Alec Karakatsanis Profile picture
founder and executive director, @CivRightsCorps civil rights lawyer author of usual cruelty
EricStoner Profile picture 🇺🇦🇺🇲☕️Coffee&Robots🤖🌊🇺🇦🇺🇲 Profile picture Ella Sanders Profile picture Dame Chris🌟🇺🇦😷 #RejoinEU #FBPE #GTTO🔶️ Profile picture eDo Profile picture 62 added to My Authors
Mar 21 21 tweets 4 min read
THREAD. The situation in Baltimore is getting increasingly concerning. The new city prosecutor, Ivan Bates, is engaging in a series of bizarre and unethical public stunts to increase the length of prison sentences for the mostly poor people his office chooses to prosecute. Remember Bates’s weird interview a few weeks ago on WBAL radio? Bates admitted to using the threat of higher sentences to coerce guilty pleas from people whose cases are “going to go ahead and fall apart.” wbal.com/podcasts/chann…
Mar 18 8 tweets 3 min read
There are a number of well-meaning and nefarious people in the larger "progressive" ecosystem who continue arguing for both more cops/prisons *and* more social spending on the proven root causes of violence. These people are obstacles to any change because they ignore a key fact. Throughout entire history of modern U.S. policing--since its evolution from slave patrols + strike busting corporate squads to repression of civil rights, welfare rights, feminist, reproductive, environmental movements--police have blocked progressive change.
Mar 16 4 tweets 1 min read
One of the facts about our society that has been most obscured is that murder rates are far higher in "red" states than "blue" states over the last several decades. In 2020, murder rates were 40% higher in Republican states than Democratic states. From 2000-2020, murder rates were 23% higher in Republican states.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie202…
Mar 15 14 tweets 5 min read
THREAD. Many progressives are not paying enough attention to what is happening with Cop City in Atlanta. The level of state violence against local people organizing to protect an essential forest from becoming a training center for militarized cops is escalating. Police, corrupt politicians, and large corporations raised $90 million in private cash to destroy the forest to make way for a place where cops can learn how to do things like urban combat. They have been engaging in the predictable lies. theintercept.com/2023/03/08/atl…
Mar 13 13 tweets 3 min read
THREAD. The Washington Post is currently declining to publicly enforce its own ethics code against one of its most prominent senior reporters. The consequences are significant. A “Senior National Political Correspondent” at WaPo spread misinformation about crime in DC in order to argue for Democrats to overrule local democracy (crime in DC is near historic lows, especially "violence crime" which is the lowest in at least 40 and probably 60 years). Crime in DC is out of contr...
Mar 8 14 tweets 4 min read
THREAD. One of the biggest political scandals of our time is coming to a head today. Democratic leaders just announced they will vote with the far-right to overturn a democratically passed DC law. The story is important, and full of weird lies. Background: DC passed modest changes to modernize its criminal code and promote safety. Changes would still leave DC an outlier across the world in severity of sentences, more than any country. DC cages people more than any state, and Black people 19 times rate of white people.
Mar 7 4 tweets 2 min read
Today marks the four-day anniversary of two of the bravest tweets of all time. While others followed scientific evidence or stayed silent if they knew literally nothing about the issue, two WaPo reporters boldly declared that a country cannot have *both* democracy and safety. New Washington Post Editorial: Feeling forced to choose, PreCrime in DC is out of control. It’s depressing the  @washi For some background, you can find resources here:
Mar 6 4 tweets 1 min read
This is a thread by a person who is an "editorial writer" for Washington Post. His post (and the editorial on behalf of a major media institution) goes against the great weight of scientific evidence and just falsely asserts as fact that longer sentences lead to more "safety." There is no hint in his thread of the fact that this is a controversial statement, let alone that it is contrary to the great weight of the available evidence. Just a man with no expertise in an issue confidently asserting a view that has no significant support in reality.
Mar 6 4 tweets 2 min read
Tweets like this are only possible in a media climate that allows people to spew nonsense with no accountability. “Violent crime” is at historic lows according to DC statistics, but this person correctly understands that one can say whatever one wants if it serves power. This is an important thread to read. As you read, think about all the various people involved in creating a narrative that is the exact opposite of the facts. And think about who benefits from the massive failure that is the punishment bureaucracy.
Mar 5 4 tweets 1 min read
The Democrats and some corporate journalists are feeding narratives that will only end in fascism. This was entirely avoidable by following either scientific evidence or local democracy for DC, but Biden chose to reject both. Instead, he validated fear and misinformation. Fascism is never beaten by accepting its lies and appeasing its zealots. That only makes them stronger, as history has sadly taught us. Pathetic, and historic haplessness from Biden.
Mar 3 9 tweets 2 min read
The New York Times has a small group of people with very similar conventional status quo politics but no serious qualifications and no expertise (mis)explain complex issues to millions of subscribers through daily and weekly email newsletters. What conceivable benefit to the advancement of public knowledge is served by asking these *same* random mediocre people to write about foreign affairs, the U.S. legal system, history, race, economics, epidemiology, science, public health, education policy, technology, etc.?
Mar 3 6 tweets 2 min read
THREAD. Take a look at a San Francisco reporter misleading the public into being afraid of a progressive DA. (He’s 60 years old, and already facing 75 years in prison. These enhancements are not only contrary to all scientific evidence generally but would have zero effect here.) So, what’s the real goal? Begin again with the new Oakland DA what an unhinged media circus and millions in right wing cash did in San Francisco: spread misinformation like climate science denial to bolster disproven but profitable authoritarian nonsense.
Mar 2 6 tweets 2 min read
THREAD. Another day, another NYT article full of simplistic tropes and woeful inaccuracy. Think about how many corporate news articles you read about the political **game** of which party will "win" on crime and how few actually discuss real evidence. nytimes.com/2023/03/01/us/… Public safety is an area where we have *overwhelming* evidence about what works. There is a scientific consensus that things like investing in health care, early childhood education, pollution reduction, housing, etc. dramatically reduce harm and violence. civilrightscorps.org/wp-content/upl…
Feb 28 5 tweets 2 min read
An entire NYT article about undemocratic effort by Republicans + right-wing Dems to overrule local DC sentencing law and no actual explanation of the law! And NYT omits that there is a scientific consensus that harsher sentences have no general deterrence. nytimes.com/2023/02/27/us/… Reporting like this is so harmful. It’s like they actively do not want people to understand the issue. There has been so much local reporting and there are many local experts to debunk these Republican talking points. And NYT just repeats them. It’s like climate science denial.
Feb 22 6 tweets 2 min read
THREAD. Things just got weirder with the scandal of the unethical Harvard professors who are proposing the greatest expansion of police in world history: 500,000 more armed U.S. cops to make 7.8 million more arrests. An unhinged right-wing cop union has issued a dire warning: ImageImage The San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs' Association is one of the most brazen, fascist political forces in California history. Writing from a twitter account it claims is paid for by its PAC, it has now begun to disseminate the proposal by the two "socialist" Harvard profs.
Feb 20 4 tweets 1 min read
The DA was just caught trying to charge Alec Baldwin with an offense that was not on the books when the incident occurred--an Ex Post Facto violation of the Constitution. Check out their unethical statement to media. The DA should be disciplined for these public statements: Thanks to the astute @tbh4justice for pointing out their statement.
Feb 17 4 tweets 2 min read
People on the left should know that one of the two Harvard professors using sloppy/misleading/discredited claims to call for 500,000 more cops and 7.8 million more arrests sits on the board of a journal "developing...strategy with capitalism as its target" published by @jacobin. @jacobin People of good will and intellectual rigor should discuss and defend their consequential conduct. Instead, both @jacobin and @catalyst_theory have been silent about the ethical questions, sloppy scholarship, and serious political/moral/strategic questions it raises.
Feb 16 10 tweets 3 min read
THREAD. It’s important for everybody who cares about media propaganda and the rise of fascism to pay attention to the textbook authoritarianism playing out in India. The Hindu-nationalist government has told millions of people they are no longer citizens, and passed a new law linking citizenship to religion. It is engaging in rampant violence and threats against the press.
Feb 16 5 tweets 2 min read
The Twitter algorithm has reduced my engagement by about 80%. But my newsletter has hit over 10,000 free subscribers. Nothing will ever be paywalled. If you follow me on twitter, I hope you'll subscribe for free to get more in-depth analysis not dependent on twitter algorithm. There are also often stunning cat pictures and photos of my weird paintings. And there is an optional donation to support our legal work @CivRightsCorps. Below are a few of my favorite posts: equalityalec.substack.com
Feb 14 20 tweets 5 min read
Thread: As Democrats push for huge budget increases for cops, I'm thinking about my client Cindy Rodriguez. She was a 51-year-old mother of two living with a physical disability. Police arrested for shoplifting from a grocery store. What happened to her next is important. Because Cindy had never been arrested in her life, the DA told her that her case would be dismissed if she just paid some cash. This kind of extortion is common. DAs and cops across U.S. use cash from "diversion" programs to boost their already bloated budgets.
Feb 13 16 tweets 3 min read
THREAD. As Biden calls for more prison in response to fentanyl use, I ask the following question in this thread on the "War on Drugs": are punishment bureaucrats incompetent at achieving their goals, or are they pursuing goals that are different from what they tell us publicly? After over 40 years, the drug war has:

-Cost more than $1 trillion
-Caused over 50 million people to be caged (almost all of them poor), including over 20 million for marijuana
-Caused an estimated hundreds of millions of police stops that meet legal definition of kidnapping.