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Criminal Justice

Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of Roper v. Simmons: One Small Step for Christopher Simmons, One Giant Step for Juvenile Justice Reform

Marsha Levick | Posted 03.02.2015 | Politics
Marsha Levick

With this simple declaration ten years ago, the United States Supreme Court ended a centuries-old practice that left youth eligible for execution for murders they committed when they were under the age of eighteen.

America Never Abolished Slavery

Angela F. Chan | Posted 03.02.2015 | Politics
Angela F. Chan

This past Black History Month, millions of students were told the story of how America abolished slavery 150 years ago with ratification of the 13th Amendment. The story draws an upward trajectory of racial equality in America. The problem is the story isn't true. We never actually abolished slavery.

For Holder, a Legacy of Achievement in a Time of Doubt

Riley Roberts | Posted 02.26.2015 | Politics
Riley Roberts

Since 2009, Holder has exercised the powers of his office not merely to preserve the Justice Department as a static institution, as many of his predecessors have done, but to mobilize it as a force for proactive change.

Retired Federal Judge Regrets Delivering 55-Year Weed Sentence

The Huffington Post | Julia Craven | Posted 02.19.2015 | Politics

Three marijuana sales landed 24-year-old Weldon Angelos in prison for 55 years -- and the federal judge who sentenced him is now speaking out against ...

Politics of Black Lives Matter: Broadening Public Safety Priorities Beyond Arrests and Prisons

Nicole D. Porter | Posted 02.13.2015 | Black Voices
Nicole D. Porter

We'll know Black lives matter when public safety responses aren't defined by arrests or prison admissions but by work to reduce contact with the criminal justice system in the first place.

Is the International Community Abandoning the Fight Against Impunity?

David Tolbert | Posted 02.12.2015 | World
David Tolbert

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and more than a decade after the establishment of the International Criminal Court, shockingly little is being done to stop massive human rights abuses. The prospects of victims receiving justice, let alone bringing perpetrators to account, seem ever more remote.

Dana Liebelson

Inside The Koch Campaign To Reform Criminal Justice

HuffingtonPost.com | Dana Liebelson | Posted 02.10.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Koch Industries, Inc., the corporation led by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, is holding discussions with a coalition ...

Racism, Crime, and America's Faith in Punishment and Violence

Derek Flood | Posted 02.10.2015 | Religion
Derek Flood

Rather than approaching crime from the perspective of restorative justice and public health, seeking to help people to reform and re-integrate, our country has instead not only continued in a model of punishment that can only be described as "medieval", but has grown it to a scale unprecedented in world history.

Why Public Apathy Isn't All Bad

Slate | Jamelle Bouie | Posted 02.02.2015 | Black Voices

A defining feature of the Obama era—or at least one of them—is polarization. Voters, and especially activists, are more uncompromising than the...

Criminalizing Victims: How the Punishment Economy Failed Marissa Alexander

Zachary Norris | Posted 01.28.2015 | Politics
Zachary Norris

For change to happen, we must focus our resources on mechanisms of support. There is another way forward that does not involve punishment or jail. It's time to stop criminalizing victims and provide help instead.

17-Year-Old Girl Shot Dead By Three Cops At Texas Police Station

ThinkProgress | Posted 01.26.2015 | Politics

The incident, at this point, is shrouded in mystery. Officials could not “confirm the type of weapon Coignard brandished at the officers.” Beyond ...

The Global Fight in Criminal Justice Must Be Won

Rev. Al Sharpton | Posted 01.26.2015 | Politics
Rev. Al Sharpton

As we unite hand-in-hand across the Atlantic, let us come together knowing that what we do is not based on hate, but based on love for our respective nations and citizens.

Dana Liebelson

Lawsuit: Jail Let Teenage Girl Die From Drug Overdose, Staff Covered It Up

HuffingtonPost.com | Dana Liebelson | Posted 01.16.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- A 17-year-old girl who was revived from a heroin overdose last May and taken to a hospital died several hours later, after medical profe...

After a Major Year for American Justice, Everything and Nothing Changed

Mugambi Jouet | Posted 01.14.2015 | Politics
Mugambi Jouet

While American justice has long been extraordinarily repressive and discriminatory, the events of 2014 arguably led more people to realize the magnitude of the problem.

We Need Young People Working: Here's What This Congress Can Do

Paul Kendrick | Posted 01.06.2015 | Politics
Paul Kendrick

The 114th Congress has an opportunity to fundamentally shift American life. To do so, though, they must overcome cynical calculations that have become too common when it comes to young people and politics.

Charles Koch Wants To Change America's Criminal Justice System

The Huffington Post | Mollie Reilly | Posted 12.29.2014 | Politics

Charles Koch, the billionaire chairman and CEO of Koch Industries and leading conservative mega-donor, has set his sights on a new goal: reforming Ame...

How to Invest in Miracles

Harriet McDonald | Posted 02.23.2015 | Impact
Harriet McDonald

By the time they were 18, each boy had lived in multiple foster homes. They survived their childhoods without compassion or stability. The idea of being "cared for" was a foreign concept.

10 Things People Don't Understand About 'Serial' Unless You're a Criminal Attorney

Tamara Shayne Kagel | Posted 02.23.2015 | Entertainment
Tamara Shayne Kagel

I've noticed that most people listening to "Serial" don't know some key facts about the criminal justice system. Here are some of the most common misconceptions I've noticed about people's comprehension of the legal system which ultimately we are all beholden to.

A Blueprint for Local Police Reform to Improve Legitimacy

Tara Lai Quinlan | Posted 02.21.2015 | Crime
Tara Lai Quinlan

While we certainly don't have all the answers, it's time to start talking about and funding constructive ways to reform policing to quell anger by improving legitimacy and community relations.

Dealing With the Racial Nature of Wrongful Convictions

David A. Love | Posted 02.22.2015 | Black Voices
David A. Love

The wrongful convictions data coming from the Innocence Project provide all the proof we need that all things are not equal in the application of American justice. Justice is color coded, and truly a matter of black and white. Now is the time to change that.

TNC: Why Talking About 'Police Reform' Obscures The Task

The Atlantic | Posted 12.23.2014 | Crime

Talking about "police reform" obscures the task. Today's policies are, at the very least, the product of democratic will....

Forensic Science Is Not CSI, in Ferguson or Anywhere Else

William Lynch III | Posted 02.18.2015 | Crime
William Lynch III

None of this is to say that we need to toss all the evidence out and start at square one. Nor am I saying that the evidence supporting Wilson's account is totally false. My point is that everyone must realize that forensic science is not absolute like on television.

The Faults of the American Criminal Justice System Run Deeper Than Race

Nathan Robinson | Posted 02.18.2015 | Politics
Nathan Robinson

Race is the central fact of American criminal justice. But race is not the only fact. Understanding this system, and dismantling it, requires understanding that the existence of racism doesn't preclude the possibility of class domination.

Hispanic Evangelicals Call For Criminal Justice Reform

Rev. Gabriel Salguero | Posted 02.17.2015 | Religion
Rev. Gabriel Salguero

We should be asking how we can best respond to crime in ways that help communities to be safe, healthy, healed, and whole. We should work to prevent crime before it's too late. We should hold people accountable for the harm they have caused, but we should do it in ways that create opportunities for different choices in the future.

Black Men Openly Carrying a Gun in a Holster Will End Racial Profiling in America

H. A. Goodman | Posted 02.11.2015 | Politics
H. A. Goodman

A legal, constitutionally protected way to defeat racism is right in front of us. After all, everyone can relate to not wanting to be viewed as a criminal, regardless of how they feel about climate change or taxes.