Justice

CRIME STORY on the L.A. District Attorney election

Crime Story has intently covered the candidates and issues surrounding Tuesday's election for Los Angeles District Attorney. We have covered two of the candidate debates, including the only forum that all three candidates attended. We dedicated an an entire episode of our Jury Duty podcast to a discussion of one of those debates. We have also conducted interviews with two of the candidates, Rachel Rossi and George Gascón. We invited incumbent D.A. Jackie Lacey to sit down with us, but we received...

To Imprison or Divert in L.A.

Editor’s note: Out of respect for the privacy of the individuals depicted in this story, we have changed those individuals' names. Reggie was going for breakfast at Denny’s with some of his buds. It was 10am on a Saturday but it wasn’t “brunch.” Reggie is adamant about that. It was just guys going to breakfast, ready to slam back stacks of pancakes and troughs of bacon. No frills. No bottomless mimosas. But the whole morning went to hell before it even began. Reggie was pulling into the...

A Conversation with Paul Butler about Progressive Prosecutors

Kary Antholis: This is Jury Duty, a weekly podcast forum for the discussion of crime and justice storytelling, news and narrative analysis presented by Crime Story Media.  This episode features a discussion between yours truly, Crime Story, Publisher/Editor Kary Antholis and Crime Story Consulting Editor, and Georgetown Law Professor, Paul Butler.  In our chat, Paul and I discuss the national movement to elect progressive District Attorneys. Welcome, Paul Butler. Thanks for joining me. Paul Butler:

Reassessing The Estes Robbery

Editor’s note: Out of respect for the privacy of one of the people depicted in this story, we have changed that person’s name. It was 1983 in the men’s department of a Sears when Curtis Estes committed a crime that would eventually redefine an entire category of theft in California. Estes was unaware that a security guard was watching him when he surreptitiously slipped on a down vest, and then a corduroy jacket, from the rack. Price tags concealed, Estes strolled out the door with the unpurchased...

The Rest Of Our Interview with George Gascón, Los Angles District Attorney Candidate

This episode of Jury Duty features the conclusion of our exclusive interview with George Gascón, candidate for Los Angeles District Attorney. In Part Two, Mr. Gascón answers questions - from Crime Story Publisher and Editor Kary Antholis and Crime Story reporter Molly Miller - about his tenure as Police Chief in Mesa, Arizona and his conflicts with legendary xenophobe, Sheriff Joe Arpaio; his transition to Police Chief of San Francisco and subsequently to District Attorney in that City. We discuss his role as one of the architects of Proposition 47; how he might...

Jury Duty Exclusive: Part 1 of an Interview with George Gascón, Los Angles District...

This is Jury Duty, a weekly podcast forum for the discussion of crime and justice storytelling news and narrative analysis brought to you by Crime Story Media. This episode features part one of our exclusive interview with George Gascón, candidate for Los Angeles District Attorney. In Part One, Mr. Gascón answers questions - from Crime Story Publisher and Editor Kary Antholis and Crime Story reporter Molly Miller - about his early life, his education, his business career and his years with the Los Angeles Police Department. You can find a...

The Second L.A. D.A. Debate: A View From the Front Row

It was minutes after the conclusion of the most recent District Attorney debate in downtown Los Angeles and the crowd was just starting to spill from the Aratani Theatre. Among them, a man garbed in khakis and a gingham button-up held a cellphone to his ear and kept his eyes on the ground as he gave the listener his take on the event. “You know how it feels like the world is fucking on fire? Yeah, this was no different.” The DA debate on Wednesday, January 29...

PART 3 — PODCAST SPECIAL: The First Los Angeles District Attorney Debate

This is the third part of a three part look at the First Los Angeles District Attorney Debate of the 2020 election cycle. You can find part 1 of this series here and part 2 of the series here. On December 19, 2019 USC Law Professor Jody Armour moderated the first Los Angeles DA debate in which candidates George Gascón and Rachel Rossi squared off over a host of criminal justice issues. Conspicuously missing from the event was incumbent Jackie Lacey, who cited a scheduling conflict....

CalGang

According to the California Department of Justice, you are eligible for inclusion on CalGang, a statewide database of gang members and gang associates, if you meet two or more of the following criteria: 1.     You have admitted to being a gang member. 2.     You have been arrested for offenses consistent with gang activity. 3.     You have been identified as a gang member by a reliable informant. 4.     You have been seen associating with...

PART 2 — PODCAST SPECIAL: The First Los Angeles District Attorney Debate

This is the second part of a three part look at the First Los Angeles District Attorney Debate of the 2020 election cycle. You can find part 1 of this series here. On December 19, 2019 USC Law Professor Jody Armour moderated the first Los Angeles DA debate in which candidates George Gascón and Rachel Rossi squared off regarding a host of criminal justice issues. Conspicuously missing from the event was incumbent Jackie Lacey who cited a scheduling conflict. In today’s Podcast Special, we examine the...

A Public Defender Speaks

When I moved to LA, I dreaded living in a city famous for its superficiality but I reassured myself that I was also settling in a mecca of progressive ideals. Marijuana is legal, gay marriage is celebrated, and the state is plastered with blue on every political rendering. Welcome to California, or as Jack Donaghy of 30 Rock called it, “The People’s Gaypublic of Drugifornia.”  Given what I knew, I assumed that in LA, the District Attorney’s Office would be at the forefront of criminal justice reform.

PODCAST SPECIAL: The First Los Angeles District Attorney Debate – Part 1

On today’s podcast we have the first part of a special immersive experience into the Los Angeles District Attorney election. Molly Miller takes us inside a recent forum for the candidates. This is: The First LA DA Debate - Part One. Participating Candidates: George Gascón and Rachel Rossi. Invited but not attending: Jackie Lacey. Moderator: USC Professor Jody Armour. SAMSON: “MANY DA’S AROUND THE COUNTRY SEEM FOCUSED PRIMARILY ON ACHIEVING PUNISHMENT AT ANY COST, MEASURED SOLELY BY CONVICTIONS AND PRISON SENTENCES BASED ON THE MISPLACED ASSUMPTION, THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTION THAT...

PODCAST SPECIAL: A Congressional Crime Hearing in the City of Angels – Part 2

This is the second part of our two part coverage of this hearing. You can find part 1 here. Stanley Bailey served 36 years in the California state prison system on a three-strikes violation life sentence. An addict dating back to his teenage years, Bailey’s third strike was non-violent, triggered by the discovery of a single hypodermic needle in his prison cell.  BAILEY: TWO MONTHS BEFORE MY 19TH BIRTHDAY, I ENTERED THE PRISON SYSTEM.  A MONTH BEFORE MY 54TH BIRTHDAY, I WAS RELEASED. 

RightWay Youth: Ernesto’s Story

A significant aspect of CRIME STORY’s mission is to draw attention to programs that have demonstrated success in helping stem the tide of over-incarceration. As part of that mission, we published The RightWay To Shut Off the Foster Care to Prison Pipeline by Sean Smith. That piece told the story of how the RightWay Foundation — based in Los Angeles — is working to address the core reasons why 25% of California’s recently emancipated foster youth are incarcerated within two years of emancipation. (This has become known as the Foster Care To Prison Pipeline.)  As a...

PODCAST SPECIAL: A Congressional Crime Hearing in the City of Angels – Part 1

VARGAS-EDMOND: MY HUSBAND, AT THE AGE OF 19, WAS FACING 150 YEARS TO DOUBLE LIFE FOR AN OFFENSE IN WHICH NO ONE WAS HURT. HE ENDED UP BEING SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS AND PLED OUT TO THINGS THAT HE DID NOT DO BECAUSE OF THE WAYS THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYS HAVE THE ABILITY TO STACK CHARGES. This past July, Taina Vargas-Edmond, co-founder of the Los Angeles-based prisoner rights group, Initiate Justice, addressed a congressional field hearing on criminal justice reform hosted by Representative Karen Bass (D. CA).  Vargas-Edmond shared her personal...

RightWay Youth: James’ Story

A significant aspect of CRIME STORY’s mission is to draw attention to programs that have demonstrated success in helping stem the tide of over-incarceration. As part of that mission, we published The RightWay To Shut Off the Foster Care to Prison Pipeline by Sean Smith. That piece told the story of how the RightWay Foundation — based in Los Angeles — is working to address the core reasons why 25% of California’s recently emancipated foster youth are incarcerated within two years of emancipation. (This has become known as the Foster Care To Prison Pipeline.)  As a...

RightWay Youth: Lafawn’s Story

A significant aspect of CRIME STORY’s mission is to draw attention to programs that have demonstrated success in helping stem the tide of over-incarceration. As part of that mission, we published The RightWay To Shut Off the Foster Care to Prison Pipeline by Sean Smith. That piece told the story of how the RightWay Foundation — based in Los Angeles — is working to address the core reasons why 25% of California’s recently emancipated foster youth are incarcerated within two years of emancipation. (This has become known as the Foster Care To Prison Pipeline.)  As a...

RightWay Youth: Belle’s Story

A significant aspect of CRIME STORY’s mission is to draw attention to programs that have demonstrated success in helping stem the tide of over-incarceration. As part of that mission, we published The RightWay To Shut Off the Foster Care to Prison Pipeline by Sean Smith. That piece told the story of how the RightWay Foundation — based in Los Angeles — is working to address the core reasons why 25% of California’s recently emancipated foster youth are incarcerated within two years of emancipation. (This has become known as the Foster Care To Prison Pipeline.)  As a...

RightWay Youth: Leo’s Story

A significant aspect of CRIME STORY’s mission is to draw attention to programs that have demonstrated success in helping stem the tide of over-incarceration. As part of that mission, we published The RightWay To Shut Off the Foster Care to Prison Pipeline by Sean Smith. That piece told the story of how the RightWay Foundation — based in Los Angeles — is working to address the core reasons why 25% of California’s recently emancipated foster youth are incarcerated within two years of emancipation. (This has become known as the Foster Care To Prison Pipeline.) 

The RightWay To Shut Off the Foster Care to Prison Pipeline

Leo has been in 21 foster homes, three psych wards, and one group home. One of his foster mothers would pull him out of bed in the middle of the night in order to whip him and then force him outside like a dog. Belle was beaten so severely by her new housemate that she couldn’t see out of her swollen eyes. She somehow made her way to Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, where she curled up in a ball on the floor outside her counselor’s office. She remembers that she saw terror in the...

Special Docket

“I should just come to work with some alcohol,” the bailiff says, “I really should.” I am the only person left in the gallery and she’s looking right at me, but she is mostly thinking out loud, hoping that one of the other court staffers will commiserate. The judicial assistant picks up the cue: “When I worked downtown, all the old sheriffs came to work with booze in these little flasks,” she reminisces. The court staff today are chatty and candid, though I come to realize that the turn to humor is mainly to offset the stress...

Solitary Time (Excarceration 3)

On Saturday, June 1, 2019, Defy Ventures held an event called Business Coaching Day at the NationBuilder offices in downtown Los Angeles. As a nonprofit focused on reducing recidivism by supporting currently and formerly incarcerated men to become entrepreneurs, Defy puts on Business Coaching Days to give their participants, known as “Entrepreneurs-in-Training” or EITs, an opportunity to learn from and be mentored by local executives. But their June event was unique: It was the first Business Coaching Day held outside prison, and therefore primarily aimed to help EITs in transitional housing. There were roughly...

Off the Path of Self-Destruction (Excarceration 2)

On Saturday, June 1, 2019, Defy Ventures held an event called Business Coaching Day at the NationBuilder offices in downtown Los Angeles. As a nonprofit focused on reducing recidivism by supporting currently and formerly incarcerated men to become entrepreneurs, Defy puts on Business Coaching Days to give their participants, known as “Entrepreneurs-in-Training” (or EITs), an opportunity to learn from and be mentored by local executives. But their June event was unique: It was the first Business Coaching Day held outside prison and therefore primarily aimed to help EITs in transitional housing.There were roughly 10...

Talk Foreal (Excarceration 1)

On Saturday, June 1, 2019, Defy Ventures held an event called Business Coaching Day at the NationBuilder offices in downtown Los Angeles. As a nonprofit focused on reducing recidivism by supporting currently and formerly incarcerated men to become entrepreneurs, Defy puts on Business Coaching Days to give their participants, known as “Entrepreneurs-in-Training” (or EITs), an opportunity to learn from and be mentored by local executives. But their June event was unique: It was the first Business Coaching Day held outside prison and therefore primarily aimed to help EITs in transitional housing. There were roughly...

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