Carrie Johnson

Carrie Johnson is a Justice Correspondent for the Washington Desk.

She covers a wide variety of stories about justice issues, law enforcement and legal affairs for NPR's flagship programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as the Newscasts and NPR.org.

While in this role, Johnson has chronicled major challenges to the landmark voting rights law, a botched law enforcement operation targeting gun traffickers along the Southwest border, and the Obama administration's deadly drone program for suspected terrorists overseas.

Prior to coming to NPR in 2010, Johnson worked at the Washington Post for 10 years, where she closely observed the FBI, the Justice Department and criminal trials of the former leaders of Enron, HealthSouth and Tyco. Earlier in her career, she wrote about courts for the weekly publication Legal Times.

Outside of her role at NPR, Johnson regularly moderates or appears on legal panels for the American Bar Association, the American Constitution Society, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and others. She's talked about her work on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, and other outlets.

Her work has been honored with awards from the Society for Professional Journalists and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She has been a finalist for the Loeb award for financial journalism and for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for team coverage of the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

Johnson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Benedictine University in Illinois.

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2:48pm

Mon July 23, 2012
The Two-Way

To Reduce Spending On Prisons, Justice Wants To Speed Up Release Dates

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 3:13 pm

In a theme playing out all over the country, Justice Department officials are proposing new ways to put the brakes on massive prison expenditures that have been eating up a bigger portion of their flat-lined annual budget.

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3:02am

Wed July 18, 2012
Law

For Pirates, U.S. Courts Offer No Safe Harbor

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 9:57 am

The German tanker Marida Marguerite, which was hijacked off the coast of Oman in 2010.
Dietmar Hasenpusch EPA/Landov

It's a bad time to be a pirate, at least in the American justice system.

Piracy on the high seas is one of the oldest crimes on the books. But U.S. authorities are using 18th century law in new ways to go after people who may never actually climb on board a ship and the men who negotiate and finance the plots.

About 1,000 pirates are in custody all over the world; about 30 of them are incarcerated in the United States.

Capturing Pirates Over Tea

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2:58pm

Thu July 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Wells Fargo Agrees To $175 Million Settlement Over Lending Discrimination

Wells Fargo has denied claims of lending discrimination and said it's settling "solely for the purpose of avoiding contested litigation with" the Justice Department
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Wells Fargo Bank agreed to pay at least $175 million Thursday to resolve allegations it discriminated against black and Latino home buyers, in what the Justice Department called the second largest settlement over fair lending violations.

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3:56pm

Tue July 10, 2012
Law

Justice Delayed: After Three Decades, An Apology

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:34 pm

Kirk Odom and his wife, Harriet, outside the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse in Washington, D.C. On Tuesday, the Justice Department said there was "clear and convincing evidence" that Odom is innocent of a 1981 rape and robbery, for which he spent more than two decades behind bars.
Carrie Johnson NPR

Nearly 31 years after he was convicted of rape and armed robbery, Kirk Odom on Tuesday all but won his fight to be declared an innocent man.

The Justice Department filed court papers saying, "There is clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Odom is innocent of the charges for which he was convicted," and apologized for the "terrible injustice."

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3:14pm

Mon July 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Four More Charged In Border Patrol Killing Linked To 'Fast And Furious'

With wanted posters off to the side, James L. Turgal, Jr., right, FBI Special Agent in Charge, listens as Laura E. Duffy, United States Attorney Southern District of California, announces the indictments on five suspects involved in the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on Monday.
Ross D. Franklin AP

The Justice Department has unsealed criminal charges against four more people it says are connected to the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, as the FBI offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture of the fugitives.

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3:05am

Mon July 9, 2012
Governing

Justice's New Watchdog Meets Fast And Furious

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 5:28 am

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is reviewing secret emails about the department's Fast and Furious operation.

The legal battle between Republican lawmakers and Attorney General Eric Holder over access to documents in a gun scandal could take months, if not years, to resolve.

But one man has already been sifting through secret emails about the operation known as Fast and Furious. He's Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department's new watchdog.

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2:59pm

Fri July 6, 2012
Law

How The Health Care Ruling Might Affect Civil Rights

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 4:46 pm

People gather outside the Supreme Court on June 28, the morning the health care ruling was announced. Lawyers say they're still teasing out the consequences for other key areas of the law — including civil rights.
David Goldman AP

There's been lots of talk about how the Supreme Court's landmark decision to uphold the health care law could affect the federal Medicaid program and President Obama's political standing. But days after the historic ruling, lawyers say they're still teasing out the consequences for other key areas of the law — including civil rights.

At first blush, it might seem odd that a case about the Affordable Care Act would send civil rights experts scrambling back to their law books.

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4:33pm

Mon July 2, 2012
Business

Glaxo Agrees to Pay $3 Billion in Fraud Settlement

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 6:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. In what the government is calling the biggest health care fraud settlement in history, drug maker Glaxo SmithKline has agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges and pay $3 billion. As NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, the Justice Department says Glaxo used illegal tactics to promote two popular depression drugs and failed to report safety data on a third drug for diabetes.

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5:00am

Fri June 29, 2012
Politics

House Votes To Peruse Criminal Action Against Holder

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 8:32 am

For the first time, the U.S. House of Representatives has declared a sitting attorney general in contempt of Congress. In a pair of votes cast largely along party lines, the House moved to pursue criminal sanctions against Eric Holder and to take steps to sue him in federal court. They blame Holder for not turning over documents about the Fast and Furious gun scandal.

6:55pm

Tue June 19, 2012
U.S.

Senators Get Time In Solitary Confinement

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:59 pm

An exercise area for inmates in solitary confinement in California's Pelican Bay prison. Inmates are allowed to leave their windowless cells for 2 1/2 hours daily to exercise and bathe.
Michael Montgomery Center for Investigative Reporting

At any given moment, about 15,000 men and women are living in solitary confinement in the federal prison system, housed in tiny cells not much larger than a king-sized bed.

"It is hard to describe in words what such a small space begins to look like, feel like and smell like when someone is required to live virtually their entire life in it," says Craig Haney, a psychologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

But Tuesday, Haney, who has studied life inside prisons for three decades, had an opportunity to paint that picture.

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