Why did the grand jury take it upon themselves to sort out the witness conclusively? The point of a grand jury is only to determine if probable cause of a crime, a very low legal hurdle, exists. If it does, they return an indictment and the case goes to trial for resolution.
Shortcuts almost always end up creating more problems than they solve. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch took a shortcut through Ferguson. The results have been catastrophic. McCulloch's shortcut involved using a grand jury to do the job of a trial jury.
This morning, Ricky Jackson walked out of the Cuyahoga County courtroom in downtown Cleveland a free man after 39 years in prison--several of those on death row--for a murder he didn't commit.
To the police, Belynda wasn't a victim. She wasn't a stunned and grieving widow with three children. She was a suspect. No, she was worse. In their eyes, she was the perpetrator.
Inadequate jury pay is essentially gutting class diversity and creating more homogenous juries that no longer represent a true cross-section of our communities.
The protests in Ferguson and around the country are not simply about this one case, just as the Civil Rights Movement was not merely about where Rosa Parks sat on a Montgomery bus. In both instances, the drama surrounding particular individuals was indicative of larger, systemic injustice.
Republicans argue that punitive sentences are essential to a tough-on-crime approach that keeps our streets safe. I see building stronger communities with adequate support mechanisms, not building stronger prisons, as the path to a safer society.
The majority population, most of whom pollsters tell us did not believe Officer Wilson committed any crimes, may believe the country can afford to accept things as they are. People of color -- Black men and their families and those who depend on them cannot afford that luxury. They need us to get this right.
We hear too many stories of our supersized justice system. Too many people locked up, the school-to-prison pipeline, etc. Here is another one: A 70 year old woman in Alexandria, Virginia, has been prosecuted for failing to take adequate care of her ailing, wheel-chair bound, 98 year old mother.
This issue should continue to be examined, articulated and pressed forward with the legitimate chance of actualizing legislation to ensure that catcalling and street harassment is a prosecutable crime.
Even though a person's skin color does not have anything whatsoever to do with whether or not they are guilty of a crime, it matters. Race matters in ways that it shouldn't. And a recent Sentencing Project report about racial perceptions of criminal justice emphasizes just how much.
Andrew Fryberg died November 7th at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, two weeks after being shot in the head by his cousin, Jaylen Fryberg, at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
I discovered this very little-known but fascinating murder case that few people outside law-enforcement circles have heard of. It involves the death of two children in the small, seaside Argentine town of Necochea in 1892. As I continued my research into the state of forensics in Argentina and the rest of the world at the time, I came across some very fascinating facts.
Ferguson provided us with an opportunity to engage in a much-needed national dialogue over how police are trained, what authority they are given, what weaponry they are provided, and how they treat those whom they are entrusted with protecting.
Is advantage play, such as card counting, really cheating, or is it just working the system? Should a casino be allowed to withhold winnings from someone simply because he or she is a skilled player with a talent that sets him or her apart from the other players?
Estimates vary, but somewhere between 10 and 16 million Americans are defrauded each year in this way. Thanksgiving can be an awkward time of year for some victims, since family members account for more than 30 percent of the identity thieves.
In the past, you might have read about police-related shootings in the back pages of the newspaper, between the grocery-store coupons and the used-car ads. But for some reason, police nowadays seem to be shooting citizens more and more, resorting to gun violence more often.