In the US, most criminal justice reform focuses overwhelmingly on nonviolent drug offenders. But violent offenders might deserve leniency, too – here’s why
Michael Flournoy attempted to murder someone just a few blocks away from the cafe where we’re now eating brunch. That’s what his records say, anyway. In 1996, aged 21, Flournoy was involved in a shooting which left Carolyn Jones, an innocent bystander, with a bullet in the brain.
Jones was a devoted mother and pious churchgoer who worked as a 911 operator and spent her free time volunteering. She’d just finished counseling teenage girls at a church in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, when she was shot in the head – collateral damage in a dispute between rival drug dealers. The bullet didn’t kill Jones, but life as she knew it came to an end that night: it wasn’t clear if she’d ever be able to walk or talk again.