Investigate Homan Square

If the mainstream media were to discuss a secret police bunker where suspects were “disappeared” – held against their will, without criminal charges, and subject to secret, violent interrogations – most people would likely think the bunker was in an authoritarian country lacking in constitutional protections like ours.  The media shies away from such coverage… Read More

Martin Luther King Day and You

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. On Martin Luther King Day this year, let’s think about how we can contribute to fighting injustice. All year, we blog about how broken our criminal justice system is, but we rarely talk about what can be done about it on a… Read More

Police Perjury — All. The. Time.

Ever heard of police officers “testilying” in court? “Testilying” is the cynical euphemism that cops use for testifying falsely in order to secure convictions against people whom they believe to be guilty. But there is obviously another word for it: police perjury. “Testilying” is rationalized as somehow justified because the cop’s goal is to make… Read More

A Matter of Perspective?

At Altering Convictions we share our perspective about combating police brutality, opposing mass incarceration, and fighting injustice. All of our pieces presume a few basic truths that are inarguable. It is unacceptable for law enforcement to treat certain people’s lives as expendable. Law enforcement should honor everyone’s constitutional rights. And all people should be treated… Read More

Wrongful Conviction Roundup: Q4

As we finish out the year with the fourth quarter wrongful conviction roundup, I want to highlight the cause-effect relationship of many of the common themes discussed in this blog. The fourth quarter wrongful convictions and exonerations illustrate the tragic, real world effects of prosecutorial misconduct, police misconduct, false confessions, and flawed eyewitness identifications. The… Read More

It’s Not About Race??

  Here is something that astounds me: in video after video, we see a white, male cop unnecessarily brutalizing a black female who had failed to immediately defer to the cop’s authority, and law enforcement quickly declares that race was not a factor in the violence. By now, many of us have seen one of… Read More

A Culture of Police Violence

There’s been a lot of press about unwarranted police shootings and law enforcement cover-ups of police brutality, but do you ever wonder how on earth a culture developed where some police officers could believe that it is okay to treat people that way? I certainly have. And here’s what I’ve come up with: the culture… Read More

Wrongful Convictions Roundup: Q3 2015

I know we do a wrongful conviction roundup every quarter, but the injustice some people have to endure never fails to shock. This quarter’s wrongful convictions are particularly upsetting. The Exoneration of Bobby Johnson Let’s begin with Bobby Johnson’s heartbreaking story. Bobby was 16 years old in 2006 when he was jailed for the armed… Read More

The Price of Police Misconduct

Our criminal justice system is premised in part on the idea that if you commit a crime, you pay a price: the fear of spending years in prison and paying back the money you stole should deter you from stealing in the first place. But, of course, this type of deterrence only works if the… Read More

Freddie Gray and the Blue Wall Syndrome

Although Freddie Gray was rendered comatose in Baltimore police custody, all six police officers involved deny using or witnessing any force during Mr. Gray’s fatal encounter with the police.  And yet a bystander’s video of the arrest depicts Mr. Gray, flanked by officers and screaming in pain, while someone yells that Gray’s leg is broken… Read More