As a debate about the number of wrongful convictions, sparked by Prof. Paul Cassell of Utah, quietly percolates among U.S. scholars, a TCR columnist suggests the argument misses the point entirely: the numbers are less important than making sure they don’t happen.
An experimental project aimed at helping local jurisdictions examine–and correct–mistakes in the justice system will soon be expanded to up to 25 cities and counties. The expansion of the Sentinel Events program amounts to an endorsement by the Justice Department of a major Obama-era reform initiative.
When a mentally ill individual dies in a police shooting, commentators focus on the officer who pulled the trigger. It also makes sense to ask why no one detected the individual’s problems in the first place.
Criminal justice reform is having its moment in the public square. The gatekeepers—editors, publishers, producers, bloggers, and the “most-followed” social media posters—have decided to grant criminal justice issues some attention. These media moments always fade. How can reformers exploit the opportunity this one presents? Can something useful be left behind? Since 2011, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research arm of the Justice Department, has been exploring the feasibility of promoting “sentinel event reviews” modeled on those that helped […]
Justice professionals are “deceiving” themselves if they believe their decisions and actions are infallible, Attorney General Eric Holder warns in a volume of essays released today analyzing flaws in America’s criminal justice system.