Crime and Justice

  • Three Strikes and the Politics of Crime in America's Golden State

  • A federal judge on Friday sentenced a former official of the Venezuelan Air Force (FAV) to 24 months in prison after he plead guilty to conspiracy to export more than 650 MAK90 assault rifles and ammunition from Florida to guerrilla groups in Colombia.

    The former Venezuelan official, Romulo Alfredo Martinez, was arrested on November 23, 2003, at Newark Airport in New Jersey.

  • The first of many trials for Vladimiro Montesinos

  • A U.S. Justice Department attempt to break up one of California’s most powerful gangs, the Nuestra Familia, put FBI agents and local police in charge of gangster informants as their fellow gang members plotted and carried out murders, assaults and other major crimes, court documents and FBI reports uncovered by CIR reveal.

  • In this story for NPR's new Day to Day news program, CIR associate reporter Rebecca Perl examines the state laws that prevent felons and ex-felons from voting in elections, sometimes for life. As a result, nationwide, one in eight black men are barred from voting - in some states it's one in three.

  • It was 1986, and Jan Warren knew she had to do something to change her life. She wanted to get home to California where her father had just died and left her a produce business. But Warren, 35, was stuck on the East Coast with no money, in a dead-end relationship and pregnant. Desperate, she made a mistake: She agreed to sell cocaine for her cousin.

  • Editor's note: Some names and nicknames of gang members have been changed in this report.

    OAKLAND -- When Rogelio Higareda Solis left his girlfriend's home in the Fruitvale district, he inadvertently stepped into one of Oakland's fiercest battlegrounds.

    He never came back.

  • Michael Berry prowled the streets of South Central Los Angeles in a rented silver Volvo, searching for a clue. He turned onto a residential street called 12th Avenue, peered at each home and then slowed the car almost to a stop. His heart fluttered.

  • Photos of desperate and dying Liberian civilians have made the front pages of the nation's newspapers for weeks now as rebels battled warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor, who rules over a population terrorized by 14 years of intermittent violence. News accounts focus on the plight of ordinary Liberians caught in cross-fire; many also talk about Taylor's indictment by a U.N.

  • In this report for California Connected, a weekly news magazine broadcast on public television stations throughout California, producer and CIR associate reporter Patricia Steele investigates how well California's Sexually Violent Predators law works and whether the public is really protected.