They shared their stories as part of a lawsuit seeking urgent changes to protect prisoners. One prisoner wrote that a jail officer denied his request for a mask, so he tied old underwear around his face.
Lauren Gill Aug 07, 2020
Sixteen-year-old William Haymon has spent more than 500 days in an adult jail in rural Lexington, Mississippi. There are no state rules governing how long a person can be incarcerated without being formally charged with a crime.
Lauren Gill Jul 30, 2020
Honken, convicted of the murders of five people, died by lethal injection at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. The federal government resumed executions this week for the first time since 2003.
Lauren Gill Jul 17, 2020
In a 5-4 ruling early today, the Supreme Court cleared the way for the lethal injection of Wesley Ira Purkey. Lawyers had argued that killing Purkey, who had dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease, would represent cruel and unusual punishment.
Lauren Gill Jul 16, 2020
A late-night Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for the execution of Daniel Lewis Lee, despite his claims of innocence and his attorneys’ belief that DNA testing could show he was wrongly convicted.
Lauren Gill Jul 14, 2020
A government psychologist who used the tool to evaluate Daniel Lewis Lee—who is scheduled to die Monday in Indiana—has since disavowed it. Without it, the trial judge has written that it’s ‘very questionable’ Lee would have been sentenced to death.
Lauren Gill Jul 10, 2020
A survey published by the National Domestic Workers Alliance in April found that 55 percent of respondents were unable to pay April’s rent, and 84 percent were either not able to or didn’t know if they could afford food.
Lauren Gill Jul 01, 2020
A civil rights advocate calls the scheduled executions of four men ‘appalling’ and a return to a ‘biased, arbitrary, and error-prone’ system.
Lauren Gill Jun 16, 2020
The accounts by prisoners in Cummins Unit contradict messaging from the state Department of Corrections, which says it has taken aggressive steps to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Lauren Gill Jun 15, 2020
In 1998, Toforest Johnson was sentenced to die for the 1995 shooting death of an off-duty sheriff’s deputy. Now, the city’s district attorney is advocating for a new trial.
Lauren Gill Jun 12, 2020
Attorneys argued for decades that Bobby Moore was intellectually disabled when he was sentenced to death in 1980. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling led to a change in his sentence last year and cleared the way for his release.
Lauren Gill Jun 09, 2020
Harris, now 72 and blind, had been serving a life sentence for the shooting death of her husband, a man she said had abused her for years. Last month, the Arkansas Parole Board agreed to free her.
Lauren Gill Jun 05, 2020
After protests broke out in several cities in response to George Floyd’s death, the agency ordered the first nationwide lockdown in 25 years.
Lauren Gill Jun 03, 2020
Harris, now 72 and blind, was sentenced to life in prison in 1985. Since she first started petitioning for executive clemency in 1998, the state’s parole board recommended her for release five times.
Lauren Gill May 20, 2020
If the U.S. Supreme Court or the state’s governor doesn’t step in, Barton’s would be the first execution carried out in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lauren Gill May 19, 2020
‘Our state and local officials have a responsibility to not endanger those who are under correctional control,’ the ACLU of Georgia’s executive director said.
Lauren Gill May 08, 2020
Attorneys for prisoners say the policy goes against public health warnings and will ‘promote and facilitate a viral outbreak.’
Lauren Gill May 05, 2020
Prisoners feel like they are ‘sitting ducks,’ said a woman whose boyfriend is incarcerated at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.
Lauren Gill Apr 30, 2020
Medical ethics experts have criticized the state’s prison officials and say masks to protect against COVID-19 should be distributed ‘with no strings attached.’
Lauren Gill Apr 23, 2020
‘It seems like Black people are still being criminalized and are not free,’ one organizer said.
Lauren Gill Apr 17, 2020
Approximately 100 men will be transported to Draper Correctional Facility, which has long been known for its nightmarish conditions.
Lauren Gill Apr 16, 2020
Sharon Fahy, whose daughter was murdered in 1988, asked the court to release Walter Ogrod, the man convicted in her killing.
Lauren Gill Apr 09, 2020
In Alabama and elsewhere, canceled hearings and new procedures are complicating the parole process for people hoping to be freed.
Lauren Gill Apr 07, 2020
‘It is progressively getting worse, exponentially worse,’ a resident of one halfway house told The Appeal as part of a survey of facilities. ‘Something is going to happen and it’s not going to be good.’
Lauren Gill Mar 31, 2020
Organizers have been collecting signatures as part of a ballot initiative known as State Question 805, which calls for the end of sentencing enhancements for people convicted of nonviolent crimes.
Lauren Gill Mar 20, 2020
Prosecutors say Walter Ogrod is ‘likely innocent’ of the charges that sent him to prison in 1996. Now, his attorney says, ‘every day a decision and/or hearing is delayed is another day that Mr. Ogrod’s health is at grave risk.’
Late Wednesday, the chief physician at the Rikers jail complex said on Twitter that judges and prosecutors must not leave New York City's jailed population ‘in harm’s way.’
Lauren Gill Mar 19, 2020
To prevent more people from being infected with COVID-19, defense attorneys are calling for courts to release people.
Lauren Gill Mar 17, 2020
John Hummel was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday. The court, citing the current health crisis, has postponed the execution for 60 days.
Lauren Gill Mar 16, 2020
‘I think everyone involved— the governor, the attorney general, the DOC commissioner—everyone knew it,’ his lawyer said.
Lauren Gill Mar 06, 2020
“This incentivizes them once again to underfeed people in their custody if they know the extras can be used on bells and whistles or guns,” warns an Alabama advocate.
Lauren Gill Mar 05, 2020
A survey of roughly 1,000 people found that 1 in 5 had been turned down for a diversion program because they couldn’t afford the costs of drug tests and monitoring devices.
Lauren Gill Feb 28, 2020
Nathaniel Woods, who was convicted in connection with the deaths of three Birmingham police officers in 2004, is ‘100 percent innocent,’ the man who shot the officers told The Appeal.
Lauren Gill Feb 24, 2020
Elmer Daniels served nearly 40 years in prison before he was exonerated in 2018. He's one of at least three people who could receive $50,000 for every year spent behind bars.
Lauren Gill Feb 06, 2020
Brittany Smith will most likely go to trial, where she faces up to a life sentence.
Lauren Gill Feb 04, 2020
The father of Nicole Rathmann says his daughter was “not made safe by employees” while incarcerated at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. She was one of 16 prisoners to die in state custody in August 2018.
Lauren Gill Jan 24, 2020
Lee’s family wants officials in Jacksonville, Arkansas, to turn over evidence that was used to convict and sentence him to death. The family says that evidence could posthumously exonerate him.
Lauren Gill Jan 23, 2020
Brittany Smith, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a man she says brutally raped her, argued in court this week that she acted in self-defense and should be immune from prosecution.
Lauren Gill Jan 17, 2020
The violence that has left at least five people dead is the result of longstanding issues that have been ignored, justice advocates and prisoners’ family members say.
Lauren Gill Jan 07, 2020
One man, Paul Houser, is serving 60 years on a drug conviction for purchasing cold medicine and batteries. He’s one of 2,600 people incarcerated as a result of the state’s three strikes laws.
Lauren Gill Dec 20, 2019
Staff at the troubled Orleans Justice Center are also accused of violating Edward Patterson’s constitutional rights by failing to treat his drug addiction.
Lauren Gill Dec 11, 2019
Prison deaths in Mississippi have climbed nearly 40 percent in recent years, from 62 in fiscal year 2014 to a high of 85 in fiscal year 2018.
Lauren Gill Dec 09, 2019
Critics say the list, which would apply to defendants in St. Louis County, Missouri, would infringe on people’s constitutional right to a speedy trial.
Lauren Gill Nov 26, 2019
In these last two months of 2019, one man has been executed and two others are facing execution despite claims that they can show they don’t belong on death row.
Lauren Gill Nov 22, 2019
The state’s parole board has recommended that Willie Mae Harris, convicted of killing her husband in 1985, be freed five times. Now 72 and completely blind, her fate lies with Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Lauren Gill Nov 18, 2019
After a two-month moratorium, the state parole board reconvened last week, granting parole to 10 out of 87 people.
Lauren Gill Nov 15, 2019
More than three years after heavy rains and flooding devastated the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, officials have reached an agreement to build a new facility.
Lauren Gill Oct 29, 2019
Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Alabama have all authorized the practice in capital punishment. So what happens now?
Lauren Gill Oct 25, 2019
Increasing the city’s jail capacity will lead to higher incarceration rates, advocates say.
Lauren Gill Oct 07, 2019
His legal team had pushed for clemency, arguing that Bucklew’s previous attorneys mishandled his capital murder case.
Lauren Gill Oct 02, 2019
In March, Coley McCraney was arrested and charged with capital murder in the 1999 killings of two teenage girls. But his attorneys say he’s innocent, and are now seeking information related to alleged police involvement in the homicides.
Lauren Gill Oct 01, 2019
Rodney Reed, set to be executed on Nov. 20, is innocent of a rape and murder, his lawyers say, and untested evidence will prove it. But prosecutors have pushed back, arguing the evidence is contaminated.
Lauren Gill Sep 26, 2019
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that his execution, which experts have said will be bloody and gruesome, does not amount to cruel and unusual punishment. But problems with his case started long before that, his attorneys say.
Lauren Gill Sep 20, 2019
The parole board failed to comply with a new law about notifying victims, the board’s director said.
Lauren Gill Sep 12, 2019
16-year-olds won’t have to reappear in adult criminal court if they’re arrested when youth court isn’t in session.
Lauren Gill Sep 03, 2019
In 1998, prosecutors failed to tell the defense that a key witness in Toforest Johnson’s capital murder trial would receive thousands of dollars in reward money for her testimony, Johnson’s attorneys say. Now a Birmingham judge must decide whether their argument has merit.
Lauren Gill Aug 22, 2019
Children as young as 4 years old are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result, the complaints say.
Lauren Gill Aug 14, 2019
Black Lives Matter and other advocates have pushed county officials to abandon the $2.2 billion project with McCarthy Builders.
Lauren Gill Aug 08, 2019
Richard Kinder thought he would die in an Alabama prison until the Supreme Court ruled mandatory juvenile life without parole unconstitutional. But last year, despite a judge concluding there was “uncontradicted evidence” that Kinder had worked to rehabilitate himself, the state parole board refused him release.
Lauren Gill Aug 07, 2019
In 2016, Madison Jensen died from opiate withdrawal at the Duchesne County jail. New court filings allege that jail staff, including its nurse, ignored her rapidly deteriorating health.
Lauren Gill Aug 01, 2019
Police in Ozark said they solved the 1999 murders of two teenage girls using a genealogy database. But Coley McCraney‘s attorneys say that the case against their client is far from certain.
Lauren Gill Jul 24, 2019
Jose Montelongo-Morales challenged the jail’s immigration detainer policy. He and some of his family members were arrested months later.
Lauren Gill Jun 18, 2019
Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler’s office, which partners with immigration enforcement, faces jail deaths and a discrimination claim from a Legal Aid attorney.
Since 2017, LaToni Daniel has been incarcerated pretrial in a capital murder case. During that time, Daniel became pregnant, and she just delivered a baby boy. But as she brings in new life, she also faces the death penalty.
Lauren Gill May 31, 2019
DA Leon Cannizzarro used jailhouse informant Ronnie Morgan to convict a man in the killing of five teenagers, but the case was overturned. Now, Morgan is petitioning for a prison transfer, reviving the murder case.
Lauren Gill May 24, 2019
In 2018, Brittany Smith killed a man who she said brutally raped her. Smith was charged with murder and she now faces life in prison as well as challenges getting adequate treatment at a state psychiatric hospital.
Lauren Gill Apr 10, 2019
The Bureau of Prisons’ South Central regional director utilized incarcerated people from a Texas prison to work on a landscaping project at his church.
Lauren Gill Mar 12, 2019
A notoriously unreliable roadside drug test administered by Monroe County sheriff's deputies led to Dasha Fincher being charged with methamphetamine trafficking.
Lauren Gill Nov 27, 2018
The governor is making sheriffs sign an oath promising they won't misuse funds meant to feed jail prisoners. But some sheriffs are already pushing back.
Lauren Gill Oct 10, 2018
Jeffery Parker was shot to death by a police officer in his Huntsville home. A grand jury handed up an indictment for murder, but the mayor and City Council appear to be throwing their support behind the officer.
Lauren Gill Sep 10, 2018
Faya Rose Touré, a 73-year-old former judge, says she’s determined to fight the charges against her.
Lauren Gill Jul 30, 2018