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Articles by Jayson Hawkins

Forensic Science: Reliable and Valid?

by Jayson Hawkins

The headlines have become too familiar: DNA shows wrong person imprisoned for decades-old crime. 

Over 300 people have been exonerated by DNA evidence, and that number will only continue to rise as more cases are scrutinized. That begs the question of what has led to so ...

New Hampshire Ends Death Penalty

by Jayson Hawkins 

Michael Addison, the sole occupant of New Hampshire’s death row, is breathing a little easier these days. Thanks to a two-thirds majority in both the state’s House and Senate, the state’s legislature overrode Governor Chris Sununu’s veto of their bill abolishing capital punishment. The ...

MIX13 Reveals Potential Errors in DNA Testing

by Jayson Hawkins

A federal study from 2013 showed that manually sorting DNA mixtures is not as foolproof as previously believed. MIX13, which sent the same hypothetical cases to 108 crime labs around the U.S., tested the accuracy of traditional DNA analysis. Each of the five cases grew more ...

Pitfalls of Using Risk Assessment Tools

by Jayson Hawkins

In the push for criminal justice reform, several ideas have emerged to help fix our broken system.

Many experts have promoted risk assessments as effective tools that could be employed at every level of criminal justice to provide more objective standards. Widespread use of these tools is ...

Getting Rid of the ‘X’

by Jayson Hawkins

Doing time has never been easy, yet the greatest challenges many prisoners face often come after their release. Basic concerns like securing a job, housing, and credit can be recurring nightmares for ex-convicts. 

The recent push to “Ban the Box” — get rid of questions about ...

Killer Cops and Vilified Victims

by Jayson Hawkins

In Pericles’ famous funeral oration (circa 430 BC), the classical Greek statesman exhorted his audience never to speak ill of the dead. His advice has been considered part of basic human decency ever since--unless one happens to be a district attorney explaining why local police have murdered ...




 

Federal Prison Handbook

 

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