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Criminal Justice News This Week (week of 02-24-20)

Ohio Lawmakers Could End Life Sentences Without Chance of Parole for Juveniles. “Ohio lawmakers are considering changes that could require judicial review for juveniles sentenced to life in prison — a move a wide swath of advocates say could give some young offenders a second chance later in life while saving the state money.”

Even 14-Year-Olds Who Kill Are Not Adults. "If the young teens accused in Tessa Majors’s murder are convicted, a 1978 law could deny them a chance at redemption."

Tennessee Man Could Be The First Person In Nearly A Century To Be Executed After Being Forced To Represent Himself At Trial. "Across the country, the death penalty is in steep decline. But in September, the state’s attorney general sought execution dates for nine men, and its Supreme Court set dates for two of them."

Are Pretrial Risk Assessments Biased? The Debate Sharpens. "Critics contend that these tools are biased against minorities because they are based partly on suspects’ criminal records in a justice system that has long been accused of practicing racial discrimination."

More than 2,000 former prosecutors and other DOJ officials call on Attorney General Bill Barr to resign. "More than 2,000 former Justice Department officials who served in Republican as well as Democratic administrations have signed a statement posted Sunday calling on Attorney General Bill Barr to resign."

He Went to Prison After a Prosecutor Hid Evidence. Seven Years After Our Story, He Walked Free. "Tyronne Johnson was featured in a 2013 ProPublica investigation that showed how a prosecutor kept jurors from hearing evidence that may have helped him beat a murder charge. He was granted parole this week and credits the story with helping him."

Bryan Stevenson: We’re Taking the Wrong Approach to Criminal Justice Reform. “Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, tells TIME about his activism, his big-screen moment and what people should know about a criminal-justice system in which black adults are about six times more likely to face imprisonment than white adults.”

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