Blog of Rights

Will
Matthews

Will Matthews is the senior communications officer at the ACLU of Northern California, where he leads the strategic communications component of a statewide ACLU campaign to reform California’s criminal justice system. Previously he was the senior media relations associate at the ACLU’s national office in New York, where he primarily worked on the ACLU’s campaign to reduce over-incarceration. A graduate of Chapman University in Orange, Calif, and the recipient of the Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University, Matthews formerly was an award-winning investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

ACLU Lens: Abuse in the Los Angeles County Jails

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 10:41am

A new report released today by the ACLU reveals shocking details of a climate of violence inside the nation's largest jail system. 

ACLU Lens: Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole Denies Clemency to Troy Davis Despite Serious Doubts About his Guilt

ACLU Lens: Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole Denies Clemency to Troy Davis Despite Serious Doubts About his Guilt

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 11:53am

The board denied clemency despite serious concerns that he was wrongfully convicted in 1989 for killing a police officer.

Judge Temporarily Halts College's Unlawful Drug Testing Program

Judge Temporarily Halts College's Unlawful Drug Testing Program

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 11:10am

Taking swift action, a federal district court judge last night granted an ACLU request and temporarily halted an unconstitutional policy at a public college in Missouri requiring all incoming students to submit to mandatory drug tests. Judge Nanette…

Death Row Inmate's Former Prosecutor Asks Texas to Halt His Execution

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 6:08pm

In an important development, a former assistant district attorney in Harris County, Texas on Friday sent a letter to members of the state's Board of Pardons and Paroles and other state officials — including Gov. Rick Perry — urging them…

Profile from the War on Drugs: Hamedah Hasan

Profile from the War on Drugs: Hamedah Hasan

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 11:27am

June 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's declaration of a "war on drugs" — a war that has cost roughly a trillion dollars, has produced little to no effect on the supply of or demand for drugs in the United States, and has…

Act Now! Tell Gov. Strickland to Grant Kevin Keith Clemency

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 2:42pm

It is more important than ever that Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland grant clemency to Kevin Keith, a 46-year-old man awaiting execution on Ohio’s death row, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit earlier this week denied one of Keith’s…

Speak Out Against the "Pain Ray" at L.A. County Jail

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 5:03pm

The ACLU took to the airwaves this week to advance its advocacy against the implementation of Assault Intervention Devices — invisible microwave beam weapons originally developed by the military — as a way of subduing inmates at the…

Death by Firing Squad Highlights Inhumanity of Death Penalty

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 4:46pm

When Ronnie Lee Gardner is strapped into a chair early on Friday morning, and a hood is placed over his head and a small white target is pinned over his heart, the citizens of Utah — and indeed the entire country — will be reminded in…

When the "Worst of the Worst" Describes the Prison, Not the Prisoners

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 3:43pm

Less than a decade ago, Unit 32 at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., was one of the very worst prison facilities in the nation. As the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports:

The supermax unit at the State Penitentiary at Parchman…

Improvements to Sheriff Joe's Maricopa County Jail Long Overdue

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 12:40pm

Sheriff Joe is still on the clock

In October 2008, a federal judge in Arizona ordered Maricopa County's infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio to make dramatic improvements to the conditions inside the Maricopa County Jail — one of the country's…

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