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Maurice Chammah is a staff writer. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. He was a finalist for a 2014 Livingston Award for a story on the decline of the death penalty, and a 2011-2012 Fulbright fellow in Egypt. He plays the violin and has toured with the band Mother Falcon.
Phone 212-803-5244
Twitter @MauriceChammah
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News June 18
Charles Rhines argued jurors sent him to death row in part because they knew he was gay.
Case in Point June 11
His defenders say yes. South Dakota says no. The Supreme Court may soon weigh in.
Candidates backed by Soros, others are still pressing ahead in other parts of the country.
Life Inside May 10
“It started to sink in that I wouldn’t really get a childhood.”
Feature May 8
Young brains are still evolving. One prison is trying to take advantage of that.
Life Inside May 3
After I left prison, nobody would hire me. So I threw a dart at a map.
News April 12
Bernard Noble, whose case became a symbol of harsh drug laws, walks out of a Louisiana prison.
Case in Point April 2
Did a prosecutor lie about whether the family of a murder victim wanted the death penalty?
Q&A March 21
A husband and wife want to upend how we talk about wrongful convictions.
News March 8
In Kansas, even many minor drug offenders must appear on the state’s public registry. A new bill would change that.
Life Inside February 22
A juror’s regret.
Life Inside January 18
“It felt like all eyes were on me.”
Feature January 18
More than a year ago, Nevada death row prisoner Scott Dozier gave up his legal appeals and asked to be executed. He’s still waiting.
News January 16
Some states are welcoming back ex-offenders to work behind bars.
News January 3
Here are the most important places to keep an eye on.
Life Inside November 30, 2017
“It felt like the universe put us together.”
News October 31, 2017
Some American prisons are singing a European tune.
Analysis October 18, 2017
Recent court rulings and start-stop access to lethal drugs push numbers up this year.
Feature October 11, 2017
As the climate changes, inmates without air-conditioning have no escape from extreme heat.
Life Inside October 5, 2017
The 24/7 nature of corrections work can make it all-consuming.
Q&A October 2, 2017
A new book explores the slow demise of the ultimate punishment.
News September 24, 2017
The Supreme Court considers whether “civil commitment” is just prison by another name.
News August 30, 2017
Medical professionals say the state’s new lethal injection protocol “doesn’t make much sense.”
News August 14, 2017
The mixed blessing of an internet posse.
News July 13, 2017
Scharlette Holdman, pioneering foe of the death penalty, dies at 70.
Feature May 22, 2017
Katie's father went to prison for raping her and her brothers. It was an unthinkable crime that broke her family apart. So why couldn't she remember it?
News April 10, 2017
The cases of the condemned capture much of the debate for and against the death penalty.
Life Inside March 30, 2017
A prison psychologist mourns a patient he tried to save.
News March 14, 2017
If it was just a crazy, drug-induced outburst, is it worth 7 years in prison?
Life Inside March 9, 2017
But only after two wrongly convicted men were set free.
Analysis February 22, 2017
Was he sentenced to death “because he is black”?
Life Inside February 16, 2017
‘I can’t touch him and comfort him.’
Q&A February 14, 2017
“He felt strongly that this was a gift, and the gift had to be earned.”
News February 8, 2017
Donald Trump faces a fight on asset forfeiture.
Life Inside February 2, 2017
Discipline at work, leniency at home—with doubts.
Q&A January 22, 2017
Talking to Chris Hansen as he revives his trademark stings.
News January 18, 2017
Two commutations this week was less than many had hoped for.
News December 12, 2016
Testing the reliability of video analysis.
News November 9, 2016
The president-elect may soon upend an Obama-era police reform tactic.
Crime on the Ballot November 9, 2016
Reform-minded candidates unseat incumbents in some races.
Crime on the Ballot November 1, 2016
Campaign ads in the age of criminal justice reform.
News October 23, 2016
Five Texas inmates say what they’d do differently.
Crime on the Ballot October 18, 2016
A battle in Tampa reflects a shift across the country.
Analysis October 17, 2016
How various states punish the act.
Analysis October 14, 2016
The other quirk in the state’s death penalty system.
News October 5, 2016
Legislators won’t touch the subject, but courts are proving more sympathetic.
News September 22, 2016
A fund is designated to train, pay and advise American defense lawyers.
Analysis September 15, 2016
Her death at a Texas jail spurred a striking amount of reform talk across political lines.
News August 18, 2016
With the feds cutting back, the companies are down but not out.
Analysis August 14, 2016
As demographics change, a move toward mercy.
Life Inside July 28, 2016
Even when I was being paid in mackerel and stamps.
News July 27, 2016
Only if you look at very limited data.
Analysis July 18, 2016
The Republicans nod to reforms, then take a sharp right turn.
Feature June 28, 2016
How Renea Royster gives prisoners access to the digital world.
Life Inside June 23, 2016
And it got a million clicks.
Life Inside June 9, 2016
And it made me a different person.
Q&A June 7, 2016
Who knew cell phones had a smell?
Looking Back May 30, 2016
And he played drums in a prison band.
Analysis May 25, 2016
White-on-black murders rarely result in a death sentence. Roof might be an exception.
Analysis May 23, 2016
The Supreme Court considers what it takes to show that prosecutors, when they pick juries, are discriminating against minorities.
The Frame May 16, 2016
A new book explores a time when Texas prisons promoted rehabilitation through a wildly successful radio show.
Q&A May 11, 2016
Rick Stevens on his three decades locked up and his return to performing.
News May 6, 2016
Milwaukee’s David Clarke is the latest in a long line of controversy-courting lawmen
Feature May 4, 2016
David Clarke, the Trump-loving, pro-mass-incarceration Fox News favorite, is challenging criminal-justice reform—and stereotypes.
News May 2, 2016
Some suspect “implicit bias” is not just a problem for police, prosecutors, and judges.
News April 28, 2016
Over the last 40 years, reversals have become commonplace.
News April 14, 2016
A new policy in Texas limits inmates’ access to social media, creating a First Amendment conundrum.
Analysis April 12, 2016
Only 4 states are currently carrying out lethal injections, and 10 are considering other methods.
Life Inside March 10, 2016
“If I could have done anything, it would have been to deadlock the jury, but I didn’t have the personal strength to do that.”
Looking Back February 24, 2016
A hearing in San Antonio will revive the ghosts of the satanic abuse trials and questions about the testimony of child victims.
Q&A February 23, 2016
The Oscar-nominated short ‘Last Day of Freedom’ traces the troubled life of a black veteran.
Commentary February 9, 2016
What you had to say about our latest story on predictive policing.
Feature February 3, 2016
In the aftermath of Michael Brown's death, St. Louis cops embrace crime-predicting software.
News February 2, 2016
Texas tackles debunked forensics.
Quiz February 2, 2016
Some judges say yes, some say no. Care to second guess?
Analysis January 12, 2016
Abolitionists seek the perfect case for a Supreme Court challenge.
Feature January 7, 2016
New programs are easing inmates out of years of solitary confinement with surprising outcomes for both prisoners and corrections officers.
News December 14, 2015
For 20 years, Burl Cain both punished and preached.
News December 7, 2015
Join us for a chat on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. about the state of the death penalty in 2015, and what's to come in 2016
Life Inside November 25, 2015
Cooking turkeys, building resumes.
News November 19, 2015
Supporters rally around a more efficient system of execution.
Q&A November 16, 2015
The man who helped topple it (briefly) in 1972 gauges the likelihood of success.
Analysis November 6, 2015
Not everybody is aboard the criminal justice reform bandwagon. Here’s why.
News October 22, 2015
Editor-in-Chief Bill Keller moderates a White House talk with law enforcement leaders.
Feature September 25, 2015
Germany allows inmates to wear their own clothes, cook their own meals, and have romantic visits. Could that work in the United States?
Feature September 21, 2015
You are about to enter Philadelphia’s largest jail. Here is what you should know.
News August 31, 2015
Defense lawyers call it a crisis; the state says it’s just doing its job.
News August 28, 2015
A grassroots effort aims to restore what the legislature just ended.
Justice Lab August 24, 2015
Science tries to catch up with the problem of ‘accelerated aging.’
News August 18, 2015
Another death penalty case, another accusation of misconduct.
News August 4, 2015
A new report and a growing phenomenon.
Life Inside July 31, 2015
The imagined journey of Steven Ray Epperson.
Feature July 9, 2015
Can the Abel Assessment tell if you're a potential child-molester?
Feature June 28, 2015
From the people who live and work there.
News June 22, 2015
How Germany does prison, day five.
News June 19, 2015
Inside the German prison system, day four.
News June 17, 2015
Blank stares and culture shock. How Germany does prison, day two.
News June 16, 2015
Americans on a mind-boggling incarceration road trip. Day One.
News June 3, 2015
States are raising the age of who counts as an adult, but it’s no simple task.
Feature June 3, 2015
An immigration trend changes the face of corrections.
Feature June 1, 2015
Three states, three ways to kill a human being.
News May 21, 2015
A new Texas governor, a new policy on prison rape.
News May 15, 2015
Like many states, the feds have trouble getting the killer drugs.
News May 15, 2015
Why Michigan prisoners aren't taking a video about prison rape seriously.
The Frame May 1, 2015
One man’s archive of a vanished culture.
News April 23, 2015
A hearing in San Antonio revives the ghosts of the satanic abuse trials and questions about the testimony of child victims.
News April 17, 2015
An immigration detention facility tries a new method for curbing sexual assault: Make the women dress differently.
News April 8, 2015
If police had recorded his interrogation, would Max Soffar be on death row?
News April 3, 2015
The Prison Rape Elimination Act is making its way into state prisons, but what about all those county jails?
The Lowdown March 26, 2015
How some inmates hack, rewire, and retool their radios to create walkie-talkies.
News March 16, 2015
A private prison company, a prison riot, and what comes next.
News March 11, 2015
Sex-offender laws are raising questions about the right to worship.
News March 10, 2015
Louisiana tried to sentence five men to death for the murder of a prison guard. It wasn’t cheap.
News February 25, 2015
A trial in Texas tests the limits of America’s sympathy for war-damaged vets.
Feature February 25, 2015
What happens when you throw a teenager into an adult prison? Guess.
News February 20, 2015
How Academy Award-nominated films have handled, and mishandled, criminal justice.
News January 31, 2015
Who’s selling what to the executioner?
Justice Lab January 29, 2015
Why are IQ scores still being used to determine who is fit to be executed?
News January 27, 2015
A new report details abuse of blind, deaf and disabled inmates in a Texas prison.
News January 16, 2015
Lawyer v. Court. Guess who wins?
News January 12, 2015
The great (make-believe) Ebola outbreak.
News January 7, 2015
The attorney general’s last word.
Feature December 17, 2014
The public supports it, but the costs are lethal.
News December 17, 2014
Experts, experts and more experts.
News December 15, 2014
Does he belong in a prison or a hospital?
News December 1, 2014
Conservative stalwarts urge Texas to spare Scott Panetti.
News December 1, 2014
The impending execution of Scott Panetti and the search for a standard of sanity.
News December 1, 2014
Protecting doctors who testify for lethal injections.