Blog of Rights

Jennifer
Turner

Jennifer Turner is the Human Rights Researcher in the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)’s Human Rights Program. She conducts documentation research and advocacy on human rights violations in the United States, with a focus on criminal justice, policing, national security, racial justice, women’s rights, children’s rights, and immigrants’ rights. She is the author of numerous ACLU reports, including A Living Death, on life without parole sentences for nonviolent offenses; Island of Impunity, which documents police brutality and failure to police domestic and sexual violence in Puerto Rico; and Blocking Faith, Freezing Charity, on how terrorism financing policies undermine Muslims’ religious freedom and chill charitable giving. She also carries out advocacy before the U.N. Human Rights Council, human rights treaty monitoring bodies and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and monitors military commission hearings at Guantánamo Bay.

 

Prior to joining the ACLU, Jennifer was a fellow in the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, where she researched and reported on abuses against Asian migrant domestic workers in the Middle East. She has also worked in the asylum program of Human Rights First assisting refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. to obtain pro bono legal representation. Jennifer is a graduate of Yale University and New York University Law School.

Hope, At Last, for Some Federal Prisoners

Hope, At Last, for Some Federal Prisoners

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 4:53pm
Here's some truth for you: many federal prisoners would receive substantially shorter sentences for the exact same crime if they were sentenced today under the current law. Many would have already served their time and paid their debt to society. Instead, because of outdated laws that are now recognized as unjust, they remain in prison at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars each year.
Finally Headed Home

Finally Headed Home

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 7:46pm

Jason Hernandez says he is still shaking from the news that he will be released from prison in five years. Yesterday, his life without parole sentence was commuted to 20 years.

Before yesterday, President Obama had received over 8,700 commutation…

What a Waste

What a Waste

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 9:51am

It's time to abandon the mindset that our criminal justice system should only be about extreme, one-size-fits-all punishment – particularly when the skyrocketing number of these sentences being meted out is grossly out of proportion with crime rates, which are falling.

VICTORY! Historic Agreement Will Overhaul Puerto Rico Police Department Notorious for Brutality

VICTORY! Historic Agreement Will Overhaul Puerto Rico Police Department Notorious for Brutality

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 6:18pm

The U.S. Justice Department and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico yesterday...

California Gives Hope to Child Offenders Sentenced to Die in Prison

California Gives Hope to Child Offenders Sentenced to Die in Prison

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 6:43pm

Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s Senate Bill 9, the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act, giving California youth sentenced to die in prison a second chance at life. There are 309 child offenders serving life-without-parole sentences…

A Decade in Detention for Former Child Soldier

A Decade in Detention for Former Child Soldier

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 11:39am

Today marks a decade in U.S. custody for Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who is Guantánamo’s youngest prisoner. Even though he has been eligible for transfer back to Canada for almost nine months pursuant to his October 2010 plea deal,…

While Manning Languishes in Military Custody, U.N. Calls for Accountability for Torture

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 1:49pm

Friday in Geneva, the U.N. Human Rights Council, comprised of 47 nations, adopted a long list of over 200 recommendations of policy changes needed to bring the U.S. into compliance with its human rights obligations. The council's recommendations…

A Step Forward for Promoting Indigenous Rights

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 4:43pm

Yesterday, the Obama administration announced that the U.S. will lend its support to the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which recognizes a broad range of rights for indigenous peoples and articulates the rights set…

On Human Rights Day, Demanding Justice for All

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 12:05pm
"From the execution of innocent inmates, to en masse arrest and deportation of immigrant workers, to torture victims denied their day in court, the ACLU's new report details how U.S. victims of human rights abuses are systematically denied access…

The Victims

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 5:07pm

Yesterday was an emotional day of testimony from widow Tabitha Speer and Omar Khadr. As a reminder, on Monday, Khadr pled guilty as part of a plea agreement to all of the charges against him, including throwing a grenade that killed Sgt. Christopher…

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