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Articles by Jayson Hawkins

Studies Place ‘Rationality’ of Residential Restrictions in Doubt

by Jayson Hawkins

Few terms conjure a more apprehensive reaction than “sex offender.” Yet, like those convicted of any other crimes, the vast majority of sex offenders eventually serve their sentences and return to society. Various localities have adopted policies limiting where such individuals may live, usually by barring them ...

Forensic Psychiatrist Questions the Value of Memory

by Jayson Hawkins

Eyewitness testimony is often central to criminal trials, and even though the quality of that testimony has repeatedly come under fire in the age of DNA-based exonerations, the value of eyewitness accounts has not diminished. This value stems from the high level of confidence that people — ...

FBI Phone Hack May Have Monitored Americans in Operation Trojan Shield

by Jayson Hawkins

The tale reads like a Hollywood version of undercover police work, but Operation Trojan Shield really happened. The FBI was monitoring encrypted traffic on the “black devices” favored by criminals as soon as they came out of the box. Now, new questions are being asked about the ...

Speed Trap Gold Mine

by Jayson Hawkins

All the attention garnered by cops murdering unarmed Black men in America in recent years has led to widespread calls for “police reform,” a rather ambiguous term advocating changes in how police interact with communities of color and new policies to counteract decades of mass incarceration. Lost ...

Manhattan DA Launches Conviction Review Unit

by Jayson Hawkins

On April 20, 2022, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the formation of a Post-Conviction Justice Unit (“PCJU”) to review questionable convictions in Manhattan. The announcement included not only the parameters for filing a petition for review but also a clear statement of intention by the Manhattan ...

FBI Gets New Mass Surveillance Tool

by Jayson Hawkins

According to reports in several media outlets, including the Washington Post, the FBI contracted in March 2022 with tech company Babel Street for 5,000 licenses to use Babel X software for searches of broad swaths of social media. The contract, reportedly worth $27 million dollars, could ...

FBI’s ‘Rich Neighborhood’ Breach Practice

by Jayson Hawkins

A judge hearing oral arguments in an insurance fraud appeal on April 7, 2022, stopped the proceedings when she discovered a “deeply troubling” item in the record: when serving a search warrant in a rich Washington, D.C. neighborhood, the FBI decided not to break down the front ...

Costs of Untested Rape Kits

by Jayson Hawkins

Few crimes are as traumatic as a violent sexual assault. When the assailants are unknown and at large, victims often remain in a constant state of anxiety and apprehension, unsure when or if they may be attacked again. DNA evidence collected from a rape kit can be ...

Crushing Whistleblowers

A Closer Look at How Police Departments Resist Reform From Within Their Ranks

by Jayson Hawkins

The last few years have seen a growing awareness of systemic problems in the way American police operate. Efforts to reform the system have been stymied by a number of factors, including the racial ...

A ‘Lucky’ Exoneration in Syracuse

by Jayson Hawkins

Before Alice Sebold wrote her New York Times Bestseller, The Lovely Bones, she published a haunting memoir recounting her rape in 1981 when she was a freshman at Syracuse University. The book, Lucky, details not only the experience but also how she saw her attacker ...



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