Blog of Rights

Emma
Andersson

Emma A. Andersson is a staff attorney with the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project.  Her practice includes litigation relating to police practices, indigent defense reform, marijuana law reform, and federal and state sentencing.  Emma was previously a fellow with the ACLU's Drug Law Reform Project, a fellow at Bernabei & Wachtel PLLC, and a law clerk for Judge Richard Paez in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  She is a graduate of Yale Law School and Barnard College. 

Tasers No Longer a Non-Lethal Alternative for Law Enforcement

Tasers No Longer a Non-Lethal Alternative for Law Enforcement

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:39pm
Tasers subject their victims to a 50,000 volt shock followed by 100 microsecond pulses of 1,200 volts.   Since 2001, more than 500 people in the United States have died after law enforcement officers used this weapon against them. A study published this week by the American Heart Association’s Circulation Journal confirms that the misuse of a Taser can cause sudden cardiac arrest and death.   
Towns Don't Need Tanks, But They Have Them

Towns Don't Need Tanks, But They Have Them

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:59pm

Keene, New Hampshire has a population of 23,409, except during the months of July and August when campers flock in for the summer. Keene's violent crime index? 134.4, compared to a national average of 213.6. Most common crime? Theft. Good thing the…

Congress Stood Up for Fairer Sentencing. The Supreme Court Should Too.

By Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:17pm

Today we filed a friend-of-the-court brief in two Supreme Court cases that deal with the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA), which reduced the disparity between federal mandatory minimum sentences for crack versus powder cocaine from 100:1 to 18:1.…

Will the Supreme Court Render the Fair Sentencing Act Less Fair?

By Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project & Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 5:58pm

(Also posted on ACSBlog.)

The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA) is actually only kind of fair. The passage of the 2010 law, which reduced the crack to powder mandatory minimum ratio in federal cocaine sentences from 100:1 to 18:1, was a…

Obama's Commutation: A Prelude to Systemic Reform?

By Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:21pm

There are hundreds of thousands of Americans serving outrageously long prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenses as a result of our nation’s widely discredited and inhumane "war on drugs." On Tuesday night, President Obama…

Should We Deny Ill People on Probation Access to Medicine?

Should We Deny Ill People on Probation Access to Medicine?

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:58pm

In 2000, Colorado voters approved an amendment to their state constitution that allows patients suffering from conditions like cancer, glaucoma and HIV/AIDS to use medical marijuana when a doctor has advised them to do so. The amendment to the…

Gil Kerlikowske: Please Put Our Money Where Your Mouth Is

Gil Kerlikowske: Please Put Our Money Where Your Mouth Is

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:02pm

U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske has his work cut out for him.  A revealing recent interview suggests he favors a more treatment-based approach to drug policy than his predecessors, but he has no illusions about the daunting task of de-stigmatizing…

Medical Marijuana:  The Tipping Point

Medical Marijuana: The Tipping Point

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:21pm

Two recent elections, a New York judge’s personal plea, a new state law and a new public opinion poll demonstrate that a seismic national shift has occurred in political attitudes toward medical marijuana. This cascade of developments dramatically…

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