Prop. 47 Has the Power to Transform South L.A., If More People Used It

By Reclassifying or Expunging Prior Convictions, Many Californians Could Gain Opportunities

One way to help transform South L.A.—and communities across California—would be for people to use the new power they have under Proposition 47 to expunge or reduce the felony convictions on their criminal records. This is a huge opportunity for people to change their criminal records—but in the 20 months since the ballot initiative passed in November 2014, it has been extremely underutilized.

The untapped potential in South L.A., where I live and work, is huge. There are an estimated 690,000 people in Los Angeles County alone that are eligible for …

A Mass Murderer Is Testing the Limits of Scandinavian Goodwill

Norway’s Most Dangerous Man Is Back in the Spotlight, Leading Many to Wonder How Much Compassion He Deserves

For four days in March, I watched Norway’s national devil return to public view, in another installment of the courtroom drama familiarly titled Breivik v. State. Andres Behring Breivik, now …

When a Felony Is No Longer a Felony

How Redefining Nonviolent Crimes Is Changing California’s Justice System

After decades of building prisons and increasing the number of people behind bars, the pendulum of California’s criminal justice system has swung away from incarceration. Among the policies and laws …

Will the Boston Bomber Be Tried by a Jury of His Peers?

Selecting Fair-Minded Jurors Is Always Complicated. For a Raw, High-Profile Case Like This One, It’s Nearly Impossible.

With a jury pool the size of a small town, a questionnaire of nearly 100 questions, and an accused mass murderer’s life in the balance, the jury selection in the …

How to Make Every Offender an Ex-Offender

Keeping Parolees Out of Prison Takes Jobs, Housing, and Cold, Hard Cash

Immediately after Californians voted in favor of Proposition 47—which redefined nonviolent felonies—last November, lawyers’ phones started ringing. The goal of this legislation—called the “The Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act” by …

The Marshall Project’s Tim Golden

A Lousy Habit-Kicker

Tim Golden is managing editor for investigations and news of the nonprofit news organization The Marshall Project, which covers the U.S. criminal justice system. Previously he was an investigative reporter …