Category Archives: life

Jason Baldwin (Advocate for CJReform) interviewed on Actual Innocence Podcast

I listen to a lot of podcasts- I’ve heard countless episodes.  But some episodes really stand out and I feel obligated to spread the word- hoping others will benefit from listening. The insight and wisdom that comes from real life survival stories is difficult to match.  Jason Baldwin stands out among them all.  Some day he’ll be universally recognized for… Read more »

What is a Peace Officer? (Cops, Peace, & CJReform)

Tezi and I watched yet another powerful and unforgettable documentary over the past couple days.  I want to share it here with you. Peace Officer is a film about the militarization of police departments/tactics and/or the need for heightened police action/equipment to keep officers (and the community) safe.  It depends on how you look at it.  This documentary, though perhaps not… Read more »

Martin Luther King Jr. Was Arrested Some 30 Times

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Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested thirty times during the course of his civil rights advocacy.  It’s not a stretch to characterize MLK as a man vs the State.  He was fighting against the status quo, he was fighting against the “majority” societal opinion, at least in the South if not elsewhere. It’s truly startling if you take a moment to… Read more »

Criminal Justice Tilted in Favor of the Prosecution

It’s no secret that our judicial system is tilted in favor of the prosecution- has been for ages- so it should not come as a surprise to learn that the vast majority of those wrongfully convicted are the poor who cannot afford a private attorney, let alone any other legal support such as private investigators, technical experts, et cetera, factors… Read more »

“Mistakes Happen- People Are Wrongfully Convicted”

Jeff Rosen brings a new approach to prosecution.  He’s the District Attorney in Santa Clara County, California.  He narrowly won election in 2010, and since then he’s made some welcomed waves- he’s bringing some crucial principles of the criminal justice reform movement into the prosecutor’s office.  Among his efforts, Rosen created a Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) attached to his office… Read more »

The Collision of “Law & Order” and Criminal Justice Reform

There was another terrorist attack last night- just hours before midnight- this time in Istanbul, Turkey.  Some 39 people have been killed.   The Rose Parade is coming up here in Southern California this morning and barricades have been put up along the parade path to protect people from truck stampede attacks, such as we’ve seen now in Germany and France.  These… Read more »

Clemency the Only Remaining Remedy for #FreeCA12

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Here’s a great TEDxTalk video by the Director and Co-Founder of the California Innocence Project (CIP), Justin Brooks.  In this succinct and entertaining talk you’ll get a quick history of Clemency in the legal system, you’ll learn a bit about the work that CIP does, and you’ll see that for the eight remaining wrongfully convicted of the #FreeTheCA12 (Those who have not… Read more »

Too Many People In Prison… For Too Long A Time

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Too many people in prison For too many laws For too long a time We need to rethink some of that. True words indeed, Grover Norquist. Even on Christmas- especially on Christmas!- we need to remember that our criminal justice system is broken and innocent people are suffering even at this very moment. With over 2.2 MILLION people currently incarcerated… Read more »

Wrongful Convictions Don’t Really Happen (Right?)

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Let’s face it: most of us don’t want to believe that wrongful convictions really happen.  And, if they do happen we tell ourselves that they must only happen very very rarely. This is why it is so important that we pay attention to the stories of exonerees – those who are living proof of the woeful challenges facing our criminal… Read more »

Criminal Justice Reform Requires Mercy (Not Merely Money)

When it comes to criminal justice reform- #CJReform – if we only talk about “expenses” and “costs” in terms of tax dollars, spending and saving, then we have really already missed the point and set ourselves up for failure.  Like so many other issues, the starting point must be people.  We have to start by talking about individuals, the real… Read more »