Colorlines

Criminal Justice

BART Cop Mehserle's Defense: Push Race to the Sidelines

BART Cop Mehserle’s Defense: Push Race to the Sidelines

by Julianne Hing on June 7 2010, 12:47PM

Judge Robert Perry will rule soon on two motions filed by Mehserle’s attorney Michael Rains, who is trying to keep jurors from hearing about an exchange between another BART cop and Oscar Grant minutes before Mehserle shot 22-year-old Grant

Topics: Criminal Justice, Oscar Grant Trial

Oscar Grant Jurors Asked, Can You Overlook Race?

Oscar Grant Jurors Asked, Can You Overlook Race?

by Julianne Hing on June 4 2010, 9:53AM

A selection of 200 potential jurors for the trial of former BART officer Johannes Mehserle were interviewed for this week and asked to fill out a 14-page survey asking them about their attitudes on race and police.

Topics: Criminal Justice, Oscar Grant Trial

Aiyana Jones: Autopsy Released, Police Under Fire

by Jamilah King on June 3 2010, 2:13PM

Less than three weeks after the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones by Detroit police, attorneys for the girl’s family are alleging an attempted cover-up while the department faces increased scrutiny over what residents call its overly aggressive tactics. Geoffrey…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Report: Prosecutors Trained To Keep Juries White

by Jamilah King on June 3 2010, 12:12PM

A new report by the Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based civil rights organization, revealed that 135 years after race-based jury selection was barred by federal courts, people of color are still illegally kept from serving on them. The report examined…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Judge Not: NJ Gov. Christie Ousts Lone Black Justice

by Michelle Chen on June 3 2010, 10:35AM

New Jersey’s new governor is zealously spreading a conservative agenda across his state, all the way up to the courthouse door. Gov. Chris Christie has sparked outrage in his decision not to reappoint the one Black judge of the state…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Politics

Supreme Court on Miranda: Suspects Must Speak Up to Stay Quiet

by Julianne Hing on June 1 2010, 4:45PM

The Supreme Court issued a decision today that a criminal suspect must explicitly tell the law enforcement officers they are going to invoke their Miranda rights during a police investigation. If they speak up to say anything else, police…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Oscar Grant Murder Trial Kicks Off In L.A.

Oscar Grant Murder Trial Kicks Off In L.A.

by Julianne Hing on June 1 2010, 1:10PM

It’s been exactly a year and a half since Oscar Grant was shot in the back while he lay face down on a train platform by former BART cop Johannes Mehserle. Today, Mehserle faces his last pre-trial hearing.

Topics: Criminal Justice, Oscar Grant Trial

Crime, Punishment and Black Politics

by Katti Gray on May 28 2010, 12:00PM

Political leaders and thinkers increasingly identify criminal justice as a defining civil rights concern. But as the reaction to Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ killing suggests, that’s not always an easy sell in Black neighborhoods.

Topics: Criminal Justice

5 Ways to Channel Your Aiyana Outrage

5 Ways to Channel Your Aiyana Outrage

by Jamilah King on May 27 2010, 12:00PM

You’ve ranted on Facebook. You’ve flamed on Twitter. What else can you do when cops shoot a 7-year-old girl? Well, we’ve got some ideas.

Topics: Criminal Justice

Aiyana Stanley-Jones and Our Confused, Grieving Hearts

Aiyana Stanley-Jones and Our Confused, Grieving Hearts

by Akiba Solomon on May 25 2010, 12:00PM

Dueling Facebook pages reveal the conflicted emotions stirred when Detroit police shot a 7-year-old girl while investigating a 17-year-old boy’s murder.

Topics: Criminal Justice

States Can’t Lock Up Kids For Life, Says Supreme Court

by Kai Wright on May 18 2010, 10:46AM

The Supreme Court reined in juvenile imprisonment yesterday with a ruling that restricts states from locking up minors for life without parole for non-homicide convictions. The ruling expands on a 2005 decision that barred states from executing minors. CNN quotes…

Topics: Criminal Justice

The Long Rap Sheet of New Orleans Cops

by Jordan Flaherty on May 13 2010, 12:00PM

As the Justice Department considers overhauling the city’s law enforcement, it will have to round up more than a few post-Katrina rogues. Even the coroner’s got a past.

Topics: Criminal Justice

The Softer Side of Hate Crime?

by Michelle Chen on April 30 2010, 11:03AM

When should a teenage killer be viewed with sympathy? The New York Times broached that issue yesterday with a long profile of Jeffrey Conroy, recently convicted in the case of the stabbing death of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero. While press…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Fresno Cops Involved in Repeat Shootings Still on Duty

Fresno Cops Involved in Repeat Shootings Still on Duty

by Ali Winston on April 26 2010, 12:00PM

Our joint investigation with The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund finds that 25 police officers remain on active duty despite mutliple incidents of violence against civilians.

Topics: Criminal Justice

Daytime Curfew Laws Criminalize Youth, Don’t Fight The Crime They Say They Will

by Julianne Hing on April 7 2010, 3:09PM

The city council of Richmond, California, unanimously passed a daytime curfew law yesterday in an effort to curb truancy and crime that’s being associated with teens. The ordinance makes it illegal for any young person to be out in…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Crack Sentencing Bill Passes Senate, Offers Lessons in Political Compromises

by Julianne Hing on March 24 2010, 4:51PM

Last week the Senate unanimously passed legislation that would reduce the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin would repeal mandatory sentences for simple possession of cocaine, and bring…

Topics: Criminal Justice

One in Four Black Men in Kentucky Can’t Vote, But DRA Could Change That

by Julianne Hing on March 18 2010, 4:30PM

Those are the stats from the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, which released its report on the state of Black folks there last month. Kentucky’s got the special distinction as being one of two states that bars people with past…

Topics: Criminal Justice

The Morning Browse: Big Stuff in Today’s News

by Kai Wright on March 16 2010, 6:25AM

The evil ad wizards who brought us Willie Horton are tying Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid to Dubai “slave labor,” which they in turn equate with union labor in Nevada. MoJo’s Stephanie Mencimer reports. The FCC’s releasing it’s National…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Economy, Health, Politics, Race and Recession

Fighting for Their Lives

by Leticia Miranda on March 15 2010, 12:00PM

The Supreme Court considers whether it’s cruel and unusual punishment to lock up teenagers for life without parole.

Topics: Criminal Justice

Could Facebook Save
His Life?

by Leticia Miranda on March 15 2010, 12:00PM

Efrén Paredes Jr. has been serving a life sentence without parole since he was a teenager. Now, he and his community take his case online.

Topics: Criminal Justice