Welcome to our weekly review of the events at crimestory.com.
This was another banner week for powerful and provocative pieces.
On Monday and Wednesday, Molly Miller continued her look into the power dynamics and economic dysfunctions woven into our justice system with pieces about the some of the arbitrary economic calculations that go into determining whether a crime is a felony or a misdemeanor (Felon-omics) and about how plea bargaining works and how it dominates the judicial landscape (How Is a Plea a Bargain?). You can hear podcast episodes with Molly’s reading of those stories embedded in the stories themselves.
On Tuesday, I wrote the first in an on-going series of stories about my 28 year dialogue with John Orr, a former arson investigator who is serving a life sentence as a convicted arsonist. One of the most unusual aspects of Orr’s story is that he wrote a novel about a fireman/arsonist and that novel was used to convict him.
A core part of the mission at Crime Story is to explore how and why stories of crime and justice are told; that exploration lies at the heart of the series of pieces that opens with A Convicted Fireman-Arsonist and Me: The Beginning. You can listen to the podcast episode with my reading of this story embedded in the story itself.
On Thursday, we published RightWay Youth: Ernesto’s Story, the fourth in our series of youth stories from our partnership with The RightWay Foundation (which you can read more about here). In this piece, Ernesto Yanes-Arnold (under the guidance of Crime Story writer Sean Smith) relates his harrowing tale of growing up in South Central Los Angeles. Specifically, he describes the daily anticipation of gang shootings , and tells with terrifying detail of the day that the anticipation became a reality.
And on Friday we published a piece that first appeared on the website for the Miller Center, a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy, and political history. It was written by the Miller Center’s Director and CEO, William Antholis, who also happens to be my brother.
In the article, which we called High Crimes Story, Bill presents a guide to Impeachment. The piece is a summary of some of the key legal and political observations of the Trump-Ukraine scandal investigation and hearings, as offered by him and his colleagues at the Miller Center. As with the stories by Molly and me, you can listen to the podcast episode with Bill’s reading of this story embedded in the story itself.
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