The Marshall Project
Opening Statement
June 21, 2019
Edited by Andrew Cohen
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Pick of the News

TMPSo you say you want to brew some “prison hooch.” Olethus Hill Jr., serving time in Ohio, figured he needed a hustle to make a few extra bucks he could spend on more food to tide him over during the long hours of hunger. So he decided to build a still of sorts and then sell the spirited product it generated. Things went great, for a brief time, until he encountered a problem with the method he used to “burp” the container. It exploded all over him, made his cell block smell like a winery and ended his career as a master vintner. Here is the latest in our “Life Inside” series. The Marshall Project

“I would hope that there was a me there for me when I get there.” Florida’s population of sex offenders is aging—the state’s registry now has over 10,000 elderly people on it—and state and local officials show little inclination to head off what some advocates see as a looming health care crisis. Residency restrictions, which bar registered offenders from vast swaths of the state, are a big problem. So is homelessness among ex-offenders. Miami Herald TMP Context: Banished. The Marshall Project

ICE stymied in Massachusetts courthouses. A federal judge Thursday enjoined federal immigration agents from conducting “civil immigration arrests” within courthouses in the commonwealth. The ruling still permits Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to perform “criminal arrests” of undocumented people or civil arrests of those undocumented people who are under federal or state arrest when they are brought to court. Boston Globe Related: Read the ruling. U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

Late June at the Supreme Court. The justices Thursday announced decisions in two criminal law cases. The court affirmed the broad discretion of the U.S. attorney general to issue rules about the applicability of the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. CNN Related: Read the decision. U.S. Supreme Court The justices also ruled in favor of a New York elections official who alleged he was a victim of fabricated evidence presented at his trial. Scotusblog Related: Read the decision. U.S. Supreme Court

A police shooting exposes old problems for Pete Buttigieg. The Democratic presidential candidate and mayor of South Bend, Indiana, suspended his campaign recently in the wake of a police shooting of a black man by a white officer. The episode has rekindled concerns about Buttigieg’s relationship with the city’s black residents. So far, the reviews aren’t good. “[H]e talked to the media before the family. He skipped the family vigil, full of black residents. And then he gave a speech to the police,” noted Oliver Davis, the longest-serving black member of the city council. The Washington Post


Last night, Georgia put to death Marion Wilson by lethal injection in what was the 1,500th execution carried out in the United States since the Supreme Court allowed the resumption of the death penalty in 1976. The next person is scheduled to be executed in Texas in one month and 10 days. The Marshall Project Related: A short history of the death penalty in North Carolina. North Carolina Public Radio

A rookie police officer in Sacramento, California, just graduated from the police academy, was shot and killed early Thursday as she helped a victim of domestic violence retrieve her belongings from her home. CNN Related: It is the first line-of-duty death of a city cop in 20 years. A suspect is in custody after a long standoff. Sacramento Bee

Fallout continues from the latest scandal involving racist online posts by police. Officials in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pulled 72 cops off the street and assigned them to desk duty as an internal investigation continues. Slate Related: More than 100 cops nationwide now are implicated in the scandal. NBC News

There is more alleged trouble, and another lawsuit alleging brutality by guards, at the South Florida Reception Center, a prison near Doral. Miami New Times

A Washington man convicted of raping a woman last fall was released from jail for time served and then allegedly attacked his victim once again just days later. The suspect was supposed to return to his native Mexico. Seattle Times

New Jersey’s attorney general this week took some steps to better identify, track and hold accountable police officers who engage in misconduct. Asbury Park Press


My rapist fought for custody of my daughter. No matter what your view of abortion, state lawmakers cannot allow rapists to be tied forever to their victims. USA Today

Deliberate indifference. A member of the Sackler family tries, and fails, to separate itself from the opioid epidemic linked to Purdue Pharma, the drug company it runs. Vox

Hooray for the dual sovereignty doctrine in double jeopardy cases. And good for the U.S. Supreme Court for upholding it earlier this week. National Review

Beyond junk science. Experts agree that forensic science has been broadly abused within justice systems. They also agree on certain solutions, like making forensic labs independent from law enforcement and expanding the obligations of justices to undo wrongful convictions based on flawed science. By Radley Balko. The Washington Post

Misfire. So-called Second Amendment protection laws, now popular among Republican state legislators, are actually undermining the legal positions of the gun rights advocates. Brennan Center for Justice

Why so many disabled people are killed by the police. “My son does not understand the law. But more urgently, the law does not understand people like him.” Los Angeles Times


Proposal of the Day: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a Democratic presidential candidate, says he’ll grant clemency to 17,000 federal prisoners now serving time for nonviolent drug crimes. The New York Times

Failed Coup of the Day: The National Rifle Association Thursday suspended its top gun lobbyist and second-in-command Chris Cox amid allegations he tried to push for the ouster of longtime CEO Wayne LaPierre. The New York Times Related: More questions about the finances of the NRA emerge from a financial whistleblower. The New Yorker/The Trace

Murder Trial of the Day: Features Thomas Gilbert, the scion of a wealthy New York family accused of murdering his doting father over money. The New York Times

Decision of the Day: The Michigan Supreme Court refused to dismiss a class-action lawsuit by male teenage inmates who say they have been raped in prison after being placed alone in cells with older inmates. Bridge TMP Context: A boy among men. The Marshall Project

Parolees of the Day: Carolyn Warmus, the so-called “Fatal Attraction” killer, was released on parole in New York after serving 27 years for murdering her lover’s wife. New York Daily News More: Catherine Greig, the late James “Whitey” Bulger’s girlfriend, was released from federal prison this week and will complete her sentence in a halfway house. Boston Globe

Censorship of the Day: Corrections officials in Oregon are banning from state prisons dozens of computer programming books, including “Windows 10 for Dummies,” over what they claim are security concerns. Salem Reporter

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