racism

Why Black Lives Still Don’t Matter

A Washington State inmate casts a skeptical eye on efforts to eliminate the racial bias that often fuels police treatment of African Americans. Based on his experience of the charged race relations within prison walls, he argues that fear will continue to drive prejudice, despite activists’ efforts to change institutional behavior.

execution

Fentanyl and the Death Penalty

Even as law enforcement tries to reduce the number of deaths attributed to the super-opioid fentanyl, some states are trying to increase them through their use for capital punishment. But it raises the same Constitutional questions posed by other methods of state execution regarding “cruel and unusual punishment,” says TCR’s columnist on drug issues.

homeless teen

Why Do We Keep Jailing Runaway Kids?

In the U.S., youth are routinely sent to detention centers and then incarcerated because they’ve been picked up for status offenses such as truancy or running away from home—and a large number of those affected are young girls. Two researchers say there are safer and more effective ways to help them.

trump

Are ‘Orders’ from the Tweeter-in-Chief Legally Enforceable?

Based on recent precedent, it seems safe to assume that the FBI and Department of Justice will ignore President Trump’s tweets calling for investigations into cases like the recent unsigned op ed in The New York Times. But how long can we rely upon this assumption? 

supreme court

Johnson v United States: Three Years Later

The Supreme Court struck down a part of the Armed Career Criminal Act that permitted sentencing enhancements for repeat violent offenders in 2015. But the debate over its impact on public safety and recidivism continues, pitting Attorney General Jeff Sessions against proponents of sentencing reform.

gangs

Exporting Murder: US Deportations and the Spread of Violence

Gangs like MS-13 are increasingly portrayed as threats to U.S. national security. But they are also the product of U.S. policies that deport criminal offenders back to Central America, where they have fueled the violence that has sent many refugees fleeing north, say two researchers.

untouchables

Why Can’t We Rein in Police Misconduct? Blame Prohibition

America’s crusade against alcohol ended over seven decades ago with the 21st Amendment. But Supreme Court decisions aimed at curbing police misbehavior during Prohibition—by excluding evidence obtained unlawfully—have complicated efforts to hold law enforcement accountable for its actions today, according to a new book by a Pennsylvania law professor.