Law and Order

A city council in upstate New York is not violating the Constitution when it opens its meetings with a prayer, the U.S. Supreme Court held Monday with a 5-4 vote.

You Love Pinterest. Find Out Why The Police Do, Too

May 5, 2014

Plenty of people use Pinterest to find things — purses, posh hotels, eggplant parm recipes — but the rightful owner of a charm bracelet stolen 30 years ago? Leave that to the police.

In February, when an officer in Redwood City, Calif., discovered bags of stolen jewelry in the trunk of a car during a routine traffic stop, Detective Dave Stahler turned to social media — in hopes of tracking down the owner of a charm bracelet stamped with names and dates.

States have always struggled to find humane ways to carry out the death penalty. For a generation, they have favored lethal injection, but that method has become increasingly problematic.

It's coming under increased scrutiny following the death of Clayton Lockett, who died Tuesday of a heart attack after writhing visibly during an execution attempt in Oklahoma.

The execution "fell short" of humane standards, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Wednesday.

Thousands of nonviolent drug offenders serving time in federal prison could be eligible to apply for early release under new clemency guidelines announced Wednesday by the Justice Department.

Details of the initiative, which would give President Obama more options under which he could grant clemency to drug offenders serving long prison sentences, were announced by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

The Supreme Court has recently ruled that mandatory life sentences, without parole, for juveniles are unconstitutional, but states have varied in how they've complied with these decisions. Cara Drinan, an associate professor of law at the Catholic University of America, explains more.

A groundbreaking survey reports that nearly 2 out of 3 transgender people say they've been victims of physical assault. Most of those crimes are never reported to police. This year, the Justice Department wants to change that by training law enforcement to be more sensitive to the needs of trans people in their communities.

Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole says its new training program is motivated by a simple yet powerful idea.

California is shaping up to be the next major battleground over the Second Amendment, as gun rights activists in the nation's most populous state push for loosening concealed carry laws.

A new study by a UC-Berkeley graduate student has surprised a number of experts in the criminology field. Its main finding: Private prisons are packed with young people of color.

After 30 years on death row, 64-year-old Glenn Ford has walked out of Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola a free man after a judge voided his 1983 murder conviction based on new exculpatory evidence.

Ford was convicted of killing Isadore Rozeman, a Shreveport man he'd done occasional yard work for. Rozeman, a jeweler and watchmaker, was found dead in 1983.

The Los Angeles Times says:

Former prisoners spoke about the effects of solitary confinement Tuesday, in a congressional hearing aimed at banning the treatment for some inmates. The federal push to reduce solitary confinement is being led by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who calls it "a human rights issue we can't ignore."

Inmates who are held in solitary confinement spend 23 hours a day in small windowless cells, receiving their food on trays that are pushed through a slot in the cell's door.