Criminal Justice

David Kao’s Murder Shows Anti-Asian Hate Crimes are Real

by Guest Columnist on June 17 2009, 6:07AM

by Christina Chen Four teens were charged last Thursday with the strangling death of 49 year old Chinese account executive David Kao, in Flushing, New York. Under questioning the teens, aged 16 and 17, confessed to dragging, choking, and beating…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Drug Policy is a Race and Poverty Issue — Let’s Push for Action

by Channing Kennedy on June 15 2009, 4:11PM

Ethan Nadelmann, director of Drug Policy Alliance, addressed the America’s Future Now conference last week, calling for broader and stronger involvement by progressives against draconian drug laws that disproportionately affect communities of color. From his remarks: The issue of race…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Why Deport Formerly Incarcerated Immigrants? Is the System Broken?

by on June 15 2009, 11:32AM

ColorLines magazine is in Jamaica this week investigating the devastating effect of American deportation policies on families. Check back for more updates soon. Christopher Johnson, 38, was deported from Washington, DC to Jamaica six weeks ago, after he finished…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Immigration

Hope in the Hopelessness of Deportation

by Julianne Hing on June 14 2009, 10:12AM

ColorLines magazine is in Jamaica this week investigating the devastating effect of American deportation policies on families. Check back for more updates soon. We’ve talked with a lot of deportees in Kingston since we arrived earlier this week. Even for…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Immigration

Drop Your Gun and Pick Up a Camera for Oscar Grant

by Tracy Kronzak on June 4 2009, 11:59AM

Guns are so 20th Century. I don’t feel safer thinking about carrying one. Nor do I feel safer in a society where everyone is encouraged to carry one to, you know, prevent crime. Why am I saying this? I’ve been…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Taking the sixth

by Michelle Chen on June 2 2009, 6:28PM

Prosecutors can thank the Supreme Court for making their job a bit easier, in a ruling that expands police authority to interrogate a suspect who does not have legal representation present. In Montejo v. State of Louisiana, Jesse Montejo…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Downsizing prisons

by Michelle Chen on June 1 2009, 2:04PM

For poor and distressed neighborhoods, the recession is the latest in a cascade of troubles. Yet state budget woes are also eating away at an institution that has historically contributed to the problems endemic in many communities of color….

Topics: Criminal Justice

The gang aptitude test

by Michelle Chen on May 25 2009, 4:50PM

Pop quiz: Do any of the following describe you? I try to be nice to other people because I care about their feelings. I get very angry and “lose my temper” (yell or get mad). I do as I…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Politics

Justice for Troy Davis

by Yvonne Yen Liu on May 19 2009, 12:14PM

Troy Davis was convicted of killing a police officer in Savannah, Georgia nearly two decades ago. He sits on death row waiting for execution tonight, even though evidence points to his innocence. Seven out of the nine witnesses have recanted…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Case closed

by Michelle Chen on May 18 2009, 3:37PM

When prosecutors are hell bent on scoring a conviction, some will go to any length to make their case. In an article profiling two men with convictions who believe DNA evidence will exonerate them, the New York Times reports…

Topics: Criminal Justice

“Arbitrary in Its Application?” Not Exactly.

by Guest Columnist on May 12 2009, 10:51AM

by Andrew Grant-Thomas This past Saturday I moderated a panel called “Perspectives on Ohio’s Death Penalty” at the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University. Here’re some takeaways. Don’t kill a white person, don’t kill a woman, and…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Family-friendly corrections

by Michelle Chen on May 11 2009, 10:22PM

Many imprisoned women spent this past Sunday alone, cut off from their communities, maybe wondering anxiously about children left in the care of relatives or a stranger’s foster home. But some passed a more conventional version of Mother’s Day…

Topics: Criminal Justice

the news You Haven’t Heard from New Haven

by Guest Columnist on May 11 2009, 10:28AM

by Andrew Grant-Thomas Most Racewire readers know about Ricci v. DeStefano, a case filed by white firefighters in New Haven, CT, my home town, after the City invalidated the results of a test that would have promoted 15 whites, one…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Putting the kids away

by Michelle Chen on May 7 2009, 10:32PM

Compared to children in other countries with similar resources, America’s youth tend to be a mediocre bunch in rankings of education, infant survival and overall well-being. But the United States has earned one major distinction in how it treats…

Topics: Criminal Justice


by Julianne Hing on May 6 2009, 12:00PM

News to make you doubt your sanity or at least start a petition.

Topics: Criminal Justice


by Julianne Hing on May 6 2009, 12:00PM

The good (and sometimes great) things people of color and their allies made happen.

Topics: Criminal Justice

“It wasn’t their priority”

by Michelle Chen on May 4 2009, 6:15PM

We may never know their true motivations, but according to a jury in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, whatever drove a group of teens to beat a Mexican immigrant to death last year, “ethnic intimidation” apparently had nothing to do with…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Immigration

Crack, powder and kicking butt in drug policy

by Michelle Chen on April 29 2009, 5:31PM

After years of frustration under Reagan-era drug laws, a Senate subcommittee hearing today parsed the fine line between crack and powder. The notorious 100-to-1 gap between sentencing policies for powder and crack cocaine is a linchpin of the mandatory-sentencing…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Politics

Take Action to End Racial Disparities in Drug Sentencing

by Terry Keleher on April 23 2009, 1:36PM

cartoon: Khalil Bendib Today is National Call-In Day in a month-long “Crack the Disparity” campaign to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder campaign. The Sentencing Project is mobilizing thousands of people across the country to phone their…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Priced out of justice

by Michelle Chen on April 15 2009, 4:50PM

If you’re accused of a crime, you have a right to a competent lawyer. That’s what the Constitution says, anyway. The Sixth Amendment plays out differently when you’re standing before a judge and your court-appointed counsel is dozing off…

Topics: Criminal Justice