Expert Witness

Interview: Carl Weathers and Paul Alan Smith on the Prison Letters of Tiyo Attallah...

Prison Letters: An Interview with Paul Alan Smith and Carl Weathers Tiyo Attallah Salah-El was a decorated Korean War veteran and jazz musician who, in 1975, was sentenced to life in prison for murder. While incarcerated, he earned a BA in African American history, a MA in Political Science, worked as the Director for the Prisoner Education Program, and founded the Coalition for the Abolition of Prisons.  A new book, Pen Pal: Prison Letters From a Free Spirit On Slow Death Row, is a collection of letters...

Mike Romano: Troy Barron Walks Free after Life Without Parole Sentence Vacated

CRIME STORY has received permission to re-print Michael Romano‘s newsletters from Stanford Law School’s Three Strikes Project whose mission is to reverse the most unjust criminal sentences. Romano and his colleague Susan Champion were interviewed by Amanda Knox for CRIME STORY and you can find the podcast and the transcript of that interview here. You can find a story about Romano’s participation in a U.S. Congressional field hearing on criminal justice reform here. You can find past issues of Romano‘s newsletter here. When our client Troy Barron was convicted of possession of cocaine...

Interview: Aya Gruber on the Feminist War on Crime (with Amanda Knox)

The Imperfect Alliance Between Law Enforcement and Feminism: An Interview with Aya Gruber Aya Gruber is a law professor at the University of Colorado who teaches and writes about feminism and criminal law.  Her new book, The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration, documents the history of feminist efforts to strengthen criminal law responses to gender violence. Her analysis reveals how those efforts have contributed to mass incarceration and offers an alternative perspective for how feminist activists and lawmakers can...

Interview: Jarrett Adams on How Two Acquitted Men Were Sentenced to Life (with Amanda...

The Narrative: How Two Acquitted Men Were Sentenced to Life  Jarrett Adams   Narratives are powerful things, Amanda. And you know that. I'm not telling you anything you don't know. Narratives are powerful things. The narrative that has been created is these guys are cop killers and drug dealers. And if they're not cop killers, then they're still drug dealers. Amanda, they're neither of them. They're neither. Amanda Knox (Narration) That’s Jarrett Adams, a criminal defense attorney representing Terrence Richardson and...

Interview: Jody Armour, on Moral Luck, Blame and Punishment (with Amanda Knox)

N*gga Theory: An Interview with Professor Jody Armour Jody Armour is a law professor at the University of Southern California. He studies the intersection of race and legal decision making as well as torts and tort reform movements. He has also taught about the intersection of social justice, Hip Hop culture, and the law in a workshop titled Race, Rap and Redemption. In his first book, Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America, Armour examined three core concerns of the Black Lives...

Interview: Emanuel Fair, Found Not Guilty of Murder after Nine Years in Jail (with...

The Trials of Emanuel Fair On the night of October 31, 2008, 24-year-old software engineer and motorcycle enthusiast Arpana Jinaga was raped and murdered in her bedroom after co-hosting a Halloween party at her apartment complex in Redmond, Washington. Nearly two years later, detectives charged then 26-year-old Emanuel Fair, one of the many revelers who visited Jinaga’s apartment over the course of the evening. Fair was arrested and spent the next nine years in jail, proclaiming his innocence through two trials, numerous motions, and drawn out judicial delays. It was...

Interview: Roberto Lovato, Journalist Covering Violence, the Drug War and Refugees (with Amanda Knox)

Unforgetting: An Interview with Roberto Lovato Roberto Lovato is a journalist based in San Francisco, California. He reports on violence, terrorism, the drug war, and the refugee crises in Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, and the United States. He is also a longtime political strategist who has participated in the fight against California’s Proposition 187 and the Drop the I-Word Campaign. He is also co-founder of the Central American Studies Program at California State University at Northridge, Presente.org, and #DignidadLiteraria. In his most recent work, Unforgetting: A Memoir...

Interview: Keeda Haynes on the Journey from Prison to Public Defender to Politics (with...

On May 7, 2002, two weeks after Keeda Haynes graduated from Tennessee State University, she was convicted of aiding and abetting a drug trafficker ― her boyfriend. He had involved Haynes by asking her to receive packages arriving by Fedex at his electronics store. Haynes says she had no idea these packages did not contain electronics, but marijuana.  She spent the next 3 years and 10 months in federal prison, and emerged with a fierce determination to defend the accused and reform the criminal justice system. She now works as...

Interview: James Forman, Jr. on the Complex Path to Mass Incarceration (with Amanda Knox)

Locking Up Our Own: An Interview with Professor James Forman Jr. In Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, Professor James Forman Jr. of Yale Law School chronicles the history of our country’s war on crime from the perspective of the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs who took office in the 1970s and ‘80s amid a surge in crime and drug addiction, and how, in response, they ended up pushing for tough-on-crime policies that would have unforeseen consequences for the impoverished and...

Interview: Maurice Chammah on Covering the Death Penalty (with Amanda Knox)

The Last Gasp of the Death Penalty: An Interview with Maurice Chammah Maurice Chammah is a Texas-based staff writer for the Marshall Project who reports primarily on the death penalty. He also organizes The Insider Prize, a contest for Texas-based incarcerated writers sponsored by American Short Fiction. Amanda Knox  How did you become interested in writing about the criminal justice system and the death penalty in particular? Maurice Chammah So after college, I moved back to Austin, Texas,...

Amanda Knox on Criminalizing Karen

By Amanda Knox with Christopher Robinson We’ve all met her. That particular kind of white woman who exhibits deplorable, antisocial behaviors that range from passive aggressive entitlement to outright hostility. A “Karen.”  If you’ve ever worked in the service industry, you’ve likely had to deal with a “Nightmare of Karens” — that’s the proper collective noun, I’m told. If you’re a person of color, you may have experienced a version of the dog-walker-bird-watcher incident, where a white woman falsely told the 911 operator that a black man...

Interview: Maria DiLorenzo, Author, on Writing about a Spree Killer from her Neighborhood (with...

Degrees of Separation: Maria DiLorenzo’s Deep Dive Into a Local Killing Spree Maria DiLorenzo’s poetry has appeared in the Barrier Islands Review, The Flea, Hawaii Pacific Review, and the Pennsylvania Literary Journal. Her current writing obsession, however, is Maksim Gelman, a man currently serving a 225-year sentence at Sing Sing Correctional Facility for murdering four people and injuring five during a two-day stabbing spree in mid-February 2011. How does a poet go from Keats to killers? And why? I spoke with DiLorenzo to find out.  Amanda Knox 

Interview: Emily Galvin-Almanza, Criminal Justice Advocate for Activists, Defendants and their Attorneys (with Amanda...

The “Yes, And…” Principle for Justice: An Interview with Emily Galvin-Almanza Emily Galvin-Almanza is CEO and co-founder of Partners For Justice, a nonprofit that pairs recent college graduates with overworked and resource-poor public defenders’ offices to provide case management services to vulnerable clients. She is also the senior legal counsel at The Justice Collaborative, an organization that offers legal, policy, communications, and networking support to organizations working to end mass incarceration and poverty. Galvin-Almanza’s pinned tweet is about #DefundThePolice, and how it’s going to take a lot...

Interview: Jessica Henry, Scholar, on the Phenomenon of “No Crime” Wrongful Convictions (with Amanda...

Smoke But No Fire: An Interview with Jessica Henry Jessica Henry is a professor and former public defender based in New Jersey. She’s also the author of Smoke But No Fire (University of California Press), set to be published on August 4, 2020. Her book tells the stories of innocent people tried, convicted, imprisoned, and even put to death, for crimes that never occurred in the first place. She identifies the aspects and actors of our criminal justice system that not only allow, but encourage, this kind of injustice, and...

Interview: Kevin Sharp, on the Case of Leonard Peltier

The Case of Leonard Peltier: An Interview with Kevin Sharp On June 26, 1975, FBI agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams died in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The man who has spent the last 44 years in prison for aiding and abetting their murders is now 75-year-old Leonard Peltier, a member of the American Indian Movement, AIM, which seeks to address systemic racism and police brutality towards Native Americans. Former U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp, who now represents Peltier, says that not only...

Top Stories