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Karen Houppert

Karen Houppert is a Baltimore-based freelance journalist. Her book on indigent defense will be published by the New Press in March 2013 to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright.

  • 44 Hours in a Baltimore Jail for Filming the Police

    Along with hundreds of others, Geremy Faulkner was swept up in one of the haphazard mass arrests that are overwhelming the courts.

    Karen Houppert

  • Criminal JusticeAugust 25, 2014

    Without Parents or Lawyers, Thousands of Children Brave Chaos of Immigration Courts Alone

    An overwhelmed system struggles to meet President Obama’s order to fast-track deportation hearings on 62,000 lone child migrants.

    Karen Houppert

  • Jails and PrisonsAugust 22, 2012

    Locked Up Without a Key in New Orleans

    Seven years after Katrina, poor people accused of crimes are being denied their right to counsel and left to languish behind bars.

    Karen Houppert

  • Armed ConflictsApril 16, 2010

    KBR on Trial–At Last

     Five years after alerting authorities that she was gang-raped in Iraq, KBR/Halliburton employee Jamie Leigh Jones will finally get her day in court

    Karen Houppert

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  • Criminal JusticeApril 17, 2008

    KBR’s Rape Problem

    Three women contractors raped in Iraq testify before a Senate committee: why has the Justice Department failed to prosecute crimes like these?

    Karen Houppert

  • Armed ConflictsApril 3, 2008

    Another KBR Rape Case

    In the wake of Jamie Leigh Jones's highly publicized charges, a woman comes forward with new allegations of a brutal sexual assault and cover-up at a KBR camp in Iraq.

    Karen Houppert

  • October 25, 2007

    Maryland Judge: Some Domestic Violence Victims Like Being Hit

    Domestic violence cases are notoriously difficult to prosecute.

    But every once in a while, prosecutors get handed the tools for a conviction on a silver platter: An impartial eyewitness who just happens to be a police officer.

    Such was the case in a domestic violence trial that made the local papers here in Maryland last week. A cop pulling into an Exxon station saw a man hit his girlfriend in the face three times, called in back-up and had the man arrested.

    Karen Houppert

  • October 15, 2007

    Nobel Prize Winner “Abandons” Family

    Why is it that when a man leaves his wife and she retains custody of the kids we say, simply, "he is divorced?"

    Yet when a woman, say Doris Lessing, leaves her husband and he retains custody of the kids we say "she abandoned her family?"

    …just something to mull over as we read the New York Times tribute to Doris Lessing, the fabulous feminist writer and 87-year-old winner of the Nobel prize for Literature....Just something to consider, lest us feminists get too cocky and drift toward any you've-come-a-long-way-baby reflection on The Golden Notebook.

    Karen Houppert

  • September 25, 2007

    Soldiers Who Steal

    When it comes to this whole scandal regarding graft in US military contracts, I like to muse over the strange mea culpa put forward by military brass who admitted to The New York Times yesterday that officers in Kuwait may have been a little under-trained.

    That's why they accepted bribes when they shouldn't have. They should have had more contracting experience and training, military officials explained, then they would have learned that skimming approximately $6 billion off the top of awards was the wrong thing to do. (Apparently, this is not covered in Contracting 101.) Further, brass says, they should have annual ethics training to...what? Remind them that 365 days may have passed, but that stealing is still wrong?

    Karen Houppert

  • September 13, 2007

    Dispatch from War-Torn Baltimore

    I live in Baltimore, Maryland.

    At the moment, that is slightly more dangerous than being an American soldier in Afghanistan.

    In Afganhistan, just over eighty US soldiers have been killed so far this year. In Baltimore, we're up to 215 murders in 2007.

    Karen Houppert