In early 2021, the U.S. executed a woman for the first time since 1953. And they did the execution without a mental competency hearing. How?
The Solitary Confinement and Reform Act of 2019 seems doomed to the same fate that Richmond’s previous bills suffered. There is a clear and urgent need to establish national standards around the use of solitary confinement.
Californians could have made California the first state in the country to completely eliminate cash bail through reform. But its efforts stopped dead in their tracks in November 2020. CA voters rejected the move, opting instead for the system currently in place.
Mental illness cases involving diminished-capacity defenses are procedurally complex and often result in underwhelming outcomes. And justice reform and mental health advocates are often left wishing for more. Two recent North Carolina cases illustrate the “we can do better” mindset well.
Under the Emergency Community Supervision Act, the government would release vulnerable individuals from prison. Then, it would place them in community supervision while COVID-19 continues to present a national health emergency.
The First Step Act was a bipartisan project several years in the making. The goal of the bipartisan effort was simple but important. It aimed to reduce the number of people in federal prisons while maintaining public safety.
Defendants in criminal cases have a constitutional right to a jury of their peers. But courts have made it clear that they don't have the right to a jury of their own race. So, when a prosecutor strikes a juror for their “tone of voice,”
The North Carolina Second Chance Act gives people with nonviolent criminal records an opportunity to have misdemeanors and low-level felonies expunged from their records.