The death penalty in the United States, both new convictions and executions, has declined through recent decades. In this episode of Reasonably Speaking, we explore the history of the death penalty and the various factors that are contributing to this decline.
In a story from The Take Away, a podcast supported by New York Public Radio, Alexandra Natapoff of the UC Irvine School of Law discusses the position she presents in her new book Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes American More Unequal.
Recent Slate article by Brandon L. Garrett discusses the implementation of The First Step Act, the federal prison reform bill recently signed into law by President Donald Trump.
As the year comes to a close, it is undeniably true that criminal justice reform is in the air. The federal First Step Act, even with critics on the left and right, heralds a less punitive approach than the “get tough on crime” policies of the past several decades. Recent elections yielded a number of prosecutors swept into office on platforms focused on confronting racial disparities and rethinking approaches to low-level offenses.
Over the last two decades, the juvenile justice system has been celebrated for driving a decline in the use of confinement as lawmakers and practitioners changed policies and practices to move away from costly and ineffective use of secure facilities. This has resulted in a halving of the confined population and historic declines in youth crime rates. All of which are rightfully considered a success story.
A groundbreaking new study by researchers at RAND and the University of Pennsylvania Law School finds that by adopting an innovative holistic approach to defending poor clients in criminal cases, jurisdictions can significantly reduce incarceration and save taxpayer dollars, without harming public safety.
Judicious Imprisonment: Does Current Sentencing for Non-Violent Offenses Promote Political Legitimacy?Gregory Jay Hall
Starting August 21, 2018, Americans incarcerated across the United States have been striking back — non-violently. Inmates with jobs are protesting slave-like wages through worker strikes and sit-ins. Inmates also call for an end to racial disparities and an increase in rehabilitation programs.
In theory, at least, many subscribe to the belief that it is better to let 10 or 100 guilty persons go free rather than convict an innocent person.
This report examines the experience of five states – Connecticut, Michigan, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and South Carolina – that have achieved prison population reductions of 14-25%. This produced a cumulative total of 23,646 fewer people in prison with no adverse effects on public safety.
The enormous misdemeanor system is an increasingly important and fertile area of criminal justice reform. With over 10 million cases filed each year, vastly outnumbering felonies, the petty-offense process is how most Americans experience the criminal justice system.