Ghislaine Maxwell, Britney Spears, and more: podcasts about the biggest trials of 2021

News December 14, 2021

This year has seen a surge of high profile cases brought to court. These cases have captivated the nation, with millions anxiously awaiting to see results that will serve as precedents in future trials. There’s the cases we remember and the ones we’ve forgotten about in all the hubbub: from the end of Britney Spears’ conservatorship to the U.S. v. Elizabeth Holmes, the surprising release of Bill Cosby to the conviction of Derek Chauvin. There’s been groundbreaking rulings in favor of NCAA athletes, and the Varsity Blues college admissions defendants went up on the stand this year. There’s been a lot, to say the least, so we’ve tried to cover the big ones, but we know there is so much more.

There’s decades-long crimes finally being brought to trial, and trials that will be talked about for years to come. These are podcasts about the biggest trials of 2021.

The Dropout: Elizabeth Holmes on Trial

Listen to ‘The Dropout: Elizabeth Holmes on Trial’

The trial of Elizabeth Holmes and her fraudulent company Theranos is still ongoing, and “The Dropout” hasn’t missed a single thing. While the first season let us know just how bad the Theranos scam got, the second season has followed every testimony with live, courtside reporting. From Holmes’ surprising pregnancy, to witness testimonies, to stunning new revelations, the case of the United States v. Elizabeth Holmes has been nothing short of astonishing.

Bloomberg Law

Listen to ‘Bloomberg Law’

For podcasts about the biggest trials of the year, we can’t pick just one episode of “Bloomberg Law” to recommend. Host June Grasso speaks with prominent attorneys and legal scholars, analyzing major legal issues and cases in the news, like what’s happening with Roe v. Wade in the courts, continuing to look at what’s the next legal action in Britney Spears‘ life, and everything that happened before, during, and after Derek Chauvin’s trial.

So instead, we will recommend a few episodes that have covered the most headline-making trials. Check out, “Will Roe v. Wade Survive,” “College Scandal Trial and VIP Admissions List” about the Varsity Blues sting, and “Can Scarlett Johansson Win Against Disney?”

The Daily podcast art

The Daily

Listen to ‘The Trial of Ghislaine Maxwell’

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s right-hand woman, just started this month, so obviously “The Daily” is on top of it. While Epstein may be gone, his disturbing secrets aren’t, and the world waits anxiously for more information on just how deep Epstein’s crimes went and who else is involved.

Law360’s Pro Say

Listen to ‘Law360’s Pro Say’

“Law360’s Pro Say” keeps us updated with all things law, but they’ve been staying up to date on all the things we’d rather forget about. Like why Bill Cosby walked free earlier in 2021. They’ve covered the groundbreaking ruling that will finally allow college athletes to receive compensation and they go beyond the #FreeBritney movement to discuss more guardianship abuses and the other legal mechanisms that can strip people of their autonomy. Hear more about the most important rulings of 2021 with “Law360’s Pro Say.”

What A Day

Listen to ‘Freed Britney with Ashley Fetters Maloy’

Of course, what would 2021 be if not the year that Britney Spears was finally freed from her conservatorship? This episode of “What A Day” was released just a few days after Britney’s conservatorship was ended entirely. Having already had her father suspended as her conservator on September 28, 2021, this ruling formally terminated the conservatorship entirely. The Spears’ time won’t be done in court though, and the Washington Post’s Ashley Fetters Maloy joins “What A Day” to talk about what Britney’s freedom mean for others fighting their own conservatorships.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

Listen to ‘The Trial in the Killing of Ahmaud Arbery’

The trial of Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. concluded in late November, finding the three men guilty on multiple murder counts for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. But it was not an easy road to those convictions. Before testimonies were even heard, the jury selection in Glynn County, Georgia raised many eyebrows. With eleven white members and only one Black member, the prosecution accused the defense of eliminating qualified Black jurors from serving. While Judge Timothy Walmsley said there appeared to be intentional discrimination, he ultimately gave the green light to move forward, ruling that there were in fact valid reasons that went beyond race for why the jurors were dismissed.

Before the guilty verdict was handed down, “Lawyer 2 Lawyer” host Craig Williams speaks with Christopher Slobogin, director of the Criminal Justice Program at Vanderbilt Law School, about racial breakdown of the jury, the intentional discrimination described, the citizen’s arrest law, and the potential impact all of this could have on the case.

True Crime Rewind

Listen to ‘The R. Kelly Conviction’

In late September, producer R. Kelly was found guilty on all nine counts of sex trafficking and racketeering. This has finally come after three decades of accusations, exploitation, and out of court settlements. “True Crime Rewind” brings us back through all of it, from Aaliyah to Surviving R. Kelly. Hear the full story of the sickening case(s) against him here.

Today, Explained

Today, Explained

Listen to ‘Kyle Rittenhouse and the “self-defense” defense’

“Today, Explained” got the Chicago Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair to run through Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial and verdict, giving a great explanation of how the laws of the United States let Rittenhouse be acquitted. She talks about the judge, a contentious figure in the case, and his past of being particularly lenient with all of his defendants. She also touches on the scenes outside the courthouse, that from one minute to another would see two groups screaming at each other to sharing pizza.

They also speak with legal scholar Eric Ruben on Rittenhouse’s team’s self-defense defense and why it worked. They talk about self-defense laws, the gun rights legislation being passed, and what happens when more and more guns are allowed to be carried in public.

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