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Over-Reliance on Plea Deals is Damaging the Criminal Legal System

gorodenkoff / iStock by Getty Images Over-Reliance on Plea Deals is Damaging the Criminal Legal System by Nneka Ewulonu It’s easy for the average American to envision a courtroom trial. Shows like “Law and Order” inundate us with fictional depictions of trials—from the thud of a gavel to the inquisitive eyes of a jury—with an […]

States Are Blocking Courtroom Recording. But Reform Requires Transparency.

Spotlights like this one provide original commentary and analysis on pressing criminal justice issues of the day. You can read them each day in our newsletter, The Daily Appeal. Last week, court watchers from the Philadelphia Bail Fund and a journalist filed a federal lawsuit to challenge a ban on audio recording during bail hearings, arguing that […]

A victory for racially inclusive juries in Washington

The transcript calls him Mr. Meyer, or Juror №5. In October 2014, he arrived at Seattle Municipal Court, which handles misdemeanors, for the trial of Matthew Erickson. Mr. Erickson had been charged with unlawful use of a weapon and resisting arrest. The judge told the prospective jurors that the lawyers would question them to see […]

Execution policy on trial in Arizona as journalists seek transparency

On July 23, 2014, Joseph Rudolph Wood was supposed to be executed in a quick and painless way—injected once with 50mg of midazolam and 50mg of hydromorphone. Instead, he suffered through a lethal injection protocol that lasted 117 minutes, snorting and gasping for air as he was injected with 15 doses of the drugs. Following […]