Immunity Run Amok

One of the things the 2016 elections laid bare is that ordinary Americans are tired of the powerful protecting and enriching themselves. At the heart of the American ideal of government of the people, by the people, and for the people is that no one is above the law. The United States Supreme Court is… Read More

Criminal Justice Reform Under Sessions

At the end of the Obama administration, the Department of Justice rushed to release several reports about criminal justice in America, before the reports could be buried by the incoming Trump administration. One of those we recently discussed – the DOJ’s eleventh hour report about the Chicago Police Department’s institutional racism and use of excessive… Read More

The Education Part of Special Education

  The Supreme Court will soon decide a case that is likely to dramatically change our country’s special education system. The Court is poised to decide whether school districts are required to provide disabled students with a meaningful education. That ruling, coupled with the priorities of Trump and his proposed education secretary Betsy DeVos (who is… Read More

Racism in Blue

Just before Trump’s inauguration, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Report summarizing its recent investigation of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), which resulted in many important findings. The Report discusses the police department’s pattern and practice of using excessive force, including rampant and unwarranted police shootings, profoundly unethical police practices, and a… Read More

MLK Day and You

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. On Martin Luther King Day, let’s all think about how we can contribute to fighting injustice. Dr. King’s legacy often focuses on his efforts as peace-maker. Many forget that King’s struggles were against political and societal tyranny. He was thought of as… Read More

Federal Suit Challenges Chicago Police Use of “Stingray” Spying Devices

Attorneys for long-time National Lawyers Guild legal observer Jerry Boyle filed suit in federal court today to challenge the sweeping use of “Stingray” cell phone spying devices by Chicago Police. The suit, which aims to be certified as a class action, alleges that the stingray devices are frequently used without warrants or any official guidance,… Read More

Criminal Justice Reform Under Trump

With the passing of the presidential torch just days away, I’m mindful of the sharp contrast between President Obama’s criminal justice priorities and what we can expect from our new, incoming president. As we embark on the Trump years, we should pay attention to an important lesson from the Obama era about the disconnect between… Read More

2016’s Final Wrongful Conviction Roundup

It’s time for this year’s final wrongful conviction round-up, our quarterly examination of some of the exonerations from around the country. As always, there are moving and important stories to tell. These stories continue to remind us of the human toll of our country’s out-of-control criminal system. Jose Montaez and Armando Serrano: I am proud… Read More

The Profit Motive to Detain Immigrants

The Christmas season is often thought of as a time to spread joy, hope, and generosity. What better time to think about how our country treats immigrants, particularly asylum seekers. They come to this country seeking mercy because they are unable to return home due to the risk of death or injury as a result of their… Read More

BREAKING: Federal Jury Slams Chicago in One of the Highest Wrongful Conviction Awards in U.S. History

In one of the highest awards of its type in U.S. history, a 12-member federal jury today following a month-long trial found the City of Chicago and its current and former police officers liable for $22 million in compensatory damages and $40,000 in punitive damages. Fields spent the majority of his 18 years in prison… Read More