The Marshall Project

The Marshall Project The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization covering America’s criminal justice system. Why The "Marshall" Project? Thurgood Marshall is an American hero.

His work as a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, including the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision, laid the groundwork for the modern U.S. civil rights movement. As the first African-American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, he was a persuasive advocate for a living and breathing Constitution that sees beyond the prejudices of revolutionary America. If Marshall were alive, I ha

His work as a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, including the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision, laid the groundwork for the modern U.S. civil rights movement. As the first African-American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, he was a persuasive advocate for a living and breathing Constitution that sees beyond the prejudices of revolutionary America. If Marshall were alive, I ha

Operating as usual

The police in Tampa, Florida, work in cahoots with landlords to encourage the evictions of hundreds of people, often ent...
09/17/2021
Tampa police called for hundreds to be evicted. Entire families lost their homes.

The police in Tampa, Florida, work in cahoots with landlords to encourage the evictions of hundreds of people, often entire families, from their homes. The cops tip off apartment managers to residents who are arrested or have other run-ins with the law. From Tampa Bay Times:

Officers sent notices to landlords detailing arrests and encounters with their tenants that put families at risk of eviction even when charges were later dropped.

For Tariq MaQbool, a Pakistani American Muslim American serving a life sentence, 9/11 ushered in an era of bigotry aimed...
09/10/2021
I’m a Pakistani-American Muslim in a Prison 5 Miles From the Twin Towers. Since 9/11, I’ve Been Treated Like the Enemy

For Tariq MaQbool, a Pakistani American Muslim American serving a life sentence, 9/11 ushered in an era of bigotry aimed at him in New Jersey’s criminal justice system.

“Every terror attack by extremist Muslims was placed squarely on my shoulders,” MaQbool writes.

It doesn’t matter how American I feel. The labels applied to me are “foreign,” “terrorist,” “inmate” and “other.”

Fifty years ago this week, men imprisoned at New York’s Attica Correctional Facility started an uprising that spurred la...
09/09/2021
Tweeting Attica Prison Uprising 1971 (@atticasghosts) | Twitter

Fifty years ago this week, men imprisoned at New York’s Attica Correctional Facility started an uprising that spurred landmark prison reform efforts.

In the coming days, we’ll live-tweet the events just as they happened in 1971. 👉 Follow @atticasghosts to relive this history.

The latest Tweets from Tweeting Attica Prison Uprising 1971 (@atticasghosts). Livetweeting the Attica prison revolt as it happened on this date and time in 1971, from @marshallproj. Photo: Bob Schutz/AP. New York, NY

A Texas audit found that 46% of the prison system’s agricultural products cost more to grow than they are worth, and the...
09/03/2021
Some prison labor programs lose money — even when prisoners work for pennies

A Texas audit found that 46% of the prison system’s agricultural products cost more to grow than they are worth, and the state could have saved $17 million over five years by simply buying canned foods and certain crops — including cotton — instead of relying on prisoners to produce them.

Officials claim programs provide skills, but critics say there’s little evidence.

Black Americans die younger than White Americans at almost every age. One in five African American deaths happens earlie...
09/03/2021
The Black Mortality Gap, and a Century-Old Document

Black Americans die younger than White Americans at almost every age. One in five African American deaths happens earlier than if they were White.

Reported with The Upshot.

1 in 5 African American deaths happens earlier than if they were White. Black doctors say the Flexner Report holds clues to the health system’s role in racial health disparities.

A story has been circulating recently: Police are quitting in droves, demoralized by the Defund the Police movement.But ...
09/02/2021
Police Say Demoralized Officers Are Quitting In Droves. Labor Data Says No.

A story has been circulating recently: Police are quitting in droves, demoralized by the Defund the Police movement.

But that’s not true. Labor data shows that police lost < 1% of workers last year. Almost every other industry has lost more workers.

While other industries were devastated by the pandemic last year, police departments felt a much smaller impact.

A grand jury indicted three officers and two paramedics in the death of Elijah McClain, the 23-year-old Black man who di...
09/01/2021
Officers, paramedics charged in Elijah McClain’s 2019 death

A grand jury indicted three officers and two paramedics in the death of Elijah McClain, the 23-year-old Black man who died two years ago after he was put in a chokehold and given ketamine, a powerful sedative.

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s attorney general said Wednesday that a grand jury indicted three officers and two paramedics in the death of Elijah McClain, a Black man who was put in a chokehold and injected with a powerful sedative two years ago in suburban Denver.

“At age 16, I was locked down on Rikers Island. We were known as “adolescents at war.” With only two phones in each hous...
08/13/2021
Stopping Violence Over Prison Phone Time? There’s an App for That.

“At age 16, I was locked down on Rikers Island. We were known as “adolescents at war.” With only two phones in each house of 40 or so prisoners, the violence over making calls never ended. Some prisoners got stabbed, lacerated or busted to white meat.”

While Corey Devon Arthur was quarantining, people in the unit got tablets equipped with telephone apps. “If we all had the option to use a phone app, the value of violence would plunge,” he writes.

Police in rural areas shoot and kill about 200 people every year, yet there’s little public attention paid to these deat...
08/13/2021
“Shooting First and Asking Questions Later”

Police in rural areas shoot and kill about 200 people every year, yet there’s little public attention paid to these deaths, and no national call to action. We spent a year examining police shootings in rural America.

Here's what we found:

The surprisingly high rate of fatal police shootings in rural America.

Three years after the First Step Act required the Bureau of Prisons to treat more people with medications for opioid add...
08/12/2021
These Meds Prevent Overdoses. Few Federal Prisoners Are Getting Them

Three years after the First Step Act required the Bureau of Prisons to treat more people with medications for opioid addiction, only a tiny fraction are receiving them.

Three years after the First Step Act required the Bureau of Prisons to treat more people with medications for opioid addiction, only a tiny fraction are receiving them.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today he will resign, effective in two weeks. The state’s attorney general’s office...
08/10/2021
Live Updates: Governor Cuomo Says He Will Resign

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today he will resign, effective in two weeks. The state’s attorney general’s office found he sexually harassed women who worked for him.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he would step down in 14 days, after an searing investigation found he had sexually harassed nearly a dozen women.

Violent interactions with police or security guards have sent more than 400,000 people to the emergency room since 2015,...
08/09/2021
Violent Encounters With Police Send Thousands of People to the ER Every Year

Violent interactions with police or security guards have sent more than 400,000 people to the emergency room since 2015, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Injuries at the hands of cops are underreported. Data from San Jose offers a glimpse of what the national scale might be.

That's probably an undercount. But data from San Jose offers a glimpse of what the national scale of police violence might be.

Violent interactions with police or security guards have sent more than 400,000 people to the emergency room since 2015,...
08/04/2021
Violent Encounters With Police Send Thousands of People to the ER Every Year

Violent interactions with police or security guards have sent more than 400,000 people to the emergency room since 2015, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Injuries at the hands of cops are underreported. Data from San Jose offers a glimpse of what the national scale might be.

That's probably an undercount. But data from San Jose offers a glimpse of what the national scale of police violence might be.

“The table we ate at was so dirty that inmates would lay down clean diapers — the only sanitary items around — just to h...
07/30/2021
A Filthy New Orleans Jail Made My Son Sick. The ‘Cruel and Unusual’ Medical Treatment at Angola Prison Killed Him.

“The table we ate at was so dirty that inmates would lay down clean diapers — the only sanitary items around — just to have a surface to eat on that wasn’t riddled with germs.”

Farrell Sampier received prison medical care so unhygienic it shocked his mother, a healthcare worker. After his death, a federal judge ruled that the terrible conditions amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

This spring, a judge ruled that the healthcare at the Louisiana State Penitentiary violated prisoners’ Eighth Amendment rights. Lois Ratcliff tells the horrifying story of her son Farrell’s decline and death.

Demetrius Buckley couldn’t bring himself to tell his 10-year-old daughter that he was in prison for murder. He’s tried d...
07/29/2021

Demetrius Buckley couldn’t bring himself to tell his 10-year-old daughter that he was in prison for murder. He’s tried desperately to stay connected with her, as she has grown inquisitive about his life behind bars. “Do you get lonely, daddy?” she asked.

Read the story: https://trib.al/qnbuECd

Demetrius Buckley couldn’t bring himself to tell his 10-year-old daughter that he was in prison for murder. He’s tried desperately to stay connected with her, as she has grown inquisitive about his life behind bars. “Do you get lonely, daddy?” she asked.

Read the story: https://trib.al/qnbuECd

“I cannot eat because I have no teeth.”Incarcerated people are routinely denied basic dental care — including fillings f...
07/28/2021
‘I Have No Teeth’: Michigan Prisoners Say Long Wait to See Dentist Is Inhumane

“I cannot eat because I have no teeth.”

Incarcerated people are routinely denied basic dental care — including fillings for cavities and dentures. In court filings and interviews, dozens of prisoners complained that their decaying teeth were left to rot.

In Michigan, getting dental care can take months, even years.

“I cannot eat because I have no teeth.”Incarcerated people are routinely denied basic dental care — including fillings f...
07/28/2021
‘I Have No Teeth’: Michigan Prisoners Say Long Wait to See Dentist Is Inhumane

“I cannot eat because I have no teeth.”

Incarcerated people are routinely denied basic dental care — including fillings for cavities and dentures. In court filings and interviews, dozens of prisoners complained that their decaying teeth were left to rot.

In Michigan, getting dental care can take months, even years.

“I cannot eat because I have no teeth.”Incarcerated people are routinely denied basic dental care — including fillings f...
07/27/2021
‘I Have No Teeth’: Michigan Prisoners Say Long Wait to See Dentist Is Inhumane

“I cannot eat because I have no teeth.”

Incarcerated people are routinely denied basic dental care — including fillings for cavities and dentures. In court filings and interviews, dozens of prisoners complained that their decaying teeth were left to rot.

In Michigan, getting dental care can take months, even years.

“I cannot eat because I have no teeth.”Incarcerated people are routinely denied basic dental care — including fillings f...
07/27/2021
‘I Have No Teeth’: Michigan Prisoners Say Long Wait to See Dentist Is Inhumane

“I cannot eat because I have no teeth.”

Incarcerated people are routinely denied basic dental care — including fillings for cavities and dentures. In court filings and interviews, dozens of prisoners complained that their decaying teeth were left to rot.

In Michigan, getting dental care can take months, even years.

From 2001 to 2018, the number of people who have died of drug or alcohol intoxication in state prisons increased by more...
07/25/2021
Inside The Nation's Overdose Crisis in Prisons and Jails

From 2001 to 2018, the number of people who have died of drug or alcohol intoxication in state prisons increased by more than 600%. In county jails, overdose deaths increased by over 200%.

Behind bars, drug use is rampant and uniquely deadly, new data shows.

“I cannot eat because I have no teeth.”Incarcerated people are routinely denied basic dental care — including fillings f...
07/22/2021
‘I Have No Teeth’: Michigan Prisoners Say Long Wait to See Dentist Is Inhumane

“I cannot eat because I have no teeth.”

Incarcerated people are routinely denied basic dental care — including fillings for cavities and dentures. In court filings and interviews, dozens of prisoners complained that their decaying teeth were left to rot.

In Michigan, getting dental care can take months, even years.

Issue 8 of News Inside takes on the words that define and label incarcerated people.
07/20/2021
Broken Language

Issue 8 of News Inside takes on the words that define and label incarcerated people.

Issue 8 of News Inside takes on the words that define and label incarcerated people.

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I am nearly done reading Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing by Stuart Schrader. One of numerous issues addressed is the number of police killings of US residents. I learned police killed an average of 245 people annually from 1950 to 1967 and an average of 359 per year from 1967 to 1973. During these decades 50% of the people killed were Black. Fast forward to the second decade of the 21st century. Well over a thousand police killings each and every year. People of color, especially Black men, are at higher risk than white men. I recommend the book and wanted to share these facts for historical background/context. Just like incarceration, police killings have increased to the extent that this country is no longer the land of the free.
Please consider investigating this case of injustice. Thank you.
Thanks for your wonderful reporting. It makes the world more compassionate.
Would you be willing to please post this for me? These are the words that I have prepared for SCOTUS to deal with the disgusting practice of enslaving people to generate revenue, disguised as justice. We will be bringing the case forward any day and Invoking Article III requiring that the Court actually see the case, due to the jurisdictional error created by the USDC. additional information is available on my page. These words mean a lot to me and I want people to know in advance what I am doing and why I am doing it. Thank you so much, Blessings to you and yours! This is the argument submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court that is going to end the disgusting practice of enslaving people. If you followed the Barret confirmation, you will recognize much of what is being discussed, particularly between Rule of Law and Legal Realism. If you want to know the Truth.... here it is. Be informed, know what’s at stake, stop listening to liars. The People make the laws, not judges. Judges make rulings; People make laws, ruling do not change laws. If in the opinion of the People of the United States, any of the provisions or guarantees of the United States Constitution be in any particular way wrong, let it be corrected by an Amendment in the way in which the Constitution so designates. Until, if and when that time comes, every single United States Citizen is entitled to every single right secured by the U.S. Constitution. ORAL ARGUMENT: The great philosopher Nietzsche once said, “Those who fight monsters should see to it that in the process they don’t become a monster.” There are two vastly opposing legal doctrines at work in America at this time. Our system of government is founded upon the “Government of Laws” doctrine, which is Constitutionally based. It is built upon the theory that in order for laws to be legitimate, they must be considered just and equal. This is the egalitarianism approach, which our Constitution is framed upon. In order for all men to be equal, government and laws must first treat them equal. This is the way that our system is designed to work, based upon a fixed set of laws or principles in which the courts and people adhere to and to which every United States Citizen is accustomed to. The opposite of the Government of Laws doctrine is the “Legal Realism” doctrine, which is very much alive and at work here in America destroying our system of government and infringing on the rights of the People. Legal Realism of course is the theory that law is not based upon a formal set of rules or principles, but instead upon judicial decisions deriving from their own social, political or public policy. This is not Constitutionally based, as it does not permit the fair and equal treatment of people. An excellent example of Legal Realism is the belief that a judge made ruling, such as Hurtado v. California (1887), can alter the provisions or guarantees of the United States Constitution. When one attempts to combat the doctrine of Legal Realism, they often times utilize horrible judicial decisions, such as Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), where the United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney stated in his assenting opinion that, “Blacks are not and were not intended to be included under the word ‘Citizen’ in the Constitution. Blacks are so far inferior that they have no rights which the white man was bound to respect. Slaves are private property protected by the Constitution.” I don’t think that any United States Citizen today can help but feel shame and anger at those horrible words spoken by the highest member of the highest court of the land. There is no doubt that decision came at a time of great conflict for our nation and clearly biased in sympathy of the South. The alteration of the Constitution in order to perpetuate slavery is not approved by God and should never be supported by good men. What has happened has happened, but to deny it would be a greater travesty. You see, a slave based system cherishes ignorance because that is the only security for its oppression. Slavery is the mortal antagonist to our democratic institution. Truth is the only thing in which people can be certain of, but truth doesn’t cease to be truth simply because no one has the courage to speak up to defend it or because someone else disagrees with it. Truth is never dependent upon the consensus of opinion. If a thousand people believe something to be foolish, yet one person know it to be true, it is still true. Truth can never be made a lie anymore that a lie can be made truth. The truth is that slavery by any other name is still slavery. Simply re-titling it “Justice” doesn’t make it any less appalling. Changing it from a private institution to a state-run institution doesn’t make it any more Constitutionally acceptable. It is still slavery and it is still a horrible injustice and wrong against humanity, regardless of what you call it or how you disguise it. While we are on the topic of truth, let’s produce some more truth. In the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, there were eight of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices who all assented to the opinion that, “Blacks are not people and therefore, not entitled to the protection of the United States Constitution” and “Blacks are so far inferior that they have no rights which the white man was bound to follow.” In this case, there was one single, brave, Supreme Court Justice who dissented with the rest stating, “Our Constitution is color-blind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect to civil rights, all citizens are equal before the Law.” This brave patriot was Justice John Marshall Harlan and this wasn’t the only time that he found himself as the lone dissenter against every other Justice on the United States Supreme Court. One other such instance was in the case of Hurtado v. California. You see, the truth is that the same eight of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices who said, “Slaves are private property protected by the Constitution,” also said that United States Citizens are not protected by the provisions and guarantees of the 5th Amendment. The truth is that the same eight of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices who said, “Blacks are not people,” also said that the United States Constitution is not the supreme Law of the Land and does not enjoy legal superiority over conflicting provisions with state constitutions. The truth is that the same eight of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices who said, “Blacks are far inferior to the white man,” also said that geographical discriminations are acceptable under our Constitution of government. The truth is that the same eight of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices who said, “Blacks are not and where not intended to be ‘Citizens’ in the Constitution,” also said that states have the right to abridge the privileges and immunities of United States Citizens. The truth is that the same eight of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices who allowed their political interests for the advancement of an industry to cloud their good judgment also put into practice a ruling intended to advance that industry under a different name, overstepping the Separation of Powers and legislating from the bench, in violation of the United States Constitution and the Oaths of the Offices for which they serve. George Washington voiced his concern about geographical discriminations in his farewell address, whereby he stated, "In contemplating the causes which may disturb our union, it occurs as a matter of serious concern, that any ground have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views.” Foreseeing the potential for dissention here in America, Mr. Washington advised vigilance against, “The first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.” The bonds which unite us as one people are: origin, language, belief and laws. These are the 4 great ties that hold our whole society together. The Constitution binds the American people to goals that are incompatible with slavery. President Abraham Lincoln said, “It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence in great emergencies.” United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall echoed this sentiment when he said, “Grave threats to liberty come in times of urgency, when Constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.” The strongest bond which holds our nation together is the faith in the laws between us. This is not the United States of California, or the United States of Washington. I didn’t serve my country in the military fighting for Texas or Alabama, I was defending America, as I am now and as I will continue until such time as God or death has relieved me of my obligation. It is time now for the courts to do the same. Here is some more truth. The truth is that United States Citizens are governed by the Laws of the United States. The truth is that United States Citizens are guaranteed the rights secured by the United States Constitution. The truth is that no person can be held to answer for an infamous crime without an indictment by a Grand Jury. The truth is that one brave Supreme Court Justice did the right thing and stood for American principles despite fierce opposition at a time of great peril and his sage wisdom can be trusted today. God bless Justice John Marshall Harlan. The truth is that United States Citizens can believe and have faith in the United States Constitution, because the truth can always be trusted to fight our battles; the truth can always defend itself, as long as there is someone with the courage to speak it. The role of government is to govern, but that role to govern must be fair. Government ceases to govern when it chooses to take sides; it is no longer governing, rather ruling. Every Citizen is entitled to fair and equal governing in the same way that every Citizen is entitled to the equal protection of laws. Thomas Jefferson voiced this to us when he said, “Bear in mind this sacred principle, at though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, to which equal law must protect and to violate would be oppression.” To understand the rationale behind Article 3. Section 2. of the United States Constitution, which states, “In all Cases in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction,” we can turn to the author himself and the words that he published in “The Federalist Papers,” Circular Number 10, New York Packet, November 23, 1787, the article titled, “The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection.” In the article, James Madison stated, “No man is allowed to be judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay, with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time.” States cannot be and were never intended to be, both judge and party in the same cause, because of the bias, prejudice and partiality which would ultimately transpire as a result of it. States cannot be both accuser and judge or else innocence will suffer. So in the same way and for the same reason why Tanawah M. Downing v. State of Washington (2019) in the current civil action is unconstitutional, so also is State of Washington v. Tanawah M. Downing (2017) in the original criminal action is unconstitutional. If 1+2=3 is unconstitutional, then obviously 2+1=3 is also unconstitutional, simply rearranging the order of the Parties, does not magically change the representation of the Parties. Article 3. Section 2. of the United States Constitution clearly states, “In all Cases in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.” As a result, both Tanawah M. Downing v. State of Washington and State of Washington v. Tanawah M. Downing are unconstitutional and therefore, illegal and the only court with jurisdictional authority to resolve both cases is the court which had jurisdictional authority in the cases to begin with, which is the United States Supreme Court, in accordance with the United States Constitution. Our forefathers who framed our Constitution were simple, yet wise men. They weren’t establishing complex principles or elaborate institutions to which only men of rich, or noble, or educated backgrounds could understand. You see, they were simply trying to create an accounting system which adequately and fairly reconciled the debt owed to society. If you choose to violate the law, you incur a DEBT that is OWED to society, to which you are CHARGED and called to ACCOUNT so that you may PAY the debt. These are all simple accounting terms. The way that debt normally works is, if I want to purchase something from a store, a bill will first be generated, which I sign and accept. Then my account is charged and I incur a debt, to which I then have to pay. This is a very simple method for transactions to which anyone can understand. However, if the store charges a person’s account without billing them first, that is called fraud. You must always bill before a charge is generated. How all of this applies to this case is that an indictment is called a “bill”. So absent an indictment, people are being charged fraudulently because they are not being billed first. Understanding this now, anyone who claims that a Bill of Indictment is not first needed before charging someone’s account, doesn’t understand that basic principles and practices of the system in which they are dealing with. As a result of this very basic, fundamental element of our nation’s legal accounting system being ignored, millions of United States Citizens have incurred illegal and fraudulent debt. America must address this accounting flaw in its legal system. In accordance with Rule 23 of the USCS Rules of Civil Procedure and in light of all the aforementioned evidence, as well as the supporting evidence, Petitioner asks the United States Supreme Court to authorize the application of the CLASS Action device in this Habeas Corpus proceeding. Included within Addendum 3, the Court will find the names of only a couple of the thousands of Petitioners who filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to Title 28 USC §2254 between April 10, 2019 and September 2019 who’s cases raised the exact same allegations and were illegally and unconstitutionally dismissed by the United States District Court, despite the jurisdictional error and who are all now entitled to remanding of their cases to the United States Supreme Court for legal and Constitutionally acceptable adjudication. The last point that I would like to make is that, every single thing that I am advocating is consistent with God’s divine attributes: release of prisoners, return of exiled captives, love in lieu of hate, compassion and not condemnation, forgiveness instead of vengeance, equity and not tyranny. I know what side I am on, so ask yourself, if I fight for God and you fight against me, who is it that you are fighting for? Respectfully & Peacefully a Servant of Justice, Tanawah M. Downing Petitioner, Pro Se