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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8:18am

Sat March 21, 2015
Law

Justice Department Weighs In On Assembly-Line Justice For Children

Originally published on Sun March 22, 2015 1:46 pm

A 12-year-old on trial in the stabbing death of a 9-year-old talks to his lawyer in 2014 in a Michigan circuit court. The Justice Department is targeting a Georgia case in the hopes of making legal representation for juveniles there more effective, but they say the problems occur nationwide.
Chris Clark Landov

The Justice Department for the first time is weighing in on a state court case on whether some courts are depriving juveniles of their rights to a lawyer.

The department filed a statement of interest in a Georgia case that alleges that public defense in four southern counties is so underfunded that low-income juveniles are routinely denied the right to legal representation.

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1:45pm

Wed March 18, 2015
It's All Politics

Attorney General Holder Jokes That Republicans Have 'A New Fondness For Me'

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 6:00 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder has endured a rocky relationship with lawmakers during his tenure. But he's all they have until his successor is confirmed.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Attorney General Eric Holder joked Wednesday that given nearly six months of Senate delays in confirming his successor at the Justice Department, "it's almost as if the Republicans in Congress have discovered a new fondness for me."

"I'm feeling love there that I haven't felt for some time. And where was all this affection the last six years?" the attorney general asked, to laughter, in brief remarks at the Center for American Progress in Washington.

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5:36pm

Thu March 12, 2015
The Two-Way

U.S. Attorney General Holder Denounces Police Shootings In Missouri

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:38 am

Attorney General Eric Holder denounces the shootings of Ferguson, Mo., officers and announces six pilot cities for a community trust and justice initiative.
Andrew Harnik AP

Attorney General Eric Holder has condemned the unknown assailant who shot two police officers overnight in Ferguson, Mo., as a "punk who was trying to sow discord" and said he hoped the "disgusting and cowardly attack" would not unravel the progress the community is making to restore trust in the police and the municipal courts there.

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4:59pm

Fri March 6, 2015
Politics

Justice Department To File Corruption Charges Against Sen. Menendez

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 7:04 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:06pm

Tue March 3, 2015
The Two-Way

Source: Probe Of Ferguson Police Uncovers Racist Comment About Obama

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 9:08 am

Police officers watch protesters as smoke fills the streets of Ferguson, Mo., on Nov. 25, 2014.
Charlie Riedel AP

A federal civil rights investigation of the Ferguson, Mo., police force has concluded that the department violated the Constitution with discriminatory policing practices against African Americans, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the report.

The investigation, the source says, concluded that blacks were disproportionately targeted by the police and the justice system, which has led to a lack of trust in police and courts and to few partnerships for public safety.

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3:22pm

Mon March 2, 2015
The Two-Way

Task Force Calls For Independent Probes Of Police-Involved Shootings

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:38 pm

Law enforcement agencies should measure community trust the same way they monitor crime rates. That's among the recommendations of a task force established after police-involved killings of unarmed black people in Ferguson, Mo., in Cleveland and on Staten Island, N.Y.

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4:50pm

Tue February 24, 2015
Law

Little-Known Laws Help Sex Trafficking Victims Clear Criminal Records

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 9:05 am

This woman, who has had her prostitution charge wiped away, says she got the lotus tattoo to cover up the brand of a former pimp. "Once they put their name on me, I was their property," she adds. She says she got the word "persist" tattooed as a reminder to keep moving forward.
Evie Stone NPR

Advocates for women arrested on prostitution charges want the justice system to adopt a different approach. They say instead of being locked up, many prostitutes should actually be considered victims of human trafficking. And they're starting to offer those women a way to clean up the criminal records left behind.

One of them lives in an apartment not far from Dallas. Inside, a 24-year-old woman pushes up her sleeve to show off a tattoo of a lotus flower. The deep purple ink covers up an older mark.

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5:50pm

Thu February 12, 2015
Law

FBI Director Wades Into Contentious Debate Over Policing And Race

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 6:26 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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4:08am

Thu February 5, 2015
Law

Supporters Say Imprisoned Nun Is Being Held In 'Unfair' Conditions

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 9:44 am

Sister Megan Rice ahead of her 2013 trial in Washington, D.C. In 2012, she and fellow anti-nuclear activists successfully broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., to draw the world's attention to the danger of nuclear weapons.
Linda Davidson The Washington Post via Getty Images

Megan Rice celebrated her 85th birthday last week — in a high-rise detention center in Brooklyn. The Catholic nun is serving nearly three years in prison for evading security and painting peace slogans on the walls of a nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Rice is far from the only religious figure to run into legal trouble. There's a long tradition of Catholic clergy protesting nuclear weapons, from the Berrigan brothers in the 1980s to the fictional nun Jane Ingalls, featured in the series Orange is the New Black.

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6:48am

Thu January 29, 2015
Politics

Attorney General Nomination Expected To Advance To Full Senate

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:49 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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