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The Marshall Project
Opening Statement
June 24, 2022
Edited by Beth Schwartzapfel
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Pick of the News

Concealed carry everywhere. In a Second Amendment case with wide-ranging implications, an ideologically divided Supreme Court overturned a New York law requiring people to demonstrate a need before getting a permit to carry a gun in public. Now, Americans officially have a Constitutional right to carry guns outside their homes, no matter what state they’re in. CNN The ruling expands upon the court’s controversial 2008 Heller decision, which first established an individual right to keep and bear arms. The New York Times Related: Read the ruling (and the dissents). Supreme Court

Isn’t it ironic? The decision comes amid news that the first gun reform legislation to win bipartisan support in a generation has passed the Senate and now heads to the House, where it’s also expected to pass. President Biden says he intends to sign the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which makes modest changes to background check laws and allocates $15 billion for mental health and school security. The Washington Post The bill closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole” that allowed domestic abusers to keep their guns if they weren’t married to their victim. The Trace Related: Meaningful gun reform keeps failing because only the ideological fringes are motivated enough to get involved. “The middle doesn’t motivate people to write the checks,” said one lobbyist. Reveal

You have the right to remain silent, but no way to enforce it. Meanwhile, in a separate decision also split along ideological lines, the Supreme Court said that police officers who fail to read your Miranda rights before interrogating you are violating your Constitutional rights — but you can’t sue them for doing so. Reason “The majority here, as elsewhere, injures the right by denying the remedy,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in a dissent. CNN

We can’t arrest our way out of high housing prices — but we keep trying. Record numbers of people without homes or shelters in expensive West Coast cities need more affordable housing and robust mental health supports. Instead, they get arrested. In at least five cities, homeless people constitute a disproportionate number of arrests for things like loitering and drinking alcohol in public. In Portland, fully half of arrests over a 3-year period were among people living on the street. Reveal

N/S/E/W

In North Miami Beach, Florida, a cop who asked a Black motorist for his license and registration and then told him, “This is how you guys get killed out here, man,” is under investigation after a TikTok video of the incident went viral. NBC Miami

In New York City, amid Mayor Eric Adams’ new push for more aggressive tactics, experts are asking whether less policing — rather than more — would more effectively reduce gun violence. The Trace

In Baltimore, Maryland, a private law firm has made millions aggressively defending cops against innocent people they helped wrongfully convict. Chicago-based Nathan & Kamionski LLP is “uniquely combative,” critics say, and by hiring them, the city of Baltimore is missing an opportunity to right its own historical wrongs. The Maryland Daily Record

The Wisconsin Parole Board, like most parole boards, is buffeted by political pressures and public misunderstanding about the role of parole in the state. The board became an issue in the governor’s race after a man convicted of a particularly cruel killing 25 years ago was granted parole, and then had the grant rescinded. The Wisconsin Examiner

Commentary

“Dead right.” Texas needs to stop executing people whose death sentences have been rendered unconstitutional in the years since they were handed down — and if they won’t, the Supreme Court needs to make them. Slate

Too many elderly lifers. More than a quarter of people serving life-without-parole sentences are over 60, a new report finds. Keeping the elderly incarcerated — especially with no hope of release — is cruel and serves no public safety purpose. The Sentencing Project Related: California can find better ways of dealing with dying prisoners. CalMatters

Worry about Roe for incarcerated women, too. Those who are fretting over the Court’s coming decision over the right to end a pregnancy should spare a thought for women behind bars who have long been denied access to abortion. HuffPost

“A hate crime.” When former Georgia election official Shaye Moss testified before the January 6th committee about the terror she and her mother Ruby Freeman experienced, it laid bare the white supremacy at the heart of the Big Lie. “The conspiracy theory about Moss and Freeman was, in both its intent and effect, a hate crime.” Salon

Etc.

Join us to talk about solitary confinement for young people. Our reporting on a harsh juvenile lockup in Louisiana helped spur forward the state’s first law limiting solitary confinement in youth prisons. Along with our partners NBC and ProPublica, we’re hosting a Twitter Space today to talk about our reporting, the new law, and the harms of solitary confinement for young people. Twitter Read our original reporting: The Marshall Project

Getting out, graduating, breaking the cycle. NPR’s Elissa Nadworny followed two men as they were released from prison with almost enough credits to graduate from the prestigious Pitzer College after participating in a prison college program. They moved directly from prison to the bucolic California campus to complete their degrees. NPR It’s part of a series exploring the implications of Pell grants becoming available to prisoners for the first time since 1994. NPR

“It’s guaranteed to be work that is tortuous.” A new report looks at the widespread exploitation of prison workers nationwide. Bolts

Crime rates versus “the vibe.” Violent crime is up, petty crime is down, and no one can agree on what any of it means. A left-leaning and a right-leaning commentator discuss how crime data gets packaged and spun, and who it serves. The Argument TMP Context: FBI crime data is nearly useless anyway. The Marshall Project

Opening Statement curates timely articles on criminal justice and immigration; these links are not endorsements of specific articles or points of view.

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