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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5:20pm

Thu August 2, 2012
It's All Politics

Head Of Embattled ATF Says Running Bureau 'Testing All Of My Skill Sets'

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 8:00 pm

B. Todd Jones, acting director of the ATF, speaks in Washington in 2010 while Attorney General Eric Holder looks on.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Nearly a year ago, Justice Department leaders turned to B. Todd Jones to solve one of their most urgent problems: a crisis at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The former U.S. Marine answered the call to duty and agreed to serve as ATF's acting director. His mission: to turn the bureau around in the face of congressional investigations that have shaken ATF to its core.

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4:32pm

Mon July 30, 2012
Law

Lawmakers Tangle Over Renewing Surveillance Law

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:46 pm

The Justice Department and the intelligence community say reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act, which expires at the end of the year, is their top national security priority. But an interesting mix of senators are sounding alarms about whether the government is secretly gathering too much information on innocent Americans, and keeping it for far too long. They cite a newly declassified letter that exposes an incident where even the Obama administration acknowledges it went too far.

12:12pm

Thu July 26, 2012
The Two-Way

Justice Department Employees Cited For Nepotism In Hiring

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:37 pm

The Justice Department inspector general has uncovered what he calls illegal hiring practices at the federal agency. In a new report he cites eight employees for trying to find jobs for their children and other relatives.

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5:47pm

Tue July 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Judge Orders Release Of Man Accused Of Negotiating On Behalf Of Somali Pirates

A federal judge has ordered the U.S. government to free a man accused of negotiating on behalf of Somali pirates, pending a Justice Department appeal.

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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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