criminaljustice

The Legalization of Marijuana Still Doesn’t Include Everyone
Close up of a marijuana plant.

The Legalization of Marijuana Still Doesn’t Include Everyone

Despite 420 celebrations and growing support to legalize it, people of color continue to be incarcerated for marijuana and excluded from the cannabis industry.

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2400 1600 Team ARD
What “Defunding the Police” Actually Means
A police officer with their back turned.

What “Defunding the Police” Actually Means

Defunding the police allows communities to reinvest in other forms of community support while dismantling a system rooted in racism and white supremacy.

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2400 1600 Nicole Cardoza
Why Hate Crime Convictions Fall Short of Justice
A demonstrator at a protest with a sign that reads "Stop Asian hate."

Why Hate Crime Convictions Fall Short of Justice

Seeking convictions for violence, while understandable, legitimizes a system that disproportionately harms communities of color.

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2400 1601 Andrew Lee
Rittenhouse and America’s Obsession with White Vigilantism

Rittenhouse and America’s Obsession with White Vigilantism

Vigilantes and law enforcement groups have long worked together to create and protect the racial order in the United States.

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6016 4016 Andrew Lee
Disparities in Crack Cocaine Sentencing Targets the Black Community
White dust particles on a black background.

Disparities in Crack Cocaine Sentencing Targets the Black Community

Historically, drug policy has been written with racist intentions and fueled by hysteria over the war on drugs. This has led to racial disparities in sentencing for crack cocaine possession.

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1920 1280 Nia Norris

End cash bail.

In the U.S., it’s legal to be kidnapped and incarcerated without being convicted of any crime. You haven’t confessed. You aren’t considered dangerous or liable to flee before your court date. You have not been proven guilty so you must, by this country’s legal code, be considered innocent. You are nonetheless told you will be incarcerated indefinitely. Your trial date may be scheduled for a few weeks from now – – or, it may not arrive for years.

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150 150 Andrew Lee

Advocate for our right to trial.

The U.S. positions itself as a just country with a superior legal system where people are always considered innocent until proven guilty and always granted the right to a trial before a jury of their peers. Except this isn’t true at all. Despite the promise of the Sixth Amendment, we do not have an effective right to trial because today, the overwhelming majority of cases will never see a judge.

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150 150 Andrew Lee

Demilitarize local law enforcement.

If you’ve participated or watched protests unfold in cities across the country this past year, you may have noticed that law enforcement looked more like members of our military than neighborhood police. And that’s intentional, as, over the past decades, the U.S. has made it easier for law enforcement to access surplus military equipment for everyday use.

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150 150 Nicole Cardoza

Learn how film and television portray policing.

Law and Order. CSI. Hawaii-Five-Oh. American Sniper. TV shows and movies about law enforcement and the police permeate the screens of Americans across the country. Media portrayals about police officers, detectives, judges, crime fighters, and more firmly implemented into the cultural lexicon. Just because they are on TV does not mean that these shows exclusively exist for entertainment. Many shows actively depict criminal justice without showcasing the many ways it harms the lives of communities of color. These shows often work to bolster law enforcement in the eyes of white supremacy while simultaneously reducing compassion for the disproportionately Black victims of its system.

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150 150 Tiffany Onyejiaka

Unpack the Derek Chauvin trial.

For the past month, Derek Chauvin has been on trial for the murder of George Floyd. Finally, the verdict is out. Chauvin faced three charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. To convict Chauvin, the prosecution needed to show each charge beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution did not need to prove that Chauvin intended to kill George Floyd to convict him of the charges.

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150 150 Nicole Cardoza
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