Team Crime Story:
Welcome to our round up of the week’s events at crimestory.com.
The week began with RightWay Youth: Lafawn’s Story, the third in our series of youth stories from our partnership with The RightWay Foundation (which you can read more about here). Lafawn Taylor (writing with Leland Hall) relates his experience growing up never knowing his parents and churning through four foster homes and around 30 group homes. Lafawn recounts how he faced the prospect of addiction, homelessness and possible incarceration. He then relates that the practical life coaching that he receives from the RightWay Foundation and the inspiration that he draws from the memory and example of the slain LA activist and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle have placed him on a path to make his “own family for the family that wasn’t there.”
On Tuesday, we published the first CRIME STORY column by Paul Butler, the prominent law professor, TV pundit and scholar on issues of race and criminal justice. In Trump, Jussie Smollett and “Embarrassment to our Nation” Butler explores the similarities and differences between the Ukraine extortion plot that has embroiled President Trump and the allegedly staged hate crime that has ensnared actor Jussie Smollett. We also announced that day that Professor Butler is joining CRIME STORY as Consulting Editor.
Amanda Knox, on Wednesday, read The Case for E-carceration for our CRIME STORY Podcast, an opinion piece that she wrote with Christopher Robinson in which she examines the debate around electronic alternatives to physical incarceration. In the wake of her 4 years of confinement in an Italian jail, Knox expresses her deep and personal conviction that – whenever possible – e-carceration is a far more humane option than corporeal imprisonment.
On Thursday, we presented Molly Miller’s $7000 of Chips Vanished, the Kafkaesque tale of Nhut Bao Ton’s arrest for grand theft of casino chips, his near release for insufficient evidence and – in a particularly cruel turn of events – his continued detention as he awaits trial.
And finally on Friday we published Tim Kontje’s When Toilet Water Is the Only Relief, the story of the trial on charges of child endangerment of two Youth Corrections Officers for their use of pepper spray on a fourteen year old female inmate and for turning off the sink water in the girl’s cell so that she was compelled use the fluids from the cell’s toilet to try to bring relief to her burning eyes.
In the coming weeks, we will be introducing a number of additional features to the newsletter, exploring some of the unifying themes of the stories that we are covering. We will also be presenting engaging and compelling new content on the site and on the podcast that engages our readers and listeners more personally.
For those of you wondering how you can catch up on previous Crime Story newsletters, just click here and your question shall be answered.
We close this week, as is our habit, with Hannah Teich’s curated selection of some of the more interesting stories from Crime Story Daily over the past week.
Hannah, who edits this Daily section, groups the aggregation into four general topic areas: criminal justice policy reporting; muckraking/watchdog reporting; complex crime storytelling; and stories that examine the impact of criminal justice and true-crime in the culture.
Click here to go to Hannah’s weekly essay.
Thanks for reading and listening.
Publisher/Editor, Crime Story