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Crime & Punishment

Crossing Convictions: Trains, Borders, and a Criminal Past


December 17, 2014

Just before eight in the morning on September 6, I caught the Amtrak Adirondack Line at Penn Station, a ten-hour train journey up the Hudson River and the eastern edge of New York State, past Lake Champlain, snaking along a path carved into bluffs so that at times the rest of the train was visible through the windows ahead and behind me on the tracks above the water and the pines.
Destination Canada, Montreal, where I'd never been. I had no other purpose for the trip but to get out of the every day, stir my imagination, do some writing in a new city and country.

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What the Klink Taught Kerik: The Jailhouse Interview

New York Observer

April 6, 2011

Last Thursday morning, Bernard Kerik's lawyer, Andrew Schapiro, called Kerik's wife, Hala, to give her the bad news before it became public. Kerik's federal appeal of the four-year sentence he was given last February, for tax fraud and lying to the White House, had been denied.
The decision came swiftly and took Kerik, his family and his legal team by surprise. Federal appeals decisions often drag on for four to eight months. It had been just a week and a half, however, since oral arguments in the appeal of the United States of America v. Bernard Kerik were presented at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Courthouse near City Hall.
A thin crowd of around 20 people were scattered around the dark wood gallery that morning. Ms. Kerik; Kerik's son from a previous marriage, Joe; and John Picciano, Kerik's longtime friend and corrections, police and security consulting colleague, sat in the back row.

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Mystery to the End

The Rumpus

October 16, 2013

My mom recently read about Anne Perry in The Writer's Almanac and sent me the link, still feeding me what's good to eat: Perry, an international bestselling crime novelist who at fifteen had helped murder a friend's mother. The Almanac was featuring her on her birthday, October 28. A Scorpio, like me...

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How To Stop Prisons from Turning Criminals into Terrorists


May 5, 2016

Each time I learn of another terrorist who spent time in prison, I'm taken back to my own prison time. In 1994, I was caught smuggling hashish into South Korea and spent three and a half years imprisoned there. Since then I've struggled to understand the nature of confinement and its effects on the individual.

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