Cash bail policies are under fresh scrutiny
By: Amanda Hernández - November 14, 2023
States can’t figure out what to do about cash bail. The system — in which an arrested suspect pays cash to avoid sitting in jail until their court date and gets the money back when they appear — is deeply entrenched in the nation’s history as a way to ensure defendants return to face justice. […]
Politicians love to cite crime data. It’s often wrong.
By: Amanda Hernández - October 30, 2023
When Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his presidential campaign in May, he proudly told the nation that Florida’s crime rate in 2021 had reached a 50-year low. But really, DeSantis couldn’t say for sure. That’s because fewer than 1 in 10 law enforcement agencies in his state had reported their crime statistics to the […]
It’s hazing season on college campuses. State safeguards are uneven.
By: Amanda Hernández - October 2, 2023
Max Gruver spent the early morning hours of Sept. 14, 2017, heavily intoxicated and passed out on a couch inside the Phi Delta Theta chapter house at Louisiana State University. He had been forced to repeatedly chug 190-proof Diesel liquor in a hazing ritual called “Bible Study,” during which pledges are quizzed on fraternity facts. […]
States stiffen penalties for fentanyl, despite public health concerns
By: Amanda Hernández - July 20, 2023
As they struggle to reduce drug overdose deaths, policymakers across the United States are embroiled in a heated debate over creating and increasing criminal penalties related to fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that’s up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Legislators pushing the new wave of criminal penalties say the laws will deter drug […]
More blue states declare themselves sanctuaries for transgender health care
By: Amanda Hernández - June 22, 2023
Democratic governors and state lawmakers across the country are mobilizing against a surge of Republican restrictions on transgender health care by establishing their states as sanctuaries for gender-affirming care. Earlier this month, Democratic Gov. Wes Moore signed an executive order making Maryland the 11th state, plus the District of Columbia, to declare itself a sanctuary. […]