This is a curated selection of highlights from Crime Story Daily this week.
On the criminal justice policy front: This week, Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of two felony sex crimes in New York. A piece from the New York Times provides a broad overview of the case and trial; while a piece from New York Magazine breaks down the jury’s verdict, including the differences between first- and third-degree rape and between rape and predatory sexual assault. And the Washington Examiner reports that this week, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation that will expand parole opportunities for inmates who were imprisoned as juveniles, including those serving life sentences. The law has been hailed as a landmark piece of legislation that “gives an opportunity for youths who have committed serious crimes and repented a future opportunity for social redemption.”
In muckraker/watchdog reporting: A piece from The Intercept focuses on the backlash against criminal justice reform in New York, led by a coalition of police leaders, prosecutors, and Republican lawmakers.
In complex crime storytelling: A piece from the New Yorker examines the case of Eric Smokes and David Warren, both of whom were sent to prison as teenagers in 1987 for the murder of a French tourist in Manhattan. Both have consistently maintained their innocence; they argue that, like the Central Park Five two years later, their arrest “resulted from police investigation conducted under public and political pressure to hold someone responsible.” The article details their fight, decades later, to challenge their convictions and clear their names. And a piece from Rolling Stone focuses on Anthony Montwheeler, an Oregon man who stands accused of murdering his ex-wife. Montwheeler’s story rests at the intersection of criminal justice and mental illness, demonstrating the challenges inherent for both doctors and judges in evaluating a person’s state of mind.
And in culture/true crime: A new episode of The Appeal’s podcast “Justice in America” focuses on police accountability and “why it’s so hard for the criminal justice system to hold police accountable.”