Category Archives: non-fiction

Another Record Year Exposing Wrongful Convictions

Some exciting news today from the world of Wrongful Convictions and Criminal Justice Reform.  2016 saw another record high number of exonerations, a trend for the last three years.  If you don’t read the whole study, at least read this: it is likely that at least several thousand defendants have been falsely convicted of murder in the time period covered… 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 »

In the Courtroom, Narratives Carry the Day, Not the Facts

Rabia Chaudry’s words here on our judicial system are just too important not to be read and shared by everyone.  Please take a moment to read and digest these words; they speak a profound (and disturbing) truth about how our court systems really work.   We like to think that “just the facts, ma’am” and “the letter of the law”… 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 »

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 »

Pre-Trial Delays Play Into The Hands Of The Prosecution

I wanted to bring your attention to a very important article that highlights but one of the myriad problems facing our criminal justice system.   Read the article here. Though I’m sure it’s a problem in other cities around the country, Chicago has a particularly disturbing “culture” wherein police routinely fail to show up for their court appearances, thereby delaying… Read more »

To Watch Out For The Bogeyman Judicial System

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We tell our kids about the bogeyman, the bad people –who to watch out for- but we don’t teach them how to watch out for the judicial system. – Troilyn Robinson – Mother of two incarcerated sons – Unprisoned Podcast – (stories from the system) – March 2, 2016 One of the common threads in practically all exonerees personal stories is that prior to their arrests and… 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 »