Criminal Justice

Appeal to Reason

May 13, 2015 By Mimi Swartz

Mimi Swartz cross-examines the Court of Criminal Appeals’ unprecedented sanctions against a death penalty lawyer.

Huntsville Blues

Aug 25, 2014 By Annie Melton

A ruling on the extreme conditions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary may affect several lawsuits pending in Texas.

The Witness

Aug 12, 2014 By Pamela Colloff

For more than a decade, Michelle Lyons’s job required her to watch condemned criminals be put to death. After 278 executions, she won't ever be the same.

Perry Report Card: Criminal Justice

Jun 10, 2014 By andrea valdez

Yesterday, when we unveiled the cover of our July issue featuring Rick Perry, we also told you about “The Perry Report Card,” an upcoming magazine feature where, as the title suggests, we graded the tenure of the governor on eight areas of public policy. We invited you to weigh…

The Many Lives of a Death Drug

Jun 9, 2014 By Maurice Chammah

The State of Texas uses pentobarbital for lethal injections, a drug with a long and complicated history. But the question everyone wants answered remains: Is it a painless way to die?

Richard LaFuente Is Finally Free!

Jun 9, 2014 By Michael Hall

For 28 years, parole officials tried to get him to confess to a crime he didn’t commit. He refused—and never wavered. This is why he is the bravest man I know.

Why Was This Prosecutor Never Punished?

Dec 18, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

Anthony Graves was wrongfully convicted of capital murder in a trial where the prosecutor, Charles Sebesta, withheld evidence that could have helped prove Graves’s innocence. So why hasn’t Sebesta been held accountable for his egregious misconduct?

Sitting in Legal Purgatory

Dec 3, 2013 By Maurice Chammah

Jerry Duane Martin killed a correctional officer as he tried breaking out of prison, and tonight he will be executed. But the man who tried escaping with him, and who some believe is also culpable for the officer's death, hasn't been convicted of the six-year-old crime.

The San Antonio 4 Are Finally Free

Nov 19, 2013 By Michael Hall

Four women spent more than thirteen years in prison because of bad science and scurrilous tales told by children who had been coached by an adult. They’re free now, but who else is sitting behind bars based on these types of false accusations?

Anthony Graves Establishes Scholarship

Oct 16, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

Graves used funds he received from the state for his wrongful conviction to set up a law school scholarship in the name of Nicole Cásarez, the Houston attorney and journalism professor who fought for eight years to secure his freedom.

A Call to Arms

Mar 6, 2013 By Erica Grieder

In his biennial address on the state of the judiciary, the chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court remembers the Alamo.

Texas Executes Tenth Man of 2012

Jan 21, 2013 By Ross Dubois

Jonathan Green was put to death Wednesday for the 2000 murder of a 12-year-old girl, but his lawyers maintained until the end that their client was mentally ill and thus unsuitable for execution.