Blog of Rights

Rachel
Myers

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.

NYC Marijuana Arrests Still Too High

NYC Marijuana Arrests Still Too High

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:43pm
The New York City Police Department made a near-record number of low-level marijuana arrests in 2011, surpassing 2010 and making 2011 the second-most prolific period for marijuana arrests in NYC history. The 50,684 arrest occurred despite the fact that possessing a small amount of marijuana is not a crime in New York unless it is in public view.

VIDEO: African-Americans Excluded From Capital Case Juries

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 1:54pm

Laverne Keys, a longtime North Carolinian who wished to do her civic duty by serving on a jury, believes she was excluded from service because she is black. “It made me feel like I was back in 1960, that racism is still very much alive. It…

Overincarceration in America

Overincarceration in America

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 11:35am

We believe that America’s criminal justice system should keep communities safe, treat people fairly, and use fiscal resources wisely. But more Americans are deprived of their liberty than ever before - unfairly and unnecessarily, with no benefit…

Podcast: Billy McCarthy of We Are Augustines talks about Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness

Podcast: Billy McCarthy of We Are Augustines talks about Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 9:51am

Many of singer / songwriter Billy McCarthy's songs were inspired by his brother James, who suffered from mental illness and took his own life after spending five years in solitary confinement in a California prison.

Arizona Governor Will Implement Medical Marijuana Law

Arizona Governor Will Implement Medical Marijuana Law

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 5:02pm

Gov. Brewer had previously challenged the law in court, arguing that state officials fear federal prosecution for implementing the law. Her case was dismissed earlier this week.

L.A. Times Calls for Jails Investigation to Turn Up the Heat

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 1:46pm

An editorial in the L.A. Times today called on the new seven-member commission charged with investigating Los Angeles County's jails to put real pressure on Sherriff Lee Baca to improve conditions in the troubled facilities. Facing mounting pressure…

The Criminal Justice Year in Review - 2011

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:21pm

As 2011 comes to end, we’re taking a look back at the year in criminal justice. Over the next few days, we’ll run a series of blog posts on the developments, good and bad, that have shaped our justice system – from overincarceration…

North Carolina Governor Vetoes Repeal of Historic Racial Justice Act

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 4:38pm

North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue today courageously vetoed a bill to repeal that state’s Racial Justice Act (RJA), an historic 2009 state law enacted to ensure that death sentences handed down in the state are not the result of racial bias…

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…

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…

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