Team Crime Story:This week brought further developments in the controversies over D.A. George Gascón’s policy directives and we continued our presentation of the series by Katherine Mader.
On Wednesday, we presented a City News Service Report on a Los Angeles Superior Court hearing focused on L.A. District Attorney Gorge Gascón’s directives eliminating three-strikes allegations and some sentencing enhancements. During the hearing, the union representing L.A. prosecutors urged a judge to issue a preliminary injunction stopping the D.A. from enforcing those directives. A lawyer for Gascón responded that such a ruling would thwart the will of voters who elected him.
And then this morning we cited an L.A. Times story which reports that the D.A. has made an exception to his policy not to seek the death penalty in the case of convicted killer Michael Gargiulo, whose 2019 trial Crime Story covered extensively.
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 17 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader offers a searing anecdote of how a prosecutor may use his or her power to disqualify a presiding judge as a tool of vindictiveness, aggression and intimidation.
In Part 18 she recounts how that same vindictive supervising prosecutor, thwarted the judge’s efforts to be fair to a defendant, apparently driven by spite for her perceived challenges to his prosecutorial authority.
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: Pieces from CNN and the New York Times center on the investigation into the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol. The Washington Post reports from Florida, where GOP leaders are pushing for a sweeping state bill to crack down on disruptive protests. And, as the Capitol riot investigation moves into a new, more complicated phase, a piece from Politico focuses on the 1968 “Civil Obedience Act.”
In muckraker/watchdog reporting: Pieces from Time and the New York Review of Books go inside the Trump administration’s unprecedented execution spree; while pieces from Vox and the Los Angeles Times center on the ongoing coronavirus crisis in US prisons and jails.
In complex crime storytelling: A piece from The Atlantic focuses on Jeffrey Young, AKA “the Rock Doc,” the “hard-partying, rock-obsessed nurse at the center of a massive opioid bust.” Wired recounts the wild true story of “the lion, the polygamist, and the biodiesel scam.” And a piece from the New York Times centers on the case of Kevin Cooper, who has spent nearly four decades on death row for a crime of which he is almost surely innocent.
And in culture/true crime: Hyperallergic reviews the documentary All Light, Everywhere, an exploration of the interconnected relationship between policing, surveillance, and film. Vox reviews The Ripper, a new docu-series from Netflix about the notorious “Yorkshire Ripper” case. And NPR highlights the new book Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration.
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