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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4:21pm

Tue September 25, 2012
All Tech Considered

National Security Experts Go Rogue For 'Drone Smackdown'

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 pm

Alice Beauheim, her father and Bill Love fly their homemade machines at the Drone Smackdown in Manassas, Va., on Sunday. Objections by the Federal Aviation Administration forced organizers to hold the tongue-in-cheek contest outside of Washington, D.C.
John Procter

It started as trash talk between two contributors to a national security blog. They decided to host a drone smackdown to see if one guy's machine could take down another.

Unarmed drones, of course. The kind you can put together with a toy-store model and $200 in modifications. But the game turned out to have some serious undertones.

First, a word about the location. For a moment last week, the whole drone smackdown was up in the air.

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6:49pm

Wed September 19, 2012
The Two-Way

Plans For John Hinckley's Transfer Have Been Put On Hold

Plans that would allow John Hinckley to leave a mental institution and go live with his mother are on hold. His doctors say the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan is well enough to deserve more freedom.

But a key part of the treatment plan is now up in the air.

Therapists in Virginia, near the home of John Hinckley's elderly mother, say they want to withdraw from a plan to treat him several days a week.

Hinckley's longtime defense lawyers say they want to quit too, because they're not getting paid any more.

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3:04am

Wed September 19, 2012
Law

ACLU Pushes For Answers On Drone Strikes

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:28 am

A U.S. Predator drone flies through the night sky over Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. Drone strikes ordered by the Obama administration have killed more than a dozen al-Qaida leaders around the world.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Drone strikes ordered by the Obama administration have killed more than a dozen al-Qaida leaders around the world, in places ranging from Afghanistan to Somalia. In speeches and public appearances, U.S. officials say those attacks are legal and essential to protect the nation's security.

But when civil liberties groups asked for more information about targeted killing, the CIA told them it's a secret.

On Thursday, they'll square off in front of a federal appeals court in Washington.

Pushing For Records

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5:12pm

Mon September 3, 2012
Politics

Hatch Act Keeps Federal Workers Out Of Politics

With only a couple of months before the election, authorities are putting out word that federal employees need to beware of the line between protected political activity and prohibited electioneering. A few high-profile dustups have attracted attention already this year and watchdogs are investigating 168 possible violations of the Hatch Act.

3:47pm

Thu August 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Justice Department Closes Investigation Into Deaths Of Two Detainees

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 8:19 pm

The Justice Department has closed an investigation into the deaths of two detainees in American custody in Iraq and Afghanistan without bringing any criminal charges.

Attorney General Eric Holder said prosecutors had declined to proceed "because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt."

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4:01am

Mon August 27, 2012
Law

John Walker Lindh Sues For Prison Prayer Group

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 1:34 pm

John Walker Lindh was captured in Afghanistan in 2002 after fighting with the Taliban.
File Photo AP

John Walker Lindh was a middle-class kid in Northern California who converted to Islam and went to travel the world. U.S. authorities eventually captured him in Afghanistan after Sept. 11, when he was allegedly fighting alongside the Taliban.

His story was the focus of a Law and Order episode, and a song called "John Walker's Blues" by Steve Earle.

For the past five years, Lindh has been living in a secret prison facility in Indiana with convicted terrorists, neo-Nazis and other inmates who get special monitoring.

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2:47am

Fri August 17, 2012
Law

When The Lawyer Becomes The Object Of Prosecution

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 11:06 am

U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer says Charles Daum, a longtime lawyer, betrayed his profession.
Alex Wong Getty Images

For more than 30 years, Charles Daum made a living by defending people accused of run-of-the-mill crimes. Then he met a charismatic Washington, D.C.-area man charged with distributing cocaine.

What happened next is a plot worthy of a television crime drama.

The accused drug dealer, Delante White, turned the tables and helped convict his own defense lawyer of manufacturing evidence and putting on false testimony to help the drug dealer's case.

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3:24am

Fri August 10, 2012
U.S.

Sikh Shooting Puts Focus On Hate Groups At Home

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 6:28 am

Rescue workers stand in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City after an explosion on April 19, 1995. The bombing killed 168 people.
David Longstreath AP

The slaying of six people at a Sikh temple by a gunman with ties to white supremacists has raised questions about the scope of domestic terrorism — and what law enforcement is doing to stop it.

Federal law enforcement agencies cracked down hard on homegrown extremists after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people, including 19 children at a day care center. Many leaders went to prison, died or went bankrupt.

But in recent years, the spread of the Internet, the worsening economy and changing demographic patterns have been giving new voice to hate groups.

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5:32pm

Tue August 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Fast And Furious Whistle-blower Reaches Agreement Over Retaliation Claims

Peter Forcelli, an ATF agent who blew the whistle on management lapses in the gun trafficking scandal known as Fast and Furious, has reached an agreement with the bureau over his retaliation claims.

A lawyer for Forcelli declined to disclose the terms of the settlement because it was the product of a confidential mediation process.

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2:43pm

Mon August 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Men Convicted In Infamous 1984 D.C. Murder Lose Bid To Overturn Judgments

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:36 pm

A judge in Washington, D.C., has turned back an effort by seven men charged with a notorious 1984 murder to overturn their convictions, ruling the evidence against them remains "overwhelming" and the testimony of witnesses who changed their story are "not worthy of belief."

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