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Courts must not overrepresent the viewpoints of the most powerful at the expense of the communities they serve.
Sarah Fair George
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
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.
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.
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.
A narrow ruling on Brady lists ensures that protecting the police will continue to prevail over due process.
Candidates offered reforms for people accused of low-level, nonviolent offenses, but more than half of U.S. prisoners have committed a violent crime.
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.
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.
16-year-olds won’t have to reappear in adult criminal court if they’re arrested when youth court isn’t in session.
The decline under DA Larry Krasner, who took office in 2018, marks a significant change in juvenile justice in Pennsylvania.
Our response to crime should focus on healing and accountability, not punishment and retribution.
A statewide pattern of discrimination in jury selection has gone largely uncorrected, while lives remain in the balance, advocates say.
The 2020 presidential candidates recently unveiled national criminal justice agendas that reimagine public safety and punishment.
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.
Attorney General William Barr pushed back against reforms by progressive prosecutors—but perhaps his greatest vitriol was reserved for the Boston DA’s attempt to rein in police.
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.
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.
In California, Texas and Florida, advocates sent letters to district attorneys, demanding that they refuse to work with officers with histories of misconduct.
Lawmakers say Republicans used deceptive tactics to pass the controversial bill. The legislative record tells a different story.
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.
The backlash is underway against a recent wave of prosecutors who champion criminal justice reform. Here are some methods of attack.
Adam H. Johnson
The criminalization of poverty in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, has led to a staggering increase in incarcerated people, all at a huge cost for defendants and taxpayers alike.
Many jurisdictions across the country use video instead of holding bail hearings in person, a practice that often leads to dire consequences.
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.
Former prosecutor and Fox News host Jeanine Pirro inspires Trump’s rhetoric of dehumanization and incarceration.
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
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.
In 2016 and 2017, more than 80 percent of children charged as adults by the Allegheny County district attorney were Black.
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.
Decision-making by prosecutors in such cases, says one attorney, ‘compounds, entrenches, and ultimately authorizes the initial act of violence by prosecuting the victim.’
Protesters blasting everything from punitive prosecutors to police brutality should be remembered for their role in upsetting the Windy City's political status quo.
Since 2015, police in Adams County have taken dozens of reports of rape, yet charges were filed in just two cases.
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.
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.
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.
The state’s “theft of leased property” statute allows prosecutors to seek felony charges for Pennsylvanians who miss payments on rental items.
Prosecutors can subject those convicted of sexual offenses—and sometimes, those with no conviction at all—to an indefinite period of civil punishment at the end of their criminal sentence.
Public health advocates are concerned that ‘Kristen's Law,’ meant to punish drug dealers, will criminalize users and fail to stem the opioid crisis.
Grassroots group VOCAL-NY is teaching people with substance use disorder how to avoid getting ensnared in the criminal justice system.
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.
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.
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.
In overdose-wracked Franklin County, Pennsylvania, a small-time dealer is denied bail, while the number of drug induced homicide cases has skyrocketed.
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.
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.
As worthy cases for clemency from Cyntoia Brown to Calvin Bryant mount in Tennessee, advocates decry the fact that a Tennessee governor hasn't commuted a prison sentence since 2011.
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.
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.
Melissa Gira Grant,
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.
Melissa Gira Grant
Zachary A. Siegel
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.
A movement to oust Cyrus Vance gains steam.
In this Oregon capital case, it could ensure that the state doesn’t execute the wrong man.
The decision was unanimous.
Who is she accountable to?
Alex S. Vitale
Police say the tool is outdated.
“I was your worst nightmare.”
There are approximately 22,000 intravenous drug users in the city.
Vote in a Brooklyn District Attorney that Represents Your Values for the Future of Criminal Justice.
A district attorney wants to solve crime by breaking up families.
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.