Criminal Justice

Last year, on a warm Saturday evening in Boise, Idaho, Timmy Earl Kinner Jr. walked into the birthday party of a family. In a random attack, he stabbed nine people, including the birthday girl Ruya Kadir. That little girl died at just three years old.


Brad Simpson
Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

After two decades in prison, Brad Simpson became a free man on Sept. 30. The 39-year-old has never paid rent, had an email account or registered to vote until now.

“If I don’t vote, I don’t have a chance to complain. I don’t have a chance to voice my opinion. I don’t have a chance to make the decision of whether or not I wanted this to happen or not,” Simpson said.

Ben Simo/Flickr

Two government programs designed to wipe clean minor marijuana convictions in Denver and Boulder are reporting slower-than-expected turnouts, prompting organizers to step up their attempts to engage eligible residents.

Boulder County's Moving On From Marijuana and Denver's Turn Over A New Leaf programs invite residents with low-level marijuana offenses prior to 2012 — the year recreational pot became legal — to apply to have their records permanently cleared and sealed.

Two portraits of William Barr emerged during the second day of his confirmation hearing to lead the Justice Department as President Trump's choice as attorney general.

One was of a brilliant and moral man who oversaw the resolution of a hostage crisis at a federal prison without any casualties and another was of an early 1990s attorney general who held views on race and policing that now seem antiquated and unacceptable to many in law enforcement.

President Obama's perhaps most notable statement on race came recently in Charleston, S.C. That's where he gave the eulogy for nine African-Americans killed by a white man in a church.

The president has also continued to address the killings of black men at the hands of the police, and he's pushing to reduce the number of prison inmates, who are disproportionately black.

In the woods outside Huntsville, Texas, scientists are trying to determine whether they can use the microbes that live on the human body as microscopic witnesses that could help catch criminals.

It's a strange scene at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility. At first, it's easy to miss the human bodies scattered among the tall pines, wild grass and weeds.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of a landmark Supreme Court decision: Gideon v. Wainwright in which the justices ruled, unanimously, that defendants in criminal cases deserved legal representation in state courts. If defendants could not afford counsel, the state would have to provide it. Those lawyers are known as public defenders. A new HBO documentary, Gideon's Army, follows three black public defenders working in the Deep South. It airs on Monday.

Television crime dramas may draw big audiences, but they don't seem to work as a recruiting tool for forensic pathologists.

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There have been a host of bills during the legislative session focusing on criminal justice. Many of these measures have been controversial and sparked heated debate amongst lawmakers.