Suave

By Futuro Studios and PRX

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Podcasteee
 Mar 9, 2021
Fantastic window into the life of one person sentenced to life in prison as a youth offender and his relationship with a journalist. Reveals their deep humanity, and the flawed justice system of our country.

Description

Winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Audio Reporting


The U.S is the only country in the world that allows minors to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Approximately 2,500 juveniles have been effectively sentenced to die in prison—considered “irredeemable” by the state for crimes committed when they were just teenagers. One of them was David Luis “Suave” Gonzalez, who entered prison at 17 expecting to leave in a coffin. Suave tells the story of what happens when your whole world is a prison cell, and you suddenly get a second chance at life. It’s the story of one man’s incarceration and redemption and an unusual relationship between a journalist and a source.


Episode Date
8. Suave Wins the Pulitzer!
07:34

It's been a year since we released Suave into the world, and so much has happened. Including some really, really big news: this week our podcast won the Pulitzer Prize for Audio Reporting. We bring you a special recording of Maria Hinojosa and Luis "Suave" Gonzalez reflecting on what this means for them, and for criminal justice reform.

May 11, 2022
Death Note (The Ballad of Chalino Sánchez)
24:24

From Futuro Studios and Sonoro

Narcocorrido superstar Chalino Sánchez sings to a sold-out crowd for the first time in Sinaloa. It's the best night of his career until someone hands him a note. His face turns pale and his smile slowly disappears. That night, after the show, Chalino will be executed. But who killed him and why? We begin a journey to understand Chalino's life and impact, and the theories behind his unsolved murder.

For more episodes, subscribe here.

Feb 07, 2022
Introducing ÍDOLO: The Ballad of Chalino Sánchez
01:00

From Futuro Studios and Sonoro, a show that examines the extraordinary life of the “King of Corridos” and attempts to unravel the mystery of his death. 

Coming next week to all podcast platforms.

Subscribe here.

Jan 25, 2022
The Journey Begins, From 'We Imagine...Us: The Way Long Way Around'
27:23

The Suave team presents an episode from We Imagine...Us, a new project by Futuro Unidad Hinojosa, the newest editorial division of Futuro Media.

Starring Emmy award-winning actress Karrueche Tran, We Imagine…Us: The Long Way Around is Futuro's first-ever fiction podcast series. It tells the story of a Black American father and his Black Vietnamese American daughter who set out across the United States in hope of rebuilding their lives. Offering a clear-eyed look at real-world struggles many communities in our country face today, its core message is that through solidarity we can make change.

In this episode, Albert "Bumpy" Watkins, after serving three years in prison, is released into a post-Covid America, where he has to navigate his new status as a formerly incarcerated person and his new role as a single parent to teenager Mercy Watkins.

Subscribe here to enjoy the full series as well as the companion series Re-Imagination Nation with Maria Hinojosa featuring interviews with John Legend, Ava DuVernay, Michelle Alexander, Heather McGhee, Linda Sarsour, Saru Jamarayan and others.

Dec 30, 2021
The History of Reggaeton
39:16

This is the true story of the young people from Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico and beyond who beat the odds, refused to be quiet and created an irresistible musical culture that has kept the world dancing. Join Ivy Queen, one of the founders of the genre, for an incredible musical story about sex, race, drugs, censorship, and of course, perreo. First: stop Panama. LOUD: The History of Reggaeton is a new podcast from Spotify Studios and Futuro Studios.

Aug 09, 2021
'Hot Trash' From Ear Hustle
50:45

It’s been a few months since we dropped the last episode of Suave, Season 1 on your feed. Recently our team heard a podcast episode from our friends at Ear Hustle, from PRX's Radiotopia, that made us think about some of the conversations we had with Suave about the importance of visits in prison. And we wanted to share that with you. Today we’re featuring that episode, called “Hot Trash.”

Visiting a loved one in prison is both emotionally intense and constrained by countless rules — from how much PDA is too much PDA, to what kind of candy you can eat inside. One year after California prison authorities suspended in-person visits due to COVID-19, Ear Hustle brings you stories from and about visiting rooms, and hear how families are adjusting to video “visits.”

For more Ear Hustle episodes, visit here.

May 10, 2021
7. The Reckoning
29:31

“There's no winners in this. You’re a victim so you victimize other people because you’re hurt. It's a circle and it goes on and on.”

Suave reckons with the last three decades of his life and begins to deal with the traumas of his childhood and incarceration that he’s long buried. Maria and Maggie discuss how the Supreme Court decision has played out differently across the country, leaving some other juvenile lifers still behind bars. Maria worries about the lasting effects of lifetime parole on Suave and comforts him through some tough disappointments. And Suave ponders what it truly means to be free.

Please note that this episode contains a brief description of violence and sexual abuse. You can avoid it by skipping between 4:45-6:45.

Mar 16, 2021
6. The Corner
35:29

“That little place right here changed my whole life. December 6, 1986. 15 seconds. 15 seconds changed my whole life.”

Suave has been cleared from all accusations and is free once again. He returns with Maria to the corner of 8th and Somerset in the Badlands—the place where his victim’s young life ended and the place that changed the course of Suave’s life. And Suave reveals to Maria a shocking story she’s never heard before about the night of the murder in 1986.

Mar 09, 2021
5. The Doubts
36:00

“Doesn’t matter if you doing good, if you got a job, it doesn't matter—it could be snatched up in a heartbeat and there's nothing you could do about it.”

Suave returns to prison and goes silent for weeks. Maria tries to figure out why and finds herself torn between her faith in Suave’s innocence and her responsibility to believe his accuser. Suave finds it impossible to adjust to being back in prison. Maria questions the entire parole system of and whether Suave will ever be truly free. Suave finally goes before a judge and again finds himself fighting for his freedom.

Mar 02, 2021
4. The Release
43:01

“I never dreamed that it would be this good. Even the worst day that I have is good. I'm going up… and I know everything that goes up must come down.”

Suave kicks off his first day of freedom by checking things off his bucket list, including a long overdue conversation with his brother and an apology to students at a school in his old neighborhood in the Badlands. We follow Suave in his first year of freedom as he experiences the excitement of many firsts and as he tries to adjust to his new life on the outside…. until an unexpected revelation puts Suave’s future into doubt.

Feb 23, 2021
3. The Old Head
30:42

“We had a secret, unspoken bond. We’re all dying in here. And I felt like I was breaking that bond. I feel like I'm leaving my brothers behind.”

Suave moves to a transitional housing unit at Graterford and begins to prepare for his release. But as he readies for life on the outside, his excitement gives way to a “never-ending list of fears” about life outside of prison. Suave also reckons with some complicated emotions—both the unparalleled joys of his upcoming release and the guilt of leaving behind the men he’s considered his brothers for nearly three decades. Maria ponders how her relationship with Suave will change now that they have a chance to explore their connection beyond a journalist-source relationship, as she travels to Graterford on his release day to bring him home.

Feb 16, 2021
2. The Hustle
38:43

“I was fascinated with the lifestyle. I was fascinated with prison flicks. That's how you get the street credibility. You know, I'm gonna be the baddest dude on the block.”

Maria learns more about Suave’s early life in the South Bronx and the crime Suave was convicted of as a teenager in the Badlands of Philadelphia. We explore the tactics of ruthless prosecutors that led to Pennsylvania becoming the state that sentenced the most minors in the country to life in prison without parole. Meanwhile, Suave anxiously awaits the decision from a judge that could grant him the opportunity to experience adult life on the outside.

Feb 09, 2021
1. The Sentence
33:28

“The very last word she said was ‘You can become a voice for the voiceless.’ And I was just like, ‘Damn, why am I letting this lady mess up my high?’”

We meet Suave, a man who has been serving a life sentence at a Pennsylvania maximum-security prison since he was a teenager. And we learn about his decades-long relationship as a source with journalist Maria Hinojosa. Suave has come to terms with the fact that he will never leave the confines of Graterford prison. That is until a Supreme Court ruling suddenly grants him a second chance to fight for his freedom.

Feb 09, 2021
Trailer: Suave
03:25

Introducing "Suave," a podcast about juveniles sentenced to die in prison told through one man's journey.

In 1988, David Luis “Suave” Gonzalez was found guilty of first-degree homicide. A Philadelphia judge sentenced him to life without parole for a crime committed when he was 17 years old. At a Pennsylvania prison, Suave joined the largest population of juvenile lifers in the country—young men considered by the justice system to be “irredeemable,” destined to die in prison for acts committed when they were just teenagers. Acclaimed journalist Maria Hinojosa met Suave 27 years ago in prison while working on a story. They kept in touch over the decades by phone, letters, and occasional visits. Originally, she maintained contact in order to have a source inside the prison system. But over the years, their relationship evolved. And then a Supreme Court ruling changed everything, forever altering the course of Suave’s life.

Feb 02, 2021