Marshall Project Originals
Some of Our Best Work of 2022
From coverage of prison violence and abuses in a juvenile lockup to investigations by our new Cleveland team, our reporters told stories that made a difference.
He Got a Life Sentence When He Was 22 — For Robbery
Black men are most affected by Florida’s two-strikes law.
Life Without Parole Is Replacing the Death Penalty — But the Legal Defense System Hasn’t Kept Up
Just ask a Dallas woman who spent a year in jail without talking to a lawyer.
Parole Is Better Than Prison. But That Doesn’t Mean I’m Free.
At age 17, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. I got out due to Supreme Court decisions, but there was one catch: Parole for the rest of my life.
Losing My Mom Was Hard Enough. Prison Made It Unbearable
Between scant information, limited phone time and insensitive staff, prison compounded a profound loss.
They Agreed to Meet Their Mother’s Killer. Then Tragedy Struck Again.
A Florida family opted for restorative justice over the death penalty for the man who murdered their mom. What happened next made them question the very meaning of justice.
“Juvenile Lifers” Were Meant to Get a Second Chance. COVID-19 Could Get Them First.
The Supreme Court gave teens sentenced to life in prison a shot at freedom. Many are still waiting.
For Those Serving Long Sentences, Politics is a Lifeline
Respondents who’ve spent decades behind bars were more politically engaged than their peers, but they’re also the most cynical.
What’s the Meaning of “Life” When Sentencing Kids?
The Supreme Court ended automatic life without parole for children. What replaces it remains unclear.
I Killed My Wife. Now I Want to Help Prevent Domestic Violence.
“If I could save one man from doing what I did, then I will have found a calling for my final years.”
Behind Bars for 66 Years
The story of North Carolina’s longest-serving inmate highlights the situation of people with intellectual disabilities in the criminal justice system.
Sentenced to Life in Prison — And a Job Making Furniture
Employee perks: None, really, unless you count the nail gun fights.
How Obama Disappointed on the Death Penalty
Two commutations this week was less than many had hoped for.
‘So This Is What a Murderer Looks Like’
A defense lawyer’s photos of four women re-entering society.
Life Without Parole
Inside the secretive world of parole boards, where your freedom may depend on politics and whim.
Nine Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Parole
For example: Most states don’t require board members to have any experience with the criminal justice system.
How to Investigate Parole Release Rates in Your State
Help us localize our national story on parole.
Too Old to Commit Crime?
Why people age out of crime, and what it could mean for how long we put them away.