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.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Six Men Ask Judge To Overturn Convictions In Notorious D.C. Murder Case

In 1985, Chris Turner was convicted of the murder of Catherine Fuller. After spending decades in prison, Turner is now out on parole; he maintains his innocence. He is shown here in his childhood neighborhood in Northeast Washington, D.C., about 100 yards away from what was Fuller's home.
Amanda Steen NPR

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 1:39 pm

Six men wearing bright orange prison jumpsuits appeared in a D.C. courtroom today, seeking to overturn their decades-old convictions in a brutal murder by arguing the Justice Department failed to turn over critical evidence that could have helped them assert their innocence.

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Prosecutor Who Led Ill-Fated Ted Stevens Case To Leave Justice Department

A federal prosecutor who led the elite public integrity unit when the case against the late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens collapsed has told associates he will leave the Justice Department.

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Law
1:20 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Does The Case Against John Edwards Go Too Far?

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards (left) speaks to the media with attorney Abbe Lowell last October. His trial on alleged campaign finance violations is set to begin Thursday.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 8:22 am

Prospective jurors head to court in North Carolina on Thursday to find out whether they'll be chosen to sit in judgment of former U.S. Sen. John Edwards.

Only four years ago, Edwards was running for the White House as a Democratic candidate. Now, he's a defendant, fighting campaign finance charges that could send him away for as long as 30 years.

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The Two-Way
4:04 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

'Enforcer' For Violent Mexican Drug Cartel Faces Life Sentence

The self described enforcer for a violent Juarez, Mexico, drug cartel has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, racketeering and murder charges that could send him away for the rest of his life.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Former CIA Officer Indicted For Allegedly Sharing Secrets With Reporters

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, leaves federal court in Alexandria, Va., in January.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 4:49 pm

A federal grand jury in Virginia has indicted former CIA officer John Kiriakou on charges that he violated the Espionage Act by allegedly sharing secret information about some of his colleagues with reporters.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Fri March 30, 2012

FBI's Outgoing Cyber Cop Says Americans Don't See Size Of Threat

Outgoing FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 11:17 am

The FBI's top cyber cop retires today after nearly a quarter century in federal law enforcement.

Shawn Henry started looking into computer issues in the run up to Y2K (the arrival of the year 2000). He says that experience left him hungry to learn more about the way electronics were changing the way we live — and the way criminals operate.The movement of so much sensitive information online poses an "existential threat," according to Henry.

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It's All Politics
3:10 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Supreme Court Limits Damage Payments To Whistle-Blowers

Under Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling, whistle-blowers like Linda Tripp (seen here in 1998) have few options in suing the government for damages.
Mark Wilson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:14 pm

The Supreme Court has dealt privacy advocates a huge setback. By a 5-3 majority, the court ruled that people who sue the government for invading their privacy can only recover out-of-pocket damages. And whistle-blower lawyers say that leaves victims who suffer emotional trouble and smeared reputations with few if any options.

Justice Samuel Alito and all four of his conservative colleagues turned back a challenge from a pilot named Stan Cooper. (Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in the case.)

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Prosecutor Says A Desire To Win Led To Misconduct In Sen. Stevens' Case

Special federal prosecutor Henry F. Schuelke testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 2:26 pm

A special prosecutor who spent two years exploring Justice Department misconduct in the botched case against late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) said "contest living" — the desire to win a big case — explained the failure to follow the rules in one of the biggest political corruption prosecutions in decades.

"[Lawyers] do not want to have to undermine our case if it can possibly be avoided," investigator Hank Schuelke told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. "That motive to win the case was the principal operative motive."

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Justice Department's Handling Of Sen. Stevens Case To Be Aired On Capitol Hill

Former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, in 2008.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:54 am

The Justice Department's 'systematic concealment" of evidence that might have helped the late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, defend himself in a corruption case will get a fresh airing Wednesday, when special prosecutor Henry Schuelke offers Senate testimony about his blistering 500-page report.

He's due to be before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. ET.

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U.S.
7:47 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Was Trayvon Martin's Killing A Federal Hate Crime?

A memorial to 17-year-old Trayvon Martin outside the community in Sanford, Fla., where the teen was shot.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

Civil rights groups cheered the news that the Justice Department would look into the case of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen shot by a man on neighborhood watch in Sanford, Fla.

But the bar for the Justice Department to make a federal case is high. Ultimately, it has few options at its disposal when it comes to investigating the teen's death.

Former prosecutors say one key tool passed early in the Obama administration might apply in this case: the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

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