14 Going On Life Without Parole

Avi and Sajid took the podcast on the road to the Capital Case Defense Seminar in Monterey, CA. This episode is an interview with Marc Bookman. Marc is the co-director of the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation in Philadelphia, PA. The interview focuses on Marc’s work on behalf of Ricky Olds. Ricky was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for being present at a homicide when he was 14. Marc tells Ricky’s story and describes how he challenged Ricky’s sentence after the Supreme Court decided Miller v. Alabama.

Marc’s writing has been published in the Atlantic, Mother Jones, Slate, and Vice News. You can find his article about Ricky Olds here: www.vice.com/en_us/article/7bm9…ing-reform-america

How We Represent Those People

In Ep. 15 of Aider & Abettor, Avi and Sajid sit down with Rod O’Connor. Rod retired from public defense in 2016. During his career, Rod tried homicides and mentored new lawyers (including Avi).

In the first segment, Rod shares his perspective as a recently retired public defender on the parts of the job that he misses and the parts of the job that he does not miss.

They take up FAQs/cocktail party questions in the second segment. How do they represent those people? How do they sleep at night? Find out.
As part of this segment, they share their thoughts on the McCoy v. Louisiana case. In that case, an attorney conceded his client’s guilt in a death penalty trial, over the client’s objection. The attorney thought this would increase the chances of a non-death sentence.

At the end of the show, they share their Thing(s).

The music in this episode is by Lee Rosevere, Makaih Beats, and Chris Zabriskie.

mid 30 something jump street – our first live show

The last episode for 2017 of the Aider & Abettor Podcast is now up on iTunes, SoundCloud and other podcast platforms.

Avi and Sajid recorded this episode in front of a live audience for the first time- 8th graders at Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto, CA.

Avi Singh talked about representing a client named Edgar at a re-sentencing hearing after he had been previously sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for a murder conviction he suffered at 17 years old. Sajid shared portions of his recent closing argument at a transfer hearing where he advocated for my client, just 16 at the time of an accused murder, to remain in juvenile court rather than being prosecuted as an adult.

They took several questions from the students about life as a #publicdefender, including representing guilty people, our definitions and conceptions of justice, dealing w/ prosecutors and why we chose this career:

Please listen and share!


State Action with Ash Kalra


On this episode of Aider & Abettor, California State Assemblymember Ash Kalra joins Sajid and Avi.  Ash is the first Indian American state legislator in California.  Before being elected to the California State Assembly, Ash was a public defender in San Jose, CA (at the same office as Sajid and Avi) for over 10 years and then served as a San Jose City Council member for 8 years.


In the Opening Statement, Ash describes his path to public defense and then to elected office.  Ash reflects on representing clients in drug cases during the height of Three Strikes and the war on drugs.  The three share stories about Indian Public Defender misidentifications.  They also reflect on the experience of pursuing careers in law (specifically public defense) as children of South Asian immigrants.  

In the Deep Dive, Ash, Avi and Sajid discuss recent major criminal justice reforms in California, changes unimaginable just a few years ago such as the establishment of a tiered sex offender registry.  They break down other reforms that target mass incarceration on the front end by eliminating sentence enhancements and allowing judges to use their discretion and on the back end by creating new parole opportunities for young offenders and the elderly in our prisons. They discuss what the next frontier of criminal justice reform will and should look like.


At the end of the show, Sajid and Avi share their “Things,” both reflecting on special, memorable moments with clients.

Watch Bench Notes Episode

Filmmakers Chris Knight and Kimy Martinez produced a video of our conversation with Retired Judge Ron Del Pozzo.  They set us up in a very cool space at the Roosevelt Community Center in the heart of San Jose.  Check it out!

Bench Notes: We talk to Retired Judge Ron Del Pozzo about Bail, Plea Bargaining, and the Campaign to Recall a Judge

In this episode of Aider & Abettor, Avi and Sajid are joined by retired Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Ron Del Pozzo, someone who they both appeared in front of during their public defense careers before the Judge’s retirement.

In the first segment (2:20), they all discuss the nuances of plea bargaining in criminal cases including the relative power of judges and prosecutors during the process. The conversation dovetailed into reflections on the interplay of bail, plea bargaining and outcomes for indigent people compared to the more affluent accused of crimes. They brainstorm ways to help level the playing field and to achieve more fair dispositions for all.

In the second segment (42:30), Avi, Sajid and Judge Del Pozzo trade thoughts on the trial of Brock Turner, his sentence and the effort to recall Judge Aaron Persky. Judge Del Pozzo shares about what it was like to run for Judge against Persky, his thoughts about Turner’s sentence and his view of Perksy’s reputation on the bench. They question the prudence of the recall effort and discuss the recall’s potential consequences.

In the last segment (1:19:38), they each share their “things,” including new criminal justice legislation in California about drug sales priors and sex offenders, the Warriors’ relationship with San Quentin Prison and advice from Judge Del Pozzo on how to counter hate with love.

The intro, outro, and transitions are by @leerosevere.

P.S. This episode was recorded at the Roosevelt Community Center in San Jose and was videotaped by Chris Knight and Kimy Martinez of StabbyDoll Productions. It was a very cool experience to work with Chris and Kimy. Please check out the video of the episode here: youtu.be/N-BYk8bb0_w

Kristin Carter joins Avi to talk about the ACLU after Charlottesville, jury selection, and the pardon of Joe Arpaio

Sajid was on a pilgrimage during this episode.  (You can check out some of his thoughts about the experience here.)  Here is Sajid’s write-up of the episode:

“As you probably know, I was out of the country for two weeks on my Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca so couldn’t record a new Aider & Abettor episode.

But that doesn’t stop the pod! Avi Singh and guest co-host Kristin Carter, our awesome friend and public defender colleague, recorded what might be our best episode yet. They talked the ACLU, the pardon of Joe Arpaio, the trial of Martin Shkreli, the Wu-Tang Clan, Taylor Swift and more.”

Please listen and share! It’s on SoundCloud, iTunes, stitcher and buzzsprout.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/aider-abettor/id1198837585?mt=2 …

https://www.buzzsprout.com/118143/562126-reclaiming-our-time-with-kristin-carter-aka-respecting-the-wu-tang …

https://soundcloud.com/user-139217541/reclaiming-our-time-with-kristin-carter-aka-respecting-the-wu-tang …

Our music is by @leerosevere.