Posts Tagged criminal justice

Attorney General Eric Holder announces new treatment for non-violent drug offenders

Yesterday, in addition to the court ruling on stop-and-frisk, there was other news with regards to civil rights.  Speaking at a national gathering of the American Bar Association, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he will review the criminal justice system and push for legislation that adjusts the archaic mandatory minimums for drug offenders as well as a directive for all U.S. attorneys to draft charges in non-violent drug offenses and possession cases, that do not trigger mandatory minimum sentences.

As a reader of this site, we all are aware that the criminal justice system and the so-called “war on drugs” in particular has a discriminatory impact on black and brown bodies.  These changes are a continuation of the work that ...

Yesterday, in addition to the court ruling on stop-and-frisk, there was other news with regards to civil rights.  Speaking at a national gathering of the American Bar Association, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he will review ...

“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon”

Today, closing arguments by the prosecution for the Zimmerman trial have begun.

And I’m going to be honest with you, I’m not optimistic about the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial. I’ve watched the proceedings at a comfortable distance for the past two weeks and followed some smart observations from Mychal, Jelani Cobb, and Jonathan Capehart. Prior to the trial’s start, I had an opportunity to discuss some of my reservations with Zerlina on Sirius XM’s “The Urban View.” My principle concerns then, as it is now, are closing arguments and jury instruction.

Real talk: if you ever get a jury summons, do not begrudge the opportunity. If you’re (un)fortunate enough to get ...

Today, closing arguments by the prosecution for the Zimmerman trial have begun.

And I’m going to be honest with you, I’m not optimistic about the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial. I’ve watched the proceedings ...

Video: Watch the trailer for “Gideon’s Army”

March 18th or this year marked the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court decision that insisted all defendants have the right to representation by an attorney, regardless of their ability to pay. Half a century later, we’re still far from fulfilling Gideon’s promise.

The failure of our criminal justice system is impossible to ignore in many communities but practically invisible in the mainstream media. That’s why I was so excited to read at Colorlines about HBO’s July 1st release of “Gideon’s Army,” a new documentary on public defenders working in the Deep South. Check out the trailer below (transcript after the jump) and watch an extended clip here.

March 18th or this year marked the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court decision that insisted all defendants have the right to representation by an attorney, regardless of their ability to pay. Half a ...

Justice for Jewu

Justice for Jewu, at a price

Over the weekend, New Haven activist group People Against Police Brutality threw a party at the local People’s Arts Collective. Although surrounded by friends and supporters, the organizers weren’t celebrating: they needed money.

Long-time community activist Jewu Richardson’s trial starts March 25. After years of harassment by the New Haven Police Department, which tried to intimate him into working as an informant and nearly killed him once before, Richardson found himself in jail with a bullet in his chest and no medical care on January 16, 2010.

Accused of hitting a police officer with his car during a chase, after which he was shot by a cop standing on top of his windshield, Richardson will finally have a ...

Over the weekend, New Haven activist group People Against Police Brutality threw a party at the local People’s Arts Collective. Although surrounded by friends and supporters, the organizers weren’t celebrating: they needed money.

Long-time community activist ...

SAFER Carolina

The radical potential and great disappointment of school sexual misconduct boards

In a development that surprised exactly no one who has been following the recent stories of mishandled sexual violence reports at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has agreed to investigate the school’s policies and practices.

The investigation is prompted by a complaint filed in January by UNC students, alumni, and a former administrator. Although the complaint is not a law suit, and the DOE almost never finds schools “out of compliance”—preferring a collaborative reform process rather than fines—the OCR can refer cases to the Department of Justice if it finds evidence of criminal administrative behavior that a bureaucratic investigation cannot resolve.

The New York Times has a generally ...

In a development that surprised exactly no one who has been following the recent stories of mishandled sexual violence reports at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Department of Education’s Office of ...

George Zimmerman allegedly molested woman for 10 years

George Zimmerman is facing more disturbing allegations.  The alleged shooter in the Trayvon Martin killing has now been accused of molesting his female relative for a period of 10 years.

The woman identified in court documents as “Witness 9” claims Zimmerman, who is two years older, began to molest her – in front of other family members at age 6 when Zimmerman was only 8 – and the abuse continued for 10 years.

“Witness 9” is also alleging that George Zimmerman has a racial bias against black people.

To make matters worse, Zimmerman’s defense team noticed the vocal support coming from conservative media and conveniently after requesting a “chat” with his lead defense attorney, has published information about the alleged victim including ...

George Zimmerman is facing more disturbing allegations.  The alleged shooter in the Trayvon Martin killing has now been accused of molesting his female relative for a period of 10 years.

The woman identified in court documents as ...

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CeCe McDonald pleads guilty to manslaughter

On June 5th of last year, there was a fight outside a bar in Minneapolis. Several people were involved, a few were injured, one was killed. Only one was arrested.

The person who was killed was a straight white cisgender man, and the person who was arrested was a young transgender woman of colour.

Around 12:30 am, CeCe was walking to the grocery store with some friends, all of them young, African American, and either queer or allied. As they passed a local bar, the Schooner Tavern, a group of older, white people who were standing outside the bar’s side door began hurling racist and transphobic slurs at them, without provocation.  They called CeCe and her friends ‘faggots,’ ‘niggers,’ ...

On June 5th of last year, there was a fight outside a bar in Minneapolis. Several people were involved, a few were injured, one was killed. Only one was arrested.

The person who was killed was a straight ...

A moment of silence

“Thank you for supporting me and my family I have been truly blessed by god through you all. Thank you for showing solidarity and continuing the good fight for humanity.”

-Troy Davis, in an interview conducted just last weekend by Davis’ cousin E. Red.

Last night, Troy Davis was executed by lethal injection at 11:08 PM.

Executed, despite the existence of reasonable doubt in his case.

Executed, despite the protests and pleas of hundreds of thousands of grassroots organizers and global leaders alike, who chanted and wrote and marched to say “Not in my name.”

Executed, despite the utter senselessness of state-sanctioned murder.

Some news sources are reporting* that Davis was strapped to a gurney for his last four hours as ...

“Thank you for supporting me and my family I have been truly blessed by god through you all. Thank you for showing solidarity and continuing the good fight for humanity.”

-Troy Davis, in an

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