Who are the most powerful people in your community? Many people may think it is the mayor, a major tech executive, the owner of the local sports team, or maybe even the superintendent of schools. Rarely do people think about the locally elected prosecutor, but in fact, they wield enormous power. That’s why we are introducing a new series on Medium that examines the role of the prosecutor from every angle. (Check it out here.) Prosecutors have the authority to charge anyone with a crime (as well as the ability to decide not to bring charges). They can seek...Read More
Author: Fair Punishment Project
NONVIOLENT LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE (NVLWOP) In recent years, criminal justice reform efforts throughout the nation have been gathering momentum. Citizens and lawmakers across the political spectrum are increasingly rejecting lengthy, punitive terms of incarceration for nonviolent offenses. In many jurisdictions, legislators are repealing laws imposing mandatory minimum sentences, revising guidelines imposing draconian penalties for narcotics possession and distribution, and modifying habitual offender laws to exclude nonviolent drug and property offenses. The shift reflects the recognition that lifetime prison terms, once considered an appropriate and effective response to a wide range of offenses, are wasteful and cruel. In many jurisdictions,...Read More
New Report Highlights How Local Criminal Justice Policies Undercut the Promise of “Sanctuary” Cities
Local criminal justice policies, such as vagrancy laws and cash bail requirements, endanger vulnerable immigrant populations and undercut the promise of “sanctuary” cities, according to a report released today by Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project, the Immigrant Defense Project, and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. The report urges city and county leaders who want to protect immigrants to act swiftly to end harmful criminal justice practices that criminalize poverty and send undocumented residents into the deportation pipeline. The report states, “Broken windows [policing] and other policies that harshly penalize low-level offenses have laid the groundwork for President Trump...Read More
The Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, a bipartisan commission of legal experts, along with community leaders and advocates, was convened in 2016 to comprehensively examine Oklahoma’s death penalty system. The commission recently concluded its investigation with the release of a report recommending that Oklahoma extend its moratorium on executions. Oklahoma’s Attorney General first imposed the moratorium in 2015 in order to investigate breaches in the state’s execution protocol that led to Charles Warner being administered the wrong execution drug. The mistake may have caused Warren to die in excruciating pain. His last words were “my body is on fire.”...Read More
Kenneth Williams is scheduled for execution tonight. Five IQ scores place him within the intellectual disability range, but no Court has ever considered whether he is categorically barred from the death penalty. Unless this Court intervenes, he will be executed tonight. Read The Fair Punishment Project’s brief on behalf of Mr. Williams. Learn more about Mr. Williams in our...Read More
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