Monday November 23, 2020

PM Stories

Legal Experts and Prosecutors Push for Nationwide Criminal Justice Reforms Cameron Langford, Courthouse News

Kamala Harris and the Noble Path of the Prosecutor Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker

2020 vote saw pro-reform prosecutors win. Now they need to fix mistakes by their predecessors. Miriam Aroni Krinsky and Barry Scheck, NBC News

2nd Look Law Needed To Fix Broken Criminal Justice System Sarah Martinson, Law360

It’s time to acknowledge that long prison terms do not prevent violence Marc Schindler and Ryan King, The Hill

America Is Letting the Coronavirus Rage Through Prisons Editorial Board, New York Times

Texas must do more to keep prisoners from dying Editorial Board, Houston Chronicle

“A Living Hell”: Dispatches From a California Prison Amid the Climate and Coronavirus Crises Cyrus Dunham, The Intercept

Where Coronavirus Is Surging – And Electronic Surveillance, Too Eli Hager, The Marshall Project

Community supervision, once intended to help offenders, contributes more to mass incarceration Miriam Aroni Krinsky and Vincent Schiraldi, USA Today

A ‘broken’ parole process: Data shows widened racial bias Edward McKinley and Amanda Fries, Albany Times-Union

California should close 5 prisons to save money after releasing 25,000 inmates, analyst says Wes Venteicher, Sacramento Bee

US Courts Close Doors, Cancel Juries as Virus Surges Madison Alder and Allie Reed, Bloomberg Law

Toronto’s Biggest Mass Killing Case Goes to Trial on Video Catherine Porter, New York Times

‘Longest-serving cannabis offender’ to be released early from 90-year prison sentence Alicia Victoria Lozano, NBC News

An inmate wrote to a famous photographer. Their letters, and friendship, became a collaborative project Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

AM Stories

Kenosha: How two men’s paths crossed in an encounter that has divided the nation Joyce Sohyun Lee, Robert O’Harrow Jr., and Elyse Samuels, Washington Post

Why Police Back Gun Guys Alex Yablon, New Republic

When cops and America’s cherished gun rights clash, cops win Lawrence Hurley, Andrew Chung, and Andrea Januta, Reuters

Chicago police accused in federal lawsuit of brutal attacks on protesters Grace Hauck, USA Today

In 2019, the Portland police Gun Violence team made 1,600 stops. More than half were Black people. Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian

The Mount Vernon Police Tapes: 7 Black Men Allege False Charges Involving Narcotics Detective George Joseph, Gothamist

A Bad Cop’s Best Friend? Michael Hardy, Texas Monthly

Blaming Chicago’s Violence On Bail Reform Is Wrong, A New Study Finds Patrick Smith, WBEZ

With Baltimore close to the 300-homicide mark again, leaders mull new approaches amid some signs of improvement Phil Davis and Phillip Jackson, Baltimore Sun

The BREATHE Act Is the Modern-Day Civil Rights Legislation We Need Patrisse Cullors, Teen Vogue

California Police Groups Back Requiring College Classes For Recruits As Lawmakers Seek Reforms CBS Bay Area

George Floyd’s death traumatized Susan Kelechi Watson. So she made her grief into art Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times

Bringing Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me to Life Dan Schindel, Hyperallergic

Review: Open Chat Windows and Closed Cases in ‘Citizen Detective’ Alexis Soloski, New York Times

Crime Story Daily Highlights – Week 67

This is a curated selection of highlights from Crime Story Daily this week.

On the criminal justice policy front: Prison Policy Initiative highlights the “promise – and peril” of Biden’s criminal justice reform platform. As he prepares to translate proposals into policy, the piece outlines possible paths forward – and potential pitfalls – on some of Biden’s loftiest criminal justice reform goals, from reducing the prison population to expanding funding for reentry, addiction and mental health treatment, and community-based alternatives to incarceration. A piece from HuffPost focuses on Los Angeles, a city with a progressive reputation but a history of being surprisingly tough on crime. Although various law enforcement unions poured nearly $10 million into LA County’s criminal justice-related races this election cycle, anti-carceral candidates and policies won across the board – victories that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago. The outcome, activists say, is the result of grassroots organizing by Black Lives Matter and allied groups who have worked tirelessly for years to mobilize the community around racial justice demands. And a piece from the American Prospect also focuses on Los Angeles and BLM as “electoral powerhouse,” highlighting the successful messaging, fundraising, and voter education efforts that contributed to both the ouster of DA Jackie Lacey and the passage of Measure J, the “first truly successful attempt at comprehensive police-funding reform in the nation.”

In muckraker/watchdog reporting: USA Today reports from FCI Oakdale in central Louisiana, where eight inmates died last spring in one of the earliest and most lethal coronavirus outbreaks in the federal BOP. A review by the Justice Department’s inspector general, published earlier this week, found that prison officials failed to isolate inmates who tested positive for the virus and did not inform staff who were interacting with sick inmates. Some inmates who tested positive were left in their housing units for up to six days without being isolated, and staff who supervised them were not given proper PPE. As of this week, some 3,300 federal inmates are currently infected with COVID-19, while nearly 18,000 more across the federal system have recovered. And Reuters takes a deep dive into one American city’s struggle to police its police. Joseph Ferrigno, a white police officer in Rochester, New York, already had a long history of misconduct when he shot an unarmed Black man three times in the back during a traffic stop in 2016. The victim, Silvon Simmons, who woke up in the hospital on a ventilator and unable to speak, was charged with attempted murder. His story, recounted in three parts, is a study in the kinds of police practices and policies that have driven mass protests across the United States – and in the enormous challenges cities face when trying to enact change.  

In complex crime storytelling: A piece from the New Yorker focuses on Vallejo, California, where police kill civilians at the second-highest rate of any city in the country – and where officers who use deadly force are more often rewarded with promotions than held accountable. Vallejo cops have terrorized the community for decades, costing local taxpayers tens of millions in legal settlements, while the powerful union that represents them has all but taken over the city government, crushing any effort at reform. Now, elected officials say they’ve finally had enough and have moved to rein in the police. And two pieces from The Marshall Project center on the myth of the “superpredator.” The first explores the origins, impact, and enduring legacy of the term, which was coined 25 years ago this month to describe teenagers prone to violent crime who would soon take over the streets. There was never any factual basis for the term – by the mid-90s, juvenile arrests for murder, and juvenile crime in general, had already started to fall – but as fodder for fearmongering campaign speeches and headline-grabbing magazine features, “superpredator” was a tragic success – with an enormous, and lasting, human tool. The second piece focuses on the case of Derrick Hardaway, who, at the age of 14, took part in the gang-related murder of an 11-year-old boy. The crime occurred in the mid-90s, at the height of “superpredator” hysteria; the three boys involved, all of whom were Black, became exhibits in the sensational media myth of the remorseless, incorrigible teen killer. Hardaway was tried as an adult and sentenced to 45 years in prison, 20 of which he served before his release in 2016.

And in culture/true crime: The New York Times reviews “Crazy, Not Insane,” HBO’s Alex Gibney-directed documentary about the pathology of crime. The film follows Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis, a clinical psychiatrist who has dedicated her career to the study of violent criminals. Through conversations with Dr. Lewis, excepts of her writing, and archival video, including footage of her interviews with notorious serial killer Arthur Shawcross, the film explores the age-old question of why certain people kill – starting with Dr. Lewis’s theory that murderers are made, not born. KQED interviews architect Deanna Van Buren, co-founder of the Oakland-based nonprofit firm Designing Justice, which works to “end mass incarceration by building infrastructure that addresses its root causes: poverty, racism, unequal access to resources, and the criminal justice system itself.” And Hyperallergic highlights Barring Freedom, a traveling art exhibition and online event series about prisons, policing, and justice. Organized around the theme of “Visualizing Abolition,” the project aims to “challenge the dominant ways people see and understand the complex nexus of policing, surveillance, detention, and imprisonment that makes up the nation’s prison industrial complex.”

Friday November 20, 2020

PM Stories

Superpredator: The Media Myth That Demonized a Generation of Black Youth Carroll Bogert and Lynnell Hancock, The Marshall Project

I Wasn’t a Superpredator. I Was a Kid Who Made a Terrible Decision. Derrick Hardaway with Carroll Bogert, The Marshall Project

Pasco’s sheriff uses grades and abuse histories to label schoolchildren potential criminals. The kids and their parents don’t know. Neil Bedi and Kathleen McGrory, Tampa Bay Times

Two Juvenile Court judge runoffs in New Orleans to influence criminal justice system Matt Sledge,

The Supreme Court Faces a Matter of Life and Death Matt Ford, New Republic

Tennessee Must Fix System Allowing for Execution of Intellectually Disabled Defendant Daniel Kiel, Bloomberg Law

Op-ed: I helped put Brandon Bernard on federal death row. I now think he should live. Angela Moore, Indianapolis Star

The cruelty of parole in New York Darcel Clark, Eric Gonzalez, and Cy Vance, New York Daily News

‘Why are we suffering if he’s innocent until proven guilty?’ Cash bail in the COVID era Kelan Lyons, Connecticut Mirror

Few inmates considered eligible for early ‘compassionate release’ even as COVID-19 flares up in prison Michelle Rindels, Nevada Independent

Cuyahoga County Jail stops accepting new inmates charged with most misdemeanors to prevent ‘explosion’ of coronavirus cases amid historic surge Cory Shaffer,

Judge halts federal execution after lawyers contract virus Michael Balsamo, AP News

State prisons failing on mental health, according to federal investigators Chris Lisinski, Quincy Patriot Ledger

‘They were not born evil’: inside a troubling film on why people kill Adrian Horton, The Guardian

AM Stories

DOJ’s Watchdog Knocks Department On Lax Police Oversight, Urges ‘Swift’ Federal Action Ryan J. Reilly, HuffPost

DOJ ‘Cut Back’ on Tools to Fix Policing, Inspector General Finds Dan Glaun, PBS

Portland police report 6,283 uses of force during protests in 2020, but data has significant gaps Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian

Key to reforming US policing rests with state legislatures Reade Levinson and Lisa Girion, Reuters

Cities, States Prevail in Early Legal Clashes With Police Unions Ian Kullgren and Robert Iafolla, Bloomberg Law

Why Charges Against Protesters Are Being Dismissed by the Thousands Neil MacFarquhar, New York Times

Atlanta mayor vows ‘top to bottom review’ of policing ABC News

Police reform: California DAs who get police union money could be barred from misconduct investigations Nico Savidge, San Jose Mercury News

SF supe readies measure to make police-union bargaining public Megan Cassidy, San Francisco Chronicle

Texas Lawmakers File ‘George Floyd’ Bill To Ban Chokeholds Amid Calls For Nationwide Police Reform Florian Martin and Andrew Schneider, Houston Public Media

Gov. Abbott is sending state police to help combat violent crime in Dallas. A similar effort last year proved controversial. Jolie McCullough, Texas Tribune

Decades before Black Lives Matter, Bonita Carter changed Alabama forever John Archibald and Roy S. Johnson,

An improbable journalist’s crusade against police impunity George F. Will, Washington Post

Thursday November 19, 2020

PM Stories

Americans Are Getting Tired of Willie Horton-Style Fearmongering Jay Willis, The Appeal

California prison guards’ union spent big and lost with tough-on-crime message Wes Venteicher, Sacramento Bee

Biden Once Championed the Death Penalty. Now He Wants to Stop Trump’s Execution Spree. Nathalie Baptiste, Mother Jones

Trump Presses Forward With Execution of Man Convicted by All-White Jury Liliana Segura, The Intercept

Executing Lisa Montgomery Would Be One of Trump’s Final Cruelties Victoria Law, The Nation

“They’re Praying Nobody Dies”: 240 Prisoners Sick With COVID Inside Fort Dix Prison Karen Yi, Gothamist

‘It Was Hell’: Inside an Oklahoma Prison Coronavirus Outbreak Keaton Ross, Oklahoma Watch

Lawmakers Push DOC To Reduce Prisoners, Increase Testing Amid Pandemic Deborah Becker, WBUR

Md. governor signs executive order to allow early release for prisoners to slow the spread of coronavirus Ovetta Wiggins, Washington Post

Top Prosecutors Call for ‘Downsized, Less Punitive’ Probation and Parole The Crime Report

DA-Elect José Garza Taps Reform Advocates for His Team Austin Sanders, Austin Chronicle

King County Council OKs plan to let community groups decide some punishments – not judges Matt Markovich, KOMO

He spent 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he’s running for office. Matt Bloom, KPCC

A Critical View of the Criminal Justice System, Through Artists’ Eyes Emily Wilson, Hyperallergic

This True Crime Podcast Is Giving a Voice to Voiceless Indigenous Crime Victims NBC Boston

AM Stories

Federal prosecutors hold protesters for months pretrial Aaron Miguel Cantú, Reveal

Chicago’s Mayor Turns City’s Infrastructure Into Weapons Against Protesters Maya Dukmasova, The Appeal

Biden Faces Early Test With Immigration and Homeland Security After Trump Zolan Kanno-Youngs, New York Times

Will Biden Dismantle Trump’s Immigration Police State? Ryan Devereaux, The Intercept

New Democratic sheriffs in Georgia and South Carolina have vowed to cut ties with ICE Nicole Narea, Vox

7 Ways Biden Could Go It Alone on Gun Violence Prevention Chip Brownlee, The Trace

‘How Did We Not Know?’ Gun Owners Confront a Suicide Epidemic Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times

One mile in St. Louis: Death comes too often on stretch of North Grand Erin Heffernan and Joel Currier, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Shootings in New York City Nearly Double as Arrests for Serious Crimes Fall Ben Chapman, Wall Street Journal

Denver police solved less than half of all nonfatal shootings last year. A new solution is showing promise. Elise Schmelzer, Denver Post

Chicago considers changes to emergency mental-health response as recent police cases highlight the issue Annie Sweeney and Jeremy Gorner, Chicago Tribune

LAPD Bars Use of Unauthorized Facial Recognition Platforms City News Service

‘Live PD’ is canceled, but spin-off show raises legal concerns in Miami criminal court David Ovalle, Miami Herald

“If I Wrote a Cop Show”: Issa Rae, Ramy Youssef and More TV Bosses Share How They’d Address the Moment Michael O’Connell, Hollywood Reporter

Wednesday November 18, 2020

PM Stories

1 federal prison, 8 deaths: Report details COVID-19’s early march through the system Kevin Johnson, USA Today

Federal prison didn’t isolate inmates who tested positive for coronavirus, report finds Clare Hymes, CBS News

Justice Department Finds Constitutional Violations in Massachusetts Prisons Wall Street Journal

Force Use Against Inmates Reached Record as COVID Hit New York City Reuven Blau and Eileen Grench, The City

‘We know that they see us’: Why a 58-day vigil is going on outside NC governor’s house Sophie Kasakove, Greensboro News & Record

Report on death of Black inmate who pleaded for help rips corrections, health care provider Alan J. Keays, VT Digger

A referendum on criminal justice reform Daniel R. Alonso, New York Daily News

Pretrial Justice Reforms Do Not Reduce Public Safety, Report Confirms Rory Fleming, Filter Magazine

New Arizona law prompts Pima County prosecutors to drop some marijuana cases Carol Ann Alaimo,

108 Convictions Tied to Massachusetts Chemist’s Misconduct May Be Vacated Concepción de León, New York Times

Law, Prison, and Double-Double Consciousness: A Phenomenological View of the Black Prisoner’s Experience James Davis III, Yale Law Journal

‘Crazy, Not Insane’ Review: Inside the Criminal Mind Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times

Why Sean Ellis agreed to be the subject of Netflix’s ‘Trial 4’ – and what’s next for his case Christopher Gavin,

How ‘The Undoing’ Opened Director Susanne Bier’s Eyes to the American Justice System Danielle Turchiano, Variety

Miss USA Asya Branch wants to use her crown to fight for prison reform Zoe Christen Jones, CBS News

AM Stories

Will Trump Burn the Evidence? Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

Trump abused the clemency power. Will Biden reform it? Rachel E. Barkow and Mark Osler, Washington Post

We voted out racist rhetoric. Now we need to end the white supremacist terror threat. Erroll G. Southers, USA Today

Inside Black Lives Matter’s push for power Maya King, Politico

Black Lives Matter as Electoral Powerhouse Erin Aubry Kaplan, American Prospect

Police Unions Spent Millions To Beat Back Reform In Los Angeles. They Lost Big Time. Jessica Schulberg, HuffPost

Shots in the Dark: An American city’s struggle to police its police Lisa Girion and Reade Levinson, Reuters

How a Deadly Police Force Ruled a City Shane Bauer, The New Yorker

Police Killed Her Son in 2018. It Took Until 2020 for an Outcry. Brentin Mock, Bloomberg CityLab

Family sues Texas county for wrongful death of Black man during ‘Live PD’ production Doha Madani, NBC News

Baltimore expected to pay $8 million to settle Gun Trace Task Force lawsuit Justin Fenton, Washington Post

Prosecutor Drops Dubious Confederate Statue Cases As Portsmouth Fires Police Chief Ryan J. Reilly, HuffPost

Portland Police Have Used Force Against Protesters More Than 6,000 Times in 2020 Alex Zielinski, Portland Mercury

Tuesday November 17, 2020

PM Stories

The promise – and peril – of Biden’s criminal justice reform platform Wanda Bertram, Prison Policy Initiative

Think Private Prison Companies Are Going Away Under Biden? They Have Other Plans Jamiles Lartey, The Marshall Project

Los Angeles County District Attorney-Elect Promises Progressive Criminal Justice Reform Tonya Mosley and Samantha Raphelson, WBUR

Editorial: Time for LA County to go its own way on bail Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times

Monique Worrell’s win in Orlando part of national wave of progressive prosecutors Monivette Cordeiro, Orlando Sentinel

Drug decriminalization advocate praises new Oregon law as ‘huge knock’ on drug war The Hill

Judge orders revamp of Missouri’s ‘unconstitutional’ parole system Kurt Erickson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Apps Are Now Putting the Parole Agent in Your Pocket Sidney Fussell, Wired

Many in criminal justice system need mental health treatment, but resources are strained Fleming Smith, Charleston Post and Courier

Supreme Court denies request from geriatric prisoners seeking COVID relief Ariane de Vogue, CNN

ICE arrests during COVID-19 pandemic spells trouble for third wave Abdullah Shihipar, William Goedel, and Sophia Gurulé, Business Insider

Public Defenders In DC Say The US Parole Commission Is Keeping Too Many People Jailed During The Pandemic Jenny Gathright, DCist

Cook County Jail halts in-person visits because of COVID-19 Chicago Tribune

Death row inmate’s lawyers suffering from coronavirus, seek delay in execution Ann E. Marimow and Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post

AM Stories

A Watchdog Accused Officers of Serious Misconduct. Few Were Punished. Ashley Southall, Ali Watkins, and Blacki Migliozzi, New York Times

New York’s Finest? Ali Winston, New York Review

3rd Breonna Taylor grand juror: Officers ‘got slap on the wrist’ Dylan Lovan, Louisville Courier Journal

Hate Crimes in US Rose to Highest Level in More Than a Decade in 2019 Tim Arango, New York Times

Minneapolis violence surges as police officers leave department in droves Holly Bailey, Washington Post

New Orleans police face $16 million budget cut amid increase in violent crime Ramon Antonio Vargas,

Wounded St. Louis seeks answers as groups try to stem violence Robert Patrick and Rachel Rice, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Editorial: Reducing crime in Chicago: Instead of jail and a record, a second chance Editorial Board, Chicago Tribune

Could crisis intervention teams be the key to police reform? Gregg Bernstein and Lydia Watts, Baltimore Sun

NYC Pilot Tries Mental Health Responders in Place of Police Fola Akinnibi, Bloomberg CityLab

Violent Crime Rates Declined in 10 Jurisdictions Following Comprehensive Police Reform Kenny Lo and Sarah Figgatt, Center for American Progress

‘I Want Them to See That Someone Cares About Them’ J. Brian Charles, The Trace

Monday November 16, 2020

PM Stories

Fewer Americans Call for Tougher Criminal Justice System Megan Brenan, Gallup

After California restores felon voting rights, activists see growing national trend Natalia Abrahams, NBC News

The Widening Rural-Urban Divide in Criminal Justice Marc Levin, The Crime Report

The COVID-19 Outbreak In Mass. Prisons Exposes A Larger Human Rights Crisis Sarah Laughlin, WBUR

Lori Loughlin’s Dublin prison faces ‘dangerous’ COVID-19 outbreak Martha Ross, San Jose Mercury News

At Least 231 People Have Died In Texas Jails And Prisons From COVID-19, Study Finds Lulu Garcia-Navarro, NPR

Incarcerated Texans enlisted to work in county morgue as COVID-19 deaths overwhelm El Paso Alana Rocha, Texas Tribune

Harris County Jail keeps COVID-19 tamped down, but anxiety remains Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle

ACLU, DOC Sign Agreement For How To Treat Prisoners During The Pandemic Allison Sherry, Colorado Public Radio

Illinois Could Drastically Reduce Its Prison Population Without Seeing Crime Increase, New Report Says Patrick Smith, WBEZ

Seattle’s New Theory of Crime Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

Only One Prosecutor Has Ever Been Jailed for Misconduct Leading to a Wrongful Conviction Innocence Project

Grandfather serving 505-year sentence ordered to be released ‘without delay’ Scott Glover, CNN

Tennessee man freed after nearly 15 years in prison for wrongful murder conviction Stefan Sykes, NBC News

Essential Work: Designing the End to Mass Incarceration Pendarvis Harshaw, KQED

AM Stories

After a summer of protest, Americans voted for policing and criminal justice reform Mark Berman and Tom Jackman, Washington Post

Police reform was a big winner this election Rachel Ramirez, Vox

Will Biden Satisfy Black Activists on Police Reform? The Crime Report

‘This is a blank canvas’: Creating Philly’s new Citizens Police Oversight Commission Aaron Moselle, WHYY

Dallas Police Department To Implement Tracking System Aimed At Identifying Potential Officer Misconduct Caroline Vandergriff, CBS DFW

Police departments still want new military equipment despite calls to ‘defund’ them Hayes Brown, MSNBC

Another protester files suit over APD’s use of ‘less-lethal’ rounds. That’s the second this week. Andrew Weber, Austin Monitor

‘What Happened in Austin’: Lawyers Expect ‘Tsunami of Injury Cases’ After Black Lives Matter Protests Angela Morris, Texas Lawyer

Baltimore expected to pay $8 million to settle Gun Trace Task Force lawsuit, eclipsing amount in Freddie Gray case Justin Fenton, Baltimore Sun

How police handled a DC stabbing is yet another sign of how law enforcement favors extremist group Proud Boys Will Carless, USA Today

Police dramas like ‘Law & Order: SVU’ are ‘comfort TV’ for many. We should unpack why. Sage Young, NBC News

How TV’s Top Cop Shows Are Changing Their Approach to Law & Order Ileane Rudolph, TV Insider

Crime Story Daily Highlights – Week 66

This is a curated selection of highlights from Crime Story Daily this week.

On the criminal justice policy front: A piece from The Marshall Project examines the future of criminal justice under President Joe Biden. Biden ran on the most progressive criminal justice platform of any major party candidate in generations, promising to end private prisons, cash bail, mandatory-minimum sentencing, and the death penalty. The piece outlines possible paths forward for the Biden administration on a range of criminal justice issues, from police and bail reform to immigration detention. Pieces from the New York Times and Bloomberg CityLab explore the impacts of this summer’s social unrest on the election. While Republicans’ law-and-order messaging and the rhetoric of “defund the police” may have cost Democrats in some down-ballot races, concerns about racism and police brutality also galvanized the Black, urban voters whose turnout proved critical to Biden’s win. And a piece from the New Yorker focuses on LA, where, for the last three years, Black Lives Matter activists and families of people killed by the police have gathered outside the Hall of Justice every Wednesday to protest. But last Wednesday, the day after the election, the street was a site of celebration: DA Jackie Lacey had been voted out.

In muckraker/watchdog reporting: A piece from The Marshall Project focuses on state judicial elections, where “law and order” still reigns supreme. Even after a summer of mass protests about racism in the criminal justice system, this year’s nationwide crop of state supreme court races looked much like they always have: “expensive, dark-money-filled contests between political groups trying to prove their candidate is the most merciless toward violent criminals.” And there’s evidence that these “tough-on-crime” messages trickle down into judges’ behavior on the bench: a 2015 analysis showed that the more frequently television ads air during an election, the less likely state supreme court justices are, on average, to rule in favor of criminal defendants. And Vice goes inside FCI Fort Dix, a low-security men’s prison in central New Jersey and now ground zero of the most severe coronavirus outbreak in the federal BOP. With almost 250 active cases among inmates and staff, prisoners describe Fort Dix as a “war zone,” where quarantine rules go unenforced and medical care is hard to come by. The outbreak has been traced back to the BOP itself, which, at the end of September, transferred nearly 300 prisoners to Fort Dix from Elkton, Ohio. 17 of the transferred men later tested positive, effectively creating a new outbreak at a prison that had gone months without detecting an infection. Advocates say that nine months into the pandemic, the BOP still hasn’t learned from past mistakes – and, by ramping up transfers between institutions in the midst of the crisis, undermines its own efforts to contain the spread.

In complex crime storytelling: A piece from ESPN revisits the cold-case murder of Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman Bryan Pata. In 2006, Pata – then 22 and just months away from being selected in the NFL draft – was shot, execution-style, in the parking lot of his apartment complex. Miami-Dade police interviewed over a hundred people in connection with Pata’s death, and the investigation report ran to nearly 200 pages. But more than a decade later, the case remains unsolved. And HuffPost recounts “the tortured life and tragic crime” of Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row. In 2004, Montgomery – a survivor of incest and sex trafficking who suffers from severe mental illness – was sentenced to death for the “especially heinous murder” of a 23-year-old pregnant woman. If her execution goes forward, Montgomery will be the first female federal inmate to be executed in the US in almost 70 years. Her death is scheduled for December 8 – just over a month before the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden, who has pledged to end the federal death penalty.

And in culture/true crime: The New Yorker highlights “Why Would I Dare: The Trial of Crystal Mason,” a new show from Rattlesnake Playwrights Theater. “Why Would I Dare” is a virtual reenactment of the real-life 2018 trial of Crystal Mason, a Black woman who was prosecuted for voter fraud after she mistakenly registered to vote following a prison term. NPR reviews We Keep the Dead Close, journalist Becky Cooper’s just-published account of a grisly murder at Harvard that took place in 1969 and remained unsolved until two years ago. The Wall Street Journal reviews “Trial 4,” the latest true-crime docuseries from Netflix. The show centers on the story of Sean Ellis, a Black man who spent decades in prison for the murder of a Boston police officer until his conviction was overturned in 2015. And The Ringer speaks with Drakeo the Ruler, the South LA rapper who spent three years in jail on a bizarre, convoluted gang conspiracy charge. In his first interview since his release, Drakeo discusses his case, how prosecutors weaponized his lyrics against him, and his time behind bars at LA’s infamous Men’s Central Jail.

Friday November 13, 2020

PM Stories

COVID-19 still rages in America’s prisons. Here’s how states can save lives behind bars. Jo-Ann Wallace and Tom Inglesby, USA Today

Pandemic’s Deadly Toll Behind Bars Spurs Calls For Change In US Jails And Prisons Eric Westervelt, NPR

80 percent of those who died of COVID-19 in Texas county jails were never convicted of a crime Jerusalem Demsas, Vox

Serious COVID-19 outbreak threatens hundreds at Pa. prison for medically vulnerable Joseph Darius Jaafari, Spotlight PA

El Paso County jail inmates weren’t given masks prior to one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks Elise Schmelzer, Denver Post

California must reduce jail and prison populations to fight COVID-19 – and racism Bruce Western and Emily Wang, Sacramento Bee

After an incarcerated firefighter was nearly killed on the frontlines, California delivered him to ICE Sam Levin, The Guardian

The country’s longest-serving inmate for marijuana crimes will be released early, organization says Gary White, USA Today

The Ruler’s Back: Drakeo the Ruler Is Finally Free – and Ready to Talk Jeff Weiss, The Ringer

Prisoners Are Going Viral on TikTok Stevie Borrello, Daniel Fetherston, and Katherine Tutrone, Vice

A Mother’s Homicide Becomes a Son’s Passion Project in Murder on Middle Beach Glenn Garvin, Reason

Trial 4: The real-life case behind Netflix’s new true-crime series Isobel Lewis, Independent

AM Stories

The Case for Prosecuting Trump and His Cronies Matt Ford, New Republic

The Right Way to Investigate Trump Once He Leaves Office Renato Mariotti, Politico

Barr’s Decision on Voter Fraud Inflames Existing Tensions With Anticorruption Prosecutors Katie Benner, New York Times

How the Police Helped Get Biden Elected Brentin Mock, Bloomberg CityLab

Police Racked Up So Many Complaints During Summer Protests A Special Unit Was Created To Investigate Justin Laurence, Block Club Chicago

Officials say 8 Chicago officers were stripped of their powers following hundreds of complaints about police conduct during summer protests Jeremy Gorner, Chicago Tribune

Black officers say Columbus, Ohio, police prejudice isn’t limited to civilians: They’re battling it, too Elliot C. McLaughlin, CNN

For Detective Sgt. Heather Taylor, SLMPD’s Racism Was Her Toughest Case Danny Wicentowski, Riverfront Times

Thousands watched a man live-stream his own fatal police shooting. The officer won’t be charged. Timothy Bella, Washington Post

Editorial: Appoint the sheriff? Remove the sheriff? LA County needs to start asking questions Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times

In liberal California, Black Lives Matter protests in some towns meet with ‘scary’ backlash Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times

Protests put police under new scrutiny. TV cops, too. Leonard Greene, New York Daily News

How SWAT will respond to the Black Lives Matter movement Lynette Rice, Entertainment Weekly

Thursday November 12, 2020

PM Stories

A Plea from Federal Death Row: ‘We Need You to Raise Your Voices’ Billie Allen, The Nation

Trump Admin Set to Execute 10 Federal Inmates in 2020 – More Than Any President in a Single Year Khaleda Rahman, Newsweek

Editorial: DA-elect George Gascón’s ban on new death sentences is a welcome change Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times

Prisons and jails have become a ‘public health threat’ during the pandemic, advocates say Cid Standifer and Frances Stead Sellers, Washington Post

Federal Prisons Keep Turning Into COVID Nightmares: ‘Everyone Looks Like Death’ Keegan Hamilton, Vice

Pennsylvania prisons face a deadly ‘full-blown resurgence’ of COVID-19 Samantha Melamed, Philadelphia Inquirer

Only five New Yorkers released from prison through medical parole since the start of the pandemic Chelsia Rose Marcius, New York Daily News

Tears, Hugs and Fresh Clothes: New Jersey Prisoners Rejoice at Release Tracey Tully, Nate Schweber, and Kevin Armstrong, New York Times

Another 1,200 inmates will be released next month. And reentry is still broken Editorial Board, Newark Star-Ledger

Behind Bars, Florida’s Prisoners Cheer Biden’s Election Victory Hannah Phillips, WUFT

Will Drug Legalization Leave Black People Behind? Wilbert L. Cooper and Christie Thompson, The Marshall Project

Abolitionists Want You to Imagine a Better World Beyond the Ballot Box Mon Mohapatra and Rachel Foran, Harper’s Bazaar

‘Trial 4’ Review: Saga of a Scapegoat John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

An American mystery endures in HBO Max’s The Mystery Of DB Cooper trailer Randall Colburn, AV Club

AM Stories

A Battle Between the Two Souls of America Ibram X. Kendi, The Atlantic

Police Unions Are Losing The War on Criminal Justice Reform Jay Willis, The Appeal

What A Biden Administration May Do To Change Policing Martin Kaste, NPR

Mental Health Crisis Teams Will Replace Cops in NYC Pilot Program Andrea Cipriano, The Crime Report

Los Angeles City, County Debut Response Teams For Mental Health Incidents NBC Los Angeles

DA-Elect George Gascón Meets with Black Lives Matter, Promises To Review Old Police Shootings LAist

LA’s incoming district attorney George Gascón on accountability and police officers’ use of force Steve Chiotakis, KCRW

Texas Democrats press for more checks on how police use deadly force Raga Justin, Houston Chronicle

Police Terror Won’t End With the Trump Administration Chris Gelardi, The Nation

A little known private company has an outsize role writing policies for police departments Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune

DeSantis pushes expansion of Stand Your Ground law as part of ‘anti-mob’ crackdown Ana Ceballos and David Ovalle, Miami Herald

Houston reaches highest murder total in more than a decade Nicole Hensley, Houston Chronicle

With Violence Rising, Philadelphia Is Fighting a State Ban on Local Gun Laws Brian Freskos, The Trace

Wednesday November 11, 2020

PM Stories

The Tortured Life And Tragic Crime Of The Only Woman On Death Row Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost

Trump Urged by Over 1,000 Advocates to Stop Execution of Federal Death Row Inmate Lisa Montgomery Khaleda Rahman, Newsweek

Trump’s record-breaking spree of federal executions could come to an end under Biden Kim Bellware, Washington Post

America’s Brutally Packed Prisons Are Slowly Emptying Justin Ling, Foreign Policy

America’s war on drugs has failed. Oregon is showing a way out. German Lopez, Vox

Since you asked: What role does drug enforcement play in the rising incarceration of women? Tiana Herring, Prison Policy Initiative

Incarcerated Texans are dying from COVID-19 at a rate 35% higher than rest of the US prison population, UT study finds Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff, Texas Tribune

COVID-19 outbreak infecting hundreds at Fort Dix is ‘escalating crisis,’ NJ senators warn Samantha Melamed, Philadelphia Inquirer

Audit of Brooklyn federal jail claims lack of COVID-19 tests may have masked size of outbreak Stephen Rex Brown and Noah Goldberg, New York Daily News

Virus outbreak at prison prompts renewed calls to release vulnerable inmates Vernal Coleman, Boston Globe

‘A stain on our country’: ICE efforts to stop COVID-19 spread fail to protect immigrant detainees from virus Adrianna Rodriguez, USA Today

On the Language of Nonviolence and the US Criminal Justice System Michael Fischer, Lit Hub

PEN America names winners of prison writing program award ABC News

AM Stories

After Baseless Trump Claims, Barr Says DOJ Can Investigate Voter Fraud Allegations Ryan J. Reilly, HuffPost

DOJ’s election crimes chief resigns after Barr allows prosecutors to probe voter fraud claims Dartunorro Clark and Ken Dilanian, NBC News

Trump Loves to Use the Pardon Power. Is He Next? Jack Goldsmith, New York Times

US criticized for police brutality, racism at UN rights review Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters

Reducing Violence Without Police: A Review of Research Evidence John Jay College

Voters Back More Police Oversight After George Floyd’s Death Ayanna Alexander, Bloomberg Government

LAPD to dramatically downsize special units, focus on patrol as budget cut shrinks force Kevin Rector, Los Angeles Times

LA County Board of Supervisors to Reconsider Options to Remove Sheriff Elizabeth Marcellino, City News Service

NYPD’s Oversight Agency Launches Do-Over On Police Sexual Misconduct Investigations Sydney Pereira and Josefa Velásquez, Gothamist

Baltimore County is taking steps to reform its police department, but some in community remain wary Wilborn P. Nobles III, Baltimore Sun

No, Defund The Police And Medicare For All Didn’t Lead To Democratic Losses In The House Aidan Smith, The Appeal

The Law and Order Election Michael Lind, Tablet

Voting Trump Out Is Not Enough Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker

‘SWAT’ and other cop dramas are trying to tackle race. They could take a page from ‘This Is Us.’ Hank Stuever, Washington Post

Do No Harm Wondery

Tuesday November 10, 2020

PM Stories

After Years of Protests Every Wednesday, LA Activists Welcome a New DA Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker

How George Gascón unseated LA County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey Priya Krishnakumar and Iris Lee, Los Angeles Times

Private Prison Stocks Drop as the Reality of Biden’s Win Sinks In Madison Pauly, Mother Jones

“The Chaos May End”: How DHS Employees Are Reacting To Biden’s Win Hamed Aleaziz, BuzzFeed News

Republicans and Democrats Agree: End the War on Drugs Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

Florida’s new bloc of felon voters didn’t decide the election. Some say that’s good. Lawrence Mower, Miami Herald

How Utah’s criminal justice reform fell short in some officials’ eyes Annie Knox, Deseret News

A Tragic Link: Drugs and Rising Women’s Incarceration Tiana Herring, The Crime Report

COVID and Corrections: A Profile of COVID Deaths in Custody in Texas Michele Deitch, Alycia Welch, William Bucknell, and Destiny Moreno, University of Texas

Coronavirus outbreak in Alaska’s largest prison accelerates Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News

Aurora ICE detention center’s COVID-19 outbreak grows more than 60% since September Meg Wingerter, Denver Post

Eric Warner Improved His Life – Then San Quentin’s COVID-19 Outbreak Took It Pendarvis Harshaw, KQED

What Makes the Difference Between Getting Out of Prison and Staying Out? Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

How A 1969 Murder At Harvard Turned Into A Cold Case And A ‘Cautionary Tale’ Maureen Corrigan, NPR

Netflix’s true crime doc ‘Carmel: Who Killed Maria Marta?’ has already sparked debates Daniella Scott, Cosmopolitan

AM Stories

Voters around the US approve local police reform measures Safia Samee Ali, NBC News

Philly voters approve ballot questions on police oversight panel, stop-and-frisk Darryl C. Murphy, WHYY

Vote on King County sheriff presents opening for police reform David Kroman, Crosscut

How ‘Defund the Police’ Roiled Competitive Races in New York Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Jesse McKinley, New York Times

Voters Say Black Lives Matter Protests Were Important. They Disagree On Why. Sabrina Tavernise and John Eligon, New York Times

Democratic Whip James Clyburn: ‘Defund the police’ cost Democrats seats, hurt Black Lives Matter movement Matthew Brown, USA Today

The Misunderstood Math of Defunding the Police Girard Miller, Governing

How to De-Trumpify the Justice Department Ankush Khardori, New Republic

After Trump’s Defeat, His Supporters Held A Heavily Armed Pity Party Christopher Mathias, HuffPost

Increasingly normal: Guns seen outside vote-counting centers Tim Sullivan and Adam Geller, AP News

Arkansas police chief resigns after calling for violence against Democrats Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken, CNN

A tainted Baltimore cop helped bring down a violent drug gang. Now Piru Bloods members want a new trial. Justin Fenton, Baltimore Sun

When Going to the Hospital Is Just as Bad as Jail Christie Thompson, The Marshall Project

Monday November 9, 2020

PM Stories

Joe Biden, Black voters made you president. It’s time to right wrongs on criminal justice. Ashish Prashar, USA Today

Can Biden-Harris Fulfill an Ambitious Justice Reform Agenda? The Crime Report

A New Class Of Prosecutors: Reformers Win Races Nationwide Cara Bayles, Law360

George Gascón will be LA County’s next district attorney, promises swift changes James Queally, Los Angeles Times

What Kim Foxx’s Releection Says About Racial Politics, Fear And Justice In Chicago And Beyond Patrick Smith, WBEZ

Tarra Simmons Becomes First Person Formerly Convicted Of A Felony Elected To Washington State Legislature Eoin Higgins, The Appeal

California’s far-left activists shocked they beat Prop. 25. What’s the future of bail now? Jason Pohl, Sacramento Bee

More than 1,100 inmates at Iowa prisons have COVID-19, according to Department of Corrections Shelby Fleig and Philip Joens, Des Moines Register

COVID-19 outbreak inside Fort Dix prison is spreading Michael Hill, WHYY

Gov. Bill Lee grants temporary reprieve for death row inmate Pervis Payne Katherine Burgess, Memphis Commercial Appeal

Mass Incarceration Has Been a Driving Force of Economic Inequality Ames Grawert and Terry-Ann Craigie, Brennan Center for Justice

How A Supreme Court Case About The Affordable Care Act Could Change Federal Criminal Law Brian Jacobs, Forbes

Death at the U Paula Lavigne and Elizabeth Merrill, ESPN

In The Undoing, a Grisly Murder Rocks High Society Manhattan Josephine Livingstone, New Republic

Review: ‘What a Carve Up!’ Is Wonderful. But Is It Theater? Alexis Soloski, New York Times

How to Tell the Story of a Cult Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic

AM Stories

What Biden’s Win Means for the Future of Criminal Justice The Marshall Project

BLM Activists Demanded Police Accountability. In City After City, Voters Agreed. Madison Pauly and Samantha Michaels, Mother Jones

Criminal Justice Reform Takes Another Big, Messy Step Forward in 2020 Elections Taylor Pendergrass, ACLU

Props 20 and 25 failed. What does that tell us about criminal justice reform in California? Matt Brannon, Redding Record Searchlight

Oklahoma Watch: Why the criminal justice reform offered by SQ805 was rejected Keaton Ross and Jesse Howe, Tulsa World

“Law and Order” Still Reigns in State Supreme Court Elections Christie Thompson, The Marshall Project

The Cops Protested This Election, Too Nick Martin, New Republic

Portland police union files challenge to stop voter-approved officer oversight board Jonathan Levinson, Oregon Public Broadcasting

Portland rejects bid to cut $18 million more from police amid months of racial justice protests Gillian Flaccus, USA Today

The NYPD’s Top Anti-Harassment Cop Might Be a Racist Troll James D. Walsh, New York Magazine

Ex-Officers in George Floyd Case to Be Tried Together, With Cameras Rolling Tim Arango, New York Times

They were released early from NJ prisons. ICE grabbed nearly 100 of them as they walked out. Blake Nelson and Ted Sherman, NJ Advance Media

The Ethical Conflict of Social Work Within a Carceral System Mary Buser, Filter Magazine

Reënacting the Trial of a Black Woman Convicted of Voter Fraud Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker

What Black History Should Already Have Taught Us About the Fragility of American Democracy Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker

Crime Story Daily Highlights – Week 65

This is a curated selection of highlights from Crime Story Daily this week.

On the criminal justice policy front: There were many criminal justice-related issues on the ballot this year, from sheriff and prosecutor races to state and local initiatives on police oversight, drug policy, and over-incarceration. Pieces from Time and the Brennan Center survey the results of a mostly-promising Election Day for criminal justice reform. The Nation reports from California, where the reform movement won major ground on Tuesday as voters turned out to support a series of ambitious criminal justice-related changes, approving a statewide ballot measure to re-enfranchise parolees and rejecting an initiative that would have toughened sentencing in criminal cases and reduced opportunities for early parole. In Los Angeles County – one of the nation’s largest criminal jurisdictions and a longtime trendsetter on issues of criminal justice – voters appear to have ousted incumbent DA Jackie Lacey in favor of reformist George Gascón. And Vox reports that in a “huge win for the defund the police movement,” voters in LA also approved a local ballot initiative known as Measure J, which will permanently require the county to spend 10% of its unrestricted general funds on “alternatives to incarceration” such as housing, mental health care, and criminal justice diversion programs.

Reform was a common theme on Tuesday as voters around the country turned out to demand accountability from prosecutors and police. WBEZ reports that Democratic state’s attorney Kim Foxx is headed for reelection in Cook County, Illinois, while The Appeal highlights wins for the “progressive prosecutor” movement in Austin and Orlando. And the Wall Street Journal reports from deep-red Glynn County, Georgia, where voters have ousted a district attorney who drew widespread criticism earlier this year for her mishandling of the investigation into Ahmaud Arbery’s death.

But perhaps the biggest win of Tuesday’s criminal justice-related races was drug policy reform. MSNBC reports that five states – Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, and Mississippi – voted to legalize some form of marijuana use; and The Intercept reports from Oregon, where, in a historic first, voters approved a measure to decriminalize the personal possession of all illegal drugs, including heroin and cocaine. Instead of jail time, those found in possession of drugs will now have the option to either pay a $100 fine or sign up for addiction services. The measure is predicted to reduce criminal convictions for drug possession by nearly 90%, and to reduce racial disparities in drug arrests by up to 95%. Overall, Tuesday’s results constitute an unprecedented drug law overhaul in the US, and a “long overdue challenge to the racist, carceral logic of drug criminalization.”

In muckraker/watchdog reporting: A piece from Bloomberg CityLab focuses on felony disenfranchisement. Thanks to rule changes in many US states, the number of formerly incarcerated people eligible to vote has increased to as many as 18 million – more than the entire population of Pennsylvania. But misinformation around those reforms, and the complexity of state-by-state laws, remain significant barriers for those who have had their rights restored. And there are still more than five million people around the US – close to 3% of the eligible voting population – who are disenfranchised because of a felony conviction. For Black and Latinx communities, that percentage is much higher, especially in southern, Republican-leaning states – not a bug in the system, but a feature of its design, the result of criminal disenfranchisement laws enacted after the Civil War to intentionally deprive Black people of their right to vote. A piece from the New Yorker, from February, also focuses on felony disenfranchisement, outlining the long, dark history of criminal disenfranchisement in the US – and of the growing movement for voting-rights restoration both within prisons and on the outside. And Undark Magazine asks, “Is mass incarceration driving racial disparities in the pandemic?”. The piece centers on a study, published in June, that linked 16% of all COVID-19 cases in Chicago and across Illinois to a single outbreak at the Cook County Jail. The study found that jail cycling – the constant flow of people into and out of jails – was the single greatest predictor of COVID-19 community spread. Black Chicagoans comprise about 30% of the city’s population, but almost 75% of the detainee population at Cook County Jail; they also represent a plurality, at 42%, of the city’s COVID-19-related deaths. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen Black communities around the country hit especially hard by COVID-19; these findings suggest that mass incarceration could be the reason, or part of the reason, why.

In complex crime storytelling: A piece from Bloomberg CityLab focuses on Minneapolis, where, since the killing of George Floyd in May, police response times have slowed by more than 80% -- especially in the city’s 3rd Precinct, where Floyd was arrested, and the surrounding neighborhood, a center of anti-police brutality protest and activism. As city officials struggle to explain the slowdown, and with rates for some violent crimes spiking amid economic devastation from COVID-19, the community has stepped in to fill the void, with a handful of ad hoc resident-led groups emerging on the city’s south side to reimagine public safety for themselves. And, in a piece for The Marshall Project, formerly incarcerated people share their experiences of voting in the 2020 election. For some, sentenced as juveniles to decades behind bars, 2020 was their first-ever opportunity to vote; others had to fight tooth and nail, overcoming endless legal challenges, bureaucratic hurdles and red tape, to regain their voting rights. For all of them, voting meant inclusion in the democratic process and a chance to make their voices heard.

And in culture/true crime: WHYY highlights “Rendering Justice,” a new exhibition at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Featuring work by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated artists, the show seeks to give voice to those whose lives have been directly affected by the criminal justice system. “Just Over the Line,” a new documentary from Blue Ridge Public Radio, examines how justice can vary from county to county. The film centers on the story of Daniel Noell, a homeless man who was arrested and charged in two North Carolina counties for the same crime, recounting his parallel journeys through two separate criminal justice systems. And, in a conversation with the Los Angeles Times, three crime-fiction writers discuss writing about law enforcement during a national reckoning with police brutality.

Friday November 6, 2020

PM Stories

How Criminal Justice and Police Reform Fared in the Election Lauren-Brooke Eisen and Andrew Cohen, Brennan Center for Justice

From Easing Drug Laws to Increasing Police Oversight, Criminal Justice Reform Won Big in the 2020 Election Melissa Chan, Time

George Floyd protests pave the way for police reforms at the ballot box Daphne Duret and Jessica Priest, USA Today

The national landscape on drug policy takes a dramatic turn Steve Benen, MSNBC

Yesterday’s Clean Sweep for Drug Policy Reform Suggests That Prohibition May Collapse Sooner Than Expected Jacob Sullum, Reason

SC voters usher in new wave of sheriffs after scandals. Advocates eye reforms. Joseph Cranney, Charleston Post and Courier

Portland Reelected ‘Tear Gas Ted’ – but Still Wants Police Reform Zoë Carpenter, The Nation

Holly Mitchell Wins Supervisors Race With Big Implications For Criminal Justice Reform In Los Angeles County Piper French, The Appeal

Why did so many Georgia DAs get dumped this election year? Bill Torpy, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

These Federal Prison Guards Are Desperate for Trump to Lose Keri Blakinger, The Marshall Project

Reimagining Criminal Justice: The Violence of Incarceration in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic Tammy Henson, The Recorder

COVID-19 outbreak at federal prison turns deadly Nolan Clay, The Oklahoman

New COVID-19 outbreak reported at Goose Creek Correctional Center, Alaska’s largest prison Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News

5 more Wisconsin prisoners die from COVID-19, bringing DOC’s total to 10 deaths Emily Hamer, Wisconsin State Journal

A Pacifist’s Plan to Survive the Violent World of Prison Ryan M. Moser, The Marshall Project

A Nameless Hiker and the Case the Internet Can’t Crack Nicholas Thompson, Wired

AM Stories

Election protests across the US: National Guard activated in Portland; Trump supporters gather in Phoenix, Las Vegas N’dea Yancey-Bragg, Jordan Culver, and Chris Woodyard, USA Today

“Law & Order” in Donald Trump’s America Tim Miller, The Bulwark

Police unions enable abuse and spread destructive propaganda. It’s time we take them head on. Anthony L. Fisher, Business Insider 

‘Go after the troublemakers’ Anjali Kamat, Reveal

Philadelphia Releases 911 Calls, Body-Camera Footage in Walter Wallace Shooting Scott Calvert and Jon Kamp, Wall Street Journal

Federal agents sent to Portland to defend courthouse weren’t properly designated for role, may not have received training, report says Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian

Collision in Oakland: Move to defund police meets homicide spike Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle

What the public is getting right – and wrong – about police abolition Fabiola Cineas, Vox

Crime novelists dish on writing about cops in a moment of reckoning Dorany Pineda, Los Angeles Times

More than 2,000 New Jersey inmates released to slow spread of coronavirus in prisons Wilson Wong, NBC News

‘Let’s get out of here!’: Inmates freed in NJ amid pandemic make way home after early release Joe Atmonavage and Matt Gray, NJ Advance Media

Families Fear for Inmates as COVID Spike Puts State Prisons on Lockdown (New York) Reuven Blau and Rosa Goldensohn, The City

Women Against the Odds: Talking to Filmmaker Garrett Bradley & Art Legends, the Guerrilla Girls Los Angeles Review of Books

‘Time,’ a kiss, and resilience as resistance: Why the Amazon documentary is a vessel for change Jen Yamato, Los Angeles Times

Thursday November 5, 2020

PM Stories

California goes big on criminal justice reform, setting a new, uncertain path Kevin Rector, Anita Chabria, James Queally, and Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times

George Gascón barely survived his primary. Now, he’s likely to be LA County’s district attorney. James Queally, Los Angeles Times

Progressive State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Fends Off Law-And-Order Candidate Pat O’Brien Patrick Smith, WBEZ

Prop. 25, which would have abolished California’s cash bail system, is rejected by voters Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times

The Real Winner Of The Election? Drugs. Tanya Chen, BuzzFeed News

Oregon’s Decriminalization Vote Might Be Biggest Step Yet to Ending War on Drugs Natasha Lennard, The Intercept

Voters Demanded More Accountability From Prosecutors and Police on Election Night CJ Ciaramella, Reason

Voters around the US approve local police reform measures Safia Samee Ali, NBC News

Measure J Results: What We Know So Far About The Measure To Dedicate Some County Funding To Anti-Jail Efforts Frank Stoltze, LAist

Measure J’s ‘Care First’ Public Safety Plan Likely to Pass City News Service

Portland Voters Overwhelmingly Pass Police Reform Measure to Overhaul Current Oversight System and Build a New One Tess Riski, Willamette Week

San Francisco Voters Abolish Mandatory Staffing Levels for Police Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg, The Appeal

Prop D boosting oversight of SF sheriff passing comfortably Michael Barba, San Francisco Examiner

Amendments to appoint, restructure King County sheriff leading in election night results Scott Greenstone, Seattle Times

Pittsburgh voters overwhelmingly trending toward expanding Citizen Police Review Board powers Ashley Murray, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Gwinnett, Cobb, Henry counties elect first Black sheriffs in history (Georgia) WSB

AM Stories

California Chooses Criminal Justice Reform Sasha Abramsky, The Nation

From George Gascón to jail diversion, criminal justice reform got a big boost in California Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles voters just delivered a huge win for the defund the police movement Roge Karma, Vox

California Votes to Keep Cash Bail Samantha Michaels, Mother Jones

Transit, Police Reform and Drug Policy See Some Big Ballot Wins Nicole Flatow, Linda Poon, and Kriston Capps, Bloomberg CityLab

US drug laws set for sweeping overhaul as voters choose decriminalization Poppy Noor, The Guardian

Portland voters approve creating new civilian-run police oversight board Everton Bailey Jr., The Oregonian

San Francisco hasn’t defunded its police force yet – but just voted to make it smaller Fabiola Cineas, Vox

Columbus election results: Voters favor police oversight board Bill Bush, Columbus Dispatch

Two New Orleans Public Defenders Elected Judge in a Push to “Flip the Bench” Katie Jane Fernelius, The Appeal

Georgia Supreme Court throws out immunity for deputies in Taser death Bill Rankin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Enhanced Sentencing for Reckless Crimes Debated at Supreme Court Jack Rodgers, Courthouse News

Court Considers Prerequisites for Juveniles’ Life-Without-Parole Sentences Jess Bravin, Wall Street Journal

2,258 NJ Prisoners Will Be Released in a Single Day Tracey Tully, New York Times

‘Just Over The Line’ Examines How Justice Varies From County To County Matt Bush, Blue Ridge Public Radio

Wednesday November 4, 2020

PM Stories

Live results for 2020’s criminal justice ballot initiatives German Lopez, Vox

Californians Approve an Initiative to Expand Voting Rights Kira Lerner and Daniel Nichanian, The Appeal

Prop. 17, which will let parolees vote in California, is approved by voters Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times

Prop. 20, which would have toughened sentencing in criminal cases, is rejected by California voters Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times

Four More States Legalize Pot as Drug Law Overhaul Gains Traction Across Country Andrea Cipriano, The Crime Report

Oregon decriminalizes possession of street drugs, becoming first in nation Noelle Crombie, The Oregonian

Austin and Orlando Elect Prosecutors Who Vow to Fight Mass Incarceration Daniel Nichanian, The Appeal

Presumptive Travis DA Jose Garza on death penalty, women’s jail, and membership in TX state prosecutors association Keri Blakinger, Grits for Breakfast

Georgia Voters Oust DA Who Oversaw Ahmaud Arbery Investigation Sabrina Siddiqui, Wall Street Journal

George Gascón takes lead in LA County district attorney race James Queally, Los Angeles Times

The NRA and Gun Reform: The Key Races We’re Watching Daniel Nass, Kevin T. Dugan, and Tom Kutsch, The Trace

Measure J: A look at the LA County criminal justice reform proposal Jaclyn Cosgrove, Los Angeles Times

KY voters: Yes on rights for crime victims, no on longer terms for district judges Bill Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader

State Question 805 results: Oklahoma votes against changing sentence enhancements Kayla Branch, The Oklahoman

In Alabama, some felons are wrongly being barred from voting Connor Sheets and Sarah Whites-Koditschek,

Where the Criminal Justice System Blocks Americans’ Right to Vote Peyton Forte, Bloomberg CityLab

Why Shouldn’t Prisoners Be Voters? Daniel A. Gross, The New Yorker

Wrongly convicted, he was on death row for decades. On Tuesday, he cast a vote for president. Darren Sands, Washington Post

AM Stories

To our next president: 10 priorities for fixing our justice system Jamira Burley, USA Today

With push for progressive DAs, elected prosecutors feel the pressure of a changing profession Anita Chabria and James Queally, Los Angeles Times

California at crossroads over district attorney role Black Voice News

José Garza Redefines ‘Progressive Prosecutor’ Michael Barajas, Texas Observer

Cops on the Ballot: PA Voters Weigh Stronger Civilian Oversight of Police Andrea Cipriano, The Crime Report

Georgia Supreme Court Nixes Immunity Ruling That Shielded White Deputies From Murder Charges R. Robin McDonald, Daily Report

Is Chicago ready for police reform? Peter Cunningham, Chicago Sun-Times

How the US Criminal Justice System Thwarts the Right to Vote Peyton Forte, Bloomberg Law

79th prison inmate in California dies of COVID-19 Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times

COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin prison system rise again; 7 simultaneous outbreaks Emily Hamer, Wisconsin State Journal

Prison Is Even Worse When You Have a Disability Like Autism Chiara Eisner, The Marshall Project

Op-Ed: Abolish UofC’s Crime Lab South Side Weekly

‘Rendering Justice’ at African American Museum features formerly incarcerated artists Peter Crimmins, WHYY

The FBI of the National Park Service (2018) Rachel Monroe, Outside

The Love Story That Upended the Texas Prison System (2018) Ethan Watters, Texas Monthly

The Detectives Who Never Forget a Face (2016) Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker

Tuesday November 3, 2020

PM Stories

Let Everyone Vote Ben Burgis, Jacobin

After Years Behind Bars, These Folks Are #FreeToVote Nicole Lewis, The Marshall Project

‘I felt voiceless’: Thousands of ex-felons in Florida are voting for the first times in their lives Amber Randall, South Florida Sun Sentinel

Ex-Felons Are Working To Get Out The Vote Among Former Illinois Inmates – And They’re Paying Extra Attention To Judges Pascal Sabino, Block Club Chicago

How one formerly incarcerated man went from never voting to volunteering at the polls Devna Bose, Charlotte Observer

At San Quentin Prison, Men Ravaged by COVID-19 and Decades of Incarceration Hold an Election of Their Own Juan Moreno Haines and Kevin Deroi Sawyer, Solitary Watch

How Do Your Political Views Compare To Those Of People Behind Bars? Nicole Lewis, The Marshall Project

How to Tell If the Election Will Get Violent Olga Khazan, The Atlantic

How embattled police plan to guard polling stations on election day Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times

Barr Preps Prison Guards to Head to DC for Election Unrest Spencer Ackerman, Daily Beast

‘I Am On Your Side’: How the Police Gave Armed Groups a Pass in 2020 Stella Cooper, Evan Hill, Dmitriy Khavin, Arielle Ray, and Drew Jordan, New York Times

They Don’t Trust The Government Or The Police To Protect Them After The Election, So They’re Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands Brianna Sacks, BuzzFeed News

Stopping a movement Reveal

Why Trump Can’t Afford to Lose Jane Mayer, The New Yorker

Biden’s Justice dilemma: Unwinding the lock-em-up presidency Josh Gerstein, Politico

‘You are a Black man at all times’: 3 generations tell of their family’s hopes and fears in the Trump era Tyrone Beason, Los Angeles Times

AM Stories

Ahead of Election, Police Prepare for Violence and Disruption Neil MacFarquhar and Shaila Dewan, New York Times

Black Lives Matter faces test of its influence in election Aaron Morrison, AP News

Trump’s Hard-Line Immigration Policies Go Before Voters Zolan Kanno-Youngs, New York Times

‘I’m not invisible’: Kentucky millennials with felony records head to the polls for first time Chloe Atkins, NBC News

The Dark History Driving Police Brutality Protests In Philadelphia Maura Ewing, Slate

The President’s War on Dissent Is Using Trumped-Up Federal Charges Natasha Lennard, The Intercept

NC police arrest at least 8, spray ‘pepper-based vapor’ to disperse voter turnout march that included kids Barry Yeoman, Washington Post

North Carolina’s Police Attack on Election Marchers Had a Long History Behind It Julia Craven, Slate

Austin Police Pledged to Stop Using ‘Less Lethal’ Rounds on Crowds. Then the Department Ordered Thousands More. Andrew Weber and Alain Stephens, The Trace

 How This Summer Changed – and Failed To Change – American Policing CJ Ciaramella, Reason

Ban on chokeholds, no-knock warrants among bills Northam signed into law Laura Vozzella, Washington Post

St. Louis County police commissioner quits rather than ‘becoming complicit’ in corporate-led police experiment Jeremy Kohler, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Police Response Slowed. The Community Stepped In. Sarah Holder, Rachael Dottle, and Marie Patino, Bloomberg CityLab

Monday November 2, 2020

PM Stories

4 District Attorney Races With Reform On The Ballot Law360

The Past, Present, and Future of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office Lexis-Olivier Ray and Lex Roman, The Appeal

How the Klan and the Hillside Strangler play in to the strange history of LA County district attorneys Robert Greene, Los Angeles Times

California wants criminal justice reform, but keeps electing conservative prosecutors Robert Greene, Los Angeles Times

California voters: Don’t be fooled by law enforcement and the bail industry in 2020 Jay Jordan and Sam Lewis, Sacramento Bee

Celebrities Spent Millions So Florida Felons Could Vote. Will It Make a Difference? Lawrence Mower and Langston Taylor, ProPublica

Thousands Of Texans Can’t Vote Because They’re On Parole Or Probation Sara Willa Ernst, Houston Public Media

Let the Incarcerated Vote Clint Smith, The Atlantic

Is Mass Incarceration Driving Racial Disparities in the Pandemic? Rod McCullom, Undark

Dozens of inmates test positive for virus at San Diego federal jail, defense attorneys say Alex Riggins, Los Angeles Times

Reported coronavirus cases nearly triple overnight at NJ federal prison as outbreak continues Joe Atmonavage, NJ Advance Media

Prisoners try again for home confinement Sarah Betancourt, Commonwealth Magazine

Compassionate Release During COVID-19 Adam Gurri, Liberal Currents

Should Prisoners Have to Pay For Medical Care During a Pandemic? Michelle Pitcher, The Marshall Project

Ex-Inmates Struggle in a Banking System Not Made for Them David Benoit, Wall Street Journal

Special Report: He waited 512 days behind bars for his day in court. It never came Linda So and Grant Smith, Reuters

AM Stories

Police Reform Is on the Ballot Farah Stockman, New York Times

Policing Reform, Civilian Oversight And More: After Months Of Protest, Voters Decide Cheryl Corley, NPR

Unrest in Philadelphia after police kill a Black man roils the presidential campaign Sean Sullivan, Washington Post

Philadelphia Officials Promise Police Reforms After Walter Wallace Jr.’s Fatal Shooting Scott Calvert, Wall Street Journal

Philadelphia City Council passes bill banning use of tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray during protests Amir Vera and Ganesh Setty, CNN

Ahmaud Arbery’s case shook up a DA race in deep-red Georgia – and put accountability on the ballot Bert Roughton and Hannah Knowles, Washington Post

US to Lift Ban on Police Use of Body Cameras Alongside Federal Agents Sadie Gurman, Wall Street Journal

Justice Dept. Is Said to Quietly Quash Inquiry Into Tamir Rice Killing Charlie Savage and Katie Benner, New York Times

LAPD gets approval to begin recording, storing aerial footage of protests Kevin Rector, Los Angeles Times

Despite Black Lives Matter Protests, NOPD Receives One of the Smallest Budget Cuts in 2021 Helen Lewis, Big Easy Magazine

Federal Prosecutors Engaged in Unprecedented Push to Jail Protesters Before Trial Aaron Miguel Cantú, The Intercept

80 criminal justice leaders from around US sign on to lawsuit challenging federal tactics in Portland protests Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian

For a Glimpse of the Racial Justice Protests’ Staying Power, Look to Detroit Chris Gelardi, The Appeal

Blood Relatives Andy Mannix, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Crime Story Daily Highlights – Week 64

This is a curated selection of highlights from Crime Story Daily this week.

On the criminal justice policy front: The Marshall Project highlights seven states where criminal justice reform will be on the ballot next week, from Oklahoma – where voters will weigh a ballot initiative to prohibit sentence enhancements for most nonviolent crimes – to Oregon, which could become the first state in the country to decriminalize drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. A piece from the New York Times also focuses on Oregon and the “shifting ballot debate on legalizing drugs.” Oregon’s hard-drug decriminalization measure, if passed, would be one of the most radical drug-law overhauls in US history; but other states are also stepping into new terrain, with legal marijuana on the ballot in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, and South Dakota. Proponents say the “swirling, transformational forces of 2020” have changed the political landscape around legalization even in deeply conservative states. A piece from The Nation focuses on Oklahoma’s upcoming referendum on sentencing reform. In 2016, Oklahoma, dubbed “the world’s prison capital,” had the highest per capita incarceration rate in the US. Since then, the state has made significant progress towards reducing its prison population, and a ballot initiative that voters will consider next week could further reduce sentences for people convicted of certain nonviolent crimes. But the measure is facing opposition because some domestic violence crimes are erroneously classified as “nonviolent.” As domestic abuse survivors and advocates reckon with their own reliance on prisons and police, the debate in Oklahoma reflects both deeper schisms within the anti-violence community and a larger national divide over criminal justice reform. And a piece from Bloomberg CityLab focuses specifically on police reform, outlining a range of ballot proposals in cities and states around the country that could strengthen police oversight, increase accountability, reduce law enforcement resources, and fund social service alternatives to police.

In muckraker/watchdog reporting: A piece from The Marshall Project focuses on racial disparities in crime reporting, highlighting the relationship between “newsworthiness” and race. In a newly published study, sociology researchers gathered all the mainstream print and digital news reports about all the murders in Chicago during 2016. They found that homicides in predominantly Black neighborhoods received significantly less coverage than those in predominantly white neighborhoods, and that coverage of murders in Black areas was less likely to portray victims as complex human beings. It’s reflective, the authors say, of “a sense that violence is routine and expected in certain areas, and tragic and newsworthy in others.” A ProPublica investigation reveals “how cops who use force and even kill can hide their names from the public.” In recent years, 12 states have passed some version of “Marsy’s Law,” created to help crime victims by, among other things, shielding their names in public records. Intended to protect victims and their families from harassment, the law is now being invoked by law enforcement agencies to keep officers’ names hidden after they use force, sometimes under questionable circumstances. And a new report from Reuters asks whether COVID-19 could put a dent in mass incarceration. A survey of jails and state prisons around the country found that their population plunged by more than 170,000 this spring, amid unprecedented mass releases aimed at containing the disease. While some counties have since begun refilling their jails and reverting to old policies, others are considering keeping temporary reforms, such as booking restrictions or limits on commercial bail, in place. America has, by far, the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world; now, with tens of thousands suddenly freed or diverted from entering jail, some governments see COVID-19 as a chance to change the policies that led so many to be locked up in the first place.

In complex crime storytelling: Pieces from Slate and The Marshall Project explore public opinion behind bars on the presidential race, policing, and criminal justice reform. In a survey of nearly 2,400 prisoners incarcerated across 12 states, respondents showed significantly higher support than the general public for the Black Lives Matter movement and its demands. When asked what services or policy interventions might have kept them out of jail, respondents pointed to mental healthcare, affordable housing, and a living wage – and expressed strong support, across lines of race and political affiliation, for police “defund” initiatives that would help finance such programs. And, in a piece for The Guardian, two incarcerated journalists at San Quentin recount their experience of holding a mock election behind bars. When corrections officials seized 1,600 mock ballots sent by the nonprofit Solitary Watch, organizers were forced to improvise, with handmade ballots scrawled in pen on scraps of notebook paper. Voting took place in the 90-minute periods, every other day, when inmates are let out of their cells to shower or make phone calls. In California, where even people on parole cannot vote, the mock election offered inmates – many of whom have spent decades behind bars and never got the chance to cast a real ballot – an opportunity to make their voices heard.

And in culture/true crime: The New York Review of Books interviews artist and filmmaker Garrett Bradley, whose Sundance-awarded documentaryon the effects of the carceral system, Time, is now streaming on Amazon. The New Yorker revisits the 1972 documentary Red Squad, an investigation of the NYPD’s crackdown on Vietnam War protesters in the early 1970s. And the New York Times reviews “1 Million Roses for Angela Davis,” a new exhibition at the Lipsiusbau museum in Dresden. The show looks back to the early 1970s, when the philosopher and Black liberation activist – then awaiting trial on murder charges in a California jail – became an unlikely cult hero behind the Iron Curtain.

Friday October 30, 2020

PM Stories

Will California Voters Blaze a New Path on Bail Reform? Adrian Garcia, The Crime Report

California Might Become the First State to Abolish Cash Bail. Why Are Some Progressives Worried? Samantha Michaels, Mother Jones

Joe Biden Should Stop Bragging About the Violence Against Women Act Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason

Will Concerns About Domestic Violence Derail Sentencing Reform in Oklahoma? Zoë Carpenter, The Nation

Lax Masking, Short Quarantines, Ignored Symptoms: Inside a Prison Coronavirus Outbreak in ‘Disbeliever Country’ Jermaine Archer, Cecil Myers, Eric Manners, and Lisa Armstrong, The Marshall Project

‘I think I am going to die’: Inside a coronavirus outbreak at a NJ federal prison Joe Atmonavage, NJ Advance Media

How Texas Jails Avoid Investigations of Inmate Deaths Arya Sundaram, Texas Observer

The Many Abuses at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia Eesha Pandit, The Nation

Number of Women Alleging Misconduct by ICE Gynecologist Nearly Triples John Washington and José Olivares, The Intercept

More Than 40 Immigrants Have Died In ICE Custody In The Past Four Years. Here Are Thousands Of Records About What Happened. Kendall Taggart, Hamed Aleaziz, and Jason Leopold, BuzzFeed News

500,000 Kids, 30 Million Hours: Trump’s Vast Expansion of Child Detention Anna Flagg and Andrew R. Calderón, The Marshall Project

Illinois high court upholds 130-year sentence for juvenile offender Sarah Mansur, Herald & Review

He Did Not Commit the Crime. Yet He Served 44 Years in Prison. Jason Flom, Esquire

Wholesome Halloween fun from the state prison system? Ken Herman, Austin American-Statesman

This Lawyer Works to Free Incarcerated Victims of the War on Drugs. It All Started With Her Mom’s Arrest. Tyler Hicks, Texas Monthly

AM Stories

Defund Your Local Sheriff? Police Reform on Ballots Nationwide Alan Greenblatt, Governing

Philly shooting brings policing, racism back into campaign Claudia Lauer, Aamer Madhani, and Robert Bumsted, Washington Post

Overnight curfew lifted in Philly as tensions over the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. continue Mike Newall and Chris Palmer, Philadelphia Inquirer

Philly City Council bill aims to curb police stops of Black drivers for minor infractions Samantha Melamed, Philadelphia Inquirer

Police de-escalation training gaining renewed clout as law enforcement seeks to reduce killings Tom Jackman and Dan Morse, Washington Post

New DOJ Standards for Certifying Police Agencies Include Chokehold Ban The Crime Report

Police, criminal justice reform bills prompted by demonstrations set to become Virginia law Mel Leonor, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Los Angeles City, County Debut Response Teams For Mental Health Incidents NBC Los Angeles

Nearly 1,000 instances of police brutality recorded in US anti-racism protests Tobi Thomas, Adam Gabbatt, and Caelainn Barr, The Guardian

Lawsuits Over Protest Brutality Pile Up, Adding to Cities’ Police Costs Fola Akinnibi, Bloomberg CityLab

Watchdog’s Report Finds Racial Disparities In LAPD Traffic Stops LAist

How Cops Who Use Force and Even Kill Can Hide Their Names From the Public Kenny Jacoby and Ryan Gabrielson, ProPublica

New York City Community Confronts Impact of NYPD Budget Cuts Emma Tucker, Wall Street Journal

Police Pin a Rise in Murders on an Unusual Suspect: Covid Thomas Fuller and Tim Arango, New York Times

Thursday October 29, 2020

PM Stories

What It’s Like to Vote From Prison Kira Lerner, Slate

We can’t vote in San Quentin prison. So we held a mock election Juan Moreno Haines and Kevin Deroi Sawyer, The Guardian

Free from prison, but still on parole means no voting rights – Prop 17 would change that Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle

Jackie Lacey is a longtime champion for mentally ill defendants. But do her reforms go far enough? James Queally, Los Angeles Times

How a Domestic Violence Loophole Could Doom a Campaign to Cut Oklahoma’s Harsh Prison Sentences Madison Pauly, Mother Jones

A grieving family asks: Why aren’t county jails doing more to stop spread of COVID-19? Ames Alexander, Virginia Bridges, and Jordan Wilkie, Raleigh News & Observer

ACLU alleges ‘systemic patterns of non-compliance’ in COVID-19 prison lawsuit Kelan Lyons, Connecticut Mirror

Prisons’ Pandemic Response: Throw the Infected Into the Hole Marcia Brown, American Prospect

Hundreds of inmates test positive as COVID-19 rips through New York prison Graham Kates, CBS News

COVID-19 sickens hundreds of prisoners, staff in northern Michigan Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press

Freed, then locked in: leaving a California prison amid a pandemic Abené Clayton, The Guardian

The Exhausting Prosecution of the Rev. Darryl Gray Doyle Murphy, Riverfront Times

‘A roadmap to redemption’: how a photographer helped a prisoner see beyond his cage Sean O’Hagan, The Guardian

True Crime Has Made Its Way onto TikTok But Victims of the Crimes May be the Casualty Maya Chung, Inside Edition

AM Stories

National Guard responds as protests over Walter Wallace killing engulf Philadelphia Robert Klemko, Katie Shepherd, and Maura Ewing, Washington Post

Trump revives ‘law and order’ pitch after Philadelphia protests Joshua Chaffin, Financial Times

DA Krasner leading investigation into police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. Miles Bryan, WHYY

‘It was a betrayal’: Two grand jurors in Breonna Taylor case speak out against Cameron Lucas Aulbach, Louisville Courier Journal

We Can’t Trust Cops to Protect the Polls Melissa Gira Grant, New Republic

Too many Florida police departments reluctant to protect Black voters at the polls Rhonda Thomas, Miami Herald

Guns at voting sites emerge as flash point in Michigan amid nationwide election tension Mark Berman, Washington Post

The Plot to Kidnap Me Gretchen Whitmer, The Atlantic

A Portrait of the Fascist as a Young Man Ali Winston, New York Review of Books

After pledging to defund police, Mpls. City Council still rethinking public safety Jon Collins and Brandt Williams, MPR News

Body cams are coming, but more police reform is needed Editorial Board, Newark Star-Ledger

A quiet consulting effort aims to change policing in St. Louis area – but how? Jeremy Kohler, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Pairing mental health counselors with police on calls shows promise in Colorado Michael Booth, Colorado Sun

The scramble to save Black Lives Matter art Justine Calma, The Verge

Wednesday October 28, 2020

PM Stories

7 States Where Voters Could Change the Future of Criminal Justice The Marshall Project

Immigration policy is on the ballot. If voters don’t decide, the conservative Supreme Court will Kimberly Atkins, Boston Globe

Getting Out the Vote in the Maze of Mass Incarceration Melissa Gira Grant, New Republic

Former felons in Florida cast their first ballots in early voting Alex Pena, CBS News

Ex-prisoners ‘unlock the vote’ in New Orleans, then cast ballots – some for first time Katy Reckdahl, New Orleans Advocate

83 former DC federal prosecutors support changes to address racial bias Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post

Federal Certificate Offers New Hope for Americans in ‘Internal Exile’ Gabriel J. Chin and David Schlussel, The Crime Report

Special Report: As jails free thousands amid COVID-19, reform push takes root Linda So, Brad Heath, Jason Szep, Ned Parker, and Peter Eisler, Reuters

How Criminal Law Lost Its Mind Michael Serota, Boston Review

When Does Murder Make The News? It Depends On The Victim’s Race. Beth Schwartzapfel, The Marshall Project

Philly man, exonerated at 73, faced ‘stunning violation of constitutional rights,’ lawyers say Samantha Melamed, Philadelphia Inquirer

‘Aggie,’ art and social justice Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times

Everyday Resistance in ‘Time’: An Interview with Garrett Bradley Yasmina Price, New York Review of Books

AM Stories

Philadelphia Police Fatally Shoot a Black Man Who They Say Had a Knife Azi Paybarah, New York Times

Fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. prompts heated overnight protests in West Philly Ellie Rushing, Anna Orso, Robert Moran, and Samantha Melamed, Philadelphia Inquirer

Waukegan mayor says videos of fatal police shooting will be released after family views them Sam Kelly, Chicago Sun Times

Families Mourn, Demand Accountability At Vigil For Teen Killed By Waukegan Police María Inés Zamudio, WBEZ

Breonna Taylor Killing Spurs Action Against No-Knock Warrants Lindsey Van Ness, PEW Stateline

America’s protest crackdown: five months after George Floyd, hundreds face trials and prison Sam Levin, The Guardian

What 2,392 Incarcerated People Think About #DefundThePolice Nicole Lewis, Anna Flagg, and Aviva Shen, The Marshall Project

The Ballot Initiative That Could Change How You Think About Defunding the Police Jennifer Swann, New Republic

An Ex-Cop Is Running as a Reformer to Unseat LA’s First Black District Attorney Samantha Michaels, Mother Jones

You Cannot Decarcerate by Using the Tools of Incarceration, Says Mumia Abu-Jamal Maresi Starzmann, Truthout

What to do about Ahav? Hannah Dreier, Washington Post

“Red Squad”: An Investigation of the NYPD’s Crackdown on Dissent, Fifty Years Ago Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Tuesday October 27, 2020

PM Stories

The Criminal Justice of Amy Coney Barrett David K. Shipler, Washington Monthly

This Is What It Feels Like to Live Under Minority Rule Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

Half of Colorado’s district attorneys will be replaced after election, setting scene for future of criminal justice reform Elise Schmelzer, Denver Post

In the Pandemic, a Shifting Ballot Debate on Legalizing Drugs Kirk Johnson, New York Times

Newsom, California district attorneys seek tighter standards for application of death penalty Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle

Colorado courts face growing trial backlog due to COVID delays Shelly Bradbury, Denver Post

Declining Jail Population Endangered by Court Delays During Pandemic Ted Gest, The Crime Report

Almost half of South Dakota’s inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 Danielle Ferguson, Sioux Falls Argus Leader

COVID-19: Governor activates Montana National Guard to help operate state prison Missoula Current

2 more Wisconsin prisons have COVID-19 outbreaks totaling more than 500 active cases Emily Hamer, Wisconsin State Journal

California prison staff showed ‘indifference’ to masks even after COVID-19 deaths, report says Wes Venteicher, Sacramento Bee

When Falling Behind on Rent Leads to Jail Time Maya Miller and Ellis Simani, ProPublica

What Could Have Kept Me Out of Prison Nicole Lewis, Aviva Shen, and Katie Park, The Marshall Project

East Germany’s Love Affair With Angela Davis Kimberly Bradley, New York Times

AM Stories

Will Trump’s “Law and Order” Message Work in Wisconsin? Elisabeth Zerofsky, The New Yorker

The Politics of White Anxiety Jonathan M. Metzl, Boston Review

Barr seeks to guide police standards on use of force and officer conduct Devlin Barrett, Washington Post

Joe Biden Had Close Ties With Police Leaders. Will They Help Him Now? Alexander Burns, New York Times

Cops and Politics: Crossing the Thin Blue Line Andrea Cipriano, The Crime Report

Unqualified Impunity: When Government Officials Break the Law, They Often Get Away With It Katherine Hawkins, POGO

When ‘Live PD’ cameras rolled, Williamson County deputies used more violence Julie Chang and Tony Plohetski, Austin American-Statesman

Racial disparities in LAPD stops fueled by failed crime-fighting strategy, audit finds Kevin Rector and Cindy Chang, Los Angeles Times

Civil rights groups sue de Blasio, NYPD over protest response Erin Durkin, Politico

Portland Reckons With Police Attacks on Protesters After Months of Unrest Alice Speri, The Intercept

In the Streets with Antifa Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker

Swept up by police Meryl Kornfield, Austin R. Ramsey, Jacob Wallace, Christopher Casey, and Verónica Del Valle, Washington Post

We Must Sever Law Enforcement From the Labor Movement Kim Kelly, The Nation

A Radical New Plan for MeToo Turns Away From “Law and Order” Feminism Madison Pauly, Mother Jones

Monday October 26, 2020

PM Stories

Unlocking The Vote In Jails Nicole Lewis and Aviva Shen, The Marshall Project

In 2018, Florida enfranchised former felons. They’re still fighting for the right to vote. Rebecca Nelson, Washington Post

He fought for voting rights in George – then found himself in trouble with the law Johnny Kauffman, The Guardian

Pandemic Should Propel New Prison Reforms Abbe Lowell, Law360

‘Revolutionary’ criminal sentencing change passes in Virginia Rachel Weiner and Laura Vozzella, Washington Post

Early releases, safety measures help reduce COVID-19 infections in California prisons Jonah Valdez and Brian Rokos, San Jose Mercury News

Newsom has been ordered to halve San Quentin’s population, but he may not release inmates Jason Fagone and Megan Cassidy, San Francisco Chronicle

Lethal indifference to Florida prisoners dying of COVID-19 Editorial Board, South Florida Sun Sentinel

ICE moves to quickly deport more immigrants without court hearings Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News

Detention Facilities For Immigrants Fast-Tracked For Deportation Were Rife With Problems, Inspectors Find Hamed Aleaziz, BuzzFeed News

19 women allege medical abuse in Georgia immigration detention Molly O’Toole, Los Angeles Times

The Lie of American Asylum Francisco Cantú, New York Review of Books

A flawed investigation left Jason Lively behind bars for 14 years for a fire he didn’t set. He’s not alone. Rachel Chason, Washington Post

Shame Is Ever-Present When You’re Sitting in a Cell Demetrius A. Buckley, The Marshall Project

AM Stories

Police Killing of Black Man Sets Off Protests in Illinois Michael Levenson, New York Times

Police officer fired after shooting of Black couple in Illinois Brendan O’Brien, Reuters

Lightfoot tries to straddle the fence on thorny issue of defunding CPD Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times

After a Season of Protest, Police Reform Is on the Ballot Sarah Holder, Bloomberg CityLab

After being wrongly convicted, former prisoners call on NJ to make police misconduct records public SP Sullivan and Blake Nelson, NJ Advance Media

Portland Police Remove an Officer Accused of Violence From the Streets – But Won’t Identify Him Latisha Jensen, Williamette Week

Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police Kashmir Hill, New York Times

Police Rethink Policies as Cities Pay Millions to Settle Misconduct Claims Scott Calvert and Dan Frosch, Wall Street Journal

Bill would remove DAs from police misconduct probes if they accept police union money Megan Cassidy, San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Takes Action on Racial Profiling in 911 Calls Maria Cramer, New York Times

School Board Elections Are Confronting the School-to-Prison Pipeline Rachel M. Cohen, The Appeal

How One Race Could Change Police Accountability in Arizona Meg O’Connor, The Appeal

Crime Story Daily Highlights – Week 63

This is a curated selection of highlights from Crime Story Daily this week.

On the criminal justice policy front: A piece from the Brennan Center highlights 40 key ballot initiatives, sheriff’s elections, and prosecutorial races to watch on Election Day. The Appeal offers a comprehensive guide to “30 sheriff and prosecutor elections that could challenge mass incarceration.” Vox outlines six specific ballot measures in five states that will give voters a chance to make significant changes to their criminal justice systems. And a Los Angeles Times op-ed focuses on Proposition 20, the California ballot initiative that would roll back recent criminal justice reforms, increasing penalties and reducing parole opportunities for those convicted of certain nonviolent crimes. The piece, written by the sisters of Polly Klaas – the 12-year-old girl whose 1993 murder was the impetus for a rash of harsh sentencing laws – calls on voters to reject the ballot measure: “We don’t want unjust laws to be her legacy.”

In muckraker/watchdog reporting: A Reuters investigation published earlier this week reveals “the hidden crisis in America’s jails.” Between 2008 and 2019, more than 7,500 people died inside US jails – a death rate that has risen 35% over the past decade. Some of these deaths resulted from abuse by guards and jail staff, others from medical neglect caused by staffing shortages or “deliberate neglect” on the part of doctors and nurses. And at least two-thirds – nearly 5,000 people – died before they could contest the charges against them in court. “The toll of jail inmates who die without a case resolution subverts a fundamental tenet of the US criminal justice system: innocent until proven guilty.” A piece from the Washington Post centers on George Floyd’s time in the Texas prison system, a profit-driven enterprise that enriched shareholders and local economies but only furthered Floyd’s downward spiral, exacerbating the depression, drug dependency, and claustrophobia that would later play a role in the final moments of his life. And a piece from The Marshall Project focuses on the fight for COVID stimulus checks behind bars. Last month, a federal judge ruled that prisoners, too, can apply for the $1,200 economic stimulus checks that much of the rest of the country received in the spring. But attorneys, inmates, and advocates say that some prison systems are erecting roadblocks to payments approved by Congress and the courts, blocking prisoners from accessing the information and materials needed to apply.

In complex crime storytelling: In a piece for the New York Times Magazine, formerly incarcerated writer Reginald Dwayne Betts discusses Kamala Harris’s background as a prosecutor, her less-than-progressive record on criminal justice, and our “contradictory impulses around crime and punishment”: “When Harris decided to run for president, I thought the country might take the opportunity to grapple with the injustice of mass incarceration in a way that didn’t lose sight of what violence, and the sorrow it creates, does to families and communities. Instead, many progressives tried to turn the basic fact of [her] profession into an indictment against her.” A piece from Texas Monthly focuses on the case of Lydell Grant. Wrongfully convicted of murder in 2010, Grant was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Determined to prove his innocence, he spent most of the next decade studying the Texas criminal code, sending dozens of letters to defense lawyers and filing at least eight motions and appeals. Finally, in late 2019, Grant was declared legally innocent by a Houston trial judge and released from prison. DNA evidence proved it, and another man even confessed to the crime. But the state’s highest criminal court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, still isn’t convinced, contorting the state’s exoneration standard to deprive Grant of a finding of “actual innocence” that would entitle him to compensation for his years spent behind bars. And Slate revisits a newly relevant court ruling from 1974. When two inmates at the California Rehabilitation Center were targeted by another group of prisoners, repeatedly threatened and harassed, they decided to make a run for it. They were captured, tried and convicted for breaking out, but appealed the verdict on grounds of “necessity”: they’d had no choice but to escape. An appeals court agreed and overturned the conviction. The decision bears revisiting amid the COVID-19 pandemic: as the virus continues to spread behind bars, dozens of prisoners have attempted escape to avoid catching the disease.

And in culture/true crime: Vox reviews Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, now streaming on Netflix. The film is a “lightly fictionalized courtroom drama” based on the six-month trial of seven men accused of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The New York Times reviews two new true crime endeavors: the podcast “Undisclosed” and “Killer in Question,” a forthcoming docuseries from Investigation Discovery. Both center on the case of Jeff Titus, a former Marine and police officer who spent nearly two decades in prison for a murder the original detectives on the case were convinced he didn’t commit. And a piece from the New Yorker focuses on the pioneering criminologist Frances Glessner Lee. In the early 1930s, Lee’s Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a series of twenty intricately designed dollhouse-style dioramas depicting real-life crime scenes, revolutionized forensics training; nearly a century later, they are still in use today, and remain a “gold standard” of the field.

Friday October 23, 2020

PM Stories

Justice on the Ballot 2020 Brennan Center for Justice

On Criminal Justice, Trump and Biden Are Running Against Their Own Records CJ Ciaramella, Reason

Bureau of Justice Statistics reporting that, as of end of 2019, “US imprisonment rate at its lowest since 1995.” Sentencing Law and Policy

Court orders San Quentin prison to sharply cut inmate population after COVID outbreak Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

NJ will release more than 2,000 prisoners next month. Who is eligible to get out early under new law? Who is not? Blake Nelson, NJ Advance Media

Michigan Lifers Are Organizing Their Families to Vote Marcia Brown, The Appeal

Family of Tennessee death row inmate awaits ‘miracle’ as 11th hour DNA test underway Katherine Burgess, Memphis Commercial Appeal

Two Black men sentenced to life as teens to be freed. But should LA County DA have reviewed convictions earlier? James Queally, Los Angeles Times

A Wisconsin teen’s death behind bars reveals how children get trapped in the justice system – and how we can stop the cycle Rory Linnane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

ID Films To Premiere Documentary Feature ‘The Witmans,’ An Exposé Of The Juvenile Criminal Justice System Denise Petski, Deadline

To Build a Future Without Police and Prisons, We Have to Imagine It First Walidah Imarisha, OneZero

AM Stories

The Dystopian Police State the Trump Administration Wants Phillip Atiba Goff, New York Times

How Gun Culture and the Government Fell Back in Love Suzanne Schneider, Mother Jones

What Is a Militia? And Why Is the Word So Controversial These Days? Neil MacFarquhar, New York Times

Study finds no crime increase in cities that adopted ‘sanctuary’ policies, despite Trump claims Nick Miroff, Washington Post

AP finds most arrested in protests aren’t leftist radicals Alanna Durkin Richer, Colleen Long, and Michael Balsamo, AP News

Does Palantir See Too Much? Michael Steinberger, New York Times

Compton residents feel under siege from Sheriff’s Department and are demanding reforms Kailyn Brown, Los Angeles Times

LA’s Ryu-Raman council race reflects wider battle over policing among Democrats and the left David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times

Black or blue: the complex double-lives of Oakland’s Black police officers Akintunde Ahmad, The Guardian

Louisville Police Officer Says Breonna Taylor Shooting Was ‘Not A Race Thing’ Brakkton Booker, NPR

A Cop Involved In Breonna Taylor’s Killing Said She’d Be Alive If Police Barged In Sooner. That’s “Outrageous,” Experts Said. Tasneem Nashrulla, BuzzFeed News

Derek Chauvin’s Third-Degree Murder Charge Dropped in Connection to George Floyd’s Death Meghan Roos, Newsweek

A mental health crisis and the limits of police response David Kroman, Crosscut

Thursday October 22, 2020

PM Stories

How 2020 voters could change the criminal justice system, in 6 ballot measures German Lopez, Vox

How NJ Broke Ground With ‘COVID Time’ for Inmates Amid Justice Reform Push Suzette Parmley, New Jersey Law Journal

The Virginia legislature just achieved good criminal justice reforms. But there’s a long way to go. Editorial Board, Washington Post

California Could End Cash Bail. But is This Alternative Any Better? Lauren Lee White, The Appeal

Uncovering the Hidden $372 Billion Cost of Our Criminal Justice System Wes Moore, Time Magazine

Prisoners Won The Right To Stimulus Checks. Some Prisons Are Standing In The Way. Keri Blakinger and Joseph Neff, The Marshall Project

Science Group Urges COVID-19 Incarceration Slowdown Nancy Bilyeau, The Crime Report

COVID-19 Surge Strikes Two New York Prisons Shan Li, Wall Street Journal

Medical Expert: Inadequate Mental Health Care Directly Contributed To Inmate Suicides In Arizona Prisons Jimmy Jenkins, KJZZ

Trump’s Obsession With the Death Penalty Will Culminate Just After the Election Nathalie Baptiste, Mother Jones

After justices flip flop, some notorious Miami killers may be bound for Death Row again David Ovalle, Miami Herald

“It’s the Most Outrageous Thing I’ve Ever Seen. It Makes No Sense.” Michael Hall, Texas Monthly

Jason Flom, The Music Executive With An Ear For Injustice Andrew Limbong, NPR

2 Murders 3 Decades Ago. A Podcaster and a TV Producer Dig In. Kate Tuttle, New York Times

Making Art Against the Backdrop of Incarceration Erica Cardwell, Hyperallergic

AM Stories

What Really Happened With the Breonna Taylor Grand Jury? Angelina Chapin and Bridget Read, New York Magazine

Breonna Taylor grand jury wasn’t given chance to weigh homicide charges, juror says Andrew Wolfson, Louisville Courier Journal

‘She didn’t deserve to die’: Louisville officer involved in Breonna Taylor case speaks out Darcy Costello and Tessa Duvall, Louisville Courier Journal

Calls to restrict police use of projectiles on crowds renewed after latest LA injuries Kevin Rector, Los Angeles Times

Sheriff’s Department defied court orders to name deputies with histories of misconduct. It was a costly decision Leila Miller, Los Angeles Times

New Bill Seeks To Reduce Police Violence Against People With Mental Illness Igor Bobic, HuffPost

DOJ Unveils New Initiative To Help Police Departments, Offers Aid To Minneapolis Brakkton Booker, NPR

In a year of unexpected tragedy and turmoil, Chicago police Superintendent David Brown sought to reshape his department Jeremy Gorner, Chicago Tribune

San Francisco’s ‘CAREN Act,’ making racially biased 911 calls illegal, is one step closer to becoming a law Alisha Ebrahimji and Amanda Jackson, CNN

You know George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s stories. 10 years after his death, you should also know DJ Henry’s. Cody Shepard and Joel Shannon, USA Today

Journalists Should Stop Relying on Cops’ Lies Ravi Mangla, Jacobin Magazine

Angela Davis Still Believes America Can Change Nelson George, New York Times Magazine

Wednesday October 21, 2020

PM Stories

COVID-19 in Prisons Is Far Worse Than Previously Thought, Data Trackers Say Tyler Hicks, Truthout

The Trump Administration Is Getting Sued Over COVID Exploding in Prisons Emma Ockerman, Vice

Murphy signs bill to release thousands of NJ prisoners early beginning the day after Election Day Blake Nelson, NJ Advance Media

San Quentin must release or transfer half its prisoners because of lack of COVID care, court rules Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle

COVID-19 has infected more than 2,900 people in Wisconsin’s prisons. Should certain inmates be released to stop the spread? Chris Mueller, Appleton Post-Crescent

‘I signed up for a jail sentence, not a death sentence’: Escapee now seeks leniency Josh Shaffer, Raleigh News & Observer

Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness: It’s Time to Stop the Harm Jennifer Piel, The Crime Report

Study Finds People Will Spend Less Time in Jail if California Bans Cash Bail Maria Dinzeo, Courthouse News

With Prop. 17, voters to decide whether parolees can vote in California Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times

Here’s what it’s like to vote from inside prison Vox

The real forgotten voter is sitting in jail Abdallah Fayyad, Boston Globe

Disenfranchisement in jails weakens our democracy Charlotte Rosen, Washington Post

Behind prison walls, cats and inmates rehabilitate each other through animal care program Jordan Erb, Indianapolis Star

Artist In Residence Creates Portraits Of Reform At The District Attorney’s Office Neda Ulaby, NPR

AM Stories

‘It is serious and intense’: white supremacist domestic terror threat looms large in US Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

‘White Supremacy’ Once Meant David Duke and the Klan. Now It Refers to Much More. Michael Powell, New York Times

Toward a Global History of White Supremacy Daniel Geary, Camilla Schofield, and Jennifer Sutton, Boston Review

US police chiefs grapple with new Election Day threat: Armed men at the polls Andrew Blankstein, Tom Winter, Brenda Breslauer, and Rich Shapiro, NBC News

US Postal Service Benches Its Police Officers Before Election Rebecca Smith, Wall Street Journal

Murphy vetoes bills requiring cops to use body cameras, citing cost and privacy concerns Blake Nelson, NJ Advance Media

How Police Unions Bully Politicians Sam Adler-Bell, New Republic

Dozens of State Police troopers remain on the force despite past illegal conduct Matt Rocheleau, Boston Globe

‘Vile, Racist Postings’ by NY Court Officers Included Obama in a Noose Jan Ransom, New York Times

Removing Cops From Behavioral Crisis Calls: ‘We Need To Change The Model’ Eric Westervelt, NPR

An Anti-Rape Movement Without Police Melissa Gira Grant, New Republic

The Cycle of Punitive Justice Starts in Schools. Eric Butler Is Showing Kids and Teachers How to Break It. Adam Hochschild, Mother Jones

Tuesday October 20, 2020

PM Stories

These 3 propositions could have a big impact on California’s criminal justice system George Skelton, Los Angeles Times

Prop 20’s Justice Reform Changes Would Send Disproportionate Numbers Of Californians Of Color Into Lockup, Says Report Taylor Walker, Witness LA

Op-Ed: Polly Klaas was our sister. We don’t want unjust laws to be her legacy Jess Nichol and Annie Nichol, Los Angeles Times

Your Guide to 30 Sheriff and Prosecutor Elections That Could Challenge Mass Incarceration Daniel Nichanian, The Appeal

Coronavirus cases in jail, criminal justice reform key issues in Dallas County sheriff race Nic Garcia, Dallas Morning News

New Prosecutors See Justice, Not Convictions, As Their Goal Kevin Penton, Law360

Will Doug Evans face accountability? Parker Yesko, APM Reports

Kamala Harris, Mass Incarceration and Me Reginald Dwayne Betts, New York Times

Justices take up Fourth Amendment case Amy Howe, SCOTUSblog

A Question of Life and Death Looms for Amy Coney Barrett Elizabeth Bruenig, New York Times

Cruel and Usual Elizabeth Flock and Mark Scialla, Searchlight New Mexico

The Right to Escape From Prison FT Green, Slate

The Kind of Mercy My Son Never Received Elder G. Yusef Qualls, The Atlantic

Fates and Furies Vanessa Grigoriadis, Vanity Fair

Aaron Sorkin Puts America on Trial Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

AM Stories

The Growing Threat of American Political Violence David Rohde, The New Yorker

Tracking the Shifting Shape of Far-Right Political Violence Laura Bliss and Marie Patino, Bloomberg CityLab

Black officers break from unions over Trump endorsements Claudia Lauer, AP News

Video Exposes Proud Boys and ‘Extra-Friendly’ Philly Cops Kelly Weill, Daily Beast

Is Police Misconduct Higher in Majority Black Neighborhoods? Anna Harvey, The Crime Report

Fatal police shootings of mentally ill people are 39 percent more likely to take place in small and midsized areas Kimberly Kindy, Julie Tate, Jennifer Jenkins, and Ted Mellnik, Washington Post

What is driving gun violence in KC? The community answer: Lack of trust in police Humera Lodhi and Jelani Gibson, Kansas City Star

Deputies killed Dijon Kizzee after a bike stop. We found 15 similar law enforcement shootings, many fatal Nicole Santa Cruz and Alene Tchekmedyian, Los Angeles Times

Boston Police Ignore Its Own Advice On Gun Violence David S. Bernstein, WGBH

California police got hundreds of calls about abuse in private ICE detention centers. Cases were rarely prosecuted Andrea Castillo and Paloma Esquivel, San Diego Union-Tribune

Police Are Cutting Ties With Domestic Violence Programs That Support Black Lives Matter Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost

Sending armed police officers isn’t the right answer for every emergency Editorial Board, Washington Post

FBI Crime Data Could Go Away For One In Four Police Agencies Mark Greenblatt and Mark Fahey, Newsy

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration (2015) Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic

Monday October 19, 2020

PM Stories

The Federal Death Penalty Returns Scott Shackford, Reason

US Schedules First Execution of a Woman in Nearly 70 Years Marie Fazio, New York Times

The Hidden Cruelty of Trump’s Executions Liliana Segura, The Intercept

Dying Inside: The Hidden Crisis in America’s Jails Peter Eisler, Linda So, Jason Szep, Grant Smith, and Ned Parker, Reuters

Profiting from prisoners Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post

Life Without Parole for Kids Is Cruelty With No Benefit Brandon L. Garrett, The Atlantic

Cleaning Up Criminal Records, and Rebalancing the Scales of Justice Patrick Jackson Keough, Legal Intelligencer

Addressing systemic inequities in DC must include getting reentry right Jack Brown, Washington Post

New Orleans Public Defenders Got Sick of Unjust Judges. Now They’re Running to Unseat Them. Maura Ewing, Slate

Life Sentence Survivors Speak on Dismantling Mass Incarceration David Greenwald, Davis Vanguard

A Radically Different Way to Look at Incarceration Samantha N. Sheppard, The Atlantic

‘The Writing On The Wall’ Finds Poetry Behind Bars, Projects It Onto Buildings Jon Kalish, NPR

In Netflix’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, Aaron Sorkin tackles an all-too-relevant court case Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

The Trial of the Chicago 7 Is a Riveting Movie. But the True Story Is Even More Dramatic Andrew R. Chow, Time

The Woman Who Invented Forensics Training with Doll Houses Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, The New Yorker

AM Stories

Racial justice is on the ballot in these 5 states this November NBC News

The Complicated Role Of Black Leaders In Shaping The Criminal Justice System Gene Demby, NPR

Democrats’ Coming Civil War Over Police Unions Laura Barrón-López, Politico

CPD Largely Ignores Community Recommendations On When Officers Can Shoot, Taze Or Use Other Force Patrick Smith, WBEZ

NYPD Unit At Center Of Protest Policing Has Dozens Of Officers With Long Misconduct Histories Ali Winston, The Appeal

US Attorney Moves In on Brooklyn DA’s Territory, Citing Crime Surge Nicole Hong, New York Times

Portland, Oakland sue Homeland Security, Justice Department alleging unconstitutional federal overreach Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian

How Black Oaklanders Finally Expelled the School Police Edwin Rios, Mother Jones

Park Police officers charged with manslaughter in 2017 slaying of unarmed motorist Bijan Ghaisar Tom Jackman, Washington Post

Justice is delayed for Bijan Ghaisar – again Editorial Board, Washington Post

Police Surveillance is Criminalization and It Crushes People Brendan McQuade, CounterPunch

Is It Time to Rethink the 911 Call System? Michael Gelb, The Crime Report

Crime Story Daily Highlights – Week 62

This is a curated selection of highlights from Crime Story Daily this week.

On the criminal justice policy front: Pieces from KQED and the Brennan Center focus on Prop. 25, California’s upcoming referendum to eliminate cash bail. Through Prop. 25, voters will decide whether to uphold a law known as SB-10, which would end cash bail in California, or to keep the current system as it is. The choice is more complicated than it might seem; while the elimination of cash bail – an unfair system that punishes the poor – is appealing, some criminal justice advocates argue that the alternative is even worse: if passed, SB-10 would exchange the current system for one that relies on racially biased risk assessment tools, gives judges nearly unlimited discretion to detain individuals pretrial, and increases funding for law enforcement. Politico Magazine highlights six cities where police reform will be on the ballot next month, from Los Angeles – where voters will weigh a proposal to divert approximately $350 million in city funding away from the police – to Akron, Ohio, where a proposed amendment to the city charter would require police footage to be made public for incidents involving use of force. If passed, these ballot measures could provide a potential model for legislation later and elsewhere, paving the way for bigger and broader change. And the Washington Post reports from Texas, where the “law and order” theme touted by Republicans has fallen surprisingly flat. Even in suburbs long considered GOP strongholds, where Republican candidates rail against “violent” protesters and warn of rising crime, voters aren’t buying it: “I am looking up and down my street, and I don’t see Antifa.”

In muckraker/watchdog reporting: As courts around the country begin to restart their criminal dockets, a piece from The Atlantic examines the many practical obstacles standing in their way. Each stage of the criminal legal process requires that people be together, inside, talking for long hours at a time; as courts attempt to navigate our new socially-distanced reality, advocates worry that the mechanisms they adopt to address public health concerns may conflict with, or impede, defendants’ core constitutional rights. Vice News reports from a “super-spreader jail” in Grady County, Oklahoma; while The 19th goes inside the COVID unit at the Central California Women’s Facility, the largest women’s prison in the world. And a piece from the New York Times focuses on the rural Mountain West, where, until recently, COVID-19 seemed like a distant threat. But now, the region is rapidly devolving into one of the most alarming hot spots in the country, with reports of new infections reaching record highs. Many of these cases have stemmed from local jails: confined, often crowded spaces, where inmates and staff are held in close proximity and people constantly filter in and out. In small, isolated towns that lack critical resources even in normal times, local officials are struggling to contain the virus’ spread.

In complex crime storytelling: USA Today recounts the rise and fall of Robert Chody, the sheriff of Williamson County, Texas. In 2001, Chody, then a rank-and-file cop, won $85 million on a Quick Pick lottery ticket. His winnings bankrolled a political career that would eventually lead him to the top law enforcement job in one of the most notoriously tough-on-crime counties in the state. As sheriff, Chody developed a local reputation for “heavy-handed” police work and a national following from his collaboration with the popular reality show “Live PD.” But when a violent incident with his deputies turned deadly, taking the life of 40-year-old Javier Ambler II, Chody’s star began to fade. The show has since been cancelled, and Chody now faces felony evidence tampering charges for his alleged role in the destruction of body camera footage of the incident. And a piece from the Washington Post focuses on the life and legacy of George Floyd. Beginning in antebellum North Carolina with Floyd’s enslaved great-great-grandfather, the piece traces his biography up to the moment he was killed, setting off a national reckoning over race and police brutality. An exhaustive reporting effort pieced together from more than 150 interviews, the piece examines Floyd’s life as one thoroughly shaped and constrained by the ongoing effects of systemic racism.

And in culture/true crime: A piece from The Atlantic explains “why British police shows are better”: slower, quieter, and more sensitive than American cop fare, without the gratuitous violence, Britain’s “tidy, ruminative detective series” offer a more humane, more nuanced depiction of law enforcement. After all, “a nation’s crime shows are bound to reflect the nation itself.” The Guardian highlights “Death Row Exonerees,” a new exhibition of work by the photographer Martin Schoeller. The show comprises ten different rooms at New York City’s Fotografiska museum, each featuring a different story of a death row exoneree. Through intimate close-up portraits and a series of short films, the survivors share their stories of being convicted and sentenced to death for crimes they didn’t commit. And “Solitary,” a finalist for the Texas Observer’s short-story contest, takes readers inside the life of a man held in isolated detention, the “prison within the prison.”

Friday October 16, 2020

PM Stories

How Black Lives Matter reshaped the race for Los Angeles’ top prosecutor Sam Levin, The Guardian

Prop. 20 sparks debate over effects of criminal justice reform in California Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times

In Los Angeles, murder is back. Now what? Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times

Chicago’s Gun Violence Plan Looks Good on Paper, Prevention Leaders Say. Can the City Pull It Off? Lakeidra Chavis, The Trace

Florida acts to remove felons from voter rolls as election looms Gary Fineout, Politico

Rural Jails Reel as US Coronavirus Cases Surpass 8 Million Lucy Tompkins, Maura Turcotte, and Libby Seline, New York Times

COVID-19 outbreak infects 90 inmates in Stillwater prison Paul Walsh, Minneapolis Star Tribune

State prison COVID-19 outbreak fuels Greene County spike (New York) Bethany Bump, Albany Times-Union

‘I didn’t want to live’: How incarceration hits loved ones left behind Margo Snipe, Tampa Bay Times

A young lawyer battling for women caught up in mass incarceration Paul Butler, Washington Post

‘Belly of the Beast’ Review: Fighting for Incarcerated Women Lovia Gyarkye, New York Times

Review: A hypnotic debut tells tales from the DA’s office Paula L. Woods, Los Angeles Times

He got life for stealing hedge clippers under Louisiana’s habitual offender law. Now he’s free after 24 years. Lea Skene, The Advocate

AM Stories

6 Places Where Police Reform Is Going Straight to the Voters Ruairí Arrieta-Kenna, Politico Magazine

Can Politics Handle Police Reform in 2020? An Expert Roundtable Darius Dixon, Politico Magazine

Case preview: When is a fleeing suspect “seized”? Jeffrey Bellin, SCOTUSblog

Cleveland Hospitals’ Private Police “Border Patrol” Comes Under Scrutiny David Armstrong, ProPublica

Walsh Says He’ll Adopt All Boston Police Reform Recommendations, Including New Oversight Office Ally Jarmanning, WBUR

Newsom advisers urge changes in policing at California protests Alexei Koseff, San Francisco Chronicle

LA Council Votes to Create Pilot Program of Unarmed Mental Health Responders Eric Heinz, City News Service

Can community policing defuse racial tensions? LAPD’s new deputy chief says yes Sylvester Monroe, The Guardian

How One Police Chief Kept Her City from Blowing Up This Summer Bronwen Dickey, Politico Magazine

Beyond Policing: Investing in Offices of Neighborhood Safety Betsy Pearl, Center for American Progress

CBS is remaking its police shows for the Black Lives Matter era Steven Zeitchik, Washington Post

‘Live PD’ was canceled. But in one Texas county, its twisted legacy lives on. Hannah Rappleye, NBC News

From lotto millions to a felony indictment: How reality TV could undo a Texas sheriff Tony Plohetski, USA Today/Austin American-Statesman

Thursday October 15, 2020

PM Stories

The Heartlessness of Amy Coney Barrett’s Originalism Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

Editorial: What a Justice Barrett might mean for the 2nd Amendment Los Angeles Times

Coalition of prosecutors, attorneys general across US vows not to enforce antiabortion laws Tom Jackman, Washington Post

Why Private Prisons Are Spending a Fortune on 2020 Republican Candidates Alexander Lekhtman, Filter Magazine

Changes ‘Urgently Needed’ on COVID-19 in Prisons, Jails, Experts Say The Crime Report

A Super-Spreader Jail Keeps Sparking COVID Outbreaks Across the US Keegan Hamilton, Vice News

Prison Labor During Pandemic Fuels Calls for New Constitutional Amendment Nancy Bilyeau, The Crime Report

Florida’s prison population lowest in 15 years as intakes slow due to coronavirus Grace Toohey, Orlando Sentinel

LA County to pay out $14 million over unlawful immigration holds Alene Tchekmedyian, Los Angeles Times

California ban on private prisons, immigration centers is ‘largely Constitutional’ Winston Gieseke, USA Today

‘I just never stopped fighting’: Curtis Flowers, now a free man, gives his first interview Alissa Zhu, Mississippi Clarion Ledger

‘I feel human again’ – At three hotels, formerly incarcerated New Yorkers get the support they need Ilyssa Daly, Queens Daily Eagle

Death Row Exonerees: behind a powerful photo project on injustice Nadja Sayej, The Guardian

From Marking Time: An Excerpt Nicole R. Fleetwood, Hyperallergic

AM Stories

All The President’s Men Christopher Mathias, HuffPost

The alleged plot in Michigan isn’t an anomaly. The domestic terrorism threat is rising. Kevin K. McAleenan and Thomas K. Plofchan III, Washington Post

New Eyewitness Accounts: Feds Didn’t Identify Themselves Before Opening Fire on Portland Antifa Suspect Bryan Denson and Conrad Wilson, ProPublica/Oregon Public Broadcasting

‘Straight to Gunshots’: How a US Task Force Killed an Antifa Activist Evan Hill, Mike Baker, Derek Knowles, and Stella Cooper, New York Times

The FBI Team Sent to ‘Exploit’ Protesters’ Phones in Portland Mattathias Schwartz, New York Review of Books

Pressure mounts on prosecutors to scrutinize police, disclose troubled pasts Matt Rocheleau, Boston Globe

Within Boston police, more often white officers win the awards and Black officers get punished Andrew Ryan and Evan Allen, Boston Globe

Florida’s Most Powerful Pro-Police Lobbying Group Is An Anti-Reform Force Jerry Iannelli, The Appeal

Mayor Lori Lightfoot vowed to reimagine violence response and end sole reliance on police, but outreach groups at heart of plan still struggle for funding Dan Hinkel, Madeline Buckley, Gregory Pratt, and Jeremy Gorner, Chicago Tribune

How The Police Reform Movement Is Spilling Over Into Colorado’s District Attorney Races Allison Sherry, Colorado Public Radio

Philly police to start flagging 911 calls that involve a behavioral health crisis Nina Feldman, WHYY

LA County Considers Hiring Non-Sworn Force to Patrol Parks Elizabeth Marcellino, City News Service

When cops abuse social media, the results are explosive: “One post can become a movement” Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times

Why Coroners Often Blame Police Killings on a Made-Up Medical Condition Samantha Michaels, Mother Jones

UNCOUNTED, a Memorial for People Killed by Law Enforcement Officers Coco Howard, The Nation

Wednesday October 14, 2020

PM Stories

Amy Coney Barrett’s Judicial Record in Criminal Justice Cases Lauren-Brooke Eisen and Alia Nahra, Brennan Center for Justice

On Gun Laws, Barrett’s Philosophy Leaves Little Room for Public Safety Olivia Li, The Trace

Missing from 2020 Ballots: Proposals to Expand Gun Restrictions Jennifer Mascia, The Trace

Four States Could Legalize Marijuana Next Month Kaila Philo, The Appeal

Gov. Whitmer signs bills expanding criminal record expungement in Michigan Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press

COVID-19 Gives Us the Chance to Close Prisons. Here’s Why and How. Keith Humphreys, Washington Monthly

‘I Told Her I’ll Wear Two Masks’ Angelina Chapin, New York Magazine

Death Row’s Other Victims: Families of the Condemned Jodie Sinclair, The Crime Report

Curtis Flowers Is Home Free. District Attorney Doug Evans Is, Too. Orion de Nevers, Slate

‘Momma’s Not Stopping Until That Jail Goes Down’: The Family of Jamel Floyd, New York Man Who Died After Being Pepper Sprayed By Jail Guards, Speak Out Sanya Mansoor, Time

Short Story Finalist: ‘Solitary’ Dutch Simmons, Texas Observer

Project Dandelion exposes sexual assault crimes on Illinois college campuses. It was created by a high schooler. Christen A. Johnson, Chicago Tribune

AM Stories

Emboldened Far-Right Groups Challenge Cities, States Erika Bolstad, Stateline

As anti-police brutality protests continue, armed men without badges or uniforms sow fear Gina Barton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Plot Against Gretchen Whitmer Shows the Danger of Private Militias Mary B. McCord, New York Times

The All-American Mind of a Militia Member Harel Shapira, New Republic

Alabama’s Ugly Secret: Police Dog Attacks Ashley Remkus and Challen Stephens, The Marshall Project

Stop-and-Frisk Never Really Ended. Now It’s Gone Digital. Alice Speri, The Intercept

Nothing to see at the BPD? Adrian Walker, Boston Globe

Texas police officer antagonized people in small town prior to shooting, residents say Arelis R. Hernández, Mark Berman, and Mary Beth Gahan, Washington Post

Judge allows Derek Chauvin to live outside of Minnesota as he awaits trial in death of George Floyd Holly Bailey, Washington Post

Prosecutors want stiff sentences for ex-cops charged in George Floyd’s killing Rochelle Olson, Minneapolis Star Tribune

In a state known for ‘law and order,’ Texas Republicans struggle to make the message stick Tim Craig, Washington Post

Black Lives Matter launches a political action committee Maya King, Politico

Examining the Fraught Subject of Guns and Police RJ Young, New York Times

Getting to Freedom City Robin D. G. Kelley, Boston Review

Tuesday October 13, 2020

PM Stories

503: Inside the COVID unit at the world’s largest women’s prison Ko Bragg and Kate Sosin, The 19th

As NYC Jails Become More Violent, Solitary Confinement Persists Jan Ransom, New York Times

Prop. 25 would not help the San Francisco man who is the face of bail reform Susan Fisher, San Francisco Chronicle

‘Unconscionable’: How a surge in domestic violence is saving the bail bond industry Jason Pohl, Sacramento Bee

Want a Better Justice System? Don’t Hide the Truth James M. Doyle, The Crime Report

Miami-Style ‘Virtual’ Justice During COVID: A Model for Other Cities? Katherine Fernández Rundle and Stephen K. Talpins, The Crime Report

Federal stimulus checks must go to prison inmates, US judge in California rules Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times

In one Virginia courtroom, a judge tries to stop a revolving door Petula Dvorak, Washington Post

Nevada pays $2.85M to woman wrongly imprisoned for decades Las Vegas Sun

Social Action Campaign for ‘Just Mercy’ Evolves Into Criminal Justice Organization Degen Pener, Hollywood Reporter

Review: A Classic Western Sheriff on the Other Side of the World Mike Hale, New York Times

Tom Brown’s Body Skip Hollandsworth, Texas Monthly

Reality TV Glows Up Kathryn VanArendonk, New York Magazine

AM Stories

Crime rose unevenly when stay-at-home orders lifted. The racial disparity is the widest in years. John D. Harden and Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post

The truth about violent crime in American cities, explained in 11 charts Weihua Li, Vox

What We Know About the Alleged Plot to Kidnap Michigan’s Governor Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, New York Times

Michigan terror plot: why rightwing extremists are thriving on Facebook Lois Beckett, The Guardian

What Are Militias and Are They Legal? Rachael Levy, Wall Street Journal

Federal Agents Used Toxic Chemical Smoke Grenades in Portland Sharon Lerner, The Intercept

The City Where Someone Was Bitten by a Police Dog Every 5 Days (Indiana) Ryan Martin, Andrew Fan, Dana Brozost-Kelleher, and Ellen Glover, The Marshall Project

Tri-State Area Police Unions Fight to Keep Disciplinary Records Private Joseph De Avila, Wall Street Journal

‘An encyclopedia of police incompetence’: Breonna Taylor case exposes array of LMPD errors Andrew Wolfson, Darcy Costello, and Tessa Duvall, Louisville Courier Journal

Breonna Taylor’s voice was stolen from her. But we will not be silenced. Attica Scott, Washington Post

Philly has put a behavioral health specialist in its 911 call center amid calls for police reform Laura McCrystal, Philadelphia Inquirer

Black Creatives Drive Change Through ‘Art Is Revolution’ Jennifer Kho and Lauren Moraski, HuffPost

Monday October 12, 2020

PM Stories

The Constitution Is On Pause in America’s Courtrooms Jessica A. Roth, The Atlantic

A Broken Bond: How New York Judges Are Getting Around Bail Reform Akash Mehta, The City

Private Prisons Have Spent More on This Election Than Any Other in History Julia Lurie, Mother Jones

California kept prison factories open. Inmates worked for pennies an hour as COVID-19 spread Kiera Feldman, Los Angeles Times

As SC prisons struggle to stop coronavirus, inmates say quarantine conditions are inhumane Sara Coello, Charleston Post and Courier

Being in prison in a pandemic makes life ‘very, very small’ Jennifer Brooks, Minneapolis Star Tribune

California’s Referendum to Eliminate Cash Bail, Explained Taryn A. Merkl and Leily Arzy, Brennan Center for Justice

Proposition 25 Would End Cash Bail. So Why Are Some Progressive Groups Against It? Marisa Lagos, KQED

Race for Los Angeles district attorney increasingly bitter Brian Melley, AP News

How Police Reform Is Playing A Role In The Harris County DA’s Race Andrew Schneider, Houston Public Media

Vermont legalizes marijuana sales German Lopez, Vox

Michigan inmate serving 60-year sentence for selling weed requests clemency Christina Carrega, ABC News

State suspends practice of taking money from inmates who owe restitution Katelyn Newberg, Las Vegas Review-Journal

He’d Waited Decades to Argue His Innocence. She Was a Judge Who Believed in Second Chances. Nobody Knew She Suffered from Alzheimer’s. Joe Sexton, ProPublica

AM Stories

Delayed Homeland Security Report Warns of ‘Lethal’ White Supremacy Zolan Kanno-Youngs, New York Times

Wolverine Watchmen, extremist group implicated in Michigan kidnapping plot, trained for ‘civil war’ Hannah Knowles, Washington Post

How One Man Built a Neo-Nazi Insurgency in Trump’s America Mack Lamoureux, Ben Makuch, and Zachary Kamel, Vice News

Police killings more likely in agencies that get military gear, data shows Chris Joyner and Nick Thieme, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Train Cops to be Peacekeepers, Not Warriors: Former Chief The Crime Report

The Trouble with Police Unions Daniel DiSalvo, National Affairs

Cities Are Losing Police Chiefs and Struggling to Hire New Ones Zusha Elinson, Wall Street Journal

Black officers, torn between badge and culture, face uniquely painful questions and insults Lateshia Beachum and Brittany Shammas, Washington Post

Born with two strikes Toluse Olorunnipa and Griff Witte, Washington Post

The Store That Called the Cops on George Floyd Aymann Ismail, Slate

Daniel Prude Was in ‘Mental Distress.’ Police Treated Him Like a Suspect. Edgar Sandoval, New York Times

Decision Not to Charge Wisconsin Officer in Fatal Shooting Draws Protests Maria Cramer, New York Times

The True Story of the Antifa Invasion of Forks, Washington Lauren Smiley, Wired

Why British Police Shows Are Better Christopher Orr, The Atlantic

Crime Story Daily Highlights – Week 61

This is a curated selection of highlights from Crime Story Daily this week.

On the criminal justice policy front: As the Supreme Court opens its new term, Law360 highlights five upcoming cases that could affect Americans’ civil and criminal rights, ranging from immigration cases to sentencing disputes. A piece from Time focuses on jail-based disenfranchisement. Most of the 750,000 people held in US jails are legally eligible to vote; but due to widespread misinformation about eligibility, myriad barriers to voter registration, and challenges to casting a ballot, many find it practically impossible to exercise this constitutional right. A report from the Prison Policy Initiative discusses the barriers to jail voting in greater detail, offering recommendations for advocates, policymakers, election officials, and sheriffs to ensure that people in jail are able to cast their ballots. A ProPublica analysis focuses on Florida, where the gutting of a landmark law has left few felons likely – or able – to vote. In a presidential election marred by voter suppression tactics, the weakening of Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to as many as 1.4 million Floridians with felony convictions, “may constitute the biggest single instance of voter disenfranchisement.” Like the poll taxes of the Jim Crow era, the restrictions have especially hit Black Floridians, who make up a disproportionate share of felons and register overwhelmingly as Democrats. Finally, in a piece for USA Today, former US attorneys general Alberto Gonzales and Loretta Lynch reiterate the urgent need for criminal justice reform, outlining a series of policy recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  

In muckraker/watchdog reporting: In an interview with NPR, writer John J. Lennon discusses his experience of catching the coronavirus while incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in upstate New York, where anxiety and isolation, he says, make prison “like a torture chamber.” A new analysis by The Marshall Project focuses on compassionate release. They found that in the first few months of the pandemic, as the virus quickly spread behind bars, federal prison wardens denied or ignored more than 98% of compassionate release requests, including many from elderly or medically vulnerable prisoners. Though more than 10,000 federal inmates applied for compassionate release, officials granted a mere 156 requests. Nearly 15,600 federal prisoners have contracted coronavirus, and 133 have died. A Reuters investigation reveals how the US Justice Department disarmed its own effort at police reform. The piece focuses on so-called “pattern or practice” investigations, the primary federal program designed to address police abuse. In nearly four years, Trump officials have opened just one police pattern or practice case, compared to at least 20 opened during the eight years of the Obama administration. And a piece from Mother Jones asks, “Why won’t Democratic mayors crack down on the cops?” In liberal cities across the country, from Portland to NYC, liberal mayors are “defying their citizenry in the streets, going to war on behalf of cops who loathe them, sometimes at the expense of their popularity.” Why? The answer, the piece argues, is that even the most “progressive” mayors answer not to their constituents but to the very rich: the Fortune 500 CEOs whose money can win or lose an election, and who strongly oppose defunding the police.

In complex crime storytelling: In a piece for Esquire, written in 1961, the novelist William Styron reflects on capital punishment, the “cruelest dilemma of our time,” America’s broken legal system, and the true meaning of justice through the lens of one little-known case: that of Benjamin Reid, a poor, developmentally disabled Black man who was sentenced to death in Connecticut at the age of 19. Styron ultimately condemns the death penalty as both an “outrageous hypocrisy” and an irredeemable moral wrong: “The fact remains that all of us, to some degree, are spiritually and physically diminished by the doctrine of legal vengeance, even though it manifests itself as nothing more than a chronic, insidious infection beneath the public skin.” The Washington Post reports from Oakland, California, where, with crime rates spiking, protesters calling to defund the police, and the city budget ravaged by the pandemic, “ideology and practicality are on a collision course.” And a piece from Time focuses on David Ruggles, the Black New Yorker who led the charge against police violence in the 1830s.  

And in culture/true crime: Louder Than A Riot, a new podcast from NPR, reveals “the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration.” From Bobby Shmurda to Nipsey Hussle, each episode explores one artist’s story to examine a different aspect of the criminal justice system that disproportionately impacts Black America. More than just music, “Louder Than A Riot” is a story about power: “the power the industry wields over artists, the power of institutional forces that marginalize communities of color, the power of the prison industrial complex and the power dynamics deep-rooted in the rap game.” Highsnobiety highlights “The Other Side,” a new exhibition of collaborative works by the artists William and Steven Ladd and inmates in the NYC Department of Corrections. Featuring drawings, paintings, and sculptural wall works made in collaboration with inmates, as well as a series of installations depicting a jail cell, metal detector, and surveillance booth, the show seeks to amplify the voices and perspectives of incarcerated people and to shed light on their experiences behind bars. And the Los Angeles Times goes inside “the once-controversial trend that took over true crime TV”: the subjective, highly stylized crime scene reenactments, pioneered by Errol Morris in 1988’s “The Thin Blue Line,” that have since become a staple of the genre.

Friday October 9, 2020

PM Stories

Trump Doesn’t Know Why Crime Rises or Falls. Neither Does Biden. Or Any Other Politician. Maggie Koerth and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, FiveThirtyEight

California Prop. 20 would boost punishments for a variety of crimes, restrict parole Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle

The DA Primary in Los Angeles Narrowly Went to a Runoff. Now That the Election Is Here, the Stakes Are Even Higher Eliyahu Kamisher, The Appeal

Two Prosecutors Running for LA District Attorney Clash Over Criminal Justice Reform Davis Vanguard

How New Orleans Activists Are Pushing DA Candidates To End Mass Incarceration Katie Jane Fernelius, The Appeal

Citing abuse, Florida prosecutor stops pursuing most resisting arrest charges, sparking police concerns Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN

To Charge or Not to Charge? How Prosecutors Drive Mass Incarceration Emily Riley, The Crime Report

The Misdemeanor System Reinforces Economic Inequality Tim Lau, Brennan Center for Justice

The Prisoners Who Were Convicted by Hung Juries Zoé Chevalier, The Nation

Some formerly incarcerated West Virginians can’t vote. Others can, but may not know it. Douglas Soule, Mountain State Spotlight

First COVID-19-related deaths confirmed in Wisconsin prison system Emily Hamer, Wisconsin State Journal

Inmate Claims COVID-19 Mess at Denver Jails Michael Roberts, Westword

I left my friends in prison in a pandemic. Here’s what it’s like for them Jennifer Toon, The Guardian

How Crime Survivors Are Joining Forces to Push for Criminal Justice Reforms and Victim Services NBC Washington

‘Time’ Review: What We Really Mean When We Say Mass Incarceration Lisa Kennedy, New York Times

AM Stories

Why isn’t Detroit, the nation’s Blackest big city, ready for criminal justice reform? Tom Perkins, Detroit Metro Times

Protesters want to defund police. Homicides and violence are spiking. In Oakland, ideology and practicality collide. Scott Wilson and Holly Bailey, Washington Post

Multnomah County DA declines to prosecute 70% of Portland protest cases Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, The Oregonian

Texas prosecutor says probe of police shooting of Black man will go to grand jury Nathan Layne, Reuters

Policing Group Announces Council on Reform and Race The Crime Report

Derek Chauvin, Ex-Officer Charged in George Floyd Killing, Is Released on Bail Joe Barrett, Wall Street Journal

Kentucky attorney general seeks to ban Breonna Taylor grand juror from discussing proceedings Marisa Iati, Hannah Knowles, and Abigail Hauslohner, Washington Post

Body cam industry is under pressure after deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor Chauncey Alcorn, CNN

The Armed Women at the Center of the Louisville Protests Jamie Thompson, Politico Magazine

Colin Kaepernick says ‘f--- reform’ in new series on police abolition Anagha Srikanth, The Hill

Abolition for the People Medium

Protest Movements Without a Public Face Celestine Bohlen, New York Times

Thursday October 8, 2020

PM Stories

What Trump Really Means When He Tweets “LAW & ORDER!!!” Beth Schwartzapfel, The Marshall Project

An exchange about Breonna Taylor and George Floyd crystallizes the candidates’ opposing views on racial justice. Maggie Astor, New York Times

Kamala Harris Promises To Decriminalize Marijuana and Expunge Records Billy Binion, Reason

Was Kamala Harris a ‘Progressive Prosecutor’? VP Candidate’s Record on Criminal Justice Reform Jocelyn Grzeszczak, Newsweek

Most Florida felons kept from registering to vote by fines, fees or fears, activists say Lori Rozsa, Washington Post

Florida ruled felons must pay to vote. Now, it doesn’t know how many can. Lawrence Mower and Langston Taylor, Tampa Bay Times

Activists gather outside California jails, call for mass clemency to stop COVID-19 spread John Bowden, The Hill

Delaware prisons prep for battle on two fronts, against COVID-19 and the flu Mark Eichmann, WHYY

Federal appeals court says Texas doesn’t have to give geriatric inmates hand sanitizer for now Jolie McCullough, Texas Tribune

In New York’s State Prisons, One Night in Solitary Can Derail an Education Alexandra Gibbons, Solitary Watch

Federal judge tells Trump administration to stop withholding $1,200 stimulus payments totaling $100 million from incarcerated Michelle Singletary, Washington Post

Report: Critical Change Made in Dealing With Mentally Ill Offenders (Los Angeles) City News Service

How a Podcast Paused a Murder Trial Nicholas Quah, New York Magazine

‘Mangrove’ Review: Steve McQueen’s Tale of Racial Injustice Builds to Thrilling Courtroom Showdown Eric Kohn, IndieWire

NPR Expands Storytelling Lens To Explore The Intersection Of Hip-Hop And Mass Incarceration Jacqueline Schneider, Forbes

Louder Than A Riot NPR

AM Stories

‘Minneapolis Effect’ Blamed for Spike in Homicides The Crime Report

Deadly violence in LA up 15% so far this year, mirroring national trends Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

Did De-Policing Cause the 2015 Homicide Spike? Richard Rosenfeld and Joel Wallman, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation

Push to defund police gains no traction in NJ as state’s largest towns increase funds for cops Terrence T. McDonald, USA Today

Answers and accountability are desperately needed in the Breonna Taylor case Editorial Board, Washington Post

In Louisville, Looking to Protests of the Past to Move Forward John Eligon and Will Wright, New York Times

From slogans to solutions? Pritzker proposes ending cash bail, no-knock warrants and other criminal justice reforms Rachel Hinton, Chicago Sun-Times

California prosecutor will reopen investigation into the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant Amir Vera and Cheri Mossburg, CNN

St. Louis husband and wife who pointed guns at protesters indicted on firearms charges Tim Stelloh, NBC News

Housing the homeless, feeding school children: How Black families devastated by police violence are fighting to end racism Nicquel Terry Ellis, USA Today

The Black New Yorker Who Led the Charge Against Police Violence in the 1830s Jonathan Daniel Wells, Time

A Reckoning Inside the Domestic-Violence Movement Zoë Carpenter, The Nation

Even A Pandemic Couldn’t Stop Police Shootings. Activists Explain Why Abolition Must Be Our Goal. Mary Retta, Refinery29

Wednesday October 7, 2020

PM Stories

In Florida, the Gutting of a Landmark Law Leaves Few Felons Likely to Vote Lawrence Mower and Langston Taylor, ProPublica

The Courts Have Blessed a Modern-Day Jelly Bean Test in Florida Leah C. Aden, Slate

The Frustrations of Fighting for Compassionate Release Under the First Step Act Sarah E. Ryan, The Crime Report

Thousands of Sick Federal Prisoners Sought Compassionate Release. 98 Percent Were Denied. Keri Blakinger and Joseph Neff, The Marshall Project

12 Oregon Prisoners Killed by COVID, Over 1,000 Inmates Across State Infected Ana de Liz, Newsweek

Federal Judges Were Once All Reliably Bad On Prisoners’ Rights Issues. COVID-19 Changed That. Samuel Weiss, The Appeal

The Pandemic Has Hindered Many of the Best Ideas for Reducing Violence Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui, New York Times

Jurors in a fire station, high school gym and the ‘Cow Palace.’ How Maryland is restarting jury trials in the pandemic. Dan Morse, Washington Post

Should NJ Legalize Marijuana? The Voters Will Decide Tracey Tully, New York Times

Trump’s top federal prosecutors are overwhelmingly white men Jake Bleiberg, Aaron Morrison, and Jim Mustian, AP News

Trump’s Favorite Texas Sheriff Faces Re-Election Amid a Spike in Deaths at His Jail Michael Barajas, Texas Observer

Inside the once-controversial trend that took over true crime TV Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times

A Filmmaker Who Sees Prison Life With Love and Complexity Ismail Muhammad, New York Times Magazine

How the Ladd Brothers Helped Rikers Island Inmates Tell Their Story In A Pandemic Isabelle Hore-Thorburn, Highsnobiety

AM Stories

The injustices facing immigrants and refugees Washington Post

How ICE Became a ‘Propaganda Machine’ for Trump Ken Klippenstein, The Nation

Federal judge halts work of Trump’s national law enforcement commission after NAACP complaint Kevin Johnson, USA Today

Gov. Newsom Vetoes Bill Funding Police Alternatives Grace Z. Li, SF Weekly

Gov. Newsom vetoes bill backed by Ventura County DA to track police officer credibility Megan Diskin, Ventura County Star

De Blasio, Cuomo clash over NYPD reform Erin Durkin, Politico

Criminal justice reforms have next to nothing to do with NYC’s shooting surge Jullian Harris-Calvin, New York Daily News

Police reform bill could bring Washington to forefront of accountability movement Mike Reicher, Seattle Times

Second grand juror in Breonna Taylor case interested in speaking out, Louisville activist says Ralph Ellis, Elizabeth Joseph, and Lauren del Valle, CNN

Cop Who Fired 16 Rounds at Breonna Taylor Said He Only Surmised That He Had Used His Gun Jacob Sullum, Reason

Texas Police Officer Charged With Murder in Fatal Shooting of Black Man Bryan Pietsch, New York Times

‘Rhetoric without reality’ or effective policing strategy? An analysis of the relationship between community policing and police fatal force Wendy M. Koslicki, Daniel J. Lytle, Dale W. Willits, and Rachael Brooks, Journal of Criminal Justice

Tuesday October 6, 2020

PM Stories

Former attorneys general: Criminal justice reform vital to slow spread of COVID-19 Loretta Lynch and Alberto Gonzales, USA Today

Warren, Durbin slam government’s ‘failing’ efforts to contain coronavirus in federal prisons Kim Bellware, Washington Post

COVID-19 cases explode at Utah State Prison in Draper Lee Davidson, Salt Lake Tribune

Women’s prison ravaged by COVID, fear Christian Boone, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Judge Ordered Him Released From Prison Due To COVID-19 Concerns. He Died Of The Disease Two Months Later In ICE Custody. Hamed Aleaziz, BuzzFeed News

Prison Labor Is on the Frontlines of the COVID-19 Pandemic Eliyahu Kamisher, The Appeal

California Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Policing, Probation, Juvenile Justice Reforms Scott Shackford, Reason

NY Push To Nix Court Fines, Fees Could Spread Nationwide Anna Sanders, Law360

Criminal Justice Reform Takes Center Stage in New Orleans DA Race Jenn Bentley, Big Easy Magazine

Eligible, but excluded: A guide to removing the barriers to jail voting Ginger Jackson-Gleich and Rev. Dr. S. Todd Yeary, Prison Policy Initiative

Maine Hires Lawyers With Criminal Records to Defend Its Poorest Residents Samantha Hogan, ProPublica

The Death-in-Life of Benjamin Reid (1962) William Styron, Esquire

The Aftermath of Benjamin Reid (1962) William Styron, Esquire

AM Stories

Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Audio Reveals Conflicting Accounts of Fatal Raid Will Wright, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, and John Eligon, New York Times

It Sure Looks Like Daniel Cameron Lied About Breonna Taylor’s Killing Zak Cheney-Rice, New York Magazine

Justice for Breonna Taylor means transforming the society and the systems that killed her Cassia Herron and Aja Holston-Barber, Louisville Courier Journal

Why Won’t Democratic Mayors Crack Down on the Cops? Daniel Moattar, Mother Jones

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti shifts support to George Gascón in contentious DA’s race James Queally, Los Angeles Times

Police Reform Takes Center Stage at Los Angeles DA Debate Nathan Solis, Courthouse News

A mentally ill man, a heavily armed teenager and the night Kenosha burned Robert Klemko and Greg Jaffe, Washington Post

We Spent A Year Investigating Police Dogs. Here Are Six Takeaways. Ashley Remkus, The Marshall Project

Policing Studies Measure Benefits to Crime Reduction – But Not Social Costs John Pfaff, The Appeal

True Police Reform Lies In Rooting Out Bad Laws, Experts Say Kevin Penton, Law360

Activists On How To Sustain Movement Against Police Brutality NPR

‘Cops’ resumes production after cancellation at Paramount Network Nate Day, Fox

Monday October 5, 2020

PM Stories

Today Marks the Start of a Truly Terrifying Supreme Court Term Elie Mystal, The Nation

5 Supreme Court Access To Justice Cases To Watch Emma Cueto, Law360

‘Real Change’: A Race Is On to Register Ex-Felons in Florida Patricia Mazzei, New York Times

Voting nearly impossible for eligible voters behind bars Rebecca Boone, AP News

Whether or Not You’re Able to Vote in Jail May Come Down to Where You’re Incarcerated Madeleine Carlisle and Lissandra Villa, Time

For Inmates With COVID-19, Anxiety and Isolation Make Prison ‘Like A Torture Chamber’ Simone Popperl, Emma Talkoff, and Noel King, NPR

Otay Mesa detainees say shift of health services to private contractor complicates care Kate Morrissey, Los Angeles Times

Could Pandemic Jail Reforms Turn Permanent in Colorado? The Crime Report

Solitary Refinement: Navigating the pandemic in courts, jails may have produced a cure for stalled justice reform in Colorado Quincy Snowdon, Sentinel

Pushed Out of Hospitals by COVID, Anti-Violence Programs Try to Adapt Jennifer Mascia, The Trace

One Chicago community endures virus, violence and turmoil Sharon Cohen, Washington Post

Judge Overturns Murder Conviction, Citing ‘Racial Animus’ in Prosecutors’ Emails Michael Levenson, New York Times

Why Mass Incarceration Matters: Rethinking Crisis, Decline, and Transformation in Postwar American History Heather Ann Thompson, Journal of American History

Abolition Is Not Merely a Demand, But a Long-Term Struggle Erica R. Meiners, Truthout

AM Stories

A door busted open. A chaotic scene. A life taken. What the Breonna Taylor grand jury audio reveals Ray Sanchez, CNN

Attorneys for Breonna Taylor’s family ask Kentucky governor to appoint new special prosecutor Bill Hutchinson, ABC News

Special Report: How US Justice Department disarmed its police reform effort John Shiffman and Brad Heath, Reuters

To Hold Police Accountable, Ax the Arbitrators Editorial Board, New York Times

Progressive prosecutors aim to change the criminal justice system from the inside Candace Smith, Jake Lefferman, and Allie Yang, ABC News

San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin Talks Criminal Justice Reform Davis Vanguard

Colorado governor to mass-pardon 2,700-plus marijuana convictions Saja Hindi, Denver Post

In Midst of Coronavirus, Let’s Redouble Our Efforts to End Incarceration for Girls Hannah Green and Jessica Nowlan, The Imprint

Federal Prisons Will Let Inmates Have Visitors During Pandemic Maura Turcotte and Libby Seline, New York Times

NYC courts pose severe coronavirus risk to public and workers, new safety report says Molly Crane-Newman, New York Daily News

Panel Recommends Broad Measures to Thwart COVID in Criminal Justice System Cameron Langford, Courthouse News

How to Get Away With Murder Charles Duhigg, Slate

Being a Prison Firefighter Taught Me to Save Lives Rasheed Lockheart with Christie Thompson, The Marshall Project

AIA New York Calls on Architects to Stop Designing Criminal Justice Facilities Tim Nelson, Architectural Digest

Crime Story Daily Highlights – Week 60

This is a curated selection of highlights from Crime Story Daily this week.

On the criminal justice policy front: This week, the Los Angeles Times officially endorsed George Gascón for LA County DA. The contentious race between Gascón and incumbent Jackie Lacey has intensified in recent weeks, the latest battleground in the larger nationwide debate over police reform. With less than a month to go before Election Day, the LA Times looks at the mega-donors and police unions that have pumped more than $12 million into the race. A piece from The Intercept focuses on Portland, where four months of protests over police violence have upended a heated mayoral race. In an interview with Jacobin Magazine, historian John Clegg discusses the “economic origins of mass incarceration,” while Christian Science Monitor outlines the long, fraught history of “law and order” politics.

In muckraker/watchdog reporting: Last week, a Kentucky grand jury declined to charge any of the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death, sparking nationwide confusion and outrage. Grand jury proceedings are typically kept secret, but on Monday, the New York Times reported that one of the jurors had filed a court motion seeking the release of last week’s transcripts and permission from a judge to speak publicly on the case. The juror contended that Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron had misrepresented the jury’s deliberations and failed to offer the panel the option of indicting the two officers responsible for Taylor’s death. A piece from The New Yorker focuses on Cameron’s “sins of omission” and the “empty facts” of the grand jury decision, while the Washington Post breaks down and corrects the misinformation surrounding the Breonna Taylor case. Finally, a piece from The Atlantic centers on the Oath Keepers, a secretive pro-Trump militia group that has recruited thousands of soldiers, veterans, and police.

In complex crime storytelling: A piece from the New York Times focuses on Minneapolis, where, in the immediate aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd, a veto-proof majority of city councilmembers pledged to defund and dismantle the city’s police department. It was a powerful statement that reverberated across the country, delighting activists and invigorating calls for far-reaching structural change. But three months later, with support for Black Lives Matter cooling in national polls, police reforms have stalled in state legislatures and on Capitol Hill; in Minneapolis, the most ambitious policy efforts meant to address police violence have all but collapsed. The piece outlines how the councilmembers’ pledge to “end policing as we know” – “a mantra to meet the city’s pain” – became a case study in “how quickly political winds can shift, and what happens when idealistic efforts at structural change meet the legislative process and public opposition.” And, in a piece for The Atlantic, a former public defender, policy reformer, and self-proclaimed prison abolitionist reflects on her own experience of navigating the criminal justice system she spent a career working to change. When a stranger broke into her bedroom in the middle of the night, she was forced to confront head-on the difficult questions that inevitably complicate conversations around reform: how do we weigh the need for public safety against the evils of police brutality, mass criminalization, and the prison-industrial complex? When every aspect of the system is broken, how do we move towards change? And what does it mean to be a prison abolitionist when your own home isn't safe?

And in culture/true crime: The New York Times reviews “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” a new exhibition at New York City’s MoMA PS1. Featuring works by more than 40 currently or formerly incarcerated artists, many of them crafted from found materials or scavenged trash – a collage of shredded commissary papers and a torn-up inmate uniform, held together with floor wax; a 40-foot-wide tapestry pieced together from prison bedsheets and transfer-printed using hair gel on a spoon – the show seeks to highlight the creativity and ingenuity that thrive behind bars, and to define what guest curator Nicole R. Fleetwood has termed “carceral aesthetics”: an art shaped by “radically constricted space, an untethered institutional time, and material scarcity.” And the Wall Street Journal profiles Garrett Bradley, the artist and filmmaker behind “Time,” a Sundance-winning documentary about mass incarceration and the devastating impacts of the prison-industrial complex. The film follows one New Orleans woman, Fox Richardson, as she fights to free her husband Rob from a 60-year prison sentence. Swirled together from years’ worth of MiniDV tapes, “Time” spans more than two decades in the Richardsons’ life, from the early days of their marriage to Rob’s eventual release from prison and their joyful reunion after 21 years apart.

Friday October 2, 2020

PM Stories

California passes a swath of police reform laws Jacob Kutson, Axios

Endorsement: No on Proposition 20. Don’t let police unions roll back justice reforms Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times

Why Finding a Police Chief Just Got a Lot More Complicated Levi Pulkkinen, US News & World Report

Federal Judge Halts Trump’s Cop-Filled Law Enforcement Task Force Ryan J. Reilly, HuffPost

Some Police Chiefs Rush Out Video of Shootings to Tamp Down Unrest Joe Barrett, Wall Street Journal

When Police Violence Is a Dog Bite Abbie VanSickle, Challen Stephens, Ryan Martin, Dana Brozost-Kelleher, and Andrew Fan, The Marshall Project

Judge says she is ‘concerned’ detective may have lied to get Breonna Taylor search warrant Andrew Wolfson, Darcy Costello, and Tessa Duvall, Louisville Courier Journal

Breonna Taylor Travesty Must Renew Focus on the Racist Drug War Natalie Papillion, Filter Magazine

Black women are leading the movement to end police violence Keisha N. Blain, Washington Post

Defunding the Police Is a Reparations Issue Dreisen Heath, The Nation

Reconstructing Justice: Race, Generational Divides, and the Fight Over “Defund the Police” Michael Javen Fortner, Niskanen Center

Can Social Workers Replace Cops? One Experiment, From All Angles Mark Obbie, The Crime Report

Aching for Abolition Camonghne Felix, New York Magazine

How Garrett Bradley’s Films Reset Our Personal Algorithms Rebecca Bengal, Wall Street Journal

AM Stories

How Mass Incarceration Was Built in the United States – And How We Can Undo It Doug Henwood, Jacobin Magazine

In 2020 Election, Florida Felon Voting Limits Could Sway State Outcome Coulter Jones and Jon Kamp, Wall Street Journal

Felony conviction? Here are Florida’s rules for registering to vote Langston Taylor, Tampa Bay Times

Endorsement: George Gascón for LA County district attorney Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times

Here are the mega-donors and police unions pouring millions into the LA County district attorney race Maloy Moore, Ryan Menezes, and James Queally, Los Angeles Times

California voters to review criminal justice, bail reforms Don Thompson, SF Gate

Justice System Must ‘Reduce Density’ in Pandemic, Panel Says Ted Gest, The Crime Report

Two New Infections Appear at San Quentin and Two More Inmates Die Of COVID-19 Jay Barmann, SFist

‘You are sentenced to COVID-19’: Arizona inmates claim prisons, state not doing enough to protect them Lauren Castle, Arizona Republic

Florida prisons, among nation’s deadliest, didn’t like ‘demanding’ watchdog. He’s gone. Samantha J. Gross, Miami Herald

Vermont Prosecutor Becomes Second in Nation to Stop Seeking Cash Bail Filter Magazine

Houston man at center of landmark death row case released from prison Julian Gill, Houston Chronicle

New magazine seeks to shift narratives on incarceration Samantha Matsumoto, Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Pretender John Rosengren, Atavist Magazine

History Catches Up With Tana French Laura Miller, Slate