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.


3:36 pm
Fri June 17, 2011

Another Tug-of-War Over Location Of Terrorism Trial

Iraqi refugees Waad Alwan (left) and Mohanad Hammadi were arrested May 25 in Kentucky for allegedly conspiring to aid al-Qaida. If convicted on all charges, each could face life in prison.
U.S. Marshals Service AFP/Getty Images

The case of two Iraqi refugees captured in Kentucky after an FBI sting operation is reigniting the political debate over where to bring terrorists to justice.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says the men pose a danger to the people in his state and he wants them sent to Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. detention facility in Cuba. But, Justice Department leaders say the real danger is fear-mongering by politicians.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:00 pm
Wed June 15, 2011

ATF Agents: Gun Program A Leadership Failure

Three agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms marched to Congress on Wednesday to blow the whistle on a risky operation targeting gun traffickers.

They told the House Government Reform Committee that more than 1,000 guns tied to the ATF's investigation of drug cartels are still missing somewhere in the U.S. and Mexico. Lawmakers want to know who approved the operation in the first place.

Read more
6:01 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

Hearing To Examine Terrorist Recruitment In Prisons

U.S. Representative Peter King of New York, Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, uses his gavel to begin the first in a series of hearings on radicalization in the American Muslim community on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, March 10, 2011. The hearings have gotten heat from civil liberties groups who say there is not enough evidence.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday that looks at terrorist recruitment inside the walls of American jails and prisons. The last time New York Congressman Peter King (R) examined radicalization among Muslims, he generated a huge backlash from religious and civil rights groups.

But people who study prisons said the number of criminals who turn to extremism behind bars is small but worrisome. And they all point to the same case to open the conversation.

Read more
4:28 pm
Sun June 12, 2011

Policing The Police: U.S. Steps Up Enforcement

Demonstrators march in the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, in Los Angeles in 2009.
David McNew Getty Images

The U.S. Justice Department is stepping up its scrutiny of troubled police departments. Federal civil rights lawyers are investigating 15 departments from Arizona to New Jersey, asking whether officers are discriminating against minorities or using too much force.

When it comes to federal oversight of local police, there's only one place to start: the brutal attack on Rodney King. A Los Angeles police chief admitted King had been hit with batons more than 50 times, kicked at least seven times and shocked with a stun gun.

Read more
8:21 am
Sun June 12, 2011

Politics Unavoidable In John Edwards Indictment

As legal experts debate the strength of the campaign finance case against former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, details are emerging of how the indictment came about.

Lawyers for Edwards had pressed Justice Department officials for weeks to end the two-year investigation of the once-prominent Democrat with no criminal charges, a decision that would have carried profound political fallout. It would have been a hard sell even in an ordinary prosecution, let alone one completely interwined with politics.

Read more