WBUR and The Marshall Project join forces to launch new podcast

‘Violation’ will examine the twists and turns around a 1980s homicide


A 16-year-old’s murder conviction, decades-long incarceration, release and unexpected return to prison unfold in a new podcast from WBUR and The Marshall Project. The limited series, “Violation,” is hosted by veteran criminal justice reporter Beth Schwartzapfel of The Marshall Project.

“The Marshall Project and its team of journalists have a proven record of investigating cases that have huge implications on the integrity of this country’s criminal justice system,” said Ben Brock Johnson, executive producer, WBUR Podcasts. “This story is also intensely personal and powerful — the kind of story that WBUR Podcasts loves to tackle. This was a rare opportunity to pair The Marshall Project’s investigative reporting on an often opaque system with our rich audio storytelling. We’re excited for people to experience the twists and turns of this case while learning about some of the underreported flaws in our country’s parole system.”

The story of suffering, retribution and privilege will prompt listeners to ask themselves who pulls the levers of power in the justice system, if redemption is possible and how much time in prison is enough? They’ll hear about a 1980s camp trip to the Grand Canyon that ended in a fatal stabbing. They’ll learn how, 30 years later, the convicted teenager, now an adult, is released on parole — only to be sent back to prison again. And they’ll meet two families, connected for decades first by the horrific crime and then through the bureaucratic system of parole boards. 

“‘Violation’ is the culmination of years of reporting by The Marshall Project’s Beth Schwartzapfel on the parole system and on the tragic story at the heart of this podcast. Listeners who follow along with this multi-layered saga will be asked to consider provocative questions about crime, punishment and power,” said Geraldine Sealey, managing editor, The Marshall Project. “We are proud to partner with WBUR on this project. As a public media leader, WBUR represents the highest level of journalistic standards and inventive audio storytelling.”

The first season of the original limited series “Violation” will consist of weekly episodes released every Wednesday in podcast format, and incorporated into broadcast segments during NPR & WBUR’s national news program, “Here and Now.” The trailer for “Violation” will be released in the coming weeks and the season will debut in early Spring 2023.

About WBUR:

WBUR is Boston’s NPR — a public media leader committed to exceptional journalism on air, online, on demand and on stage. Our mission is to produce high-quality journalism and enriching experiences that foster understanding, connection and community for an expanding circle of people. WBUR Podcasts brings WBUR’s 70+ years of audio storytelling expertise to the podcast ecosystem. Our record of excellence includes chart-topping, critically acclaimed shows like “Modern Love,” “Dear Sugars,” “Endless Thread,” “Circle Round,” “Last Seen,” “Anything for Selena,” “The Common” and  “On Point.” We’ve partnered with The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Futuro Media, NPR and Reddit. WBUR’s podcast network drives millions of monthly downloads and features wide-ranging audience groups from news lovers, techies, science nerds and history buffs to new parents and young women. Learn more: wbur.org/podcasts.

About The Marshall Project:

The Marshall Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. The Marshall Project engages the millions of people whose lives have been affected by the criminal justice system. We partner with local and national media outlets to reach diverse audiences, from people who want to learn more about criminal justice to experts who turn to us for fresh, accurate information.


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