Expert Witness

Interview: DeRay McKessen, Activist and Organizer for the Black Lives Matter Movement (with Amanda...

“I just need to tell you the truth”: An Interview with DeRay McKessen DeRay McKessen is an activist and organizer for the Black Lives Matter movement. He co-founded Campaign Zero, a nonprofit which analyzes policing practises and proposes solutions to end police violence, and co-hosts Pod Save the People, a podcast that highlights news, culture, and politics impacting people of color.  McKessen wrote about his experiences organizing and protesting for the Black Lives Matter movement in his memoir, On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for...

Interview: Adam Foss, Advocate for Transforming the Role of the Prosecutor (with Amanda Knox)

“We are a business that works with human beings, we know nothing about humans.”: An Interview with Adam Foss Adam Foss, founder of Prosecutor Impact, is a criminal justice reformer and former prosecutor. In his 2016 Ted Talk, Foss bore witness to the many ways prosecutors squander their outsize power of discretion to deflect vulnerable people away from our overwhelmingly punitive, ineffective, and unfair criminal justice system. His continued work is driven towards transforming the system from within by changing the way its gatekeepers view their responsibility and exercise their...

Interview: Sarah Gersten, The Profoundly Unjust Case of Michael Thompson

The Case of Michael Thompson: An Interview with Sarah Gersten In 1996, 45-year-old Michael Thompson was convicted in Michigan on five charges: possession with intent to deliver marijuana; conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver marijuana; delivery of marijuana; possession of a weapon by a convicted felon; and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony. The maximum penalty for these combined offenses amounted to just over a decade in prison. However, Thompson’s sentence was significantly lengthened when prosecutors applied the habitual offender law. Thompson...

Interview: Emily Bazelon, One of the Leading Writers on America’s Criminal Legal Process

“Anyone can be on the receiving end of a prosecutor's mistakes”: An Interview with Emily Bazelon Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, a lecturer at Yale Law School, co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest podcast, and the author of two best-selling works of nonfiction: Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy and Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration. Charged is a deep dive into the prosecutor’s...

Amanda Knox interviews Former FBI Agent about “a Loss of Trust in the Institution...

“It's a fundamental misunderstanding of what police do and what motivates crime”: An Interview with Steve Moore From 1983 to 2008, Steve Moore served as a Special Agent for the FBI. After retiring, he chronicled his experiences in his memoir, Special Agent Man: My Life in the FBI as a Terrorist Hunter, Helicopter Pilot, and Certified Sniper (Chicago Review Press, 2012). He’s now a law enforcement contributor for CNN, and a professional pilot. I reached out to Moore to better understand how law enforcement officers are responding...

Amanda Knox Interviews Advocate for the Excarcerated, Joshua Hoe

“Crimes are a moment in time. They’re not a person.”: An Interview with Joshua Hoe Despite the current rise in wide-spread public support for criminal justice reform, advocacy aimed at humanizing people who have committed violent crimes ― particularly sex crimes ― remains largely taboo and politically unpalatable. The First Step Act, the first restorative criminal justice reform to pass federally in over 40 years, excluded those convicted of violent and sex offenses from sentencing reduction and rewards for taking part in rehabilitation programs. Meanwhile, calls for more aggressive policing...

Amanda Knox Interviews John Rappaport on Strategies for Ending Systemic Racism in Policing

Bargaining Away Procedural Protections: An Interview with John Rappaport In these past five years of freedom I’ve enjoyed since I was definitely acquitted by the Italian Supreme Court, I’ve spent much of my time imagining and advocating for a justice system that is actually just. One with better protections for both victims of crime and victims of the criminal justice system. One that relies less on imprisonment and punishment to address society’s ills. A justice system which abandons unreliable and harmful tools like the Reid interview technique or the polygraph....

Amanda Knox Interview: Shon Hopwood – From Bank Robber to Law Professor and Criminal...

“Most people that commit crimes are not evil”: An Interview with Shon Hopwood By Amanda Knox with Christopher Robinson On October 28, 1998, 23-year-old Shon Hopwood pleaded guilty to robbing numerous banks in Nebraska and was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison. While serving his sentence, Hopwood ― who had no formal legal training ― became a jailhouse lawyer, and represented many of his fellow inmates in their appeals. Upon his release from prison in 2009, Hopwood went to law school at the University of Washington...

Episode 175: Interview: Shon Hopwood, From Bank Robber to Law Professor and Criminal Justice...

“Most people that commit crimes are not evil”: An Interview with Shon Hopwood By Amanda Knox with Christopher Robinson On October 28, 1998, 23-year-old Shon Hopwood pleaded guilty to robbing numerous banks in Nebraska and was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison. While serving his sentence, Hopwood ― who had no formal legal training ― became a jailhouse lawyer, and represented many of his fellow inmates in their appeals. Upon his release from prison in 2009, Hopwood went to law school at the University of Washington...

Amanda Knox Interviews Lorena (Bobbitt) Gallo

"If life gives you lemons, make lemonade": An Interview with Lorena (Bobbitt) Gallo By Amanda Knox with Christopher Robinson Lorena Gallo, formerly Lorena Bobbitt, became a tabloid staple and household name in the ‘90s when she was put on trial for maiming her then-husband, John Bobbitt. Her case was sensationalized, but it also brought domestic violence and intimate partner sexual assault to the forefront of national discussion. Gallo was ultimately found innocent by reason of temporary insanity resulting from the prolonged physical, sexual, and emotional abuse she...

Amanda Knox Interview: One of America’s Leading Advocates for Decarceration, Jessica Jackson

“The good news is, there is a solution”: An Interview with #cut50 Co-founder Jessica Jackson Jessica Jackson is a human rights attorney and director and co-founder of #cut50, a bipartisan advocacy effort aimed at reducing America's prison population. She is also chief advocacy officer of Reform Alliance, an organization chaired by Meek Mill, Jay-Z, and Van Jones, which advocates for legislative changes in favor of the millions of Americans “stuck in the revolving door of probation and parole.” Amanda Knox

Paul Butler on “The Simple Opportunity to Breathe”

Paul Butler is a Consulting Editor to CRIME STORY. He is also a Professor at Georgetown Law, a frequent contributor to MSNBC and the author of Chokehold: Policing Black Men. You can find his contributions to CRIME STORY here. THUGS! That is the word the President of the United States used to describe a group of mostly black protesters in Minneapolis. The protests began after a Minneapolis Police Department officer killed George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by using his knee to pin Mr. Floyd’s neck...

Amanda Knox Interview: Noura Jackson, Wrongfully Convicted at 18 Years Old of Killing Her...

Editor's Note: Noura Jackson's horrific story is told in Emily Bazelon's ground-breaking and prize-winning book Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration (2019). “Justice hasn’t been served yet”: An Interview with Noura Jackson In 2005, 18-year-old Noura Jackson was wrongly convicted of stabbing her mother to death, despite the fact that no physical evidence linked her to the crime scene and instead indicated two to three unidentified perpetrators. In 2014, her conviction was vacated, but Jackson remained in...

Amanda Knox Interview: After 19 Years in Prison, DNA Evidence Led to His Exoneration

“We have some drivers that have had COVID-19, so we face that every day”: An Interview with Dennis Maher In March, 1984, 23-year-old paratrooper Dennis Maher was wrongly convicted of a spree of rapes that took place in Middlesex County, Massachusetts several months earlier. In 2003, after 19 years of proclaiming his innocence, DNA evidence exonerated him of each and every one of the rapes attributed to him, and Maher was freed. Today, Maher is a 60-year-old essential worker ― a diesel mechanic for the Massachusetts Department of Sanitation ―...

Amanda Knox Interview: After 20 Years in Prison, A Detective Revealed that a Dirty...

“The disease, you just have to fight it”: An Interview with Scott Lewis Amanda Knox In 1995, 29-year-old Scott Lewis was wrongly convicted of a 1990 double homicide based on the testimony of an incentivized informant. Despite having an alibi for the time of the killings, Lewis was convicted and sentenced to 240 years in prison, later reduced to 120 years. He spent two decades fighting to prove his innocence, and his conviction was finally overturned in 2015 after a detective came forward testifying that a dirty...

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