This week at Crime Story we presented two special reports from the City News Service on key reforms to the criminal legal process in Los Angeles and we continued our presentation of Katherine Mader’s serializiation of her memoir.
On Wednesday, we reported that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors took the first steps today to move all jail inmates charged with misdemeanors but judged incompetent to stand trial out of jail and into community-based treatment. The move is part of the county’s commitment to a “care first, jails last” approach.
And on Friday, we published a CNS piece on reaction to the California Supreme Court decision today that requires judges to consider a criminal defendant’s ability to post bail alongside less restrictive alternatives. Among those quoted in the piece is Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon who remarked that the “ruling ends an unjust practice that favors the wealthy and punishes those with limited means.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we continued our 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 31 of Inside the Robe, Judge Mader takes us through a series of drug cases, and explores the complex pressures that a judge faces in navigating the tactics of prosecution and defense counsel.
In Part 32, the Judge offers anecdotes of inexplicable strategic trial choices by both prosecutors and defense attorneys and also examines the perils of one police officer testifying against another.
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: In light of the recent mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado, a piece from the Atlantic asks, “Is America’s great crime decline over?”. A piece from the New York Times centers on the fight for gun control, while a piece from the Washington Post focuses on the Atlanta spa shootings and Georgia’s new hate-crimes law. And a piece from the New Republic also focuses on Atlanta, exploring race, sex work, policing, and the “politics of elimination.”
In muckraker/watchdog reporting: Pieces from USA Today and Just Security examine race, extremism, and policing in the wake of the Capitol insurrection. And Esquire reports from Mount Vernon, New York, where policing is now in the spotlight after decades of corruption and abuse.
In complex crime storytelling: A piece from Guernica Magazine dives deep into the secretive underground world of illegal finch smuggling. A piece from the Marshall Project recounts a story of wrongful conviction and one woman’s obsessive quest for justice. And a piece from New YorkMagazine examines policing and extremism after the Capitol riot in a small New Hampshire town.
In culture/true crime: BuzzFeed reviews the Netflix documentary “Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal.” The New York Times highlights “Luz,” a new film about “love in and out of lockup.” And the New Republic reviews the HBO docuseries “QAnon: Into the Storm.”
Thanks again for reading and listening.
Publisher/Editor, Crime Story