Criminal justice

Democrats, the party of pot

Beto O'Rourke is interviewed in the spin room after last week's debate in Houston. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Beto O'Rourke is interviewed in the spin room after last week's debate in Houston. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Joining other 2020 Democrats, Beto O'Rourke released Thursday an "End the War on Drugs" proposal to legalize marijuana "and begin to repair the damage [the war on drugs] has done to communities of color."

Why it matters: The issue reflects how fast 2020 Democrats have moved toward their base. Legalizing marijuana, with a focus on social justice, unites the field, per the N.Y. Times.

States turn skeptical on jailhouse informants as DNA evidence exonerates dozens

Evidence
Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Some states are strengthening rules on the practice of using testimony from jailhouse informants in trials, after new DNA technology exonerated dozens of people wrongly convicted based on those informants' lies, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The credibility of jailhouse informants has always been considered suspect, since they may be motivated to reduce their own sentences by providing incriminating, but inaccurate information. Nearly a fifth of the 365 people exonerated by new DNA evidence nationwide were convicted partly based on lying informants, according to the Innocence Project.