msnbc. Join the conversation—share your thoughts about these issues on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.