After more than a year in office—and despite pushback—the San Francisco DA’s policies have kept people out of jails and prisons.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 18, 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.
Elon Green Mar 02, 2021
The D.C. Council is set to vote on a bill aimed at giving people who committed serious crimes before their 25th birthday an opportunity to petition a judge for resentencing.
Meg O'Connor Dec 14, 2020
Nelson’s attorneys had sought to have his death sentence reversed, citing critical errors by his original trial attorneys.
Lauren Gill Aug 28, 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
If the justice system’s goal is to produce healthy, safe, and productive members of society, then it must begin with support from corrections staff and healthy relationships with peers.
Anthony Richardson Jul 22, 2020
State law requires all murder charges be automatically filed in adult court, regardless of age.
Joshua Vaughn Jul 20, 2020
The Appeal and Oregon Justice Resource Center announce “Left Behind,” firsthand accounts of growing-up in prison from individuals sentenced as children.
Bobbin Singh Mar 03, 2020
A survey of roughly 1,000 people found that 1 in 5 had been turned down for a diversion program because they couldn’t afford the costs of drug tests and monitoring devices.
Lauren Gill Feb 28, 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 Department of Corrections official knew the extrajudicial practice was going on but little has been done to correct it.
Victoria Law Feb 18, 2020
An Appeal documentary on life without the possibility of parole—and its impact on loved ones—in the state.
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.
Joshua Vaughn Feb 10, 2020
Three Supreme Court justices and others said competent counsel could have saved his life.
Kyle C. Barry Jan 30, 2020
The state Supreme Court erred this month when it failed to invalidate Willie Nash’s sentence as cruel and unusual punishment, his attorneys argue.
Aaron Morrison Jan 23, 2020
Unlike other states, Arizona offers minimal early release credits for the prisoners it sends to fight its wildfires.
Hannah Critchfield Jan 21, 2020
It’s the first time since 2014 that someone on Georgia’s death row has been granted clemency.
Braden Goyette Jan 16, 2020
The state said Michelle Heale shook the baby to death, but some experts say her conviction was based on debunked science.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jan 15, 2020
Many liberals support reform in theory. But when unpopular decisions need to be made, it’s back to the 1990s “Tough on Crime” playbook.
Adam H. Johnson Jan 09, 2020
One man, Paul Houser, is serving 60 years on a drug conviction for purchasing cold medicine and batteries. He’s one of 2,600 people incarcerated as a result of the state’s three strikes laws.
Lauren Gill Dec 20, 2019
Sensational headlines may score short-term partisan points, but long term they contribute to a toxic culture of Willie Hortonism.
Prosecutor Jessica Cooper of Oakland County, Michigan, has aggressively pursued life without the possibility of parole for children, critics say. She recommended the sentence for Barbara Hernández, who at 16 was a ‘slave’ to an abusive boyfriend who drew her into a plan that ended in murder.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Dec 09, 2019
In California, a prison program run by people once sentenced to life shows how even the most serious offenders are more than the worst things they’ve done.
Critics say the list, which would apply to defendants in St. Louis County, Missouri, would infringe on people’s constitutional right to a speedy trial.
Lauren Gill Nov 26, 2019
Two years ago, the state passed ‘raise the age’ legislation that goes into effect in December. A judge’s decision regarding a teen charged in 2015 raises the possibility of relief for other young people charged since the law’s passage.
Roxanna Asgarian Oct 22, 2019
The state’s narrow interpretation gives too much weight to voices that support a punitive criminal legal system, advocates say.
Joshua Vaughn Oct 04, 2019
His legal team had pushed for clemency, arguing that Bucklew’s previous attorneys mishandled his capital murder case.
Lauren Gill Oct 02, 2019
This month, nine people received commutations from life sentences, and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is calling for changes to the commutations process to give more people second chances.
Joshua Vaughn Sep 27, 2019
Rodney Reed, set to be executed on Nov. 20, is innocent of a rape and murder, his lawyers say, and untested evidence will prove it. But prosecutors have pushed back, arguing the evidence is contaminated.
Lauren Gill Sep 26, 2019
Derek Harris awaits arguments in the state Supreme Court about the sentencing, which one judge called ‘unconscionable.’
Aaron Morrison Sep 24, 2019
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
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that his execution, which experts have said will be bloody and gruesome, does not amount to cruel and unusual punishment. But problems with his case started long before that, his attorneys say.
Lauren Gill Sep 20, 2019
Young people convicted as adults face a ‘life sentence’ of registry restrictions, attorneys say.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Sep 19, 2019
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
A Pittsburgh public radio piece lacked critical reporting about the many problems with jailing children in adult facilities.
The parole board failed to comply with a new law about notifying victims, the board’s director said.
Lauren Gill Sep 12, 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
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
Despite supporting Oregon’s new juvenile justice law, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is still fighting to keep people in prison who received life sentences as minors.
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.
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
The New York Times’s coverage of the one-off case of a 77-year-old man omits key facts about how older adults are treated by our punitive legal system.
Adam H. Johnson Aug 09, 2019
Richard Kinder thought he would die in an Alabama prison until the Supreme Court ruled mandatory juvenile life without parole unconstitutional. But last year, despite a judge concluding there was “uncontradicted evidence” that Kinder had worked to rehabilitate himself, the state parole board refused him release.
Lauren Gill Aug 07, 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
U.S. attorneys in D.C. have opposed the resentencing of all 14 people who have petitioned for early release under a local law.
Kira Lerner May 23, 2019
Jason Van Dyke’s sentence for the 2014 murder of Laquan McDonald is approximately half the average sentence for a person convicted of second-degree murder in Cook County, Illinois.
Rob Arthur Feb 25, 2019
Colorado-based attorney and bail activist Elisabeth Epps was just released after serving a short jail stint related to a 2015 encounter with Aurora Police. The experience gave her a new understanding of the experiences of the people she has bailed out.
Aaron Morrison Feb 12, 2019
Recent Supreme Court rulings have led to a review of life-without-parole sentences for crimes committed at age 17 and younger, but attorneys for Avis Lee say there’s no reason to stop there.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Nov 12, 2018
From sheriffs to bail to marijuana, and more—here’s what you need to know.
Daniel Nichanian Nov 05, 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
Now in its second week, a strike staged by prisoners over poor conditions, low wages, and other issues is resulting in consequences, including harsh conduct reports and placements in solitary confinement.
Raven Rakia Aug 31, 2018
Public health advocates are concerned that ‘Kristen's Law,’ meant to punish drug dealers, will criminalize users and fail to stem the opioid crisis.
Bolus is one of thousands of New Yorkers sentenced to life in prison who are waiting for the governor to keep his clemency promise.
Max Rivlin-Nadler Aug 06, 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.
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
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
Years after two landmark Supreme Court rulings, prosecutors in Louisiana are still overwhelmingly seeking life sentences for children.
Victoria Law Jun 13, 2018
The judge who sentenced Brock Turner brought much-needed compassion to the bench, says public defender Sajid Khan.
Paul DeBenedetto Jun 11, 2018
For those of us who believe our “justice” system must be transformed, moments such as this one are a test of conviction.
Court watchers believe Justices will side with plaintiff
Larry Hannan Nov 04, 2017
The words of a mentally ill man the state of Arkansas hopes to execute on November 9th
Oct 24, 2017
District attorneys want to keep an outdated system alive.
Carimah Townes Aug 23, 2017