I write about policing, criminal justice and the terrifying collapse of order in our major cities. I spent several years as an investigator for a firm of criminal defense attorneys in Jacksonville, Florida, a.k.a. Murder City. This meant that, every day, I spent hours interviewing violent felons in jails and prisons in Florida and Georgia. I also was the firm's Spanish translator. Because of that, my viewpoint is from the jail cell looking out, not the safe suburbs looking in. I live in a high-crime neighborhood where people are shot, bludgeoned and stabbed regularly and where I have to carry pepper spray and a combat knife just to walk the dog. This experience of knowing violent criminals intimately, and living in justified fear of them, is unfortunately absent among the elected officials, judges, academics and journalists who determine, sometimes for better but usually for worse, the laws of the land and the policies and standing orders of police.
I studied at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela in Spain and graduated with honors from Princeton University.