In The Dark exposes a corrupt and racist legal system in Mississippi

In The Dark is an investigative journalism podcast in which journalists delve into more than just how an alleged murderer was caught and ultimately convicted. The Curtis Flowers investigation of Season 2 goes in another direction not commonly seen, questioning the prosecutors, the crown attorney and law enforcement and how they went about trying to send Flowers to prison for the murders in question, even as the evidence seemed to lead to a different culprit.

Madeleine Baran, the lead reporter for APM’s (American Public Media) podcast In The Dark, narrates in a sad, serious tone.. Also included are interview audio files from Flowers, Montgomery District Attorney Doug Evans and various eye-witnesses, as well as relatives and colleagues of Flowers, and family members of the victims involved in the Tardy Furniture store shooting in Winona, Mississippi on July 16, 1996.

The tone remains relatively similar throughout the podcast, with some bumps, such as when Evans is questioned, as he seems to believe that only his opinion towards Flowers is valid. It’s not until Flowers is proven not guilty and released from his nearly 23-year sentence that the grim feeling dissipates. And the triumphant, relief-inducing tone of Flowers’s voice from the interview audio changes the style of narration to a more hopeful one.

Baran’s no-nonsense reporting and investigating digs into the seeming racial bias of Evans, in his attempt to prosecute Flowers on six separate occasions although there is a lack of physical evidence actually tying Flowers to the murders. The lack of Black jury members involved in the trials seems to be due to the fact that Evans made efforts to make sure there were none.

The work done by the entire team at APM is second to none and really is what got the case overturned. The investigating, reporting and digging through the evidence and testimony is diligent and meticulous. As a sports fan who listens to sports podcasts regularly, and a true crime fan who has never watched any crime podcasts, the In The Dark podcast has drawn me towards this kind of reporting and I will certainly follow investigative journalism podcasts in the future.

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