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.

Extreme Sentencing

Extreme Sentencing

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 6:12pm
Snatching a purse off the arm of an elderly woman is one of the nastier offenses I can think of – the kind of thing that might make you shake your head and say to yourself “I hope whoever did that gets what’s coming to him.” And then you think for a second about just what he ought to have coming to him: community service, maybe – or even a night in jail. Stealing from an old lady is pretty mean, after all, and you’d want whoever did it to learn a lesson.
Editorial: Drug-Testing Welfare Applicants Nets Little

Editorial: Drug-Testing Welfare Applicants Nets Little

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 4:00pm

An editorial in yesterday's USA Today takes a hard look at the recent push to drug-test applicants for public assistance across the country. The verdict? "Until states can come up with a smarter way to ferret out the abusers while protecting…

Medical Marijuana Patient Fired by Wal-Mart Deserves His Day in Court

Medical Marijuana Patient Fired by Wal-Mart Deserves His Day in Court

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 5:07pm

Some readers may recall the story of Joseph Casias, the model employee who was fired from his job at Wal-Mart for using medical marijuana in accordance with state law. The ACLU was in court today to argue that an appeals court should reinstate…

Stop Incarceration for Profit in Your State

Stop Incarceration for Profit in Your State

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:28pm

A private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America, wants to buy your state's prisons and keep them full. Help us stop them.

The High Price of Habitual Offender Laws

The High Price of Habitual Offender Laws

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 4:07pm

Has North Carolina taken one step forward but another one back in trying to solve the state's prison population issues? The recently passed Justice Reinvestment Act looks to make some positive strides in the area of criminal justice reform, particularly…

Louisiana Passes Legislation Addressing Growing Number of Elderly in Prison

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 5:27pm

The Louisiana Senate has just passed H.B. 138, which will enable some prisoners to go before a parole board upon turning 60. The board can then decide to grant parole to those individuals it determines would pose no danger to the community upon…

Sentencing Children to Die in Prison

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 1:23pm

One year ago this week, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that sentencing youth who have committed non-homicide offenses to life in prison without some meaningful opportunity for review of that sentence is unconstitutional. Although the ruling does not…

With Technology Like This, Who Needs the Law?

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 12:55pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

The ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation have received several batches of Justice Department documents in response to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (and subsequent lawsuit) for records…

Replace the Death Penalty in California

Replace the Death Penalty in California

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 2:55pm

Imagine for a minute that all the public busses in California sat dormant in a parking lot, never to run again. Imagine that the public schools sent all the kids home for good. Imagine also that state’s hospitals shuttered their doors and turned…

New Support for Ending the Solitary Confinement of Youth

New Support for Ending the Solitary Confinement of Youth

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 10:48pm

Last week the ACLU and Human Rights Watch released a report about the solitary confinement of young people in America’s jails and prisons. Kids in solitary often spend 22 to 24 hours a day alone, sometimes without access to books, let alone other…

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