Brandon Garrett

Data on NC DPS and COVID

by Ben Finholt, Director of the Just Sentencing Project at NCPLS and an Affiliated Fellow of the CSJ After Gov. Cooper declared a state of emergency based on the global COVID-19 pandemic, advocates immediately began calling for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS) to reduce the number of people in prison. DPS responded […]

Preliminary Injunction in NAACP v. Cooper

Yesterday, Judge Vinston Rozier, Jr. issued a Preliminary Injunction to the State of North Carolina, regarding COVID in prisons. Here is the Order:  20 CVS 500110 Order on PI with COS.  The Judge explained: “Thousands of these individuals in Defendants’ custody are elderly, have disabilities, or have underlying health conditions, making them particularly vulnerable to […]

Fourth Circuit Opinion on QI

In Jones v. Martinsburg, the Fourth Circuit remanded a case that the trial court had dismissed on qualified immunity grounds, beginning with this overview: “In 2013, Wayne Jones, a black man experiencing homelessness, was stopped by law enforcement in Martinsburg, West Virginia for walking alongside, rather than on, the sidewalk. By the end of this encounter, […]

Race, Injustice, and DNA Exonerations

Race and injustice are central to the story of innocence and DNA exonerations in the U.S. Racial disparity is glaring in these DNA exonerees’ cases. Many more DNA exonerees were minorities than is typical even among average and already racially skewed populations of rape and murder convicts.  Among DNA exonerations a stunning 80 percent were […]

Weekend Reading on Police Reform

For weekend reading or re-reading: From Pew: 10 Things We Know About Race and Policing. And Seth Stoughton on 8 Things We Get Wrong About Policing.  With Geoffrey Alpert and Jeffrey Nobel on How to Actually Fix America’s Police. And Sen. Cory Booker on police reform. And – Charles H. Ramsey, Ronald L. Davis, Roberto […]

Stand for Victims of Injustice

We grieve for George Floyd’s family and write to express our deep support for all who stand for justice in his case and in so many others.  We have a three-part mission at the Center for Science and Justice: to do work that addresses accuracy, risk, and needs in the justice system.  These heartbreaking current […]

Use of Force Policy in Minneapolis

The Minneapolis police department’s use of force policies are receiving national scrutiny after the death of George Floyd. The agency patrol guide is available online here.  Their policy begins in a way that Seth Stoughton and I have criticized, by relying on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment caselaw, which uses a very broad “reasonableness” […]