Tag: Justice

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Meet a new chief public defender in Texas working to end criminal justice disparities

10 Questions

Photo courtesy of Adeola Ogunkeyede

As a public defender in the Bronx, New York, for almost a decade, Adeola Ogunkeyede saw firsthand how patterns of institutional racism and systemic inequality impacted her clients even before they entered the criminal justice system.

She started to wonder: Was there a way to break those destructive cycles? Could legal aid unite with local leaders to identify the most problematic points of contact between directly impacted communities and the criminal justice system—then fix them?

The answer, she discovered, was yes.

In 2017, Ogunkeyede joined the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, to help launch the Civil Rights & Racial Justice Program. The purpose was exactly what she had envisioned: Legal aid lawyers supported community-led efforts to promote criminal justice reform

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On criminal justice, Biden attorney general must right Trump DOJ wrongs

Ben Crump, Opinion contributor
Published 6:59 p.m. ET Nov. 30, 2020

Tap former Clinton, Obama appointee for pick committed to comprehensive sentencing, policing reform and restoration of voting rights.

As this most unusual year draws to a close, I’m reflecting on how exhausting 2020 has been for those of us committed to the fight for civil rights. We’ve known great sorrow and disappointment. And we’ve never wavered in speaking truth to power and shining a bright light on the ugliness of inequality. Now, I’m cautiously optimistic that President-elect Joe Biden and his still-unnamed attorney general will be our partner in the hard work of repairing our criminal justice system.

I’ve dedicated my career to the fight against systemic injustice and racism. The global and national outcry for change is encouraging. The marches and activism, which filled the streets with hundreds of thousands saying their names, “Breonna, George and Ahmaud,” now

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‘We seek justice’: Jefferson County district attorneys to tackle wrongful convictions

State inmates sentenced to death or life in prison out of Jefferson County could get a second look at their convictions under a new initiative aimed at righting wrongs of long ago.

Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington on Monday announced the formation of the Conviction Integrity Unit which will formally launch Jan. 11, 2021. The CIU will review cases of wrongful convictions for defendants convicted of certain Class A felonies and sentenced to life, life without parole or death in the Cutoff.

Additionally, Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr on Jan. 1 will launch the Conviction Review Unit in the Birmingham Division.

“The only way to effectively correct wrongs that were carried out by the criminal justice system in Jefferson County was to implement a review of wrongful conviction cases within both office, inclusive of the entire county,’’ Washington said. “The buy-in by the elected D.A. in

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Jonathan Turley: Gun-rights case tailor made for Justice Barrett, Supreme Court. Here’s why

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit has issued an opinion over the right to bear arms that has received little attention, but it should.  

It has been 12 years since the Supreme Court ruled that the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment is an individual right like freedom of speech or religion. However, the court left the scope of that right undefined at the edges, particularly when it came to limits on who can be excluded from gun ownership or whether certain guns can be excluded from ownership. 

In her recent confirmation hearing, Justice Amy Coney Barrett was grilled over an earlier appellate opinion that, as an individual constitutional right, the right to bear arms could not be taken away with blanket bans against nonviolent former felons. 

JOHN YOO: SUPREME COURT REJECTION OF CUOMO’S COVID RESTRICTIONS ON WORSHIP UPHOLDS RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

The 3rd Circuit decision

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Comment: 5 myths about crime, criminal justice and reforms

By Laurie R. Garduque / Special to The Washington Post

The movement to end police violence against Black communities has brought heightened attention to criminal justice issues amid a global pandemic. The FBI recently released the 2019 “Crime in the United States” report, which looks at last year’s trends. The data is easily cherry-picked to push false narratives around what works — and what doesn’t — to fight crime. Here are some dangerous misconceptions to look out for.

Myth No. 1: Responses to the pandemic are driving crime rates up.

Since March, the coronavirus has created a public health crisis in jails, where social distancing is extremely challenging for people awaiting their trials. Many jurisdictions have released people who do not pose a threat to the community and have shifted their arrest strategies to keep people out of jail in the first place. Critics say the releases are leading to

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Graham protesters march for ‘meaningful change’ in the criminal justice system :: WRAL.com

— On Sunday afternoon, Protesters rallied in Graham to demand police and criminal justice reform. The crowd began gathering at 1 p.m. at the Children’s Chapel Church, and marched for about three hours.

According to flyers, the rally was planned by groups Alamance Alliance for Justice and Justice 4 the Next Generation.

The groups are advocating for criminal justice reform and took their plea to the sheriff’s office, county detention center and Graham police headquarters. They also want Sheriff Terry Johnson and Graham Police Chief Kristy Cole to step down after officers used pepper spray last month to clear protesters from the street.

“Demanding that justice comes; that police brutality stops,” explained attendee Spencer Blackwell.

Rev. Drumwright, one of the organizers for the march, also organized a March to the Polls in Graham just before election day, which

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Juvenile justice reform’s legal challenge impacts Santa Cruz child murder case

SANTA CRUZ — Adrian “A.J.” Gonzalez, now 21, was arrested and charged with murder as a 15 year old. The California Supreme Court will soon weigh a case with implications for whether Gonzalez and others like him should face the adult or juvenile justice system.

Oral arguments begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday in San Francisco in the “O.G. vs The Superior Court of Ventura County” case, challenging the constitutionality of 2018’s Senate Bill 1391.

Gonzalez’s case has lingered in legal limbo for years due to several legal reforms passed subsequent to the 2015 killing of Madyson Middleton. Known to family as “Maddy,” the 8-year-old girl was found strangled beneath piled cardboard in a recycling container at the Tannery Arts Center Lofts, where she lived with her mother.

Pictures of the slain 8-year-old Madyson Middleton were staked on the lawn near the courthouse steps where Adrian Gonzalez appeared in Santa Cruz
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Biden was pilloried for his criminal justice record. During his presidency, advocates expect change.

As President-elect Joe Biden prepares his transition into the White House, he is facing mounting expectations to bring about sweeping change on criminal justice reform.

As the author of the 1994 crime bill, which was credited in part as ushering in a wave of mass incarceration of mostly Black men, and a vocal proponent of harsh policies during the “war on drugs” era, Biden has a long and often-criticized record on the issue.

He is also coming into power after his predecessor President Donald Trump signed into law one of the most significant changes to the federal criminal justice system in the 21st century. The First Step Act was the result of a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, civil rights groups, and grassroots activists. Experts said it was a monumental step forward after years of criminal justice reform and “tough on crime” policies being used as a political cudgel in Washington.

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Dozens Arrested During Racial Justice Protests in Denver Still Face Charges

Although six months have passed since racial justice protests started in Denver in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, dozens of those arrested at those actions and other demonstrations around the city are still facing criminal charges.

As of November 18, there were still at least 76 active criminal cases related to protests in the city since May 28.

The active cases are divided between the office of Denver District Attorney Beth McCann and the Denver City Attorney’s Office. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado is prosecuting at least two more cases related to protests; six demonstrators also face charges connected to Elijah McClain protests in Aurora.

The City Attorney’s Office has dealt with close to 400 cases connected to protests in Denver over the last six months. City Attorney Kristin Bronson dismissed 325 of those cases, many of which were

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Lovemore N’dou – The boxer who traded in his gloves for law and justice

A SHARP GLANCE down to the gold Rolex wrapped around his left wrist lets him know it’s almost time.

In one Hollywood-like flourish, he scoops up his jacket, slips in the left arm, then the right; the finishing touch to his immaculate black Armani suit. After straightening his silver tie and adjusting his cuffs, he reaches down and lifts up a brown suitcase containing the morning’s files — a criminal conciliation hearing beginning at 10 a.m. sharp.

Moments later he spins around and heads toward the entrance of the Family Court of Australia, the click-clack of his polished dress shoes on the gray marble floor echoes around the foyer as he prepares to make his entrance.

Lovemore N’dou is no stranger to having a sea of eyes fixated on him every time he walks into work. A professional boxer for two decades, N’dou fought 64 times during his career, and

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