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

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.


11:54 am
Tue July 12, 2011

Obama Cracks Down On Medical Marijuana

Ryan Cook reaches for a jar of medical marijuana at one of his clinics in Denver, Colo. on June 24.
Ed Andrieski AP

In many ways, things have been looking up for supporters of medical marijuana. Opinion polls now suggest that the American public is swinging behind the idea — and it's already legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia. But the Obama administration has been taking a very different view lately.

Marijuana has been cropping up all over the country, becoming legal for medical use in places like Montana and Colorado, where the drug's so available that it became a target on Saturday Night Live this year.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Mon July 11, 2011

Federal Authorities To Collect More Data On Gun Buyers Along Border

The Obama White House has cleared the way for federal authorities to get more information on gun purchases along the southwest border.

Dealers who sell multiple semi-automatic weapons to the same person in a short period of time must report the sales to federal authorities.

The new rule will apply in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas — states where illegal gun running from the U.S. to Mexico is rampant — and comes as gun trafficking along the border gets scrutiny from Congress.

Read more
National Security
2:01 pm
Wed July 6, 2011

Terrorism Case Re-Ignites National Security Debate

Photo reviewed by US military officials shows Camp VI entrance in Guantanamo where 70 prisoners were detained on Guantanamo October 2010.
AFP/Getty Images

Somali man Ahmed Warsame was picked up in the Gulf and interrogated by intelligence officials on a U.S. Navy vessel for two months before law enforcement agents came in to question him.

The FBI flew him to New York Monday, where he'll face a civilian trial on conspiracy and weapons charges that could send him to prison for life.

But the allegations against Warsame are nowhere near as important as what his case says about the Obama administration and the politics of national security.

First, the politics.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Wed July 6, 2011

ATF Chief Tells Congress What He Knows About 'Fast And Furious'

Key lawmakers in Congress are warning the Justice Department not to retaliate against whistle-blowers and leaders at the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. They're reaching out only days after the ATF leader met with congressional investigators to talk about a gun trafficking scandal.

Read more
12:01 am
Tue July 5, 2011

A Murder, 7 Convictions And Many Question Marks

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

In the fall of 1984, in a rain-soaked alley in Washington, D.C., a street vendor found a tiny woman lying dead on the floor of a garage.

She was Catherine Fuller, a mother of six, who left home to run a quick errand and never came back. She had been beaten, sexually assaulted and killed all within sight of a busy public street.

The murder horrified and frightened the city. Over the next few months, police arrested 17 people in connection with the crime.

Read more