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.

The ACLU and Religion: Don't Believe Everything You Read On the Internet

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 2:59pm
A malicious and factually inaccurate e-mail accusing the ACLU of not standing solidly on the side of religious liberty – an e-mail that was first circulated six years ago – has once again reared its ugly head and popped up in the e-mail inboxes of people across the country. In an effort to set the record straight, below are two myths the e-mail passes off as truth, followed by the facts which effectively debunk the e-mail’s claims.
Lt Gov. Gavin Newsom

CA Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom "Steps Up" for Marijuana Legalization

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 12:34pm

If you missed the rousing speech delivered by California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom over the weekend at the state’s Democratic Party convention in Los Angeles, do yourself a favor and take 10 minutes to give it a watch.

ACLU Lens: North Carolina Repeals Historic Legislation Combating Racism in Death Penalty

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 2:45pm

The North Carolina state Senate late Monday voted to repeal an historic 2009 law that would have helped ensure that death sentences handed down in the state were not the result of racial bias.

The Racial Justice Act allows death row prisoners…

ACLU Lens: Rachel Maddow Highlights ACLU Report on Abuse in Los Angeles Jails

ACLU Lens: Rachel Maddow Highlights ACLU Report on Abuse in Los Angeles Jails

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 1:05pm

An ACLU report documents dozens of stories of brutal violence carried out by sheriff’s deputies against inmates at the Los Angeles County Jail.

The Incomplete Story Told by California’s Declining Juvenile Arrest Rates

The Incomplete Story Told by California’s Declining Juvenile Arrest Rates

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:20pm

A recent study from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) demonstrates that decriminalization of marijuana can actually improve our children’s futures while saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

In 2011, Senate Bill 1449…

Immigration Detention: A Death Sentence for Far Too Many

Immigration Detention: A Death Sentence for Far Too Many

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 2:35pm

Being needlessly detained should never turn into a death sentence.

Warehousing the Mentally Ill

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 4:54pm

Ensuring proper care for incarcerated people with mental illness has increasingly become a hot button issue across the country. From Maine to Nevada and in between, state legislatures and department of corrections officials have been forced in recent…

ACLU Lens: Oregon Death Penalty Moratorium Latest Step Toward Abolition

ACLU Lens: Oregon Death Penalty Moratorium Latest Step Toward Abolition

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 11:29am

Expressing regret that he allowed two executions to go forward 10 years ago, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber yesterday put a moratorium on the state's death penalty.

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…

ACLU in NYT: Commutations are Good, Addressing Systemic Injustice is Better

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 1:19pm

Borrowed from the British monarchy and codified in the United States Constitution after lively debate at the Philadelphia Convention, the power of pardon and commutation was bestowed upon American presidents because of the recognition that injustices…

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