Posts Tagged criminal justice system

New York Protest

A night of heavy hearts: Reflections on the Darren Wilson grand jury verdict

As if they were extras in a perfectly framed shot from a post-apocalyptic horror movie, a faceless row of heavily armoured riot police stood guard beneath a glowing “Seasons Greetings” sign hung between telephone poles, backlit by streetlamps and heedless traffic lights.

This was Ferguson; as political leaders urged calm from a besieged and powerless community, the police continued to master the finer points of irony, juxtaposing tear gas volleys with President Obama pleading for peaceful protest.

Last night’s failure to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown, unarmed and surrendering, was a travesty on par with CeCe McDonald’s conviction, or with George Zimmerman’s acquittal. Like in those previous two cases, a ...

As if they were extras in a perfectly framed shot from a post-apocalyptic horror movie, a faceless row of heavily armoured riot police stood guard beneath a glowing “Seasons Greetings” sign hung between telephone poles, backlit ...

swedish flag

Dear Sweden, Can I come over? An intellectual exercise in asking for asylum

Ed. note: This is a guest post.

Sometimes I get tired of being a black woman in America. Countless times I’ve threatened to move somewhere else. I’ve even recently joked that maybe I’ll just move to Sweden and ask for asylum. 

Ed. note: This is a guest post.

Sometimes I get tired of being a black woman in America. Countless times I’ve threatened to move somewhere else. I’ve even recently joked that maybe I’ll just move to Sweden and ...

Let’s stop neglecting dating violence survivors

In the past few years, campus sexual assault has dominated headlines from The New York Times to USA Today, Rolling Stone to The Nation. Just last month, the White House released the It’s On Us anti-sexual assault campaign. All throughout, student activists have invoked the promise of Title IX to demand that their universities support sexual assault survivors and keep campuses safe, equitable, and just for all.

In all the buzz, though, there’s been little attention paid to other pervasive forms of gender-based violence also protected against under Title IX — including campus dating (or domestic) violence. ICYMI it’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so it seems as good a time ...

In the past few years, campus sexual assault has dominated headlines from The New York Times to USA Today, Rolling Stone to The Nation. Just last month, the White House released the It’s ...

Rapist sentenced to do community service at a rape crisis center

Seriously? Who actually thought that would be a good idea? Well, apparently Dallas County District Judge Jeanine Howard did:

A Texas judge who ordered a rapist to serve community service at a rape crisis center has been forced to reconsider the sentence.

[...] According to The Dallas Observer, Young could have served 20 years in jail, but Dallas County District Judge Jeanine Howard showed him leniency during last week’s sentencing.

Howard ruled that Young would only have to spend 45 days in jail, but it was the “250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center” that shocked victim advocates.

“I’m sure she probably thought that it was his way of giving back perhaps,” Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center ...

Seriously? Who actually thought that would be a good idea? Well, apparently Dallas County District Judge Jeanine Howard did:

A Texas judge who ordered a rapist to serve community service at a rape crisis ...

Rich white man gets no jail time for raping his three-year-old daughter because he “will not fare well” in prison

*Trigger warning*

I can’t really imagine a story that more perfectly illustrates how totally broken the criminal “justice” system in the US is.

Robert H. Richards IV, a rich unemployed heir to a chemical baron fortune who lives off his trust fund, was convicted of raping his three-year-old daughter. He also allegedly admitted to abusing his toddler son. But a Delaware state Superior Court judge decided that he “will not fare well” in prison, so he should get probation and treatment instead

*Trigger warning*

I can’t really imagine a story that more perfectly illustrates how totally broken the criminal “justice” system in the US is.

Robert H. Richards IV, a rich unemployed heir to a chemical baron fortune who lives off ...

Marissa Alexander now could face 60 years in prison for defending herself

The state of Florida seems determined to punish Marissa Alexander for defending herself.

You may recall that in the fall, the black mother who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot into a wall to scare off her abusive husband, was granted a retrial. She was released, after three years in jail, in time to spend Thanksgiving with her family, but then the Florida State Attorney Angela Corey moved to revoke her bond.

Now Corey–who has the power to reduce the charges or drop the case entirely–says they’ll try to triple Alexander’s original prison sentence from 20 to 60 years if she loses the retrial in July. 

The state of Florida seems determined to punish Marissa Alexander for defending herself.

You may recall that in the fall, the black mother who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a ...

Punishing survivors won’t stop sexual violence

Earlier this week, the Daily News reported that a Cowlitz County, Washington survivor of an alleged kidnapping and sexual assault, perpetrated by her ex-boyfriend and an accomplice, was jailed when she refused to cooperate with the prosecutors on the case. The story didn’t rise to the forefront of feminist news until feminist writer Amanda Marcotte wrote a defense of the decision, arguing that the County did what it had to do to stop future violence.

The Cowlitz County case is awful, and I disagree with Marcotte’s conclusion, but neither is really an aberration from how we view criminal justice and victimhood. Two worrying parts of Marcotte’s piece implicate our larger national conversation about sexual violence: we mistakenly think survivors ...

Earlier this week, the Daily News reported that a Cowlitz County, Washington survivor of an alleged kidnapping and sexual assault, perpetrated by her ex-boyfriend and an accomplice, was jailed when she refused to cooperate with ...

Do you know the laws that cover street harassment in your state?

If not, Stop Street Harassment has you covered. Yesterday, they released the Know Your Rights: Street Harassment and the Law toolkit, which details the laws in each state that address different forms of street harassment–from obscene comments to up-skirt photos to groping–and provides information on how to report these crimes. On the website, you can skip directly to each state’s section to find the information for your state. It also highlights the best laws in the hopes of encouraging advocacy in other states to improve theirs.

Similar to campaigns like Know Your Title IX, the resource aims to empower individuals to be aware of their legal options. As lead author Talia Hagerty explains, “This toolkit helps citizens know ...

If not, Stop Street Harassment has you covered. Yesterday, they released the Know Your Rights: Street Harassment and the Law toolkit, which details the laws in each state that address different forms of street ...

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