Whose Courts? Avi and Sajid talk about Participatory Defense with De-Bug

In the 10th episode of Aider & Abettor, Avi and Sajid welcome guests Raj Jayadev and Charisse Domingo of Silicon Valley De-Bug (siliconvalleydebug.org), a community organization in San Jose focused on storytelling and advocacy for the marginalized and criminal justice reform.

In their “Opening Statement,” Avi and Sajid talk with Raj and Charisse about the origin story of De-Bug, how they met (they’re a community organizing power couple), and how De-Bug became a leading voice on police violence after the police killing of a San Jose resident. They discuss the participatory defense model (acjusticeproject.org) started by De-Bug that is now spreading across the country. Raj and Charisse talk about De-Bug’s effort on bail reform and share how people can best get involved and make change, especially in the aftermath of the chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In their “Deep Dive,” Avi and Sajid talk Colin Kaepernick with Raj and Charisse. Raj and Charisse recount how Colin reached out to De-Bug and what they were able to accomplish with Colin’s donation to De-Bug as part of his “Million Dollar Pledge” campaign (kaepernick7.com/ck7-october-donations/). Raj describes meeting and working with Colin at a local “Know Your Rights Camp” (kaepernick7.com/know-your-rights-camp/) hosted and organized by Colin for youth to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and instruction to properly interact with law enforcement. Sajid shares his decision to boycott the NFL in solidarity with Colin (thesajidakhan.tumblr.com/post/1640414…t-the-nfl-in).

To close the episode, Avi, Sajid, Charisse, and Raj do their Things.

We have new music for episode 10. Many thanks to @leerosevere

Episode 9 is up: The Return with Kevin Bilal Chatman [All We Need Is Three Mics]

In the 9th Episode of Aider & Abettor, Sajid and Avi welcome their first ever guest: Kevin “Bilal” Chatman.

Bilal, born and raised in San Jose, got a new lease on life after voters passed Prop. 36 in 2012 which amended California’s Three Strikes Law.   Bilal, then serving 150 years to life in prison, was released from prison and has since been a model of redemption and voice for criminal justice reform.

You can see Bilal in the Emmy-nominated documentary “The Return” on Netflix (https://www.netflix.com/title/80107949) and on a powerful segment from John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” on HBO (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJtYRxH5G2k&feature=youtu.be).

In their “Opening Statement,” Sajid and Avi  talk with Bilal about his over 10 years in prison, what motivated him to change despite a life sentence, his release from prison after Prop 36, the challenges of re-entry like learning to use a cell phone and getting a job, and what it was like to go on John Oliver’s show.

In the “Deep Dive” segment, Sajid, Avi and Bilal break down the recent decision by the Nevada Parole Board to release OJ Simpson from prison.  They each share their take on OJ’s parole, including Sajid sharing why he celebrated OJ’s release (http://thesajidakhan.tumblr.com/post/163242361004/celebrating-the-parole-of-oj-simpson).  They talk about whether OJ’s parole experience was typical, the challenges of parole release and whether or not we should consider larger scale parole opportunities for the elderly in our prisons.

Sajid, Avi and Bilal finish up with their “Thing(s).”  Avi shares the new Aider & Abettor Twitter handle (https://twitter.com/AiderAndAbettor @AiderAndAbettor [follow us!]) and praises Senators Kamala Harris and Rand Paul for their bipartisan effort to overhaul our bail system a (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/20/opinion/kamala-harris-and-rand-paul-lets-reform-bail.html).

Sajid shouts out “Ear Hustle,” a new podcast generated out of San Quentin Prison produced by inmates sharing the tales of prison life (https://www.earhustlesq.com/).

Bilal closes out the episode by recognizing the radio show “Street Soldiers” (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/street-soldiers-radio/id1042442760?mt=2) and by talking about “The Return Project” (https://www.thereturnproject.com/).

Episode 8 of Aider & Abettor is up.

Episode 8 of Aider & Abettor is up.  Here are the show notes.

In the 8th episode of Aider & Abettor, Sajid and Avi discuss the first trial of Bill Cosby in the “Opening Statement” segment. They talk about the judge’s rulings in the case, the hung jury and what, if anything, the result means for our community.

In a new segment called “Read Back,” they revisit a topic from Episode 4: the arrest and prosecution of Lauren Kirk-Coehlo for the vandalism of a mosque in Davis, California. They dive into the layers of her recent sentence of probation and jail time and discuss the Muslim community’s reaction to the outcome. Some of Sajid’s thoughts on the sentence in written form are here: thesajidakhan.tumblr.com/post/1619406…ce-of-lauren

In the “Deep Dive” segment, Sajid and Avi reflect on the death of Philando Castile and the trial of officer Jeronimo Yanez. They break down the tragic incident and the acquittal of Mr. Yanez, including how Supreme Court cases permitted the initial car stop, the dashcam video of the officer shooting Mr. Castile, how the jury might have received the evidence in reaching their decision and what the not guilty verdict means and doesn’t mean.
Sajid tried to flesh out some of his thoughts on the tragedy here: thesajidakhan.tumblr.com/post/1620395…the-trial-of

Sajid and Avi finish up with their “Thing(s).”

Our intro is by @leerosevere. Our outro and sounds are by @omniboi

Thanks to everyone for listening, sharing, and sending feedback.  Please email us your takes at aiderandabettor@gmail.com or tweet at @thesajidkhan and @avanindar


Episode 7: Out Here Trying to Function

In the 7th episode of Aider & Abettor, Sajid and Avi discuss former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, his murder trials and his recent death in the “Opening Statement” segment. They talk about his acquittal for an alleged double homicide and some of the nuances of the trial including Hernandez’s tattoos and a unique jury selection process. Sajid and Avi also share how Hernandez’s suicide impacted them with some discussion of Sajid’s blog post “Aaron Hernandez, My Clients and Me”


In the “Deep Dive” segment, they reflect on how to function as public defenders given the challenges inherent in the work. Sajid and Avi share some of the mental and emotional challenges of the work and then trade their top 5 lists of self-care methods and practices to sustain as freedom fighters and avoid burnout. Some of their suggestions include physical labor, fast food and therapy.

Sajid and Avi finish up with their “Thing(s).” Sajid talks about the Cincinnati Bengals drafting Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon despite his prior conviction for an assault of a woman at a bar (discussed in the inaugural episode of the podcast). Avi shouts out NBA basketball player Dion Waiters and his moving essay in The Players’ Tribune.


Our intro is by @leerosevere. Our outro and sounds are by @omniboi

Please email us comments at aiderandabettor@gmail.com.

Aider & Abettor Episode 6: Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of

In Episode 6 of Aider & Abettor, Sajid and Avi get into a New York State of Mind. In the Opening Statement, they discuss the campaign to #raisetheage. The talk about the problems of treating 16 year olds as adults in the criminal justice system.

In the Deep Dive, they discuss a recent proposal to close Rikers Island. They explore many of the ways that Rikers violates basic notions of due process and fairness. You can find the proposal at www.morejustnyc.com/the-report-1/

In the Things segment, Sajid pushes the MVP candidacy of Steph Curry and recommends a the Ex-Conversations Podcast. Avi criticizes a Department of Justice memo that attempts to distance the Department of Justice from the business of responding to systemic civil rights violations.

Our intro is by @LeeRosevere. Our outro and sounds are by @omniboi.

Episode 5: Look Who’s Coming to Jury Duty & Trial Jams 2017

In the fifth episode of Aider & Abettor, Avi and Sajid discuss the challenge of getting a representative jury and one proposal (California Senate Bill 576) to collect more data about the jury selection process.

In the Deep Dive, they talk about the music that gets them going during trial. The discussion is broken up into five stages: setting the ground rules, jury selection, opening statement, cross examination, and closing argument.

In the “Things” segment, Avi recounts a confrontation with a bathroom line-cutter. Sajid shares his thoughts about public reactions to the sentence in a South Carolina hate crime case and a report on “Pay-to-Stay” jails. Sajid blogged about these subjects at thesajidakhan.tumblr.com/

Our intro is by @leerosevere (@happypuppyrecords). Our transitions and outro are by @omniboi.

Episode 4: ICE Vol. 2 & Davis Vandalism

In the 4th episode of Aider & Abettor, Sajid and Avi start with the “Opening Statement” where they discuss recent mass ICE raids across our country, particularly the arrest of a woman at an El Paso County Courthouse as she sought a restraining order against her alleged domestic abuser and how it will impact our criminal justice system and victims rights (0:30).  They break down the detention of Daniel Ramirez Medina, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipient, commonly referred to as a “Dreamer,” the legal effort to get him out and his alleged gang affiliations (08:30).

In the “Deep Dive” segment, they talk about the arrest of Lauren Kirk-Coehlo for an alleged vandalism of a mosque in Davis, California (18:19). They dive into the layers of this arrest and incident including the Muslim community’s reaction to the alleged hate crime, the $1 million bail amount, Lauren’s reported social media glorification of violent behavior, the media’s use of her yearbook picture rather than a mugshot, whether we’d represent her and what her punishment should look like.

Sajid and Avi finish up with their “Thing(s)” of the week (44:50).  Sajid shares Defy Ventures, a program designed to channel the talents of the currently and formerly incarcerated in our community into entrepreneurship.  Avi recounts the beautiful words of Davis Mayor Robb Davis on shame and then laments about the Sacramento Kings and their owner Vivek Ranadive’s trade of Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins.


Episode 3: Sports! Gorsuch! Judicial Independence!

In the 3rd episode of Aider and Abettor, Sajid and Avi start with the “Opening Statement” where they discuss the Super Bowl, Kyle Shanahan and their mutual San Francisco 49ers fandom (and lack of trust in Jed York) (0:30).  They break down the 49ers’ head coach and front office hires and assess Shanahan in light of his and the Falcons’ Super Bowl meltdown.  Avi remembers a bonus outcome of the Super Bowl: the decision by several Patriots players, including Chris Long, not to attend the traditional trip to the White House (09:00).     

In the “Deep Dive” segment, they talk about Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch (14:06). They share their opinions on Gorsuch’s nomination (both are actually cautiously excited and optimistic), discuss his background (including his affinity for trout), and dive into some of his judicial opinions that impact criminal justice.  Sajid and Avi then delve into the importance of judicial independence in light of President Trump’s recent Twitter tirades.  

Sajid and Avi finish up with their “Thing(s)” of the week (41:08).  Sajid recounts the time he booed Jason Giambi at the Oakland Coliseum and shares his empathy for Oklahoma City Thunder fans after Kevin Durant left them for the Warriors.  They both understood booing Kevin Durant the player, but honor Kevin Durant the man.  Avi shouts out Omniboi and his music (featured in this episode of our podcast) and talks about the thrills of coaching high school mock trial.

Where to listen

You can find the Aider & Abettor Podcast on the following platforms.  Please subscribe, listen, and give us a rating.

Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher, google play, podcast addict, and pocket casts

If you want to access our show from a different platform, send us an email at aiderandabettor@gmail.com and we will get on it.

Thanks for the support.


Episode 2: You’re Out of [Executive] Order

Check out Episode 2 of the Aider & Abettor Podcast.

In the 2nd episode of Aider and Abettor, Sajid and Avi start with the “Opening Statement” where they discuss President Donald Trump’s Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” commonly known as the #MuslimBan (0:30).  They share their excitement and pride about the role of lawyers in the movement to counter this new policy and emphasize the need for self-care for activists working to effectuate change.    

In the “Deep Dive” segment, they break down another Executive Order by President Donald Trump, “Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” and the cross-section between the criminal justice system and immigration laws (14:40). They express concerns about the potential consequences of this policy to prioritize removal of non-citizens merely accused of crimes.  They go on to talk about sanctuary cities and the the interaction, or lack thereof, between states and the federal government in the enforcement of immigration laws.

Sajid and Avi finish up with their “Thing(s)” of the week (34:50).  Sajid shares a courtroom experience from last week that reminded him of a silver lining to an otherwise haunting election day: the passage of Prop 57 which took the power to charge minors as adults away from California DAs.  Avi recounts his brush with the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in an airport.  They finish up making their Super Bowl picks between the Patriots and Falcons.

Our music and sounds are from Lee Rosevere’s Music for Podcasts (freemusicarchive.org/tag/podcast/)

You can email us at aiderandabettor@gmail.com. You can also find the podcast in iTunes, Stitcher, and PocketCasts.