Blog of Rights


Rachel Myers is a senior communications strategist at the ACLU focusing on criminal justice issues. She worked previously at the ACLU of Maine and the Portland (ME) Education Partnership, where she trained teachers, students and community organizations to use service learning in the public schools. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Trading Privacy for Benefits

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 12:38pm
The New York Times has this story about the dramatic increase in the number of states considering legislation that would mandate drug testing for poor people who rely on public assistance. The ACLU of Florida filed a lawsuit in September challenging Florida’s law — one of the most egregious we’ve seen — requiring applicants for cash assistance to submit to a drug test, at their own cost, in order to qualify for benefits. As we’ve said before, laws like Florida’s are costly, ineffective and unconstitutional.

Death By Missed Deadline

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 11:29am

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard the appeal of Cory Maples, a man facing death in Alabama because his lawyers were late filing the appeal of his conviction in state court. This excellent New York Times editorial describes how the sad emphasis on…

Medical Marijuana: A Cure, Not a Crime

Medical Marijuana: A Cure, Not a Crime

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 10:40am

Joseph Casias has battled sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor for more than a decade. His condition has required extensive treatment and chemotherapy, interferes with his ability to speak, and is a source of severe and daily pain. The pain…

Troy Davis Execution Set — Take Action Today!

Troy Davis Execution Set — Take Action Today!

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 9:34am

The State of Georgia plans to execute Troy Davis at midnight on September 21, even though he is very likely innocent.

Davis has been scheduled for execution three times before, and three times his execution has been stayed amid doubts and…

Charging for Prison Visits is Bad Business

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 6:53pm

We thought we’d heard it all when it came to the crazy ways corrections departments try to save money. That is, until we learned today that the Arizona Department of Corrections is charging people money to visit their loved ones in prison.


California Can Reform Solitary Confinement

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 11:26am

California's overuse of solitary confinement is inhumane, costly and jeopardizes public safety by ignoring the fact that normal human contact is essential for ensuring successful re-entry and reducing recidivism rates.

Now, following a weeks-long…

"Solitary Confinement Should be a Last Resort"

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 12:39pm

That is the title of this excellent editorial in the Washington Post, which takes on the issue of solitary confinement recently brought into the national spotlight by the hunger striking prisoners in California's Pelican Bay State Prison and other…

Safety in Numbers?

Safety in Numbers?

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:26pm

In the last decade, New York drastically reduced its prison population and at the same time experienced a huge drop in crime. Indiana, on the other hand, drastically increased its prison population — and consequently the burden to taxpayers…

Ohio and the Death Penalty

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 5:18pm

Check out this great editorial the New York Times ran over the weekend, highlighting the longstanding problems with Ohio’s death penalty and calling for an end the practice throughout the country:

Governor Kasich should instead listen…

Execution in Texas, Despite So Much

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 8:25pm

Today, Texas executed Humberto Leal Garcia, a Mexican national who was tried, convicted and sentenced to die in the state of Texas without ever being given access to the Mexican consulate. Most agree his sentence would have been different if he had…

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