When a Reporter Enters a Bamboo Grove: Reflections on Serial

16 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2015

See all articles by Jonathan Glater

Jonathan Glater

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Date Written: October 15, 2015


The popular podcast Serial offers a careful, nuanced perspective on a criminal prosecution, but at the same time represents a missed opportunity to question the workings of criminal law enforcement. The narrative, which chronicles the re-investigation of a fifteen-year-old Baltimore murder case by a reporter, is brilliantly told. Serial illustrates how elusive and unreliable memory can be and how powerful the state’s enforcement machine is, and offers a gripping story of a possible miscarriage of justice. Yet this Essay suggests that Serial ultimately both fails to establish actual innocence of the young man convicted and sentenced for the killing and, more importantly, fails to challenge the enforcement regime that charged him with the crime.

Suggested Citation

Glater, Jonathan, When a Reporter Enters a Bamboo Grove: Reflections on Serial (October 15, 2015). Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, 2015, Forthcoming, UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2015-84, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2674720

Jonathan Glater (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Do you want regular updates from SSRN on Twitter?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics