Opinion Writing


Photo Credit: Rashid Tillis with Right Time Photography

Njeri graduated from Spelman College and Harvard Law School. She loves writing and speaking about issues related to criminal justice, race, and politics.

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Njeri is a published author and opinion columnist for USA Today.

Below are samples of some of the opinion articles she has written.

Recent Articles

Jury finds Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers guilty. But the racist defense arguments still sting, co-authored with Geoff Corn, USA Today November 24, 2021 available at https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/11/24/ahmaud-arbery-killers-defense-racist/8751036002/

Why the Ahmaud Arbery Case Verdict Was Clearly the Right One, BET online November 24, 2021 available at https://www.bet.com/article/pygd1v/ahmaud-arbery-verdict-why-verdict-was-right-opinion

Why the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Was Little More Than A Controlled Circus, BET online November 22, 2021 available at https://www.bet.com/article/xl7uv4/kyle-rittenhouse-shooting-trial-controlled-circus

Powell taught me to put USA over GOP, USA Today October 19, 2021 in print page 7A; online October 18, 2021 available at https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2021/10/18/colin-powell-black-republicans-appreciation/8509213002/

Overturning Bill Cosby sex assault conviction is difficult to accept, but the right decision, USA Today July 1, 2021 available at https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/07/01/bill-cosby-sex-abuse-conviction-rape-overturned-prosecutor/7824554002/

Tweens are too young for their own Instagram platform, USA Today May 21, 2021 available at https://news.yahoo.com/don-t-tweens-daughter-own-090053119.html.

Crime Victim Compensation Funds and Police Violence, co-authored with Valena Beety, USA Today May 4, 2021 available at – https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/05/04/victim-compensation-funds-should-include-police-violence-witnesses-column/4923404001/

Black Prosecutors Inspired Trust and Hope in the Derek Chauvin Trial, USA Today April 28, 2021 – available at https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/04/28/derek-chauvin-trial-black-prosecutors-inspired-hope-trust-column/4869377001/

The Country Needed a Guilty Verdict, but the Laws Still Need to Change USA Today April 20, 2021- available at https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/policing/2021/04/20/nation-needed-guilty-verdict-chauvin-case-but-laws-still-need-change/7309175002/

Weary but undaunted – Black Women Made the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Inauguration Happen, USA Today January 20, 2021

Available online at: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/01/20/joe-biden-kamala-harris-inauguration-black-voters-column/4215230001/

What Joe Biden needs to do in the first 100 days, USA Today January 20, 2021 Available online at: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/01/20/usa-today-contributors-bidens-first-100-days-column/4216744001/

Don’t kill the lawyers, but sanction quite a few
co-authored with Rachel VanLandingham, Medium, December 14, 2020
Available online at: https://medium.com/@judgenrutledge/dont-kill-the-lawyers-but-sanction-quite-a-few-c4ef9c2bf2b5?source=friends_link&sk=62bfc3f21721a160b0e18bc4a747280f

Obama is right about ‘defund the police.’ A terrible slogan makes it hard to win change, 
USA Today, December 7, 2020
Available online at: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/12/07/obama-is-right-defund-police-damages-reform-progress-column/3850652001/

‘Kamala-mala-mala:’ If her first name is supposedly so difficult to say, try ‘Sen. Harris’,
USA Today, October 21, 2020,
Available online at: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/10/21/kamala-harris-name-pronunciation-david-perdue-trump-race-column/5992734002/ 

‘The end of the beginning’ in the search for justice for Breonna Taylor,
co-authored with Geoff Corn, The Hill, September 30, 2020,
Available online at: https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/518709-the-end-of-the-beginning-in-the-search-for-justice-for-breonna

‘Grand jury made the right call in Breonna Taylor case,
co-authored with Geoff Corn, USA Today, September 24, 2020,
Available at:  https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/09/24/breonna-taylor-grand-jury-indicted-one-officer-wanton-endangerment-column/3515532001/

Black in America: I Normalized Racism,
USA Today Weekend Edition September 18-20, 2020 at 7A; also available online as:

I thought I never experienced racism. Then I realized I just normalized it,
September 15, 2020,
Available online at https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/09/15/racism-every-day-black-women-column/5793258002/.

Essays in Larger Collections

A Call for More Black Prosecutors essay published in Meeting at the Table: African American Women Write on Race, Culture & Community (DownSouth Press November 2020).

Essay: Walking the Tightrope: Reflections of a Black Female Law ProfessorProfessor Njeri M. Rutledge Spring 2021 volume 43 issue 2 of the Campbell Law Review available at https://scholarship.law.campbell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1710&context=clr

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