10.13.16: Mexican Justice, Brat Pack America, & Esperanza Spalding

Oct 13, 2016

When foreign nationals commit a crime in the US, their consulates work to avoid what the majority of UN member states consider to be barbaric: execution. Today, we'll hear what the   government south of the border is doing to their nationals off death row.

Also today, 80s movies like Back to the Future and The Breakfast Club banked on the boredom, buying power and  dramatic urges of teenagers - but were they groundbreaking cinema classics?  A superfan says John Hughes and his teen flick colleagues got at truths beyond adolescence angst and suburbia. 

Listen to the full show. 

Pursuing Justice from Mexico

US citizens imprisoned abroad often become causes. Their families and citizens groups lobby for leniency. US government officials work to free them, or failing that, ensure that they receive due process, be treated fairly in court and if convicted, that the punishment they receive fits the crime. 

When foreign nationals commit a crime in the United States, their consulates work to avoid what the vast majority of UN member states consider to be barbaric: execution. A Mexican government program has paid millions of dollars to American lawyers for tracking and assisting Mexican nationals charged in death penalty cases here in the United States.

The Marshall Project's Maurice Chammah wrote about the Mexican capital legal assistance program: How Mexico Saves Its Citizens from the Death Penalty in the US

Breast-Fed Language

About two thirds of New Yorkers are from immigrant families.  No matter where their parents come from, children born here are American children...which leaves parents challenged with which native practices to retain, and which new norms to follow. That was the case for radio rookie Andrea Lee Torres' family. Her parents arrived from the Philippines in the 90s. In this piece from Radio Rookies, she questions one of their decisions - not to teach her their language.

This story was produced by Sanda Htyte and Marianne McCune for Radio Rookies.  You can listen to it again at PRX.org

Brat Pack America

Sixteen years in, the 21st century is an awkward adolescent - about the age of Molly Ringwald's character in Pretty in Pink,  director John Hughes’ movie about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who falls for a rich classmate

That movie is 30 years old now...one of the teen-centric 80s movies adored by people who may now have teenaged kids of their own. Kevin Smokler makes the case that movies like Back To The Future, Fast Times At Ridgmont High, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club and other big-haired classics represented the first time teenagers were portrayed as human beings. And though dated by side ponytails and acid washed jeans, they belong in the American film canon.

His new book is called Brat Pack America: a Love Letter to 80s Teen Movies

Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding is a musical prodigy originally from Portland, Oregon. Now five LP's into her career, she's won four Grammys, including best new artist in 2011 - making her the first jazz artist to win the award. She'll be presenting her newest album, Emily's D-Plus Evolution, this Saturday, 10/15, on stage at the Lebanon Opera House.