Author: Art Lien

Courtartist is me, Art Lien. I’ve been sketching the courts since 1976, and for most of that time the U.S. Supreme Court has been my regular beat. I’ve been working almost exclusively for NBC News since 1980.

Courtroom sketching is a form of visual journalism or reportage drawing that is slowly dying out. Where once upon a time news organization each had their own artist covering a story, today a “pool” artist often sketches for all. It is a demanding and stressful discipline where the drawing is often done directly and under tight deadline.

DC Transit Officer Aids ISIS

A DC Metro Transit police officer charged with providing material support to ISIS made a five minute appearance before a magistrate in Alexandria yesterday where he asked for a lawyer. Another hearing is scheduled for today at 2:00 p.m. According

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SCOTUS Ends With A Bang, Not A Whimper

It’s been a strange Supreme Court term, like a meal that doesn’t satisfy. With only eight members on the bench after Justice Scalia’s death the odds were good that the last blockbuster opinion of the term would fall to a

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Marilyn Mosby’s Bad Day

This was the big one, and the State couldn’t prove it. Three of the six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddy Gray last April have gone to trial and so far not one conviction on any charge.

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Goodson Closing Arguments

My sketches from yesterday’s closing arguments in the trial of Baltimore Police officer Caesar Goodson. He drove the van in which Freddie Gray suffered injuries that led to his death last April and the ensuing riots the day of his

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The Make Or Break Freddie Gray Trial

After one mistrial and one acquittal a lot is riding on the prosecution of the van driver facing the most serious charge in the death of Freddie Gray. During opening statements Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow promised to show

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Guccifer In Alexandria

I don’t get down to the U.S. District court in Alexandria much anymore. It used to be a regular trek during the early days of the Bush administration’s war on terror. But this morning I was back at the Albert

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First Freddie Gray Verdict Not Guilty

Not a good day for the Baltimore State’s Attorney. The first verdict in the trials of police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray found officer Edward Nero innocent of all charges. That outcome seemed likely from day one

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Monday’s Undecisions

The big news of course on Monday was the Supreme Court’s per curiam opinion in Zubik v. Burwell (and other consolidated cases) that decided nothing but encouraged the two sides to reach a compromise. The other case left hanging is

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Opinion: Ocasio v. United States

An interesting case, and not just because I live in Baltimore. Majestic Auto Repair was paying up to $300 for each damaged vehicle Baltimore police would steer their way from the scene of an accident. By the time the FBI

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Hastert Sentencing

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was sentenced Wednesday on one count of “structuring” bank withdrawals to which he had pleaded guilty last year. But of course it wasn’t at all about a financial technicality. Hastert was confronted in

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