27 Aug 2015

Charges Dropped For Cop Who Fatally Shot Sleeping 7-Year-Old Girl

In all of the melee resulting from the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson, the media has overlooked a number of other very important shootings of unarmed civilians by police officers. One of the most egregious offenses is that of Officer Joseph Weekley’s fatal shooting of 7-year-old Aiyana

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26 Mar 2014

Five police officers brutally kicked and beat an unconscious suspect

Five police officers brutally kicked and beat an unconscious suspect after a high-speed chase through Birmingham, Alabama, in an incident caught on camera and discovered a year later. The five officers have been fired, Mayor Larry Langford said at a news conference Wednesday. An internal inquiry is continuing. The dashboard-cam

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15 Jan 2014

Juvenile Injustice

Step by step, the Supreme Court has been trying to reshape the way the American criminal justice system deals with those under the age of 18. In Miller v. Alabama this June, it ruled that a mandatory life sentence without parole for a juvenile is cruel and unusual punishment, even

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15 Jan 2014

Florida woman wins new trial

No one was injured in the shooting but because Alexander fired a gun in the incident, Florida’s mandatory-minimum sentencing guidelines required the judge to sentence her to 20 years in prison. The case of Alexander, who is black, drew criticism from civil rights groups concerned about self-defense laws and mandatory

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15 Jan 2014

The percentage of African-Americans in prison

One hundred and fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation, the progress made by African-Americans is undeniable–which is why statistics about incarceration in the black community can be so shocking. In 2011 there were more African-Americans in prison or “under the watch” of the justice system than were enslaved in the

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25 Aug 2013

Justice for Ricardo Harris

I was alerted to this story by this FaceBook page. I was immediately struck by the similarities between this case, and that of innocent Deaf prisoner, Felix Garcia – whom we’ve been working on freeing for the past year and a half, and Pat Bliss has struggled with for for

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25 Jul 2013

Who Polices Prosecutors Who Abuse Their Authority? Usually Nobody

The murder case against Tony Bennett seemed pretty straightforward. Shortly before midnight on May 7, 1994, police found a 26-year-old man in the foyer of an apartment building near Flushing, Queens. Jake Powell was near death, blood pouring from a gunshot wound, but he managed to speak the name of

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25 Jul 2013

When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive

Her name was Isis Charm Vas and at 6 months old she was a slight child — fifth percentile in height and weight. When the ambulance sped her to Northwest Texas Hospital on a Saturday morning in October 2000, doctors and nurses feared that someone had done something awful to

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25 Jul 2013

Wrongful Convictions

In 1991, an unemployed printer named David Ranta was convicted of killing a Hasidic rabbi in Brooklyn. Last week, Ranta was released from the maximum-security prison in which he’d spent nearly 22 years, after almost every piece of evidence used to convict him fell away. The New York Times reported

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24 Jul 2013

20 years in Prison for trying to Save her Life

Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband. Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law to derail the

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