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Brandon Anderson / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Here’s Why Giving People Jobs and Training Could Actually Help Cut Down on Crime

A new study suggests that when people who have been involved in crimes such as theft are given the opportunity and training to do “legitimate work,” they are less likely to continue criminal activities.

Posted on Jun 30, 2015 READ MORE


VIDEO: John Oliver: ‘Bail Has Become a Way to Lock Up the Poor Regardless of Guilt’

HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” host explains how the discrimination ingrained in America’s bail system leads the poor to plead guilty to crimes they didn’t even commit.

Posted on Jun 8, 2015 READ MORE



Black People in Minneapolis Are 9 Times More Likely to Be Arrested for Minor Offenses

A damning ACLU report finds “severe,” “pervasive” and “systematic” racial disparities in arrests by Minneapolis police.

Posted on May 28, 2015 READ MORE



Patrick Feller (CC BY 2.0)

Nebraska Legislators Override Governor’s Veto and Outlaw Capital Punishment

On Wednesday, the Cornhusker State became the 19th state in the U.S. to rid itself of one of our most archaic laws.

Posted on May 28, 2015 READ MORE



Swedish Supreme Court Rejects Julian Assange Appeal

Despite the rejection, lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder say they are encouraged by the judges’ 4-1 split, which may indicate that the court will change its decision.

Posted on May 11, 2015 READ MORE



Newburgh, N.Y.: A Once-Grand City That Had Its Heart Torn Out

“Once one of the grandest cities in the entire north-east, the story of Newburgh’s decline and the fight to resurrect it is the story of the struggle of many cities in the United States, a story that says much about how the nation views its urban centres, and the problems and challenges that go with them,” writes The Guardian’s Michael Deibert.

Posted on Apr 11, 2015 READ MORE


Obama Urges Grammy Artists to Stress That Rape, Domestic Violence Are ‘Not OK’

In a recorded message that aired Sunday night at the Grammy Awards, President Obama delivered a sobering message about sexual abuse.

Posted on Feb 9, 2015 READ MORE



Eugenia Keyser

That Bird Has My Wings: An Acrostic Pantoum About Death Row Prisoner Jarvis Jay Masters

Carolyne Wright’s touching poem echoes the powerful words of Jarvis Jay Masters, an African-American on death row in a California prison.

Posted on Feb 4, 2015 READ MORE



Screenshot From YouTube

Rapper Faces Life in Prison Over His Lyrics

San Diego rapper Brandon Duncan, aka Tiny Doo, has no criminal record, yet he is now facing trial on nine counts of participating in “criminal street gang conspiracy.”

Posted on Dec 3, 2014 READ MORE



AP/David Goldman

Ferguson: Baffling Decisions Continue to Provoke a Traumatized Community

There is no question that the Michael Brown case has been mishandled from the very beginning. With the news conference Monday by St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch, we now know that it was mishandled to the very end.

Posted on Nov 26, 2014 READ MORE



Visions of America / Shutterstock.com

The Next Attorney General Should Make Presidential Pardons Less Racist, at the Very Least

More than two years ago, a ProPublica series showed that white applicants were far more likely to receive clemency than comparable applicants who were black. Since then, the government has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a study, but the pardons system remains unchanged.

Posted on Oct 18, 2014 READ MORE



Will Justice Scalia Apologize for His Part in Keeping an Innocent Man Imprisoned for 30 Years?

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once held that one of two North Carolina men who were freed this week after decades due to DNA evidence should be killed under the death penalty; a “war” within Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is breaking out; meanwhile, a human rights lawyer was recently arrested after standing on a sidewalk during a pro-Palestinian rally in New York City while waiting for her children. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Sep 4, 2014 READ MORE


‘Overpoliced and Underprotected’: The Neglect of Black Communities

Amy Goodman interviews UC Berkeley professor John A. Powell on Tuesday about Ferguson, Mo. Powell says two of the most important issues of policing poor communities is whether there’s trust, and whether authorities recognize the humanity of those they are charged to protect.

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 READ MORE



Light Brigading Rights reserved

Our Selective Outrage

The killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown has rightly provoked widespread outrage, drawing international media attention and prompting a comment from President Obama. The same should be true—but tragically is not—of the killing of 3-year-old Knijah Amore Bibb.

Posted on Aug 15, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Justice Department Says Rikers Island Jailers Routinely Abused Teen Inmates

An extensive report by the Justice Department has found that New York’s primary jail is an absolute hell for underage inmates.

Posted on Aug 8, 2014 READ MORE


Execution Snacks

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Posted on Jul 25, 2014 READ MORE


Executioners

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Posted on Jul 25, 2014 READ MORE



Did Richmond, Calif., Reduce Its Murder Rate by Paying People Not to Kill?

Nearly a decade ago, violent crime in Richmond, Calif., was so bad that the City Council debated declaring a state of emergency. Seeking to end the bloodshed, officials authorized DeVone Boggan to pay likely perpetrators to stay out of trouble.

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Trent Nelson

A Simple Fix for Our Execution Problem

Shortages of lethal drugs are causing executions to be botched in horrible ways, but the resulting public outcry could help clear a path to a lasting, moral solution.

Posted on May 27, 2014 READ MORE



US Embassy (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Attorney General Holder Requires Recording of Interrogations, Unlike New York City

A new Department of Justice policy says federal agents must record interrogations, as a way to protect against coercion and false confessions.

Posted on May 24, 2014 READ MORE



Truthout.org (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Death Penalty Report Cites Value of Taping Interrogations

A report advocating death penalty reforms finds that false confessions in capital cases can be limited by recording the questioning of suspects.

Posted on May 8, 2014 READ MORE


Capital Punishment

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Posted on May 5, 2014 READ MORE



Three Things Obama’s New Clemency Initiative Doesn’t Do

Prisoners’ advocates call the reforms a step forward, but they don’t address discrimination in presidential pardons or apply to everyone serving harsh sentences from outdated guidelines.

Posted on Apr 26, 2014 READ MORE


Meet a Pedophile

A pedophile is a person attracted to children, not just someone who acts on that attraction. One of many problems with the disorder is that those seeking professional help to not abuse children must take extremely big risks because of mandatory reporting laws.

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

We’re Running Out of Ways to Kill People—Legally

You’d think that we Americans would have enough stuff to worry about. Severe drought desiccating a third of the country. A political system whose major talent is demonstrating stasis in action. The rich using the poor as fleshy paving stones for the road to mansions on the hill. Ben Affleck as Batman.

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 READ MORE



marsmettn tallahassee (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Even the 99 Percent Get Kidnapped in Mexico

Once the plutocrats’ plague, kidnapping for ransom in Mexico has gone decidedly mass market.

Posted on Apr 14, 2014 READ MORE


Chris Hedges and Eugene Jarecki: The Failed War on Drugs

Chris Hedges, who has written much about prison and also teaches in one, speaks with Eugene Jarecki about his amazing film, “The House I Live In,” the failed war on drugs and the life of human beings behind bars.

Posted on Apr 11, 2014 READ MORE



andrewmalone (CC BY 2.0)

Should Women Be Charged With Murder for Giving Birth to Stillborns Due to ‘Fetal Harm’?

Rennie Gibbs, a 16-year-old in Mississippi when she gave birth to a stillborn child, is facing life in prison for taking cocaine during her pregnancy. Hers is among a burgeoning number of cases in which women are prosecuted for allegedly endangering their unborn children.

Posted on Mar 19, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

A Helping Hand for Young Men of Color

“My Brother’s Keeper” has a much nicer ring than “Stop and Frisk.” It also promises to be a more effective, less self-defeating way to address the interlocking social and economic crises afflicting young men of color.

Posted on Feb 28, 2014 READ MORE



Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association

This Texas District Attorney Candidate Says Family Violence Is ‘Overrated’

As the top law enforcement officer (should he win) in Harris County, Texas, one would hope Lloyd Oliver would prosecute domestic violence with all due zeal, but the Democratic candidate told The Texas Observer the crime is “so, so overrated” and equated abuse to a tap on the hand.

Posted on Feb 19, 2014 READ MORE



Race Inequality in America by Graph, From Crime Sentencing to Income

Most death sentences are handed out for killing white people, even though African-Americans make up 50 percent of murder victims (they are only 12 percent of the population).

Posted on Feb 17, 2014 READ MORE



Venezuela Braces for More Violence

A week of protests in Venezuela resulted in the deaths of three people and more than 20 injured Wednesday, leaving President Nicolas Maduro in a struggle to restrain discontent among opposition groups and radical elements of his Chavista movement.

Posted on Feb 14, 2014 READ MORE


For-Profit Probation Companies Target the Poor

By Donald Kaufman

Here’s a look into the dysfunctionality of for-profit probation companies and the story of Thomas Barrett.

Posted on Feb 13, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

The PTSD Crisis That’s Being Ignored: Americans Wounded in Their Own Neighborhoods

Americans wounded in their own neighborhoods are not getting treatment for PTSD. They’re not even getting diagnosed.

Posted on Feb 3, 2014 READ MORE



Why 15-Year-Old Travion Blount Got More Than 6 Life Sentences for a Crime in Which No One Was Hurt

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, as one of his last acts in office, reduced the sentence of a 23-year-old African-American inmate named Travion Blount to 40 years in prison, making him eligible for release at age 55.

Posted on Jan 16, 2014 READ MORE



Prison (CC BY 2.0)

William Stuntz: Crime and Punishment and the Fight Against Racial Injustice

William Stuntz was a socially conservative evangelical Christian whose fight for race allied him across all political systems.

Posted on Jan 16, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Marijuana Injustices

I have come to believe that we should legalize or at least decriminalize marijuana use. The way we enforce marijuana laws is unconscionable.

Posted on Jan 8, 2014 READ MORE



Prison (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Louisiana’s Incarceration Is a Private Business

Louisiana has assailed its residents to a level unequal to any other state, entering the new year with another signature No. 1 ranking in lockups. It has created a system more efficient and despondent than state run prisons or regular privatization. The costs are low, profits high and human life is a commodity that allows the market to keep growing.

Posted on Jan 4, 2014 READ MORE


A Visit From St. Nick

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Posted on Dec 15, 2013 READ MORE


A More Benevolent Nation?

Tired of gloom and ceaseless talk of American decline? Me too. So let’s celebrate an important way in which the United States has become stronger—and a genuinely kinder and gentler nation.

Posted on Nov 17, 2013 READ MORE



Truthout.org (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Our National Crime: Life Sentences for Low-Grade, Nonviolent Offenses

Nearly 3,300 people around the country—about two-thirds of them black—are serving prison sentences for nonviolent crimes. And four of five were drug-related. In a new report, the ACLU explores the human cost of policy failure.

Posted on Nov 13, 2013 READ MORE



Police Brutality, Mental Illness and ‘The Memphis Model’

Elsa Cruz filed a federal lawsuit in New York this week, months after police shot her husband dead.

Posted on Oct 23, 2013 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Iran Has to Decide Whether to Hang a Man—for the Second Time

A convicted drug smuggler was pronounced dead after hanging from the gallows for 12 minutes, but his family discovered in the morgue that he was still breathing.

Posted on Oct 22, 2013 READ MORE



Illustration by Mr. Fish

The Origins of Our Police State

The unleashing of police on poor people of color in the “war on drugs” is the first step in the rise of totalitarianism.

Posted on Sep 16, 2013 READ MORE



MDCarchives (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Crime Writer Elmore Leonard Dies at 87

Along with his literary contributions, the author’s crime thrillers became part of the American cultural conversation through screen adaptations of several of his stories. He died Tuesday at his home in Michigan at age 87.

Posted on Aug 20, 2013 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Arbitrary, and Uncalled For

For all who believe in colorblind justice—and want to see fewer African-American and Hispanic men caught up in the system—there are two items of good news.

Posted on Aug 19, 2013 READ MORE



Stop-and-Frisk: The World According to Questlove

Hip-hop hit a milestone this week, turning 40 years old. The same week, Federal District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin, in a 195-page ruling, declared the New York Police Department’s practice of stop-and-frisk unconstitutional.

Posted on Aug 16, 2013 READ MORE



AP/Steve Miller

America’s Disappeared

The poor routinely vanish from city streets after encounters with police. They are swallowed up by jails and prisons for weeks, months or years for offenses often trivial or invented. These disruptions of lives have destroyed cohesion in urban communities, which live in heightened states of fear and troubling unrest.

Posted on Aug 12, 2013 READ MORE


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