Sir Hartley Shawcross, British Prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial in Germany after World War II.  Shawcross is remembered for saying, "There comes a point when a man must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer to his own conscience."  Photo credit:  Photolibrarian, Creative Commons 2.0. 



These resources explore moral and ethical challenges related to criminal justice in general, and prosecutors in particular. We pay special attention to how God’s creation order and God’s vision for relationships between human beings impacts the field of criminal justice.

Books and Articles on Prosecutors

Real Justice PAC (website) co-led by Shaun King to campaign for progressive prosecutors; see Shaun King, The Real Justice PAC, and Daniel Marans, Black Activist Starts Group That Aims To Elect Progressive Prosecutors (Huffington Post, Feb 15, 2018)

Drug War Facts (website)

Trail of Silence (website) tracking police killings of unarmed civilians from yr 2000

American Civil Liberties Union, Private Prisons (ACLU website)

Marc Mauer,, The Meaning of "Life": Long Prison Sentences in Context (The Sentencing Project, May 2004)

Frontline, Erma Faye Stewart and Regina Kelly in Hearne, Texas (PBS WGBH, Jun 17, 2004)

Michael King and US Probation Department, Mandatory Sentence (Michael King, Aug 11, 2007) and part 2 a short youtube video filmed in Boston for educational purposes

Joshua Correll,, Across the Thin Blue Line: Police Officers and Racial Bias in the Decision to Shoot (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2007)

Vicky Peleaz, The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery? (Global Research, Mar 10, 2008)

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Amazon book, Jan 2010)

Brennan Center for Justice, Racial Disparities in Federal Prosecutions (Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, Mar 2010)

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow (youtube video, Dec 15, 2010) 20 min interview

Noam Chomsky and Glenn Greenwald, How the Law is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful (CSpan video, Oct 29, 2011)

Maia Szalavitz, Study: Whites More Likely to Abuse Drugs Than Blacks (Time, Nov 7, 2011)

Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration: No Place for Kids (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2011)

Michelle Alexander, Go to Jail: Crash the Justice System (NY Times, Mar 10, 2012)

Michael Kelly, 13 Signs that America's Prison System is Out of Control (Business Insider, Apr 12, 2012)

The House I Live In (2013), documentary arguing that the U.S. War on Drugs has failed

Bobby Constantino, I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look into the Justice System (The Atlantic, Dec 17, 2013)

Paul Martin, Money-Driven Criminal Justice System Drives Poverty, Crime Rate (The Durham News, Feb 14, 2014)

Matt Taibbi, Who Goes to Jail? The American Justice Gap from Wall Street to Main Street (Democracy Now, Apr 15, 2014)

Carol Rose, Independent Report Confirms Racially Disparate Treatment in Boston (ACLU, Jul 4, 2014)

Martha Minow, We Must Ensure Everyone Has Access to Equal Justice (Boston Globe, Oct 23, 2014)

Judd Legum, Justice Scalia Explains What Was Wrong With The Ferguson Grand Jury (Think Progress, Nov 26, 2014)

Thabiti Anyabwile, Why I Believe the Grand Jury Got it Wrong and Injustice Triumphed (Gospel Coalition, Nov 26, 2014)

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Barack Obama, Ferguson, and the Evidence of Things Unsaid (The Altantic, Nov 26, 2014)

Michelle Alexander, White Privilege and the War on Drugs (video, Dec 2, 2014)

Evan Horowitz, If Crime is Falling, Why Aren't Prisons Shrinking (Boston Globe, Jan 15, 2015)

Adam Liptak, Why Judges Tilt to the Right (NY Times, Jan 31, 2015)

Sue Bell Cobb, I Was Alabama's Top Judge. I'm Ashamed by What I Had to Do to Get There (Politico, Mar/Apr 2015)

Alec Karakatsanis, Policing, Mass Imprisonment, and the Failure of America's Lawyers (Harvard Law Review, Apr 10, 2015)

Dahlia Lithwick, Pseudoscience in the Witness Box: The FBI Faked an Entire Field of Forensic Science (Slate, Apr 22, 2015)

Marquaysa Battle, 12 Heartbreaking Facts About The School To Prison Pipeline That Every Person Should Know (TeaBreakfast, May 15, 2015)

John F. Pfaff, The War on Drugs and Prison Growth: Limited Importance, Limited Legislative Options (Harvard Journal of Legislation, Jun 2015) critiques Alexander but agrees on pragmatic grounds that change would be helpful; highlights the prosecutor role

Bill Quigley, 40 Reasons Why Our Jails Are Full of Black and Brown People (Huffington Post, Jun 2, 2015)

John Oliver, Bail (Last Week Tonight, Jun 7, 2015)

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Brief and Tragic Life of Kalief Browder (The Atlantic, Jun 8, 2015)

Aviva Shen, Justice Scalia Just Took An Important Swing At Mandatory Minimums (Think Progress, Jun 26, 2015)

Jon Basil Utley, Why We Need Criminal Justice Reform (The American Conservative, Jul 8, 2015)

Leon Neyfahk, Prosecution is About Locking Black People Up (Salon, Jul 10, 2015)

George Yancy and Joe Feagin, American Racism in the "White Frame" (NY Times, Jul 27, 2015)

Jason Riley, Louisville Judge Questioned for Dismissing Juries Based on Lack of Minorities (WDRB News, Oct 20, 2015)

Leon Neyfakh, Top Police and Prosecutors Condemn Mass Incarceration (Salon, Oct 23, 2015)

Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, Commentary: Anita's Army: Rank and File Racism in the Power to Prosecute (NBC News, Nov 27, 2015) re: Chicago, LaQuan McDonald

Conor Friedersdorf, The Corrupt System That Killed LaQuan McDonald (The Atlantic, Nov 27, 2015)

Abby Haglage, When White Girls Deal Drugs, They Walk (Daily Beast, Dec 1, 2015)

Editorial Staff, A Blow To White Supremacy As California Becomes First State To Ban Grand Juries In Police Shooting Cases (AfricanGlobe, Dec 1, 2015)

Jon Swaine, Oliver Laughland, Jamiles Lartey and Ciara McCarthy, Ties That Bind (Guardian, Dec 31, 2015) district attorneys who clear police officers of killing

Vikki Tobak, Adam Foss Has A Vision For Juvenile Justice Reform (Fader, Apr/May 2016) regarding cultural competency for prosecutors

Lara Bazelon, Pennsylvania's Shame (Slate, Oct 12, 2016) ill-trained police, underpaid defense attorneys, wrongful convictions

Eli Hager and Bill Keller, Everything You Think You Know About Mass Incarceration Is Wrong (The Marshall Project, Feb 9, 2017) very helpful analysis of violent vs. non-violent crime, federal vs. state prison populations, and the role of the prosecutor

Stephen Carter, 21,000 Reasons Scalia Was Right (Bloomberg, Apr 21, 2017) about the Sixth Amendment, and the MA case of forged and tampered drug testing

Sari Horwitz and Matt Zapotosky, Sessions Issues Sweeping New Criminal Charging Policy (Washington Post, May 12, 2017)

Thor Benson, Black Lives Matter Just Scored a Massive Victory (Attn, May 17, 2017)

Beth Baumann, Senators from the Right and the Left Come Together for Criminal Justice Reform (The Blaze, Jul 27, 2017)

Emily Yoffe, Innocence Is Irrelevant (The Atlantic, Sep 2017) the plea bargain—and the millions of Americans who are suffering the consequences

German Lopez, If You Care About Ending Mass Incarceration, Look at What Philadelphia Just Did (Vox, Nov 8, 2017) a local prosecutor's race just set the standard in the fight against mass incarceration

Matt Ferner, George Soros, Progressive Groups To Spend Millions To Elect Reformist Prosecutors (Huffington Post, May 12, 2018)

Public Citizen, Penalties for Corporate Violations Plummet by Double Digits Under Trump (Public Citizen, Jul 25, 2018) and full report by Rick Claypool, Taylor Lincoln, Michael Tanglis and Alan Zibel, Corporate Impunity: “Tough on Crime” Trump Is Weak on Corporate Crime and Wrongdoing (Public Citizen, Jul 2018) and summary by Rick Claypool, ‘Law and Order’ Trump Is Soft on Corporate Crime and Wrongdoing (Corporate Presidency, Jul 2018)

Matt Apuzzo, What Will Mueller Do? The Answer Might Lie in a By-the-Book Past (NY Times, Aug 25, 2018)

Jeremy Diamond and Alex Rogers, The Bill That Wouldn't Die: The Unlikely Story Behind the Criminal Justice Overhaul (CNN, Dec 18, 2018) remarkable story of the political maneuverings; a hopeful sign that alliances can be built across the political aisle on this issue

Jackie Kucinich, Kamala Harris’ A.G. Office Tried to Keep Inmates Locked Up for Cheap Labor (The Daily Beast, Feb 11, 2019) "Lawyers for California also argued that allowing certain inmates to be paroled early would deplete a program that allowed prisons to fight wildfires"

Ricardo Garcia, A 1963 Supreme Court Decision Transformed the U.S. Justice System. Now It's Threatened (LA Times, Mar 18, 2019) defendants entitled to public defense

Emily Bazelon, Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration (Amazon book, Apr 9, 2019)


Christian restorative justice and criminal justice: Topics

Christian restorative justice critique of the right: domestic policy topics

Christian restorative justice critique of the right: philosophical influences