The Murderer’s Mother

John J. Lennon

Because of me, Alex will never realize his potential, never discover the man he might’ve been. I’m deeply sorry for that. And that’s the sort of existential shame I grapple with: Here I am, years later, sober and learning and writing and finding out who I can be, and yet Alex can never do any of those things. Because of me.

A Legacy of Payback

John J. Lennon

The first time I heard about Heather Ann Thompson’s Blood in the Water, I was in the Attica Correctional Facility’s auditorium-chapel, attending a twelve-step meeting.

The Graduate

Leann Davis Alspaugh

How do you assess rehabilitation?

Blood Sports

B.D. McClay

True crime is not quite about watching people die, but it does require an interest in the subject.

Throwing Away the Key

Lisa Lorish

When did we stop believing in rehabilitation? The case of Lima-Marin should make us stop and ask why we punish, and what happens to those we punish.

Questions of Life and Death—The Tsarnaev Case

Lisa Lorish

We have no way of knowing whether Tsarnaev was given the opportunity to avoid a trial and plead to a life sentence, or if he would have taken that offer had it been made. It seems clear that there are inconsistencies when government determines when to seek death sentences.

Outlaw or Criminal?

Lisa Lorish

We Americans have a soft spot for the outlaw. But what distinguishes an outlaw from a criminal?

The Murderer’s Reckoning

Leann Davis Alspaugh and John J. Lennon

My last day of freedom was January 24, 2002.

What Attica Prisoners Want Harvard Law Students to Know

John J. Lennon

Ignorance is ugly, particularly in prison. It’s loud and obnoxious and violent. It tumbles into my cell right now as I write this. But for some, education can quell that.

Laugh Track

Leann Davis Alspaugh

Raw, edgy, polemical—and you can only get it at Attica. Meet the inventor of jailhouse comedy.

What Is Innocence Worth?

Lisa Lorish

What should the compensation be for overserving a prison sentence?

More Than Their Crimes

Diane Gottlieb

Meeting a murderer and finding a friend.

Race, MLK, and the Allure of Made-for-TV Justice

Andrew Lynn

Media executives have honed the craft of attracting national interest to flair-ups and clashes over school board proceedings, controversial small business practices, or more recently, police misconduct.