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The Death Penalty, Life Imprisonment, and Other Punitive Measures: What’s the Point?

(Congregation of St. Joseph)

Recently, a 10-year-old child from my daughter’s class asked me this pertinent question: “What’s the point of learning your lesson if you never get a chance to show that you did?” The answer is simple: not much. Unfortunately, rehabilitation is often not at the heart of criminal justice reform. In fact, the harshness of a punishment is frequently not determined by the possibility of recidivism, but rather by public opinion and as a result misses the point.

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Policing African-American Motherhood From Every Angle


I often hear the question from African-American women, “What do they [the right] want? We either have too many kids or too many abortions. Which is it?” The truth is, to them, it’s both.

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Was Idaho Searching For a Test Case to Prosecute Pregnant Women?

Jennie Linn McCormack with her attorney, Richard Hearn. Photo: LA Times.

A federal court decides there is no precedent for charging a woman with a criminal abortion.  At least, not yet.

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Finally a Limit Is Reached: Ninth Circuit Rules McCormack Can’t Be Prosecuted For Her Abortion

photo courtesy of Connor Tatar via Flickr

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals finds a limit to what states can pass in the name of restricting abortion access: criminal prosecutions of terminated pregnancies.

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What’s the Answer to Abortion in the Age of the Prison-Industrial Complex? Lock Women Up and Throw Away the Key

Women were once seen as “second victims” of abortion. Now, as women face murder trials for unintended pregnancy losses, they’re potential fodder for a prison system that is steadily becoming one of the biggest businesses in the country.

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Idaho Trial Over “Unlawful Abortion” Could Have National Repercussions

Jennie Linn McCormack. Robyn Twomey/Newsweek

Will the McCormack/Hearn lawsuit open up access to abortion for everyone?

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Criminal Injustice: Arrested and Detained Parents Are Denied Opportunity to Contact and Make Arrangements for Their Children

A part of keeping families safe and secure is making sure that in times of misfortune, children and their parents are able to communicate.

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Now It’s Clear: “Pro-Life” Means “Pro-Imprisonment”

Must “restoring the historic right to life accorded to unborn children” require that women, including new mothers who have given birth, go to prison?

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Race, Class and Justice in the U.S. Legal System: Still A Long Way From the Promised Land

Race, class, ethnicity, and sex still determine, to a great degree, how justice is dispensed and whether people are treated justly by the United States legal system.  Recent news stories and hard data show just how far we remain from Martin Luther King’s “promised land.”

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McCormack “Not The Next Roe” Anti-Choicers Say

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The response to a Newsweek profile on Jennie McCormack by anti-choicers has been a bit of a head-scratcher.

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