Carrie Johnson

Carrie Johnson covers the Justice Department for NPR.

She has spent the last decade and a half chronicling legal affairs in the nation's capital and beyond. Johnson worked at the Washington Post from 2000 to 2010, when she closely observed the FBI, the Justice Department and criminal trials of the former leaders of Enron, HealthSouth and Tyco. Earlier in her career, she wrote about courts for the weekly publication Legal Times.

Johnson's work has won awards from the Society for Professional Journalists and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She has been a finalist for the Loeb award for financial journalism and for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for team coverage of the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

Johnson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Benedictine University in Illinois. She lives in Washington but always is planning her next exotic trip.



Wed May 4, 2011
Osama Bin Laden Killed

Harsh Interrogation Tactics: Did They Work?

Finding Osama bin Laden has been the holy grail of U.S. intelligence for the past 10 years. For half of that time, an argument has raged over how far the U.S. government should go to get information out of members of al-Qaida.

The U.S. government stopped using enhanced interrogation techniques like simulated drowning, or waterboarding, on terrorism suspects years ago.

Now, former Bush administration officials say those harsh tactics led the U.S. military to bin Laden's hideout; the Obama White House says it's not so simple.

Room For Interpretation

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Wed May 4, 2011

Attorney General: 'Right Decision' On Sept. 11 Trials

The daring U.S. military raid that killed Osama bin Laden may have closed a chapter in America's long fight against terrorism, but as with many other national security issues that Eric Holder has faced in two years as attorney general, there's no end to the complications, even in a time of good news.

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Wed April 20, 2011

After Financial Crisis, Wheels Of Justice Turn Slowly

This week, a federal jury in Virginia convicted mortgage executive Lee Farkas of fraud and conspiracy charges that could send him to prison for life.

Authorities say Farkas tried to defraud banks out of almost $3 billion, in one of the biggest cases to come out of the mortgage crisis. And that, critics say, is the problem.

Almost three years after the economy nearly collapsed, most top Wall Street banks and their executives have emerged with no criminal trouble. And that's making people angry.

Madoff And More

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Mon April 18, 2011
Around the Nation

Legal Drama Over Gulf Oil Spill Could Last Years

Last year's huge oil spill left an enduring mark on communities along the Gulf Coast. But courts are just starting to turn to the question of who's to blame for the disaster — and who should pay for it.

Hundreds of lawsuits are moving through a federal court in New Orleans; judges combined the cases to make it easier to handle them. Among those suing: restaurant owners, wildlife supporters and families of some of the 11 workers who died on the oil rig.

The Plaintiffs

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Mon April 18, 2011

Republicans Mount Defense Of Anti-Gay Marriage Law

On Monday, House Republicans are scheduled to weigh in with a federal court in New York on the side of a law called the Defense of Marriage Act.

Big majorities in Congress passed the law 15 years ago to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Usually, it's the Justice Department that speaks up when federal laws are challenged in court. But in this case, the Obama administration has declined to defend a law it considers unconstitutional.

The decision generated controversy among conservatives and even within the Justice Department.

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