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prison

After Prison, a ‘Clean Slate’ Offers a Second Chance

A former incarceree and a former probation officer say a proposed “Clean Slate” bill in Louisiana to streamline the expungement process is an example of how states can couple accountability with opportunities to restore people leaving prison to full participation in civil society.

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courtroom

A Victory for Independent Courts

The failure of the Donald Trump campaign to reverse the election results testifies to the strength of a court system that doesn’t succumb to political pressure.  But the blizzard of questionable lawsuits filed by Trump lawyers this month demonstrates the need for continued vigilance, writes a former district attorney.  

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fingerprints

Can the Sixth Amendment Protect Defendants from Junk Science?

Two cases before the Maryland Court of Appeals are expected to address how the constitutional right to confront witnesses applies to forensic analysts whose conclusions are used as evidence in criminal cases. The cases could have far-reaching consequences in limiting the use of many aspects of forensic science that have been discredited. 

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pith helmet

Decolonizing Criminal Justice

Few criminal justice reforms can be enacted, and none of them will be sustained, unless we discard an approach that systematically dehumanizes minority lives at both the individual and neighborhood levels. Reformers who neglect that work are building on sand, writes TCR’s legal affairs columnist. 

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rural

The Widening Rural-Urban Divide in Criminal Justice

Media reports on criminal justice often relate exclusively to urban areas. But policymakers need to turn their attention to rural communities, where long distances can make it more difficult to access justice, writes the chief of policy innovation for Right on Crime.

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hate

When Hate Speech Leads to Violence

Registered sex offenders are especially at risk now, thanks in part to the burgeoning conspiracy theories fomented by groups like QAnon, warns an activist.

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justice

Memo to Prosecutors on Election Day: Stay Away from Politics

As worries about election-related unrest mount, attention focuses on prosecutors whose decisions over which charges to file and which prosecutions to pursue will be crucial in the days ahead. Two former prosecutors offer strategies to avoid “politicizing” the prosecutorial power while protecting public safety.

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youth

Should Juvenile Offenders Spend Their Lives Behind Bars?

A Washington state inmate convicted of murder as a juvenile has been told he must wait until he’s 63 before he can apply for parole. In a case pending before the state’s high court, his lawyers argue this not only fails to recognize efforts at rehabilitation, but violates the spirit of a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that sentencing juveniles to life without parole is unconstitutional.