Crime & Justice

Desert Graves

Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP

DA wants death penalty in slaying of McStay family

District Attorney Mike Ramos filed notice Monday in San Bernardino County Superior Court in the case against Charles Ray Merritt, who is being held without bail.

Jackie Lacey, conviction review unit

Los Angeles prosecutor sets up unit to investigate innocence

District Attorney Jackie Lacey said Monday that the conviction review unit will join nearly two dozen other prosecutors' offices nationwide that review claims of innocence.

Michel Martin

5 things cops and their communities can learn from each other

Last week, NPR's Michel Martin hosted a panel of LAPD officers, community leaders and activists to discuss policing in their communities. See our summary of the event.

California Supreme Court overturns death penalty case

The California Supreme Court has overturned the death penalty for a man convicted of murdering two clerks in Los Angeles County in 1993.

Supreme Court upholds use of drug implicated in botched executions

The justices voted 5-4 in a case from Oklahoma that the sedative midazolam can be used in executions without violating the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

Prison escapee David Sweat captured, ending weeks-long manhunt

Police say the convicted murderer who escaped from a prison in New York earlier this month, has been shot but captured alive. Just days ago, his accomplice, Richard Matt, was fatally shot by police.

Supporters rally for unarmed man shot by police in Los Feliz

Walter William DeLeon was shot and critically wounded by an LAPD officer along Los Feliz Boulevard June 19. His family has called the shooting unjustified.

1 wounded in shooting at San Francisco gay pride event

Police say a bystander was shot at a gay pride event in San Francisco's Civic Center when an argument between several men turned violent, but the argument was not tied to the event.

How well do hate crime laws really work?

Proponents of hate crime laws say tough punishments modify behavior and show society's intolerance of hate. But trying to measure the deterrent effect of hate crime laws is difficult.

Officer identified in Los Feliz police shooting

Los Angeles police have identified the officer who shot and critically injured a man in Los Feliz last Friday after he allegedly approached them in an aggressive manner.

1 escaped murderer killed in N.Y. woods, other still on the run

Convicted murderer Richard Matt was killed in a gun battle with law enforcement officers in a wooded area about 30 miles from the prison where he and another inmate escaped.

1,000 O.C. court cases appear to have been illegally fixed

The FBI is investigating whether a court clerk was behind a scheme that illegally "fixed" about 1,000 traffic-related criminal cases for thousands of dollars.

Santa Barbara rampage victim sues killer's parents

The suit says Keith Cheung suffered a severe head injury and broken bones when Elliot Rodger's speeding BMW hit him last May as he biked home from work in Isla Vista.

High court strikes down 'vague' part of career criminal law

The justices ruled that a catchall phrase in the Armed Career Criminal Act defining what crimes make a defendant eligible for a longer prison term is too vague.

LA Sheriff Scandal: Tanaka says he was following Baca’s orders

The plot thickens in the federal investigation into LA County jails, with the once powerful former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka blaming his old boss for any wrongdoing.

ACA: Supreme Court upholds nationwide health care law subsidies

The ruling preserves health insurance for millions of Americans. Obama called it "a good day for America" and said that while there is still work to be done to make health care in the U.S. better, "this law is working."