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Some states have banned the controversial legal defense, but other efforts, including at the federal level, are facing challenges.
Adam M. Rhodes
Justices in the state’s highest court are weighing whether it is unconstitutional to sentence people convicted of murder and aged 18 to 20 to life without parole.
Art Acevedo’s recent comments reveal an official who, despite his “good cop” veneer, has played fast and loose with the facts when it comes to addressing public safety.
Former Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson’s fiery dissents on mass incarceration and sentencing in America’s most carceral state garnered international attention. But the rise of the first Black woman on the court was characterized by one battle after another with the Deep South’s white power structure.
Courts must not overrepresent the viewpoints of the most powerful at the expense of the communities they serve.
Sarah Fair George
A coalition of organizations is hoping Michael Toomin, who is also unwilling to implement diversion programs, loses his retention election.
Shifting control of the states’ highest courts next month will prove critical on a number of major issues, including redistricting in 2021.
Although the new law took effect in January, state data showing how courts are applying it won’t be available until July 2021. And without funding, courts in small towns and villages may never collect the data.
Precautions meant to minimize the spread of COVID-19—like remote hearings by video conferencing—have drastically changed the way people experience the judicial process, leaving some at a distinct disadvantage.
Studies show that 95 percent of the nation’s prosecutors are white and that the lack of Black and brown representation in courts negatively affect outcomes for people of color.
Dawn R. Wolfe
Calls to defund the police must also be accompanied with divesting power and discretion from judges.
The state’s public defender asked the state Supreme Court in April to speed up reviews of people held pretrial, but advocates say it’s unclear if district courts have complied.
Political concerns are slowing efforts to depopulate prisons in the state, advocates say.
A trio of cases in Wisconsin and Texas illustrates how Republican judges are feigning helplessness in the face of a public health crisis while furthering their own ends.
Lawyers, judges, and advocates for migrant children wonder what it will take to close all 69 immigration courts. ‘I hope that it won’t take a death, but I worry that it will,’ one lawyer said.
The Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies are intersecting with a highly contagious disease at a time when cities across the country are shutting down.
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.
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.
Josie and Clint talk judicial elections with Alicia Bannon, program manager at the Brennan Center for Justice.
Josie Duffy Rice,
No Cook County judge has lost a retention election in 28 years.
Republican misdemeanor judges in Houston have clung to an unconstitutional bail system. But their intransigence could cost them their seats.
Judges are still setting bail at unaffordable levels, and more people are being held without bond.
The criminal court was funneling millions of dollars a year from poor communities.
Prosecutors and judges across the country are starting to feel eyes on them.
The judge who sentenced Brock Turner brought much-needed compassion to the bench, says public defender Sajid Khan.
But their push to unseat judges is drawing backlash from a surprising source—fellow Democrats.