This week, the 72nd Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is meeting in Geneva. Readers of this blog will have noticed blogging from the ACLU's 10-person delegation at the meeting, addressing issues such a Read More»
Last month, we told you about a horrifying method of strip-searching prisoners for contraband at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility (DWCF). It required prisoners to hold open their labia as correctional officers, "sometimes using a flashlight, sometimes positioning their faces only inches away from a prisoner's genitals, conduct an inspection. Reports even indicate that some prisoners have been forced to pull back the skin of their clitorises."
We have been hearing (and repeating ourselves) that you have options when you go the airport. That is, if you're pulled aside for secondary screening, you have a choice between going through the strip-search machine or being given an "enhanced pat-down." (Incidentally, this isn't the first time "enhanced" has been used as a euphemism for something abusive.)
But NPR reports that humorist Dave Barry had the misfortune of getting both the full-body scan and a pat-down, because the full-body scan displayed to screeners a "blurred groin." The blurriness in his nether-regions required a secondary-secondary screening, in a separate room, wherein a screener gave Barry a pat-down.
For most of us, getting a passport is a pretty straightforward process. Go to the post office for an application, fill it out, get a picture taken, make a copy of your birth certificate, write a check for $100 and mail it in. A few weeks later, voila! Passport!
Unfortunately, this isn't the case for thousands of U.S. citizens living along the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has been quietly carrying out a policy that discriminates against U.S. citizens of Mexican descent who live along the border and whose births were attended by midwives or took place at a local clinic.
Sean Matthews is a homeless construction worker who was convicted of marijuana possession in 2007, and was assessed $498 in legal fines and costs. He was arrested two years later after being unable to pay that $498, and spent five months in jail at a cost of more than $3,000 to the City of New Orleans.
Gregory White, also a homeless man, was arrested for stealing $39 worth of food from a local grocery store. He was assessed $339 in fines and fees. Because he could not pay the $339, the City of New Orleans imprisoned Mr. White for 198 days at a cost of over $3,500 to the city.
On Wednesday, retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens gave an interview at the annual conference of the 5th Judicial Circuit in Chicago, and explained his changed view on the death penalty.
In 1976, Justice Stevens was among the majority opinion in Gregg v. Georgia, the Supreme Court decision that found the death penalty does not violate the Eighth or 14th Amendments, thereby reinstating it. But at Wednesday's event, he explained his change of heart.
Today was the fourth deadline for the release of the "Bradbury Memos": three memos authored by Steven Bradbury, acting head of the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) from 2005 to 2009. The memos reportedly provided legal justification for the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation methods that amounted to torture. And they also reportedly provided legal cover for the CIA’s interrogation methods in anticipation of Congress’s expected effort to outlaw “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment,” which it did in the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, passed several months after Bradbury issued the memos.