Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Emails indicate a relationship too cozy?; PA Turnpike turns 75

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Oct 5, 2015 10:02 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, October 5, 2015:

Our justice system is an adversarial one.  In criminal cases, the state, usually represented by a lawyer from the local jurisdiction, prosecutes the defendant who is charged with breaking the law.  The accused has a Constitutional right to his or her own attorney.  During a trial, a judge mediates and ensures the letter of the laws is being followed.

After court is dismissed the competing attorneys sometimes socialize or are even friendly toward one another.  Judges are usually another story.  Even the perception that a judge has a social relationship with attorneys who may argue cases in his or her courtroom may be troublesome.

That's why former U.S. Attorney Peter Vaira says pornographic, racist, and religiously offensive emails exchanged between state police, officials in the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office, and judges may be inappropriate.

Vaira appears on Monday's Smart Talk to explain.

Also, America's first superhighway turned 75-years-old last week.  The Pennsylvania Turnpike opened to motorists on October 1st, 1940.  It ushered in a new era in Pennsylvania and national transportation.  A permanent exhibit has opened at the State Museum of Pennsylvania that includes a toll booth and other mementoes.

Joining us on Smart Talk to discuss turnpike history and the exhibit is Dr. Curt Miner, senior curator at the State Museum of Pennsylvania and Carl DeFebo, Director of Public Relations & Marketing for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.


Carl DeFebo & Dr. Curt Miner

During the episode, our guests mentioned the 1968 Dick Todd tune "Pennsylvania Turnpike, I Love You So." You can listen to that song here:

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  • Scott LaMar img 2015-10-05 10:39

    Thomas comments...
    As someone who as spent time and money in this system, only to have it wasted and a blemish on my record. A.) this does not surprise me B.) vindication will only come when ALL of the judges and ALL of the lawyers loose their jobs and are not permitted to practice law ever again. Justice is supposed to be sacred in this country.