Smart Talk Tuesday: Federal justice system adapts to pandemic; Speaking grief

Like everyone else, the federal court system has had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the Middle District of Pennsylvania, that means jury selections and jury trials in both civil and criminal cases have been continued. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the accused a speedy trial. Does continuing criminal cases jeopardize the right to a speedy trial?

Tuesday’s Smart Talk addresses the federal courts during the pandemic with Judge John Jones, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Middle District U.S. Attorney David Freed; and Chief Federal Public Defender for the Middle District Heidi Freese.

Also, it’s safe to say that more people than normal are grieving the death of a loved one in 2020 considering 160,000 people have died in the U.S. from the novel coronavirus since February.

However, grief is not a subject many people know how to discuss.

Smart Talk will have a conversation about grief on Tuesday’s program with Patti Anewalt, PhD, Director of the Pathways Center for Grief & Loss with Hospice & Community Care in Lancaster .

Watch the documentary Speaking Grief that explores the transformative experience of losing a family member in a death- and grief-avoidant society, Thursday, August 13, at 8 p.m. on WITF-TV.

Smart Talk Monday; What Pa. voters are saying in latest F&M poll

The latest Franklin and Marshall College poll of registered voters released this week noted several key findings.

Pennsylvanians are “generally” optimistic that the state is “heading in the right direction.” Although, that percentage dropped from the October 2019 poll.

Respondents also consider COVID-19 the most important problem facing the state and may, as a result, feel less optimistic about their finances. The 2020 general election and voter intentions were also key poll questions.

Franklin and Marshall College political analyst and pollster Dr. G. Terry Madonna, Ph.D., appears on Monday’s Smart Talk to discuss the results and provide perspective.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, social distancing and mask-wearing have been important tools in the plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Different countries and even communities have been slower to advocate for and require masks in public places. Many public health officials believe this is the reason the U.S. is experiencing a COVID-19 surge in different parts of the country.

A recent study on mask wearers found a gender divide in mask wearing, with men more likely to resist wearing masks. So, is there a correlation between mask wearing and masculinity?

Joining Smart Talk to explore the attitudes toward mask-wearing is study author Rolfe Peterson, Ph.D., assistant professor of Political Science at Susquehanna University.

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