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The Marshall Project
Opening Statement
June 23, 2022
Edited by Jamiles Lartey
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Pick of the News

TMPPeople on parole can vote in Colorado. Earlier this year, TMP reported that Colorado officials had not updated voter registration forms to reflect a 2019 law restoring the right to vote for more than 11,000 people on parole. Now we’ve created a community resource with key information about voting rights in Colorado in Spanish and English. The visual explainer will be shared with community groups, re-entry services, advocacy organizations and parole offices in Colorado, who intend to distribute it as a flier in print and online. In collaboration with The Colorado Sun, TMP’s Alexandra Arriaga, Andrew Rodriguez Calderón, Celina Fang, Bo-Won Keum, and Liset Cruz have our explainer, illustrated by artist Zeke Peña. The Marshall Project / EN ESPAŃOL

The blink of an eye. Most active shooter incidents end before the police arrive, according to an analysis of 433 attacks over the past ten years. In about half of all cases, the attacker either flees or dies by suicide, the research showed. About one-third of the time, the police either shoot or subdue the attacker. “It’s direct, indisputable, empirical evidence that this kind of common claim that ‘the only thing that stops a bad guy with the gun is a good guy with the gun’ is wrong,” said one expert. The New York Times

Another day, another revelation in Uvalde. On the day of the attack, Uvalde School District Officer Ruben Ruiz got a text from his wife Eva Mireles, a teacher in the school, saying she had been shot. When Ruiz attempted to engage the shooter and get to his wife, he was detained by fellow officers and had his weapon confiscated. Houston Chronicle It’s just the latest in a series of details to emerge about how the police failed to engage the shooter, against training and protocol. More: Officials announced that Robb Elementary, where the shooting took place, will be demolished. Reuters

“Child appears sad but not desperate.” More than 100 children being held in immigration detention expressed suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide, according to an analysis of records from January to April of 2021. “Children often complained about their length of stay, the isolation they felt after their friends were released, and the suffering they experienced being away from their families.” None of the children died by suicide, according to the records. Reveal TMP Context: Children make up one-third of those detained in immigration detention cells meant for adults. The Marshall Project

N/S/E/W

Three people who had recently been held at Rikers Island jail in New York City have died in the last week. The New York Times More: One of the men was granted compassionate release on his deathbed, and will not be officially counted as a death in custody New York Daily News TMP Context: The lockup has been notorious for violence and neglect for decades, but plunged deeper into crisis last year. The Marshall Project

Following unrest in two Louisiana youth jails, guards have been called in from adult facilities and permitted to use levels of force typically reserved for adults. The Advocate TMP Context: The dire conditions in Louisiana’s harshest youth lockup. The Marshall Project

A new law in Mississippi makes it the first state where prison administrators can choose how a person sentenced to death is executed: lethal injection, firing squad, gas chamber or electrocution. Mississippi Today

The South Dakota state Senate voted to oust Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg from office after he killed a man with his car in 2020. New York Times

In Tampa, Florida Black police officers say their attempts to redirect the department toward “community policing” have been stymied by “a good ol’ boy system” of entrenched, mostly White upper management. Buzzfeed News

Commentary

A case for consolidation. The U.S. is home to roughly 18,000 police departments, making it an extreme outlier — many countries have just one. Could consolidation have improved the failed response? “People who have been taught to follow orders from a chain of command will be at a loss when the chain breaks down and commanders multiply.” The Washington Post

“Crying-out for healing.” The founders of Philadelphia’s first adult restorative justice program write that the criminal legal system achieves racially disparate outcomes, is built only to punish and doesn’t address the needs that often accompany crime. “Restorative justice practices can offer an alternative.” The Philadelphia Inquirer TMP Context: One Florida family’s winding journey through restorative justice. The Marshall Project

“An inherently conservative endeavor.” Democrats looking to pivot to the right on crime after the recall of District Attorney Chesa Boudin in San Francisco have largely ignored wins by progressive prosecutors in other races that same election night. Jerry Iannelli writes that Democrats cannot win “by simply turning the GOP’s toxic and disingenuous messaging against them.” The Appeal

When did the GOP become “indifferent” to officers in distress? During the 2020 election, police groups flocked to Donald Trump as the candidate who would embrace “law and order.” LZ Granderson writes that “we now know that on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump called for no such thing, leaving the overwhelmed Capitol police officers to fight for their lives for hours.” The Los Angeles Times

Etc.

The old way. On the heels of an increase in shootings, New York advocates worry that Mayor Eric Adams will ignore the lessons of the past. The Trace

“A saturation point of mass incarceration.” Oregon doesn’t have nearly enough public defenders to represent all the people accused of crimes in the state, and Covid-19 has made the crisis worse. The Pew Charitable Trusts

Got to have a code. More than 97% of judges polled by the judicial college said that U.S. Supreme Court justices should be bound by a code of ethics. Currently, they are not. USA Today

“An unprecedented loss of personnel.” The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the city of Minneapolis has failed to meet its “clear legal duty” to keep the city police department appropriately staffed. The department has lost more than 3oo officers since the summer of 2020. Associated Press

“Who better to help regain trust?” In Baltimore, police administrators are trying to ease recruitment woes with a new pilot internship program at two local Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Baltimore Sun

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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