Experts Blast Ferguson Prosecutor’s Press Conference, Legal Strategy

CREDIT: AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cristina Fletes-Boutte, Pool Hours after revealing the grand jury had reached a decision and months after police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced late Monday night that Wilson would not be indicted. As communities around the country and across the world reacted to the … [Read more...]

Four Ways Officer Darren Wilson And The Ferguson Police Could Still Be Held Accountable In Court

CREDIT: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel Monday night, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, the cop who shot and killed 18 year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. McCulloch, whose involvement in this case was opposed by civil rights groups including the NAACP, is the son of a police officer who was killed in the line of … [Read more...]

Startling Photos Of Ferguson The Morning After

Smoke rises on the street of W. Florissant CREDIT: ThinkProgress/ Carimah Townes/ Erica Hellerstein FERGUSON, MO — The protesting and rioting died down overnight here in Ferguson, and this morning residents were left to confront the mess left behind. At the intersection of West Florissant and Canfield, the main site of last night’s protests, and the August protests immediately … [Read more...]

PHOTOS: What Happened To One DC Campus After The Grand Jury Decision

CREDIT: ThinkProgress/ Holley Matthews While Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in protest Monday night over the decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the killing on Michael Brown, simultaneous solidarity protests took place around the country. In the nation’s capital, demonstrations primarily centered around the White House. The next morning, the nearby campus of the George Washington … [Read more...]

How Many Michael Browns? 7 Other Lives Cut Short By Police Since Ferguson

CREDIT: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast A tragic death at police hands, fed-up African American residents, and a militarized police force converged to draw national outrage fixed on Ferguson, Missouri. Coming weeks after New York Police Department officers killed Eric Garner using an illegal chokehold, national attention turned to the cases involving these two men. But as protests roar over the … [Read more...]

Ferguson Goes Under No-Fly Zone, Hampering Aerial News Coverage Of Protests

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a no-fly zone over Ferguson, Missouri on Monday night, after a Grand Jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown. The reason listed for a no-fly zone is “TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES.” It extends up to 3,000 feet, effectively banning news helicopters in the … [Read more...]

Ferguson Grand Jury Does Not Charge Darren Wilson

CREDIT: AP Images The grand jury voted not to charge Officer Darren Wilson for shooting dead 18-year-old Michael Brown on Ferguson streets, in an incident that has manifested outrage over police brutality, and particularly harsh treatment aimed at African Americans that has culminated in the deaths of a growing list of unarmed young black men at police hands. The outcome was announced late Monday … [Read more...]

Justice Ginsburg Predicts Democratic Victory In 2016

In a lengthy profile unsubtly titled “The Question Facing Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Stay or Go?” Robert Barnes presents an interesting window into why the Court’s oldest justice does not feel pressured to retire while President Obama is still in office — “I think it’s going to be another Democratic president” after Obama leaves office, according to Ginsburg. “The Democrats … [Read more...]

Louisiana County Prosecutor Files New Charges Against Dying Man Released After 40 Years In Solitary

CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Carine Williams/The Advocate The terminally ill man released just days ago from prison, after 42 years in solitary confinement for a racially charged Louisiana murder case, was re-indicted Thursday by a county prosecutor. A federal judge overturned Herman Wallace’s conviction for murder after a trial based solely on the testimony of four inmate witnesses, one of … [Read more...]

When Medical Marijuana Is Not State Law

In most of the 21 states with medical marijuana laws, the risk of federal prosecution has fallen on dispensaries and growers, while state-licensed patients who only purchase the drug through that state system are largely immune from criminal consequences. But in those states with no medical marijuana scheme, the criminal consequences of marijuana as medicine are far more severe, as in the jailing … [Read more...]

In Major Campaign Spending Case, Supreme Court Gives Oral Argument Time To Republican Senator

As if it weren’t already clear enough that the U.S. Supreme Court’s next money in politics decision is about money in Republican politics, the plaintiffs are spelling it out for you. When the challenge to campaign contribution limits goes before the justices on Tuesday, they won’t just hear from the Republican National Committee’s lawyers. The court has also allotted oral … [Read more...]

What Courts Have Already Said About The Phone Tracking NSA Might One Day Undertake

Officials admitted for the first time Wednesday that the National Security Agency tracked Americans’ cell phone location data from cell towers in a pilot program in 2010 – 2011. While it has thus far only collected samples to test its systems, NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander added that bulk collection “may be something that is a future requirement for the country.” Alexander … [Read more...]

Government Shutdown May Mean No Disclosure Of Campaign Finance Before Special Elections

As the government shutdown continues to prevent all “non-essential” federal employees from doing their jobs, the Federal Election Commission’s operations have been particularly hard hit. With all but four of the agency’s employees furloughed until the shutdown’s end, voters in Alabama, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and New Jersey may not have any opportunity to see who is … [Read more...]

Federal Prison Sat By While Mentally Ill Inmate Ate His Own Feces

As several news reports have recently highlighted, prisons are increasingly serving as de facto asylums for the mentally ill. The country’s three biggest jails are now its largest mental health facilities. A Wall Street Journal survey found that Oregon estimates half of its prisoners suffer from mental illness. In New York City, about 34 percent are mentally ill. “Our jails and prisons are … [Read more...]

2 Percent Of Counties Perform Majority of U.S. Executions

Just two percent of U.S. counties have been responsible for a majority of executions since the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a death penalty moratorium in 1976. And about two percent of U.S. counties house the majority of current death row inmates, according to a new report by the Death Penalty Information Center. The findings add to the body of evidence that suggest the death penalty is applied … [Read more...]

Republican Officials Condemn Their Own Party’s Assault Rifle Fundraiser — ‘Outrageous, Insensitive’

CREDIT: Shutterstock The Rhode Island Republican Party is raising money by raffling off assault rifles at what it bills as a family-friend event, including the same type used in the Newtown massacre. Even fellow Republicans say the fundraiser goes too far, a mere two weeks after the Washington Navy Yard shooting killed 12 people. A number of Republican candidates for statewide offices were quick … [Read more...]

Rick Perry: Implementing Obamacare Is A ‘Felony’

CREDIT: AP During a campaign stop for U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan (R-NJ) on Tuesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) offered an odd assessment of President Obama’s signature health care law. “If this health care law is forced upon this country, the young men and women in this audience are the ones who are really going to pay the price,” Perry claimed. “And that, I will … [Read more...]

How Gerrymandering Makes A Speedy Shutdown End Unlikely

CREDIT: AP Photo/Harry Cabluck With polls and many conservative stalwarts agreeing that Congressional Republicans are to blame for the federal government shutdown, at least 14 members of the House majority have said they would now be open to backing a “clean” continuing resolution. But a ThinkProgress analysis of those members find that they almost all represent the small number of … [Read more...]