Advocates, formerly incarcerated people, and lawmakers warned against overhauling the New York law before it has a chance to prove itself.
Bryce Covert Feb 26, 2020
A New York Law Could Reduce Sentences for Domestic Violence Survivors. Why Are Judges Reluctant to Apply It?
The Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act allows judges to consider shorter sentences, as well as non-prison sentences, if abuse factored significantly in the crime.
Victoria Law Feb 24, 2020
At least one error led to a wrongful arrest, according to a Freedom of Information Law request, underscoring the need for better oversight of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, advocates say.
Vaidya Gullapalli Feb 14, 2020
Arthur’s story speaks to a troubling tendency in the legal system, reform advocates say: to treat mental health crises as criminal matters, rather than matters of public health.
An Appeal documentary on life without the possibility of parole—and its impact on loved ones—in the state.
Joshua Vaughn Feb 13, 2020
Baltimore Defense Attorneys Claim Surveillance Plane Footage Contradicts Law Enforcement Account Of Police Shooting
Jawan Richards was shot by Baltimore police and hit with gun and assault charges stemming from the incident. His defense attorneys now say video evidence may exonerate their client.
As old audio clips of Bloomberg defending the controversial policing policy went viral, new data showed the practice isn’t fading away in New York city.
In two articles, the Times asserts a ‘spike’ in crime since the passage of bail reform in New York, an increase that the articles themselves note they can’t prove.
A review of charging dockets in Lebanon County shows Ashley Menser was the only person charged with felony retail theft in 2018 to receive a 7-year maximum sentence.
Vaidya Gullapalli Feb 07, 2020
New Video Of Fatal Shooting By NYPD In 2016 Raises Questions About Officer’s Account to Investigators
A civil suit claims that an officer who shot a 46-year-old stagehand in Midtown Manhattan should have de-escalated the encounter.
A year after Alfonzo Riley returned from prison, he’s helping to vet innocence claims.
Kira Lerner Feb 06, 2020
As Bail Reform Takes Hold Across New York State, a Rural County Wrestles With The Future Of Its Aging Jail
The debate around bail reform focused predominantly on New York City's Rikers Island, but the bigger impact may be upstate, where almost two-thirds of the state’s jail capacity is located.
Ted Alcorn Feb 04, 2020
In a lawsuit, the boy’s family said he was repeatedly suspended, secluded, and violently restrained before he was ever given a special education evaluation.
Despite dire-sounding headlines, the state’s cash bail reforms are having a positive impact on the people they are meant to help.
Bryce Covert Feb 03, 2020
Joe Kennedy III Says He Is Running A Progressive Senate Campaign. But He Worked For One Of The Most Regressive D.A.s In Massachusetts
In his run for president, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been forced to address his consulting past. Kennedy should do the same about his work.
Will Isenberg Jan 31, 2020
A wave of sensationalist press is not just coming from New York City, but also from county sheriff and city police departments frustrated by bail reform that they claim is ‘too broad.’
Adam H. Johnson Jan 27, 2020
State Representative Todd Stephens has introduced a bill to impose a five-year minimum prison sentence for illegally possessing a firearm, but the governor, advocates, and others say it’s the wrong approach.
Joshua Vaughn Jan 23, 2020
Sarah Lustbader Jan 16, 2020
The death of 27-year-old India Cummings in 2016 garnered national media attention and a renewed push by local activists over conditions of confinement in the New York county’s jails. But the deaths haven’t stopped.
The state said Michelle Heale shook the baby to death, but some experts say her conviction was based on debunked science.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jan 15, 2020
New Lawsuit Is Latest Example Of Residents Seeking Accountability For Wrongful Arrests In New York City
Charges in each of four arrests of a city man were subsequently dropped. Now he has become one of a long line of New York City residents who have filed wrongful arrest lawsuits against the city.
Dawn R. Wolfe Jan 14, 2020
The department is targeting communities of color and violating local and federal law by using broad ‘association’ criteria to list people in a gang database, a Rhode Island community organization claims.
Logbooks were seized as part of an inquiry into misconduct allegations against high-ranking officers in the division that investigates sex crimes.
Meg O'Connor Jan 09, 2020
Melinda Katz, who was inaugurated Monday, is facing criticism over what some say is a broken campaign promise.
Aaron Morrison Jan 07, 2020
Five Cases Could Significantly Reform Pennsylvania’s Sex Offense Registry. The State’s Attorney General Is Pushing Back.
Josh Shapiro has warned that changing the state’s sex offense registry requirements threatens public safety. But experts say his fears are unfounded and the registry provides little to no public safety benefit.
Manhattan D.A. Suggests He Nudged The Governor To Fix A Loophole In New York Rape Law. It’s A Bit More Complicated.
Cyrus Vance says he sent Governor Cuomo a letter about the issue in April 2018; Cuomo's office says it never got it. In the intervening months, critics say Vance's messaging on the issue discouraged survivors of rape from coming forward.
Meg O'Connor Dec 23, 2019
Misconduct complaints against officers in the NYPD’s 34th Precinct have risen for three years straight. In 2018, 15 officers had complaints against them substantiated, the most of any precinct in New York City.
Ali Winston Dec 19, 2019
A City Council Committee considers a bill on NYPD surveillance today.
Ali Winston Dec 18, 2019
Boston Law Enforcement Has Been Fighting A Court Order To Release Data On Who Police Target On Snapchat
District Attorney Rachael Rollins ran as a reformer who would work to increase transparency, but her office and the police department have been fighting the order.
Advocates say the removals are more evidence of a troubling and unregulated law enforcement tool, overseen by the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Aaron Morrison Nov 26, 2019
What Does Death By Incarceration Look Like In Pennsylvania? These Elderly, Disabled Men Housed In A State Prison.
More than 5,400 people in the state are sentenced to life without parole. This month, The Appeal went inside one prison that helps provide end-of-life care for men.
Joshua Vaughn Nov 20, 2019
Under the proposal, localities would be incentivized to significantly decrease prison populations.
Kira Lerner Nov 14, 2019
Research shows access to a trauma center is critical after a shooting. But as gun deaths are rising in Philly, one trauma center has closed. Experts say a rise in homicides may prompt more policing.
Joshua Vaughn Nov 12, 2019
Vaidya Gullapalli Nov 07, 2019
A close examination of a poll backed by a business group reveals loaded questions, undisclosed conflicts of interest, and the shortchanging of very real privacy concerns.
New York City Voters May Expand Power of Civilian Review Board, Allowing It to Investigate Police Who Lie
If passed, Question 2 would also allow the board to force police commissioners to provide more insight into disciplinary decisions.
Aaron Morrison Nov 05, 2019
Recent violent arrests in the city subways should make New Yorkers question the push by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA to hire 500 new transit police.
State law must change to stop judges from using jail time to force the poor into paying penalties they can’t afford, says one advocacy group.
Steven Yoder Oct 28, 2019
The New York Post used a tragedy to target bail reform activists, rather than point to the challenges of a failed mental health system and poverty.
Adam H. Johnson Oct 21, 2019
Vaidya Gullapalli Oct 15, 2019
The mayor claims that building new jails is the only safe way to close Rikers Island jail complex, but the City Council shouldn’t fall for this Faustian bargain.
The state is one of eight that allow cops to arraign people on misdemeanor charges. Advocates and academics say the practice is unjust.
Nearly 600,000 New Yorkers Are Eligible to Have Their Records Sealed. Fewer Than 1,800 of Them Have Succeeded.
The results of record-sealing legislation enacted in 2017 shows the need for automatic expungement, advocates say.
Aaron Morrison Oct 08, 2019
The state’s narrow interpretation gives too much weight to voices that support a punitive criminal legal system, advocates say.
Joshua Vaughn Oct 04, 2019
The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund said it doesn’t want to ‘prop up an unjust system.’
Kira Lerner Sep 30, 2019
This month, nine people received commutations from life sentences, and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is calling for changes to the commutations process to give more people second chances.
Joshua Vaughn Sep 27, 2019
Informants are highly motivated to lie. But jurors don’t always have the information or skills to discern the truth.
Alexandra Natapoff Sep 23, 2019
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala has gotten into the surveillance game, but advocates say that raises questions about his role.
Kira Lerner Sep 20, 2019
Vaidya Gullapalli Sep 18, 2019
In a rare case of local media nuance, a Boston TV news station provided a humane and health-focused segment on safe drug use.
Adam H. Johnson Sep 17, 2019
Court records and interviews with former prosecutors show that internal assessments of police dishonesty are rarely memorialized, potentially violating the rights of people charged in criminal cases and sometimes keeping the records of bad cops clean.
Richard Rivera served more than 38 years in prison after killing an off-duty NYPD officer during a botched armed robbery. He was released in July after being denied parole five times.
Aaron Morrison Sep 16, 2019
A Pittsburgh public radio piece lacked critical reporting about the many problems with jailing children in adult facilities.
Adam H. Johnson Sep 13, 2019
The city comptroller, state lawmakers, and advocates call on the state to end its use of fines and fees in the legal system.
Raven Rakia Sep 11, 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
Law enforcement’s old guard claims that policing low-level crime protects communities. That’s not just wrong; it’s dangerous.
Rachael Rollins Aug 29, 2019
In a civil rights lawsuit, an officer in Allentown claims he was subjected to racial discrimination before he was fired.
Elsewhere in the country, lawsuits and legislation seek to protect people from predatory mugshot sites.
Katie Rose Quandt Aug 27, 2019
Murder rates are at an all-time low in Brooklyn, but one would hardly know it reading the New York Times.
Adam H. Johnson Aug 16, 2019
Most coverage of police raids targeting homeless people and substance users parroted official—and fraught—talking points.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Aug 15, 2019
When it comes to criminal justice, advocates say, Attorney General Josh Shapiro seems intent on maintaining the status quo.
Joshua Vaughn Aug 02, 2019
The New Jersey General Assembly unanimously passed a bill to extend qualified immunity to police officers at private colleges and universities.
Establishment candidate Melinda Katz declared a narrow victory in the New York City borough’s district attorney primary, but progressive Tiffany Cabán pushed the race to the left on issues like marijuana and sex work.
Aaron Morrison Jul 30, 2019
Three Bronx friends recount their 2012 arrests in the NYPD’s ‘Operation Crew Cut,’ along with their experiences with the court system and incarceration, and reflect on their lives seven years later.
In 2017, the Manhattan district attorney pledged not to pursue criminal charges for subway fare evasion. Now the MTA is increasing the system’s police presence.
Bryce Covert Jul 29, 2019
A new effort to reduce arrests and summonses is criticized as continuing to criminalize homelessness.
Raven Rakia Jul 26, 2019
Lawmakers say Republicans used deceptive tactics to pass the controversial bill. The legislative record tells a different story.
Joshua Vaughn Jul 25, 2019
For far too long, the press has leaned on wrong-headed tough-on-crime officials like the former NYPD commissioner when reporting on the criminal legal system.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Jul 22, 2019
An organizer in the effort to close New York City’s Rikers Island jails is challenging Cyrus Vance Jr., whom he calls ‘the city’s leading jailer.’
Vaidya Gullapalli Jul 17, 2019
A Shippensburg man faces 15 years on the sex offense registry for offering a girl a ride.
Larry Krasner says the punishment is ‘really about poverty’ and race.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jul 15, 2019
Nineteen academics published a letter to the newspaper over its coverage of the Suffolk County DA.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jul 12, 2019
Expert reports in a 2017 federal lawsuit explore an alleged pattern of discrimination against men perceived to be gay.
A new DA in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, is treating the overdose crisis as a criminal matter rather than a community health issue.
Joshua Vaughn Jul 10, 2019
The accusations span decades and involve two separate Biddeford cops and at least seven alleged victims.
Roxanna Asgarian Jul 01, 2019
Brandi Courtesis lost her job with the Gettysburg force after saying a colleague sexually harassed her. The accused, fired for another reason, may be back in uniform soon.
Joshua Vaughn Jun 27, 2019
Krasner’s office acknowledges ‘there’s room to move forward and do more.’
Bryce Covert Jun 25, 2019
The public defender has garnered big-name endorsements and gained momentum heading into Tuesday’s primary.
Aaron Morrison Jun 20, 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.
Lauren Gill Jun 18, 2019
Heavy reliance on pretrial incarceration in Berks County subjects people to poor medical care and unsanitary and unsafe conditions.
Joshua Vaughn Jun 14, 2019
Sarah Lustbader Jun 13, 2019
Though little is known about how Layleen Polanco died, advocates say her story highlights New York City’s flawed approach to criminal justice.
Raven Rakia Jun 12, 2019
Right now, only the whitest states—Maine and Vermont—allow prisoners to vote. Washington, D.C., could change that.
The sensationalist coverage of a handful of fights highlights local media’s misplaced priorities.
Adam H. Johnson Jun 07, 2019
Sarah Lustbader Jun 06, 2019
The criminalization of poverty in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, has led to a staggering increase in incarcerated people, all at a huge cost for defendants and taxpayers alike.
Queens Prosecutor’s Office Failed to Share 911 Tapes in Murder Trial And Then Lost File, Attorneys Say
Carlton Roman has been stuck in prison for nearly 30 years for a murder he has long denied. Now, with a crowded primary for Queens district attorney weeks away, he could finally get a chance to go free.
Aaron Morrison Jun 05, 2019
Many jurisdictions across the country use video instead of holding bail hearings in person, a practice that often leads to dire consequences.
Critics say that Arlington County Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos, who is being challenged in a June primary, has a pattern of treating children too harshly.
Kira Lerner Jun 04, 2019
Court challenges and a sweeping reform bill are offering hope to men trapped in isolation for decades.
Joshua Manson Jun 03, 2019
In Pennsylvania, mothers are harshly penalized for leaving children unattended in vehicles, even for several minutes.
Joshua Vaughn May 30, 2019
U.S. attorneys in D.C. have opposed the resentencing of all 14 people who have petitioned for early release under a local law.
Kira Lerner May 23, 2019
Despite accounting for less than 12 percent of the state’s adult population, roughly 40 percent of all bail bonds were issued in cases involving a Black defendant.
Joshua Vaughn May 22, 2019
New York Prisons Offer ‘Tough Love’ Boot Camp Programs. But Prisoners Say They’re ‘Torture’ And ‘Hell.’
Prisoners can shave time off their sentences by participating in shock incarceration programs. More than a dozen former shock prisoners say that comes at a steep cost.
Keri Blakinger May 21, 2019
Imprisoned as a teen, Amer Zada is now eligible for release but can’t find approved housing—and a proposed law could make the problem worse.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg May 17, 2019
New York City just paid Jose LaSalle of the Copwatch Patrol Unit nearly $900,000 over claims of false arrest related to the 2016 incident, but his fight for justice is far from over.
Ashoka Jegroo May 09, 2019
In a case of mistaken identity, Jada Noone was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police, spent 15 days in jail and faced a felony drug case before charges were dismissed. She’s now suing over her false arrest.
Joshua Vaughn May 07, 2019
New NYPD data show that in 2018 the department closed nearly 500 rape cases due to an alleged lack of participation from victims and had a declining clearance rate for rape, raising questions over its handling of sexual assault.
Meg O'Connor Apr 23, 2019
With Appeal contributor Jon Campbell
Adam H. Johnson Apr 11, 2019
As the borough’s district attorney race takes shape, advocates press for changes to the office’s approach to people who reoffend.
Aaron Morrison Apr 09, 2019
Richard Cannon was making gains after being released from prison. Then one arrest changed the course of his life.
Raven Rakia Apr 05, 2019
Attorneys for a man exonerated in a Baltimore murder say detectives suppressed exculpatory evidence and that the police’s homicide unit has a pattern and practice of similar conduct in decades of cases.
Amelia McDonell-Parry Apr 02, 2019
Banishing people from the subway will only marginalize them without addressing the problem.
Guy Hamilton-Smith Apr 01, 2019
Activists suspect the investigation was tainted by the close relationship between the police and prosecutors.
Aaron Morrison Mar 22, 2019
Their claims are part of a federal lawsuit; other women say they, too, were assaulted and the officer now faces a raft of criminal charges.
Joshua Vaughn Mar 19, 2019
Darcel Clark’s approach to overdose deaths continue the criminalization of drug users and put her on the wrong side of history, advocates say.
Raven Rakia Mar 15, 2019
Critics say New York’s new interrogation recording law falls short.
Curtis Stephen Mar 14, 2019
As they await statewide action to eliminate cash bail, city councilmembers are looking for ways to reduce the financial burden on families of incarcerated people.
Bryce Covert Mar 12, 2019
Opponents of the law say it unfairly targets people who need knives for work, and are battling it on multiple fronts.
Jon Campbell Mar 06, 2019
Family members are frantic after 330 prisoners are transferred to Pennsylvania.
Raven Rakia Feb 27, 2019
In April 2018, Herman Bell was paroled after spending 45 years in prison in a case involving the shooting deaths of two police officers. Now, New York police unions and the widow of one of the slain officers are challenging the decision in court.