Tag: Ex-Convicts

The Return of the Poll Tax in Florida

Florida voters approved a ballot measure in November to restore voting rights to up to 1.4 million people with felony convictions who have served their sentences and thus paid their debt to society. The passage of Amendment 4, which went into effect in January, righted 150 years of injustice. But Republican lawmakers in the state […]

Read More

The Case for Expunging Criminal Records

The consequences of a run-in with the law can persist for decades after the formal sentence has been served. People with records face major barriers to employment, housing and education, effectively condemning them to second-class citizenship. In recent years, criminal justice reform efforts have increasingly focused on finding policy tools that can lower these barriers. […]

Read More

A Gotti Was Released From Prison, Then the Gambino Boss Was Killed. Is There a Connection?

[What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.] While Gene Gotti was in prison in the 1990s, he hatched a plan with a Gambino family associate: They would keep up a strict workout routine at the prison gym, federal agents learned. They had to stay in shape, […]

Read More

Rap Sheets Haunt Former Inmates. California May Change That.

After spending more than seven years in prison for robbery and auto theft, Jay Jordan tried to get work selling insurance, real estate and used cars, but was repeatedly turned away, he said. People with a felony record are often barred from obtaining professional licenses, and an opportunity to be […]

Read More

He Committed Murder. Then He Graduated From an Elite Law School. Would You Hire Him as Your Attorney?

Last September, a group of academics and activists gathered at Princeton University to discuss the limits of artificial intelligence in public policy. The longest debate concerned some of the most sensitive decisions in the justice system, like whether to release a person on bail or parole. Many in attendance were […]

Read More

Donald Trump Is Doing Something … Good?

This year is ending with one truly surprising development, a real man-bites-dog story: Donald Trump is poised to sign bipartisan legislation that will make America a slightly more decent place. I’m talking about the First Step Act, the criminal justice reform bill championed by Jared Kushner. The measure passed the […]

Read More

Let the People Vote

ImageVoters waiting in a long line to vote in the 2018 midterm general election, outside a polling station located at Robious Middle School in Midlothian, Virginia. CreditMichael Reynolds/EPA, via Shutterstock The United States finally has the pro-democracy movement that it needs. Last week, ballot initiatives to improve the functioning of democracy […]

Read More

Delay in Sydney Jail Death Inquest Prolongs Family’s ‘Agonizing Wait’

SYDNEY, Australia — For almost three years, the family of an Indigenous Australian man who died in a Sydney prison complex after being pinned down by correctional officers has waited for answers. Their wait will continue. On Friday, an inquest into the 2015 death of David Dungay Jr., 26, who told officers at least 12 […]

Read More

What’s Good for Democracy Is Also Good for Democrats

Amid the political turmoil of the past few years, there have been faint rustlings of a democratic revival. States have begun to take steps to empower citizens by making voting easier and more inclusive. Since 2015, 12 states have adopted automatic voter registration; voters in Florida will decide in November on a ballot initiative to […]

Read More

From Fighting Injustice to Facing Death Row: The Bizarre Case of Pastor Glasgow

I had arrived at the office of his defense lawyer, Derek Yarbrough, to find a surprise guest: Rickey Stokes, a bail bondsman, news blogger, private investigator, 911 board chairman and assistant coroner. Mr. Stokes and Mr. Glasgow have a history that is Dothanesque. They have been adversaries — Mr. Glasgow, who is black, once protested […]

Read More

Texas Woman Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Voter Fraud Loses Bid for New Trial

A judge who sentenced a Texas woman to five years in prison for voting illegally because she was a felon turned down on Monday the woman’s bid for a new trial. “Prison is a lot closer for her today,” Alison Grinter, a lawyer for the woman, Crystal Mason, 43, said on Tuesday, noting that her […]

Read More

Trump Offers Clemency to Imprisoned Woman After Being Lobbied by Kim Kardashian West

WASHINGTON — President Trump commuted the sentence of a woman serving life in prison on a nonviolent drug conviction, White House officials said on Wednesday, after the reality television star Kim Kardashian West brought the case to his attention. Although short of a full pardon, the decision by the president will free Alice Johnson, 63, […]

Read More

Pardon System Needs Fixing, Advocates Say, but They Cringe at Trump’s Approach

Now they have one in President Trump, who has pardoned five people in his first 17 months in office and bypassed the Justice Department’s recommendation system to do so. This week, he pardoned Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative commentator who pleaded guilty in 2014 to violating campaign finance law. Mr. D’Souza responded on Twitter by claiming […]

Read More

They’re Out of Prison. Can They Stay Out of the Hospital?

SAN FRANCISCO — The night Ronald Sanders turned his life around, he had been smoking crack for two days in a tiny, airless room. His infant son, Isaiah, was breathing in the fumes. “His chest was beating really hard,” Mr. Sanders recalled. “So I pray: ‘If my son makes it through the night, that’s it.’” […]

Read More