Which is more powerful: a good story, or a telling statistic? The success of the recent documentary on the Central Park 5 suggests effective storytelling can change public attitudes, but that might not be enough to change public policy, according to two scholars.
A Portland judge ruled that senior prosecutors violated evidence discovery obligations in a high-profile 2014 murder case. He said they failed to share promptly with the defense a police detective’s notes reflecting a statement by a key cooperating witness who initially did not place one of the accused at the scene of the crime.
Why do innocent people go to jail? Two Texas State University professors argue that procedural mistakes like eyewitness misidentification and flawed forensic evidence are compounded by a common human failing: once we come to a conclusion about an issue, we rarely pay attention to evidence that might contradict it.
Boston’s DA is under fire from critics, including the local press, for decisions that allegedly let “criminals off the hook.” In fact, she’s pursuing the vision of justice that won her election as a “progressive” prosecutor—and threatens defenders of the status quo, argues TCR’s legal columnist.
“We see the transformation in front of our eyes,” says a member of the team operating out of the rural courtroom where Judge Michelle Anderson offers substance abusers the chance to drop charges if they participate in a rigorous 13-month treatment program.
When Jon Goldsmith posted a profanity-laced Facebook post criticizing a deputy, Goldsmith was charged with criminal harassment. The sheriff’s office now will pay him to settle a free speech case he filed.
Less than six months into her tenure as Suffolk County district attorney in Boston, Rachael Rollins is making good on her promise not to prosecute certain “low-level” nonviolent offenses, but that’s put her in the crosshairs of opponents who say she is compromising public safety.