This week we presented a provocative opinion piece from Amanda Knox with Christopher Robinson, and a new interview conducted by Amanda. Sean Smith continued his series on the media coverage of Covid-19 in jails and prisons.

We presented another episode of our Robert Durst podcast.

And Mike Romano offered another update on two of clients.

Here is our weekly roundup from CrimeStory.com.

On Monday, we presented an opinion piece written by Amanda Knox with Christopher Robinson entitled Criminalizing Karen. In the column, Amanda and Chris explore the complex and messy ramifications of the ubiquitous “Karen” meme.

On Tuesday, Sean Smith presented Part 12 of his week by week analysis of the news stories aggregated in Crime Story Daily related to COVID-19 and our carceral system. In this installment, Sean looked at stories from the week of May 31.

On Wednesday, Amanda Knox interviewed Maurice Chammah, who covers the death penalty for the Marshall Project. Maurice spoke about the intellectual and emotional experience of studying the death penalty and also discussed efforts to cultivate the literary creativity of the incarcerated. 

Also on Wednesday, we released episode 6 of the podcast series Jury Duty: The Trial of Robert Durst.

In the episode, entitled The Texas Trial of Robert Durst, we are taken back to the aftermath of the killing of Morris Black in 2001, as Robert Durst dismembered his body, threw the parts in Galveston Bay and made plans to flee Texas, not once but twice, the second after posting and jumping bail. Deputy DA John Lewin tells the jury that by telling a series of lies and half-truths, Durst seeded enough doubt in the minds of the Texas jurors to secure an acquittal on the charge of murdering Morris Black.

You can listen now by clicking on your preferred platform below.

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Yesterday, we presented Mike Romano’s announcement of two new client releases.

First, after serving 20 years under the Three Strikes Law, the Stanford Three Strikes Project’s client Lynden Owens, had his life sentence recalled in Santa Clara Superior Court, and he walked out of prison on Monday. Lynden was sentenced to 45-years-to-life years under the Three Strikes law for a nonviolent burglary in 1999.

Second, Andre Hawkins also had his sentence vacated and he was released under the new collaboration between the Three Strikes Project and Chesa Boudin, the District Attorney in San Francisco. The collaboration identifies prisoners (mostly Three Strikers) who would not receive the same sentence if convicted today.

As is our custom, we present a summary of Hannah Teich’s curated selection of some of the more interesting stories from Crime Story Daily over the past week. (In order to get to the full essay and the story links, please click through this link to Hannah’s piece at crimestory.com.)

On the criminal justice policy front: New York Magazine examines the “historical irony” of a Biden-Harris ticket during a criminal-justice reckoning. The Intercept outlines the contours of Atlanta’s police-reform debate. A piece from The New Yorker also focuses on race and police reform, reiterating the call to “defund the police.” And a piece from The Atlantic examines the “politics of punishment” in the context of COVID-19.

In muckraker/watchdog reporting: New York Magazine profiles Sgt. Ed Mullins, the vulgar, belligerent face of NYPD resistance to police reform. The Washington Post focuses on police recruitment ads, while a piece from the New York Times centers on viral “Basketball Cop” Bobby White.

In complex crime storytelling: Vox recounts the story of Robert Nichols, the “man without a name.” And a piece from the New York Times focuses on the prison inmates “learning magic by mail.”

And in culture/true crime: A piece from The Atlantic reflects on “the end of the fictional cop.” Mother Jones highlights “Traplanta,” a “living portfolio of photographs” that capture the stark realities of Atlanta’s drug trade.

Again, you can click here to go to Hannah’s weekly essay and find links to those articles.

For those of you wondering how you can catch up on previous Crime Story newsletters, just click here and your question shall be answered.

Thanks again for reading and listening.

Kary Antholis

Publisher/Editor, Crime Story

editor@crimestory.com