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.

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 children, the testing craze will be just another program that appeals to stereotypes in hard economic times while producing little value in the real world."
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.”…

Knee-Jerk Redaction?

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 12:27pm

After CIA Director Michael Hayden publicly admitted that the CIA has, in fact, waterboarded detainees, the agency could no longer cling to its last excuses for covering up the use of the very word “waterboarding” in CIA records. As a result,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Spared From a Death Sentence Based On Falsehoods

Spared From a Death Sentence Based On Falsehoods

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 5:52pm

An almost-certainly innocent man was spared from death at the hands of the state of Texas yesterday when the highest criminal court in Texas threw out the death sentence of ACLU client Manuel Velez, ruling it was based on the false testimony of a state…

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…

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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