Blog of Rights

Rebecca
McCray

Rebecca McCray works as a paralegal with the Criminal Law Reform Project of the ACLU, which seeks an end to excessively harsh crime policies that result in mass incarceration. The Project works to reduce the number of people entering jails and prisons by reforming our nation's punitive drug policies and challenging police and prosecutorial misconduct and other governmental abuses of power. Rebecca has worked as an educator and researcher at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women, the Iowa Juvenile Home, and Rikers Island, facilitating classes in writing, visual art, and debate. In addition, Rebecca leads free writing workshops throughout New York City with the New York Writers Coalition and regularly contributes to the organization’s blog, The Narrator. An Iowa native, she lives and writes in Brooklyn. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa. You can follow her on Twitter here: @rebeccakmccray

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 1:27pm
The U.S. today has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system has failed on every count: public safety, fairness and cost-effectiveness. Across the country, criminal justice reform is heating up. Each week, we feature exciting and relevant news from around the country related to de-incarceration efforts and criminal justice reform that we’ve spotted from the previous week. Check back weekly for our top picks.

Breaking the Addication to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:00pm

Today, the U.S. today has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice…

ACLU Joins Republicans and Democrats to Streamline Maryland’s Bloated Prison System

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 6:21pm

The ACLU has joined forces with a bipartisan group of legislators and advocates to support a bill that would make great strides toward easing the strain of Maryland’s overpopulated prison system. The bill (S.B. 801), introduced by Republican…

Ohio Governor Reconsiders Jailing Mother Who Sent Her Kids to the Wrong School

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:08pm
Two weeks ago, we wrote about the egregious case of Kelley Williams-Bolar – the African-American single mother in Ohio who was found guilty of two third-degree felonies for sending her kids to the wrong school. She was sentenced to five years in…

Harry's Law's Primetime Shout-Out for Criminal Law Reform

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 5:06pm

While flipping channels on Monday night, we were pleased to stumble across NBC's new show, Harry's Law. The pilot episode features a bored Harriet "Harry" Korn (played by Kathy Bates), who opens her own criminal defense firm after she's…

Teresa Lewis Execution Underscores Shocking Unfairness Of Death Penalty

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 5:20pm

Barring a last-minute miracle, 41-year-old Teresa Lewis will be unjustly put to death by lethal injection at 9 p.m. tonight at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va. Her final appeal was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this…

A Misidentified "Mastermind"

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 12:49pm

On September 23, Teresa Lewis, a mentally disabled individual, is slated to become the first woman executed in the state of Virginia since the electrocution of Virginia Christian in 1912. Accused of hiring Matthew Shallenberger and Rodney Fuller to…

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