From Ferguson, Missouri, to Charleston, South Carolina, communities are suffering the lethal consequences of our collective silence about racial injustice. The church should be a source of truth in a nation that has lost its way. As the dominant religion in the United States, Christianity is directly implicated when we Christians fail to speak more honestly about the legacy of racial inequality.
No one wants to be charged with a crime. But, if you are, or, if one of your friends or loved ones is, here are five things to consider when deciding whether you've got a good defense attorney or not.
There are a million people right now writing, talking, and bloviating about Netflix's Making A Murderer -- heck, I should know, my first blog was about the show -- and one reason is that the name of the series, in and of itself, is a stroke of genius.
Not all "paid" lawyers are good attorneys, and not all "court-appointed" lawyers and public defenders are bad. However, it is a sad but true fact, as Making A Murderer ably illustrates, that the quality of justice in this country directly correlates to the amount of resources a defendant has.
Read about how gripping Making a Murderer is. Checked how much running time episodes had left. Tweeted about how gripping Making a Murderer is. Googled the definition of "deposition." Tutted, shook my head, said "sh*t."
No one should profit off of putting people behind bars. That profit is wasted money that should be spent on improving conditions inside and outside prisons, rather than on covering up the symptoms of a broken system.
Perhaps on some level there is truth to some facets of these stereotypical roles that are pounded into the minds of the American TV viewer. It is not, however, the image of the justice system I see in my day-to-day work as a public defender.
Want a ringside seat for the war on crime? Go to killedbypolice.net. A few hours ago (as I write this), the site had listed 1,191 police killings in the U.S. this year. I just looked again. The total is up one.
Black lives -- 13 of them -- finally mattered Thursday night as an Oklahoma City jury found former policeman Daniel Holtzclaw guilty of 18 criminal counts, including four counts of first-degree rape.
Almost two years ago, Kenneth Thompson was running to become Brooklyn's District Attorney. Not only did Mr. Thompson promise to be hard on crime, he also promised to reexamine the cases of those who claimed to be innocent. Mr. Thompson eventually won, and, true to his word, his office has reviewed a large number of cases.
As a person of color who is committed to assuring that marginalized communities have access to and receive a fair share of the bounty of the richest nation in the world, I wonder what "progressive" truly means. My speculation is not only political but theological/religious as well.
The opportunity and ability to turn one's life around is a fundamental principle of justice and of the American Dream. Unfortunately, it seems this principle of American values has gone missing from our broken justice system. Fixing the way inmates interact with the outside world is an important step in restoring it.
The mayor's election is officially non-partisan, but Hayward is a Republican and can sound like the pro-business CEO he was: "We are a first class city that will compete regionally, nationally, and internationally for jobs, investment, and talent," he says, explaining that he sees his constituents as shareholders in the future of his city. Move over Donald Trump!
There is a common conservative narrative that the disproportionate incarceration of black people is not the result of systemic racism, but rather of shortcomings within the black community.This "fact" is used to justify a belief that a "culture of violence" is to blame for problems faced by black people in America.
An ideal corrections program focuses first on keeping the public safe. Public safety depends on crime prevention, which means that an effective corrections program is one that isn't simply punitive, but is transformative, aimed at stopping the cycle of crime.
I hope that when we reach success, when a federal bill to reform the criminal justice system is signed into law, when states and the federal government celebrate a major reduction in incarceration, when there are substantial reforms in police practices.