Crime and Law

two police officers dressed in riot gear holding smoke grenade guns

Malum in Se: The Use of Tear Gas by Police

If tear gas is a substance that is "evil in itself" (malum in se), why can police use tear gas on protesters? Just war theory provides criticism.
photograph of boarded up business in downtown LA

Complications in Our Picture of Looting

While the vast majority of protests have been peaceful, those that aren't challenge us in ways that require further investigation.
photograph of Lady Justice figurine with shadow cast on wall behind her

Call It What It Is: On Our Legal Language for Racialized...

We need greater legal resources for identifying and acknowledging the various forms racial violence takes.
photograph of empty prison cell

Solitary Confinement and COVID-19

Are the conditions inmate find themselves in during the pandemic consistent with the purpose incarceration is meant to serve?
photograph of empty church pews

Freedom of Religion Is Not Absolute

By what right can government officials prohibit worshipers from the physical and public practice of their faith?
photogaph of barbed wire around prison building

Re-Thinking Mass Incarceration: COVID-19 in Jails and Prisons

Prisons are a hotbed for spreading infectious disease, and we've changed policies to accommodate this fact. But these changes should also make us reconsider how they function in normal circumstances.
View from street of a large concrete building with thousands of windows. The building is the Los Angeles County Criminal Courts building.

The Case of Gabriel Fernandez: Social Work and Public Responsibility

The decision by prosecutors to lay blame at the social workers door paints an unrealistic and overly simplistic picture.
photograph of Rodney Reed from prison

Justice and Rodney Reed: Evidence, Sentencing, and Appeal

The case of Rodney Reed raises a number of troubling issues from the public's impact on procedural fairness to retrial's claim to justice.
Yellow and white corridor with metallic doors of cell rooms in old prison

Cruel and Unusual Reasoning? Some Recent SCOTUS Decisions on the Eighth...

Lee Boyd Malvo's appeal asks the Supreme Court to explain the bounds of what cruel and unusual punishment - what it does, and does not, mean.
photograph of defibrillator practice on a CPR dummy

Is Death Forever?: The Case of Benjamin Schreiber

Schreiber's case highlights the ambiguity surrounding terms like "death" and "life without parole."