Winning Freedom From Guantánamo With Forbearance and Trust

In the Shadow of Torture and Isolation, an American Lawyer and an Afghan Prisoner Bond Over Melted Mocha Ice Cream

I first visited Obaidullah at Guantánamo Bay in the spring of 2009. Before that first meeting, all I knew were the disturbing accusations against him, that he had fired his last habeas attorney, and that I wasn’t sure why.

Prior to the visit, my family and colleagues were supportive. When I confessed to a close friend that I was nervous, he said, “Time to get out of your comfort zone.” That was an understatement. My law partner gave me the pep talk about everyone being entitled to representation, but I …

Did Protestant Christianity Create the Dismal American Prison System?

Puritans’ Focus On “Right Living” Helped Justify Our Harsh Treatment of Prisoners

While in Ireland teaching a criminal justice course this past semester, I had the opportunity to take a tour of an Irish prison.

The Irish prison service states one of …

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 …

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 …

What the Heck Is the Mexican Mafia?

How a Gang Neglected by Wardens Made It Big Outside Prison Walls

In California, there are individuals who have been tried, convicted, and sentenced to prison—and gained significant power from behind bars. The sanctions of imprisonment have become the source of their …

A Nonprofit That Teaches Law to Those Who Need It Most

In San Jose, California, Families Are Encouraged to Join Their Loved Ones’ Defense Team

When I heard about the suicide of Kalief Browder, a teenager who was charged with stealing a backpack and served three years in brutal Rikers Island until the charge against …