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.

Pages

4:11am

Tue December 16, 2014
Law

Judge Regrets Harsh Human Toll Of Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:39 am

The shocking death of basketball player Len Bias of a cocaine overdose in 1986 led Congress to pass tough mandatory sentences for drug crimes.
AP

It seems long ago now, but in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, murders and robberies exploded as cocaine and other illegal drugs ravaged American cities.

Then came June 19, 1986, when the overdose of a college athlete sent the nation into shock just days after the NBA draft. Basketball star Len Bias could have been anybody's brother or son.

Congress swiftly responded by passing tough mandatory sentences for drug crimes. Those sentences, still in place, pack federal prisons to this day. More than half of the 219,000 federal prisoners are serving time for drug offenses.

Read more

3:38am

Tue December 16, 2014
Law

From Judges To Inmates, Finding The Human Casualties Of Mandatory Sentencing

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 7:13 am

NPR's series looks at the human toll of mandatory minimum prison sentences. The White House and the Justice Department have taken the unprecedented step of asking for candidates who might win early release from prison through presidential pardons or commutations in the final years of the Obama presidency.
Dan Henson iStockphoto

The United States spends nearly $7 billion a year to operate a network of federal prisons that house more than 200,000 inmates. About half of them are incarcerated for drug crimes, a legacy of 1980s laws that prosecutors use to target not only kingpins but also low-level couriers and girlfriends. Multiple convictions for small-time offenses under those laws mean thousands of people are locked up for decades, or even the rest of their lives.

Read more

4:11am

Tue December 9, 2014
National Security

As Torture Report's Release Nears, CIA And Opponents Ready Responses

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:27 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more

3:57am

Mon December 8, 2014
Law

Justice Department Moves To Further Rein In Racial Profiling

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 6:44 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:05am

Thu December 4, 2014
Law

Justice Department Plans New Cybercrime Team

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 12:17 pm

The leader of the Justice Department's criminal division is expected to announce today the creation of a new unit to prevent cybercrime and work alongside law enforcement, private sector companies and Congress.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell will debut the initiative at a daylong CyberCrime2020 symposium at Georgetown University's law school, according to a copy of her prepared remarks.

Read more

Pages