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The Burden

Author: Orbit Media

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Detective Louis N. Scarcella was a legendary figure in New York City during the '90s. In a city overrun with violent crime, he cracked the toughest cases and put away the worst criminals. But the story changed when a group of convicted murderers-turned-jailhouse lawyers made a startling discovery that linked all their cases: Scarcella was the cop who helped put many of them away. They made a vow: Take down Scarcella. And with the help of a relentless New York Times reporter, they did just that. Thirty years later, 20 people who Scarcella helped put behind bars have since walked free. In the media, he’s known as the disgraced, rogue cop who hoodwinked an entire system. But was this really the workings of one person? 

We spent hundreds of hours talking with witnesses who were coerced, jailhouse lawyers, outraged attorneys, and righteous cops. Scarcella insists he didn’t do anything wrong. And after finally tracking him down, he agreed to take us into the belly of the beast... where justice is done (and undone). Welcome to The Burden. 

The Burden is a production of Orbit Media in association with Signal Co. No1.
11 Episodes
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Introducing: The Burden

Introducing: The Burden

2024-03-1202:353

The Burden - available everywhere on March 19 Detective Louis N. Scarcella was a legendary figure in New York City during the '90s. In a city overrun with violent crime, he cracked the toughest cases and put away the worst criminals. But the story changed when a group of convicted murderers-turned-jailhouse lawyers made a startling discovery that linked all their cases: Scarcella was the cop who helped put many of them away. They made a vow: Take down Scarcella. And with the help of a relentless New York Times reporter, they did just that. Thirty years later, 20 people who Scarcella helped put behind bars have since walked free. In the media, he’s known as the disgraced, rogue cop who hoodwinked an entire system. But was this really the workings of one person?  We spent hundreds of hours talking with witnesses who were coerced, jailhouse lawyers, outraged attorneys, and righteous cops. Scarcella insists he didn’t do anything wrong. And after finally tracking him down, he agreed to take us into the belly of the beast... where justice is done (and undone). Welcome to The Burden.  The Burden is a production of Orbit Media in association with Signal Co. No1.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 1 | The Scoop

Episode 1 | The Scoop

2024-03-1942:334

Episode 1 of 10 New York Times journalist Frances “Frenchie” Robles gets a tip about a group of wrongfully convicted men in the New York State prison system. The common denominator: many were arrested by the same detective. Frenchie tracks down the story in a surprise visit to prison. The Burden is available everywhere you get your podcasts.All episodes will be available one week early and ad free, along with exclusive bonus content on Orbit’s newly launched “True Crime Club House” subscription channel on Apple Podcasts.   The Burden is a production of Orbit Media in association with Signal Co. No1.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 2 of 10 Steve chases down the legendary detective. He hasn’t talked in years, but after tracking him to a sauna in a Russian bathhouse, Louie starts to sing. We learn about his uncle, the mobster who Louie must investigate for murder. The Burden is available everywhere you get your podcasts.All episodes will be available one week early and ad free, along with exclusive bonus content on Orbit’s newly launched “True Crime Club House” subscription channel on Apple Podcasts.  The Burden is a production of Orbit Media in association with Signal Co. No1.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 3 of 10 We meet Shabaka Shakur, Derrick Hamilton, and the rest of the law firm they founded in prison. They are the best jailhouse lawyers of their generation. They have roles: lecturer, writer, PR man, intern… They claim they were framed...by Louie Scarcella. They declare common cause: bring him down. That cause will change the history of New York state jurisprudence. The Burden is available everywhere you get your podcasts.All episodes will be available one week early and ad-free, along with exclusive bonus content on Orbit’s newly launched “True Crime Club House” subscription channel on Apple Podcasts.   The Burden is a production of Orbit Media in association with Signal Co. No1See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 4 of 10 We meet the single eyewitness at the heart of some of Scarcella’s high profile cases. Teresa Gomez claimed to witness 11 murders, and she brought them all to Scarcella. For Louie, she was a truth teller and a “special friend” who also boosted his career. For those she testified against, she was a crack addict and fabulist. We explore the complicated relationship of Louie and Teresa, and her reliability. The Burden is available everywhere you get your podcasts.All episodes will be available one week early and ad free, along with exclusive bonus content on Orbit’s newly launched “True Crime Club House” subscription channel on Apple Podcasts.   The Burden is a production of Orbit Media in association with Signal Co. No1See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 5 of 10 Derrick Hamilton, champion of the wrongfully convicted, claimed innocence since the day he was arrested by Scarcella. He claimed innocence in a previous murder conviction as well. But we uncover documents that show he lied. He admits to being a liar. So… was he framed? Or is he the master manipulator the prosecution claimed? The Burden is available everywhere you get your podcasts.All episodes will be available one week early and ad free, along with exclusive bonus content on Orbit’s newly launched “True Crime Club House” subscription channel on Apple Podcasts.  The Burden is a production of Orbit Media in association with Signal Co. No1See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 6 of 10 It’s 2013, and a fierce election for Brooklyn D.A. is in process. It’s an election that will change Brooklyn forever. The old guard is on the ropes and Louie Scarcella is a hot button issue. The lives of our main characters - Derrick, Shabaka, Louie, converge and no one will be the same. The Burden is available everywhere you get your podcasts.All episodes will be available one week early and ad free, along with exclusive bonus content on Orbit’s newly launched “True Crime Club House” subscription channel on Apple Podcasts.  The Burden is a production of Orbit Media in association with Signal Co. No1See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 7 of 10 Shabaka Shakur is in court and Louie Scarcella is on the witness stand. It’s Shabaka’s last shot to prove he was framed. The courtroom drama doesn’t disappoint. A famed civil rights lawyer does the cross examination of a career, and “gets” Scarcella. A judge takes a hard look at the legendary detective, and changes history.  The Burden is available everywhere you get your podcasts.All episodes will be available one week early and ad free, along with exclusive bonus content on Orbit’s newly launched “True Crime Club House” subscription channel on Apple Podcasts.  The Burden is a production of Orbit Media in association with Signal Co. No1See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 8 | Judgment

Episode 8 | Judgment

2024-04-3053:481

Episode 8 of 10 Derrick and Shabaka are out of prison, but one “law partner” - the one who served as intern - is still behind bars. Derrick wins him a hearing in court. All seems aligned when reality warps. In an exclusive interview, we reveal why: the judge suffers from dementia and the system has been covering it up. The judge issues a devastating decision.  The Burden is available everywhere you get your podcasts.All episodes will be available one week early and ad free, along with exclusive bonus content on Orbit’s newly launched “True Crime Club House” subscription channel on Apple Podcasts.  The Burden is a production of Orbit Media in association with Signal Co. No1See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 9 | Vindication

Episode 9 | Vindication

2024-05-0744:281

Episode 9 of 10 The new D.A. personally overturns Derrick’s conviction. But is he really guilty? The question hovers over the series: Have murderers been freed because of Scarcella’s alleged misdeeds? We investigate. We track the lone eyewitness in Derrick's murder trial to the woods of North Carolina and sort truth from fiction. We reveal a secret report on Derrick’s case, and find out who’s really to blame. The Burden is available everywhere you get your podcasts.All episodes will be available one week early and ad free, along with exclusive bonus content on Orbit’s newly launched “True Crime Club House” subscription channel on Apple Podcasts.  The Burden is a production of Orbit Media in association with Signal Co. No1See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 10 | A Reckoning

Episode 10 | A Reckoning

2024-05-1401:05:041

Episode 10 of 10 Louie Scarcella bursts into tears. “It sucks. It sucks.” The swaggering detective has been brought low by jailhouse lawyers. But did one “rogue” cop hoodwink the system? What role did Scarcella play? We confront the famed detective who finally makes admissions and then…in an unexpected twist, Derrick confronts Louie in a zoom call. They have some words for one another.  The Burden is available everywhere you get your podcasts.All episodes will be available one week early and ad free, along with exclusive bonus content on Orbit’s newly launched “True Crime Club House” subscription channel on Apple Podcasts.  The Burden is a production of Orbit Media in association with Signal Co. No1See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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