Full episode
143: Sentencing


Host Ira Glass with former Congressman Daniel Rostenkowski. When Rostenkowski began a term in federal prison, he met for the first time people who'd been locked up under harsh drug laws that he'd voted for himself. "The whole thing's a sham," he declares. He confesses that he didn't really understand the mandatory minimum sentences he voted for in the 1980s; he just followed the lead of colleagues on the Judiciary Committee, which drafted the laws. (6 minutes)