Subscribe to our newsletters for regular updates, analysis and context straight to your email.
One Year of Worker-Led Media! Fund the Future of The Appeal.
Some states have banned the controversial legal defense, but other efforts, including at the federal level, are facing challenges.
Adam M. Rhodes
Dec 20, 2021
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.
Jun 30, 2021
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.
Apr 12, 2021
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.
Mar 02, 2021
Courts must not overrepresent the viewpoints of the most powerful at the expense of the communities they serve.
Sarah Fair George
Jan 08, 2021
A coalition of organizations is hoping Michael Toomin, who is also unwilling to implement diversion programs, loses his retention election.
Oct 16, 2020
Shifting control of the states’ highest courts next month will prove critical on a number of major issues, including redistricting in 2021.
Oct 15, 2020
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.
Sep 09, 2020
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.
Jul 31, 2020
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
Jul 24, 2020
Calls to defund the police must also be accompanied with divesting power and discretion from judges.
Jun 17, 2020
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.
May 28, 2020
Political concerns are slowing efforts to depopulate prisons in the state, advocates say.
May 01, 2020
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.
Apr 22, 2020
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.
Apr 03, 2020
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.
Mar 23, 2020
Feb 24, 2020
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.
Feb 10, 2020
Oct 29, 2019
Josie and Clint talk judicial elections with Alicia Bannon, program manager at the Brennan Center for Justice.
Josie Duffy Rice, Clint Smith
Feb 06, 2019
No Cook County judge has lost a retention election in 28 years.
Nov 05, 2018
Republican misdemeanor judges in Houston have clung to an unconstitutional bail system. But their intransigence could cost them their seats.
Nov 04, 2018
Judges are still setting bail at unaffordable levels, and more people are being held without bond.
Oct 05, 2018
The criminal court was funneling millions of dollars a year from poor communities.
Aug 13, 2018
Prosecutors and judges across the country are starting to feel eyes on them.
Jul 16, 2018
The judge who sentenced Brock Turner brought much-needed compassion to the bench, says public defender Sajid Khan.
Jun 11, 2018
But their push to unseat judges is drawing backlash from a surprising source—fellow Democrats.
Jun 01, 2018
Dec 14, 2017
Sep 21, 2017