Antonio May, a 32 year-old father of three, died in the Fulton County Jail in September after deputies pepper-sprayed and shot him with a Taser.
Aaron Morrison Apr 25, 2019
After a drug bust involving Houston narcotics officer Gerald Goines turned deadly, questions are being raised about how he operated during his time on the force.
Mike Hayes Apr 23, 2019
Police union lawsuits delayed many local governments from complying with a new transparency law. In the meantime, some cities have destroyed files.
Darwin BondGraham Apr 17, 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.
In 2000, Lamar Burks was convicted of murder and given a 70-year sentence. But the federal indictment of a DEA agent and witnesses who say Burks is innocent have raised new questions about his case.
Mike Hayes Apr 03, 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
Attorneys and advocates call for change in Madison County after the deaths of three Black people at its jail and because of what they allege is a system of roadblocks targeting Black residents.
Aaron Morrison Mar 27, 2019
A scandal of falsified drug arrests is spreading at a Florida sheriff’s office that has also spent more than $1.33 million settling excessive force lawsuits and is at the center of the increasingly troubled Robert Kraft case.
Meg O'Connor Mar 26, 2019
In the deep blue home of Beto O’Rourke, attorneys and advocates are questioning the county’s multi-million-dollar contract to detain migrants and refugees.
Debbie Nathan Mar 20, 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
In 2017, over 2,000 homeless people were arrested on charges including drinking in public and panhandling. That same year, roughly 1,400 people were arrested in Miami-Dade County for rape, murder, and robbery.
Meg O'Connor Mar 18, 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
Audia Jones pledges to tackle ‘brokenness in the system’ by unseating Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
Roxanna Asgarian Mar 07, 2019
A judge excluded a confession that exonerated defendants in one trial related to a Delaware prison uprising, but a pair of defendants were nonetheless acquitted, promising further problems for prosecutors.
Ella Fassler Mar 05, 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.
Victoria Law Feb 26, 2019
Jason Van Dyke’s sentence for the 2014 murder of Laquan McDonald is approximately half the average sentence for a person convicted of second-degree murder in Cook County, Illinois.
Rob Arthur Feb 25, 2019
Senate Bill 1421 requires law enforcement agencies to make public investigative records of officer-involved shootings and uses of force resulting in great bodily harm. But law enforcement unions argue that the law threatens the privacy of their members.
Darwin BondGraham Feb 20, 2019
Josie and Clint talk to Cook County's head prosecutor.
William J. Richards was cleared in the death of his wife. But he says he was the victim of medical neglect while he was behind bars, which led to a cancer diagnosis becoming terminal. Now he's suing.
Erika Stallings Feb 19, 2019
Josie and Clint discuss the power and pitfalls of crime reporting with Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post.
Colorado-based attorney and bail activist Elisabeth Epps was just released after serving a short jail stint related to a 2015 encounter with Aurora Police. The experience gave her a new understanding of the experiences of the people she has bailed out.
Aaron Morrison Feb 12, 2019
A former Baltimore Police officer says it’s time for the department to stop wasteful, harmful marijuana arrests, especially after Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s announcement that her office would not prosecute cases of possession.
Larry Smith Feb 11, 2019
In 1996, Michele Benjamin was sentenced to life without parole for killing a man who she said solicited her for sex and menaced her with a weapon in New Orleans. A Supreme Court decision led her to be re-sentenced to life with a chance at parole in 2016. Today, a parole hearing brings the possibility of freedom.
A Florida woman with substance use disorder allegedly brokered a drug sale that ended in a fatal overdose; she faces 15 years in prison.
Zachary A. Siegel Feb 05, 2019
California amended its felony murder law, which holds accomplices responsible for murder. But reform won’t reach a man sentenced to death in a deadly robbery—even though he was never accused of firing a shot.
Maura Ewing Feb 04, 2019
As Kamala Harris begins her presidential run, her move to block gender affirming surgery for an incarcerated transgender woman deserves scrutiny, especially as new cases highlighting the struggle for the rights of imprisoned trans women emerge.
Zoé Samudzi Jan 28, 2019
Los Angeles County’s jail system incarcerates tens of thousands of people at a multi-billion dollar cost. The communities most impacted by mass incarceration have had enough.
Under Pennsylvania’s drug delivery resulting in death statute, a man faces up to 40 years in prison for sharing heroin with a woman who overdosed.
Joshua Vaughn Jan 15, 2019
Prosecutors denounce bail reform efforts when people miss court dates, but ‘failure to appear’ rates obscure the fact that many who miss court aren’t on the run.
Prisoners in the state’s Regional Medical Units allege that they are being denied access to essential programs and services like law libraries.
Keri Blakinger Jan 08, 2019
The Boyd County Detention Center has been consumed in chaos, even as the DOJ investigates it. Now, the community is pinning hopes for reform on a new jailer.
Zachary A. Siegel Jan 02, 2019
A series of electoral victories signals a nationwide shift.
Daniel Nichanian Dec 24, 2018
But more than 1,100 others are still serving sentences that voters decided were too harsh.
Kira Lerner Dec 19, 2018
Advocates say victims are being pressured to sign ‘withdrawal’ forms to quickly close investigations and protect the department from legal liability.
Meg O'Connor Dec 17, 2018
Darius Jacob Taylor wasn’t in the state when a robbery he was allegedly involved with ended in murder. But because of the felony murder rule, he’s charged with criminal homicide and faces life imprisonment.
Joshua Vaughn Dec 13, 2018
Advocates say the city has dragged its feet on legislation meant to ensure transparency on the police practice, and that data released so far—from 2010 to 2016, nearly 82 percent of stops involved Black people—signals that it’s time to end stop-and-frisk entirely.
Ella Fassler Dec 03, 2018
Attorneys for a Honduran woman are suing over the widespread jailhouse practice of honoring ICE requests to hold incarcerated immigrants for pickup.
Georgia Woman Endured Arrest, Million-Dollar Bond, and Months of Jail Over ‘Meth’ That Was Actually Cotton Candy
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
In 2016 and 2017, more than 80 percent of children charged as adults by the Allegheny County district attorney were Black.
Even though it’s unlikely that they commit sexual assault at higher rates than other ethnic or racial groups, nearly one of every 100 Black men is on a sex offender registry, a rate double that of white men.
Debbie Nathan Nov 15, 2018
The city’s experiment with civil asset forfeiture was supposed to end, but the practices of its parking agency and some in state law enforcement suggest that police may be turning to other forms of property confiscation.
Ryan Briggs Nov 14, 2018
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins’s promise to decline to prosecute several offenses is a rejection of the punitive tradition of prosecutors and perhaps signals a new kind of reform that spurns criminal justice as a solution to public health problems.
Advocates say that Sheriff Donnie Harrison is unfit for a fifth term because of such abusive practices as well as his office's cooperation with ICE.
George Joseph Nov 02, 2018
Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins seeks a fourth term as critics blast him for a record that includes poor jail conditions, in-custody suicides, and the deaths of two young people at the hands of his deputies.
Raven Rakia Oct 31, 2018
In Santa Clara County, incarcerated people, and a former undersheriff challenging six-term sheriff Laurie Smith, have turned conditions of confinement into a potent electoral issue.
Victoria Law Oct 29, 2018
Decision-making by prosecutors in such cases, says one attorney, ‘compounds, entrenches, and ultimately authorizes the initial act of violence by prosecuting the victim.’
Aviva Stahl Oct 24, 2018
Campus police forces have become more professionalized, but critics say they operate behind a veil of secrecy and often exceed their jurisdiction.
Ryan Briggs Oct 15, 2018
With Appeal contributor Katie Rose Quandt.
Adam H. Johnson Oct 04, 2018
Protesters blasting everything from punitive prosecutors to police brutality should be remembered for their role in upsetting the Windy City's political status quo.
Kelly Hayes Oct 02, 2018
A lawsuit brought by a Compton resident detailing an alleged beating by deputies is just one of nearly three dozen federal civil rights lawsuits alleging brutality and racial bias at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Since 2015, police in Adams County have taken dozens of reports of rape, yet charges were filed in just two cases.
Joshua Vaughn Sep 25, 2018
This fall, however, an initiative goes to voters that would change the law on deadly force by the police, which has led to no officer there being convicted of wrongfully killing someone in the line of duty in more than 30 years.
Mike Faulk Sep 20, 2018
With activist and scholar Danny Murillo.
Adam H. Johnson Sep 13, 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
Legislation in California would provide a direct route to resentencing, and a new tool for activists.
Kyle C. Barry Sep 07, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Landry has taken a number of extreme positions on policing and sentencing in response to reform.
Kira Lerner Sep 06, 2018
Jacqueline Smalls was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing a boyfriend whose ‘hands were his weapons.’ She now joins the ranks of criminalized survivors seeking clemency from Governor Cuomo.
Victoria Law Sep 05, 2018
The state’s “theft of leased property” statute allows prosecutors to seek felony charges for Pennsylvanians who miss payments on rental items.
After Tuesday’s primary victories for reform candidates, defining a progressive agenda for prosecutors is more pressing than ever. Rashad Robinson joins Josie and Clint.
Now in its second week, a strike staged by prisoners over poor conditions, low wages, and other issues is resulting in consequences, including harsh conduct reports and placements in solitary confinement.
Raven Rakia Aug 31, 2018
The ‘plea fee’ stems from a state law passed in the 1980s and can cost nearly $200, depending on the county.
Joshua Vaughn Aug 29, 2018
Before Edgar Coker was exonerated in a rape case, he underwent therapy meant to prevent sexual reoffenses. Thousands of kids involved in sexual offenses are forced into therapies like “relapse prevention” that experts say are ineffective.
Joseph Darius Jaafari Aug 27, 2018
Jacqueline Dixon shot her husband to death in Alabama, "Stand Your Ground" state, after she said he charged at her. He had a history of domestic violence.
William C. Anderson Aug 23, 2018
After the Gun Trace Task Force scandal rocked the police department, plainclothes policing was spurned. But a recently resigned commissioner championed plainclothes units, a decision the department seems to be sticking with.
Larry Smith Aug 22, 2018
Instead of changing its conditions and practices, The Bureau of Prisons is simply moving a problem-plagued federal prison unit in Pennsylvania to Illinois.
Victoria Law Aug 21, 2018
Several candidates are vying to become Milwaukee Sheriff in the wake of Sheriff David Clarke's resignation last fall. But will they truly spurn his legacy of jail deaths and cooperation with ICE?
Raven Rakia Aug 10, 2018
His opponent in Tuesday’s primary helped establish new police accountability and court reforms in Ferguson after the police shooting of Michael Brown.
Amanda Sakuma Aug 06, 2018
In one Pennsylvania county, more than three times as many people on the registry were charged in 2016 with failing to follow registry requirements than were charged with a new sexual offense
Joshua Vaughn Aug 01, 2018
A podcast from The Appeal, featuring Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith III.
After Hearing Concerns about ICE, Texas Sheriff Ran Apparent Traffic Sting That Led to Deportation Proceedings
A community group met with the Bastrop County sheriff in an effort to build trust between the sheriff’s office and the immigrant community. Then, the sheriff ran a sting that led to more than one dozen arrestees being handed over to ICE.
Michael Arria Jul 31, 2018
Prosecutors on the "J20" case faced grave allegations of misconduct after withholding exculpatory evidence contained in videos from defense attorneys. But this is far from the first time that this office has found itself in hot water.
Catina Curley suffered physical abuse at the hands of her husband for more than a decade. When she turned a revolver on him, she was charged with murder and sentenced to life. Now, thanks to a court ruling, she has a chance at freedom.
Josie Duffy Rice Jul 27, 2018
Groups like the Loop and DanceSafe test drugs like Ecstasy and warn users of high dosages and adulterants, but federal legislation from the early 2000s has live music promoters wary of their brand of harm reduction.
Zachary A. Siegel Jul 25, 2018
Introducing a new podcast from The Appeal, featuring Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith III.
York County resident Aaron Hinds overdosed on heroin with a friend. The friend died, and Hinds now faces a 'drug delivery resulting in death' charge and a 40-year prison sentence.
Joshua Vaughn Jul 24, 2018
A onetime gang liaison for the Baltimore Police Department writes that its database is racist and error-ridden.
Larry Smith Jul 23, 2018
In jurisdictions across the country, people incarcerated before they've ever been convicted of a crime are charged a daily fee just for sitting in jail—and several courts have ruled that the practice is legal.
Steven Hale Jul 20, 2018
Legislation passed in Massachusetts and pending in California would set a minimum age for children to enter the juvenile justice system.
Jeremy Loudenback Jul 17, 2018
With William C. Anderson, journalist and co-author of As Black As Resistance.
Adam H. Johnson Jul 12, 2018
In overdose-wracked Franklin County, Pennsylvania, a small-time dealer is denied bail, while the number of drug induced homicide cases has skyrocketed.
Joshua Vaughn Jul 09, 2018
A Pennsylvania hate crime statute is being used by law enforcement to punish angry arrestees.
Joshua Vaughn Jun 28, 2018