Prosecutors wield tremendous power in the U.S. justice system, yet overzealous and unethical prosecutors contribute to a system that is broken and unfair.

The Recidivists: New Report on Rates of Prosecutorial Misconduct

Originally Published: July 13, 2017; Updated: August 9, 2017 Introduction Prosecutors wield extraordinary power in the criminal legal system. How they exercise their power can be the difference between fairness and inequality, justice and corruption, and a community...
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Introducing In Justice Today, a Journalism Partnership with Medium

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...
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Tonight’s Historic Victory In Philadelphia Shows That Voter Backlash Against America’s Most Overzealous Prosecutors Continues

“Forward thinking candidates winning local district attorney elections reflects a powerful and encouraging trend, but Larry Krasner winning tonight in Philadelphia is something of a revolution.” Robert Smith, Director of the Fair Punishment Project at...
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Five Criminal Justice Reforms the Louisiana Legislature Should Pass Immediately

  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Louisiana locks up more people per capita than anywhere else in the country — nearly double the national average. It sends people to prison for drug, property, and other low-level offenses at an alarming clip. This desire to lock people...
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Case Spotlight: Can St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana Shake its Reputation and “St. Slammany” Moniker?

In a decision handed down from a Louisiana appellate court this week, prosecutors from St. Tammany Parish, also known as “St. Slammany” Parish, Louisiana, have once again shown that their office’s win-at-all-costs attitude results in a pattern of misconduct. The case,...
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Compromising the Public’s Trust in the Justice System

Introduction Elected prosecutors wield an enormous amount of discretion and power. They decide who to charge with a crime, and what charges to bring. The community relies on them to be fair, honest, and trustworthy in the pursuit of justice. The public’s...
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What Happens When Prosecutors Refuse to Admit Mistakes?

Introduction According to University of Michigan Law School’s National Registry of Exonerations, there have been 1,909 exonerations in the U.S. since 1989, when the Registry began counting these cases. Of those exonerations, over half involved police or prosecutorial...
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Meet Four Elected Prosecutors Still Fighting The War on Weed

Introduction Four states–Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. Next week, California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will decide whether to join their ranks. The most recent...
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Charging Drug Overdoses as Homicide

Introduction In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared the beginning of the “war on drugs,” which set in motion the proliferation of draconian sentencing laws for drug-related offenses and contributed to a new era of mass incarceration. More than forty years later,...
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California at Forefront on Prosecutorial Accountability

California has just passed, and Governor Brown has signed, a law that will increase penalties to up to three years in prison for prosecutors who either hide or intentionally tamper with evidence that could be potentially beneficial to defendants.  In explaining the...
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