Criminal Justice

RNS photo courtesy Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Finn is charged with failing to report suspected child abuse. RNS photo courtesy Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Finn, leader of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and an outspoken conservative in the American hierarchy, was convicted of a single misdemeanor count for not telling police that one of his priests, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, had taken hundreds of lewd images of children in Catholic schools and parishes.

But even as he became the first U.S. bishop ever convicted in criminal court for shielding an abusive priest, Finn’s standing inside the church appears uncertain, and the subject of intense debate.

Should he stay or should he go? Finn has indicated that he wants to tough it out.

the Web Editors 7-12-2012

Last month, the U.S. Senate held its first hearing ever on the issue of solitary confinement in prisons. To draw attention to the issue, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture urged Americans to fast for 23 hours for one day, symbolizing the 23 hours a day prisoners spend in solitary confinement each day.

"Christian scriptures and the scriptures of all religions say much about the way we are to treat other human beings, especially the most vulnerable," said the Rev. Richard Killmer, executive director of NRCAT. "And all religious traditions teach that it is important to honor and respect the dignity and worth that God has endowed in each human being. When we put people into solitary confinement cells, which we know are going to cause harm, then we have deeply violated that requirement from God to honor and respect each human being."

Michelle Alexander 3-01-2012

The fight against mass incarceration is joined by an emerging faith-based movement.

the Web Editors 10-20-2011

The Side Effects Of Fast-Tracking Deportations; Ten Percent Of All Major Mainstream Media News Was About Occupy Wall Street Last Week; Mexican Clown Convention Holds 'Laugh For Peace'; What Has Obama Done For Poor People?; Class Warfare In The Senate Race; Restorative Justice And The Economy Of Grace; Pastors Hope For A Louder, Unrestricted Voice In 2012 Election; Jesus At Occupy Wall Street: 'I Feel Like I've Been Here Before'

Bill Mefford 2-08-2011
The nearly 2.3 million people in U.S.
Beny Ngor Chol 11-08-2010
The events that I saw in my childhood during the war in Sudan are called genocide today.
Johnathan Smith 10-27-2010
In 1994, Jamie and Gladys Scott were convicted in a Mississippi state court.
Johnathan Smith 7-29-2010
I want to tell you a story. It's a tale about drugs, prison, race, and justice (or the lack thereof).

Andrea Woods 3-03-2010

It is Death Penalty Awareness Week, and supporters of human rights across the country have turned their attention to a uniquely complicated injustice -- the implementation of capital punishment in the United States.

Rose Marie Berger 2-01-2010

In November, 1,150 cities around the world—including 60 capitals—lit up public buildings to support an end to the death penalty.

The case for faith, not prison, to prevent youth crime.

Nate Van Duzer 12-28-2009
Does this sound familiar? A poor, minority community experiences high levels of violence and drug dealing. A predominantly white police force sweeps in and arrests many offenders.
Alan Bean 12-09-2009
Mike Huckabee is done as a presidential contender. That's the word on the street.
Alex Gee 11-25-2009
Dane County, Wisconsin, is an amazing community for African-American babies to be born into. It is a horrible community in which to live if you are an adult African-American male.
Gareth Higgins 9-30-2009
I'm reluctant to comment regarding film-maker Roman Polanski's arrest and the attempt to extradite him to the U.S.
Ruth Hawley-Lowry 8-28-2009

Forty-six years ago, on Aug. 28, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood and gave the "I Have a Dream" speech [full video below]. And even this sentence reveals one of the fundamental struggles that continues in our nation.

Jim Wallis 7-29-2009
I have been away for the last couple of weeks, first for a family wedding and reunion on a lake in northern Michigan, and then at the Chautauqua conference center in rural New York state.

A white woman is raped by a black man in North Carolina. During the assault, she studies his face, determined to bring him to justice. She later identifies a suspect both in photos and in-person line-ups. Only she's wrong.

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