Jonathan Rapping

Jonathan Rapping was awarded a 2014 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship for his work with Gideon’s Promise, the organization he founded along with his wife, Ilham Askia. He is also an Associate Professor of Law at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. He is currently serving as the Director of Strategic Planning and Organizational Development for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender as Gideon’s Promise and Maryland embark on a partnership to improve criminal justice in that state.

Articles by this author

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Thursday, October 29, 2015
Public Defenders Key to Reducing Mass Incarceration
The well-known introduction to Law & Order —the longest running legal series in TV history—is indicative of the criminal justice narrative that dominates American thinking: “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups: the police,...
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Saturday, May 16, 2015
The Other Baltimore Story: Ronald Hammond and ‘Routine Injustice’
Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would investigate police practices in Baltimore in the wake of demonstrations sparked by the death of Freddie Gray. The next day the tragic story of Ronald Hammond appeared in the Baltimore Sun . Hammond grew up in foster care, suffered...
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Saturday, March 21, 2015
Mississippi Judge Bars Public Defenders from Representing Clients
Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) is asking the Department of Justice to investigate recent events in Hinds County, Mississippi, where a judge is refusing to allow public defenders to represent their clients in his court. Judge Jeffrey Weill seems to believe public defenders should be more...
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Monday, November 10, 2014
One of the Most Important Civil and Human Rights Battles of Our Time
Criminal justice systems across the country have come to accept, and perpetuate, a shameful standard of justice for poor people. The basic humanity of the indigent accused is too often denied, and the democratic necessity of access to effective counsel is too often ignored. Gideon’s Promise is a...
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