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

Update to Our Recidivist Report

  On July 13, 2017, the Fair Punishment Project issued a report highlighting systemic misconduct in several prosecutor offices across the country. Prosecutors are among the most powerful actors in the justice system: they decide how to charge cases, who to...
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New Report: California’s District Attorneys Out of Step With Voters

Today we released a new report, along with the ACLU of California, that examines the policy positions of the District Attorneys in California’s nine largest counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and...
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The Recidivists: New Report on Rates of Prosecutorial Misconduct

Originally Published: July 13, 2017; Updated: August 9, 2017; Please read our explanation of updates made on September 11, 2017. Introduction Prosecutors wield extraordinary power in the criminal legal system. How they exercise their power can be the difference...
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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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