Prosecutors in Hennepin County, Minnesota, used jailhouse informants and an unreliable gang expert, and ignored evidence of innocence to send a Black teenager to prison for life.
Kyle C. Barry Feb 19, 2020
Elmer Daniels served nearly 40 years in prison before he was exonerated in 2018. He's one of at least three people who could receive $50,000 for every year spent behind bars.
Lauren Gill Feb 06, 2020
The rise of progressive prosecutors and the #MeToo movement has meant an increased focus on sexual assault. But justice cannot be measured in more prosecution or long sentences.
Marissa Hoechstetter Jan 08, 2020
The attorneys said they did nothing wrong by finding a victim in a rape case who had disappeared, but a judge accused them of making her unavailable.
Informants are highly motivated to lie. But jurors don’t always have the information or skills to discern the truth.
Alexandra Natapoff Sep 23, 2019
A narrow ruling on Brady lists ensures that protecting the police will continue to prevail over due process.
Kyle C. Barry Sep 18, 2019
In Third Debate, Democratic Presidential Candidates Condemn Mass Incarceration Without Naming Its Main Driver
Candidates offered reforms for people accused of low-level, nonviolent offenses, but more than half of U.S. prisoners have committed a violent crime.
Aaron Morrison Sep 13, 2019
Kim Ogg ran as a reform-minded district attorney candidate, but her office has sought two death warrants for Dexter Johnson, whose lawyer says cannot name everyday objects and has an IQ of 70.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Sep 10, 2019
In a rare move, a federal court vacated Anastazia Schmid’s murder conviction, saying she’d received ineffective assistance of counsel and had been mentally unfit to stand trial. But Schmid, who’d spent 18 years in prison, remained locked up for three months more.
Victoria Law Sep 06, 2019
16-year-olds won’t have to reappear in adult criminal court if they’re arrested when youth court isn’t in session.
Lauren Gill Sep 03, 2019
The decline under DA Larry Krasner, who took office in 2018, marks a significant change in juvenile justice in Pennsylvania.
Joshua Vaughn Aug 30, 2019
A statewide pattern of discrimination in jury selection has gone largely uncorrected, while lives remain in the balance, advocates say.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Aug 26, 2019
The 2020 presidential candidates recently unveiled national criminal justice agendas that reimagine public safety and punishment.
Aaron Morrison Aug 23, 2019
In 1998, prosecutors failed to tell the defense that a key witness in Toforest Johnson’s capital murder trial would receive thousands of dollars in reward money for her testimony, Johnson’s attorneys say. Now a Birmingham judge must decide whether their argument has merit.
Lauren Gill Aug 22, 2019
Last year, lawmakers repealed the felony murder rule, which allowed prosecutors to charge defendants with murders they didn‘t commit. Prosecutors are trying to overturn the new law, but AG Xavier Becerra believes that the reform should stand.
Darwin BondGraham Aug 05, 2019
Establishment candidate Melinda Katz declared a narrow victory in the New York City borough’s district attorney primary, but progressive Tiffany Cabán pushed the race to the left on issues like marijuana and sex work.
Aaron Morrison Jul 30, 2019
In California, Texas and Florida, advocates sent letters to district attorneys, demanding that they refuse to work with officers with histories of misconduct.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jul 29, 2019
Lawmakers say Republicans used deceptive tactics to pass the controversial bill. The legislative record tells a different story.
Joshua Vaughn Jul 25, 2019
Police in Ozark said they solved the 1999 murders of two teenage girls using a genealogy database. But Coley McCraney‘s attorneys say that the case against their client is far from certain.
Lauren Gill Jul 24, 2019
The backlash is underway against a recent wave of prosecutors who champion criminal justice reform. Here are some methods of attack.
Adam H. Johnson Jul 19, 2019
Many jurisdictions across the country use video instead of holding bail hearings in person, a practice that often leads to dire consequences.
Bryce Covert Jun 05, 2019
Since 2017, LaToni Daniel has been incarcerated pretrial in a capital murder case. During that time, Daniel became pregnant, and she just delivered a baby boy. But as she brings in new life, she also faces the death penalty.
Lauren Gill May 31, 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 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.
Josie Duffy Rice Feb 11, 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.
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
In 2016 and 2017, more than 80 percent of children charged as adults by the Allegheny County district attorney were Black.
Joshua Vaughn Nov 27, 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.
John Pfaff Nov 14, 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
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
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
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
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.
Public health advocates are concerned that ‘Kristen's Law,’ meant to punish drug dealers, will criminalize users and fail to stem the opioid crisis.
In New York, A Harm-Reduction Organization Is Leveraging Participatory Defense To Empower Its Clients
Grassroots group VOCAL-NY is teaching people with substance use disorder how to avoid getting ensnared in the criminal justice system.
Christopher Moraff Aug 09, 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
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
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
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
As voters begin to realize that prosecutors in the world's most incarcerated nation may not be the best people to run the government, the era of the prosecutor politician could be on its way out.
Chase Madar Jun 19, 2018
Alice Marie Johnson is free. Now it’s time to free thousands more prisoners with unjustly long sentences.
Kim Kardashian's successful campaign to free a 63-year-old grandmother serving a life sentence in a drug case is a reminder that we need to go big on clemency. A 52-year-old grandfather named Euka Wadlington, also doing life in a drug case, would be a great place to start.
Shaun King Jun 15, 2018
Will a $1 Million Grant To Fight Sexual Assault Change A DA’s Office Known for Jailing Rape Victims?
The DOJ just gave $1 million to the New Orleans DA for rape kit testing, but advocates question whether real change can come to an office fighting allegations that it threatens, intimidates and jails rape and domestic violence victims.
Meaghan Ybos Jun 11, 2018
Walliris Velez thought the worst was behind her after she was slashed in a subway car, but then came an arrest and an attempted murder charge by the Bronx DA.
Exclusive: Leaked Police Interview Reveals Key Evidence That a Bronx Judge Has Barred in Upcoming Murder Trial
Brian Solano spent over two years on Rikers Island before a potentially exonerating NYPD video interview was disclosed to his defense attorney. But that video is now being excluded from his June trial.
But the witness may have flipped again, leaving the future of the conviction up in the air.
For those of us who believe our “justice” system must be transformed, moments such as this one are a test of conviction.
This case was always about race,” defense attorney said.
Larry Hannan Nov 08, 2017
A movement to oust Cyrus Vance gains steam.
Oct 19, 2017
The decision was unanimous.
Carimah Townes Sep 21, 2017
Who is she accountable to?
Police say the tool is outdated.
Carimah Townes Sep 12, 2017
“I was your worst nightmare.”
Sep 11, 2017
There are approximately 22,000 intravenous drug users in the city.
Carimah Townes Sep 08, 2017
A district attorney wants to solve crime by breaking up families.
Carimah Townes Sep 06, 2017
The price of shoplifting at Wal-Mart isn’t always low.
The officers’ credibility is under fire.
District attorneys want to keep an outdated system alive.