Blog of Rights

Alex
Berger
"I’ll Never See My Son's Prom Picture"

"I’ll Never See My Son's Prom Picture"

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 3:00pm
Lucille MacBeth, mother of slain Florida teen Jordan Russell Davis, did all she could to keep from crying during her testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution earlier this week. After nearly five minutes of testimony, Lucille stopped speaking, looked down and then back up, this time with tears in her eyes: "I'll never get to see my son's prom photo. I never get to hear how much he enjoys his dad's chili. No one else will ever get to know him. He'll never get to join the Marines like he dreamed and all because of guns and the power of these laws. These laws embolden people with hate to take action with that hate."
Congress Could Save Tens of Thousands of Americans Today. Here's How.

Congress Could Save Tens of Thousands of Americans Today. Here's How.

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 3:10pm

"Too many Americans go to too many prisons for too long for no good law enforcement reason."

That's what Attorney General Eric Holder said in an historic speech before the American Bar Association earlier this year. He was talking about people…

Congress Gets to Work on Overincarceration

Congress Gets to Work on Overincarceration

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 3:39pm

Last month, Congressmen Sensenbrenner and other members of the House Judiciary Committee announced a task force to address the ever increasing scope and breathe of the federal criminal system. This news drew cheers from activists, policy wonks and…

Congress Takes Much Needed Step Forward on Over-Criminalization

Congress Takes Much Needed Step Forward on Over-Criminalization

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 4:59pm

Earlier this month, a high school honors student named Kiera Wilmot was charged with felony discharge of a weapon on school property. Her crime? Creating her own science experiment.

When Kiera mixed several household chemicals together in a…

Let’s Talk About The Way We Discipline Kids

Let’s Talk About The Way We Discipline Kids

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 4:02pm

A couple years ago, a high school student in Philadelphia named Kevin was caught with a small pair of scissors in his backpack while going through the school's metal detector. He had forgotten to remove it after wrapping Christmas presents at his girlfriend's…

How One Philly School Stopped Violence in Its Tracks

How One Philly School Stopped Violence in Its Tracks

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 11:05am

I recently read an article in The Atlantic by Jeff Deeney about a school in Philadelphia that took an innovative approach to reduce youth violence in one of the most desperately poor areas of the city. Instead of relying on a hefty police presence…

Want to Restore Fairness to the Criminal Justice System? End Racial Profiling

Want to Restore Fairness to the Criminal Justice System? End Racial Profiling

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 3:35pm

Just over a year ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on racial profiling in over a decade on the heels of the murder of 17-year-old Florida resident Trayvon Martin.

His death gave a face to the terrible practice of racial…

Two Big Wins for Civil Liberties in Monday's Immigration Markup

Two Big Wins for Civil Liberties in Monday's Immigration Markup

By Sarah Mehta, Fellow, Immigrants' Rights Project, ACLU & Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 9:36am

In yesterday's flurry of activity in the Senate Judiciary Committee on the comprehensive immigration reform bill, there were two big wins for civil liberties: Blumenthal 2, an amendment that limits solitary confinement in immigration detention, and…

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