This week at Crime Story we continued our presentation of Katerine Mader’s Inside the Robe: A Judge’s Candid Tale of Criminal Justice in America and we presented another client update from Stanford’s Three Strikes Project.
We also offered a video presentation focused on the events in Washington, D.C. this week.
Welcome to our summary of the week’s events at CrimeStory.com and The Crime Story Podcast.
First, this morning we published a video that juxtaposes the words of President Donald J. Trump to his supporters against the images of those supporters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Our aim in presenting the video was to offer a visceral sense of how a leader’s rhetoric may incite criminal action in his followers.
Also on Friday, we published Michael Romano’s update on the case of Richard “Bonaru” Richardson, who after years of fighting and litigating, was recently found by the Board of Parole Hearings to no longer be a danger to public safety and suitable for release. Bonaru is the Executive Editor of The San Quentin News, an award-winning monthly newspaper written, edited, and published from behind the walls at San Quentin.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we continued our new Crime Story series excerpting Inside the Robe: A Judge’s Candid Tale of Criminal Justice in America, by Judge Katherine Mader (Ret.) which best selling author Michael Connelly called: “a perfect book: engrossing and telling at the same time.”
In Part 9 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader examines some of the differences between judging in the criminal and civil courts, and examines the responsibilities and selection of the presiding judge of Los Angeles County.
In Part 10, she reflects on her reasons for getting into criminal law, her weathering the sexist norms of the criminal legal process at the beginning of her career and the importance of the feminist movement to the common presence of women air all aspects of the justice system today.
Below we present Hannah Teich’s condensed curation of the week’s more interesting stories from Crime Story Daily. (Read Hannah’s full essay including links to the mentioned articles.)
On the criminal justice policy front: A piece from the Washington Post highlights political battles across the country over vaccinating inmates against COVID-19. A piece from the Texas Tribune focuses on criminal jury trials, which have recently resumed in some Texas counties after months on hold, posing serious health risks for those involved even as a backlog of cases continues to pile up that will take the state years to overcome. The Detroit News highlights good news for criminal justice reform in Michigan; and the Seattle Times reports from Washington, where the state Supreme Court will soon hear a case that could potentially free dozens of three-strikes prisoners.
In muckraker/watchdog reporting: The New York Times reports that on Wednesday, the country looked on in shock as armed pro-Trump insurrectionists in Washington, DC, stormed the Capitol, smashing windows, bursting through barricades, and pepper-spraying Capitol police – without obvious consequence. Pieces from the Daily Beast and the Washington Post emphasize the failures of Capitol Police to prepare for and quell the violence, while Politico and New York Magazine highlight the racial contradictions of Trump’s “law and order” mantra. And, in a piece for the New Republic, Melissa Gira Grant describes the scene at the Capitol not as an insurrection, but an “alliance”: “Again, we were reminded that the designation of a peaceful protest is one made by law enforcement and the state. There’s no question of keeping the peace, really, when there’s only one side.”
In complex crime storytelling: A piece from the New York Times offers an up-close, in-depth view on Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol; and a piece from Mother Jones explores the strange, dark world of “challenge coins,” the “dirty currency” of the warrior cop.
In culture/true crime: “Scenes From an American Insurrection,” a photo story from The Atlantic, goes inside the chaos at the Capitol, capturing a scene “unlike any other witnessed in recent US history.” IndyWeek highlights Decarcerate NC Now: Let Our People Go, a mini-documentary about the fight for decarceration in North Carolina. And CBS News goes inside the story of how a podcast helped save Curtis Flowers from death row.
Again, you can read Hannah’s full weekly essay and find links to each of the mentioned articles.
And finally, here is your opportunity to catch up on previous Crime Story Newsletters.
Thanks again for reading and listening.
Publisher/Editor, Crime Story