March 04, 2019
Race & Justice News: Misunderstanding African American English in Court
Philadelphia court reporters regularly made errors in transcribing sentences that were spoken in African American English (AAE), South Carolina's civil asset forfeitures unevenly impact black men, and more in Race & Justice News.
March 01, 2019
State Advocacy News: Expanding Racial Impact Statements
Seven states – Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, and Vermont – have introduced legislation this year to require racial impact statements.
Willie Mays Aikens
In 2008, Willie Mays Aikens made headlines when a federal judge reduced his lengthy prison term to 14 years as a result of the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s adjustment to the crack cocaine sentencing guidelines. Aikens was released in June 2008.
February 28, 2019
Webinar: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences in the United States
In this webinar, researchers and advocates discuss The Sentencing Project's new book, The Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences, by Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis.
January 28, 2019
Pennsylvania is poised for much-needed criminal justice reform, but can we abolish life without parole?
Pennsylvania is leading a nationwide trend of ever-lengthening prison terms. One in six people in prison is serving a life sentence, the vast majority of whom have no chance at a parole review.
January 16, 2019
Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2018
In 2018, formerly incarcerated activists, lawmakers, and advocates worked to challenge mass incarceration. This briefing paper highlights key changes in criminal justice policy achieved.
January 03, 2019
Race & Justice News: Florida Judges Not Blameless for Biased Pleas
Judges in Florida are not blameless for biased plea deals, Denver's curfew law enforcement targets Latino youth, and more in Race & Justice News.
Lawrence and Lamont Garrison
Sentences for federal drug crimes are based on the quantity of the drugs involved, not the individual’s role in the crime. The emphasis on quantity rather than the role of the offender, along with the conspiracy laws, too often result in disproportionate sentencing, even for first-time offenses such as the Garrisons’.
December 18, 2018
Criminal justice reform doesn't end system's racial bias
Efforts still leave black men more likely to be arrested, sentenced and imprisoned for the same behavior
October 30, 2018
Race & Justice News: Blacks Disproportionately Arrested for Marijuana in Alabama
Blacks in Alabama were four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in 2016 as whites, L.A. County deputies disproportionately stop Latinos to find drugs, and more in Race & Justice News.
October 22, 2018
Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview
The United States stands alone as the only nation that sentences people to life without parole for crimes committed before turning 18. This briefing paper reviews the Supreme Court precedents that limited the use of JLWOP and the challenges that remain.