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Criminal Justice

The Broader Vicious Circle Behind the Ferguson Crisis

Mugambi Jouet | Posted 08.28.2014 | Politics
Mugambi Jouet

The profound division of American society along racial lines is part of a vicious circle exacerbating a host of social problems, from excessive use of force by the police to mass incarceration and wealth inequality.

Boehner's Constitution Of Convenience

Duncan Hosie | Posted 08.26.2014 | Politics
Duncan Hosie

Ironically, Speaker Boehner resorted to the American justice system to sue President Obama, the very system he has worked relentlessly to underfund for indigents. Instead of suing Obama, he should start fixing the system he and his colleagues broke.

Preventing Future Fergusons

Inimai Chettiar | Posted 08.23.2014 | Politics
Inimai Chettiar

The events unfolding in Missouri have brought all eyes on the issue of law enforcement practices. Racial disparities in our justice system abound. But there is also a subtler dynamic at work: how the government spends money and the very real and human consequences of those decisions.

President Obama, Go Big or Go Home

Robbie Gennet | Posted 08.22.2014 | Politics
Robbie Gennet

There's an old saying in surfing: Go big or go home. Right now, each race around the country is in it's own little bubble, disconnected to the larger narrative. Only true vision and leadership can unite them to raise a populist wave and that is what the Presidential pulpit is for.

May the Odds Be (Never) in Minorities' Favor? Breaking Down the Risk-Based Sentencing Divide

Jessica Eaglin | Posted 08.22.2014 | Crime
Jessica Eaglin

The U.S. criminal justice system is built on the premise that one size does not fit when meting out justice. An individualized sentencing practice is key to a fair and just sentence.

Connecting the Dots: The Entire Criminal Justice System Is in Need of an Overhaul

Brooklyn Defender Services | Posted 08.21.2014 | Crime
Brooklyn Defender Services

We must use our consciousness of these egregious abuses to consider an overhaul of the criminal justice system at large. We must amend our discovery laws, add an expungement option, make exceptions to mandatory minimums and change our philosophy on pre-trial detention.

If They Lock Me Up, Call My Attorney: The Culture of Retaliation in the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Christopher Zoukis | Posted 08.20.2014 | Crime
Christopher Zoukis

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has a long and colorful history of retaliating against inmates for the exercise of their legal rights. Over the years, I have learned to expect the worst when dealing with these officials. This desensitization occurs, in the literal as well as the figurative sense.

New Stanford Criminal Justice Study Right, But Incomplete and Misleading

Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. | Posted 08.20.2014 | Crime
Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.

Giving up on talking about race or facts because of the Stanford study would be a sad high-jacking of criminal justice discourse in our country.

Changing Our Response to Behavioral Health

American Anthropological Association | Posted 08.19.2014 | Impact
American Anthropological Association

Robin Williams's death has saddened and shocked many of us, and as the many displays of mourning through social media indicate, Williams's death has deeply touched so many and brought to the fore much needed conversations about mental illness.

New York Candidate for Governor Arrested for Videotaping Police

Anthony Papa | Posted 08.15.2014 | New York
Anthony Papa

Randy Credico, Governor Andrew Cuomo's opponent in the upcoming September 9 Democratic Primary was arrested and handcuffed yesterday for making a video of two white police officers arresting a Black man in the subway.

SB 1010: Fixing California's Racist Drug Laws

Zachary Norris | Posted 08.12.2014 | Politics
Zachary Norris

California may get one step closer to eliminating the racist laws that unfairly target low-income communities of color for incarceration. On Thursday, the California State Assembly will vote on a bill that would eliminate groundless disparities in punishment for possession of crack cocaine and powder cocaine for sale.

FBI Acknowledges Forensic Errors in 16 Death-Penalty Cases

The Washington Post | Posted 07.29.2014 | Crime

Nearly every criminal case reviewed by the FBI and the Justice Department as part of a massive investigation started in 2012 of problems at the FBI la...

'As A Black Person, I Want Less Encounters With The Police Not Friendlier Ones'

The Huffington Post | Jessica Dickerson | Posted 07.29.2014 | Black Voices

The death of Eric Garner at the hands of the New York City Police Department, and additional videos that have surfaced showing police using excessive ...

You Never Get Used to Going to Prison

Rana Campbell | Posted 07.24.2014 | Black Voices
Rana Campbell

Is this what rehabilitation looks, feels, and smells like?

USSC Unanimously Votes for Drug Reduction Retroactivity: Thousands of Federal Prisoners to Be Released Early

Christopher Zoukis | Posted 07.23.2014 | Crime
Christopher Zoukis

Last week, in a historic victory for nearly 46,000 federal drug offenders, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) voted unanimously to apply recent amendments to the federal drug sentencing guidelines retroactively to all eligible offenders.

Can You Hear the Death Rattle of Capital Punishment in California?

Burke E. Strunsky | Posted 07.22.2014 | Crime
Burke E. Strunsky

After Judge Carney's decision, I am very concerned that many murder victims' families will soon be dealt another painful blow. If the state retroactively eliminates the death penalty, many grieving people, already robbed of so much, will lose the justice and closure that juries, after a thorough and lengthy review of all the facts, had granted them.

The Criminalization of the Mentally Ill in America -- Have We Reached a Flashpoint?

Ginger Lerner-Wren | Posted 07.22.2014 | Healthy Living
Ginger Lerner-Wren

I believe the criminal justice system has been heroic in its problem solving justice innovations. These strategies are smart, cost-effective and save lives. Yet these strategies alone cannot wholly reverse the criminalization crisis. Nor were they intended to.

New Zealand Opposition Party Offers Up Radical Shift in Rape Cases

Ravishly | Posted 07.12.2014 | Politics
Ravishly

New Zealand's second-largest political party has proposed a radical change for the criminal justice system concerning rape cases -- and we could not be more into it.

Ryan J. Reilly

It Took This Former Congressman Years Behind Bars To See The Need For Drug War Reform

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 07.11.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- A former Republican member of Congress is ready to join the fight for sentencing reform and rolling back harsh mandatory minimums for dr...

Changing the Odds for Boys and Men of Color

Timothy P. Silard | Posted 07.10.2014 | Impact
Timothy P. Silard

A responsible approach to criminal justice can make our communities safer, save tax dollars and help all of us, but our current system is falling terribly short -- at great economic, human and moral cost.

The Central Park $40 Million

Thea Johnson | Posted 08.27.2014 | Crime
Thea Johnson

The payoff for the rest of us will come if the very expensive lessons learned from the case prevent this kind of injustice from happening again.

Why We Need to Keep Yuri's Legacy Alive

Christopher Punongbayan | Posted 08.23.2014 | San Francisco
Christopher Punongbayan

We need to remember what Yuri Kochiyama taught us about building multi-racial alliances, about true democracy, about conviction, and about racial progress. We owe it to ourselves to never forget.

Top Prison Official Secretly Spent 48 Hours In Solitary Confinement

ABC News | Posted 06.20.2014 | Politics

When Prisoner 106 arrived at the maximum security facility of Level Six in the New Mexico State Penitentiary in Santa Fe, he was on the books as a dan...

The O.J. Trial: A Reporter Comes Clean

Jim Moret | Posted 08.09.2014 | Media
Jim Moret

Now, with no legal ramifications and no ethical issues forcing me to maintain my silence, I can finally share the one thing that has remained constant over the past two decades -- my personal opinion about Simpson's involvement in that double murder.

Blacks In Prison: Perception And Punishment

Wray Herbert | Posted 08.06.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

One would expect such patently unfair statistics to cause outrage, and calls for more leniency in penal laws, but is it possible that the opposite occurs? Might the blackness of the prisons lead to more, not less, punitive attitudes and policies?