Tackling Overcriminalization in 2021: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Overcriminalization is as much a cause of America’s incarceration addiction as it is a symptom, writes a resident fellow of the R Street Institute. States are making some progress in reducing the number of statutes and regulations on the lawbooks, but there’s still a long way to go.


Keep Confessions Out of Criminal Trials: Paper

The risk that individuals may confess to crimes they have not committed should make evidence from confessions inadmissible in a criminal trial, according to a paper by a Texas law professor.


Women in Law Face ‘Pervasive Sexism’: Report

Being a female lawyer in criminal law means constantly having others tell you to “toughen up,” according to an American Bar Association task force. The task force found that while women have slightly outnumbered men in law school for the past four years, female law graduates make up a much smaller representation of actual attorneys, and an even smaller number of justice leaders.

PA Weighs More Spending for Indigent Defense

Senior staffers for Gov. Tom Wolf say that his administration wants to “build support for indigent defense” into the spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1. That’s an encouraging first step towards reforming a criminal justice system which still remains rigged against the poor and people of color, writes John Micek, editor in chief of the :Pennsylvania Capital Star

Los Angeles Lawsuit Seeks Solutions for Skid Row Homelessness Crisis

U.S. District Judge David Carter is overseeing a case brought last March that accuses the city and county of failing to comprehensively address the desperate situations facing homeless people — including hunger, crime, squalor and now the coronavirus pandemic. He convened the session on Skid Row because he worries people are “not seeing and feeling” the reality on the ground.

FOIA Requesters Wait Months, Years for Answers: Report

There’s been a 46 percent increase in Freedom of Information requests that have been pending for 48 months or more since 2019, according to the FOIA Project. Things are not likely to change under Joe Biden’s administration, the Project warned.

Do Aging War Criminals Deserve Humane Treatment?

A forthcoming paper in the Virginia Journal of International Law argues that even individuals convicted of the most “heinous” crimes are covered by international conventions guaranteeing adequate medical care and nondiscriminatory treatment as they grow older.