Team Crime Story:This week at Crime Story we continued our presentation of series by Sean Smith and Katherine Mader and we featured breaking news on the Los Angeles D.A.’s efforts to follow through on campaign promises to transform his office.
On Tuesday, we presented the second installment of our Crime Story Series: Nuremberg by Sean Smith, the timely and timeless story of the effort to use international law to criminalize and condemn the menace embodied in the Nazi German leadership. In Part 2 of Nuremberg, Sean examines the journey of Robert Jackson from the United States Supreme Court to the role of Lead Prosecutor of the Nuremberg Tribunal, as well as the challenges and infighting faced by Jackson as he prepared to launch his prosecution.
Sean’s Nuremberg Series commemorates the 75th Anniversary period of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, which runs from November 20, 2020 through October 1, 2021.
On Wednesday and Thursday, 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 11 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader offers insight into the family-like nature of the staff that works in a criminal judge’s court, as well as the politics of how a criminal court’s workload is managed.
In Part 12 Judge Mader reflects on how being an older judge impacts her approach to her work as well as the power lawyers have to seek a judge’s disqualification and the power police unions can have over judges who might preside in a case involving an on-duty force incident.
On Friday, we presented City New Service’s coverage of the most recent events in newly elected Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon’s efforts to implement controversial reforms on his office in the face of resistance from deputy prosecutors and judges.
Friday’s article examines recent efforts to end pursuit of the death penalty and sentencing enhancements.
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 Politico goes inside the investigation into last week’s violence at the Capitol, outlining the potential charges rioters may face, from assault and unlawful entry to conspiracy and sedition. A piece from ProPublica explains some of the legal barriers and loopholes that make it exceedingly difficult to prosecute home-grown extremism. In the wake of the Capitol riot, some are calling for a new, tougher and more comprehensive domestic terrorism law; but pieces from the Marshall Project and the New Republic push back on this, outlining the ways in which “white terrorism” – and measures to address it – have historically led to harsher punishment for people of color.
In muckraker/watchdog reporting: This week, the Trump administration carried out three more federal executions, bringing the total to 13 since last July. Pieces from the Marshall Project and the Indianapolis Star focus on Lisa Montgomery, who was executed early on Wednesday at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute — the first woman executed by the federal government in nearly 70 years. A piece from the Wall Street Journal focuses on Corey Johnson, who was executed late on Thursday after a protracted legal battle; and pieces from GQ and the Baltimore Sun center on Dustin Higgs, the last man to be executed by the Trump administration, who maintained his innocence through the final moments of his life.
In complex crime storytelling: A piece from the New York Times goes inside last week’s riot at the Capitol, documenting in detail how a pro-Trump “Rally to Save America” escalated into a full-fledged insurrection. A piece from New York Magazine focuses on Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran turned fervent Trump supporter and QAnon believer who was fatally shot by Capitol Police. BBC goes inside the hunt to identify and track down the rioters, while a piece from the Washington Post highlights the network of “online sleuths” working to “out” right-wing extremists. And a piece from the Marshall Project, from 2017, centers on the “crowdsourced” investigation into white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, VA.
In culture/true crime: ArtNet interviews Rahsaan Thomas, an inmate at San Quentin and co-host of the Pulitzer-nominated podcast “Ear Hustle.” ProPublica interviews photojournalist Natalie Keyssar, who has spent much of the last six years documenting Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Last week, one of her images – taken in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, it shows a Black protester being tackled by armor-clad riot police – went viral in the wake of the Capitol riot. And the New Yorker highlights “Ashes to Ashes,” a new documentary about the artist and activist Winfred Rembert.
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