Uriah Courtney was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. His conviction was overturned due to DNA evidence.
Meg O'Connor May 17, 2023
Four Austin Women Reported Their Sexual Assaults. But Police And Prosecutors Failed To Hold The Perpetrators Accountable.
While a debate over defunding the police rages in Austin, a new lawsuit reminds its residents that assault cases in the city are routinely ignored.
Jerry Iannelli Oct 02, 2020
In New York, fewer people who have experienced sexual assault or rape have sought forensic exams at hospitals during the pandemic. But advocates suggest that’s not evidence of declining sexual violence.
Aviva Stahl Aug 10, 2020
With Appeal staff reporter Lauren Gill.
Jan 30, 2020
‘He Had Already Hurt Me.’ Alabama Woman Argues For ‘Stand Your Ground’ Immunity In Killing of Alleged Rapist
Brittany Smith, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a man she says brutally raped her, argued in court this week that she acted in self-defense and should be immune from prosecution.
Lauren Gill Jan 17, 2020
Logbooks were seized as part of an inquiry into misconduct allegations against high-ranking officers in the division that investigates sex crimes.
Meg O'Connor Jan 09, 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
Manhattan D.A. Suggests He Nudged The Governor To Fix A Loophole In New York Rape Law. It’s A Bit More Complicated.
Cyrus Vance says he sent Governor Cuomo a letter about the issue in April 2018; Cuomo’s office says it never got it. In the intervening months, critics say Vance’s messaging on the issue discouraged survivors of rape from coming forward.
Meg O'Connor Dec 23, 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. Two years ago, the executive director of Just Detention International, an organization whose mission is to end sexual assault in jails and prisons, wrote in an opinion piece for […]
Vaidya Gullapalli Dec 13, 2019
Alternative approaches to rehabilitation and healing still face resistance, even though the criminal legal system’s reliance on punishment has done little to move the needle on addressing sexual violence.
Tyler Kingkade Dec 10, 2019
District Attorney Margaret Moore continues to face accusations that her office mishandles the prosecution of sex crimes.
Kira Lerner Dec 04, 2019
People Behind the Girls Do Porn Website Were Just Charged With Sex Trafficking. But Complaints Were Filed About Them Years Ago.
At least three women made police reports about Girls Do Porn in 2015, but recruiters continued to exploit women until the FBI stepped in last month.
Meg O'Connor Nov 04, 2019
A federal lawsuit claims that Asheville, North Carolina’s interim chief, Robert C. White, prevented a rape victim from filing a complaint against an officer when he led the Louisville, Kentucky, department.
Meg O'Connor Oct 16, 2019
Miller’s victim impact statement was centered in a recent ’60 Minutes’ segment on the Brock Turner case. But such statements do not heal victims, and Miller’s unfavorable comparison of Turner’s sentence to drug offenders only reinforces carceral logic.
Meaghan Ybos Sep 30, 2019
Heather Marlowe, now an activist, says neglected kits are a reflection of who and what police prioritize.
Raven Rakia Aug 15, 2019
The carceral system fails to heal victims and perpetuates trauma by caging human beings. It‘s time to try something else.
Stefanie Mundhenk Jul 18, 2019
Over a three-year period, Alachua County prosecutors closed 236 sexual battery cases: 115 were dropped, 92 were offered plea deals, and seven went to trial.
Molly Minta Jun 24, 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
With Appeal contributor Meg O’Connor
Adam H. Johnson May 02, 2019
New NYPD data show that in 2018 the department closed nearly 500 rape cases due to an alleged lack of participation from victims and had a declining clearance rate for rape, raising questions over its handling of sexual assault.
Meg O'Connor Apr 23, 2019
Advocates say victims are being pressured to sign ‘withdrawal’ forms to quickly close investigations and protect the department from legal liability.
Meg O'Connor Dec 17, 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
Across the country, police departments have chronically failed to investigate rape cases, leaving rape kits — the physical evidence collected from a rape victim’s body — untested. Unfortunately, a false narrative has taken hold around the concept of a rape kit backlog.
In a series of tweets, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently praised the recall effort against Judge Aaron Persky, who sentenced Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in prison after Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman during a college party. The recall effort is misguided. It’s unlikely to result in the changes its […]
Shon Hopwood Feb 02, 2018
On the morning of June 12, 2016, a small plane circled over Stanford University’s commencement ceremony trailing a banner reading, “Protect Survivors. Not Rapists. #PerskyMustGo.” The plane’s voyage was commissioned by feminist group UltraViolet to protest former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner’s six-month sentence handed down by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky in 2016 for sexually assaulting […]
Meaghan Ybos Jan 04, 2018
The plane’s voyage was commissioned by feminist group UltraViolet to protest former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner’s six-month sentence handed down by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky in 2016 for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus the previous year. The sentence ignited an outcry and an effort to recall Judge Persky.
Meaghan Ybos Jan 04, 2018
Memphis Police Failed to Properly Investigate “Hundreds” of Rape Cases, Says Former Memphis Police Sex Crimes Detective
The Memphis Police Department failed to discipline detectives who routinely left rape kits untested, former Memphis Police Lieutenant Cody Wilkerson testified on November 8. Memphis police detectives closed rape cases without testing rape kits, he said, “hundreds, hundreds of them”, and without any consequences to their careers. Detectives also closed other rape cases only after minimal […]
Melissa Gira Grant Nov 21, 2017
If you’re facing criminal charges in Manhattan, it appears you might be able to get out of that jam with the right campaign donations. And if you don’t have that kind of cash? Expect to face jail time and fines, even for the lowest-level offenses. This is the transactional possibility suggested by a series of […]
Melissa Gira Grant Oct 12, 2017