Category Archives: Reflection

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 »

Criminal Justice System Isn’t What The Average American Believes

There are many of you probably reading this who believe that the way I write about the criminal justice system on this blog is unfair, skewed, and maybe just flat wrong.  The issue of wrongful convictions stands in stark contrast to the innumerable forms of propaganda promulgated through the media, universities, and even our own idealism.  Criminal justice reality is… Read more »

Reality of Wrongful Conviction is a Hard Message to Hear

People dislike change.  People like going with the flow.  We find comfort in our faith in the institutions that surround us.  Nobody wants to be disturbed, to feel disturbed or troubled.  People don’t like being confronted with unpleasant realities.  It’s human nature.  We are creatures of comfort.  We’re creatures of habit and routine, and integral parts of those routines are… 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 »

Who Are All Of These People Locked Up In The USA?

Here’s a super helpful look at our incarceration nation. This pie chart is an excellent resource compiled by the Prison Policy Initiative.  Take a few minutes and look it over yourself.  I’d be curious to hear what your impressions are.  Let me know your thoughts. Here are a few of mine: If you look at the federal immigration detention number and… 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 »

“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 »