In Minnesota, Democrats used a newly won legislative trifecta to legalize marijuana, overhaul the pardons process, and limit no-knock warrants. But they also funneled hundreds of millions in new funding toward prisons and policing.
Cinnamon Janzer May 25, 2023
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.
Ella Fassler Jun 30, 2021
A man is serving two life sentences for a crime that, according to his legal team, never occurred.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jun 29, 2021
Over two nights last year, police in Boston and Worcester used excessive force—including pushing and tackling—while arbitrarily arresting protesters without apparent cause.
Eoin Higgins Feb 09, 2021
The case illustrates the importance of keeping lists of police officers with histories of misconduct or dishonesty, the defense lawyer in the case says.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Dec 18, 2020
This historical moment is crying out for a re-examination of our institutions, and law schools are no exception.
Massachusetts Court Won’t Block Access To Reports On Who Boston Police May Have Targeted on Social Media
District Attorney Rachael Rollins sought to block the disclosure of records that could show Boston police used Snapchat to target people who are Black or Latinx.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jun 16, 2020
During a Boston radio show where Rachael Rollins accused defenders of harming Black and Brown communities, the DA demonstrated that she misunderstands the role that prosecutors play in the criminal legal system: caging those very people.
The state’s law enforcement agencies failed to implement a 2018 data-sharing law. Now officials are struggling to identify high-risk people to release from county jails.
Ethan Corey Apr 22, 2020
District attorneys in the state could decarcerate quickly by dropping unnecessary cases.
Will Isenberg Apr 08, 2020
People held in Bristol County are ‘extremely agitated and panicking’ due to unsanitary conditions and overcrowding amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In Boston, it’s worse than business as usual at the police department as the pandemic spreads. On a recent day, officers arrested people for charges the district attorney has publicly declined to prosecute.
Will Isenberg Mar 24, 2020
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who once offered prisoners at his jails as laborers to build the border wall, is one of many sheriffs who partners with the agency.
Ella Fassler Mar 04, 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
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. Every American law student gets to know, and usually comes to dislike, a person called “the reasonable person.” The reasonable person is everywhere: negligence cases in torts […]
Sarah Lustbader Jan 21, 2020
A severe shortage of assigned counsel due to low rates of compensation in Hampden County, Massachusetts jeopardizes the rights of defendants.
Vaidya Gullapalli Nov 07, 2019
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. “As soon as Julie Eldred was granted probation for stealing jewelry to buy drugs, she got busy fulfilling the judge’s conditions,” Jan Hoffman reported for the New York Times […]
Sarah Lustbader Oct 25, 2019
Advocates say that despite the election of several progressive prosecutors in the state, there’s a substantial increase in such detentions, which are stymieing gains made through policies to limit cash bail.
Joshua Vaughn Oct 23, 2019
With Miriam Mack and Elizabeth Tuttle Newman of The Bronx Defenders
Adam H. Johnson Sep 26, 2019
Even in states where use is decriminalized, child welfare systems continue to treat it as a sign of neglectful parenting, particularly among families of color.
Most coverage of police raids targeting homeless people and substance users parroted official—and fraught—talking points.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Aug 15, 2019
State Trooper Said Man Took Bag From Fentanyl Supplier, But Video Demonstrated That The Deal Never Went Down
Trooper testimony inconsistent with video and misconduct among state and local law enforcement in New Hampshire and Massachusetts have caused at least 15 drug cases to unravel.
Zachary A. Siegel May 20, 2019
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.
John Pfaff Nov 14, 2018
“Jail is not a country club,” the Bristol County sheriff said. “That’s why once you’ve done time in the Bristol County House of Corrections, you won’t want to come back.”
Eoin Higgins Jul 17, 2018
In the Berkshire County DA race, the establishment is resorting to extreme measures to ensure it maintains power and avoids change.
Eoin Higgins Jun 26, 2018
What’s Said Is Not What’s Done: How Reagan-Era Drug Warrior Politics Dominate in Progressive Massachusetts — and What We Can Do About It.
It’s de rigueur these days in progressive circles to decry attempts by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “bring back the war on drugs.” A cursory internet search for the phrase “Sessions wants to bring back the war on drugs” returns nearly identical headlines containing a variation on the theme from the Washington Post, New York Magazine, the New Republic, Vice, […]
Kade Crockford Nov 13, 2017
Last month, Massachusetts criminal defense lawyers filed suit seeking an extraordinary measure of relief: dismissal en masse of thousands of drug convictions, with prejudice — meaning that prosecutors would forever be barred from retrying the defendants. The circumstances giving rise to the request were, at first glance, equally extraordinary. First, there was the revelation in 2013 that Massachusetts state […]
Jennifer Laurin Oct 10, 2017
Norfolk County (Massachusetts) prosecutors announced on Monday that they do not intend to retry Fred Weichel, a South Boston man who spent 36 years behind bars for a murder the existing evidence suggests he did not commit. Yet the district attorney’s office took pains to clarify that the decision not to re-prosecute falls far short […]
Daniel Medwed Aug 09, 2017
Recently, a Massachusetts judge took two former prosecutors to task for attempting to cover-up the extent of a massive lab scandal that called into question thousands of drug convictions in the state. Today, a lawyer from the Innocence Project and a Northeastern Law Professor took the rare step of filing bar complaints against those lawyers — Kris Foster and Anne Kaczmarek — previously […]
Jessica Brand Jul 21, 2017
The scandals marring Massachusetts’ state drug labs — and its criminal justice system — have taken a new turn. Former state chemists Sonja Farak and Annie Dookhan have both received their legal comeuppances for their misconduct. And at least one wrongfully convicted person, Leonardo Johnson, has been awarded $2 million as a result of being victimized by Dookhan’s lies. But last week, following months of […]
Jake Sussman Jul 06, 2017